Will of Jane Harding (nee Gyles) of Aylesbury, widow, 1755 (proved 1761)

Centre for Bucks Studies MsWillsPec 26/1/41

In the Name of God Amen I Jane Harding of Aylesbury in the County of Bucks widow being infirm in body but of perfect mind memory and understanding Thanks be given to Allmighty God for the same Do make and ordain this my last Will and Testament in manner and form following (that is to say) First I Commit my Soul to God and my body to the Earth to be decently interred in such manner as my Executor hereinafter named shall think fitt And as for such worldly Estate as it hath pleased Allmighty God of his infinite mercy to bless me with I Give and dispose of the same as followeth First I Give devise and bequeath unto my Nephew William Aldridge of Fetter Lane London Goldsmith and to his heirs and Assigns for Ever All those my Two Customary or Copyhold Messuages or Tenements with their respective rights members and Appurtenances scituate and being in Winslow in the said County of Bucks and now in the tenure or Occupation of one Henry Burley or of his Assigns [= The Bull] And also All those my Several Customary or Coppyhold peices or parcells of Arrable Land ley meadow or pasture ground with their and every of their Appurten(an)ces lying and being dispersedly in the Common Feilds parish and precincts of Winslow aforesaid containeing by Estimation Nine Acres be the same more or less and now in the tenure of Occupation of one Richard Gibbs or of his Assigns All which said Coppyhold premisses are holden of the Mannor of Winslow aforesaid and are already surrendered by me to the use of my Last Will Also I Give devise and bequeath unto my said Nephew William Aldridge and to his heirs and Assigns for Ever All and Singular my several peices or parcells of Freehold Arrable lands ley meadow and pasture ground with their Appurten(an)ces lying and being dispersedly in the Com(m)on Feilds parish and precincts of Winslow aforesaid Containeing by Estimation forty acres be the same more or less and now in the tenure or Occupation of the said Richard Gibbs or of his Assigns Subject Nevertheless respectively to the payment of one annuity or yearly rent charge of Ten pounds of Lawfull money of Great Britain To my Dear Nephew Thomas Aldridge one of the Sons of my late Sister Grace Aldridge deceased for and during the Term of his Natural life clear of all Taxes and deductions whatsoever the same to be paid him at two halfe yearly payments in the year (that is to say) on the Twenty fifth day of March and the Twenty Ninth day of September by even and equal portions The first payment thereof to begin and be made upon such of the said daies which shall first and next happen after my decease And also subject to the payment of one other yearly rent Charge of Forty shillings of like lawfull money clear of all Taxes and deductions whatsoever by two Equall halfe yearly payments in the year (that is to say) On the twenty fifth day of March and the twenty Ninth day of September unto Mr James Hall the present Minister of the Protestant Dissenting Congregation called Baptists at Winslow aforesaid

[signed] Jane Harding

[f.1v] and to his Successors for the time being and his and their Assigns for the full Term of Ninety Nine years to commence from the day of my Decease and the first payment thereof to be made on the first of the said daies of payment which shall first and next happen after my decease Provided allways nevertheless and my Will is that if at any time during the said Term of Ninety Nine years there shall happen to be no Congregation or Meeting of Protestant Dissenters called Baptists at Winslow aforesaid That then and from thenceforth the said yearly rent charge of Forty shillings shall cease determine and be utterly void to all Intents and purposes whatsoever Anything in this my Will contained to the Contrary thereof in anywise notwithstanding And for the true payment of the said respective yearly rent Charges of Ten pounds and Forty shillings at the respective times and in manner as aforesaid I Do hereby charge and make subject All and every my said Messuages Lands Tenements and hereditaments as well Coppyhold as Freehold herein before by me given to my said Nephew William Aldridge his heirs and Assigns for Ever as aforesaid And my further Will is that when and so often as the said Several and respective Yearly rent charges of Ten pounds and forty shillings or any part of either of them respectively shall be behind and unpaid by the Space of Thirty Daies next after any of the said daies whereon the same are hereby respectively made payable as aforesaid That then and in either of such Cases I Do hereby give power to my said Nephew Thomas Aldridge or his Assigns and to the said James Hall his Successors or Assigns and to each of them severally and respectively into or upon the said Messuages Lands Tenements and hereditaments chargeable therewith respectively and the Arrears thereof and the Distress or Distresses there so found to detain keep and dispose of as the said Thomas Aldridge or his Assigns and the said James Hall his Successors or Assigns shall Severally think fit untill the said Severally yearly rent charges of Ten pounds and forty shillings and the Arrearages thereof respectively together with the Costs and Charges of such Distress or Distresses be to the said Thomas Aldridge or his Assigns and also to the said James Hall his Successors or Assigns fully and respectively paid and Satisfyed according to the intent and true meaning of this my last Will Also I Give devise and bequeath unto my Grandaughter Hannah Foster of London Spinster the Sum of Five pounds of Lawfull money of Great Britain to be paid her by my Executor hereinafter named at such time as she shall attain to the Age of Twenty One years Also I Give and bequeath unto my Kinswoman Mary Holmes of Winslow aforesaid Widow the like Sum of Five pounds to be paid her by my Executor hereinafter named within One Month next after my decease

