Search billions of records on Ancestry.com
   
William DERBY (1588-1649)
[ Variations in spelling:- Gulielmus (latin for William) Wiilm. ; Darbey; Darbie; Darby; Derbye; Derbie ]

Gentleman & Mercer of Dorchester

[Will dated 7th and 24th Aug 1648; Proved 3rd May 1651 PCC Ref PRO 11/216]


© Compiled by Michael Russell OPC for Dorchester October 2016

(1) His Parents and Siblings:


St Mary's Church - Beaminster where his parents married in 1586
© Copyright Mike Searle and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

The Derby Family would still recognise the older parts of St Mary's, such as the tower build around the year 1500,
or the North chapel added in 1505. The Vestry dates from the 16th century and the transept in the east end
of the north aisle even dates back to the 13th century.


Henry DERBY (d.1621)(9)
Gentleman of Beaminster

William DERBY (1588-1649) was born at Beaminster the younger son of a Gentleman, Henry DERBY (d.1621) by his wife Joane nee ATTWOOD (d.1637) who married in St Mary's church in Beaminster on 5th June 1586. William had an older brother Richard DERBY whose birth soon followed his parents marriage, being baptised at St Mary's on 13th Sep 1587. The surviving parish registers for Beaminster however are only a hand written copy, and clearly not complete. There is a gap after 22 Oct 1588 until 27th Mar 1591 when in all likelihood William would have been baptised. We do have the baptism of 5 of his siblings but most information about his family comes from his father's will written in 1620/1 and the wills of his elder brother Richard in 1624 and his mother Joane written in 1636.

Whilst I hesitate to judge his father's character, on reading these wills I can't help but feel that Henry Derby was a rather arrogant gentleman who was clearly not on the best of terms with all his children. In the 17th Century as the eldest son Richard would have expected to inherit the bulk of his fathers estate to pass down to his descendants, yet that is not what happens here. William is clearly seen as the main beneficiary with Henry a favoured second. Indeed it appears to be the baptism of Richard's son Henry Derby by his wife Eleanor on 28th Feb 1620/1 that triggers Henry Derby senior to write his will only 8 days later. Their father clearly did not see Richard or his son as of sufficient character to inherit the bulk of his estate or represent the family. It is Henry or William for example that are appointed to be the 'Lords next tenant after my death' on various property's. Their other younger siblings can be appointed in strict rotation as dictated by their father but this does not include Richard or his son Robert. Richard only gets lands called 'Chauntry' and then only for his life and the life of his wife and son and it then reverts to William. I suspect this is because he is already living there. If there is any doubt about Richard's feelings about his fathers will you only have to read his own will written 3 years later when he asks for William to redress his inheritance, and if he won't, for the issue to be placed before the Chancellor of England. Richard only lived to the age of 37, and in his will refers to 'being weak of body', so his health may not have made him a strong candidate.

Henry's will seems to have been dictated in haste and witnessed first on the 8th. Second thoughts then seem to arise, possibly because Joane the executrix sees the will and some of the injustice of it, so we come to the Memorandum dated 24th which is to form part of the will. When it was written, apart from Richard only William and Henry are aged 30, so the rather rigid 30 year rule which applied to all his younger children is watered down to allow inheritance over the age of 21 (as long as William agrees to it). It is only then after this 2nd declaration that there is any reference at all to their son Robert who very begrudgingly is allowed the same monetary sum of £250 as his other siblings, "on condition that he behave himself dutifully towards his mother" and he has no option but to wait until he is 30 years old. Finally I suspect Joane gets agreement from Henry to a more equitable arrangement over his requirement for his daughter Frances to bear issue with a reward to Frances as opposed to her husband as originally dictated. Joane however appears to share her husbands view of Richard even afterboth thier deaths.

Richard's plea to his brother is clearly ignored by William as his own will passes the property 'Chauntry', after the death of Richard's widow and son, to his own son Joseph Derby. Joan's will in 1636 however makes it clear that she has rather reluctantly supported her grandson Henry as she states " I did for many years together keep and maintain him with diet and apparel and in that respect I hold myself not bound to give any allowance for the profit or benefit of that legacy during that time unless my estate were better able to bear it" but then earmarks some of the money owed to her towards meeting her husbands legacy of 100 marks to them.

Joan's will has one other revelation in that she then leaves all the rest of her estate to her son Anthony "towards his redemption out of prison misery if he may be delivered from thence". Anthony along with his brother Paul lived in France so it may well be that he was incarcerated there rather than England. All in all we do not seem to have a particularly harmonious family group which may have encouraged William Derby to move to Dorchester and establish his own business..



St Mary's Church Beaminster - Font (top late 12th Century)
The Font where William Derby was baptised in 1588

© Copyright Sarah Smith and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Known children of Henry DERBY and Joane ATTWOOD. :-
(They would all have been baptised in the above font)
    (1) Richard [Ricardi - Ricardus] Derby (1587- 1623/4) was bap St Mary's Beaminster 13th Sep 1587, according to his father's will dated 8th Mar 1620 he was already married to an Eleanor with a son called Henry Derby who was baptised at St Mary's on 28th Feb 1620/1. Other children of a Richard Derby were baptised in Beaminster (namely Bartholomew Derby on 6th Jan 1624/5 and Johannes [John] Derby on 16th May 1627) but these appear to be around and after his death and there is no indication that they were his children in his or his mothers will. Richard died when still only aged 37 and was buried at St Mary's on 18th Feb 1623/4. Link to a transcription of his undated Will proved 7th May 1624. Given his rift over his inheritance it is not surprising to find that he asks to be buried at Beaminster but near where his father's mother is buried. His widow Eleanor remarried to a Mr HILL as referred to by William in his will as 'my sister-in-law Eleanor HILL and by her son Henry in his will in 1652 as being his mother Elinor Hill. Richard's son Henry Derbie (Derby)(1620/1-1653) married Jane HUSSEY the daughter of William HUSSEY Esq by whom he had two daughters (Mary and Elizabeth) and also died young at Stalbridge Marsh in Dorset leaving a will written on 19th June 1652 which was proved by his relict and executrix Jane on 24th June 1653. He refers to lands he owned in Knighton and Porton in Dorset in the tenure of his kinsman Henry Derby which he had lately bought from his uncle Paul Derby which are left to his wife Jane and after her death to his unmarried daughters who each recieve £200 on age 21 or marriage.

    (2) William Derby (1588-1649) the subject of this biography was born and baptised Beaminster c1588 and married there in 1615. A Merchant probably in partnership with 3 of his his brothers. Henry was clearly directly involved in running the business in Dorchester as he took on apprentices, at least until 1634 when he moved back to Beaminster to live. His brothers Anthony and Paul were also merchants and appear to have handled the trade in France. Link to an account of his life mainly in Dorchester.

