The last will and testament of Martin Markland, Navy Board official

In his will of 1698, which I discussed in the previous post, William Forrest of Badsey, brother of my 9 x great grandfather Thomas Forrest, left ‘my Cozen Elizabeth Markland twenty shillings to buy her a ring’. In an earlier post, I suggested that Elizabeth might be the wife of Martin Markland, a naval official who lived in the parish of All Hallows Barking in the City of London. It was almost certainly his daughter Alice who married surgeon William Bigglestone in 1725 and who is described as ‘my Niece’ by Richard Boulton the elder, in his will of 1737. In writing about Major Peter Boulton, Richard’s brother, I noted that for a number of years he was a neighbour of the Marklands and the Bigglestones in Priest Alley, off Tower Street.

A tax record for 1683-4 describes Martin Markland as a naval officer and an accounting record for 1704-5 informs us that he worked as a clerk in the Navy Office. A listing of Navy Board officials notes that he was clerk to a commissioner from 1692 to 1698 and clerk in the Ticket Office from 1699 until his death in 1717.

18th century ships

18th century ships

Martin Markland signed and sealed his last will and testament in 1715. As well as his wife Elizabeth and daughter Alice, the will also mentions a son named Peter. However, I haven’t found any further records for the latter, and given that his name does not occur in any later family wills, I suspect that he died young. The will also refers to Captain Richard Boulton and Major Peter Boulton as the testator’s brothers-in-law, and indeed nominates the former as one of the executors of the will. This appears to confirm my theory that Martin Markland’s wife Elizabeth was the sister of Richard and Peter Boulton. However, the only marriage record I can find for Martin, in July 1694, gives his wife’s maiden name as Littleton, not Boulton. How can we account for this? Perhaps Elizabeth had been married before, or perhaps Peter and Richard Boulton were Martin’s brothers-in-law because one of them was married to his sister? But if that’s the case, then how can Elizabeth be a relative of William Forrest’s?

Clearly, more work is needed before we can establish the precise nature of the connection between the Markland, Boulton and Forrest families. My transcription of Martin Markland’s will follows (names highlighted when first mentioned):

In the Name of God Amen I Martin Markland of the parish of All Saints Barking London Gentleman being sick and weak in body but of sound and rational mind and memory praise be to God do make and declare this my last Will and Testament in manner and forme following That is to say first and principally I commit my Soul into the hands of Almighty God my Creator hoping to be saved by his Infinite Mercy through the pretious death and meritts of my Blessed Redeemer Jesus Christ My Body I commit to the Earth to be decently and privately buried at the discretion of my dear and loving Wife Elizabeth Markland And as to such worldly Goods and Estate as it hath pleased God to bestow on me in this life and which shall be any ways due or belonging to me at the time of my decease I Give and Bequeath to my Son Peter Markland the summe of One thousand pounds of lawfull money of Great Brittaine to be paid when he shall attaine the age of Twenty four yeares Item I Give and Bequeath to my daughter Alice Markland the Summe of One thousand pounds of lawfull money of Great Brittaine to be paid at her attaining her age of Twenty one yeares provided always that if either of my said Children shall happen to dye before his or her respective Legacy shall become due to be paid as aforesaid Then my mind and Will is and I hereby Order and Appoint That the Legacy or porcon before menconed of him or her so dyeing shall go and be paid to the Survivor of them when he or shall shall attaine his or her respective age aforesaid To whom I Give and Bequeath the same in such case accordingly anything aforesaid to the contrary notwithstanding Item I Give and Bequeath to my Brother in Law Captain Richard Boulton the summe of Ten pounds And to my Brother in Law Major Peter Bolton the like summer of tenne pounds Item I give to my honoured friend Dennis Lydill Esq a Ring of twenty shillings ??? and my Will and mind is That my daughter Alice shall have her maintenance and keeping out of my Estate during her Minority at the discretion of my said Wife and shall not be charged with or for the same our of her Legacye or porcon aforesaid or otherwise Item all the rest and residue of my Goods Chattells moneys plate credits and Estate Real and personal whatsoever my debts Legacyes and funeral charges being thereout first paid or deducted I Give devise and Bequeath to my said dear and Loving Wife Elizabeth Markland And I hereby make Ordaine and Appoint the said Elizabeth my Wife and my said Brother in law Captain Richard Boulton Executors of this my last Will and Testament and I do hereby Revoke countermand and make void all former and other Wills and Testaments by Me heretofore made or declared In Witness whereof I the said Martin Markland to this my last Will and Testament written and contained on two sheets of paper have sett my hand to each sheet and have put my Seale to the Top of this last Sheet thereof the four and twentieth day of February Anno dom 1715 and in the second year of the Reign of Our Sovereigne lord George by the Grace of God King of Great Brittaine France and Ireland Defender of the Faith M. Markland Signed Sealed published and declared by the said Testator Martin Markland for and as his last Will and Testament in the presence of us who have subscribed Our names as Witnesses in the Presence of the said Testator John Holland Hen. Cowdery Richard Drew.

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