Will of Robert Hassall, yeoman, 1578

Herts RO 7AR41 (registered copy), 19AW22 (original)

This transcription was made from a printout of a microfilm of the registered copy, with some readings improved from a microfilm of the original.

In the name of God Amen. The thirde daye of Maye in the year of our Lord God 1578 And in the Twentye yeare of the reigne of our Sov(er)aigne lady quene Elizabeth &c. I Robert Hassall of Winslowe in the coutye of Buck yeoman beinge of whole mynde and in good & p(er)fect remembraunce Laude and praise be unto Allmightye God make and ordeyne this my present Testament concerninge herin my last will in mann(er) and forme followinge, that is to saye, First I Com(m)end my soule unto Allmightye God my maker and redemer And to Jesus Christe my saviour by whose merritts I trust to be saved And my bodie to be buryed in the churche of Winslowe aforesaid ov(er) against the dore of my seate. I bequeath unto the Communion table towarde the buyeinge of a cloth for it sixe shillings eight pence And if it shall please god that the lawe shall turne then the said clothe to be solde and the money to be devided amonge the poore  Item I give to ev(er)y householder within the p(ar)ishe of Winslowe and Shipton w(hi)ch have not a ploughe goeinge foure pence a peece w(hi)ch shalbe delivered at the daye of my buriall, and twentye dosen of bread to be geven amongest the poore the same daye. Item I geve to ev(er)ye one of my godchildren Twentye pence a peece to be delivered at the daye of my buriall. Item I geve to John Gaters children of Steepingley to ev(er)y one three shillings fowre pence. Item I geve to Alice my wife a standinge bedd w(i)th a fetherbedd a boulster and a pillowe w(i)th three paire of sheetes a cupple of blancketts and a cov(er)lett a brasse pott and a kettle a spitte halfe a dosen of platters the cupborde that standeth in the halle, halfe a dosen of pottingers and twoe candlesticks All w(hi)ch implements she shall have duringe her lyfe And after her decease to returne to the use of Richard Hassall sonne of Richard Hassall of Bramlye and Robert Hassall of Winslowe aforesaid. Item I ordeyne and make the said Richard Hassall sonne of the said Richard and Robert Hassall my whole and full Executor to whome I bequeath all the residue of my goods and cattells as well moveable as unmoveable my fun(er)all expenses p(er)formed and these my legacyes conteyned in this my present Testament fulfilled. Item I will that my halfe croppe of Corne and hay my yron bridell and yoke for Oxen dubble hooked w(hi)ch are at Playsteedes my stable in Robert Lowndes yarde w(hi)ch I builte to be pulled downe and the plancks and maingares of that Stable and of the other to be pulled downe all hovell posts w(i)thin the saide yarde, all the pales that are in Bancks yarde and the mudde walle to be pulled downe the pentyse from the halle dore to Glenisters howses and sh[..]les underneathe to be pulled downe and eleven glasen windowes and halfe of the great glasen windowe in the halle to be pulled downe all leanynge howsen to be pulled downe all standinge bedds tables ewerye bordes stoles[?] fourmes pewter brasse cupbordes the twoe great[?] chests in the cocke lofte and all hangings thirtye hookes in the kitchin twoe iron pynnes in the chimney with[?] h[...] the whole[?] d[..]e also in Roberts[?]  howse and all other implements w(hi)ch are in his house and yarde the staires and seelyings w(hi)ch are in my dwellinge howse and fowre dores at my staires foot a walle that I sett up in the p(ar)lor a ladder that goes with the said Robert Lownds Cocklofte at my decease to be praised pulled downe solde and the money to be turned to a stocke for Richard Hassall sonne of the said Richard and Robert Hassall. Item I will that the Corne of my fowre acres w(hi)ch Robert Lowndes hathe shalbe solde if I dye and to be turned to the use of Richard Hassall. Item I will that fowre poundes of the eight poundes w(hi)ch is due to be paide by William Playsteede after the death of me and my wyfe to be devided amongest the daughters of Richard Hassall the elder And the other fowre poundes to turne unto the stocke of Richard Hassall sonne of the said Richard and Robert Hassall. Item I will that the said Richard Hassall the younger shall have all my leases and the house where William Leache dwelleth And the house at the ende of the yeares of my lease to be pulled downe and turned to the use of Richarde Hassall the younger aforesaid. Item I will that my Cosin Richard Hassall shall have the keepinge of his and my sonne and the use of his stocke untill he be eightene yeares of age at what tyme he shall deliver it into the handes of the said Richard Hassall his sonne and myne. Item I will that if the said Richard Hassall sonne of the said Richard & Robert Hassall do dye before he come to the age of Eightene yeares that the one halfe of the said stocke shalbe devided amongest the daughters of the said Richard Hassall the elder And the other halfe to be gevene amonge the poore of Winslowe savinge Fourtye shillings of it w(hi)ch I will that Marian Glenister my goddaughter shall have. Item I will that if my Cosin Richard Hassall the elder do fortune to dye before the childe come to the age of Eightene yeares That the childe at the age of Fouretene yeares shall chuse one to keepe him governe him and to keepe his stocke till he come to the age of Eightene yeares. Item I will that the signe of the Ayngell and the posts to be taken downe and solde at my decease and the money to be turned to the stocke of the said childe. Item I make my said [cosin] Richarde Hassall the elder and William Glenyster of Shipton overseers of this my testament and last wyll, and I utterlye revoke and adnull all and everye other former testament, will, legacies, bequests, executors and {and} overseers,  by me in my wise[?] this tyme made, named, willed and bequeathed, and I bequeathe unto [each] of my overseers for their laboure in that behalfe xx s a peece [Item] I will that the particion in the lofte over the [..]le house of bordes be taken downe and sold and turned to the stocke of the said Richard Hassall These witnesses John Graunte Robert Elliat, William Grace, William Glenister, Henrie Williams a[nd] others

