(Update 26th February 2014: for corrections to some of the information in this post, please see this post and those that follow.)
In the previous post I offered an overview of the Fowle family of Kent and Sussex, with whom I’m connected via my 11 x great grandfather Edward Byne of Burwash, who married Agnes Fowle, daughter of Magnus Fowle of Mayfield. I’ve managed to trace this branch of my maternal family tree back as far as Thomas Fowle of Lamberhurst in Kent, my 15 x great grandfather, who was born in 1450 and died in 1525. In some records Thomas’ name is preceded by ‘Sir’, but I’m not absolutely sure that he was a knight. We also know that his wife’s name was Ellen and that they had a son and heir named Nicholas, also of Lamberhurst – my 14 x great grandfather.
So far, that’s all I’ve been able to find out about this ancestor of mine. However, I’ve now obtained a copy of his will, which casts a little more light on Thomas’s life and circumstances. I’m posting my transcription here, and I’ll discuss what the will tells us in another post. As always, I’ve kept the original spelling and punctuation as far as possible, and used question marks (?) where I’m uncertain about a word.
In the name of god amen This xviith day of the month of October. In the yere of our Lord god a Thousand five hundred and xxv And in the reigne of our sovereign lord king henry the viiith the xvi yere. I Thomas Fowle dwelling in the p[ar]ishe of Lamberest [Lamberhurst] in the countie of Kent doo make this my present testament and last will in this maner of forme. First I bequeath my soule to almighty god, to our blessed Lady and to all the saints of hevyn And my body to be buried within the church yarde of Saint Margaret in Southwerk. Item I bequeath to the high master of Saint Margaret xxv Item I bequeath to the churche of Saint Margaret xxv Item I bequeath to my gostely fader (? ) xii Item I bequeath to Elizabeth my daughter x marks to hir marriage The residue of my moveable goods not bequeathed that is to say my catall my corne and my appalls I doo give it only to my wife the which I doo make my chief executrix and she to se my detts paid And Master Geoffrey I doo make my overseer and he to help my wife in her besynes and so he to have for his labours xiii Willm Carnell p[ar]ishe priest and Curet of the foresaid Saint Margaretts Sir Richard Dawson morowe masse priest and Wm Mychell be records of this testament with other men (?)
This is my last will made of my landes on the day of the month before rehersed First I will that my wife shall receyve yearly the profits of my landes to sucour hir and hir children to the tyme and season that my sonne the which is my heire be xxi yere of age and then he to entre into his landes at that age with godds blessing and myn, the records of this will be in the foresaid testament.