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Wills from Doctors' Commons. A selection from the wills of eminent persons proved in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, 1495-1695 online

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WILLS FEOM DOCTORS' COMMONS.



A SELECTION



THE WILLS OF EMINENT PEESONS



PROVED IN THE



PREROGATIVE COURT OF CANTERBURY,
1495-1695.



EDITED BY JOHN GOUGH NICHOLS
AND JOHN BRUCE.




UNIVFli



PRINTED FOR THE CAMDEN SOCIETY.



M.DCCC.LXIII.



8

83



^



WESTMINSTER :

PRINTED BY JOHN BOWYER NICHOLS AND SONS,

25, PARLIAMENT STREET.



?^'y'



[no. lxxxiii.]



COUNCIL OF THE CAMDEN SOCIETY

FOR THE YEAR 1862-63.



President,
THE MOST HON. THE MARQUESS OF BRISTOL, V.P.S.A.
ARTHUR ASHPITEL, ESQ. F.S.A.

WILLIAM HENRY BLAAUW, ESQ. M.A., F.S.A. Treanurer.
BERIAH BOTFIELD, ESQ. M.P. F.R.S. F.S.A.
JOHN BRUCE, ESQ. F.S.A. Director.
WILLIAM DURRANT COOPER, ESQ. F.S.A.
JAIilES CROSBY, ESQ. F.S.A.
JOHN FORSTER, ESQ. LL.D.
THE REV. LAMBERT B. LARKING, M.A.
JOHN MACLEAN, ESQ. F.S.A.
FREDERIC OUVRY, ESQ. Treas.S.A.
EVELYN PHILIP SHIRLEY, ESQ. M.P. M.A. F.S.A.
WILLIAM JOHN THOMS, ESQ. F.S.A. Secretary.
WILLIAM TITE, ESQ. M.P. F.R.S. F.S.A.
ALBERT WAY, ESQ. M.A. F.S.A.
HIS EXCELLENCY M. VAN DE WEYER,D.C.L., Hon. F.S.A



The Council of the Camden Society desire it to be under-
stood that they are not answerable for any opinions or observa-
tions that may appear in the Society's publications; the Editors
of the several Works being alone responsible for the same.




INTEODUCTION.



" Wills feom Doctors' Commons." Wills from an office, of
which it was said, not without reason, in a volume published by the
Camden Society in 1853, that it was believed to be the only de-
pository of historical documents, if not the only office of any kind,
in the kingdom, in which there was no feeling whatever in favour
of literature and historical inquiry ; an office from the authorities of
which the Council of the Camden Society wholly failed to obtain,
on behalf of literature, even the smallest modification of their re-
strictive regulations ; an office in which in recent times there was no
one who could read-or transcribe many of the documents which
were there preserved; whilst absurd restrictions, framed upon the
principle of securing a payment at every turn, drove persons who
consulted the registers to contrivances the most ludicrous for fixing
in their memories a date, an incident, an amount, or a name which
happened to occur in a will.

That such a depository should be thrown open to inquirers, and
that, in token of the fact, a volume of Wills should be published from
it without payment of office fees, are circumstances which mark an aera
in our literary history. Of old, admission to inspect the treasures
of our record depositories was considered a very remarkable and pe-
culiar privilege. It was never conceded save to men of the highest
name in historical or antiquarian literature, and then only under
formal instruments granted by Secretaries of State or other even more
eminent authorities. This state of things continued with little

CAMD. SOC. • b



n INTRODUCTION.

alteration* into the present century. Lord Langdale, when
Master of the Eolls, considerably modified and reduced the fees
for consultation of the Eecords; but it was not until 1851, under
the Mastership of SiR JoHN Romilly, that the great restrictions
in the way of literature were broken down, and the Public Records
were for ever thrown open to free consultation by historical students.
This result, it is but right to say, was in great part brought about
by the instrumentality of The Camden Society. Although the
movement ultimately took the shape of a general memorial of literary
persons, and was greatly aided by the Society of Antiquaries and
its noble President, it originated in the Camden Society, the
documents connected with it were prepared by officers of that
Society, and it was altogether carried on and managed by them.

