Will of Joseph Mead, gentleman, 1816

National Archives PROB 11/1633/94

This is the last Will and Testament of me Joseph Mead formerly of Stewkley in the County of Bucks Yeoman and now of Winslow in the said County of Bucks Gentleman First I give \devise/ and bequeath unto my Nephew William Stonhill the younger of Stewkley aforesaid Butcher and Charles Willis of Winslow aforesaid Gentleman all and every my freehold Copyhold and Leasehold Messuages Cottages Closes Lands Tenements Hereditaments and Real estate whatsoever and wheresoever the same are situate lying or being the Copyhold parts thereof are held of the Manors of Winslow with its members and Stewkley both in the said County of Bucks and have been or are intended to be surrendered to the use of my Will together with the respective rights members and Appurtenances to the said several premises belonging or in any wise appertaining to hold the same and every part thereof unto and to the use of the said William Stonhill and Charles Willis their heirs Executors adm(inistrat)ors and assigns Upon trust nevertheless as set hereinafter mentioned during the \natural/ life of my said Wife Martha Mead to pay and apply or otherwise permit her to receive the Rents and profits thereof and of every part thereof to and for her own use and benefit Also I give and bequeath unto the said William Stonhill and Charles Willis all my household Goods and furniture Linen Plate Goods Chattels ready money and Securities for money and all other my personal Estate and Effects whatsoever To hold the same unto the said William Stonhill and Charles Willis their executors . . . Upon trust nevertheless during the natural life of my said wife Martha Mead to permit and suffer her to have the free and uncontruled use and enjoyment of my said household Goods .  . . and to receive and take the Interest or other produce of my ready money . . . for her own use . . . and upon further trust that \they/ the said William Stonhill and Charles Willis or the Survivor of them his heirs . . . do and shall as soon as conveniently may be after the decease of my said Wife Martha Mead sell and dispose of the said freehold Copyhold . . . and also my said personal Estate and Effects for the most money and best price and prices that can be reasonably had or gotten for the same and the money arising for \by/ the Sale or disposition thereof in the first place to pay off and discharge all such debts as I shall justly owe at the time of my decease my funeral and testamentary Expences and the several respective Legacies or sums of money hereinafter mentioned that is to say to my Son Joseph Mead the Legacy or Sum of two hundred pounds and to my three daughters Mary the Wife of Christopher Woodward Elizabeth the Wife of Thomas Bignell and Deborah the Wife of George Carpenter the Legacy or Sum of one hundred and fifty pounds each and unto my daughter Martha the Wife of Matthew Robinson the legacy or Sum of fifty pounds  Then upon Trust that they the said William Stonhill and Charles Ston Willis or the Survivor of them his heirs . . . do and shall . . . after the decease of my said decea Wife lay place out and invest three hundred pounds further part of the said monies to arise as aforesaid in or upon Government or Real Securities as they may think \fit and/ proper at Interest and shall do and stand and be possessed and interested in the said Securities and Security upon which the same or any part thereof shall be placed out and the Interest and annual produce of the same all and every which

