The will of Nicholas Fowle of Wadhurst (died 1600)

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that the will of Nicholas Fowle of Wadhurst in Sussex, who died in 1600, contained proof of a connection between the Fowle and Maunser or Manser families (I’m descended from both families on my mother’s side). I’ve now found the will via Ancestry and transcribed it. Nicholas Fowle does indeed refer to John and Mary Maunser, the children of his (unnamed) daughter, thus lending substance to the claim, in Berry’s pedigree, that Mary Fowle, daughter of Nicholas, married a Maunser of Hightown, Wadhurst. The pedigree states that Mary’s husband was called William, but as I’ve noted in recent posts, there is some doubt as to whether this was in fact the name of the person who inherited Hightown from my 12 x great grandfather Robert Maunser. The reference to the Maunser grandchildren is contained in a memorandum (highlighted below) at the end of the will, but I’m reproducing my transcript of the whole will here, for the record. I’ll discuss what it can tell us about the Fowle family, and their links with other Sussex families to be found in my own family tree (not just the Maunsers, but also the Barhams, Polhills and Luckes) on another occasion:

In the name of god Amen the fower and twentith daye of the monethe of October in the yere of our Lorde God One Thousand Five hundred fourescore and Nynteene, and in the One and Fourtieth yeare of the reigne of our Sovereigne Ladie Elizabeth by the grace of God Queene of Englande Fraunce and Irelande defender of the faithe. I Nicholas Fowle of Wadhurst in the Countye of Sussex Gent beinge at the tyme of the making of this my will in reasonable good healthe of bodye and of verye good and perfect remembraunce (thanks therefore be given to almighty God) notwithstandinge aged and thereby put in mynde of my last ende, and that all fleshe is grasse, and that as the grasse once cast downe must needs wither: for man shall have an ende and change this, And the tyme beinge altogether uncertaine, and willing to sett in order those transitory possessions which god hath made me Stuarde of here in this world that noe contencon after my decease arise aboute the same Therefore I doe ordeine and make this my present Testament and last will in manner and forme following,  And firste and principallie I give comende and bequeathe my soule beinge the principall parte of Man) into the handes of Almighty God who gave it trusting by an assured faithe which I have in the promises of God and in the merits of the deathe and passion of my Lorde Jesus Christ my alone Saviour and Redemer his deare and onely sonne that the same shall be presented pure before the throne of his Majestie, And my bodie to the Earthe from where it came, to be buried in the Churche or Churchyarde of the Parishe of Retherfeilde in the saide Countye of Sussex, in sure and certaine hope of resurrection ioyfull to life immortall where and at whiche tyme I will there shall be a Sermon or godlie exhortation to admonish the hearers of a godly life, And that as I have played my parte in goinge before soe sure all they in tyme shall doe the like, Item I will that the Preacher thereof shall have xjs vijd lawfull money, Item I will to be distributed amonge the poore resorting to my buryall at the tyme thereof five poundes, Item I will and give towardes the reparations of the Churche of Wadhurst aforesaid fouretie shillinges, Item I will to be distributed amongst the poore people of Wadhurst aforesaide fouretye shillinges. Item I will to be distributed amongest the poore people of Frante Twentie Shillinges, All whiche I will shall be distributed within one whole yeare nexte after my decease, Item I give to Helen the wife of George Collin Twentye shillinges, Item I give to the daughters of my brother Anthonye Tenne Shillinges a peece to be paide to them within two yeares nexte after my decease, Item I give to the children of my Sister Farmer Tenne shillinges a peece, to be paide to them within Two yeares next after my decease, Item I give to the children of my Sister Staples tenne shillinges a peece, to be paide to their father to their use within two yeres nexte after my deceasse, Item I give to the children of my sister Sommer Tenne shillinges a peece, to be paide unto them within two yeres next after my deceasse, Item I give and bequeathe to every of my six daughters fouretie poundes a peece, to be paide to them and every of them within three yeres next after my decease, Item I give and bequeathe to my Syster Markwicke five poundes of lawfull money, And likewise to her children equallie between them other five poundes of lawfull money to be paide unto them within two yeres next after my decease, Item I give and bequeathe to the children of my six daughters to every childe that shall be borne before the tyme of paymente Tenne shillinges, to be paide to every of my saide daughters to the use of their saide children within two yeres next after my decease, And also to every of the children of my sonne William Fowle whiche shall be likewise borne before the tyme of payment to be paide within the tyme aforesaide other tenne shillinges a peece, Item I give and bequeathe to my loving kinsman Anthonie Fowle the somme of One hundred poundes of lawfull money to be paide unto him within two whole yeres next after my decease, Item I give and bequeathe unto my brother Thomas Markwicke, to John Barham of Butte and to John Luke of Dargatte and to their heires for ever one litle house and a garden with the appurtenants situate lienge and beinge in Wadhurst aforesaide at Sparrowes greene on the East side of the waye leading from Sparrowes greene to Corsley Wood, To hould to them their heires and assignes, to the entente use and meaninge that they their heires and assignes shall from tyme to tyme at all tymes hereafter for ever suffer some poore pson or psons inhabitants of the saide parish of Wadhurst at their or some of their election and appoyntmt to inhhabite and dwell in the same and to take the proffite thereof from tyme to tyme for ever, And I will that Jane Peter shall be the first of the saide poore during her life, And my will is that the sayde Thomas Markwicke John Barham and John Lucke their heires and assignes to the use of the saide poore pson or psons that shall from tyme to tyme inhabit and be places in the saide litle house shall have fower loades of wood yerelie for every for their spendinge in the saide house to be taken in Frankham and the landes of me the saide Nicholas called ould Shoosmithes in Wadhurst aforesaide, At the assignement of the owners of the same landes for the tyme beinge for ever, upon reasonable notice or request thereof from tyme to tyme to be made, And I will that if the same shall not be assigned, Or if the saide poore pson or psons, or the said Thomas Markwicke John Barham and John Lucke or anie of them of the heires of assignes of the saide Thomas John and John or of the survivor of them, to the use of the saide poore pson or psons shall not be allowed and assigned by the owner or owners of the same landes for the tyme beinge, whereout the saide fower loades of woode should be had upon request made as aforesaide of the same fower loades of wood yerelie according to the tenor of this my will and meaning then and so often it shall be lawfull for the saide Thomas Markwicke John Barham and John Lucke their heires and assignes, To the use and behoof of the same poore pson and psons from tyme to tyme beinge for ever as often as all suche the saide fower loades of woode shall not be appoynted accordine to the tenor of this my will to enter in and upon my saide landes called Frankham and ould Shoosmyths and into every or any parte or pcell thereof and there to distreine and the distresses or distresse there had and taken lawfullie from theire to beare leade drive and carie awaye and the same to detaine withe hould and keepe untill the same woode soe beinge behind and not allowed and assigned as aforesaide shall be unto the saide poore pson and psons assigned and by them and every of them maye be had taken and enjoyed according to the true meaning of this my will, Item I will and give to every of my godchildren twelve pence a peece, to be paide to them and every of them when they shall demande the same, Item wheras I have given anie Legacie or Legacies before or after in this my will unto anie beinge not of lawfull age at the time of the receipt thereof to make an acquitance for the same and have nott appoynted anie to receive the same to his or their use my will and meaning is that they and everie of them shall be paide at suche tyme and tymes as by this my will is limited and they or anie and everie of them shall be paide before two honest credible psons at the least, whiche credible psons shall subscribe unto the receipt thereof accordinglie, and then the same subscription shall stande for a sufficient acquitance for the same legacie and legacies soe received, and myne executor his executors and assignes shall be soe acquited by virtue of this my will, Item I make ordeyne and appoynte myne onelie sonne William Fowle of Wadhurst aforesaide gent my sole and onely executor of this my will and testament, Unto whom my debts and legacies beinge truelie paide and my funeralle decently and orderlie performed, I whollie fullie and with good effecte intente and purpose give and bequeathe all and singular my goodes debts Leases and chattells whatsoever, And I doe request and appoint my