Will of William Rochford, rector of Addington, 1679/80 (proved 1683)

Centre for Bucks Studies, D/A/Wf/51/237

In the Name of God, Amen. This seavnth day of January in the year or our Lord one thousand six hundred seaventy and nine, I William Rochford Rector of Addington in the County of Bucks, beeing in perfect health and memory, blessed be God, doe ordaine and constitute this my last Will and Testament in manner following. First I resign and com(m)end my Soul into the hands of my gracious Redeemer, in whom I have redemption through his bloud even Jesus Christ the righteous, I com(m)end my body to the earth, to be buryed according to the discretion of my Executors, yet with all privacy, in the night time, not doubting of an happy and glorious day when the son of Righteousness shall arise the second time, at the Resurrection of the just. For those worldly goods wheerwith the bounty of God hath blessed me, I dispose of as followeth. First I give and devise to my Executor and his heirs for ever all my lands, messuages, tenements with their ap hereditam(en)ts with their appurtenances, situate lying and being in Bradwell in ye County of Bucks. Item my will is that my Executor John Rochford minister of St Peters in the Town of St Albans take care of my wife, and to see that shee be supplied with all conveniences for her life time, after whose decease, my sayd Executor  shall have and possesse all those goods shee hath occasion to use while she liveth. Item I give to my brother Edward Rochford of Geddington in Northamptonshire the sum(m)e of five pounds of lawfull money of England, and also Six pounds per an(n)u(m) for the time of his naturall life Item I give to Isaiah Rochford the sum(m)e of one hundred pounds of lawfull English money, uppon this condition following viz. If my Executor abovesaid give, bequeath and make over to the said Isaiah, his brother his house in Geddington with the appurtenances, wheerof my brother Edward Rechford stands now possessed, and ye sum(m)e of twenty marks of lawfull money of England, then my Executor shalbe totally and for ever \bee/ discharged of the hundred pound above mentioned  I(te)m I give to my brother Edwards daughter, which he had by [blank space] Abbatt, the sum(m)e of twenty pounds of lawfull money of England  I(te)m I give to my brother Edwards daughter, which hee \by/ his last wife (for their Christian names I cannot call to mind) the like sum(m)e of twenty pounds. I(te)m to my brother Edwards wife, if shee survive her husband, I give and bequeath fourty shillings per annum for the space of fower yeares after her sayd husbands decease, if shee live so long. I(te)m I give to the son of Elizabeth Wilmott the sum(m)e of twenty pounds of lawfull money of England, when he comes to the full age of one and twenty, without any interest or use for the same, but if the sayd Willmot die before the sayd age of one and twenty, my will is that fifteen pounds of the sayd thirty pounds in equall parts shallbe divided to Isaiah Rochford, and his two sisters. I(te)m I give to Elizabeth Willmot the sum(m)e of five pounds I(te)m I give to John Goode and Thomas Orburn [?] both of Geddingto(n) aforsayd the sum(m)e of thirty shillings apeece  I(te)m I give thirty shillings to the poor of Geddington, to bee bestowed in bread and distributed according to the discretion(n) of Edward Ingram baker. I(te)m I give and bequeath to Sir John Busby Kn(igh)t, my ever honourable Patron the four Institutes of Sr Edward Cooke, and also Taverners English Bible.  I(te)m I give to Dame Mary Busby Dr Hammonds notes upo(n) the New Testam(en)t, with his additional Notes in octavo.   I(te)m I give to Mrs Katharine Busby Bishop Halls works in folio I(te)m I give to Mr Thomas Busby Dr Taylors sermons in folio called ενιαυτος I(te)m to Mr Richard Busby I give B(isho)p Andrewes upo(n) the Com(m)andem(en)ts. I(te)m to Mris Mary Busby I give B(isho)p Usshers body of Divinity in folio. I(te)m I give to Mris Abigail Busby, Daughter to Sir John Busby, Trap  upo(n) the New Testam(en)t. I(te)m to Mris Elizabeth Busby I give two volumes of Clarks Martyrology. Item I give to Mr John Busby Plutarchs lives in English the last Edition and also Calvins Institutions in English. I(te)m to Mris Anne Busby I give Mr Baynes upo(n) the Ephesians, desiring their acceptance of these small remembrances of my due respects, and and hearty desires of their present and above all their Eternall happynes. I(te)m I give and bequeath to Mr William Busby of Marsh, Counsellor at Law Cookes reports in two volumes. I(te)m to Mris Olivia Arris of St Albans I give all Dr Prestons works. I(te)m to Dr Thomas Arris I give my gold fringed gloves. I(te)m to Mr Samuel Bedford of Bedfordshire I give my furred coat, according to promise.  It(e)m I give to Ann Bridges my Servant (if she continue so at the time of my death) the sum(m)e of fifty shillings.  It(e)m I give to John Clarke, if hee continue my servant at the day of my death, the sum(m)e of thirty shillings. Item I give to Thomas Green, and Michaell Wallis both of Addington the sum(m)e of twenty shillings apeece.  It(e)m I give to Thomas Smith of Addington the sum(m)e of fifty shillings. Item I give my Godaughter Mris Susanne Sharrock to b\u/y her a bible as also to Mr Samuel Dix his Son, my godson to buy him a bible, twenty shillings apeece. And now I thank thee o father Lord of heaven and earth who hast bountifully Bestowed these blessings upon me, and blessed me with an heart to make this acknowledgm(en)t of thy great goodnesse, in bequeathing these small earthly thinges  as thou hast directed me. Come Lord Jesus come quickly [blank space] Item I constitute and appoynt John Rochford M(aste)r of Arts and Vicar of St Peters in the Town of St Albans in the County of Hertford full and sole Executor of this my last Will and Testament, in witnesse wheerof the day and year above written, I have set my hand and seal.

