Will of William Gyles, woollen draper, 1713

National Archives PROB 11/533

In the name of God Amen I William Gyles Winslow in the County of Bucks Woollen Draper being at present surprized with sickness and not knowing how it will please God to dispose of me for life or death but wholly submitting myself to his blessed Will and humbly with hearty sorrow for my sins recommending my soul to the hands of my Gracious God trusting for Salvation by and through the merritts of Death and Passion of my Lord and only Saviour Jesus Christ and Comitting my body to the Earth to be decently Interred at the discretion of my Executrix hereinafter named as touching my Worldly Estate doe make this my last Will and Testament as followeth Imprimis I give devise and bequeath unto my dear and loving Wife Sarah Gyles all and every my Freehold Lands Tenements and hereditaments whatsoever lying and being in the severall Parishes of Winslowe and Great Horwood in the \said/ County of Bucks with the rights members and appurtenances thereof To hold to the said Sarah Gyles land her assignes for and during the Term of her naturall Life and from and after her Decease then I give and devise the same Freehold Lands and Tenements to my Son William Gyles for the Term of his naturall Life And from and after his Decease then I give the same to the Heirs of his Body lawfully begotten or to be begotten and for want of such issue then I give and devise the same Lands and Tenements unto such of my Daughters as shall be living at the decease of the said William Gyles my Son to be equally divided between them charged nevertheless in manner and form following  That is to say My Will and meaning is and I do hereby order and appoint that my said Freehold Lands and Tenements shall be charged and chargeable with the severall and respective Legacies of Twenty pounds apeice (which shall not be paid at the time of my decease) mentioned in  my late Fathers last Will and Testament and thereby given to his Grandchildren therein named as the same shall severally become due And my Will farther is that such of the said Legacies as shall become due in the Life time of the said Sarah Giles shall be paid and fully satisfied by her And such of the said Legacies as shall then remain unpaid (if any such shall happen) shall be paid and satisfied by the person or persons [p.2] who shall be in possession of or intituled to the said premisses by vertue of the Bequest aforesaid And I do hereby farther Will and appoint that my Daughter Sarah Gyles shall have one Annuity or yearly Rent of Twenty pounds of lawfull money of Great Britain during her Life to be issuing out of my said Freehold Lands Tenements and hereditaments in Winslowe and Great Horwood to be paid unto her own proper hands and not unto the hands of any husband with whom she may hereafter Marry nor to the hands of any other person or persons that may claim the same by vertue of any assignment or otherwise but only to her own hands for her sole and seperate use and to be paid her at the four most usuall Feasts or Daies of payment in the year by equall Portions  That is to say the Feast daies of the Annunciation of the blessed virgin Mary St. John Baptist St. Michael the Archangell and St. Thomas the Apostle without any deduction or abatement whatsoever the first payment thereof to be made at such of the said Feasts or Daies of payment as shall next happen after my decease  And my Will farther is that if it shall happen the said Annuity or yearly Rent of Twenty pounds or any part thereof to be behind and unpaid by the space of Twenty daies next after any the Feasts aforesaid on which the same ought to be paid according to the true intent and meaning of this my Will that then and as often as it shall so happen it shall and may be lawfull to and for the said Sarah Gyles into and upon the said Freehold Lands Tenements and hereditaments or into any part or parcel thereof to enter and distrain and the distress and distresses then and there found and taken to lead drive chase carry away impound detain and keep untill the said Annuity or yearly Rent of Twenty pounds so unpaid and all arrearages thereof if any shall happen to be as also all charges that shall happen thereby shall be truly satisfied and paid according to the true intent and meaning of this my last Will  Item I give and bequeath unto my said loving Wife Sarah Gyles and to my Son William Gyles to be equally divided between them all and every my Stock goods wares and merchandizes in my severall Shops and Warehouses in Winslowe Buckingham and Leighton Buzzard which in any wise do belong or appertain to my Trade and all and every my Debts due to me in my Shop Books for any goods or Merchandizes from any person or persons whatsoever  And my Will is and I do hereby order and appoint that all my Debts and Funerall Expences shall be equally born and discharged out of my said Stock and Shop Debts by my said loving Wife Sarah Gyles and my said Son William Gyles But my Will and Meaning is that my said son William Gyles shall not be intituled to or any wise intermeddle with any Debts or summes of Money due to me upon any securities either Mortgages Bonds or otherwise  Item I give and bequeath unto my Daughter Grace Gyles the summe of Four hundred and Eighty pounds  Item I do give to my Daughter Martha Gyles the Summe of Four hundred and Eighty pounds  Item I do give unto my Daughter Jane the summe of Four hundred and Eighty pounds to be paid them [p.3] severally by my Executrix within six Months after my decease  Item I give to Joanna Morris my Grandaughter in Law Ten pounds  And to Maria King Daughter of John King of Bovingdon in the County of Hertford Ten pounds to be paid them by my Executrix when they shall severally attain the Age of Eighteen years  And Whereas I have severall summes of money due to me upon Mortgages Bonds and other Securities which I designe should discharge the severall Legacies before given unto my said Daughters Now my Will and Meaning is and I do hereby appoint that in case my Executrix cannot conveniently get in and receive the said summes of money so due to me as aforesaid that then and in such case if my said Executrix shall grant bargain sell or assigne over so many of the said securities as shall amount unto the summe of Four hundred and  Eighty pounds a peice to any or either of my said Children with full power to sue for and recover the same such grant or assignment shall be as good and as full a discharge from any or either of my said Daughters Legacies to my said Executrix as if the same had been paid them severally in Money

