Will of William Gyles the elder, draper, 1702

Herts RO 139AW6

In the name of God Amen I William Gyles the elder of Winslow in the County of Bucks Draper being sick and weak in body but of sound & perfect mind & memory All possible  praise be given to Almighty God therefore do make & Ordain this my last Will & Testament in manner following First and above All things I commend my Soul into the hands of Almighty God my Creator hoping through the merits of Jesus Christ my Saviour only to have my Sins pardoned and to inherit Everlasting life and my body I commit to the Earth to be decently buried at the discretion of my Executors And touching Such Temporal Estate as it hath pleased God to bless me withal I Dispose thereof as follows (Videlicet) I Will that my Debts Legacies and Funeral Expenses Shall be paid & discharged Item I Give Devise and Bequeath unto my dear & loving wife Mary Gyles All that my Meadow or pasture Ground called Oxeye with the Appurtenances thereto belonging Situate in the parish of Winslow To Hold to the said Mary Gyles and her Assigns for the term of her natural life and after Decease Then I Give and Devise the same Meadow or pasture ground unto William Gyles my Grandson Son & heir apparent of William Gyles my Son To Hold to the said William my Grandson and his heirs for ever Item I Give & Devise unto the said Mary Gyles my wife All that my Close called Little Hoxslow with the Appurtenances Situate in Winslow aforesaid containing by estimation Four Acres To Hold to the said Mary my wife & her Assigns for the term of her natural life And after her Decease Then I Give and Devise the said Close called Little Hozslow with the appurtenances unto Samuel Norman my son in law and his heirs To Hold to him the said Samuel Norman and his heirs for ever Item I give & Devise unto the said Mary my loving wife All that Close of Arable Land called White Lease piece with the appurtenances containing by estimation Four Acres be it more or less To Hold to the said Mary my wife & her Assigns for the term of her natural life and after her Decease Then I Give & Devise the said Close called White Lease piece unto William Gyles my Grandson Son & heir apparent of Joseph Gyles my second Son and the heirs of the same William To Hold to the said William my Grandson and his heirs for ever Item All the Rest Residue and Remaining part of my Freehold Lands Tenements & Hereditaments whatsoever not herein before bequeathed I give and Devise unto the said Mary my wife To Hold to her and her Assigns for the term of her natural life and after her Decease Then I Give Devise & Bequeath the same premises (not herein before bequeathed as aforesaid) unto the said William Gyles my Son his heirs & Assigns for ever And Whereas I Stand Engaged that my Executors Shall pay unto Benjamin Griffin my Son in Law the full Sum of One hundred pounds of lawful money of England within One Month after my Decease And Also Whereas the said Benjamin Griffin doth owe unto me the like Sum of One hundred pounds of like lawful money My Will & Devise is that he the said Benjamin Griffin Shall keep & detain in his hands the said principal Sum of One hundred pounds so owing to me as aforesaid So as he Deliver up to my Executors within One Month after my Decease the bond or Security by me Given for the payment of his said One hundred pounds And my Will & Devise Further is that the bond or Security by the said Benjamin Griffin given to me shall be likewise delivered up on payment of the interest money only to be due thereupon And I do hereby Give & Devise the same bond unto the said Benjamin Griffin Accordingly Item I Give and Bequeath unto All & every my Grand Children Sons or Daughters of either of my Children to whom no Legacy is herein before bequeathed and who are now born the full Sum of Twenty pounds apiece of lawful money of England to be paid by the said William Gyles my Son out of my real and personal Estate (to him by these presents bequested)  that is to say unto my Grandsons when they shall Attain the age of One & Twenty Years respectively and to my Grand Daughters when they shall Attain the age of Eighteen Years respectively within One Month after the Decease of the said Mary my loving wife which shall last happen And in case any or either of my said Grand Children (except the children of my said son Joseph) Shall happen to depart this life before his her or their Legacy of twenty pounds to them by me bequeathed as aforesaid shall become due my Will & meaning is that his her or their said Legacy (of twenty pounds) so dying shall be retained by my Executors And in case any or either of the children of my said son Joseph shall depart this life before his her or their said Legacy of twenty pounds shall become due as aforesaid Then my Will meaning & desire is that his her or their said Legacy so dying shall be paid to the Survivors of them the said Children of my Son Joseph Item I Give Devise & Bequeath unto the said Mary my loving wife All and every my Household goods Household Stuff & Implements of Household whatsoever to do & dispose thereof at her free Will & pleasure Item I Give Devise & Bequeath unto Robert Goodson of Long Crendon in the County of Bucks Yeoman and Clement Hunt of Weslington in the said County of Bucks Yeoman their Executors Administrators and Assigns One Annuity or yearly Sum of thirteen shillings of lawful money of England to be paid out of my real and personal Estate monthly & every month for ever unto the said Robert Goodson & Clement Hunt their heirs Executors Administrators & Assigns in Trust to be given and disposed of unto such poor people as they the said Robert Goodson and Clement Hunt together with my said Son William Gyles & the Survivors & Survivor of them shall think meet And my Will and Desire is that my said Son William Gyles shall within three months after my Decease become bound to the said Robert Goodson and Clement Hunt in the penal Sum of Fifty pounds of lawful money of England conditioned for the true payment of the said Annuity Item, all the Rest of my Goods Chattels Debts Credits Securities and personal Estate whatsoever not herein before bequeathed I give will Devise and Bequeath unto the said Mary my loving wife To the Intent only that she the said Mary may have hold use occupy and enjoy the same receiving only the interest product increase & use thereof during her natural life And from & after her Decease then I Give will Devise & Bequeath All & every my said last mentioned Goods Chattels Debts Credits Securities and personal Estate whatsoever unto my well beloved Son William Gyles whom I do hereby constitute & Appoint full & sole Executor of this my last Will and Testament requiring him out of my Estate hereby to him bequeathed to pay and Discharge as well All my Debts and Legacies as also my Funeral Expenses And Lastly I Do hereby Revoke and make void all former wills by me heretofore made And Do declare this only to be my last Will & Testament In Witness whereof I the said William Gyles the elder have to this my last Will & Testament contained in five sheets of paper to each of them set my hand and Seal this Six and twentieth day of March in the year of our Lord Christ 1702 and in the first year of the Reign of our most Glorious Sovereign Lady Ann by the Grace of God Queen of England Scotland France and Ireland Defender of the Faith &c.

