Will of John Seaton, butcher, 1708 (proved 1708/9)

National Archives, PROB 11/506/307

In the Name of God Amen: I John Seaton the Elder of Winslow in the County of Bucks Butcher, being weake of Body but of sound minde and memory praised be God therefore and considering the certainty of death and the uncertaine time thereof doe make and ordaine this my last Will and Testament in manner following (that is to say) First I commend my Soule into the hands of Allmighty God that gave it hopeing through the merritts death and passion of Jesus Christ my Saviour and Redeemer to be made partaker of Everlasting Life And my Body I committ to the Earth to be decently interred at the discretion of my Executor herein after named And as for such temporall Estate as it hath pleased Almighty God to bestow upon me I give and dispose thereof as followeth Imprimis whereas by Agreement with Mary my wife before our Intermarriage (which is in the custody of her or her Friend) She was to receive out of my Estate seven pounds per Annum. Now my Will is that she shall receive the said Seven pounds per Annum and twenty shillings more yearly during her naturall life in satisfaction of her Dower out of any my Lands Tenements or Hereditaments whatsoever to be paid by equall portions at or in the South porch of the parish Church of Winslowe aforesaid. Item I give and bequeath to the eight children of my son John Seaton twenty shillings apeece of lawfull money of Great [f.2] Brittaine to be severally paid them within one year after my decease. Item I give and bequeath unto the children of my daughter Jane Watts twenty shillings apeece of like lawfull money to be paid them severally within one year after my decease. Item I give and bequeath unto my daughter Elizabeth Merwin and her husband ten shillings apeece of like lawfull money to be severally paid to them within one year after my decease Item all the Rest and Residue of my personall Estate Goods chattells whatsoever (not herein before bequeathed) I give and bequeath to my son Daniel Seaton (he paying all my Debts and Legacies) whom I make sole Executor of this my last Will and Testament contained in two sheets of paper revokeing all former Wills I doe Declare this only to be my last Will In witness whereof I the said John Seaton the Elder have to this my last Will and Testament set my hand and seale this nineteenth day of July Anno Domini 1708. And in the Seventh year of the Raigne of our Soveraigne Lady Ann by the grace of God Queen of Great Britaine &c 

John Seaton 

Signed sealed owned published and declared by the said John Seaton the Elder to be his last Will and Testament in the presence of
John Croft Vic(ar)
Edward Smith
Tho. Wainright

[Probate at London 9 Feb 1708/9 to Daniel Seaton, son and executor.]

Will of Mary Seaton, widow, 1709/10

Herts RO 147AW12

I Mary Seaton Widdow and relict of John Seaton late of Winslowe in the County of \Bucks/ Butcher  Have ordained this my Last Will and Testament and disanulling and making void all ther other wills made by me onely doe appoint this to be my Last Will & Testament  I doe therefore devise bequeath and Give unto my onely dear and Beloved Son Thomas Worall whom I appoint to bee my Sole Executor of this my Last Will and Testam(en)t all my Reall & pearsonall Estate w(ha)tsoever desireing of him my Executor the said Thomas Worall to discharge all my Funerall debts and other debts upon what account soever by me Contracted as soon as possible with Conveniencey to be discharged  In Wittnesse whereof \the s(ai)d Mary Seaton/  the Testate have on this three and Twentyeth day of February in the Eight Yeare of the reigne of our Soveraigne Lady Queen Anne over Great Brittain &c. Annoq(ue) d(omi)ni 1709.  Have published and declared this to be my Last Will & Testam(en)t

the marke of Mary Seaton

Sealed published and declared by the Testator within named in the p(re)sence of us whose names are underneath Subscribed
Edw(ar)d Gataker
the marke of Eliz(abeth) Borrell
Tho(mas) Gataker

The words Interlined (the s(ai)d Mary Seaton) was before the Ensealeing the wax by the s(ai)d Testor Interlined wittness(ed)
Edw(ar)d Gataker            the marke of Elilz(abeth) Borrell                                Tho(mas) Gataker


John Seaton was buried at Winslow on 8 Aug 1708. His children seem to be (there is some doubt because there were several John Seatons in Winslow at the same time):

John married Mary Worrall at Hoggeston on 27 Dec 1694; the pre-nuptial agreement mentioned in the will was due to their both having children from previous marriages. Thomas, son of Mary and John Worrall, was baptised at Hoggeston in 1689, and Mary Dracot married John Worrall there in 1682. Thomas (d.1742) was established in Winslow as a butcher by 1721. Mary Seaton was buried at Winslow on 27 Feb 1709/10.

