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Will of Josiah Gardner

of Little Bourton, Oxfordshire

Dated 20 Jan 1650/1: Proved 20 Aug 1656

Transcribed by Michael Russell OPC for Fordington November 2013

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
    Impremis: I give and bestow for the good and benefit of the poor of the town of Banbury five pounds
    Item: I give unto Mr WELLS the now Minister Twenty Shillings
    Item: I give unto my beloved and loving Mother for her freely to dispose of as she shall please the sum of Ten Pounds
    Item: I give unto Mr William WHAYLIE appothecary Ten Shillings
    Item: I give unto Mr Edward BEALE shoemaker in the town of Banbury Ten Shillings
    Item: I give unto my Sisters and Bothers all that shall remain of the said Eighty Five Pounds over and above what is given above expressed
      And: to my neices Sarah FRENCH and Hannah GREGORY both daughters of my sister Hannah GREGORY
To be delivered and paid unto them and every one of them the whole remainder by equal portions to every one alike for many as shall then be living my two neices aforesaid if living to have an equal share with my brothers and sisters

To be paid all the legacies within three months after.
    Item: I make and constitute Mr William WHAYLIE and Mr Edward BEALE aforesaid my sole executors. Witness my hand this Twentieth day of January Anno Dom 1650:

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.
Genealogical Notes:-

(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.

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