    (3) Henry Derby (1591- Aft 1652) was bap St Mary's Beaminster 27th Mar 1591, he married Christian Barnes at St Mary's on 13 Apr 1618 and was a beneficiary under his fathers will dated 8 Mar 1620 and witnessed, and was overseer, of his mothers will in 1636. Like his elder brother William he also headed for Dorchester to trade as a mercer and the Municipal records show that on 10th Aug 1621/2 he entered into an indenture to take on an apprentice called William Derbie (the son of Christopher Derbie), who was almost certainly related in some way, for a period of 8 years. Henry is also recorded in William Whiteway's diary(4) on 4th Oct 1624 as one of those elected to serve as a Constable in the town, which according to the biographical notes added to the diary by Thomas D Murphy, was a position he held until 1628. He was assistant to the Govenor of Freemen of Dorchester 1625-1626; 1629-30 and 1633-34 and elected as Governor for the year 1626-1627. He was also made an Ensign in the Dorset County Militia 24th May 1627. When Charles I granted his famous charter to Dorchester on 22nd Sep 1629 his elder brother William was Bailiff and named as one of the Common Council elected to assist the Mayor in making Bye Laws for the Borough, and Henry's name is among the 24 Freemen listed as elected on the council for the Company of Freemen. He was warden of the company of merchants in 1630 and is said to have returned to Beaminster to live in 1634. His namesake and nephew Henry Derby (1620/1-1653) refers to having an interest in property in the tenure of his kinsman Henry Derby in his will written in 1652. I have not so far located a suitable burial or will for this Henry (10).

    (4) John Derby MA (1592- aft 1627) His University record shows that he was educated at Exeter College Oxford where he matriculated 16th June 1610 at the age of 18. This would make him born circa 1592. There is a baptism at St Mary's in Beaminster for a John Darbye on 10th Match 1593 but again it does not give any parentage. From his studies at University he was awarded a BA degree on 11 Feb1612/13; and an MA on 15 Jan 1616/17. He was a beneficiary under his fathers will dated 8 Mar 1620 and married Joan Seaburne at St Mary's on 28 June 1627. This record refers to him as a clerk [i.e. cleric] but I have not located any record for him in the church of England data base. There is a big gap in the parish registers which are missing from June 1594 to 1600 so it may be that he was actually born later than his university record suggests, i.e. after Frances.

    (5) Frances Derby (1593- aft 1636) a daughter baptised at St Mary's on 23 Dec 1593. She was a beneficiary under her fathers will, which shows that she had already married William TUCKER prior to 1620. In 1624 her husband was one of the 119 investors in the Dorchester Company along with three of her brothers; She was alive in 1636 as acted as a witness to her mothers will of which her husband William TUCKER was Executor.

    (6) Anthony Derby (1603- aft 1636) was bap St Mary's Beaminster 12 Sep 1603 He was a beneficiary under his fathers will dated 8 Mar 1620 and in 1624 was one of the 119 investors in the Dorchester Company and according to Rose Troup(1) he was living in France. . Main beneficiary under his mothers will despite being in prison?

    (7) Rev. Roger Derby MA (1605 - aft 1639) was bap St Mary's Beaminster 9 Mar 1605 and a beneficiary under his fathers will dated 8 Mar 1620; educated at Lincoln Inn Hall Oxford where he matriculated 27th Jan 1625/6 aged 19 years; awarded a BA degree at New Hall Oxford on 24 Jan 1627/8; and an MA on 3 Jun 1630. He joined the church being ordained a deacon on 5th Jun 1631 and a priest the same day. In 1631 the Rev John White's curate Rev John Nicholas RULIZIUS left, and from the end of that year Roger Derby took his place as 'Reader and Lecturer' until John Strickland arrived on 5th July 1632. The corporation ordered that Roger Derby be paid £12 by Benjamin Devenish out of the profits of the brewhouse.  He was then appointed curate of Trull near Taunton in Somersetshire on 21 Aug 1633, and licenced to preach throughout the diocese of Bath and Wells on 16 June 1634. He married Joane Palmer at St Mary's Beaminster on 20th Jan 1633 and was a witness to his mothers will in 1636. Church records are far from complete and the last relating to him at Trull dates to 1639 and the next curate appointed to be recorded there was not until 1673.

    (8) Paul Derby (?- aft 1653) He was a beneficiary under his fathers will dated 8 Mar 1620 and in 1624 was one of the 119 investors in the Dorchester Company. According to Rose Troup(1) he was living in France. Richard's son Henry Derby (1620/1-1653) purchased lands from him so he appears to have been alive in 1652 when he wrote the will. The Rev RG Bartelot maintained that he was alive on 18 May 1653

    (9) Mary Derby (? - aft 1624?) She was a beneficiary under her fathers will dated 8 Mar 1620 may have married John ODBER? after 1621 and before 1624 see her brother Richard's will

    (10) Robert Derby(? - aft 1636) He was a beneficiary under an amendment to his fathers will dated 24 Mar 1620 and he appears to have married as a daughter Franisca is baptised at St Mary's on 11 Feb 1626 and Henry the son of Robert Derby buried there on 22nd Jan 1633. He was also a beneficiary under his mothers will in 1636 receiving the bigger of her brass pans.
On the 8th March 1620 Henry DERBY made his will which has been transcribed below. It was proved in London by his widow Joane Derby on 12th May 1621 so he clearly died between those dates and his widow's will confirms he was buried at Beaminster. It is interesting to note that Joane DERBY was one of the 119 Investors in the Dorchester Company which must have been at the behest of her sons who also invested. Joane's will written in Aug 1636 was proved on 17 May 1637.

Will of his father Henry DERBY (d.1620/1)
Gentleman of Beaminster

Dated 8 Mar 1620/1 - Proved 12 May 1621 - PROB 11/137


St Mary's Church - Looking roughly east-south-east over St Mary’s churchyard
© Copyright Martin Bodman and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Henry Derby, clearly a wealthy man, was buried somewhere in the graveyard in 1620/1
    In the name of God Amen: The eight day of March Anno Domini 1620. I Henry DERBY of Beaminster in the County of Dorset Gentleman being sick of body but of good and perfect memory (thanks be to God) revoking all other wills by me formerly made do constitute & make this my last will and testament in manner and form following.

