In the last post I mentioned the case of John Bodington, the London apothecary whose will of 1728 mentions my 7 x great grandfather, goldsmith Joseph Greene, his wife Mary, and the latter’s mother, my 8 x great grandmother Alice Byne. In this post I want to share my transcription of Bodington’s long, detailed and idiosyncratic will, and in the next post I’ll reflect on what it can tell us about him and his as-yet-unexplained connection with my ancestors. As usual, I’ve kept to the original spelling and punctuation as far as possible, indicating any uncertainties with (?) and illegible words with ‘xxxx’. I’ve also highlighted all references to my own family members in bold.
In the Name of God Amen I John Bodington of Ratcliffe in the parish of St Dunstan Stepney alias Stebenheath in the County of Middlesex and Citizen and Apothecary of London being sick and weake in body but of sound and perfect mind and memory (praised be Almighty God) but considering the certainty of death and the uncertainty of the time thereof do therefore make and declare my last Will and Testament in manner and forme following (that is to say) first and principally I commend my soule into the hands of Almighty God my Creator hopeing and assuredly believing by and through the merits death and passion of my only Saviour and Redeemer Jesus Christ to obtaine full pardon and free remission of all my sinns and to inherite Eternall life My body I committ to the Earth in hopes of a Joyfull Resurrection to be decently buryed att the discretion of my Executors herein after named in the Church yard of the said parish of St Dunstan Stepney alias Stebenheath And I desire that the Grave wherein my body shall be deposited shall be five feete in depth at least and that the Bottom thereof be laid with good Brickworke and carried upp the side and Ende of the same Grave with the like Brickworke and to be in thickness one Brick and an halfe and over the same I desire may be putt xxxx Altar Tombstone of about foure feete or the usuall height with a good black marble slabb and my intentions are that none of my Relations shall have any manner of Claime right or title thereto And I do alsoe desire my said Executors to invite to my funeral such of my neighbours friends and acquaintances as they shall thinke fitt not exceeding above fifty or sixty in number and to give to each of them Gloves and favours and out of them so to be invited to those six of my most intimate friends or acquaintances to hold upp the pall and give to each of the said six persons a Ring of a Guinea value and a scarfe besides the said Gloves and favours And as touching such temporall Estate as God of his infinite mercy hath beene pleased to bless me with I give devise bequeath and dispose thereof in manner following (vizt) Imprimis I will order direct and appoint that all such debts as I shall owe att the time of my decease together with my funeral charges shall be fully paid and satisfied Item I give devise and bequeath all that my freehold messuage tenement or farme with the Outhousing buildings lands ground and hereditaments thereunto belonging with their and every of their appurtenances now in my owne possession situate lying and being at Mucking in the County of Essex and alsoe my reversion expectant on the death of Alice Byne of and in certaine freehold lands tenements and hereditaments situate lying and being in the parish of Badsey or elsewhere in the County of Worcester and all other my freehold Estate whatsoever and wheresoever And alsoe all my Customary Copyhold lands tenements and hereditaments with their and every of their appurtenances now alsoe in my owne possession lying at Mucking aforesaid and held of the said Manor of Mucking by Copy of Court Roll And alsoe all and every my Customary or Copyhold messuages or tenements ground and hereditaments with their and every of their appurtenances now in the severall occupations of me the said John Bodington John Foreman Fanner
Faulkinson Robert Buckley Vosicelli Huddar
And others or their assignes situate lying and being in or neare the Butcher Rowe neare Ratcliffe Cross in the Hamlett of Ratcliffe aforesaid and held of the Manor of Stebenheath alias Stepney in the County of Middlesex by Copy of Court Roll (all which said Copiehold premisses I have surrendered to the use of my will unto my friends Joseph Greene of London Goldsmith Richard Phillips of Ratcliffe aforesaid Blockmaker and Edward Baldwin of Ratcliffe aforesaid Stationer their heires and assignes To the use of them the said Joseph Greene Richard Phillips and Edward Baldwin their heires and assignes forever Upon speciall Trust and confidence nevertheless that they the said Joseph Greene Richard Phillips and Edward Baldwin and the survivors and survivor of them and his heires do and shall by and out of the rents issues and profitts of all my said freehold and Copyhold Estates devise to them as aforesaid pay or cause to be paid unto Margaret Redell of the parish of Stepney aforesaid widow one Annuity or yearly sume of twenty pounds of lawfull money of Greate Brittaine and to Catharine Wright of the same parish widow one annuity or yearly sume of four pounds of like lawfull money of Greate Brittaine for and dureing the termes of their respective naturall lives on the foure usuall