Author Topic: Some help with reading a will  (Read 326 times)

Online M_ONeill

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Some help with reading a will
« on: Saturday 06 July 19 13:46 BST (UK) »
Hello all,

So I'm looking at the text of a probate will from 1651 in the hope of getting a better idea of the wider family relations of the Smallmans of Monkhopton, Shropshire, and I could use some help.

First I wanted to check about exactly what I'm okay to post here - it's a fairly long will and I know that posting entire documents here isn't allowed. How much of the text am I allowed to post? Is posting sections okay provided that it isn't the entire document?

Thanks in advance. :)

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Offline PaulineJ

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Re: Some help with reading a will
« Reply #1 on: Saturday 06 July 19 14:01 BST (UK) »
Section by section is best for the simple reason that you are limited on size of Image.
Easier to keep track of which line is being translated too.
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Online M_ONeill

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Re: Some help with reading a will
« Reply #2 on: Saturday 06 July 19 14:12 BST (UK) »
Okay, thanks for the clarification Pauline.  :)

So this is the probate of one John Smallman yeoman of Monkhampton. I've skipped the preamble as I think I understand most of that and can understand it up until the reference of Burial in the first line of the first attached snippet.

In this one I know that it's referencing some land in Monkhopton - I can make out that it seems to be mentioning John's wife. I think it's mentioning splitting up some land and giving half to his brother [Francis?] Smallman and half to his son in law William whose name I can't make out.

Edit: As this is a fairly long section, I'll hold off posting the next until people have had a shot at transcription.  :)

Offline philipsearching

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Re: Some help with reading a will
« Reply #3 on: Saturday 06 July 19 14:24 BST (UK) »
............................................................................Whereas y hold
two Messuages or Tenements and divers lande thereunto belonginge in Mincke
Hopton aforesaid by a joint Estate heretofore made to me and my wife for
terme of our [time?] here and for the life of the longer liver of us My Will
therefore is that the one halfe or moiety of the said two Messuages or
Tenements Landes and [?] shall after my decease be and remaine
unto Ffrancis Smallinge my brother and William [Lage?] my sonne
in lawe........
Please help me to help you by citing sources for information.

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Online M_ONeill

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Re: Some help with reading a will
« Reply #4 on: Saturday 06 July 19 14:29 BST (UK) »
Thanks for that Phillip! So the brother is indeed Francis Smallman.

Question: what is a Messuage, is that a set amount of land?

This is the next section, proceeding from the last. I believe it refers to John's 'five youngest children':

Offline philipsearching

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Re: Some help with reading a will
« Reply #5 on: Saturday 06 July 19 14:40 BST (UK) »
Question: what is a Messuage, is that a set amount of land?

a messuage is usually defined as a dwelling house together with outbuildings and land assigned for the use of the occupiers.

Philip
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Online M_ONeill

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Re: Some help with reading a will
« Reply #6 on: Saturday 06 July 19 15:02 BST (UK) »
Ah, that makes sense, thanks! So essentially two farmsteads, at the risk of oversimplifying.

Offline horselydown86

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Re: Some help with reading a will
« Reply #7 on: Saturday 06 July 19 17:45 BST (UK) »
A couple of additions to Philip's work on Extract 1:

...terme of our two lives...

There appears to be an interlined addition between two and lives.  Is it written in the margin?

In the third last line I believe the missing word is p(re)misses, although the p is unrecognisable.

I will go onto Extract 2, unless someone else has already started on it.

Online M_ONeill

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Re: Some help with reading a will
« Reply #8 on: Saturday 06 July 19 17:48 BST (UK) »
There appears to be an interlined addition between two and lives.  Is it written in the margin?

Ah, a good spot - I was wondering where the inserts came into play. In this case, the inserted word is 'naturall'. Which strikes me as a spectacularly thorough piece of legalese! No property for the undead, I suppose...