John was a tenant of the Verneys, probably at Steeple Claydon, and is mentioned in the Verney correspondence (CBS, M11/53):
22 Feb 1705[/6] Viscount Fermanagh to Goodman Jn: Seaton the younger [copy]
Pray pay unto your father John Seaton the elder the sume of eight and twenty pounds for which he give you an acquittance when you deliver me up this noate paid for
Daniel took over and paid the rent at Michaelmas 1708, but there was some difficulty about drawing up his lease. Nicholas Merwin wrote to Viscount Fermanagh (MS11/54):

18 March 1708/9: Nicholas Merwin, Winslow, to Viscount Fermanagh
I have herewith sent the draught of Your Lordships lease to my brother Daniell Seaton… I hope Your Lordship will not dislike our proceedings with this man he is substantiall and I believe a fair dealing man but we have obleidged him as strictly as if he was not.  Daniell I confesse made the bargain but I like it much better than to have taken adjistments tis less trouble and I shalbe sure of our bargain being performed.  If your Lordship should dislike our proceedings with \him/ hereafter I hope by your Lordshipps fav[ou]r Daniell will be able in a little time to manage his bargain without any other assistance.  I have often heard his father with great pleasure relate the ocasion of his successes by means of the favo[u]rs he received from Sir Ralph Verney your Lordship’s father & Mr Verney and am sure if Daniell be not wanting in duty and reguard to your Lordship and himselfe he may say the same with relation to your Lordship and himselfe …

A dispute between Mary and her stepson Daniel was taken to court (the Court of the Exchequer) by Daniel, and the evidence summarised below provides a lot more information about the Seaton family. We don't know the outcome.

Daniel Seaton v Mary Seaton and others, 1709

National Archives, E112/780/79

[ff.1-2] Complaint of Daniel Seaton of Winslow, butcher, executor and one of the sons of John Seaton of Winslow, butcher.

In Nov 1694 John Seaton married Mary Worrall then of Hogston widow, who was possessed of one gelding, 10 cows, 20 sheep and diverse sums of money and household and other goods worth £100 or more.

John and Mary lived together until August last during which time Mary raised several large sums of money from John’s goods and particularly for the gelding, cows, sheep and other goods, and for diverse horses, mares, geldings, oxen, cows, sheep, hogs and great numbers of fat pigs, turkeys, geese, capons, cocks, hens, chickens, ducks, cows’ bellies, cows’ feet, calves' chaldrons and slinck’t skins and for corn and other goods amounting to £500 and upwards.

Mary was possessed till August for her life of 2 acres of meadow in Swanbourne of clear yearly value of £6.  John for 14 years was at the charge of manuring and carrying in the hay at a cost of £11 p.a.

Mary when she married had two small children by John Worrall of Hogston dairyman: Mary Worrall then aged 7, now wife of Augustine Seaton of Winslow innholder, and Thomas Worrall then 5 and now 19.  John Worrall died 2 years before leaving Mary his executrix and residuary legatee.  He was seized of 6 acres in Granborough of yearly value of £3 12s wherein Mary had right of dower.  John Seaton for 14 years ploughed, sowed, dunged, carried in all the 6 acres.  The profits were received by Mary and Augustine amounting to £19 p.a.  John Seaton expected to receive 1/3, and the rest towards the maintenance of Thomas whom he provided for 10 years with meat, drink, washing and lodging.  Mary promised to reimburse him for education and maintenance of both children.