William Rochford [signature & seal]

Sealed, declared and published in the presence of us
John Hogson [signature]
John Amborow his marke
John Hueit [signature]
William Spooner Jun(ior) [signature]
Oliver Lawrence [signature]
Elizabeth Glenister her m(ar)ke


William Rochford (or Rechford or Retchford) was Rector of Addington 1658-83. He was buried there on 6 Oct 1683, predeceased by his wife Elizabeth who was buried on 6 March 1682. He appears to have had property in several jurisdictions so it is surprising that his will was dealt with by the Archdeacon of Buckingham. He was an M.A. of Clare College, Cambridge (1643) and according to Cambridge University Alumni (under Retchford) was Vicar of St Peter's, St Albans, 1647-61; the same source gives John Retchford as M.A. of Trinity College 1659 and Vicar of St Peter's 1661-1715. According to the St Peter's website, John Retchford was appointed Vicar of St Peter's, St Albans, in 1647 and is recorded as destroying some of the stained glass there (iconoclasm in the 1640s, but not the vicar, is mentioned in another article on the church's history). It appears that this must really have been William, and that he removed himself to Addington and the protection of the Busby family after Charles II was placed on the throne, although he signed the Act of Uniformity in 1662. According to Lipscomb, although he was presented to the living by Sir John Busby in 1658, he was not admitted until 5 Sep 1660. Perhaps it's significant that the will isn't dated by a regnal year as was usually the case in this period. Oliver Lawrence, who probably drew it up, was steward of the manor of Winslow until it was restored to the Duke of Buckingham in 1660.

William started acquiring property in Winslow in 1663 (his name was usually written as Retchford). He sold most of his land in 1682. He still owned a messuage which passed to John Retchford, apparently his nephew, in 1683. John sold it in 1688, when his name was recorded as Rickford. Almost all the witnesses of the will were from Winslow, but the only Winslow person mentioned in the text is Samuel Dix the vicar. It was drawn up on a Thursday, so William must have come into Winslow on market day.

Copyright 16 January, 2019