The will of Richard Collins of Epping (1693 – 1748)

Old map of Epping, with Lindsey Street at top left

Old map of Epping, with Lindsey Street at top left

Last week I summarised what I’ve been able to discover about the family of John Collins of Epping, the first husband of my 5 x great grandmother Elizabeth Gibson (1733 – 1809). I’m revisiting the Collins family in the hope of gaining a greater understanding of Elizabeth’s life and solving some of the mysteries that still surround her story. John Collins was the second son of Richard Collins, an Epping landowner, and in this post I’m sharing my transcription of Richard’s will, one of our main sources of information concerning the Collins family in the first half of the eighteenth century. I’ll discuss what the will can tell us in another post. Richard Collins made his will in December 1742 but he didn’t die until February 1748; his will was proved in March of that year.

In the Name of God Amen. I Richard Collins of the parish of Epping in the County of Essex Gentleman being infirm in health and considering the great uncertainty of human life do therefore make my last will and testament in manner following that is to say as for and concerning my temporal estate I dispose thereof as followeth First I give and devise unto my eldest son Richard Collins and his heirs all that my customary messuage or tenement called or known by the name of Turners otherwise Colports otherwise Colworthyes situate and being at or near Lindsey Street in Epping aforesaid with the barns stables cowhouses outhouses yards gardens orchards and appurtenances thereto belonging and also all and singular the customary lands meadows pastures and hereditaments to the same messuage belonging and therewith used containing together by estimation fifteen acres more or less lying and being in Epping aforesaid with their and every of their appurtenances and which were purchased by my late father Richard Collins deceased of and from one Stephen Flower and also all that my other customary messauge or tenement called Hight Holes with the outhouses edifices yards gardens orchards and appurtenances situate at or near Lindsey Street aforesaid in Epping aforesaid and also all and singular the customary lands pastures and hereditaments whatever to the same last mentioned messuage belonging or therewith now used call Parklands or otherwise containing together also fifteen acres more or less and lying and being in Epping aforesaid with their and every of their appurtenances and which my said late father had and purchased of Richard Day Gentleman since deceased to hold the said two several messuages or tenements lands hereditaments and premises with their and every of their appurtenances unto and to the use of my said son Richard Collins his heirs and assigns for ever upon this express condition nevertheless that he my said son Richard or his heirs shall and do thereout well and truly pay or cause to be paid unto my son William Collins the sum of two hundred pounds or lawful money of Great Britain within one year after my decease in case he shall then be of the age of one and twenty years or else not to be paid to him until he shall attain such age I give and devise unto my second son John Collins and his heirs all that my freehold messuage or tenement called or known by the name of Deacons situate and being at Stivyers Green in the parish of Epping aforesaid with the barns stables outhouses yards gardens orchards and appurtenances thereto belonging and also all and singular the lands meadows pastures and hereditaments whatsoever as well freehold and copyhold to the same messuage or tenement belonging and therewith now used occupied or enjoyed containing in the whole by estimation thirty acres be the same more or less lying and being in the several parishes of Epping aforesaid and Great Parringdon otherwise Parndon in the said County of Essex late in the occupation of William Greygoose and now of Stephen Holton or his undertenants and which I purchased of and from George Hayes and Elizabeth his wife with their and every of their rights and appurtenances and also all that my other freehold messuage or tenement called or known by the name of Westmill situate and being at or near Stivyers Green aforesaid in Epping aforesaid with barns stables cowhouses outhouses yards and gardens orchards and appurtenances thereto belonging and also all and singular the lands meadows pastures woodgrounds and hereditaments whatsoever to the said last mentioned messuage belonging containing together by estimation twenty six acres and three roods be the same more or less lying or being in the several parishes of Epping and Great Parringdon otherwise Parndon aforesaid and now in the occupations of me and the said Stephen Holton or his assigns with their and every of their rights and appurtenances to hold the said two several messuages or tenements lands hereditaments and premises hereinbefore last mentioned with their and every of their appurtenances unto and to the use of my said Son John Collins his heirs and assigns forever Also I give and devise unto my third son William Collins and his heirs all that my customary messuage or tenement wherein William Rumball now dwelleth called or known by the name or sign of the George situate and being in Epping Street in Epping aforesaid with the barns stables granarys maultshops outhouses yards gardens and appurtenances thereto belonging or therewith used or occupied or taken as part or parcel thereof To hold the same unto and to the use of my said son William Collins his heirs and assigns for ever Also I give unto the poor people of the parish of Epping aforesaid the sum of ten pounds to be paid and distributed by the church wardens and overseers of the poor of the same parish in [?] as they shall see proper on the next Sunday after my interment at the church of Epping aforesaid Also I give unto my said son Richard Collins a large silver cup marked R.C. which Captain Brown his Godfather left him and as for and concerning all the rest and residue of my ready moneys securitys for money mortgages bonds household goods and other goods chattels cattle corn