Quarter daies in the year (that is to say our Lady day Midsommer day Michaelmas day and Christmas day by equall portions without makeing any deduction or abatement out of the said Annuities or either of them on account of taxes or otherwise And I do order and appoint that the first payment of each of the said respective Annuities shall be made on the first of the said Quarter daies that shall happen next after my decease And upon further Trust and confidence nevertheless that they the said Joseph Greene Richard Phillipps and Edward Baldwin and the survivors and survivor of them and his heires doe and shall pay and apply all the residue of the rents issues and profitts of all my said freehold and Copyhold Estates devised to them as aforesaid or so much thereof as shall be necessary for and towards the maintaining Educating and providing in a Gentile and handsome manner as I have hitherto done for my God daughter Miss Mary Johnson a young Gentlewoman upwards of fourteen yeares of age being borne the Twenty third day of October 1713 who lately lodged boarded and was educated with Mrs. Ann and Mrs. Mary Terry at Hampstead afterwards with Mrs. Elizabeth Walbanke at Hampstead and now with Mrs. Margarett Coale in Redlyon streete Holbourne until she attaine the age of Twenty one yeares And if there shall be any surplus remaining out of the rents issues and profitts of my said Estate more than sufficient to answere and pay the said Annuities charged thereon and payable thereout and for maintaining educateing and providding for the said Mary Johnson as aforesaid my Will and mind is that such surplus shall be laid out and disposed of by my said Trustees and the survivors and survivor of them and his heires together with my personal Estate hereafter mentioned according to the appointment hereinafter made touching the same butt if it happen that the rents and profitts of my said freehold and Copyhold Estates shall nott be sufficient to answere and pay the said Annuities and maintenance of the said Mary Johnson in manner as aforesaid then my Will is that such deficiency shall be made upp out of my personal Estate or the rents and profitts of the Estate or effects to be purchased therewith or in which the same shall be invested And upon further Trust and Confidence that they the said Joseph Greene Richard Phillipps and Edward Baldwin and the survivors and survivor of them and his heires do and shall within one month next after the said Mary Jonson shall attaine her age of Twenty one yeares as aforesaid convey settle surrender and assure all and every my said freehold and copyhold estates devised to them as aforesaid with their and every of their appurtenances upon Trustees in such manner as Counsell learned in the law shall advise to the use of her the said Mary Johnson for and dureing the terme of her natural life or untill she shall be marryed And from and after such her marriage for the use of her the said Mary Johnson and such husband or husbands as she shall happen to marry for and dureing the terme of the natural life of the said Mary Johnson. And from and after her decease then to the use and behoofe of such husband or husbands for and dureing all such time and until a Child of the body of the said Mary Johnson lawfully to be begotten shall attaine the age of Twenty one yeares And from and after the determination of the said Estate or in case such husband or husbands shall dye before such Child shall attaine the said age of Twenty one yeares then to the use of the first and all other the sonn and sonns of the body of her the said Mary Johnson lawfully to be begotten by such husband or husbands and to the heires males of the body and bodies of all and every such sonn and sonns lawfully issuing the Elder of such sonns and heires males of his body always to be preferred before the younger of such sonns and the heires male of his body And for want of such issue to the use of all and every the daughter and daughters of the body of the said Mary Johnson lawfully to be begotten and to the heires of the body and bodies of all and every such daughter and daughters lawfully to be begotten equally part and share alike To hold as tenants in Comon and nott as Joint Tenants And for default of such issue then to the use and behoofe of such of the Relations and Kindred of the said John Bodington and in such parts and proportions as she the said Mary Johnson whether Covert or sole by her last Will and Testament in writing or any other writing under her hand and is alsoe duly deducted and attested in the pressure of three or more credible witnesses shall lymitt appoint dispose or give the same unto And for want of such lymittation appointment disposition or gift to the use and behoofe of such of the nearest Relations and Kindred in blood of me the said John Bodington as by the Comon law of this Realme and the Customs of the respective Mannors of which the Copyhold premisses are held the same shall and will respectively de unto and of right belong And upon this further Trust and Confidence that if the said Mary Johnson shall happen to dye before she shall attaine the full age of Twenty and one years without issue of her body lawfully begotten as aforesaid that then and in such Case they the said Joseph Greene Richard Philipps and Edward