The last will and testament of Richard Collins of Shenfield

I’ve been exploring the life of Richard Collins, the brother of John Collins who was the first husband of my 5 x great grandmother Elizabeth Gibson, and his wife Ann Champain. By the time he made his will in 1763, Richard had apparently moved from Epping to Shenfield. In this post, I’m reproducing my transcription of the will, and in another post I’ll reflect on what we can learn from it.

Parish church of St Mary the Virgin, Shenfield, Essex

Parish church of St Mary the Virgin, Shenfield, Essex (via geograph.org.uk)

In the Name of God Amen. I Richard Collins of Shenfield in the County of Essex Gentleman being of sound mind memory and understanding praised be Almighty God for the same but considering the Great uncertainty of human life do hereby make and Ordain this my last Will and Testament in manner following (that is to say) First I resign my Soul into the hands of Almighty God my Creator and my Body I Commit to the Earth to be Decently Buried at the Discretion of my Executrix hereinafter named and as to such Real and Personal Estates as it hath pleased Almighty God to bestow upon me I Dispose thereof as followeth And First I Give and Devise unto my only Son Champain Collins and his heirs All that my Copyhold Messuage or Tenement with the Barns Stables Outhouses Buildings Yards Gardens Orchards and Appurts and also all and Singular the Several Fields Closes pieces and parcels of Arable Meadow and pasture Ground to the same belonging and therewith now Occupyed and Enjoyed containing further by Estimation thirty seven Acres be the same more or less as the said Messuage or Tenement Lands and premises are Situate lying and being at or near Lindsey Street in the parish of Epping in the said County of Essex and now in the Tenure or Occupation of Joseph Ennever And also all that my Freehold Messuage or Tenement with the Barns Stables Outhouses Buildings yards Gardens Orchards and Appurts and also all the Arable Meadow and pasture Lands to the same belonging and therewith now Occupied and Enjoyed as the last mentioned Messuage or Tenement Lands and premisses were [???] lying and being at or near Epping Long Green in the parish of Epping aforesaid and now in the Tenure or Occupation of John Severns [?] To Hold the said Several Messuages or Tenements Lands and premisses with their [???] of their Appurts unto and to the use of my said son Champain Collins his heirs and Assigns for ever But in Case my said Son Champain Collins shall happen to dye before he attains the Age of Twenty one years and without Issue of his Body lawfully begotten then and in such Case I Give and Devise the aforesaid Messuages or Tenements Lands and premisses with their Appurts unto and to the use of my only Daughter Ann Collins her heirs and Assigns for ever and in Case my said Daughter Ann Collins shall happen to Dye before she shall attain her Age of Twenty one years and without heirs of her Body lawfully begotten Then and in such Case I Give and Devise the aforesaid Messuages or Tenements Lands and heredit[amen]ts with their and [???] of their Appurts unto and to the use of my Dear and loving Wife Ann Collins her heirs and Assigns for ever And It is my mind and will and I do hereby Direct that my said Wife Ann Collins shall receive collect take and manage the Rents and profits of all my said messuages or Tenements Lands and premisses for her own use and Benefit until my said Son Champain Collins shall attain his Age of Twenty one years She my said Wife thereout paying and discharging the Fines Stewards fees and all other Charges which shall become due or payable for or on Account of my said Sons Admission to the said Copyhold Estate hereintofore devised to him as aforesaid and also finding providing and allowing to my said son Good and sufficient Meat Drink Washing Lodging Schooling Education [???] and all other necessarys whatsoever and also keeping the said premisses in Good and Tenantable Repair Also I Give and Devise unto my only Daughter the said Ann Collins Spinster and her heirs Also that my Copyhold Messuage or Tenement called or known by the name or sign of the Black Lyon with the Barns Stables Outhouses Buildings Yards Gardens Outhouses and Appurts and also all those two Acres of pasture Ground therewith now used and Occupyed as the said last mentioned Messuage or Tenement Lands and premisses are situate lying and being in the Town of Epping aforesaid and now in the Tenure or Occupation