Sir Thomas Hawkins of Nash Court, Boughton under Blean, Kent, died in April 1617. He was the father of a Jesuit priest, a Benedictine nun, a translator of recusant texts, and a physician, as well as being the father-in-law of Mary Langworth, whose family I have been  attempting to trace over the past few weeks. Thomas Hawkins’ last will and testament, written in the month of his death, is a useful starting-point for exploring the illustrious Hawkins family. In this post, I’m reproducing my transcription of the will, and in the next post I’ll discuss what we can learn from it. I’ve kept to the original spelling and punctuation as far as possible. A question mark [?] indicates uncertainty about an individual word. Where words or passages are completely illegible, I’ve indicated this in parentheses. For ease of reading, key names are emboldened thus when first mentioned.

Nash Court 18th century

Nash Court in the 18th century

In the name of God: Amen: The First of Aprill 1617. And in the yeares of our Soveraigne Lord Kinge James by the grace of god of England France and Ireland defender of the faith the Fyftenth and of his Ma:ties Raigne over Scotland the Fyftith I Thomas Hawkins of the parish of Boughton under the Bleane in the Countie of Kent knight beinge in perfect memorie thankes be to Almightie god by calling to mynde the brittlenes and the instabilitie of mans lyfe with the diversitie of accidents wherein mans life is placed and pondering with my selfe the certeinetie of death and most uncerteinetie of the tyme and hower thereof and fearing the sodane occasion of death doe in institute make and ordaine this my present testament and last will in manner and forme hearafter following First and principallie I hould it to be the parte of everie Christian man to make a trewe veritall [?] of his faith wherein he lives and wherein I trust in Almightie god to end this my most wicked and unstable life First and principallye I do beleive in god the Father Almightie maker of heaven and earth who of nought hath made me and all mankind and whatsoever that hath beinge and in god the sonne my onely Redeemer and Saviour by whose most previous death and bloudshedd both I and all mankynde else [?] have meanes to be saved and in god the holie Ghost the comforter of my soule and all minde which as they are three persons soe are they but one only god at whose handes I instantly aske pardon of all my synnes past trusting assuredlye that in the precious bloudshedd and passion of my sweete Saviour Christ to be one of them that shall inherit his everlasting kingdome which god grannte for his sweete sonnes sake Jesus Christ Item I give and most humblie bequeath my wretched soule to Almightie god the Father of heaven my Creator and to his onelie sonne Jesus Christ my Redemer and to the holie ghost my spiritually comforter three parsons and one onely god hopinge to have full remission of all my sinns and sinfull life past by the meritts and death of Christes passion and to be saved amonge his elect which god grant even for his sonnes sake Jesus Christ And as touching the interment or buriall of this my sinfull bodie my desire is (yf with conveinencie it may be) for that as I am ignorant of the tyme of my death soe am I alsoe ignorante of the place where I shall end this my wretched pilgrimage of life to be buried in such place of the North chancell in the parish of Boughton under the Bleane as to my Executor shalbe thought meete And that there or els where it shall please Almightie god that my bodie shall rest to have some stone or monument as to my executor shalbe thought meete and convenient Item I will and bequeath to the vicar of the parish of Boughton for the tyme beinge for my tythes forgotten thirteen shillings fower pence Item I give to the parish church of Boughton twentie shillings and my will meaning and desire is that my Executor shall see me honestlie buried without any much showe or pompe at the discretion of my said Executor Item I give to the poore house houlden of the parish of Boughton and Herne Hill the some of five poundes vizt Three poundes to the poore of the parish Boughton And Fortie shillinges to the poore of the parish of Herne Hill by twelve pence a house to the poorest of the