[Probate granted 8 Oct 1578 to Richard Hassall supervisor during the minority of Richard Hassall the named executor]


Robert Hassall's burial is not recorded in the parish register. Alice Hassall, widow, was buried on 15 Feb 1589. Robert Hashall married Alice Cox (nee Palmer, daughter of John Palmer) at Winslow on 13 Feb 1561. Robert's exact relationship to Richard Hassall his heir is unclear ("cosin" could mean cousin, nephew or even grandson): presumably Richard Hassall the elder was the heir's biological father and Robert had effectively adopted him. Allowing him to take his inheritance at 18 and choose his guardian at 14 suggests unusual indulgence on Robert's part.

the lawe shall turne: i.e. an official return to Catholicism

Steepingley: Steppingley, Beds

Bramlye: the placename is written like this in the original and as Br++ly in the registered copy. The nearest places called Bramley are in Surrey and Hants. A Richard Hassall was baptised at Bromley, Kent, on 30 Oct 1571.

Playsteedes: presumably the items listed up to here were to be sold. The surname Ple(a)sted is well attested in Winslow from the 1590s.

Bancks: either Richard Bancks, d.1593 or his brother John.

pentyse = penthouse: "A subsidiary structure or annexe attached to a wall of a main building, such as a shelter, a porch, a shed, an outhouse, etc." (OED)

leanynge howsen: presumably lean-to outbuildings.

ewerye bordes: presumably shelves for ewers etc. OED has an example of the phrase from 1475. In the original will the word is more like "lyvre", presumably "livery" in the sense of provisions for servants.

Cocklofte = cock-loft: "A small upper loft; a small apartment under the very ridge of the roof to which the access is usually by a ladder" (OED)

Marian Glenister: baptised at Winslow 8 Mar 1562.

signe of the Ayngell: Robert Lowndes is listed as an innholder in 1577; perhaps the Angel was the sign of his inn. William Lowndes kept The Angel in 1610.