Visscher’s 1616 panorama of London

Alphonsus Fowle, who was the son of Adam Fowle, and like him a royal servant and ‘Keeper of the house and garden of St James’, signed and sealed his last will and testament on 1st December 1635, in the eleventh year of the reign of Charles I. In this post, I’m sharing my transcription of the will, and in the next post I’ll discuss what we can learn from it about Alphonsus and his family.

In the name of God Amen the first day of december, Anno domini, One Thousand Six hundred Thirty ffive, And in theleaventh yeare of the raigne of our Soveraigne Lord Charles by the grace of God king of England, Scotland, Ffraunce, and Ireland, defender of the faith. I Alphonsus ffowle of the parrish of St. Lawrence Poultney London Esquire being of reasonable good health of Body, and of sound, and perfect memory of mynde, thankes, and praise be given to Almightie God, doe make and ordaine this my last will and Testament in manner and forme followinge, That is to say, ffirst I commende my soule into the hands of almightie God my Creator trustinge onely in the meritts of Jesus Christ my alone Saviour, and Redeemer, And I commytt my Body to the ground to be decently, and christianlike interred, att the discretion of my Executrix hereafter named, And as touching the disposition of all and singular my Annuityes, goods, and chattells, which it hath pleased God to bestowe upon me I will devise and bequeath them in manner, and forme following. That is to say, I doe will and devise all that my Annuity rent charge and yearely rent of Twenty Pounds issuinge, and going forth of all that the Mannor of Gobyons with th’appurtenances in the Parish of East Tilbury in the County of Essex which I lately purchased to me and my heires of John Lawrence Cittizen, and Grocer of London to be sold by myne Executrix hereafter named, to pay and dischrge these Legacyes hereafter menconed. Item I doe give, and bequeath unto my eldest sonne Mathias ffowle fforty shillings, Item I do give, and bequeath unto my sonne Alphonsus Fowle, ffive pounds, Item I give, and bequeath unto Alphonsus ffowle (sonne of the said Alphonsus fowle) my Grandchild five Pounds Item I doe give, and bequeath unto my Grandchildren Alexander Bennett, Mathias Bennett, and ffrances Bridgman their sister ffforty shilings a peece, to buy them Rings in Remembrance of my love to them, Item I doe will, and bequeath until Jane ffowle daughter of my sonne Alphonsus ffowle Five hundred Pounds, to be paid to her att her age of twenty and one yeares, Item I doe give, and bequeath unto ffrances ffowle daughter of my sonne Mathias ffowle, One hundred Pounds to be paid unto her, at her age of Twenty, and One Yeares. Item I give and bequeath unto Sir Walter Alexander knight, and Ann his wife, To each ofthem fforty shillings to buy them Rings in remembrance of my love unto them. Item I give, and bequeath unto Lucy Harbert, Charles Alexander, Henry Alexander, and Anne Alexander children of the said Sir Walter Alexander fforty shillings  peece to buy them Rings in remembrance of my love unto them. Item I give and bequeath unto Tenetia Harbert daughter of the said Lucy Harbert Tenn Pounds I  give, and bequeath unto the Minister of my parish five pounds, Item I give, and bequeath fforty shillings, to be distributed among twenty of the poorest people of my parish, Item I give, and bequeath fforty shillings a peece to my two servants. Item I give, and bequeath unto my sister Webb, fforty pounds if shee shall bee lyiving at the tyme of my decease. Item my will and meaninge is that my Annuity being sold as aforesaid by my Executrix that if there shalbee any remaynder of money when my said legacyes are paid I doe give and bequeath it to myne Executrix hereafter named, And yf it shall happen that the mony which my said Annuity shalbee sold for, will not pay my legacyes hereby given, that my will and meaninge is, that my Executrix hereafter named, shall satisfie, and pay so much as is wantinge which sayd legacyes being satisfied, and paid, and my funerall Expenses being discharged, All the rest of my goods leases, and chattells I give, devise, and bequeath unto my welbeloved wife Ellen, whome I doe hereby constitute and appoytne to be full, and whole Executrix of this my last will and testament, in witness whereof the said Alphonsus ffowle to every sheete of Paper of this my last will being fower in Number, and fixed with one Labell, and sealed have severally subscribed my hand the day and yeare above written. Alphonsus ffowle, Subscribed, read, sealed and published in the presence of us Oliver Lawrence Notary public, David Lloyd, Thomas Browne.

Memorandum that the said Alphonsus ffowle deceased after the sealing, and delivery of his will, he being sound of memories, and mind did add this to his will, That whereas in his sayd will hee had bequeathed unto the minister of his Parrish the some of ffive pounds and fforty shillings to the poorest people of his parrish, and whereas att the tyme of the makinge of his last will he did inhabite in the parrish of Saint Lawrence Poultney London, and in the tyme betweene the making of his last will, and the time of his decease hee removed into the parrish of St. Olive old Jewrie London, he did declare his will and meaning to be that the Minister of the Parrish of St Lawrence Poultney should have the ffive Pounds and that the said Parrish of St Lawrence Poultney should have the fforty shillings bequeathed to the poore of his Parrish, and that the minister and the poore of the Parrish of St Olive Old Jurie should not have any legacy att all. Witnesses that he declared this to be his meaninge and will, Oliver Lawrence Noy. Publici.

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