Baldwin and the survivors and survivor of them and his heires shall and will Convey surrender and assure all and singular the said freehold and Copiehold premisses devised to them as aforesaid subject to the payment of the said Annuities of Twenty pounds and foure pounds per annum as aforesaid to such of the nearest Relations and Kindred in blood of the said John Bodington as by the Comon law of the Realme and the Customs of the respective mannors of which the Copiehold premisses are held the same shall and will respectively descend unto and of right belong And I doe hereby give my said Trustees Joseph Greene Richard Phillipps and Edward Baldwin and the survivors and survivor of them and his heires power to make and grant any lease or leases of my said freehold and Copiehold Estates or any of them or any part of them or any of them for any terme or number of yeares in possession nott exceeding Twenty one yeares at the full improved yearly rent without takeing any fine (?) or other consideration of granting thereof And so as all usuall and Comon Covenants provisos and agreements betweene Landlord and Tenant be containted in such Leases and that due regard be had to the Customes of the respective Mannors of which the Copiehold premisses are held and so as all and every such respective Leasees doe seale and deliver Counterparts of their severall leases Item I give to the said Mary Johnson my Goddaughter all my shirts and wearing lynen whatsoever And as to all my Woollen Apparel my will is that my Executors do sell my scarlett Ridding Coate and both my Roquelares or Cloakes and append the whole money in a treate for themselves and any other of my Acquaintances that they please And the rest of my said Woollen Apparel I desire my said Executors to give the same away amongst such of my poore friends as they fitt Item I give to Mrs Mary Greene wife of the before named Joseph Greene tenn pounds for mourning Item I give and bequeath unto the aforesaid Margarett Beedle the sume of ten pounds for mourning and to Charles Redell five pounds Item I give to William Wright son of the aforesaid named Catherine Wright fifteen pounds in money and forgive him a debt of tenn pounds or thereabouts he owde me on his note which I desire my Executors to discharge or release him from and deliver upp the said note Item I give to Joseph Hodges pewterer and Mary Elford his sister five and twenty pounds apiece I give to John Letch and Moor Doughty my apprentices six pounds apiece to buy each of them mourning And I give to such servant maid as shall be living with me at the time of my decease three pounds for mourning Item I give to my aforenamed Trustees Joseph Greene Richard Philipps and Edward Baldwin Tenn pounds apiece to buy each of them Mourning And then all the rest residue and remainder in ready moneys plate jewells Rings household goode or goods or store in Trade or in any stock of Corne Graine or hey horses Cowes swine poultry wagons Carts ploughs or other implements of husbandry which shall remaine and be upon my Estate at Mucking aforesaid at the time of my decease And the Crop or Cropps of Corne or grass that shall be then growing thereon and alsoe all moneys due or owing to me by or upon Mortgage Judgement bond bill booke specialty or account or in any other thing whatsoever and wheresoever I give devise and bequeath unto the said Joseph Greene Richard Philipps and Edward Baldwin and to the survivors and survivor of them his executors and administrators upon special Trust and Confidence Nevertheless that they my said Trustees and the survivors and survivor of them his Executors or Administrators doe and shall as soone as conveniently may be after my decease in a private manner sell dispose and convert all my plate and household goods shope goods and things belonging to my Trade and alsoe all my store and Effects at my farme at Mucking aforesaid into ready money and also Collect and get in my debts and therewith in the first place pay and discharge all my debts justly due and oweing from me at the time of my decease together with my funds all charges the charge of proveing this my Will and the legacies herein before my me given and bequeathed which I xxxxxx my said personal Estate will xxxxx to answere with a surplus And upon further trust and Confidence that the said Joseph Greene Richard Phillips and Edward Baldwin and the survivors and survivor of them his Executors and Administrators doe and shall lay out all such surplus moneys of my personal Estate together with what may be saved out of the rents of my reall Estates before devised over and above the Annuities payable thereout and the charge of maintaining the said Mary Johnson as aforesaid in purchasing or buying of any messuages lands tenements or hereditaments either freehold or copyhold of inheritance as neare as may be to some other of my said reall Estates to be settled and assured to the same uses intents and purposes and in the same manner and forme as my said reall Estates as therein before given and appointed subject and lyable nevertheless to answer and pay the said Annuities and the maintenance of the said Mary Johnson as aforesaid in case my said reall Estates before xxxx devised shall prove deficient to beare and defray the same and upon this further Trust that