Will of Thomas Jeffes of Granborough, yeoman, 1558

Herts RO 1AW64

In the name of god Amen the last day of may in the yere of o(ur) lord god 1558 I Thom(a)s Jeffes of ye p(a)rishe of Granborrowe in ye County of Buck yeman byeng sycke of body but hole of mynde and good and p(er)fett remembrance lawde & prayse be unto Almyghti god make & orden this my last will and Testament in man(ner) & Forme Folloyng.  Fyrst I bequeth my Sowle to Almyghtie god my maker  and redemer who hath not onley redemyd me but almankend w(i)th his most precious blodd my body to beryed in the Churche yerde of Grandborrowe aforesayd nere unto my wyffe  It(e)m I geve and bequeth to ye mother Churche of Saynt Albonnes ij d  It(e)m to ye hyghe alter of Grandeborowe aforesayd for my Tythes neclygentlye forgotten iiij d  It(e)m I bequeath to ye maynten(an)ce of the bells xij d  it(e)m I geve and bequeath to all my godchelderyn gods blessyng and myne and to ev(er)y one of them above ye agge of xij yeres iiij d and to ev(er)y of them under the agge of xij yeres ij d to p(ra)y for me and all Crystyned Sowles  It(e)m I bequeth to Bennyt Jeffes Nich(ol)us Jeffes my Sonnes Jone Jeffes Angnes Jeffes Margaret Jeffes Alis Jeffes and Elyzabeth Jeffes my dowghters gods blessyng and myne desyryng of god (tha)t they may so leve and use them selves in this tranytory worlde (tha)t  they may optayne his eternall blessing  And unto Bennyt my Sonne my hole teme of horsse and mares w(i)th all other mares coltes and horsse I have w(i)th all thyng I have belongyng to husbandrey  And too kene  Item to Nich(ol)us my sonne to beasse and the sayd Nich(ol)us to have at the hands of Bennyt my Sonne in consyderacon he have my hole teme of horsse & mares xl s.   when he shall cu(m) to ye ayge of xx yeres and one Colte the best savynge one the Colte to be delyv(er)ed to his use immedyatley  It(e)m to ye sayd Bennyt & Nich(ol)us I geve all my Shepe equalye to be devyded betwene them  It(e)m to Jone my doughter iiij kene one brasse pott the \best/ savynge one a brasse panne the best savynge one and a Matterys w(i)th all thyngs belongyng to a bedd  It(e)m to Angnes my dowghter I \bequeth/ vj li in mony  to be payde when she c(o)m(e) to the ayge of xx yeres or at the day of her maryage w(hi)ch of them Fyrst happen  iiij kene a brasse pott the best savynge too a brasse panne the best savynge too a bedd blanckett and a payer of Shets  It(e)m to Margaret my dowghter v li in mony one Cowe one bullocke and one wenynge Calffe to be delyv(er)ed at michelmas next after the date herof  Item to Alis my dowghter I bequethe v li in mony one cowe one bullock & one wenynge Calffe to be delyv(er)ed at michelmas next after ye date hereof  Item I geve & bequethe to Elyzabeth my dowghter one bullocke  Item to Henry Bowden one ewe Tegge  It(e)m to John Jeffes my brother xx s  It(e)m I geve Elyzabeth Moores my Syster in lawe ij busshell malte P(ro)vyded alwayes (tha)t if it Fortune eny my sayd too Sonnes to decesse and dye before his p(ar)te before bequethed be delyv(er)ed to hym and or (tha)t he be abell & of age to make a will then his p(ar)te to remayne to ye other brother then levyng  And if it Chance bothe \of/ them to die then ther p(ar)tes  to remayne amonge my doughters equaly to be devyded betwene them by my ov(er)seers  And if it happen any of my doughters to dye before her p(ar)te or p(ar)tes c(o)m(e) to ther handes asbefore is bequethed then her or ther p(ar)te to remayne \amongst/  ye rest of my doughters then levyng equaly to be devyded betwene them

It(e)m all ye resydue of my goods unbequethed I geve to Bennyt & Nich(ol)us my Sonnes whom I make my executors to se my detts payde \me/ onystley layde in erthe and to doo & geve for my Sowll as shall seme most best by my ov(er)seers  And I orden & make my ov(er)seers to \see/  this my last will Fullfylled & to order & gyde my Chelderen to ther most p(er)fett and honnyst brynggyng upe  John Jeffes my brother  Richard Capenhurst  John Hollond  Henry Stevens & Thom(a)s Carter of Northemarston.  Wytnes besyde the sayd ov(er)seers to this p(re)sent will  John Carter  Richard Wyllat  Thom(a)s Grace & Thom(a)s Fyge w(i)th others