William Gyles

Signed sealed published & declared  
in the presence of us who have
hereunto Subscribed our names
as Witnesses in the presence of the
Testator

Mary West
Nicho: Merwin
John Markham

Memorand this 28th day of March 1702 this writing
Containing Five Sheets of paper was a second time
Signed sealed published & declared to be the last Will
& Testament of the said William Gyles the elder in the
presence of us who have hereunto Subscribed our names as
Witnesses in the presence of the Testator
                                                                                                William Gyles

Mary West
Nicho: Merwin
John Markham

Memorand this 28th day of March 1702 and after the publishing of this my last Will & Testament a Second time I the Within named William Gyles the elder being minded only to alter & not to revoke my said Will I do hereby Give Will Devise after the Decease of the within named Mary my wife Bequeath unto Samuel Norman my Granson his heirs & Assigns for ever All that my Close called Little Hoxlow with the Appurtenances Situate in Winslow aforesaid containing by estimation Four Acres which premises were by my last Will Bequeathed unto my Son in Law Samuel Norman And my Will & meaning is that the said Samuel Norman my Grandson shall not have or receive of my Executors the Sum of twenty pounds to him as one of my Grandchildren by my said Will Bequeathed And Whereas I have Appointed by my said Will that William Norman my Grandson should receive a Legacy from me the Sum of twenty pounds I do hereby revoke the said Bequest so far as concerns the said William Norman Designing to give him a Copyhold Witness my hand & Seal the day & year abovesaid

Signed sealed published & declared                                                   William Gyles
in the presence of us who hereunto
Subscribe our names as Witnesses
in the presence of the Testator

Joseph Harding his mark
Nicho: Merwin
John Markham

[Proved 27 May 1702]


Notes

Reverse of a William Gyles halfpennyWilliam Gyles was both Winslow's leading Baptist and a successful businessman who seems to have worked closely with William Lowndes. See photo on right for one of his trade tokens (the other side depicts a hat). His baptism is not recorded, presumably because his family were already Baptists; see Margaret Gyles, d.1626, probably his grandmother.

According to the manor court of April 1702, William held 2 messuages and 48 acres of copyhold land when he died. He had also entailed some land before he died: 4 acres to his grandson William Norman, 29 acres to his son Daniel. The messuages (The Crown and the house where William Firth lived) were to go to his son-in-law Samuel Norman after providing annuities for his wife Mary and daughter Mary. Only 2 acres are said to have passed to his son William jr, so other arrangements must have been made for the remaining 13 acres (at least some of it was entailed to Daniel in 1692).

The banns of the marriage of William Gyles to Mary Muncke of Bierton were published in Winslow market-place on 11, 18 and 25 Feb 1653 (N. Saving, Glimpses of Past Days, p.17). Thomas Monk of Bierton was the first signatory of the Orthodox Creed of General Baptists in 1679, and presumably Mary was his daughter or niece (see her will). William Gyles also signed the Orthodox Creed. Arnold Baines, Baptist Quarterly 17.2 (1957), p.83, wrote this about him:

WILLIAM GILES, senior, shopkeeper, later called gentleman, was assisting Hartnoll in 1669, when he preached to "not above twenty mean people" at George Deverell's farmhouse at Swanbourne. Giles lived in a house overlooking the market-place in Winslow, in which he set up two rows of stalls from 1661 to 1677, when the Duke of Buckingham (Dryden's Zimri, Pope's "lord of useless thousands. ") claimed the sole right, as lord of the manor, to place and let stalls, his bailiffs receiving the profits to their own use. The Duke accused Giles of attempting to suborn a witness whom the steward of the court leet had examined six years before concerning the stalling (VCH Bucks iii 467). Whatever the outcome, Giles continued to prosper (unlike the Duke, who died in the utmost misery in 1687) for he was chief constable of the Three Hundreds of Cottesloe in 1682. During his year of office Thomas Smalibones, labourer, pleaded guilty of stealing from him a turkey, valued as sixpence, and a duck, fourpence, and was sentenced to be whipped in the gaol "until his body be bloody," and then discharged, paying his fees. Shortly before leaving office Giles was charged with absence from church; perhaps he had made enemies, for Cottesloe was fairly safe for Dissenters. He was not troubled again, however, and after the Revolution, he was sworn in as constable of Winslow, took the oaths and registered his house for public worship. He was apparently still living in 1699, when his son was still called "junior" in the rolls of the manor court of Winslow, but was probably dead by 1702. The court roll of 1686 gives his wife's name as Mary.

Robert Goodson was an elder in the General Baptist congregation at Winslow and Clement Hunt was a messenger at Cuddington. The charity was clearly intended for poor Baptists, and was therefore the first Winslow charity not to be controlled by the Church.

Copyright 26 August, 2015