John for 14 years while married to Mary rented of Thomas Gattaker clerk decd and Benjamin Reynolds clerk a parcel of land in Hogston called The Plats at £20 p.a. where he fed great numbers of cows and sheep.  Mary had the management and sold the cattle and promised to pay the money to John.

Mary when she married rented of the Earl of Carnarvon a farm of yearly value of £30 and held it for several years at a rent of £9 under a lease.

John provided meat, drink, washing, lodging, apparell for the children: for 10 years for Mary and 14 for Thomas.

By agreement before the marriage, John became bound unto Joseph Worrall of Hogston grazier as a trustee for Mary that after his death his heirs should pay unto Mary £7 p.a. in lieu of dower on lands in the manor of Winslow, which she then accepted.

Mary during John’s life and after his death got into her possession several great sums of money and great quantities of household goods, wearing apparel and other personal estate.  She caused some to be placed out at interest in her own name or in trust for her or in John’s name and keeps the securities for the same.  And she has purchased copyhold and other lands and tenements to her own use or in trust for her.  She has given her daughter £200 apart from her marriage portion.  She bought household goods to a very considerable value, and disposes of John’s goods and chattels to her own use or the use of Augustine & Mary and Thomas.

John on 19 July last made his will.  He declared that by agreement with Mary before their marriage she was to have £7 p.a. + 20s in satisfaction of dower, which Daniel has paid and is willing to pay quarterly.
Mary has possessed herself of his plentiful personal estate and put it in the hands of Augustine & Mary and Thomas.

Mary, combining with Augustine & Mary, Thomas, Joseph Worrall, John Lane of Drayton Parslow gent and Thomas Wainwright of Winslow maltster, has received the rents and profits.

[f.3] Writ directed to Thomas Forster, William Giles, John Markham, Matthew Clarke, Nicholas Merwin, Thomas Hornsey & Henry Langley gents.  Dated 4 June 8 Anne [1709]

[ff.4-5] Joint and several answer of Mary Seaton, Augustine Seaton & Mary his wife, and Thomas Worrall infant by Daniel Giles his guardian.

Mary at the time of the marriage was possessed of goods and chattels in her own right to the value of £300, an account whereof was annexed to an agreement made before the marriage, and £30 in ready money.

Recites an indenture tripartite made 15 Dec 1694 between
1. John Seaton the elder of Winslow butcher
2. Mary Worrall of Hogston widow, relict of John Worrall
3. Joseph Worrall of Hogshowe grazier
John is desirous that Mary shall have free liberty to dispose all her goods.  In consideration of 5s paid by Joseph to John and Mary, they have given to Joseph all Mary’s goods, on trust to pay for the maintenance and education of Mary’s children, and to pay to the children other money raised when Mary thinks fit, or give the goods to the children as Mary directs, allowing Joseph his expenses.  John covenants that Joseph shall quietly enjoy the goods.  Mary can revoke the indenture if John dies before her and recover the remaining goods.  Witnessed by Francis [illegible] and Thomas Hickman.
Schedule of the goods and chattels:

A Schedule annexed of the Goods and Chattells menc(i)oned and expressed in this present Indenture and w(hi)ch are therein meant and intended to be granted bargained and sold Imprimis In the Roome called the Hall Five brass panns Five great and little brass Kettles one Furnis two brass skilletts three brass porridge potts one brass warming pann one brass morter one brasse ladle one brass bakeing pann ten pewter platters two pewter tankards one pewter salt seller two pewter porringers one pewter Candlesticke Two Tables and three joynt stooles one Forme Five Chairs two Iron hangers Two Iron Cleavers one fire shovell two pair of Tongues two smothing Irons one Iron Box and padds one pair of Iron doggs one spitt one paire of Bellowes one pair of pott Hookes In the Parlor where Mary Worrall lifes Two high bedsteads and one Truckle Bed two Feather beds three Fether boulsters six Fether pillowes Two Flock beds one pair of Curtaines and vallens six blanketts and coverletts one Chest of Drawers one Great Chest and Hanging Presse for Cloathes one Trunke twelve pair of sheets one dozen and an halfe of Napkins three Table Cloathes and Eight pillow Beares In the Roome called stear head Chamber one Bedstead one Flock bedd one Flock boulster and one Fether bolster and one Chest In the Cheese Chamber all my Cheeses little and great that are now therein In the Buttery or Drinke House Foure Barrells one salting Trough one Cheese press Four Tubbs one Meash Fatt foure Keivers one dozen and an halfe of Cheese fatts one hand Cherne one Barrell or Tumbrill Cherne six Bucketts and three Yoakes And sev(er)all other odd things in the house besides wood and Lumber In the Yard and Backsides and Closes of Pasture Ground Foure Piggs or Hoggs one Horse Fifteene Cowes one Cart and one Hovill of beanes.