[translated from Latin]

James Dugdall, Archdeacon of St Albans in the diocese of London, to our beloved in Christ Thomas Hollond of Soulebury and John Jeoffs of Aston Abbats, greetings in the author of salvation. Whereas Thomas Jeoffs \your brother/ of the parish of Grandboroughe in our jurisdiction, deceased, while still living and being in his healthy memory, made his will containing in it his last wish, and he named, ordained, made and appointed Benedict Jeoffs and Nicholas Jeoffs his natural sons as his executors. Which Benedict and Nicholas being yet in minority, so that they cannot take on themselves any execution of the said will and administration of the goods of the aforesaid deceased. On which grounds we entrust[?] to you by reason of our office the disposition and administration of these goods. We therefore, affecting as is incumbent on us from our office that neither should these goods be disposed[?] or in any other way consumed but in the settling[?] of the deceased's own debts, and by the hands of the aforesaid Benedict and Nicholas (when they come to their full age and can take on[?] all execution of the said will), according to the tenor of the above-written will of the above-said Thomas they are to be converted and turned. (We appoint you) to the administration therefore, under and in the names of the aforesaid executors, of all and singular the goods, rights, chattels and credits of the said deceased, and to dispose well and faithfully of and in the same[?] and also the rights and credits whatsoever of the above-said deceased, to seek, collect, levy, recover and demand what pertained to the same deceased while he lived and at the time of his death, in whoever's hands they are. And to pay (the debts) of which the same deceased at the time of his death was indebted and bound. And also (to pay) all and singular legacies which the said deceased bequeathed, as above, and are to be paid in the minority of the appointed executors, as far as the goods, rights and credits of the same deceased extend, in proportion. To you of whose faithfulness and purity of conscience and circumspection we are informed[?], we entrust much in this matter. Firstly to well and faithfully administer the same goods, rights, credits and chattels. And to complete a full and faithful inventory of the same, and to present it before us or our deputy in this matter before next Lady Day. And also to render a true and plain account, calculation or reckoning to us or our successor in this matter, having been sworn on God's holy gospels in due form of law. We name, ordain appoint and depute you administrators with full power over the goods, rights, credits and chattels of the above-written deceased, for the benefit of the aforesaid Benedict and Nicholas, through the present documents sealed with the seal of our office, not infringing anyone's right. Given on 30 October 1558.

[They are bound by an obligation to make the inventory, keep the stock, and get no other allowance for bringing up the children.]

[Sealed and witnessed]
Thomas Hollond, John Rickat of Souleburye
John Jeoffes, Myles Frema(n) of Aston Abbats

Inventory of Thomas Jeffes of Granborough, yeoman, 1558

Herts RO A25/318

It seems that the two administrators checked the inventory as some of the entries are initialled with an H or J. One or other of them added "in the house" or "spent" after most of the sums of money.