All effi^rts to extend any portion of these privileges to Doctors'
Commons were entirely unsuccessful. Disregard of literature, or fear
of it, anxiety to retain extravagant fees, and inability to perceive that
under more liberal management those fees would be multiplied
almost indefinitely, barred the door against all improvement or al-
teration. Whether in Will Offices, or wherever else, such a state of
things can lead only to one termination. In Doctors' Commons it
has run its course. The old jurisdiction has passed away. Its
registers remain, but they are in other custody. Its very name has
become a thing of the past.

On the institution of the Court of Probate the Camden Society
again took the field. Aided as before by the Society of Antiquaries

» At the Tower Record Office, under the successive keeperships of Mr. Lysons and
Mr. Petrie, there existed a power of remitting fees upon literary searches. Many an
inquirer can bear witness how gladly and liberally that power was exercised by Mr.
Thomas Duffua Hardy, the present Deputy Keeper of Records.



INTRODUCTION. Ill

and by many eminent literary persons, a letter was addressed to Sir
Cresswell Cresswell wliicli set before him the nature of the
evils complained of. He at once admitted the principle that
documents which had none but literary uses ought to be accessible
to literary men. For a short time want of space prevented his
putting his views in execution, but no sooner was that obstacle
overcome than he at once made the necessary arrangements. A
room has been set apart for literary inquirers, permission of consul-
tation, down to the year 1700, is given to all persons searching for
purely literary purposes, and the department has been placed under
the care of a gentleman whose courtesy to all applicants, and anxiety
to assist their researches, stands in curious contrast with the treatment
to which literature was exposed in that same building in times now
happily past.

From what has been stated it is obvious that English Historical
Literature, and our national reputation in respect of our treatment
of literary inquirers, are most deeply indebted to Sir John Ro-
MiLLY and Sir Cresswell Cressavell. To them it is owinof that
we are now enabled to say that, down to a comparatively recent period
of inquiry, our country gives totally unrestricted facilities for historical
research among the national archives. Literature and literary men
will not be ungrateful for such benefits. The honourable fact will
be duly recorded, and the results, which are even now becominty
apparent, will ultimately be, that our historical literature will take
for its basis a far wider research, and a far greater certainty in the
establishment of facts, than have ever hitherto been deemed
necessary.

Of the importance of Wills as materials for historical and literary
research no one can entertain a doubt. It has been already remarked



IV INTRODUCTION.

of tliem, in the course of the correspondence with Sir Cresswell
Cress well, that they abound in illustrations of manners and customs;
that they exhibit in the most authentic manner the state of religion
and the condition of the various classes of the people ; that they il-
lustrate the history of law and civilization ; and are invaluable alike
to the general historian, the philologist, the genealogist, the bio-
grapher, the topographer — to historical writers of every class. Our
best genealogical works (as for example Dugdale's Baronage) are
built upon the Wills and Public Kecords, and could never have
been written without them, whilst the several published collec-
tions of Wills are esteemed among the most useful of our anti-
quarian publications; witness, the Koyal and Noble Wills, edited
by Dr. Ducarel and John Nichols, 1780, 4to.; the Testamenta
Vetusta of Sir Harris Nicolas, 1826, 2 vols, royal 8vo.; the Wills
from the Kegistry of Bury St. Edmund's, edited by Mr. Tymms
for the Camden Society, 1850, 4to.; the Durham Wills, edited by
Dr. Kaine and the Rev. H. Greenwell, for the Surtees Society, 2 vols.
1835 and 1860, 8vo.; the York Wills, edited for the same Society
also by Dr. Eaine and the Rev. James Raine, 2 vols. 1836 and
1855, 8vo.; the Richmondshire Wills, also edited for the same
Society by the Rev. James Raine, 1853; and the Lancashire and
Cheshire Wills edited by the Rev. G. J. Piccope, for the Chetham
Society, 1857, 4to.

The Wills scattered about in various printed books constitute
another evidence of the estimation in which such documents are
held as historical evidences. An endeavour has lately been made in
Notes and Queries to form a complete list of these, but the contri-
butions are as yet too imperfect to be made use of on the present
occasion.



