Top Section: Contains a modernised English version of the Will set out in a way that makes it easier to follow and understand the intentions of the testator without losing the original sentence structure. I have added some punctuation and genealogical notes and links where appropriate.
Second Section: Shows the original transcription, where to aid researchers with identification, I have deliberately retained the original line structure, paging, spelling, abbreviation and superscript used in the Will. The copies of the will that I am working from however were taken many years ago, are incomplete and parts are out of focus. Attached to the will is a nice long inventory his household goods but I cant read it and at some stage I need to obtain a fresh copy either from the CLDS film or the Wiltshire Archives. As I have had it many years already however I have decided to transcribe what I can and place it in the public domain so that people can see that it exists. If anyone has a copy please make contact via the email address on the front page.
On the outside of the folded will is written:-
Herein is the last will & testament of William BISHOP of Fordington not to be opened till after my decease.
In the Name of God Amen I William BISHOP of Fordington in the County of Dorset, yeoman, being weak of body yet of perfect memory, blessed be god, do hereunto make this my last will and testament revoking all other wills whatsoever.
First: I commit my soul into the hands of the Almighty God who gave it, and my body decently to be interred in the parish church or churchyard of Fordington.
I give: unto my son Thomas ten shillings to be paid to him within three months after my demise.
I give: unto Joseph, Samuel, & Thomas sons of my son Thomas ten shillings each to be paid to them as they come to the age of one and twenty years
I give: unto my grandchild Margaret daughter of my son Andrew Bishop forty shillings to be paid when she attain the age of one and twenty years
I give: unto my son William one hundred and fifty pounds to be paid unto him when he attain the age of one and twenty years
All the rest of my goods chattels lands & bills whatsoever I give unto Mabel my wife whom I make Executrix of this my last will & Testament.
Signed Sealed & Delivered to be my last will & Testament in the presence of
Jno: [John] Adams
PROBATE: Has been granted at Ffordington by John Thornborough (Head of the Court?) on the 23rd day in the month of November 1668
Henry Butler Registrar?
ye County of Dorsit yeoman being weak of body yet of perfit
memory blessed be god doe heare make this my last will and
testament revoking all other wills whatso ever
ffirst I comit my soule into ye hands of the Almighty god
who gave it and my body decently to be intered in ye parish church
or churchyard of ffordington afore said.
I give unto my sone Thomas ten shillings to be paid unto him
in three months after my deceas
I give unto Joseph Samuell & Thomas sones of my sone them
Thomas ten shillings a peece to bepd to them as they come
to ye age of one and twenty yeares and if either of them
die before he or they attaine unto ye age of one and twenty
years then his or there leagacey to be devided to ye longest
livers or living and if they all happen to die then to the
before they attaine ye age of one and twenty yeares
then to be paid to my sone Thomas ffather of ye said
Joseph Samuell and Thomas: Bishop
I give unto my sone Andrew Bishop ten shillings to be
paid unto him in three months after my decease - I give
[unto Justinian Andrew William and John sones of my sone
Andrew ten shillings a peece to be pd to them as they come
to ye age of one and twenty yeares and any
of them happen to die before they attaine ye age [of one and]
twenty years then the ye legacie so given to remaine to ye
survivore or survivors of them & if they all happen to die
before they attaine to ye age of one and twenty yeares then
to remaine to my son Andrew father of ye sd JustinianAndrew
William and (Joseph deleted): John
I give unto my grandchild Margaret daughter of my sone
Andrew Bishop forty shillings to be pd when she attaine the
age of one and twenty yeares
I give unto my sone William one hundred and fifty
pounds to be payd unto him when he attaine to ye age
of one and twenty yeares
All the rest of my goods chattles lands & bills what:
soever I give unto Mabell my wife whom I make
Executrix of this my last will & testamt.
and I doe desire William Bun & John Adams of
ffordington to be overseeres of this my last will
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and testamt in wittnes hereof I have heare unto set my
hand and seale this sixteenth Day of November in the
twentieth yeare of his Majesties raigne ye new is & in ye yeare
of our Lord 1668.
the signe of William XI Bishop .
Signed Sealed & Delivered to be my last
will & testamt in presece of
Jno: [John] Adams
Probatum fuit apud ffordington sord
Johe Thornborough Curio et visesimo
tertio die Novembris 1668
Hen: Butler Regeins
(1). The Fordington St George Church burial records for the year 1668 have not survived so we do not have his burial which would have been between 16th November when he wrote his will and 23rd November when probate was granted. Records for the period 1640-1663 inclusive have not survived and he would have married and had children during this time.
(2). This refers to the fact that Charles II's first reign started 30th Jan 1648/9 after the execution of his father but he fled to France and was in exile for the next 11 years being replaced by Parliament. His seciond reign started in 1659/60 and is referred to here as his new reign..