The Inventory of the goodes and Cattalls of Thom(a)s Jeffes of Granborowe late decessed of the County of Buck yoman and w(i)thin [the] Jurysdycsyon of Saynt Albones taken the xiijth day of June in the iiijth & vth yere of the raygne of o(ur) sov(er)aygne lorde and Lady kynge Phyllype and Quene Mary and praysed by John Hollond John Pypken Edwarde Walker Thom(a)s Grace and Will(ia)m Bowden as hereafter Folloyth
In the Chamber
Fyrst ther was Fownd mony in his pursse
xliij s
It(e)m a matteris a Cov(er)yng a bolster a paynted Testor and hangyngs in ye Chambre
iiij s
It(e)m a Fetherbedd a bolster a Cov(er)yng a blancket and a whyte Testor
xv s
It(e)m a Tabell a Forme a bencheborde & one Coffer
ij s viij d
It(e)m iiij payer of Shetes
viij s
I(e)tm one Tabell \cloth/ & a Towell
viij d
S(um)ma iij li xiij s iiij d
The lofte ov(er) the Chambre
It(e)m a olde Coffer a Ten(a)nt Sawe vj Syckells & hokes a handsawe a awger iij olde Syves ij lether bottells a pytchforke and a addes ij s
S(um)ma ij s
In the hall
It(e)m Item a Cubberd ij Chayeres a Tabell and a Forme vj s viij d
It(e)m hanggyngs in the hall bords for Shelves a Chypped stole & ij benche bords xij d
S(um)ma vij s viij d
The bowtyng howsse
It(e)m a Fatt a busshell & ij kemmells vj s
It(e)m a grete plancke a olde sawtes Troffe a Shelfe boarde iiij Chese motes a Skeppe ij
Seffes a Skottell and a Fanne
xx d
S(um)ma vij s viij d
In the Chambres ov(er) the hall & bowtyng howsse
It(e)m a grete Chest a truffe a ploncke a Forme a Chese Racke v bordes ij olde Tubbes & a Rundelet for vergs ij s viij d
It(e)m a matteris a bolster & a cov(er)yng
xvj d
It(e)m Abought x busshell malt vj s viij d
It(e)m barley in the same Chambre xiiij d
S(um)ma xj s x d
pewter and brasse
It(e)m iiij brasse pannes
xx s
It(e)m iij brasse pottes & a posenet
vj s viij d
It(e)m ij kettells a Fryenge panne and a Chafynge dyshe iij s iiij d
It(e)m xvj pecs of pewter & iij latten Candelstyckes
vij s
It(e)m a payer of pothangyngs a Trevet one Spytt a payer of Cobyerdes and a payer of pothokes xx d
S(um)ma xxxviij s viij d
In ye Stable
It(e)m plowetymbre & exstres x s
It(e)m Carteharnis & ploweharnis
v s
S(um)ma xv s
Stuffe lyng abought the yerde
It(e)m wodd & Tymbre liij s iiij d
It(e)m a payr of Shod Cartewheles and a longe Carte to it A newe payr of bare wheles A nother longe Carte w(i)tha payr of bare wheles and a druckart w(i)th bare olde wheles xxxiij s viij d
It(e)m hay Stondyng apon too Cockes
vj s viij d
It(e)m whete and beanes apon a hovell xxvj s viij d
It(e)m plowe & yrones to yt w(i)th Chaynes a payr of yron harrowes Fetters & other olde yron x s
It(e)m a ladder viij d
It(e)m an axe a mattock a byll and a hatchet
xviij d
S(um)ma vj li xij s ij d
The Cattells
It(e)m xj kene ij Stere vj yerelynge bullockes iiij wenyng Calves \j deade/
xij li
It(e)m xliiij shepe viij lames \deade sold & woule sold/
iiij li
It(e)m one horsse & iij mares
iiij li
It(e)m iiij Coltes
xl s
Itm ix hoggs grete & smale \ij eeten in the house and one deade/ & vij wenynge pyggs
xx s
S(um)ma xxiij li
Corne and grasse in ye Fylde
It(e)m x acres & di of whet l s
It(e)m x acres barley
xl s
It(e)m iij acres wotes
vj s
It(e)m xiiij acres benes & pese
liij s iiij d
It(e)m the grasse one the grownd for hay
xxvj s viij d
S(um)ma viij li xvj s

It(e)m x hennes a cocke iiij duckes \solde for xiij d/ ij s iiij d
It(e)m viij stockes of bene \deade/ x s
S(um)ma xijs iiijd
S(um)ma to(ta)lis xlvj li xiiij d viij d
It(e)m his app(ar)ell was geven away in his lyffe tyme to ye pore & those (tha)t toke paynes abowght him in his syckes


Thomas Jeffes was buried at Granborough on 4 June 1558. Alice Jeffes his wife was buried on 28 May in the same year. The following children who can be identified with those mentioned in the will were baptised at Granborough (there were several families of Jeffs and only Agnes' father is specifically named):

Bennet and Elizabeth are missing but a Benedict Holland (see below) was baptised on 3 March 1550.

According to the 1556 Survey Thomas Jeffs held a cottage in Winslow which he acquired in 1548 as well as two messuages and two virgates in Granborough acquired from Edward and Agnes Hollond in 1544 (although it is possible that the Winslow Thomas was a different person). This suggests that his deceased wife was a Hollond, the 1544 acquisition was part of a marriage settlement (although the marriage must have taken place before the parish registers start in 1538), and Thomas Hollond of Soulbury was his brother-in-law. Agnes Holland was buried at Granborough on 29 Dec 1546.

bowtyng howsse: i.e. boulting house

sawtes Troffe: i.e. salting trough

motes: cheese vats (OED, s.v. moat n.2)

Rundelet: a cask or vessel (OED, s.v. rundlet, n.1)

vergs = verjuice, which could be made from e.g. crab-apples

exstres: i.e. axle-trees

druckart: probably drag-cart

di = half

bene = bees

Copyright 19 July, 2012