welbeloved frende Thomas Aynscombe gent my kinsman Anthonie Fowle gent and my sonnes in Lawe John Polhill and John Dunmoll gent to be overseers of this my will, to whom I give as a token and remembrance of my love and goodwill fouretie shillinges a peece to make either of them a ringe of gould, This is the last will of me the saide Nicholas Fowle made the daie and yeare above written concerninge the devise and disposicion of all and singuler my messuages landes tenements and hereditaments whatsoever, as well frehoulde, as coppyoulde, Excepte the saide Litle house at Sparrowes greene aforesaide, And first, I give and bequeathe unto my sonne William Fowle All those my landes and tennements called Frankham And all that my capitall messuage or tenement wherein I nowe dwell called Ryverhall withal edifices buildinges barnes stables dovehouses mylls orchardes gardens casements proffits wayes waters fredomes commodities and appurtenants to the same messauges or either of them belonginge or in anie wise apperteyninge, And one parcel of lande commonlie called Wyldbrome conteyninge by estimacon fourteen acres, certaine landes called Cornebrome conteyninge by estymacon fiftene acres, one pcell of lande called Bromefeilde conteyninge by estimacon Tenne acres, certaine landes called Hygate brome and greene woodes of the yarde of Crowherst conteyninge by estimacon five and thirtie acres, And one pcell of lande called the Strake late Richard Olives adionynge to Cornebrome conteyninge by estimacon Eight acres, And all and singuler my landes tennements meadowes pastures woodes and hereditaments pcell of the yarde of Arleighe conteyninge in all by estimacon Two hundred and twelve acres more or lesse, Also one messuage or tennemente and all landes tennements and hereditaments to the same belonging sometime Thomas Hygate now in the occupacon of me the saide Nicholas or my sonne William Fowle and of George Collyn, And also one water cornemyll with th’appurtenances and all landes tennements waters fredomes and appurtenances to the same belonging and whiche now are in the tenure and occupacon of Edward Chapman And also all and every commons waters streames fishinges commodities and appurtenances to the premisses and all everie or anie of the same belonginge or in anie wise apperteyninge, All whiche premisses are situate lyenge and beinge in the Parishes of Wadhurst aforesaide, and of Grante and Retherfeilde in the saide Countie of Sussex, To have and to hould all the saide capitall messuage called Ryverhall and all and everie other the saide messuages landes tennements and hereditaments withal and evrye the saide wayes waters fishinges commodities and appurtenances afore specified unto my said sonne William Fowle and to the heires males of his bodie lawfullie befotten, or hereafter to be begotten, And if the saide William my sonne happen to dye without suche heires: Then I will all and every the saide messuages landes tennements and hereditaments unto the saide William before devised shall remaine unto my loving Cosen Anthonie Fowle my brothers sonne and to the heires males of his bodie lawfullie begotten or to be begotten And for defaulte of such heires the same to remaine unto the right heires of me the said Nichollas Fowle for ever, Provided allwayes and upon this condicon That he the said William my sonne shall within two yeares next after my decease, or if he dye then his heires shall within two yeares after their full age at or upon the request of my saide Cosen Anthonie Fowle and his heires and at the costs and charges of the saide Anthony Fowle and his heires, as wll for the fine or fines due to the Lorde or Lordes of the Mannors, And also for the heireyte [?] due thereupon and all other charges whatsoever in due forme of lawe surrender into the seaverall Lordes handes of the seaverall Mannors of Retherfeild Frant, and of the Parsonage according to the seaverall customes of the saide Mannors all and singuler the copyhould messuages landes and Tennements of my said sone William whiche are houlden of the saide Lordes or anie of them, to the uses hereafter mentioned, That is to saie, To the use of himself and of the heires males of his Body lawfully begotten, And for defaulte of such heires, To the use of my saide lovinge Cosen Anthonie Fowle and the heires males of the bodie of the saide Anthonie lawfully begotten or to be befotten, And for defaulte of suche heires, To the onelie use and behoof of the saide William my sonne and of his right heires, And I doe further will and devise that if the saide Anthonie Fowle and his heires doe request my saide sonne Willaim beinge of full age of One and Twentie yeres to make suche surrender and doe beare and discharge the said William and his heires of all dutyes an demandes