And there is a Bond of equall date for performance of the Covenants thereof of the penalty of one hundred pounds

Mary denies selling anything to the amount of £500, except a few cocks and hens for which she either gave John the money or laid it out by his consent, except the cows' bellies and feet and calves' chaldrons which John allowed her "wherewith to buy necessaryes into the house which might amount to 1s 5d a week and sometimes 2s and one week every year before Christmas 3s 9d or 4s 11d" which were all or most disposed of to one whose name is now Mary Turnham but it was all applied "to buying necessaryes as soap starch sugar and such like".

John Worrall was seized of the 2 acres in Swanborne.  In his will of 1 Jan 1693 he devised the profits to Mary during the minority of Mary the daughter, and afterwards to Mary the daughter.  John Seaton was at no charge of manuring during the minority but he received the profits.

When Mary married John, Mary the daughter was 10 (now 25) and Thomas was 6 (now 20 years 6 months).

John Worrall was seized of 4 acres of copyhold land in Granborough to which Mary had right of dower.  Thomas has been admitted tenant.

Mary denies that John Seaton was at the charge of ploughing etc. the land in Swanbourne or Granborough “except once about six load of dung that he laid upon one of the lands at Grandborough”.  Mary bought seed and paid for ploughing out of her children’s money, except that John’s horses and plough-gear were used.  John had the profits which went towards the maintenance of his family. John was at no charges in finding or providing clothes or schooling, but Mary paid out of the children's own money.  John did provide meat, drink, washing and lodging for Mary the daughter for 8 years and Thomas for 13, for which he had the profits of the land and the interest of the children’s money.

Mary did lay out and expend in housekeeping for John’s family £100 and upwards from her children’s money which was never repaid.

While Mary the daughter was living with John she “worked very hard in and about the businesse of the house and family of the said John Seaton”.  Thomas was by indenture of 24 June 1700 bound apprentice to John in the trade of a butcher for 7 years, by which John covenanted to find him meat, drink, washing and lodging.  After the expiration Thomas served him for a year as journeyman, during which time he was to have his meat, drink, washing and lodging and £8 a year which is still owing.

They never promised to pay John any other money for maintenance of the children.

For 2 years after the marriage John rented The Platts at £10 p.a., then they rented it with the children’s money and Mary paid the rent which is not in arrears, but the profits were applied to the use of John and his family.  John did not have cows or sheep there.

The children’s cattle were not fed on John’s ground except 3 or 4 cows for which he received the money.  A little before his death 2 cows were fed on his land for 11 weeks at 14d a week and 6 sheep about 9 weeks at 8d a week which John agreed should be paid to Thomas in part of his wages.

At the time of her marriage Mary rented a farm of the Earl of Carnarvon at £9 p.a. rack rent which she had on lease of ?6 years.  She believes there is a small sum owing which will not be paid as it is due from Thomas Clements who rented it [from her], “he being a soldier as she is informed”.

She denies that John before the marriage entered into a bond with Joseph Worrall.  By bond of 14 Dec 1694 John became bound in £100 to Joseph: John holds certain lands & tenements in the manor of Winslow of the yearly value of £16, on which Mary shall hold dower if she survives him.  If they do not make up the clear yearly value of £7, then if John’s heirs make it up to £7 the present obligation is to be void.  Witnessed by Faith Plater, Thomas Hickman.