INTRODUCTION. V

The Eegisters of Wills frorruwliich tlie present volume is derived
extend throngliout the long period of nearly five hundred years —
from the year 1383 to the present time.* These Wills are entered
chronologically, in the order of proof, in gigantic quarto volumes,
weighing each of them, with clasps and rim-plates of brass, little
short of half a hundredweight. Of these ponderous volumes there
are nearly two thousand, eacli being distinguished by the name of
the first testator, or that of some eminent person, whose will is en-
tered in the volume. An Index of the names of testators exists for
every separate year, arranged alphabetically so far as respects the
first letter of each testator's name.

The present volume is not put forth with any idea of giving an
adequate notion of the almost infinite variety and value of this ex-
traordinary series of documents. Its objects are rather to awaken
literary men to a due sense of their importance, to make widely
known the nature of the great privilege to which inquirers have
become entitled, and to manifest gratitude towards the public au-
thorities through whom that privilege has been obtained.

Nor can we in this Introduction even allude to the contents
of the Wills which are now published. They deal with sub-
jects so multifarious that every one of them might be made the
theme of a separate essay. It will be sufficient to intimate that
four of them are wills of members of the Royal Family, — Cecily
Duchess of York, mother of Edward IV. ; Mary Princess of Orange,
daughter of Charles I. ; Elizabeth the well-known Queen of Bohemia;
and the cavalier hero Prince Rupert: three are wills of eminent

* This must be borne in mind by those who consult this volume. The Registers contain
oecasipnal inaccuracies; therefore, in cases of doubt, the originals, where they exist, should
be consulted.



vi INTRODUCTION.

prelates, Archbishop Warham and Cardinal Pole, the last two x\rcli-
bishops of Canterbury of tlie ante-Reformation Church, (the will of
the latter a singularly beautiful piece df simple Latinity,) and Bishop
Gardyner of Winchester: two more may be classed as wills of
eminent noblemen, Charles Brandon^ Duke of Suffolk, the " cloth of
frieze " husband of Queen Mary of France, and George Villiers,
Duke of Buckingham, the favourite of James T. and Charles I.: five
are wills of persons distinguished during the period of our great
Civil War, — John Hampden, every tittle of information respecting
whom is more than valuable ; Speaker Lenthall, whose real character
is even yet sub judice; the great sufferer for conscience sake William
JPrynne, Sir Henry de Vic the diplomatist, and William Lilly the
"student of astrology:" poetry claims four of these wills, those of
Davies of Hereford, Sir John Denham, and the Earls of Rochester
and Roscommon: Sir Thomas Gresham the great merchant and
builder of the Royal Exchange, Sir Francis Walsingham the acute
statesman, Sir Hugh Middelton the engineer and public benefactor,
Sir Francis Drake the daring circumnavigator, all represent
particular phases of intellectual acuteness and social eminence : the
arts claim Isaac Oliver and Sir Peter Lely : music, Henry Purcell :
divinity is represented by Isaac Casaubon, Daniel Brevint, Isaac
Vossius, and Richard Baxter: and the roll is worthily completed by
three ladies, each eminent in her way. Dame Maude Parr mother
of Queen Katharine Parr, Elizabeth Duchess of Norfolk mother of the
Poet Surrey, and Frances Duchess of Suffolk daughter of Charles
Brandon, wife of Henry Grey, to whom she conveyed her father's
dukedom, and mother of Lady Jane Grey.

The volume is closed by notes of Letters of Administration, com-
municated by Mr. Clarence Hopper. These comprise particulars



INTRODUCTION. VH

of grants in the cases of Sir Christopher Hatton, Dr. Eichard Eedes,
Sir William Monson, Francis Quarles, Dr. Isaac Dorislaus, Edward
Marquess of Worcester, Sir William Davenant, Queen Henrietta-
Maria, Henry Oldenburgh, Andrew Marvell, and John Dryden.

