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Letter of Administration for the Estate of George SALISBURY
16th October 1661

©Transcribed by Michael Russell OPC for Fordington 2009

NOTE:- Letters of Administration: When a person died intestate [i.e. leaving no will] the next of kin or a close friend would often have to apply to the probate court for Letters of Administration to enable them to take possession of and distribute the estate. The applicant had to swear that there was no will, that the applicant would pay all funeral expenses and debts, administer truly, and submit a true inventory and account of his/her stewardship. The Court then granted Letters of Administration and might require the administrator to enter into a bond to administer the estate faithfully, in which case a copy of the act was endorsed on the document.

A Bond is a binding agreement with a penalty for non performance. A bond deed is in two parts, the Obligation and the Condition. Before 1733 the Obligation, which records the penalty, was written in Latin. The Condition describes what the bonded person has undertaken to do, or otherwise committed himself or herself to (e.g. administer an estate), and was always in English.

This is clearly what we have here. My Latin is not good enough to do a proper translation of the first paragraph so I have confined myself to a summary of key facts to help make sense of the document. As with the great majority of seventeenth century records the document is written in Secretary hand which takes some getting used to and I have used the “Dictionary of Genealogy by Terrick VH Fitzhugh as my guide. As with medieval Latin some words are abbreviated. I have done the best I can with the translation adding some punctuation to help with clarity but would welcome a full translation by someone versed in Mediaeval Latin & Secretary Hand. I am the OPC for the Parish of Fordington and can be contacted in the usual way through the OPC site.

Latin Key facts:

Presents by Susanna SALISBURY of Ffordington in the County of Dorset widow
and Ambrose WEY of Fordinge [Fordington]
----- Edwardo ONSLOWE Canon
-----16th October in the year 1661

[Note: I have retained the same line structure as in the original document to aid location of text]

The Condition:

Is that if tha law bounde Susann SALISBURY ~~
and Auditory of all and single the goods chattles and creditts of
George SALISBURY Late of ffordington in the Countie of Dorset
and peculiar jurisdiction of the prebendarie above named, dedt [deceased]
to well and truly administer the same goods chattles and creditts
(that is to say) in paying his debts (if any be due) as far forth as
the same goods chattles & creditts will therewith expend & the law
charge her And also doo exhibite or cause to be exhibited unto the
Registrie of the said prebend a true & pfect [perfect] inventie [inventorie] of all
such goods & chattles and creditts as the said decd [deceased] dyed possessed of
at or before the feast of the Annution ~~ next and also do
[Note: Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary or 25th March]
defend and keepe harmless at all tymes hereafter, the said
prebendarie and all other his surrogates assents and Ministers
for granting to the said Susana SALISBURY the said administration
of the sd [said] decd [deceased] goods & for all other causes ensuing by reason of the
same Lastly doo come and give up a true account in writing
of and upon her said administration & thereupon doo stand and
abide unto the order and finall decree as by the said prebendarie
or any other compitent judge in that behalfe shall be limited and
appoynted Then the said obligation to be paid or ese [else] to be &
remayne in full power force & virtue

Signed Susanna [the mark of] SALISBURY
Signed Sealed and declared
in the presence of
Hen: [Henry] BUTLER
[Another illegible signature]

Ambrose WYE


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