due upon the saide surrender and touching the same as is aforeasaide: That then if my saide sonne William shall nott make surrender of all and every the saide coppyholde messuages landes and tennements to the seaverall uses aforesaide accordinge to my true meaninges before expressed, Or if the saide William my sonne happen to dye without heirs male of his bodie lawfullie begotten: That then all and everye my messuages and hereditaments withe their appurtenances before by this my present Testament and last will unto the saide William my sonne devised shall presently remaine unto the saide Anthonie Fowle and to the heires males of his bodie lawfully begotten, or to be begotten, And if the saide Anthonie happen to dye without heires male of his bodie lawfullie begotten or to be begotten: Then I will all and singuler the saide messuages landes tennements and hereditaments withal and sunguler their appurtenances shall whollie remayne unto the right heires of me the saide Nicholas forever, Provided allwayes and upon condicons That if the saide William my sonne or his heires fayle in makinge of the [???]] aforesaide or yf the said William my sonne happen to dye without heires male of his bodie lawfullie begotten or to be begotten whereby the saide messuages landes and tennements with their appurtenances shall come remayne or be unto the saide Anthony Fowle or to his heires male of his body lawfully begotten, yf afterwardes videlicet within three yeres then nexte after the saide Anthony Fowle his heires executors admynistrators or assignes or one of them shall not well and truelye satisfye contente and paye all and every suche somme and sommes of money as are heareafter presently mentioned, That is to saye, to every of my six daughters or as many of them as shall be then lyvinge, the somme of Two hundred poundes a peece of lawfull money, That is to saye, Two yeres, the somme of Six hundred poundes to be equallie devided between them, And if anie of them be deceased then the porcon or portions of her or them soe decased to be payde to the childe or children of her or them soe deceased equallye betwne And That if anie of them soe deceased shall have noe children: Then her or their portion soe deceased shall remayne and equallie be devided between the survivor or survivors of them, or if my sonne William Fowle or his heires doe make such surrenders of his coppyhould landes as is aforesaide, And after dye without yssue male of his bodie, whereby the saide coppyhould landes doe come to the saide Anthony Fowle or the heires males of his bodye lawfullye befotten, yf afterwardes vizt. within one yeare the nexte after such dyenge withoute heyer male, The sayde Anthony Fowle his heires executors or admynistrators shall nott well and truly paye, or cause to be payde unto each of the daughters of my sayde sonne Willm. Fowle nowe borne, That is to saye, Elizabeth, Dorothie, Fraunce (Frances?), and Hellen, and to as may other the daughters of the sayde William my sonne as hereafter shall be borne, One hundred poundes a peece, of lawfully money of Englande, And if anie of them be deceased: Then the portion or portions of her or them soe deceased to be payde to the survivor or survivors of them, Or if the sayde Anthony Fowle or his heires shall at any tyme or tymes afterwardes attempte or goe about to make or graunte, or suffer to be made gotten or graunted, any greater estate or estates of or in the premisses or anie parcel thereof to any bodye or bodyes pollitique or corporate whatsoever, or unto any pson or psons whatsoever, Then suche as a Tennaunte in Tayle maye doe by virtue of the Statute made in the One and Thirtiethe yere of Kinge Henry the Eight, That then it shall and maye be lawfull for the heires females of my saide sonne William Fowle into all and singuler the saide messuages landes and tennements unto the sayde Anthony devised as aforesaide, and into every parte and parcel thereof whollie to enter, and the same and every of the same concerninge which suche further devise shall be had shall hould to them and their heires for ever, And the saide Anthonie his heires and assignes and all and every other pson and psons whatsoever from thence to expel putt out and remove [?], Anie thinge in this my present Testament and last will conteined to the contrary in anie wyse nothwithstandinge, Item I give and devise unto Anthonie Fowle and his heires One Annuytye or yearly Rente of One hundred poundes of good and lawfull money of England, To be yssuing and goinge and yerelye to yssue and goe out of all and singuler my messuages landes and Tennements to the sayde William Fowel devised as aforesayde, At Two usuall feasts or Tearmes of the yeare, That is to saye, at the feastes of the Annunciation of the