people their at the discretion of my Executor Item I will and bequeath to the poorest of the parishes of Boughton and Hernehill one quarter of wheate to be distributed by peckes [?] to the said poore poore for the space of seaven yeares next after my death at the Feast of the nativitie of Christ Fower bushels to the poorest householders of the parish of Boughton and other fower bushells of wheate to the poorest householders of the parish of hernhill and likewise at the Feast of Easter fower bushells of maulte to the poorest of the householders of the parish of Boughton And fower bushells of maulte to the poorest of the parish of hernehill yerelie for the space of seaven yeare next after my decease, Item I will and give to my sonne John Hawkins dtor of phisicke the some of fortie poundes to paye his debtes which to be paid within three monethes after my decease Item I will and give unto Ziriach Hawkins my youngest sonne the some of tenne pounds to be likewise payde within the space of three monethes next after my decease Item I will and give to my daughter Susanne Fynch the wife of John Finch Esquier the some of tenne poundes of lawfull English money Item I will and give to Mary Hawkins the wife of my sonne Richard Hawkins the some of tenne pounds Item I will and give to Anne Hilsley my daughter the wife of William Hilsley of the countie of Oxon gent the some of tenne pounds Item I will and give to my deare sister Jonne Brewer the wife of Thomas Brewer gent the some of five poundes thirteen shillings fower pence Item I will and give to Mary Pettitt the widow of Henry Pettitt Esquier over and above all debtes due by her to me the some of fortie shillings Item I will and give to Katherine Rooper the wife of Henry Rooper a double soveraigne of gould of the valewe of two and twentie shillings Item I will and give to William Pettit gent one other double soveraigne of gould of the valewe of two and twentie shillings Item I will and give to each of my grandchildren vizt to Thomas Hawkins the sonne of Richard Hawkins the some of five poundes and to Susan Finch the daughter of John Finch the some of five poundes and the rest the children betweene my sonne and daughter Finch and the children betweene my sonne Richard Hawkins and Marie his wife to each of them one fortie shillings a peece in goulde to be payd to them or to their parents within the space of one whole yeare next after my decease to be putt out by their said parentes to such use or uses as in their discretions shalbe thought meete for the better increase thereof which said sonne with their interest they to have at the age of twentie yeares Item I will and give to my cosen Anne Breadstreete one peece of gould of the value of twentie shillings and doe remitt to her husband and her three pounds which they owe me for halfe a yeares rent Item I will and bequeath to Godlie Scrymsby one twentie shilling peece of gould over and above her wages and alsoe a mourning gowne Item I will and give to Thomazine Lott widdowe a blackgowne and twentie shillings of goulde Item I will and give to Richard Robinson of the parish of Boughton the some of thirteen shillings fower pence a yeare duringe his natural lyfe to be payde by my Executor everie halfe yeare vizt five shillings eight pence at the feast of St Michael and six shillings eight pence at the Annunciation of our Ladie by even portions Item I will and give to my servant Andrewe Pett over and above his wages due to him the some of twentie shillings in gould Item I will and give to Ellen my chambermayde the some of thirtie shillings over and above her wages due Item I give to Marie my cookemayde over and above her wages the some of twentie shillings Item I give to James my man over and above is wages tenne shillings Item I will and give to John my boye and Hamonde my boye each of them tenne shillings a peece All other my goodes whatsoever playe money Jewells household stuffe corne cattle which I have within the Realme of England and not devised by this my last will and testament I will give and bequeath to my eldest sonne Thomas Hawkins Esquier whome I make my sole and onelie Executor of this my last will and testament In witnes whereof I have hereunto subscribed my name By me Thomas Hawkins.

