The Last Will and Testament of John White Senior
In the first place I do with all humble reverence and thankfulness, acknowledge and adore the infinite goodness and mercy of God who hath been pleased to set me apart unto this great work of the Ministry of his Gospel in such a place where I have found his gracious hand with me that my
labours have been well accepted and produced such effects as I have cause to look upon with my
comfort and thankful acknowledgment and has born me up with his own hand despite the power and malice of those that have endeavoured, as much as lay in them, to hinder me in my course.
Preacher of Gods Word in Dorchester in ye Countie of Dorsett
Secondly: For the people wherein he has entrusted me, I bequeath unto them those truths that I have from time to time delivered unto them as the Councils of God in the bowels of Jesus Christ, beseeching them that they so adhere and cleave unto them as the grounds of their faith and rules of their practice,
And suffer not themselves to be carried up and down with every wind of Doctrine, which howsoever seemingly plausible at the first view by the novelty thereof, will certainly prove a means in time of unsettling of them from the maine foundation,
And this I lay upon them as my stricter charge of the observation thereof they shall give an account to Christ Jesus at the last day.
As for my outward estate which the Lord hath entrusted me with, all as it is but small and therein most agreeable to mine own desires, so I am in that respect troubled at nothing more than that I want means to testify my thankful acknowledgement of the favours and honours which I have received from this people in the space of forty three years, wherein God hath been pleased to continue me Minister amongst them
Thirdly: I give and bequeath unto Mr. Frederick LOSSE of Dorchester Physician one piece of my plate such as my four sons by joint consent shall think fit as an acknowledgement of his faithful love and great pains and care
that he hath taken about me.
Fourthly: I do hereby appoint & ordain that the remainder of that little plate which I have left may be so disposed amongst my four sons in such proportion as they shall agree of amongst themselves that every one may receive some share thereof, to be kept by them as a remembrance of me.
Fifthly: I give and bequeath to my four sisters Anne DRAKE, Martha MOORE, Elizabeth ALLEN, and Mary WHITE to each of them the sum of Twenty Shillings.
Sixthly: I give unto Arthur HACKMAN my servant the sum of Ten shillings as an acknowledgement of his faithful service.
Seventhly: I give unto Hannah MOUNSELL my maid servant the sum of Thirty shillings as an acknowledgement of her great pains she has taken about me in my weakness.
Eighthly: And lastly All the rest of my goods and chattels I give and bequeath unto my youngest sonne Nathaniel whom I appoint sole Executor of this my last Will and Testament
And I require him within one month after my decease to distribute amongst the Godly poor of the parish of Trinity and St Peters in Dorchester the sum of Forty shillings according to his discretion,
As for funeral expenses, as I never liked the affected solemnities thereof, so I require that there be order taken by my Executor, that as much as may be my funeral
may be solemnized with all privacy without any sermon or ringing of Bells.
And now Lord Jesus come quickly
John White Senior
Signed, sealed, acknowledged by the above named Mr John WHITE As his Last Will and Testament the Twenty Ninth day of March in the year of Our Lord 1648 in the presence of /
that the word (my) in the three and twentieth line [Note in the original text] and the words (four) and (Anne Drake) in the nine and twentieth line were interlined before the signing and sealing hereof in the presence of John WHITEWAY, Gabriell REVE
Will of John White Preacher of Dorset PROB 11/208 Proved 14 June 1649
Imprs: [Impremise:] I doe wth all humble reverence and thankfullnes, acknowledge and adore ye infinite
goodnes and mercie of God whoe hath bene pleased to sett mee apart unto this greate worke of the
Ministery of his Gospell in such aplace where I have found his gracious hand wth mee that mye
Labors have bene well accepted and produced such effects as I have cause to looke upon wth my#
comfort and thanekfull acknowledgmt and hath borne mee upp wth his owne hand in despite of ye
powere and Malice of those that have endeavoured, as much as lay in them, to hinder mee in my course
2ly: ffor the people wherein he hath intrusted mee I bequeath unto them those truthes That I have from time
to time delived unto them as the Counsells of God in ye bowells of Jesus Christ, beseeching them that
they soe adhere and cleave unto them as the grounds of their faith and rules of their practice and#
suffer not themselves to bee carried upp and downe wth every winde of Doctrine wth howsoever#
seemingly plausable at ye first vewe by the Novelty thereof will certenly prove a meanes in time
of unsetling of them from the maine foundations, and this I lay upon them as my stricter charge
of the observation thereof they shall give an account to Christ Jesus at the last day. As for my
outward estate wth the Lord hath intrusted mee wth all as it is but small and therein most agreeable
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to mine owne desires soe I am in that respect troubled at nothinge more, then that I want meanes
to testifie my thankefull acknowledgement of the favors and honors wth I have receaved from this people in the space
of fforty three yeares, wherein God hath bine pleased to continue mee Minister amongst them
3ly: I give and bequeath unto Mr. ffrederick LOSSE of Dorchester Phisitian one peece of my plate such as my fowre
sonnes by ioint consent shall thinke fitt as an acknowledgement of his faithfull love and greate paines and care
that he hath taken about mee.