blessed Virgin Marye, and of Saynt Michael Th’archangell by equal portions to be payde, And if yt happen the sayde yerely Rente to be behind and unpayde in parte or in all at anie of the saide feastes of paymente wherein the same is lymitted to be payde: Then I will that soe often and from tyme to tyme at all tymes afterwardes it shall and maye be lawfull to and for the sayde Anthony his heyers and assignes to enter into all and singuler the sayde messuages landes and Tennements unto the sayde William my sonner devised, And there to distreyne and the distresse or distresses there so taken from thence to beare leade dryve and carrye away impounde deteyne and keepe untill the sayde Annuitye togeather with th’acruages [?] thereof if anie be shall be unto the sayde Anthonie his heires or assignes fullie satisfied contented or payde, The firste payemente of the saide Annuytye to begyn at the same feaste or the feastes aforesaid which shall nexte happen after that the sayde William Fowle or the heyers male of his bodye lawfully begotten or to be begotten shall attempt to make or to suffer or procure anie act to be made for the other, barringe defeating and utterlye destroyenge of the remaynder or remaynders lymytted to the sayde Anthony Fowle and to the heyres males of his bodie as is aforesayde of the sayde messuages landes or Tennements before mentioned to be unto the sayde William Fowle devised, And my will and meaning is further hereby declared to be that the sayde Annuyty shall nott be payde unto the saide Anthony Fowle his heyers or assigned untill the sayde Willm Fowle or the heires male of his body lawfully begotten or hereafter to be begotten shall attempt or goe aboute to make or to suffer anie act to be made for the utter barringe defeatinge and destroyenge of the Remaynder or remaineders lymyted to the saide Anthonie Fowle and to the heires males of his body as afore mentioned Item I do further will and devyse unto the saide William Fowle and his heires all other my messuages landes and tennements and hereditaments whatsoever in the sayde Countye of Sussex or els where within the Realme of England, To houlde to the saide William Fowle my son his heires and assignes forever, And Lastly I doe hereby revoke all other wills by me heretofore made, And do publish declare and allowe onelie this to be my true and last will, And in further testimony thereof I have unto every leaf or sheete hereof subscribed my name, And unto the last leaf or sheete thereof subscribed my name and sett to my Seale in the presence of the psons hereafter named, that is to saye of John Dunmoll John Carpenter Walter Hendley, [???] Read and acknowledged by the abovesayd Nicholas Fowle the Nine and Twentieth daye of October in the yeare of our Lorde God One Thousand five hundred fourescore and Nyntene to be his last and true will withe the interlineation of the words between the third and foureth last lynes of the eighth leafe of this will videlt. (the females of my sayde sonne William Fowle) and worde (myne) there striken out by and with the consent of the sayde Nicholas Fowle in the presence of John Dunmoll William Maynerd Will Hosmer and of me Nicholas Harper writer hereof, Know all men by these presente That I Nicholas Fowle of Wadhurst have payde unto Mary Maunser my daughters daughter fiftye poundes of good English money, and John Maunser her brother Tenne poundes, and William Maynerd fower poundes and to Mary Selyard [?] fouretye shillinges, and to Margaret Curde Twenty shillinges, and Jane Potter fourety shillinges, and to Alyce Barham Twenty shillinges, and goodwife Collyn Tenne shillinges, and to John Grombridge and William Norton Twenty shillinges and for suche money as shall buy Eleaven black gownes more And the residue of the hundred poundes that remayneth I give to my sonne Willm Fowle, whiche hundred poundes my mynde is that shall be mayde when my sonne Dunmoll hathe received it of Richard Polhill by a bonde whiche I made over to him in trust to bestow at my appoyntmente so this I have caused to be written and sett my hande unto the Thirtieth of October One Thousand Fyve hundred Nyentye Nyne, Further I give unto Nicholas Polhill my daughters sonne Eight poundes, To be payde half yerelye out of George Collyns farme, The tyme to begyn at our Ladye day last One Thousand five hundred Nynetye Nyne. Nicholas Fowle By me John Polhill John Carpenter. Memorandum that I Nicholas Fowle have since the making of my will appoynted my sonne William that he burye me at Wadhurst..

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One Response to The will of Nicholas Fowle of Wadhurst (died 1600)

  1. Julie Campbell says:

    He certainly covered all bases Martin

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