[p.2] said Securities and Security shall and may be from time to time altered varied transferred assigned and disposed of and the monies arising thereby again placed out and lent and advanced in or upon new or other Securities as to them my said Trustees or the Survivor of them heirs executors . . . shall seem meet upon trust to pay the Interest thereof either into the hands of my daughter in law Ann Mead daughter [sic] of my late Son Benjamin Mead deceased or permit and suffer her to receive the same during her Widowhood and the respective minorities of my Grandchildren Richard Mead Joseph Mead and Martha Mead the Sons and daughter of my said late Son Benjamin Mead and Ann his Wife the better to enable her . . . to maintain educate and bring up her said children or otherwise to lay \out/ and pay and apply the said Interest to and for the sole and separate use and benefit of my said three Grandchildren Richard Mead Joseph Mead and Martha Mead during their respective minorities in such shares manner and manner and form as they my said Trustees or the Survivor of them * [see below insertion written in right hand margin] his Ex(ecut)ors adm(inistrat)ors or Assigns do and shall from time to time call in and receive one equal third part or share of the said Sum of three hundred pounds so to be placed out as aforesaid with the Interest then due thereon and pay the same to him or her on his or her arriving to the said age of twenty one years . . . and I do hereby will and direct that in case of the decease \or deceases/ or all or any or either of my said Grandchildren Richard Mead Joseph Mead and Martha Mead under the said age of twenty one years that the Legacy or Legacies share or shares of him her or them shall lapse and sink for the joint and equal benefit of all and every my Sons which shall be then \living/ any Statute or Custom to the contrary thereof notwithstanding and I do hereby authorize and direct my said Trustees to detain and keep in their own hands the Legacy or Sum of five pounds each for their care and trouble in the execution of this my Will then upon trust after paying satisfying and discharging the Costs and Charges incident to and attending the Sale and disposition of my said of my said freehold Copyhold . . . to pay and divide what shall be and remain of the said monies unto and among my four Sons Thomas Mead the said Joseph Mead William Mead and Matthew Mead equally share and share alike all which said several and respective Legacies shares or Sums of money I do hereby give and bequeath unto them the said several Legatees shares or Sums of money I do hereby give and bequeath unto them the several said Legatees hereinbefore named respectively accordingly and my mind and will also is and I do hereby declare that the receipt . . . of the said William Stonhill and Charles Willis . . . shall be a good and sufficient discharge to the purchaser . . . of my said freehold Copyhold . . . for his . . . purchase monies and after such receipt . . . or such purchaser . . . shall be absolutely \acquitted/ and discharged of and from the same and they . . . shall not be answerable or accountable either in Law or equity for any loss or damage which shall or may happen for or by reason of any misapplication or nonapplication of the said purchase money or any part thereof and I do hereby nominate constitute and appoint my said Wife Martha Mead and the said William Stonhill and Charles Willis joint Executrix and Executors of this my last Will and Testament and my mind and will also is and I do hereby direct that my said Executrix and Executors and Trustees shall each of them be answerable for her and his own acts and deeds only and not the one of them for

* \his Ex(ecut)ors Adm(inistrat)ors or Assigns shall think meet & proper & when & as my said Grandchildren shall attain the age of twenty one years upon trust that they my said Trustees or the Surv(iv)or of them/

[p.3] the other or others of them and that they or either of them shall not be answerable for any more monies than shall be actually received by them or come to their hands respectively nor for any loss or reduction therein without their or one of their  wilful neglect and default and also that they shall retain all their Costs Charges damages and expences in the trusts or Executorship of this my Will and of the Estate and Effects in them respectively vested by this my Will or out of the monies arising therefrom In witness whereof I the said Joseph Mead the Testator have to this my last Will and Testament contained in four sheets of paper to the three first sheets set my hand only and to this fourth and last sheet thereof set my hand and seal this twenty second day of April in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixteen. Jos. Mead [signature] Signed Sealed Published and declared by the said Joseph Mead the Testator as and for his last Will and Testament in the presence of us who in his presence at his request and in the presence of each other have hereunto subscribed our names as witnesses thereof the Erazures upon the thirty first and thirty second lines of the first sheet and the interlineations between the seventh and twelfth lines of the second Sheet and the third and fourth lines of the third Sheet being respectively first made. Daniel Grace William Pinnock Richard Matthews [signatures]

Proved at London 7th August 1820 before the Worshipful John Daubeny Dr. of Laws and Surrogate by the Oaths of William Stonhill and Charles Willis the surviving Executors to whom adm(inistrati)on was granted being first sworn duly to administer.


Joseph Mead seems to have come to Winslow from Stewkley via Singleborough: he was described as dairyman of Singleborough when he bought "two messuages near Pillows Ditch" in 1796, which he transferred to his son Matthew in 1810. He was a maltster of Winslow in 1807 when he was in trouble for having a faulty pound weight. He bought some land in Shipton from John Henley in 1808 (see below). Deborah Mead married George Carpenter (farmer of North Marston, a descendant of the Blake family) at Winslow in 1807, and Elizabeth Mead married Thomas Bignell at Winslow in 1808, The other members of the family don't seem to have lived at Winslow.

Joseph Mead retired from the malting business in 1814 (Northampton Mercury, 2 Aug):

To be S O L D   by   A U C T I O N, By SAMUEL DUDLEY,

On Thursday the 7th Day of April, 1814, on the Premises of Mr. JOSEPH MEAD, at WINSLOW, Bucks, who is leaving the same,

PART of the HOUSEHOLD-FURNITURE and EFFECTS; comprising two Malt Mills, and Screen, two Bushels and Shovels, Number of Sacks, Hurdles, Forks, and Rakes, 40-Gallon Copper, and Grate, 20-Gallon Ditto, Mash-Vat, large and small Brewing-Tubs, 100-Gallon Iron-bound Cask, two Hogshead, and smaller Ditto, Pair of Steelyards, large Timber Chain, Roasting Jack, Beer and Milk Stands, Pig and Sheep Troughs, Quantity of Pewter and Iron, with numerous other Articles.