No one at all acquainted with the sources and nature of genealo-
gical and biographical material can doubt that there is scarcely a
Will, if indeed there be one, among those we have enumerated,
but must be worthy of publication. The diflSiculty has been in se-
lection, for so vast and so valuable is the mass comprised in the
huge quarto volumes to which allusion has been made, that many
publications such as this might with ease be selected from their
ample stores.

It is right to add that the Camden Society has been indebted to
the Right Honourable the Lord Chief Justice Erie for the use of an
office copy of the Will of John Hampden, to F. Kyffin Lenthall, esq.
for a similar copy of the Will of his ancestor the Speaker, and to
Mr. Bruce for that of William Prynne. The Index to the volume
has been kindly contributed by that constant friend to the Camden
Society and to all literary inquirers, Thomas William King, esq.
York Herald.



WILLS CONTAINED IN THIS VOLUME.



1495. Cecily Duchess of York

1529. Dame Maude Parr .

1530. Archbishop Warham
1544. Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk
1555. Stephen Gardyner, Bisliop of Winchester

1558. Eeginald, Cardinal Pole

— Elizabeth Duchess of Norfolk

1559. Frances Duchess of Suffolk
1575. Sir Thomas Gresham
1590. Sir Francis Walsingham .
1595. Sir Francis Drake ...
1614. Isaac Casaubon, D.D.

1617. Isaac Oliver ....

1618. John Davies of Hereford .
1627. George Duke of Buckingham
1631. Sir Hugh Middelton .
1636. John Hampden

1660. Mary Princess of Orange .

1661. Elizabeth Queen of Bohemia

1662. SjDcaker Lenthall

1668. Sir John Denham, K.B. .

1669. William Prynne

— Sir Henry de Vic
1674. William Lilly, student in astrology

1679. Sir Peter Lely ....

1680. John Wilmot, Earl of Eochester
1682. Rupert, Prince Palatine of the Rhine
1684-5. Wentworth Earl of Roscommon
1686. Daniel Brevint, D.D.

1688. Isaac Vossius, D.D. .

1689. Richard Baxter
1695. Henry Purcell ....

Administrations in the Prerogative Court



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WILLS FEOM DOCTORS' COMMONS.



CECILY DUCHESS OF YORK, 1495.

In the name of allmyglity God, the blessed Trlnite, fader and son
and the holigost, trusting in the meanes and mediacions of oure
blessed Lady Moder, of oure most blessed Saviour Jh'u Crist, and
by the intercession of holy Saint John Baptist, and all the saintes of
heven : I, Cecille, wife unto the right noble prince Richard late
Duke of Yorke, fader unto the most cristen prince my Lord and son
King Edward the iiij***, 'the first day of Aprill the yere of our Lord
M.cccc.lxxxxv. after the computacion of the Church of Englond, of
hole mynde and body, loving therfore be it to Jh'u, make and
ordeigne my testament in fourme and manor ensuyng. Furst, I
bequeath and surrendour my soule in to the mercifuU handes of
allmyghty God my maker, and in to protecion of the blessed virgin
our lady Saint Mary, and suffrage of Saint John Baptist, and of all
other saintes of heven. Also my body to be buried beside the body
of my moost entierly best beloved Lord and housbond, fader unto
my said lorde and son, and in his tumbe within the collegiate
church of Fodringhay,^ if myn executours by the sufferaunce of the
King finde goode sufficient therto; and elles at the Kinges pleasure.
And I will that after my deceasse all ray dettes sufficiently appering
and proved be paid, thanking oure Lord at this tyme of making of
this my testament to the knolege of my conscience I am not muche
in dett; and if it happen, as I trust to God it shalnot, that there be
not found sufficient money aswell to pay my dettes as to enture my
body, than in advoiding such charges as myght growe for the same,
the whiche God defende, I lymytte and assigne all such parcelles of

" The body of Richard Duke of York, (slain at the battle of Wakefield Dec. 31, 1460,)
having been first buried at Pontefract, was solemnly removed to Fotheringay in July 14G6.
CAMD. SOC. B



