I Josiah GARDNER son of Thomas GARDNER of the town of Little Bourton in the County of Oxon deceased, being to travel into the West Indies and having Letter Eighty and Five Pounds in the hands of MR Thomas HALLHEAD and Mr Thomas ROBINS both of the town of Banbury in the County aforesaid, do make this my Last Will and Testament to be in force and virtue after the death of my Mother Elizabeth ALLEN and not before |
To be paid all the legacies within three months after.
Signed sealed and delivered in the presence of William ALLEN and Richard HILL
Probate: This Will was proved at London the Twentieth day of August in the year of our Lord One Thousand six hundred Fifty and six before the Judges for Probate of Wills and Administrations lawfully authorized by the oathes of William WHEATLEY (Sic) and Edward BEALE sole executors named in the said Will to whom was committed Administration of all and singular the goods and chattles and debts of the said deceased They first being sworn by commission well and truley to Administer the same.
(1). Josiah GARDNER was the son of Thomas GARDNER who died in 1633 leaving a will dated 1st Nov 1632 which was proved 27th Nov 1633. Under this will, as his fathers eldest son, he inherited the Manor House at Little Bourton. His father was married to Elizabeth WHITE the younger sister of the Rev John WHITE (1575-1648) Patriarch of Dorchester. Elizabeth remarried prior to the death of her brother John White who died in 1648 where she is referred to in his Will as Elizabeth ALLEN. Rose Troup the (renowned biographer of Rev John White) speculated that she may have married William ALLEN of Banbury an Ironmonger who was obviously a close and trusted friend of the family has he was overseer of her husbands will. As can be seen above he is still involved with the family in 1650 when he witnessed Josiah's will.
(2). Josiah GARDNER is known to have married Amy WILLIAMS in Dorchester almost certainly by Rev John White in St Peters Church on 26th March 1640. The opening statement in his will is somewhat confusing. Clearly the Will was written as he was about to embark on what was then a perilous journey to the West Indies. No mention is made of his wife so she may have died but might have been going with him. From the opening statement it's possible that this was a permanent move, with him having sold up as no mention is made of his Mansion House at Little Bourton. With a dangersous journey at hand he seems to have opened a letter of credit for £85, a substantial amount at this time, simply for legacies to be paid. His mother is left £10 in his will which seems to undermine the opening statement. It seems likely that Josiah died in the West Indies sometime prior to August 1656.