And whereas I have made a surrender of my Copyhold Estate of Lands Tenements & Hereditaments whatsoever within the Mannor of Winslow aforesaid to such Uses Intents and purposes as I should mention express and declare in my last Will and Testament Now as for and concerning All that Messuage Tenement wherein I now dwell with the Appurtenances thereof I give and devise the same unto my son William Gyles To Hold to the said William Gyles immediately after the decease of my said Wife Sarah and unto his heirs for ever My Will further is That that part of my house in which Richard Allen lately dwelt next the house of William Firth in Winslow aforesaid as the same was then and is now divided with One Bay of building standing behind the same and adjoining to the Churchyard with liberty of ingress egress and regress in and through the Entry under that part of my house late in the occupation of Richard Gibbs at all Seasonable times to and from the said Bay with the Appurtenances shall be enjoyed by my daughter Grace for and during the Terme of her Natural life from and immediately after the decease of my said wife Sarah and after her decease by the heirs of the Body of the said Grace and for want of such Issue by my right Heirs for ever And my will further is That part of my house in which Richard Gibbs lately dwelt in Winslow aforesaid adjoining to that part late in the occupation of Richard Allen as the same was then and is still divided with the appurtenances thereof shall be enjoyed by my daughter Martha for and during the Terme of her Natural life from and immediately after the decease of my said Wife Sarah and from and after the decease of my said daughter Martha by the Heirs of the Body of the said Martha and for want of such Issue by my right Heirs for ever And my will likewise is that my Messuage or Tenement in which Thomas Gibbs now dwells in Winslow aforesaid known by the sign of the [p.4] Angel with the appurtenances thereof shall be enjoyed from and immediately after the decease of my said wife Sarah by my said daughter Jane for and during the Terme of her Natural life and from and after her decease by the Heirs of the Body of the said Jane and for want of such Issue by my right Heirs for ever Item I give devise and bequeath to my said son William Gyles and to his Heirs for ever All the rest of my Copyhold Lands Tenements and Hereditaments whatsoever which I hold of the said Manor of Winslow and which I have not herein disposed off and whereof I have any power to dispose Provided neverthelesse and my mind is That if my said son William shall dye without Issue of his Body Then the Heirs and Assigns of the said William my son shall within twelve months after his decease well and truly pay or cause to be paid unto such of my daughters as shall be then living out of my said Copyhold lands Tenements & Hereditaments the sum of One Hundred pounds apiece And in Case the person or persons who shall be Entitled to the said Copyhold Lands and Tenements shall neglect or refuse the same at the time aforesaid according to the true Intent and meaning of this my Will Then I give and devise the same premises unto Such of my Daughters as shall be living at the decease of my said son William and to their Heirs for ever to be equally divided between them All the rest and residue of my Goods Chattells and personal Estate whatsoever and wheresoever either upon Securityes or otherwise I give and bequeath the same unto my said Deare Loving Wife Sarah Gyles whome I make full and Sole Executrix of this my last Will and Testament And I doe hereby revoke all former Wills by me heretofore made And doe declare this only to be my last In Witnesse whereof I have to this my last Will conteined in Six Sheets of Paper to the ffive first sett my hand and to the last my hand and seale this Sixth Day of march in the Eleventh Year of the Reign of Queen Anne over great Brittain Anno Domini One Thousand Seven hundred and Twelve