    First: I commend my soul to Almighty God with assured hope of salvation through the merits of his dearly beloved son Jesus Christ and I desire that that my body may be buried in the Parish Church of Beaminster aforesaid And in consideration of my burial there and towards the repaying of the same church I give and bequeath to the said parish church twenty shillings

    Item: I give and bequeath towards the relief of the poor of the same parish church forty shillings to be paid within one year next ensuing after my death

    Item: I give and bequeath to my loving wife Joane DERBY all my lands tenements and hereditaments and the rents thereof during her widowhood And after the determination of her widowhood I give and bequeath all my lands called 'Chaunterye' which are now in my possession unto my son Richard, Eleanor his wife and Henrye their son during their several lives and the life of every of them longest living. The remainder thereof unto my son William for and during the term of one thousand years if my said son William or any issue male of his body lawfully begotten or any issue male descending from such issue male so long shall happen to live.

    Item: I give and bequeath all my lands tenements and hereditaments lying in Broadmayne, Mayne Martell and Mayne Hospital now in the tenure of Alice STURMY widow after the determination of my said wife's widowhood unto my said son William for and during the term of one thousand years if my said son William or any issue male of his body lawfully begotten or any issue male descending from such issue male so long shall happen to live.

    And after th'onde of the same term by effluxion of time or for want of such issue male or by reason of such issue male extinct whichever shall first happen - I give and bequeath all the same lands and tenements & hereditaments and my said lands called 'Chauntery' to my said son Richard for and during the term of one thousand years if my said son Richard or any issue male of his body lawfully begotten or any issue male descending from such issue male so long shall happen to live.

    The Remainder thereof unto my son Anthony for and during the term of one thousand years if my said son Anthony or any issue male of his body lawfully begotten or any issue male descending from such issue male descending from such issue male so long shall happen to live

    The Remainder thereof unto my son Roger for and during the term of one thousand years if my said son Roger or any issue male of his body lawfully begotten or any issue male descending from such issue male descending from such issue male so long shall happen to live

    The Remainder thereof unto my son Paul for and during the term of one thousand years if my said son Paul or any issue male of his body lawfully begotten or any issue male descending from such issue male descending from such issue male so long shall happen to live

    The Remainder thereof unto my daughter Frances for and during the term of one thousand years if my said daughter Frances or any issue male of her body lawfully begotten or any issue male descending from such issue male descending from such issue male so long shall happen to live

    The Remainder thereof unto my daughter Mary for and during the term of one thousand years if my said daughter Mary or any issue male of her body lawfully begotten or any issue male descending from such issue male descending from such issue male so long shall happen to live

    The Remainder thereof to the right heirs of me the said Henry DERBY forever.

    Item: I give and bequeath all my lands tenements and hereditaments lying in Knighton East Stafford and elsewhere now in the tenure or occupation of one Thomas SANSOME and all my lands tenements & hereditaments lying in Loscombe [Note:- tithing north west of Powerstock] and North Porton and elsewhere now in the tenure or occupation of one John MUNDEN after the determination of my said wife's widowhood unto my son Henry for and during the term of one thousand years if my said son Henry or any issue male of his body lawfully begotten or any issue male descending from such issue male descending from such issue male so long shall happen to live

    The Remainder thereof unto my son Paul for and during the term of one thousand years if my said son Paul or any issue male of his body lawfully begotten or any issue male descending from such issue male descending from such issue male so long shall happen to live

    The Remainder thereof unto my son Roger for and during the term of one thousand years if my said son Roger or any issue male of his body lawfully begotten or any issue male descending from such issue male descending from such issue male so long shall happen to live

    The Remainder thereof unto my son Anthony for and during the term of one thousand years if my said son Anthony or any issue male of his body lawfully begotten or any issue male descending from such issue male descending from such issue male so long shall happen to live

    The Remainder thereof unto my son John for and during the term of one thousand years if my said son John or any issue male of his body lawfully begotten or any issue male descending from such issue male descending from such issue male so long shall happen to live

    The Remainder thereof unto my son Richard for and during the term of one thousand years if my said son Richard or any issue male of his body lawfully begotten or any issue male descending from such issue male descending from such issue male so long shall happen to live ----

    The Remainder thereof unto my son William for and during the term of one thousand years if my said son William or any issue male of his body lawfully begotten or any issue male descending from such issue male descending from such issue male so long shall happen to live

    The Remainder thereof unto my daughter Frances for and during the term of one thousand years if my said daughter Frances or any issue male of her body lawfully begotten or any issue male descending from such issue male descending from such issue male so long shall happen to live

    The Remainder thereof unto my daughter Mary for and during the term of one thousand years if my said daughter Mary or any issue male of her body lawfully begotten or any issue male descending from such issue male descending from such issue male so long shall happen to live

    The Remainder thereof to the right heirs of me the said Henry DERBY forever.

    Item: I give and bequeath all my lands tenements and hereditaments called Chaunteye or Kyte Croft now in the tenure or occupation of William SEAVERNE & the rents thereof unto my said son John after the determination of my said wife's widowhood for and during the tern of one thousand years if my said son John or any issue male of his body lawfully begotten or any issue male descending from such issue male descending from such issue male so long shall happen to live

    The Remainder thereof unto my son William for and during the term of one thousand years if my said son William or any issue male of his body lawfully begotten or any issue male descending from such issue male descending from such issue male so long shall happen to live

    The Remainder thereof unto my son Anthony for and during the term of one thousand years if my said son Anthony or any issue male of his body lawfully begotten or any issue male descending from such issue male descending from such issue male so long shall happen to live

    The Remainder thereof unto my son Roger for and during the term of one thousand years if my said son Roger or any issue male of his body lawfully begotten or any issue male descending from such issue male descending from such issue male so long shall happen to live

    The Remainder thereof unto my son Paul for and during the term of one thousand years if my said son Paul or any issue male of his body lawfully begotten or any issue male descending from such issue male descending from such issue male so long shall happen to live

    The Remainder thereof unto my daughter Frances for and during the term of one thousand years if my said daughter Frances or any issue male of her body lawfully begotten or any issue male descending from such issue male descending from such issue male so long shall happen to live

    The Remainder thereof unto my daughter Mary for and during the term of one thousand years if my said daughter Mary or any issue male of her body lawfully begotten or any issue male descending from such issue male descending from such issue male so long shall happen to live

    The Remainder thereof to the right heirs of me the said Henry DERBY forever.

    Item: I give and bequeath unto my said son John two hundred and fifty pounds to be paid him at his age of thirty years if he so long live

    Item: I give and bequeath unto my said son Anthony two hundred and fifty pounds to be paid him at his age of thirty years if he so long live

    Item: I give and bequeath unto my said son Roger two hundred and fifty pounds to be paid him at his age of thirty years if he so long live

    Item: I give and bequeath unto my said son Paul two hundred and fifty pounds to be paid him at his age of thirty years if he so long live

    Item: I give and bequeath unto my said daughter Mary two hundred pounds to be paid at her marriage or within three months there next ensuing or at his age of three and twenty years which shall first happen And one hundred pounds more to be paid her within one year and a day next following after or shall have any issue of her body lawfully begotten which shall so long live

    Item: I give and bequeath unto my grandchild Henry DERBY one hundred marks to be paid him at his age of thirty years if he so long live.