of Thomas Madewell And also all that my Messuages Tenement with the Barns Stables Outhouses Buildings Yards Gardens Orchards and Appurts and also all and Singular the Several Fields Closes pieces and parcels of Arable Meadow and pasture Land to the same belonging and therewith no used Occupied and Enjoyed as the said last mentioned Messuage or Tenement Lands and premises are situate lying and being in the parish of Epping aforesaid and are now in the Occupation of Richard Smith And also all that Cottage or Tenement with the Appurts Situate and being in Epping aforesaid and near adjoining to the said last mentioned Messuage or Tenement and now in the Tenure or Occupation of John Neale To Hold the said last mentioned Messuages or Tenements Cottages Lands and premisses with their and every of their appurts unto and to the use of my said Daughter Ann Collins her heirs and Assigns for ever But in Case my said Daughter Ann Collins shall happen to Dye before she attains the Age of Twenty one years and without Issue of her Body lawfully begotten Then and in such Case I Give and Devise the said last mentioned Messuages or Tenements Cottages Lands and premises with their Appurts unto and to the use of my said Son Champain Collins his heirs and Assigns for ever And in Case my said Son Champain Collins shall happen to Dye before he shall attain his Age of twenty one years and without heirs of his Body lawfully begotten then and in such Case I Give and Devise the said last mentioned Messuages or Tenements Cottage Lands and Hereditts with their and every of their Appurts unto and to the use of my said Wife Ann Collins her heirs and Assigns for ever and It is my Mind and Will and I do hereby Direct that my said Wife Ann Collins shall receive collect take and manage the Rents and profits of all my said last mentioned Messuages and Tenements Cottages Lands and premises for her own use and Benefit untill my said Daughter Ann Collins shall attain her Age of Twenty two years she my said Wife thereout paying and Discharging the fines Stewards fees and the other Charges which shall become due on payable for or on Account of my said Daughters Admission to the said Copyhold Estates herein before Devised to her as aforesaid and also finding providing and allowing my said Daughter Good and Sufficient Meat Drink Washing [???] Schooling Education Cloathing and all other Messuages whatsoever and also keeping the said premises in Good and Tenantable Repair And as for and Concerning all my ready money Securitys for Money Household Goods and like furniture and all other my Goods Chattels and personal Estate whatsoever and wheresoever after my Debts and funeral Expenses are paid and Satisfied I Give and bequeath the same unto my Said Wife Ann Collins her Executors and Adm[inistrat]ors And I Do hereby nominate and Appoint my said Wife Ann Collins Sole Executor of this my last Will and Testament hereby revoking all former Wills by me at any time heretofore made And I do hereby Will and Direct that my said Wife Ann Collins Shall be Guardian to and have the Care Custody and Tuition of my Said Children and of their respective Estates during respective Minoritys In Witness whereof I the said Richard Collins have to this my last Will and Testament contained in three Sheets of paper set my hand to the first two Sheets thereof and my hand and Seal to the last Sheet thereof the Eleventh Day of January in the third year of the Reign of our Sovereign Lord George the Third by the Grace of God of Great Britain France and Ireland King Defender of the Faith And in the year of our Lord One thousand Seven hundred and Sixty three, Richd. Collins – Signed Sealed published and Delivered by the said Richard Collins as and for his last Will and Testament in the presence of us who at his request in his presence and in the presence of each other have Subscribed our names as Witnesses to the same John Windus. Wm Griffin. Phil. Martin.

On the tenth Day of July in the year of our Lord One thousand Seven hundred and Seventy Administration (with the Will annexed) of the Goods Chattels and Credits of Richards Collins late of Shenfield in the County of Essex Deceased Granted to David Baker a principal Creditor of the said deceased having been first sworn duly to Administer Ann Collins Widow the Relict of the said deceased Sole Ex[ecu]t[o]r and Residuary Legatee named in the said Will having first renounced the Execution thereof. Ex[ecute]d.

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