4ly: I doe hereby appointe & ordaine that the remainder of that little plate wth I have left may bee soe disposed##
amongst my foure sonnes in such proportion as they shall agree of amongst themselves that every one may
receave some share thereof to bee kept by them as a remembraunce of mee.
5ly: I give and bequeath to my foure sisters Anne DRAKE, Martha MOORE, Elizabeth ALLEN, and Mary WHITE to each
of them the sum of Twentie Shillings.
6ly: I give unto Arthur HACKMAN my servant the some of Ten shillings as an acknowledgement of his faithful service.
7ly: I give unto Hannah MOUNSELL my Maidservant the some of Thirtie shillings as an acknowledgement of her##
great paines shee hath taken about mee in my weaknes.
8ly: And lastly All the rest of my goods and Chattells I give and bequeath unto my youngest sonne Nathaniel#
whome I appointe sole Executor of this my last Will and Testament and I require him wthin one month after#
my decease to distribute amongst the Godly poore of the parish of Trinitie and St Peeters in Dorchester the#
some of ffortie shillings accordinge to his discretion, As for ffunerall expenses as I never liked the affected#
solemnities thereof, soe I require that there be order taken by my Executor, that as much as may bee my ffunerall
may bee solemnized with all privacy wthout any sermon or ringinge of Bells. And now Lord Jesus come #
quickly / John White Sen / Signed sealed acknowledged by the above named Mr John WHITE As his
Last Will and Testament the Twentie Nineth day of March Ano 1648 in the presence of / Memorandu
that the word (my) in the three and twentith line [Note in the original text] and the words (foure) and (Anne Drake) in the nine
and Twentith line were interlined before the signinge and sealinge hereof in the prece of Jno:WHITEWAY
The Will was proved at London before Robert Wiseman Doctor at Law and Surrogate to the right worshipful Sir Nathaniel Brent Knight Doctor of Law and Master or Keeper of the Prerogative Court the 14th day of June in the year of our Lord One thousand six hundred and forty nine by Oath of Nathaniel WHITE the deceased son and executor therein named. To whom Administration of all and singular the goods chattels and debts of the said deceased which any manner or way concern the same will was granted and committed he being first legally sworn well and truly to administer the same.
1. See the Biography of the The Rev John WHITE (1574-1648) Patriarch of Dorchester
2. There is a great deal of confusion surrounding John White's ancestry and descendants partly because a lot of documents were destroyed during this turbulent period of our history and also because of the terminology used at that time. Reference in the 17th Century to brothers and sisters included the wives and husbands of ones siblings. John White wrote his own pedigree which was preserved in the Hampshire Visitation dated 1634 See Harlein MS 1544 ff 223d, 224. This lists five siblings two brothers and three sisters. The three sisters were Elizabeth, Mary and Martha. An example of this confusion can be seen above where he refers in his will to four sisters. Ann Drake is in fact the widow of his elder brother Josiah who married Anne Barlow of Petersfield Hampshire about 1570. Josiah died in 1622 but she remarried to Francis Drake of Walton Surrey. When he died in 1633/4 she came to settle in Dorchester, or near the parish, as did his widowed sisters. His sister Mary married John Stephen Terry in about 1591. He died in 1625 leaving her a widow and she moved to Dorchester where she died and was buried at Holy Trinity church Dorchester on 17th Oct 1637, some eleven years before this will. The Mary White referred to above is Mary nee Waterhouse the widow of his younger brother Steven White who had died in 1629. Their daughter Mary White married John Whiteway (1614-1679) of Dorchester the younger brother of the diarist William Whiteway (1599-1635).
3. Dr Frederick Losse: Between 1646 and 1650 he received a stipend from the Corporation which governed Dorchester of eight pounds a year for treating poor patients. In 1657 Cromwell abandoned the unpopular new officials appointed and normal local government resumed. A protracted dispute over the election of new members was finally resolved by the appointment of Dr Frederick Losse physician.
4. Gabriel Reeve (1593-aft 1650) was master of the Free School from 1628 to 1650