    Item: I give and bequeath unto Elizabeth the daughter of my said son William one hundred pounds to be paid her at her age of fifteen years or the time of her marriage which shall first happen.

    Item: I do ordain and appoint that whereas my son-in-law William TUCKER by certain covenants between him and me is to have twenty pounds within the space of one year after he shall have issue male born of the body of my daughter Frances that the said twenty pounds shall be paid him within one year after my death.

    And: If any of my five children (vizt) John, Anthony, Roger, Paul, and Mary shall happen to die before their said legacies become due then my will is that the same legacy or legacies of him or her and them so dying shall be equally divided between the rest of my said five children then living to be paid at such time and times as their said legacy shall become due unto them and not before.

    Item: I give and bequeath unto my said son William the tableboard and sideboard with their frames in the Hall of my now dwelling house and the tableboard and frame in my kitchen and my two best forms and my six best stools And the tableboard and frame in the chamber wherein I lie And the standing bedstead in the chamber wherein my son Richard and his wife do usually lie And the featherbed furnished in the same bedstead The said tableboard, side cupboard, forms, stools, and bedstead to remain perpetually in the same house so long as my said son William and his wife or any issue lawfully descending from his body shall have any interest therein.

    Item: I do ordain and appoint that my said wife shall have the use and occupation of the said tableboard side cupboard forms stools and bedstead during her widowhood

    Item: I forgive my son Henry twenty pounds of the one hundred and twenty pounds which he oweth me.

    Item: I give and bequeath unto my servant John JESOP whom I have always found trusty and faithful 10 shillings and to my servant Richard COMB five shillings and to my servant John HOSKINS six shillings eight pence

    Item: I do nominate and appoint my said son Henry to be the Lords next tenant after my decease to the two tenements which I lately bought of Robert PILLORD And I charge and require him to nominate and appoint my said son Anthony to be the Lords next tenant after his death unto the said two tenements if he shall have no issue of his own body lawfully begotten living at the time of his death And I do likewise require and charge said my son Roger to be the Lords next tenant after his death unto the said two tenements if he shall have no issue of his own body lawfully begotten living at the time of his death And I do moreover charge and require my my said son Roger to nominate and appoint my said son Paul to be the Lords next tenant after his death unto the said two tenements if he shall have no issue of his own body lawfully begotten living at the time of his death And I further charge and require my my said son Paul to nominate and appoint my said son John to be the Lords next tenant after his death unto the said two tenements if he shall have no issue of his own body lawfully begotten living at the time of his death and my meaning is that if any of my said sons appointed to be nominated to the said two tenements shall happen to die before the time occurred by the true meaning hereof when he ought to be so nominated that then such of my said sons as shall then [be] living and ought to be next nominated thereunto shall be nominated thereunto by the person which by my will ought to do the same. And if such a person shall refute so to do Then I humbly desire the Lord Chancellor of England for the time being to rectify such wrong according to the equity of that honourable court

    Item: I do also charge and require my said son Henry to surrender into the Lord of the Manor of Beaminster personally or into the hands of two of the customary tenants of the same Manor All his right, title and interest of and in the Tenement wherein I now dwell to the use of my said son William wheresoever he shall thereunto [be] required after the determination of the widowhood of my said wife

    Item: I nominate and appoint my said son William to be the Lords next tenant after my death unto the cottage with the appurtenances not heritable which I bought of Thomas STOYLE and his wife And the house and garden and backside which I bought of James TROAMOR? alias MONYE which is said to be a cottage and heritable But I think it reasonable that my Gossippe William HOSKINS which hath all the ground belonging to the said cottage - should pay the herriot due for the same [to] Howbert [Herbert] JUMST? and do leave it to the Lord and homage of the same Manor.

    Item: I give and bequeath unto my said son William all my interest and estate of and in the Manor of Yondover [Note:- within the parish of Netherbury Doreset] And I desire all my good friends which have employed me as their Steward in my life time to employ my said son William in the same office after my death .

    All the Residue: of my goods & chattels moveable and unmovable my debts being paid and my funeral expenses discharged I give and bequeath unto my said loving wife Johan DERBY whom I make and ordain sole executrix of this my last will and testament And I desire my said son-in-law William TUCKER and my loving friend Mr Richard BRAGGE of Salbrey? to be Overseers of the same will And for their pains to be taken herein I give unto either of them one piece of gold to the value of twenty shillings to make them several rings provided always that before this my will be proved my said wish shall become bound by obligation to my said Overseers in the sum of two thousand pounds to perform the same will and also to leave the residue of my goods unto my said children John, Anthony, Roger and Paul equally to be divided amongst them ---if she mary again which bond if she refute to enter into then I give her only forty pounds in recompense of her houses in Taunton which I sold And then I desire my sons William, Henry and my said Overseers to take ?? administration of my goods and chattels to be administered according to this my will .

    Item: whereas the greatest part of my personal estate consists of money due unto me by Bonds and other Specialties [Securities?] I do ordain and appoint that when the same money or any part thereof shall become due my wish and my said two sons William & Henry and my said Overseers or three of them at the least whereof my said son William to be one shall have the disposing thereof to the use of my said four sons John, Anthony, Roger, Paul and my said daughter Mary for so much as their legacies amount unto And of the rest also to such other uses intents and purposes as are mentioned or intended in or by this my last Will and Testament And if they take new securities for the same or any part thereof Then the same security to be taken in the name of my said wife and two sons William and Henry and of my Overseers or of three of them at the least. Whereof my said son William to be one And I do also ordain & appoint that my said son William shall have the custody of all my writings Bonds Bills and Books of Accompt during his life And that after his death my said son Henry shall have custody of the same.