[signed] Jane Harding

[f.2] Also I Give and bequeath unto my Servant Elizabeth Dover Spinster the Sum of Twenty pounds of lawfull money of Great Britain to be paid her by my said Executor within Six months next after my decease Also I Give and bequeath unto the said Elizabeth Dover All my Wearing Apparell of what nature or kind soever And my further Will is that All my said Estates at Winslow aforesaid shall stand charged and chargeable with the payment of the said respective Legacyes of five pounds apeice to my said Grandaughter Hannah Foster and Kinswoman Mary Holmes and of the said Twenty pounds to my said Servant Elizabeth Dover at the respective times and in manner as aforesaid Also All the rest and residue of my reall and personall Estate whatsoever and wheresoever after payment of All my Just Debts and funerall Expences I Do hereby Give and bequeath unto my said Nephew William Aldridge his heirs and Assigns And Lastly I Do hereby Constitute and appoint my said Nephew William Aldridge full and Sole Executor of this my last Will and Testament hereby revoking All other Will or Wills by me at any time heretofore made and published In Witness whereof I the said Jane Harding have to this my last Will and Testament Containeing Three sheets of paper set my hand and affixed my Seal to Each of the Same sheets of paper the fourth day of January In the Twenty Eighth year of the Reigne of our Sovereign Lord George the Second by the grace of God of Great Britain France and Ireland King Defender of the Faith and in the year of our Lord One thousand Seven hundred and fifty five.

[signed] Jane Harding

Signed Sealed published and declared by the said
Jane Harding as and for her Last Will and Testament
in the presence of us who Subscribed our Names as
Witnesses thereunto in the presence of the said
Jane Harding.
E. Price
Thomas Eversidge
Farmor Bull

[added in another hand] 26th October 1761
Sworn the Executor above named with a Codicil hereunto annexed before me.
No Inv(entor)y
 [signed] John Stephens Snr.

Proved the 26th day of October 1761 before the Reverend John Stephens Doctor in Divinity Surrogate by the Oath of William Aldridge Nephew and sole Executor to whom Adcon was Committed he being first sworn duely to Administer.

[f.3; apparently Jane's own hand] this 18th of August 1760 I do will that my warring Aparil and all of it be deliverd to my Sarvent Eliz(abeth) Dover Im\m/edetly after my death and allso all my books
[signed] Jane Harding
Witnesses   Ann Walker
Mary Dancer     
the mark of Mary Dancer


Notes

Jane was the daughter of William Gyles the younger, of Winslow's leading Baptist family. See Gyles Family page. She married:

  1. Henry Langley, originally of Leighton Buzzard, a lawyer. They were married at Northampton St Giles on 16 April 1714: "Henry Langley of Winslow Gent. in the County of Bucks and Mrs Jane Giles of Old Stratford in the County of Nort'ton Spin(ster) were married having a Lycence". He died c.1724 (he had 3 daughters, apparently from a previous marriage; see 1726 manor court - Hannah Foster the "granddaughter" was probably the daughter of one of them)
  2. Thomas Worrall of Winslow, butcher: they were married at Winslow on 2 Dec 1741 and he was buried on 4 March 1741/2
  3. John Harding of Aylesbury, gentleman: they were married at Little Horwood on 21 July 1744, and he died in 1750

John and Jane Harding were admitted as tenants of The Red Bull on 23 Feb 1748/9. Jane had inherited a life interest in it from her previous husband Thomas Worrall, and they bought the reversion from Thomas' niece. They were probably responsible for rebuilding it after a fire. William Harding sold it to Henry Burley in 1776.

Jane acquired the 9 acres of copyhold land from her sisters in 1714, from the estate of their deceased brother William Gyles. She had a total of 53 acres of land according to the list of tenants c.1743.

Jane doesn't seem to have been buried at Aylesbury. It's likely that her nephew had her buried at the Baptist Meeting House in Winslow (where he became one of the trustees), but there is no surviving memorial.

Copyright 5 October, 2017