The Sale will commence at One o’Clock in the Afternoon.

Tribulations of Matthew Mead, cordwainer

Matthew Mead was born at Stewkley in 1772. He was apprenticed to John Lomath, cordwainer of Winslow, in 1785 and was in business in his own right by 1798. He married Mary Horne at Stoke Hammond in 1794. They had at least 9 children baptised at Winslow: Ann 1795, Joseph 1796, Mary 1798, Matthew 1800, Elizabeth 1803, Joseph & William 1805, George 1809, Benjamin 1811.

Matthew evidently took his second son Matthew as apprentice, with unfortunate results:

Northampton Mercury, 1 Aug 1812

E L O P E M E N T.
WHEREAS MATTHEW MEAD, APPRENTICE to MATTHEW MEAD, of the Parish of WINSLOW, CORDWAINER, did ABSCOND himself from his Master’s service, on TUESDAY the 14th Instant – Any person who will give information to his said Master, so that the said MATTHEW MEAD may be brought to Justice, shall receive ONE GUINEA Reward.
N. B. He is about five Feet four Inches and a Half high, rather long Visage, and Grey Eyes; had on when he went away, a Snuff-coloured Coat with White Metal Buttons, and a dark Velveret Waistcoat.

In 1820, Matthew Mead bought the land in Shipton from his father's trustees. He borrowed money on mortgage, and also owed money to some curriers in Aylesbury, presumably for leather for his business. The debts landed him in Aylesbury Gaol, and his assets were all sold. Some of the documentation has survived.

Centre for Bucks Studies, D182/6

1st May 1823
Miss Yeates to Mr. West Junr
Receipt for £161- 5s
Received the 1st day of May 1823 of Mr George West the elder (sole assignee of the Estate and Effects of Matthew Mead late of Winslow in the County of Bucks Cordwainer or Shoemaker an Insolvent) by payment of Mr George West the Younger of One hundred and sixty one pounds and five shillings the Amount of principal and Interest Monies due to me the undersigned Bridget Yeates by virtue of a certain Conditional Surrender of two Closes of copyhold pasture Ground situate at Shipton within the manor of Winslow with its members bearing date the 1st day of November 1820 and made from the said Matthew Mead and Mary his Wife To the use of me the said Bridget Yeates by way of Mortgage for securing the Sum of £150 and Interest
Bridget Yeates [signature]
£161 5s
Fred: Willis

Centre for Bucks Studies, D182/8

13 June 1823 Matthew Mead’s Assignee to Geo West
By indenture of 12 June 1822 between
1. Matthew Mead late of Winslow shoemaker an insolvent debtor then a prisoner in the prison of Aylesbury
2. Henry Dance
All Mead’s estate and personal effects were assigned to Dance.
By indenture of assignment 26 Aug 1822 between
1. Henry Dance of Lincolns Inn Fields gent provisional assignee
2. Geo West of Winslow currier
Dance assigned them all to West.
Mead held his copyhold land subject to a conditional surrender of 1 Nov 1820 for securing to Bridget Yeates £150, and a conditional surrender of 29 April 1822 for securing to John Rolls and Philip Payne of Aylesbury curriers £135.
The court for insolvent debtors at Westminster on 24 Oct last ordered sale within 6 weeks.
West agreed with George West the younger of Winslow currier for the sale of the land for £210, to be paid to Yeates, Rolls & Payne.
Now West, as assignee, in consideration of £161 5s, part of the £210, paid to Yeates by West the younger, and £48 15s paid to Rolls and Payne, surrendered:

late in the possession of Joseph Mead, since of Matthew Mead, to which Matthew was admitted on 30 Oct 1820 on the surrender of William Stonhill and Charles Willis, devisees in trust of Joseph Mead deceased.  George West the younger desires to be admitted.  Fine 8s, fealty respited.

We don't know what happened to Matthew Mead after he was (presumably) released from Aylesbury Gaol. There were no Meads in Winslow in the 1841 Census. In 1851 Matthew jr was a bootmaker in London and Benjamin was a cordwainer in Doncaster.

Copyright 25 May, 2020