    Item: My will and meaning is that the legacies which I have given to my children and to my grandchild Henry and the daughter of son William in money shall be employed by my wife and my two sons William and Henry and my said Overseers or by three of them at the least Whereof my said son William to be one to the benefit of my children and my grandchildren until it shall become due unto them by this my last will and testament these being witnesses :-

    Richard BRAGGE; John BOWDITCH; William TUCKER; Henry DERBY; Richard HOOPER; Hugh CRABBE; William KUTLY; Joseph MERRICK

    The.xvjth [i.e. 8th] daye of Marche 1620
    Memoranda: whereas in this my Will I have desired my loving friend Mr Richard BRAGGE and my Son-in-Law William TUCKER to be Overseers of the same Will and have given them twenty shillings each to make them a ring Now I do also desire my loving friend Roger GOLLOP Esquire and my Cousin Richard HOOPER Clerk to be overseers with the said Richard BRAGG and William TUCKER of this my will And I do give to every of my said four Overseers for their pains herein a piece of gold of ten shillings each and no more to make them rings And whereas in this my will I have given & bequeathed unto my said sons John, Anthony, Roger and Paul several sums of two hundred and fifty pounds each to be paid them at their several ages of thirty years And if any of them or my said daughter Mary shall die before their said portions shall grow due that the portion of him or her or them so dying shall be divided between such of them as shall survive Now my will and meaning is that it shall be left to the discretion of my said executors and overseers and my son William or the greater part of them (whereof my said son William to be one) to pay the said legacy unto my said four sons at any time after their said ages of one and twenty years if they shall cause to pay the same before their ages of thirty years And that after such payment thereof although any of my said children that shall so receive his or their said portions shall die before his or said age of thirty years yet the residue of my said five children lastly named that shall survive shall take no benefit of the portion of him or them so dying after he or they shall be paid his or their said portions Witnesses hereunto:

    William TUCKER; William DERBY; Joseph MERRICK; Richard HOOPER; Henry CRABBE; William KUTLY.

    The Twenty Fourth of March 1620

    The Said Testator : the day and year last above mentioned did in the presence of his said executrix give and bequeath unto his son Robert on condition that he behave himself dutifullie towards his mother two hundred and fifty pounds to be paid at his age of thirty years if he so long live unto which legacy the said executrix doth assent These being witnesses

    John DERBY; Richard HOOPER; Richard DERBY

    Also the said Testator : did on the same day give and bequeath unto his daughter Frances TUCKER the sum of four score pounds to be paid within one year and a day next after she shall have issue of her body lawfully begotten which shall live so long which the said executrix hath heard the said testator formally to declare his intent to be And therefore the said executrix doth hereunto consent vizt to make up the said twenty pounds given her husband the sum of one hundred pounds in the whole Signed

    Johan DERBY

    Probate : {written in Latin - approx transcription] This written testament and codicils was approved at London before John BENET Doctor at Law for the Prerogative Court of Canterbury on 12th day in the month of May in the year of our Lord one thousand six hundred and twenty one when administration was granted to Joan DERBY relict of the deceased and executrix etc

Will of Richard [Ricardi] DERBY (1587-1624)
Gentleman of Beaminster
(PRO 11/143 Undated but Proved : )


St Mary's Churchyard - Behind the wall, houses in Church Street.
© Copyright Mike Faherty and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Richard Derby was buried somewhere in the graveyard on 18th Feb 1623/4
    In the name of god Amen: I Richard DERBY of Beaminster in the County of Dorset Gentleman considering the frailty and uncertainty of man's life, and being weak of body but of perfect memory thanks be unto Almighty God do constitute and make may last will and testament in manner and form as follows vizt :-

    First: I give and bequeath my soul to Almighty God my Saviour and redeemer assuring myself that I shall appear at the last day in the resurrection of the Just, and that although according to my flesh the worms shall eat my body, yet I shall with comfort see God and be received into his mercy by Jesus Christ And because I know that he hath provideth not for his, especially those of his own family, hath denied the faith and is worst then an infidel, and being therefore desirous to settle that small estate it hath pleased the Lord to lend me and which I am made Steward I do therefore give and bequeath my body to Christian burial to be interred in the Church of Beaminster as near the place where my father's mother was buried as can conveniently may be for which I give unto the said church ten shillings.

    Item: I give and bequeath unto the poor of the said parish twenty shillings

    Item: I give unto all my godchildren twelve pence each

    Item: Whereas by the last will and testament of Elizabeth TURNER my grandmother, and by the common laws of this realm also, I as next heir unto my deceased father ought to have the privileges of the first born to myself and my issue if Jacob had not by subtlety if not treachery got Elizabeth['s] right, to which purpose my deceased father had, and the world can well witness hath used often speeches tending to this purpose, die many years since delud? me diivs? ancient deeds and with all used speeches to this effect that whensoever it pleased god to call him the writings would do me good were in a certain box on which was written 'Antiqua Scripta de Mayne: ' Now as I desire not to intrude upon the right of any other person I am not willing, if I may avoid it, to loose my patrimony: but of these things I desire to refer myself unto my brothers own conscience not doubting but that as it hath pleased god to deal more bountifully and liberally with him touching the things of this life than with me so he will according to the word of truth be in deed a brother born for the day of adversity and deal with me and mine as he expects god shall with him and his, but to omit these things I proceed that whereas my father [by] his will and meaning was that after the estate and interest of him and my mother in and to a certain parcel of land called by the name of 'Chantrey' the same should descend and come unto me my wife and child my desire is that the same may be to the use and behoof of her and her child and of her assigns for and during the whole term that the same of right ought to be And whereas a good part of such money as is to me due [but] remains in the hands of other men and part thereof for such businesses are in case I should die will be troublesome for my wife to recover and I being induced by the motion of my brother William to meddle in such things my desire is that he will be a means to get the same for my wife

    Item: Whereas by the nomination of my said deceased father, my mother is the next tenant in possession of a certain tenement called 'Coombs Tenement' and none other being in the same after her but myself and my brother Henry DERBY and that my father's intent and meaning was which he often expressed in his lifetime that none of his children should be lessee one after the other in any tenement he had which not withstanding either by forgetfulness weakness or want of memory he omitted in not providing for me in that nature as for my brother Henry whose estate not withstanding much exceeds mine my desire is that if my said brother William not both according to equity and his own serious promises to me in that kind make good that my child shall have the benefit of that tenement in case he survive me then my desire is that the Honourable the Lord Chancellor of England for the time being may order him to make good his promise made upon conscionable cause and good consideration to which I doubt not he will be the sooner induced considering that indeed all the land of right ought to be mine and my son Henry's or which notwithstanding I am like to be disappointed

    All the Rest: of my goods moveable and unmovable and not herein given or bequeathed my debts being paid and my funeral expenses discharged I give and bequeath unto my loving wife Elianor DERBY whom I make sole Executrix of this my last will and testament And I desire my loving brothers-in-law John ODBER and William TUCKER to be Overseers of the same to whom I give for their pains ten shillings each to make them several rings

    Signed: Ri: DERBY

    In the presence of these Richard HOOPER; The mark of John JESSOP

    Probate : {written in Latin - approx transcription] This written testament was approved at London before the Venerable William BYRD Doctor at Law for the Prerogative Court of Canterbury on 7th day in the month of May in the year of our Lord one thousand six hundred and twenty four when administration was granted to Elianor DERBY relict of the deceased and executrix etc

Will of Joane DERBY (d.1637)
Widow of Beaminster
(PRO 11/174 - Dated 9th Aug 1636 - Proved : ???)