they the said Joseph Greene Richard Phillipps and Edward Baldwin and the survivor and survivors of them his Executors and Administrators shall and may putt out all such moneys as they shall collect together out of my reall and personall estate for purchasing messuages lands tenements or hereditaments as aforesaid to interest or otherwise lay out the same till such purchase or purchases can be made the interest and profit of all which moneys my will is shall be lyable to the payment of the said Annuities and maintenance of the said Mary Johnson in the said manner as the rents and profitts of the Estates to be purchased are subject and lyable in case the real Estates hereditaments before devised shall prove deficient for that purpose but if the rents of the said reall Estates shall amount to more then will discharge the same then my will is that all such surplus or saveings out of the said reall Estates and the said moneys to be raised and collected out of my personall Estate for purchasing any Estate or Estates of inheritance as aforesaid and the interest and improvement to be made thereof shall be wholly laid out in making and compleating such purchase or purchases as aforesaid And I do hereby make name and appoint the said Joseph Greene Richard Phillips and Edward Baldwin joint executors of this my last Will and Testament and Guardians to the said Mary Johnson during her Minority And my Will and mind is that my said Executors and the survivors and survivor of them his heires Executors and Administrators shall and may reimburse pay and satisfie him and themselves out of the rents and profitts of my said reall Estates or out of my said personal Estate or any part thereof all such Costs charges damages and expenses as they or any of them shall or may beare sustaine incurr or be putt unto on account of the Truste or Executorshipp aforesaid or acting or doeing anything pursuant thereunto or either or any of them And my further Will and mind is that the said Joseph Greene Richard Phillipps and Edward Baldwin their heires Executors or Administrators shall nott be answerable with or for the Acts or receipts of the other or others of them or for any more of my money or Estate or the rents or profitts thereof then shall really and bona fide come to their respective hands or for any loss that may happen by placeing or laying out any of my moneys or Estate interest pursuant to this my Will and the Trust hereby in them reposed unless the same happen by their Wilful neglect or default And lastly I do hereby revoke disannul and make void all former Wills bequests and legacies by me any time heretofore made bequeathed or given and do make and declare this only to be my last Will and Testament In witness whereof I the said John Bodington the Testator have to each sheete of this my last Will and Testament being contained and written in these nine sheetes of paper sett my hand and to this last sheete and at the top where the same are fastened together have sett my seale this five and twentieth day of March Anno domini 1728, Anno Regni Domini xx Georgii Secundi dei gra Mag: Britt, et (?) primo. John Bodington the Testator for and as his last Will and Testament in the presence of us who subscribed our names as witnesses thereto in his presence (the wards and Guardians to the said Mary Johnson during her minority being first interlined betweene the fifth and sixth lines of the Eighth sheetes) Robt. Sharpe Mudd Fuller Sr in Broadstreete Ratcliffe J Harkett his servant
Whereas I John Bodington of Ratcliffe Apothecary have duely made Executed and published my last Will and Testament bearing date the Twenty fifth day of March last past before the date hereof contained and written in Nine sheetes of paper Now my further Will and mind is And I doe by this present writeing or Codcill give and bequeath unto each of my Executors and Trustees in my said will named (vizt) Joseph Green Richard Phillips and Edward Baldwin fifteene Guineas a peice over and above what I have given each of them by my said Will Item I give to my Cousin Mrs. Bayly senior five pounds and I give to Mr David Miller and Mr John Mills two guineas a peice and my Will and mind is that Mrs Margarett Redell widow and my said Cousin Mrs Bayley senr shall immediately after my decease dwell in my dwelling house untill my said Executors shall dispose of my goods xxxx druggs and stock in Trade and all my household goods and no longer And that my said Executors shall maintaine and keepe house for them dureing all such time and I do hereby ratifie and confirme my said Will and all and every the devises legacies and bequests therein given and bequeathed and doe declare the present writeing or Codicill to be and to be taken as part of my said last Will and Testament In witness whereof I the said John Bodington the Testator have to this present writeing or Codicill being contained in this one sheete of paper sett my hand and seale the sixth day of Aprill Anno Dom 1728 John Bodington signed sealed published declared and delivered by me the said John Bodington the Testator for and as a Codicill and part of my last Will and Testament in the presence of us who subscribed our names as witnesses thereunto in the presence of the said Testator Robt. Sharpe Mudd Fuller senr J Harkett his servant