William Gyles

Signed Sealed and Delivered by the said
William Gyles and by him published [p.5] to be
his last Will and Testament in the presence of
Samuel Norman
William Simes
John Markham

[Proved in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, 28 May 1713]


Notes

This William Gyles was the son of William Gyles d.1702, and was usually known as William Gyles the younger. As a Baptist he does not appear in the parish registers until his death, when the Vicar, burying him under protest on 21 April 1713, called him "anti-Christian". His widow Sarah, daughter of Benjamin Morley, another member of the congregation, d. 6 Sep 1726 aged 71, and is commemorated in Keach's Meeting House. The house where they lived was on the site of The Bank (19 Market Square). There is more about their family in the will of their daughter Martha (d.1714).

He signed the Orthodox Creed of General Baptists in 1679. Arnold Baines, Baptist Quarterly 17.2 (1957), p.83, wrote this about him:

WILLIAM GILES, junior, wool merchant and woollendraper, later called gentleman, was presented on 11th January, 1683, for absence from Winslow parish church, together with his father and eight others. He took the oaths in 1689 and represented the Winslow Baptist church, of which he was elder, at the General Assembly in 1692 and the General Association in 1702. He was county treasurer for the maimed soldiers in 1693, and was succeeded by Daniel Giles; their accounts were not in order, but the irregularity was traced back to one of their predecessors. In the same year we find William Giles lending money on mortgage. The court rolls record his acquisition of copyhold land near Winslow, including some at "West Well in Demoram feild." On 16th January, 1696, he was prosecuted by Joseph Glenister and John Seaton for obstructing the road to Adstock at a place called The Pickles (Pightles?) by making a ditch and hedge. Later that year Jane, wife of John Inwood of Stewkley, wheelwright, was indicted for stealing 1¼ yards of serge and two pairs of stockings from Giles, and sentenced to be whipped by the executioner. During Queen Anne's reign, Giles took the abjuration, served as juror for the body of the county and later as juryman for Winslow, and was nominated chief constable of Cottesloe but did not serve. He attended the Upton debate on the Gosse-Delafield controversy and signed the agreed conclusions, and preached at Risborough in 1708 and Ford in 1709. In 1713 he and John Chawke purchased the rectorial tithes of Padbury from the Baldwin family (VCH Bucks, iv 214). The General Assembly had resolved in 1697 that though it might be lawful for a Baptist elder to receive tithes, it was in all cases very inconvenient; but at least three are known to have done so.

Baines' note on Joseph Glenister (p.86): "This Joseph Glenister, a Winslow grocer, was public-spirited almost to excess; we find him serving as constable, brining in recruits for Marlborough's armies, assisting the county gaoler to convey prisoners to Buckinsham assizes, and standing bail for a surgeon, who absconded."

William Gyles held 9 acres of copyhold land and a barn which passed to his son William Gyles at the Oct 1713 manor court.

Copyright 18 February, 2017