St Mary's Church - 15th Century Stained Glass Window
depicting the last supper behind the altar

© Copyright Basher Eyre and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Joan Derby was married here in 1586
    In the name of god Amen: I Joane DERBY of Beaminster in the County of Dorset widow sick in body but of good and perfect memory (praised be to God) do make this my last Will and Testament in manner and form following

    Item: First I commend my soul into the hands of my gracious God and merciful father relying on him for salvation in and through the merits of his only son my Saviour Jesus Christ

      And my body I appoint to be decently buried in the Church of Beaminster near the place where my husband was buried

      And as touching my worldly estate whereas I do stand engaged to pay unto my daugher-in-law Elizabeth DERBY and her children two hundred pounds and do also stand chargeable with a legacy of one hundred marks given by my deceased husband to my grandchild Henry DERBY here is due and owing to me by several persons one hundred threescore and three pounds and ten shillings which with such rent as will be due me at Michaelmas next being one band twenty pounds fourteen shillings and six pence which I do appoint to go towards the wasting and making up of the said two hundred pounds to my daughter Elizabeth and her children, and the residue hereof I appoint to be made and wasted out of my goods and personal estate.

      And as concerning the portion given my grandchild Henry DERBY I did for many years together keep and maintain him with diet and apparel and in that respect I hold myself not bound to give any allowance for the profit or benefit of that legacy during that time unless my estate were better able to bear it howbeit there being due unto me from my son William Derby about the third of August 1630 threescore and sixteen pounds sixteen shillings and ten pence I did then appoint, and do still allot and appoint, that that money with such profit as hath been or shall be made hereof shall go be and remain to and for the satisfying of the said legacy to my said cousin Henry.

      Also Whereas my deceased husband did give by his will to my son William the bedstead and bed in the new chamber in his then dwelling house, I do consent to that legacy and do signify and declare that the same bedstead now being amongst my goods in my house

      Also I give to my son Roger the bigger of my brass pans remaining in my son TUCKER's house and my third lesser brass pot

    All the Rest of my goods and chattels moveable and unmovable my debts being paid and funeral expenses discharged I do give and bequeath to my son Anthony towards his redemption out of prison misery if he may be delivered from thence, otherwise I do appoint that he shall have the benefit and profit of it for his maintenance during his life And I do also appoint that the money due unto me by bond from Mr Edward POPHAM shall go and be employed in like manner for my said son Anthony's benefit In testimony whereof I have hereunto subscribed my name the ninth day of August Anno Domini 1636:

    More I Give: to the poor people of Beaminster forty shillings And I do appoint my son William DERBY to be my executor of this my last will and my son Henry DERBY and my Son-in-law William TUCKER to be Overseers thereof And so do publish this my will the same 9th day of August Anno Domini 1636:

    Joane DERBY

    Signed and published in the presence of us Roger DERBIE; Henry DERBY; William TUCKER; William DERBIE; Frances TUCKER [Note 5 of her children]

    Probate : {written in Latin - approx transcription] This written testament was approved at London before the Venerable Charles TOOKER Doctor at Law surrogate for Venerable Dr Henrie MARTEN legal representative for the Prerogative Court of Canterbury on 17th day in the month of May in the year of our Lord one thousand six hundred and thirty seven when administration was granted to William DERBY son of the deceased and executor etc

(2) William DERBY (1588-1649)
Gentleman & Mercer of Dorchester

William DERBY (1588c-1649) was the second of ten children of Henry DERBY (d.1620/1 ) and Joane ATWOOD (d.1637) and having been born at Beaminster in Dorset was baptised in St Mary's church around the year 1588. He was the main beneficiary under his father's will dated 8 Mar 1620/1 but by then had already been living and and trading as a mercer in Dorchester for some time.



John Speed's map of Dorchester dated 1611
The earthen ramparts that nearly surround Dorchester can clearly be seen.


The earliest record we have of William DERBY being active in Dorchester is dated 23 Mar 1611/12, when he witnessed a deed that has survived in the Municipal Records of Dorchester (Charter 710 ). It was in that year that John Speed published his famous map of Dorchester as shown above. There is no doubt that William's influence steadily grew within the Corporation over the ensuing decade, when he also became an active supporter of the Rev John White's new social order. He remained on good terms with his father, supplanting his elder brother Richard Derby as heir to his fathers estate.

Marriage:     He briefly returned to Beaminster to marry Mary BRADSTOCK (d.1658/9) [Broadstocke] in St Mary's church on 19th Apr 1615 (2).
    Mary was one of seven children of Joseph BRADSTOCKE of Witchampton in Dorset by his wife Emma BROWNING. Mary had five sisters, who all married well, and a brother Henry BRADSTOCK of Witchampton who married Dorkas daughter of Anthony SNOOD of London.(3)
Children:- [Note:- I have provided these research notes in some depth because of the interest world wide in the Rev John White and the formation of the Dorchester Company:-]
    After marriage William and Mary settled in Dorchester to live. Identifying their children with any degree of certainty however has proved to be really difficult. We know that William Derby was a parishioner of Rev. John WHITE who was Rector of both Holy Trinity Church and St Peters. Most registers for Holy Trinity have survived but those for St Peters ( and All Saints ) were all destroyed prior to 1653, some in the great fire and the rest probably during the Civil War. William Derby was buried at St Peters in 1649 as was his widow Mary in 1658/9 so the records for where we might expect him to be have not survived.

    I have only identified two original records which are clearly authentic and relevant. Both are contemporary and written with first hand knowledge, the one by William Derby himself and the other by the Rev John White. The rest is pure speculation, albeit by some notable researchers and a few of the statements made are clearly wrong. Even these two records can be tricky to interpret.

      The first is William Derby's Will written on the 7th day of August 1648 which usefully states " if any of my three children live so long". His only bequest however is to his son and heir Joseph DERBY but at least we can see that however many children he had, only three survive in 1648. I would have expected some other bequests to surviving children particularly if they were male. This makes me suspect (no more than that) that the other two children were female and had their inheritance as part of their dowry.

      The other source is the Visitation of Hampshire taken in the years 1632 to 1634 when John WHITE submitted his family pedigree [page 230] indicating that his nephew John WHITE of Dorchester (the son of his brother Josiah WHITE by his wife Anne nee Barlow) was already married to Mary the daughter of William DERBY. There is no indication however as to when John White submitted the pedigree, only that it was attested and subscribed under the hand of William Ryley Esq Lancaster Herald at Arms. William Ryley Esq was in fact only the Lancaster Herald from 1641 to 1658 and John White died in July 1648. We also need to remember that The Civil War broke out in 1642 and Dorchester surrendered to Lord Carnarvon in Aug 1643. John White was gone from Dorchester when his library was then ransacked and we know he was in London as a member of the Assembly of Divines in June 1643. He did not return to Dorchester until the Autumn of 1646. Perhaps he submitted the pedigree whilst in London? All this strongly suggests to me that the pedigree shows a position after 1634 and probably between 1641 and 1648. This has relevance later.

