October 16, 2015

Crowdsourcing - Can Anyone Read this 1645 Will?

Olive Tree Genealogy needs help. Recently I obtained a will written in Staffordshire England in 1645. It is the will of Margery [sic] Wood from Uttoxeter. I can read some but not all of it! If any of my wonderful readers feel like helping me with the interpretation of this 17th Century handwriting I would be grateful.

Crowdsourcing - Can Anyone Read this 1645 Will?


This is the first page of the will. There are several pages in all but my main interest is in the first two pages which are the actual will with bequests to such people as her children (I can see Thomas Wood, John Wood, Elizabeth Wood, Marian or Mary Wood but there may be others named), her brother Will (William) Heaton and others.

The last half-dozen pages are an inventory which would be fascinating if I could read them in full! Please do contact me at olivetreegenealogyATgmailDOTcom if you are willing to attempt page 2 or if you want a larger copy of page 1

Fingers crossed that I can crowdsource the reading of this document!

4 comments:

Sarah said...

This is what I can make out. I left blank lines to indicate what I couldn't figure out.


______ ______ of the last will of
Margery Wood of Uttoxeter widdow
John Wood by ________ 23th of May 1645
in the presence of __________ ______ Lightfoot
Clarke and John Gilbert of Uttoxeter.

First free commendeth her soule to almighty god
whoe gave it and her body to the earth from
whence itt came ________ concerning _____ worldly
good which god gave her ________ bequested and
_______ them as followeth viz _______ bequested
to her sonne James Wood his father's ________
and a _________ of gould of 30 Item to her daughter
Elizabeth her damiske goune and petticote and
that bed in my _____chamber with all bed
furniture belonging to itt Item to her daughter
Marey her best tabben goune and for ______
_________ petticote and that bed in the
chamber over the kitchen with all the furniture belonging
to it Item to the poore of the town of _________
_________ poundes where of twenty pound is in the hand
of John Gilbert and itt is to bee disposed of by
______ Lightfoot Clarke and her brother Will
Heaton and ______ Smyte and John Gilbert
where from is to bee ________ in land to _______ _______
for the said poore yearley Item to young Will
Heaton the ____ in the _______ and ware house
and the long taboll and ______ in the greate chamber

{signature}

Ella's Mom said...

This was fun! Thanks for posting it. I'd take a look at the other pages if you'd like. Looks like Margery Wood was a woman of means, and possibly had a hand in some type of printing business. The "formes" she leaves young Will Heaton refers to printing or books... Anyway, see what you think. The few words I couldn't make out I put in brackets [].


The tenour of the last will of
Margery Wood of Uttoxeter widdow
Dolin Wood by her this 23th of May 1645
in the presentes of us Thomas Lightfoot
clarke and John Gilbert of Uttoxeter
Ironmonger.

First shee commendeth her soule to almightey god
whoe gave it and her body to the earth from
whence itt came Item concerning such worldly
goodes which god gave her shee bequeaseth and
dissposeth them as followeth viz: shee bequeaseth
to her sonne James Wood his father's sealinge ringe
and a [peer of goule] of 30s Item to her doughter
Elizabeth her damiske goune and petticote and
that bed in [mh greanses] chamber with all the
furniture belonginge to itt Item to her doughter
Marey her best tabbey goune and her wasshed
tafetey pettecote and that bed in the chamber
ouer the kichen with all the furniture belonginge
to itt Item to the poore of the town of Uttoxeter
thertey poundes where of twentey pound is in the hand
of John Gilbert and itt is to bee disposed of by
Thomas Lightfoot Clarke and her brother Will
Heaton and Thomas Smyth and John Gilbert
where som is to bee bestoed in land to boy gounes
for the said poore yearley Item to younge Will
Heaton the chistes in the shop and ware house
and the longe tabell and formes in the greate chamber
Item to (signature) Margery wood

Lorine McGinnis Schulze said...

Thanks everyone! I have a good transcription now of the first two pages. I'm so impressed with

1) the abilities of several of you to read this will!!
2) your generousity in giving up your time to help me!!

Thank you thank you thank you. I have ordered a few more early 17th century documents from the UK Archives so I may be calling out for help again soon!

Neil Deaville said...

An interesting extract about the Woods from Francis Redferns History of the Town of Uttoxeter published in 1850. Not sure if these are the same Woods as Margery's family though it is possible:-

Another interesting place was " Mr. Wood's Hall," which was " swept for King Charles when at Uttoxeter in 1642," not any portion of which, however, is in existence. Its site is at the highest part of the field at Bull's Bank, opposite the New Grammar School. The interest attaching to it is increased by the fact of its having been the ancient residence in Uttoxeter of the Mynors family, and it is, no doubt, the same as that referred to by Erdeswick in his Survey of Staffordshire, in these words, " In Utcester is a house of the Mynor's; very ancient gentlemen are they," and not Hollingbury Hall, as has been supposed. It was sold early in the seventeenth century, as will be more particularly noticed hereafter, to Mr. James Wood, son of a citizen and Salter of London, one of the last of whom in Uttoxeter was a solicitor. It was a half-timbered building of very great antiquity, and of considerable dimensions, and contained altogether about forty rooms, some very lofty and spacious, one of which was used as a gallery. There were two gables towards the street; but these had a retiring centre betwixt them, with, it is said, an embattled parapet; and there was a coach-yard in front. It was several stories high, and the roofs had numerous dormer windows along their sides, the roof of the central part being flat. There were secret places at a chimney back, and elsewhere; and it is traditionally stated that King Charles was on one occasion secreted in one of these places, though this belief is perhaps more likely to refer to the time when it was swept for him. The building has very many strange ghost stories associated with it; but of curious things of this kind it will be sufficient to preserve some amatory lines remembered to have been inscribed upon one of the old green glass windows—

"I bleeding at your feet do tie,
Unless you yield; or else I die,
Harmless Anne Wood.
Soul and body murdered here,
I shall never rest till I see my dear."

A notion of the most improbable circumstance is also in existence, and widely credited, that a secret subterranean passage connected this ancient residence with Tutbury Castle.