In recent posts I’ve explored the life and times of my 12 x great grandfather Magnus Fowle of Mayfield in Sussex, who died in 1596. According to his will, Magnus had only one surviving child, a daughter named Agnes, who was my 11 x great grandmother. Agnes Fowle was probably born in the early 1550s. Some time in the early 1570s she married Edward Byne, the son of William and Joan Byne of Burwash. Edward and Agnes had six sons that we know of, including my 10 x great grandfather Stephen Byne. Edward Byne died in 1611, while Agnes lived another fifteen years, dying in June 1626 at the age of about 75. She had made her will in the previous year – the first year of the reign of Charles I.
In this post I’m sharing my transcription of Agnes’ will, and in the next post I’ll discuss what it tells us, and what else we know, about her and her family.
In the name of God Amen The seaven and twentieth daye of Aprill in the yeare of our Lord god One thousand six hundred and five & twentieth And in the first yeare of the raigne of our Soveraigne Lord Charles by the grace of god of England Scotland Frances and Ireland kinge defender of the faith – I Agnes Byne of Burwash in the countie of Sussex widowe, beinge weake in body But of good and perfect remembrance, thanks be to Allmightie god therefore doe make ordaine and declare this my perfect testament and last will in manner & former following (that is to say) first and principally I comend my soule unto Allmighty god my Creator, hopeinge assuredlie to be saved by and through the merritts and passion of my blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ And I comitt my body to the earth, whereof it is made Item I give and bequeath unto the poore people of the p[ar]ish of Burwash twenty shillings of lawfull English money, to be paid and distributed amongst them upon the day of my burial or within one moneth next after my decease at the discrecion of my Executors Item I give and bequeath unto Rose Burner my goddaughter the wife of William Bourner a flockbedd a flock boulter a couverlett and a blanket of the meaner sort to be delivered unto her immediately after my decease Item I give and bequeath unto Rebecca Freeman my goddaughter two shillings And to Agnes Merion two shillings And to Thomas Mitton my godson two shillings all of lawfull English money, to be paid unto every one of them within one halfe yeare next after my decease Item I give and bequeath unto Anne Crotonden my servant five shillings and fower pence of lawfull English money to be paid unto her immediately after my decease (if she be then dwelling with me. Item I given unto John Byne sonne of my sonne Magnus Byne four shillings and to my goddaughter Agnes Byne daughter of my said sonne Magnus Byne four shillings of lawfull English money to be paid unto either of them within halfe yeare next after my decease Item I give and bequeath unto my sonne William Byne the some of fifty pounds of lawfull English money to be paid unto him within one yeare next after my decease by my Executors hereafter named Also more I give unto him two paire of sheets and one paire of pillowe coates of an indifferent sort, and my lesser iron pott to be delivered unto him immediately after my decease And whereas I have in my life time given unto my sonne Edward Byne forty pounds of lawfull English money w[hi]ch I meant (?) him for his porcion yet nevertheless for the amendinge and increasinge of his porcion I doe further give and bequeathe unto him four pounds of lawfull English money to be paid unto him within one halfe yeare next after my decease by my Executors or the survivor of them Item I give and bequeath unto my said sonne Edward my great iron vessel called Marmore, my great iron pott, and a great brasse kettle p…d (?) in the bottom, a paire of iron brandyrons, a little frame table with the frame and forme belonging and used to the same, a great chaire, a painted cheste standing in the middle chamber and three paires of sheets and three paires of pillowe coates of indifferent sort to be delivered unto him within one moneth next after my decease by my Executors. Item I give and bequeath unto Elizabeth Byne daughter of my sonne Stephen Byne a peece of twelve shillings in gold, and two little plaine chests to be paid and delivered unto her within one halfe year next after my decease Item my will and meaning is and I doe by this present testament order and appointe that all my pewter vessel shalbe equally shared and divided betweene and amongst all my fower sonnes Magnus, William, Edward, and Stephen Byne, in fower equall parts by the advice of and discrection of my Overseers The residue of all my moveable goods, debtes and chattels not formerlie given or bequeathed by me in this my will (my debts legacies and funeral expenses beinge first paid and discharged I do give and bequeath unto my two sonnes Magnus Byne and Stephen Byne whome I doe make and ordaine my full and whole Executors of this my perfect testament and last will And I do nominate ordaine and appointe my trusty and wellbeloved friends John Squire of Framfield yeoman, and Allexander Ellott of Maighfeild yeoman to bee my trusty and faithfull overseers of this my perfect testament and last will to see the same performed in all things according to my said (?) meaninge To whome I give three shillings and fower pence apeece of lawfull English money over and besides their charges and expenses born whensoever they or any of them shall have occasion to travel about the performance of this my last will and testament In witness of this my perfect testament and last will I the said Agnes have hereunto putt my hand an seale the daye and yeare above written, in the presence of Christopher Manser and Thomas Rolfe his marke; Agnes Byne: