‘A perfect member of his misticall bodie the auntient holly Catholique and appostollicall Church’: the last will and testament of Richard Hawkins

In the last post I wrote about the recusant Richard Hawkins of Selling, Kent, who married Mary Langworth, daughter of the clergyman and poet Dr John Langworth. Richard Hawkins died in 1642, the first year of the English Civil War, but he had made his last will and testament two years previously. My transcription of the will follows, and in the next post I’ll discuss what we can learn from it about Richard’s family and associates.

In the name of God Amen the twentie fourth daie of November Anno Domini One thousand six hundredth fortie and one I Richard Hawkins of the parish of Boughton under the Bleane in the Countie of Kent Esquire beinge in perfect health and in a disposing memory I give God heartie thankes And yet knowinge nothinge to be more uncertaine than the houre of Death, Therefore while good opportunitie serveth, And also to prevent worldlie cogitacons against the time or houre of my death, And that I maie bee wholly intentive to the good of my Soule in prepareinge for the greater Accompt of all Accompts I have to make, to sett a perfect order and stay for my wife and children, that after my death noe variance strife or debate neither in present or future maie arrise about the same soe neere as in mee lyeth to prevent, ffor which respecte I doe make and ordaine this my last Will and Testament in manner and forme following ffirst I bequeath my Soule into the handes of Almightie God my Creator Redeemer and Sanctifier most humblie and from the bottome of my hearte craving and asking mercy pardon and forgivenesse of all my sinnes that through frailtie I have comitted in the whole course of my life, appealing in this behalf from his Justice, unto his incomprehensible Mercie without the which noe flesh can bee saved, Trustinge and confiding through the merritte of the precious passion of Christ Jesus his sonne whome I acknowledge to bee my Mediator and Saviour, will graunt mee full remission of all my former sinnes and misdeeds whatsoever comitted, beseeching him whensoever I shall departe this life, I maie dye a perfect member of his misticall bodie the auntient holly Catholique and appostollicall Church, And my bodie I will to be decentlie buryed in Boughton Church next unto my Brother Sir Thomas, and neere my ffather Sir Thomas Hawkins knight, and Dame Anne his wife my deere and most honoured Parents which I leave to the discrecon of my Executor hereafter named. Imprimis I give to the poore of the parish of Boughton abovesaid twelve pence a piece to fortie of the poorest people the next daie after my buryall. And also I doe give to thirtie two of the poorest of the said parish every St Thomas daie before Christmasse one seame of wheate and halfe a seame of Maulte for five yeares together The wheate to bee delivered out in Pecks and the Maulte in gallons by my Executor or his assignes. Item I give unto thirtie of the poorest in Hernhill twelve pence a piece the next daie after my buryall Item I give unto twentie of the poorest of the Parishe of Sellinge twelve pence a piece the next daie after my buryall. Item I give and bequeath to my Daughters Katherine and Bennett to each of them One thousand poundes apiece of lawful money of England to bee paid unto them by my Executor hereafter named at their respectives age of twentie one yeares or daies of marriages which shall first happen. Item I give and bequeathe to my Daughter Martha the remainder of her porcon I promised her three hundreth and fiftie poundes to bee paid unto her by my said Executor within one yeare after my decease If it bee not before that tyme paid. Item I give and bequeath to my youngest sonne Charles the some of fower hundreth poundes of lawfull money of England to bee likewise paid unto him by my said Executor within one yeare after my decease If I make not a provision for him to that value over and above the lands and tenements I give him here in this present expressed. And untill the said respective porcons shall become due and payable unto my said Daughters Katherine and Bennett, my will and meaning is my Executor shall paie and satisfie unto them fortie poundes per Annum a piece at the two usuall feasts and daies of payment vizt. At the feast of Saint Michaell Tharkaungell and Thannunciacon of our blessed Lady St Mary the virgin by even and equall porcons toward their maynteynance and livelihood. And to my Daughter Martha in like manner until her said porcon shall become due and payable twentie poundes per Annum to be paid her. And in case my said Executor shall not paie and satisfie unto my said Daughters respectively their said respective porcons as alsoe unto my said sonne Charles the said some of fower hundreth poundes at the tymes before lymitted, Then my will and meaning is That my said sonne and Daughters shall and maie as their said porcons shall become due and payable, And I do hereby give them full power and authoritie to enter into and upon Eleaven Closes of arable land meadowe and pasture lying in the severall Parishes of Boughton under the Bleane ffeversham and Hernhill in the Countie of Kent, three of which Eleaven Closes are called Knockinges the residue are called Beckleton, Washfield, Beadlesfield, the fower acres olde Boldry meade, longe meade, water meade and Lylly dolone [?] meade And alsoe into and upon one other parcel of land called Johnsens Crofte and Bournefield conteyninge fowerteene acres lyinge in Boughton and ffeversham aforesaid, And alsoe unto and upon all those six parcells of land called Black Marsh heelers Marsh foord uplands and Denby Lees lyinge in the Parishes of Hernhill, Graveny, and Seasalter with their and every of their appurtenaunces in the said countie of Kent, And to take and receive the yssues and profitts thereof to their [???] uses to bee devided amongst them according to the proporcons of money each and one [???] to receive and not satisfied And if my said Executor shall not within the space of one yeare next after such Entry as aforesaid paie and satisfie unto my said Daughters and sonnes their said respective porcons, Then my will and meaning is, That my said Daughters or such of them as shall be living and unsatisfied of their said porcons shall and lawfully maie And I doe by this my will give them full power and authoritie to sell all or anie parte of the said premisses to anie person or persons whatsoever, And out of the moneys that shall bee made thereof, to paie themselves what shall be justlie due unto them together with all such damages as they shall anie waies have sustained by reason of their