Mary did not take into her possession any of John’s household goods “except an old table and an old [illegible] both which John authorized her to dispose of as she thought fitt”, and she gave them to Mary her daughter.

Mary did not give her daughter £200 as a marriage portion but only £50 or to that value, no part whereof belonged to John’s estate.

They deny having in their possession any of John’s money or goods, or receving the profits of his lands.

Mary’s goods at the time of the marriage were left to her by her former husband.  She cannot say what sums she received from John during the marriage. She denies purchasing or exchanging any brass, pewter or other goods except by John’s order. She was not worth at the time of marriage more than hereinbefore mentioned and the £30 in money.

During the marriage she bought in the names of Mr Gataker of Hogston clerk & Mr Curle as trustees of her children for £110 of the children’s money a house and two little closes at Steeple Claydon of Thomas Taylor, which she afterwards sold for £110 which she applied to the use of her children.  After John’s death she purchased a small copyhold tenement in Winslow of Mrs Hughes for £150[?], for part whereof it is mortgaged and the remaining £50 she borrowed of several persons and it is still owing.

During the marriage the only money she gave to her children was £50 as Mary’s portion.  No other money was in trust for her at the time of the marriage except £10 which was part of [illegible].  The money has been [paid?] to several persons and there is but £40 remaining which now is in the hand of John Lane upon his bond.

Mary the mother gave to Mary the daughter at the time of her marriage “one brass pann two brass skelletts a brass kettle about eight pair of sheets two table cloaths one pottage pott four pillow beers fifteene napkins two quilts two coverlidds one old trunk and some wearing apparel and other things” to the value of about £40.  All were goods in the schedule or bought with money arising by the sale of some part thereof and did not belong to John.

They did not convey anything else from John’s dwelling house during his sickness or after his decease.

The marke of Mary Seaton
[signed] Augne Seaton
Mary Seaton
Daniel Gyles

[Latin] By virtue of a commission directed to us, we had called before us Thomas Woorrall infant named in the commission, and at Thomas’ own request by virtue of the commission we chose Daniel Gyles to be his guardian by whom the suit for the infant Thomas could be defended.  And afterwards the guardian so assigned and the said Mary Seaton widow, Augustine Seaton & Mary his wife were duly sworn to this response on the gospels on 27 June in the 8th year of Anne at the dwelling house of Augustine Seaton in Winslowe.
[signed] Thomas Hornsby
Henry Langley

E112/780/135: The joynt and severall answere of Joseph Woorrall Thomas Woorrall Augustine Seaton and Mary his wife to the bill of complaint of Daniel Seaton

This shows that the dispute continued after Mary died in Feb 1710 as she is now referred to as deceased, and there must have been another statement by Daniel Seaton, but this one doesn't add any more information except these two points:

All the defendants say that Mary, being John Worrall’s sole executrix, did exhibit an inventory of his personal estate in the ecclesiastical court at Aylesbury.  Joseph believes they were undervalued “on a surmise of saveing a considerable charge therein”.

Thomas and Mary jr say that during Mary’s marriage to John Seaton she paid for their “necessaryes … out of her own proper effects” and John was at no expense. Mary jr says that ten years ago “she was att Mrs Bedfords dancing school att Aylesbury where she continued for a quarter of a yeare”.  She lived at Mrs Bedfords as a hired servant not a scholar, and received wages.  She was never at any other boarding or dancing school.

chaldrons: entrails (OED s.v. chawdron)

slinck’t skins: skin of a premature calf (OED s.v. slink)

Augustine Seaton of Winslow innholder: he was John Seaton's nephew, and kept The Bell

The lawyer Henry Langley who took the evidence later married Daniel Gyles' niece Jane Gyles. After his death she married Thomas Worrall the "infant" in the case. See Gyles family.

Copyright 20 October, 2023