This is the Last Will and Testament of me Ebenezer BROOKES of the City of Exeter wagoner being sick and weak in body but of sound and perfect memory (Thanks be to God)
First: I give unto Nathaniel FRANKLYN of Exxon aforesaid tucker the sum of one hundred and fifty pounds in Trust nevertheless to and for the use of my said daughters Eleanor and Deborah BROOKS and such child as Deborah my wife now goes with all to be severally paid them share and share alike as they shall attain the age of twenty one years and in case any or either of such child or children shall happen to die before such attainment The my will is that the share and part of such deceased child or children shall go and be to the survivors or survivor of the which said sum of one hundred and fifty pounds I do hereby direct and appoint my Executrix hereafter named to pay over and deposit the same into the hands and custody of the said Nathaniel FRANKLYN within the space of twelve calendar months next after my decease to be by him with all convenient speed according to his discretion placed out at interest for the benefit of my said children or the survivors or survivor of them as they shall come to age
Item: As an augmentation to my said children's fortunes I further give them severally the sum of thirty pounds to be paid them by my Executrix as they shall attain the age of one and twenty years
Item: I give unto my mother Elizabeth BROOKS widow one shilling and a pair of sheep's leather gloves.
Item: I give unto my Nephew Richard BROOKS the sum of five pounds to be paid him when of age or towards placing him out an Apprentice . To him also I give two of my suits to furnish him in apparel
Item: I desire the said Nathaniel FRANKLYN to undertake this Trust to whom I give ten shillings and from time to time to reimburse himself any personal charge he may be put unto in execution of this Trust
And Lastly: I do hereby make my wife Deborah BROOKS Executrix and Residuary Legatee of this my said Last Will and Testament
In Witness : whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal the 17th day of September in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and thirteen.
Signed: Ebenezer BROOKS
Signed sealed published & declared to be the last Will and Testament of the said Ebenezer BROOKS in the presence of us who subscribed our names in his presence
Codicil 8th October 1713
Whereas: I Ebenezer BROOKES of the City of Exeter wagoner have constituted and appointed Nathaniel FRANKLYN of Exxon aforesaid tucker Trustee of my within Will It is my further will that Peter TEMPLEMAN of Dorchester in the County of Dorset Gentleman shall be joint Trustee with the said Nathaniel FRANKLYN under the same powers and restrictions within mentioned given under my hand and seal this eighth day of October in the twelfth year of the reign of our Sovereign Lady Anne of Great Britain France and Ireland Queen Anno Domini One Thousand Seven Hundred and Thirteen
Signed: Ebenezer BROOKS
Signed sealed published & declared to be the last Will in the presence of us who subscribed our names in his presence of us who subscribed our names in his presence of
Probate is in Latin - Proved in London and administration granted to Deborah BROOKS his relict and executrix on 19th November 1713
(1). Background to his life extracted from the 'Life, Trial, Condemnation and Execution of Mrs Mary CHANNING (nee BROOKS) (1687-1705/6)' who was his sister
Ebenezar BROOKS: The Bishop of Winchester issued a marriage licence for Ebenezar BROOKS, a bachelor of Dorchester, and Deborah MONDAY [Mundye] a spinster of Andover to marry in her home parish on 7th April 1706. On his will Ebenezar later describes himself as being 'a wagoner of Exeter' and in his fathers will of 1709 he is simply left "one shilling and no more" (a legal ploy often used to prevent challenging omission from a will). We also know from his fathers will that he had a dwelling and lands at Honiton which he left to his brother Joshua so it seems likely that on marriage his father put him in charge of running his wagon business in Devon. He may even have stayed in the dwelling there as Joshua remained in Dorchester, or perhaps been set up in his own house so his omission from the Will is most likely because he had already received his portion of his inheritance. Ebenezar's will also shows that he had two daughters born between 1706 and 1713, Eleanor and Deborah. He is back in Fordington by 17th Sep 1713 when he first wrote his will (a codicil was added on 8th October). Ebenezar is then recorded in the parish registers for St Georges church as being baptised as an adult (and being sick) on 9th October 1713. As anabaptists his parents did not believe in infant baptism. He died the following day and was buried there on the 12th. [PROB 11/536]. Deborah his widow gave birth shortly after his death to a third child whom she names Sarah BROOKS and had baptised in St Georges church in Fordington on 28th of the same month.
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