    Another contemporary record that needs to be seriously considered is the parish register of Holy Trinity Church in Dorchester. It commences in 1559 and is fairly consistent over the period we are interested in. There are two baptisms which are of immediate interest. The first is for the year 1617 where it states " Mary the daughter of William DERBY baptised ye same daye" The prior baptism was on the 30th Dec 1617. There are no others either before or after these two registrations. Given William's marriage on 19th Apr 1615 Mary's baptism is 32 months later and must on the face of it be a candidate for his daughter Mary referred to in the visitation in 1634. If so she was aged under 17 which seems rather young, but not if the position in the Visitation reflects 1641-1648. More important if we are looking at the baptisms we also have to consider the burials and there is a corresponding entry for Holy Trinity for the year 1618:- "Anno Domini 1618 : April: Mary daughter of Willm DERBY bap buryed April 24o ". So it appears that this Mary died. There is a second baptism recorded for the year 1620:- " Elizabeth daughter of Willm DERBY baptised June 28o " I cannot trace any other William Derby of child bearing age being in Dorchester at this date, so I think these baptisms are likely to be two of his children. The 32 month gap before Mary's baptism leaves enough room for a first born child. In 17th Century Dorchester, first pregnancy ( and even later ones) were a risky business. It was traditional therefore for the wife to return to her mother's parish to give birth and the child was often baptised there before all her family. I have therefore looked for a suitable baptism at St Mary's in Beaminster but circumstances conspire against us as the baptisms between April 1615 and March 1617 are missing. 1616 might therefore be when Joseph was born, but equally she may not have conceived, miscarried or had another child that died later.

    At this point I need to correct an error made by Rose Troup in her biography 'John White : The Founder of Massachusetts' by Rose- Troup; published by GP Putnam's in 1930' page 459. Here she lists the 119 members of the Dorchester Company. Entries 110 and 111 refer to Paul and Anthony DERBY and against each entry she has stated "Son of William DERBY of Dorchester". It took a lot of research before I realised that, with the greatest respect to Rose Troup, she has the family relationships wrong. William Derby of Dorchester did not marry until 1615 and there is no evidence that he had a child called Anthony (or Paul) and even if he did they would be too young to be legal investors in the company formed in 1624. Anthony and John DERBY are in fact both younger brothers of William DERBY. His sister Frances DERBY married William TUCKER and he also invested in the Dorchester Company along with William and their widowed mother Joane DERBY. [Link to Anthony DERBY 6th child & Paul DERBY 8th child of Henry DERBY (d.1620/1 ) and Joane ATWOOD (d.1637). ]

    A listing of their children can therefore only be a best guess using known facts but these possibly suggest:-

    (1) Joseph Derby (1616? - Aft 1669? ) Educated at Magdalen Hall Oxford where he matriculated on 29th March 1639 aged 17; May have gone on to Inner Temple 1648; he married Joane COOKE at Thorncombe in Dorset on 1st January 1651/2 and raised a family of six children. He was elected town clerk of Dorchester on 12th Dec 1656. On the 10th May 1660 Charles II was proclaimed at Dorchester and the Mayor John Daniell made a short speech. He was followed by Joseph Derby still Town Clerk. David Underdown in his book about Dorchester 'Fire from Heaven' on page 231 states " He looked back over the 'world of confusions' from which they had just escaped, the strange and ...unheard of government's that had wasted our treasure and much precious blood in the nation'. He then proclaimed Charles II, adding a prayer that his throne might be 'established in righteousness'. There were loud cheers, and the gathering dispersed. Joseph appears to have been alive in 1669 as a conveyance survives at the National Archives (DD/X/WA/22) regarding his part interest in a copyhold tenement in Brockhampton in the parish of Buckland Abbas [now known as Buckland Newton] Dorset called Bewley Wood where his father William Derby with others had purchased the "fee simple" which presumably descended to him on the death of his father in 1649.

    (2) Mary Derby (1617 - 1618) baptised at Holy Trinity church Dorchester on 30th Dec 1617 and buried there on 24th April 1618

    (3) Elizabeth Derby (1620 - ? ) baptised at Holy Trinity Church on 28th June 1620

    (4) Mary Derby (c1622? - ?) according to the 1634 Visitation of Hampshire she married John WHITE (1615-1659/60) the son of Rev. Josias White BD (c.1573 - 1622/3) the brother of Rev John WHITE (1575-1648) . On pages 391/392 of The Rev White's Biography by Rose Troup she states that " John WHITE, second son of Josias, a "merchant adventurer" in Dorchester, married before 1634, Mary, daughter of William DERBY, and removed to London. I have already speculated that Mary's marriage may in fact have been after 1634 as I think Rose Troup, not unreasonably, relied on the date of the Visitation. Regarding her husband Rose Troup refers to "He brought an action against Robert and John Whetcombe, the former having been a member of the Dorchester Company, for goods supplied while he was a merchant adventurer in Dorchester ". I have not located this case but it presumably confirms that they now live in London.
Career:-     We have William Whiteway's diary(4) to thank for an insight into just how much at ease William DERBY was moving amongst the ruling elite in Dorchester around this time - he records in his diary:-
    4 May 1620 - The said William Whiteway and Elenor Parkins were betrothed in my father Parkins his hall about 9 of the clock at night by Mr.John White in the presence of our Parents, Unkle John Gould and Mr Darby and their wives, my cousin Joan Gould widow, and my sister Margaret Parkins etc"