non payment of their said porcons accordinge to this my will, And after their said respective porcons and damages shall bee satisfied, what shall remaine over and above my will and desire is that shall be paid and delivered to my said Executor. And alsoe I give and bequeath unto my sonne Charles my Messuage or Tenemt called Solestreete in the Parishe of Sellinge in the countie of Kent aforesaid purchased of Anthony and Thomas Langworth gentlemen And all the orchards profitts and appurtenances thereunto belonginge or apperteyninge to him my said sonne Charles and the heires male of his bodie lawfully begotten. And for fault of such yssue, to the heires males of my sonne John lawfully begotten, if he my said sonne John have anie heirs male of his bodie at the tyme of my sonne Charles his decease Otherwise to my said sonne Charles and his heires for ever. And alsoe my will and meaning is, And I doe give him all the furniture in the howse and stocked without doors, as it shall bee found at the tyme of my decease, or as usually it hath beene furnished within and without doors when I dwelled there. And alsoe I doe give and bequeath unto my said sonne Charles my Tenement called Barne Wyland, And all the newe found lands, newe fresh marshes Together with the salte in the said Tenement belonginge or apperteyninge late purchased of John Abrooke belonginge I give unto my said sonne Charles to him and his heires for ever. And whereas differences and questions maie arrise after my decease betweeene my wife and my sonne John concerning the third of my Estate for her Dowrie if shee be not satisfied with her former Joynture My desire is That in regard the severall somes of moneye given to my Daughters for their porcons, as alsoe the land given to my sonne Charles, together with my debts and legacies rises to a considerable value I wish and heartily desire that for good respecte my said wife incline for the consideracons aforesaid to moderacon and Motherly love least hee bee pinched with the maine [???] and debt, And I will and desire, and my true meaning herein is, That if good accord happen betweene them in the aforesaid premisses without too much stricktnesse on my wifes parte, Then I will and bequeath unto my said wife one hundred Markes and a Chamber well furnished for her degree and calling Otherwise I must leave it to God and their best natures and [???] [???], And hope they will soe compose thinges, That their friends and neighbours maie be edified by their example. And whereas I have purchased longe since of Sir Richard Fleetewood of Kullwidge, in the countie of Stafford Knight for the consideracon of five hundred poundes an Annuitie of twentie poundes per Annum for ever, with a proviso therein to bee redeemed upon the payment of the aforesaid some, and all the arrears thereon due which on the five and twentieth daie of this present November there is due unto mee Eleaven yeares and a halfe behind and unpaid. And whereas alsoe I have purchased longe since of Sir Walter Heveningham of Pype in the aforesaid countie of Stafford knight for the consideracon of two hundred poundes An Annuitie of twentie poundes per Annum for ever with a Provisoe therein to be redeemed upon the repayment of the aforesaid some, And also rents and arrears that shall happen then to bee due and unpaid. Both which said Annuities and all the arreares thereon due or hereafter shall bee due unto my Executor, I give it unto him for and towarde the raising of my childrens porcons above menconed And alsoe I give him all my goods and chattles of what name or nature soever Except that I have before herein bequeathed for the raising of my said childrens porcons, And for and towards the payment of my debts and legacies and pforming this my last Will and Testament. And I doe make constitute and ordaine my lovinge sonne John Hawkins gent my sole Executor, And whatsoever is or maie bee defective in this my Will and Testament for want of right understandinge in the laws, I doe ratifie the same by my will intention and playne meaning herein, And doe further charge my said sonne John by all the power and prereogative due to a ffather that he not onlie performe this my last will and Testament according to my intention and playne meaning, But alsoe that he be dutifull to his Mother, loving to his Brothers and Sisters, and helpful in all occasione to doe them good whereby true love maie be conserved amongest them, In all which I am right confident hee will. And whereas since I began the writinge of this my last Will and Testament, I have sealed a Deed unto my sonne Charles of those lands in Wade [???] [???] And alsoe Solestreet and the land thereunto belonginge purchased of Thomas and Anthony Langworth gentlemen in the parishe of Sellinge before in this presente menconed which in consideracon of his marriage and advancement, I have settled it upon him parte in present for his lyvelyhood and his wifes Joynture, the rest after my decease, And also I have sealed unto him a bond of Eight hundred poundes fo the payment of ffower hundred poundes one yeare after my decease. This therefore is a confirmacon both of my bequest aforesaid and my late Deed and bond to his use, Accordinge to the Deed therein expressed and not otherwise. Item I give unto my eldest and youngest daughter to each of them tenn poundes a peece to buy a piece of plate if they thinke good. Item I give unto all my servaints that dwelleth with mee at the tyme of my decease twentie shillinges a piece, Except William Blake thirtie shillinges, and to [???] ffin a Noble. The residue of all and singuler my goods chattels and cattles of what name or nature soever they bee called not before herein given or bequeathed I give unto my Executor abovesaid nominated and appointed for and towards the raising of my childrens porcons and payment of my debts and legacies, and for and towards the pformance of this my last Will and Testament. And so leaving Gods blessing and myne amongest my children beseeching Almightie God to indue them all with his holy grace, I comitt myself to the infinite mercy and goodnes of the Almightie, and them to his holy protection. In witnes whereof I have hereunto put my hand to every one of the three sheetes of paper wherein my last will and Testament is expressed and declared, and my hand and seale to the last sheete the daie and yeare first above written One thousand six hundred fortie one. Richard Hawkins. Subscribed Sealed and Declared this to bee my last Will and Testament in the presence of those who names are hereunder written. William Petit, Katherine Kirton, Elizabeth Smith, Walter Watson.

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