This is the last will and testament of me Thomas Hawkins knight of the parish of Boughton under the Bleane in the countie of Kent concerning the dispotition of all my landes tenements and hereditaments which I have in the parishes of Boughton under the Bleane Feversham, Hernehill, Chilham, Sellinge Whitstable cosine [?] Bleane, Herne, Ledes, Bromffeild Graveney Seasalter and the parish of Sannct Paule neare and without the walls of the cittie of Canterburie or else where in the countie of Kent Item I will and give to my [illegible words] rent of fortie poundes by the yeare issuing and goinge out after time [illegible words] of May in the tenure or occupation of Thomas Porredge, Matthew Helie [?] and Anthony [illegible name] which containe fortie Acres more or lesse as also out of one parcel of meadowe called Forde conteynynge fower teene Acres and alsoe out of one other peece or parcel of lande called Denlie less [?] All which prcells of meadowe marshes and upland groundes are lyinge and beinge in the parish of Heronhill which land Annuitie or annual rent I will and give to my saide sonne John Hawkins and to his assignes for and duringe the whole terme of his natural lyfe yearely to be payde vizt at the Feast of the Annunciation of the blessed ladie St. Marie the virgine and St. Michaell the Archangel by even and equall portions to be payd or within one and twentie dayes after either of the said feastes in which yt ought to be payd the first payment whereof to begyn at the first feast of the aforesaid feastes that shall happen next after my decease provided allwayes that yf the said Annuities or annual Rent of fortie pounds by the yere or any parte thereof be behinde and unpayde after the tyme aforesaid beinge lawfullie demanded That then and from thence forth it shall be lawful to and for the saide John Hawkins my sonne or to his assigne or assignes to enter and distraine into all or any parcel thereof before charged with this annuitie or annuall rent and to and for the arrerages thereof yf any be And the same distresse or distresses be lawfullie taken leade driven or carried awaye and yt to hold irreplegabelly [?] untill the said annuitie or annual rent of fortie pounds by the yere with the arrearages yf any be, be to the said John Hawkins or his assignes fullie satisfied contented and payd provided allways that yf my said sonne John shall alienate sell assigne or sett over this annuitie or annual rent then that he the said John Hawkins my sonne shalbe contented and pleased to lett my son Thomas Hawkins have it for a valuable consideration or whoe else shall for the tyme beinge stand remayne and be my Eldest heire male Nevertheless my will and meaninge is That yf yt shall happen my said sonne John Hawkins to marrie or take a wife That then yt shalbe lawfull for him to make a Joynture of the said fortie pounds [illegible word] Or any parcel thereof as he shall thinck fitt duringe her natural lyfe to stand good to all intents and purposes as if yt were oute of landes of Inheritance Item I will and give to my sonne Ziriach Hawkins my youngest sonne all that my mannor or mansion howse called Burges with all the howses edifices orchards gardens yards lying in the parishes of Leedes and Brumfeilde withall the landes meadowes pastures thereto belonginge and and usuallie [?] occupied lyinge and beinge in the parishes of Leedes and Bromefeild nowe in the tenure or occupation of Christopher Woullett or of his assignes Item I will and give to my said sonne Ziriach all that my howse or tenement called Younges lyinge and beinge in the parish of Boughton under the Bleane now in the tenure or occupation of Christopher Bradstreete or his assignes together with all the buildings edifices thereto belonginge togeather with all the landes woodes or underwoods tymber and trees thereuppon growing All which said mannors farmes and landes I give to my said sonne Ziriach and to the heires males of his bodie lawfullie befotten And for want of sure [?] heires males of his bodie lawfully begotten to be and remayne unto the eldest heire male of me the said Sir Thomas Hawkins and soe to remayne be and goe according to a former deede of intaile of other landes of me the said Sir Thomas Hawkins formerlie intailed to my eldest sonne Thomas Hawkins Esquier which said deede of intaile was upon the assurance of landes to my said sonne Thomas Hawkins upon the marriadge of his wife Item concerning the disposition of all the rest of my mannors Lands Tenements and hereditaments marshes fresh and salte woodes and underwoodes that I have within the countie of Kente or els where not formerlie willed or conveyed I will and give the same to Thomas Hawkins my eldest sonne And to the heire males of his bodie lawfullie begotten And for want of such heir males to stande remayne and be according to an anntient [?] intayle of other my landes formerlie intayled to my sonne Thomas Hawkins at the tyme of his marriage. By me Thomas Hawkins witnesses to this my last will and testament aforesaid whereto I the said Thomas Hawkins have to everie sheete thereof set to my hand date as aforesaid in the presence of William Burgoyne Willm Hildesley Richard Hawkins. 

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