My last post was about Abraham Manser (born 1659), an apothecary living in East Smithfield, London, in the second half of the seventeenth century. Abraham was the son of John Manser (died 1681), another London apothecary who was a cousin or kinsman of my 8 x great grandfather, London stationer John Byne (1651 – 1690). I’m in the process of trying to untangle the links between the Mansers and the Bynes, a connection which goes back at least to the early seventeenth century, when my 10 x great grandfather Stephen Byne married Mary Ma(u)nser.

An apothecary in his shop (early 18th century)

An apothecary in his shop (early 18th century)

In the course of researching Abraham Manser, I came across a will that looked as though it might be his. It was written in 1690 by a London apothecary by the name of Abraham Maunser (though it had been mis-filed at the National Archives under the name Mannser). To begin with, this did not put me off, since the spelling of the family name seems to vary between branches and generations, and sometimes within the same document. However, when I looked more closely at the will, I saw that none of the details matched – beyond that misleading name, location and occupation.

In another post, I’ll analyse what this document tells us about the family of Abraham Maunser, but firstly here is my transcription of the will:

In the Name of God Amen I Abraham Maunser cittizen and Apothecary of London being sicke in body but of sound minde and memory (praised bee God doe make and ordaine this my last will and testament in manner following (that is to say) first and principally my Soule I comend into the hands of Almighty God and my body I comitt to the Earth to bee decently and Christian like brought to the Ground and buryed att the discretion of my Executrix herein after named And as for the worldly goods and Estate wherewith it hath pleased Almighty God of his Infinite goodnesse to endow mee I will and dispose (?) of the same as followeth (vizt) Imprimis I give and bequeath unto my brother Nicholas Maunser five pounds to buy him mourning and to my sister Margaret now the wife of John Mason five pounds to buy her mourning and her Receipt alone shall bee sufficient discharge for the same to my Executrix Item I give and bequeath unto my mother in Law Mrs Mary Bullmer the like sume of five pounds to buy her mourning Item I give and bequeath unto my loving friend Thomas Warren Chirurgeon Twenty Shillings to buy him a Ring Item I give and bequeath unto my Three nieces Ann Mary and Sarah daughters of my late sister Ann Hampton deceased the sume of tenn pounds apeece of lawfull English money to bee paid unto them respectively att their respective ages of One and Twenty yeares And in case any of them shall dye before such Age Then the Legacy of her and them soe dyeing shall cease and utterly determine (?) Item I give devise and bequeathe unto my two daughters Martha and Sarah the sume of three hundred pounds apeece of lawfull money of England that is to say unto each of them three hundred pounds in full satisfaction bxxx and discharge of all such parte and share as they overxxxx of them may or cann have or xxx of in or to my Estate or any parte or partes thereof by the Custome of the Citty of London or otherwise howsoever to be payd unto them respectively att their respective ages of one and twenty yeares or dayes of marryage which shall first happen and in case either of my sayd two daughters shall dye before shee attaine such Age or be marryed Then the Legacy of her soe dyeing shall come to the survivor of them All the rest and residue of my goods Chattells ready moneys xxxxxx plate towels Rings and alsoe all my Leasehold and freehold Estate and all other my Estate whatsoever both Reall (?) and personall (after my debts payd my funeral expenses defrayed and the money Legacyes in this my will raised) I wholly give devise and bequeath unto my loveing wife Elizabeth Maunser her heires Executors and Assignes And I doe make and ordaine my said loveing wife Elizabeth Maunser full and sole Executrix of this my will And I doe hereby revoke all former wills codicills and testamentary writings by mee made and none of them to stand in force but this my will only In witnesse whereof to this my last will and testament I have sett my hand and seale the six and twentieth day of February Anno xxx One thousand six hundred ninety and in the third yeare of the Reigne of our most gracious soveraigne Lord and Lady William and Mary over England Abram Manser signed sealed published and delivered in the presence of us John Twigg Joseph Gibbon junior Ro: Everard Snr.