hay and implements of husbandry and all other my personal estate whatsoever (after my debts legacys funeral expenses and charges of proving and the execution of this my will paid and satisfied) I give and bequeath the same and every part thereof unto my well esteemed friends Philip Martin of Theydon Garnon in the said county of Essex Gentleman and Joseph Innever of Epping aforesaid yeoman and the survivor of them his executors and administrators upon trust that they the said Philip Martin and Joseph Innever and the survivor of them his executors or administrators shall so soon as conveniently can be after my decase leave and quit or else assign the several farms and lands I now hold of John Conyers Esquire in Epping aforesaid and the leases thereof if he will consent to the same and also shall and do sell and dispose of all my said household goods and other goods chattels cattle corn hay and implements of husbandry and other my personal estate in such manner as they or the survivor of them shall think fit and proper an the moneys arising by sale thereof or otherwise by or from my said personal estate I give and bequeath the same unto and amongst my four youngest children namely David Collins Jane Collins Sarah Collins and Elizabeth Collins equally to be divided share and share alike and to be paid to my said son David at his age of one and twenty years and to my said three daughters at their respective ages of twenty one years or days of marriage which shall first happen and in case any of them my said four youngest children shall happen to dye before his or their shares or parts of my said personal estate shall become payable by this my will that then and in such case I give and bequeath the share or part or shares or parts of him her or them so dying unto the survivor and survivors or them equally as aforesaid and I do hereby make and appoint the said Joseph Innever and Philip Martin join executors of this my last will and testament and do give unto each of them the sum of twenty pounds for their trouble in the execution of this my will and the trust thereby reposed in them And I do hereby will order and direct that the moneys arising by sale of my said stock goods chattels and personal estate or otherwise by or from my said personal estate shall be put and placed out at interest or laid out by my said executors or the survivor of them in the purchase of government securities or in such other securities as they or the survivor of them his executors or administrators shall from time to time think fit and that the interest or yearly produce thereof or of such part thereof as my said executors or the survivor of them think reasonable shall be yearly paid and applied for the maintenance education and cloathing of my said four children David Jane Sarah and Elizabeth Collins respectively and the survivors of them during their respective minoritys or until such time as their said respective shares of my said personal estate shall become due and payable to them respectively by virtue of this my will aforesaid And I do hereby will and direct that my said executors or either of them their or either or their executors or administrators shall not be charged or chargeable or any ways answerable for any more or other of the said trust moneys ten shall be by them respectively received and not one of them for the other of them or for the acts receipts defaults of miscarriages of the other of them but each for his own acts and receipts only and I do also will and direct that it shall and may be lawfull to and for my said executors respectively and their respective executors and administrators from time to time in the first place to receive and take or defalte [?] and deduct out of my said personal estate to his and their own use and uses all such moneys costs charges and expenses whatsoever as they or either or any of them shall pay expend or be put unto or be damnifyed in or by or my suit or suits in law or equity travelling charges or otherwise howsoever for or in respect or by reason of the execution of this my will or the trusts thereof and further it is my will and I do hereby direct that it any person or persons to whom the moneys arising by or from my said personal estate or any part thereof shall be lent to his her or their heirs executors or administrators shall pay in the same or any part thereof that then and in such case the receipt or receipts discharge or discharges of my said executors or the survivor of them his executors and administrators shall be a good discharge or discharges to the person or persons his her or their executors so from time to time paying in the said trust moneys or any part thereof and lastly I do hereby will and direct that the said Philip Martin and Joseph Innever and the survivor of them shall be guardians to and have the care custody and tuition of all and every my sons and daughters and of their respective estates during their respective minoritys In witness whereof I the said Richard Collins the testator have to this my last will and testament contained in four sheets of paper set my hand to the three first sheets thereof and my hand and seal to the last sheet thereof the one and thirtieth days of December in the year of our Lord Christ one thousand hundred and forty two Richard Collins. Signed sealed published and declared by the said Richard Collins the testator as and for his last will and testament in the presence of us who subscribed our names as witnesses to the same in his presence Mary King – Robt. King – Wm. Rush. 

This will was proved at London the first day of March in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and forty eight before the worshipfull George Hay Doctor of Laws, surrogate of the right worshipfull John Bettesworth also Doctor of Laws Master Keeper or Commissary of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury lawfully constituted by the oaths of Joseph Innever and Philip Martin the executors named in the said will to whom administration was granted of all and singular the goods chattels and credits of the deceased being first sworn duly to administer.

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