2 WILLS FROM doctors' COMMONS.

plate as belongith to my chapell, pantry, ccUour, ewry, and squillcry,
to the perfourmyng of the same, as apperith in the inventary, except
such plate as I have bequeithed. Also I geve and bequeith to the
Kinges noble grace all such money as is owing to me of the cus-
tomes, and two cuppes of gold. Also I geve and bequeith to the
Quene a crosse croslette of diamantes, a sawter with claspes of silver
and guilte enameled covered with grene clothe of golde, and a pix
with the fleshe of Saint Cristofer. " Also I bequeith to my lady the
Kinges moder* a portuos with claspes of gold covered with blacke
cloth of golde. Also I geve to my lord Prince a bedde of ari-es of
the Whele of Fortune and testour of the same, a counterpoint of
arras, and a tappett of arres with the pope. Also I geve to my lord
Henry Duke of Yorke^ three tappettes of arres, oon of them of the life
of Saint John Baptist, another of Mary Maudeleyn, and the thirde
of the passion of our Lord and Saint George. And if my body be
buried at Fodringhay in the colege there with my most entierly
best beloved lord and housbond, than I geve to the said colege a
square canapie of crymeson clothe of gold with iiij. staves, twoo
auter clothes of crymeson clothe of gold, twoo copes of crymeson
clothe of gold, a chesibull and twoo tenucles of cry my son clothe of
gold, with iij. abes,*' twoo auter clothes of crymeson damaske brow-
dered, a chesibiill, twoo tenucles, and iij. copes of blewe velwett
brodered, with iij. abes, thre masse bokes, thre grayles, and vij.
processioners. Also I geve to the colege of Stoke Clare a chesibull
and twoo tenucles of playn crymyson cloth of gold with iij. abes,
twoo auter clothes, a chesibull, twoo tenucles, and fyve coopes of
white damaske browdered, with iij. abes, twoo awter clothes of
crymeson velwett upon the velwete {sic), a vestement of crymeson
playne velvet, iiij. antiphoners, iiij. grayles, and sixe processioners.
Also I geve to the house of Sion two of the best coopes of crymy-
son clothe of gold. Also I geve to my doughter Brigitte"^ the boke
of Legenda A urea in velem, a boke of the life of Saint Kateryn of

" Margaret Countess of Richmond and Derby. •> Afterwards Henry VIIL <= albs.
"^ Bridget, Cecil, Anne, and Katharine were her granddaughters, the daughters of King
Edward IV,



CECILY DUCHESS OF YORK, 1495. t

Sene, a boke of Saint Matilde. Also I geve to my dough ter Cecill
a portuous with claspes silver and gilte covered with purple velvet,
and a grete portuous without note. Also I geve to my doughter
Anne the largest bedde of bawdekyn, withe couutrepoint of the same,
the barge with bailies, tilde, and ores belonging to the same. Also
I geve to my doughter Kateryn a traves of blewe satten. Also I
geve to my doughter of Suifolke * the chare with the coveryng, all
the quoshons, horses, and harneys belonging to the same, and all my
palfreys. Also I geve to my son of Suifolke'' a clothe of estate and
iij. quoschons of jiurpull damaske cloth of gold. Also I geve to my
son Humfrey'^ two awter clothes of blewe damaske brawdered and a
vestyment of crymeson satten for Jh'us masse. Also I geve to my
son William^ a traves of white sarcenet, twoo beddes of downe, and
twoo bolsters to the same. Also I geve to my doughter Anne/
priores of Sion, a boke of Bonaventure and Hilton in the same in
Englishe, and a boke of the Revelacions of Saint Burgitte. Also I
woU that all my plate not bequeithed be sold, and the money
thereof be putte to the use of my burying, that is to sey, in dis-
charging of suche costes and expensis as shalbe for carying of my
body from the castell of Barkehampstede unto the colege of Fodring-
hey. And if any of the said plate be lefte unexpended I woll the
said colege have it. Also I geve to the colege of saint Antonies in i
London an antiphoner with the ruelles of musik in the later ynd.
Also I geve unto Master Richard Lessy all suche money as is owing
unto me by obligations what soever they be, and also all such money
as is owing unto me by the Shirfe of Yorkeshire, to helpe to here his

» Her daughter Elizabeth, widow of John de la Pole Duke of Suffolk, who died in
1491 ; or else the wife of the Duke mentioned in the next note, Margaret, daughter of
Richard Lord Scrope.

b Her grandson Edmund de la Pole, Duke of Suffolk.

= Her grandson Humphrey de la Pole, who was a priest.

•* There was no William de la Pole. Can William Stourton the husband of her o-rand-
daughter Katharine de la Pole be intended ? From the order in which the name occurs
it seems not improbable.

^ Anne de la Pole, mentioned by Dugdale as a nun of Syon. The Revelations of St.
Bridget was a gift peculiarly suitable to a member of that community.



4 WILLS TROM doctors' COMMONS.

charges which he has to pay to the Kinges grace, trusting he shall the
rather nyghe the said dettes by the help and socour of his said grace.
Also I geve to Master William Croxston a chesibuU, stoles, and
fanons of blake velwett, with an abe. Also I geve to Master
Eichard Henmershe a chesibill, stoles, and fanons of cry my son
damaske, with an abe; and a chesibill, stoles and fanons of crymeson
saten, with an abe. Also I geve to Sir John More a frontell of
purpull cloth of gold," a legend btske, and a colett boke. Also I
give to Sir Eandall Brantingham a chesibill, stoles, and fanons of
white damaske, orfreys of crymson velvet, with an abe, the better of
bothe. Also I geve to Sir William Grave a chesibill, stoles, and fanons
of white damaske, orfreys of crymeson velvett, with an abe; a
masse-boke that servith for the closett, a prymour with claspes silver
and gilt, covered with blewe velvett, and a sawter that servith for
the closett covered with white ledder. Also I geve to Sir John
Blotte a gospell boke, a pis till covered with ledder, and a case for a
corporax of grene playne velvett. Also I geve to Sir Thomas
Clerk a chesibill, twoo tenucles, stoles, fanons, of rede bawdeken,
with iij. abes. Also I geve to Sir William Tiler twoo coopes of
rede bawdekyn. Also I geve to Robert Claver iij. copes of white
damaske brawdered, and a gowne of the Duchie ^ facion of playne
blake velvett furred with ermyns. Also I geve to John Bury twoo
old copes of crymysyn satten cloth of gold, a frontell of white
bawdekyn, twoo curteyns of rede sarcenett fringed, twoo curteyns of
whit sarcenet fringed, a feder bed, a bolstour to the same, the best
of feders, and two whit spervers of lynyn. Also I geve to John
Poule twoo auter clothes, a chesibull, twoo tenucles, stoles, and
fanons of white bawdekyn, with iij. abes; a short gowne of purple
playne velvett furred with ermyns, the better of ij. and a kirtill of
damaske with andelettes of silver and gilt furred. Also I geve to
John Smyth twoo auter clothes, a chesibill, twoo tenucles, stoles,
and fanons of blew bawdekyn, with iij. abes. Also I geve to John
Bury twoo copes of crymysyn clothe of gold that servith for Son-

" " Cloth of doth " in the rcjristor. '' Dutch ?



X



TJNJVEjij

CECILY DUCHESS OF YORK, 1495?^ "^ 5

days. Also I geve to John Walter a case for corporax of purple
playne velvett, twoo cases for corporax of blewe bawdekyn, twoo
auter clothes, a chesibill of rede and grene bawdekyn, a canapie of
white sarcenett, iij. abes for children, and iiij. pair of parrours of
white bawdekyn, twoo pair parrours of crymsyn velvett, twoo pair
parrours of rede bawdekyn, a housling towell that servith for my
selfe, twoo corteyns of blewe sarcenett fringed, a sudory of crymy-
syn and white, the egges blak, a crose cloth and a cloth of Saint John
Baptist of sarcenett painted, a long lantorn, a dext standing doble,
twoo grete stondardes and ij. litill cofers. Also I geve to John Peit-
wynne twoo vestimentes of white damaske, a white bedde of lynnyn,
a federbedde and a bolstour, and a short gowne of purple playne
velvet furred with sabilles. Also I geve to Thomas Lentall


1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17

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