     "14 June 1620 - I William Whiteway was married to Elenor Parkins by Mr. John White in the church of Holy Trinity in Dorchester, in the presence of the greatest part of the towne, which marriage I pray God to blesse, that I may turne of his glory, and our good and the comfort of all our friends Amen". 
'William Derby Gentleman of Dorchester' , as a trusted attorney, is also recorded in a codicil, dated 20th Oct 1620, to the will of a wealthy gentleman Richard MITCHELL of Milbourne St Andrew when he is made one of four joint executors and paid £20 to administer various truists over his houses and lands in Milbourne St Andrew. The executors including William Derby had the will proved in London on 2nd Dec 1620. When the Visitation of Dorset arrived in Dorchester on 9 Aug 1623(3) he was already acting as Deputy Recorder for the town and borough and In 1624(6) he is recorded as a witness in his capacity as 'town clerk'. This was a position he held throughout 1629-1648. On 31st March 1624 the Revd John White (1575-1648) set up the Dorchester Company and William Whiteway the younger (1599-1635) in his diary(4) lists William Derby's name as one of the original fourteen persons who formed the "New England Planters Parliament" and hence he was among the first Investors in the Dorchester Company and other ventures in New England. His active involvement was assured when they applied for a licence. Although the 14 elected Richard BUSHROD as their representative, as a practicing attorney, it was William Derby that laid their case before the council. It's easy to see his interest as a merchant and sure enough the port books of Weymouth for the year 1625 record two cargos, one from Newfoundland of fish and oil in September of that year and one the return of the 'Fellowship' from Virginia on 11th Sep 1625 with a cargo dry fish, corfish, train oil, quarters of oak, and 300 fox, racoon, martins, otter and beaver skins destined for William Derby & Co which Rose Troup describes as being of considerable value. (7) From what we know it seems pretty clear that William was the driving force behind the family trade, but as a Magistrate he was a very busy man. The Dorset Quarter Session records have been published from the period 1625-1638 and he appears therein on a regular basis as a hard working attorney throughout the period 1625-1634. The assizes were held in different towns; for example he had to be at Sherborne in April 1627; Shaston in June that year; Beaminster in October and Blandford in January 1628. His younger brother Henry DERBY therefore took on the day to day burden of running of the company in Dorchester. A lot of the fish, skins etc that they bought in New England were in fact sold on the continent as they consistently brought higher prices there than in England. This end of the business appears to have been run by his two younger brothers Anthony and Paul who lived in France, sold the fish etc and then bought goods in France for shipment back to Dorchester. This triangular trade proved to be very profitable for the family. They also made losses of course and in May 1628 William Derby's name appears on the list of 43 adventurers made debtors of the Dorchester Company's general stock. Six members of the old company subscribed to the New England Company one of which was William DERBY who in 1629 was an auditor with others of the company accounts. .

His position in the town hierarchy was reinforced when he was chosen as a Capital Burgess of Dorchester on 10th April 1626(4). Another John White scheme, to arrange for better remuneration for the rectors of Dorchester, also had his support and his name is among the capital burgesses that were appointed to the board of management when they bought the impropriate parsonage of Seaton. William Derby was also one one of the signatories to the Charter granted to Dorchester by Charles I on 22nd Sep 1629 and his name appears as one of the Council elected to assist the Mayor to issue Bye Laws for the town. He was already elected to serve as Bailiff for the first time that year and was re-elected in 1633 and 1645. He was also serving as an Alderman of Dorchester sometime after 1626 but before 1630 when records commence. We know this to be the case as when he died in 1649 records survive showing that his place as Alderman was taken in 1650 by Richard Savage. He was elected Mayor of Dorchester in 1638 but like so many fled Dorchester in 1643 for the saftey of London during the Civil War. He was still there is 1645 but returned and was elected under Sheriff of Dorset in 1649.

John Hutchins(8) refers to a brass plate on the wall of a house on the south east side of St Peters Churchyard which records his death in October 1649, the parish registers have of course not survived. His will written on 7th Aug 1648 has been transcribed in the next section below. His wife Mary DERBY nee Bradstock was buried at St Peters Church in Dorchester on 14th Jan 1658/9 described as Mary Darby the widow of Wm Darby Magistrate.
Will of William DERBY (1588c-1649)
(PRO 11/216 Dated:7th Aug 1648 Buried: Oct 1649 Proved: 3rd May 1651)

The Last Will and Testament of me William DERBY of Dorchester in the County of Dorset Gentleman set by me down in writing the seventh day of August Anno Domini One Thousand Six Hundred forty eight and in the four and twentieth year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord King Charles:

First whereas I stand possessed of an estate of the remainder of a term of one thousand years yet to come if I or any issue male of my body lawfully begotten or any issue male descending from such male so long shall live, All the lands tenements and hereditaments which was my fathers lying in Broadmayne, Mayne Martell and Mayne Hospital parcel thereof being in the now term [occupation] of one SNOW and the residue thereof in the term or occupation of John WILLIAMS Esquire and whereas I do also stand possessed for the like term of years if any issue male of my body lawfully begotten, or any issue male descending from such issue male shall so long live to commence immediately from and after the decease of my sister-in-law Eleanor HILL widow and her kinsman her son Henry DERBY of and in certain lands called 'Chauntry' which was heretofore in my father's possession, I do give devise and bequeath all the said lands tenements and hereditaments as well [as] that which in my own hands or in my tenants hands in Mayne, Broadmayne and Mayne Hospital unto my wife Marie DERBY during so long term and so many years as she shall live, if any issue of my body lawfully begotten shall so long live
    And: after her decease I do give devise and bequeath all the said lands tenements and hereditaments in Broadmayne, Mayne Martell and Mayne Hospital and after the decease of my sister [in law] HILL and her said son Henry, I do give devise and bequeath All the said lands called 'Chauntry' during the remainder of the said term of one thousand years, if any issue male of my body begotten or to be begotten shall live unto my son Joseph if my son Joseph or any issue male of his body lawfully begotten or any issue male of such issue male shall so long live
    Also: I do give and bequeath unto my said wife all my estate term and interest which I have yet to come in all those several grounds called 'Mackleford' which I now hold of John BROWNE Esquire under the chief rent payable for the same unto the said Mr BROWNE.
    Also: I do give and bequeath unto my wife during her life All those several meadow grounds in Charminster meade which I sometimes purchased of William WHITE and afterwards I purchased the fee farmship thereof. And after my wife's decease I do give and devise the same unto my son Joseph his heirs and assigns for ever.
    Also: I do give and bequeath unto my said son any estate and term of years which I have to come in the Burgages wherein Mr TERRY [i.e. Josias Terry (1597-1667) haberdasher of Dorchester] dwells, if any of my three children live so long
    Also: I do give and bequeath unto my wife during her life one Annuity of five pounds yearly issuing out of the Burgage of Mr LONGE in [St] Peter's parish in Dorchester
All the Residue of my goods and chattels rights and credits I give to my loving wife whom I appoint my sole executrix of this my last Will and Testament in testimony whereof I have written this will with my own hand and do confirm the same this present Monday morning

William DERBIE Teste [i.e. Witnessed by] John WHITE; Thomas SHEPPARD

PROBATE:This above written will was proved at London the third day of May in the year of our Lord God one thousand six hundred [and] fifty one before the right worshipful Sir Nathaniel BRENT Knight Doctor of Laws and Master or Keeper of the Prerogative Court by the oath of Marie the relict and executrix of the said deceased therein named To whom was committed administration of all and singular the goods chattels and debts of the said deceased she being first legally sworn well and faithfully to administer the same

Genealogical Notes & Sources:

(1) 'John White The Patriarch of Dorchester [Dorset] and Founder of Massachusetts' by Frances Rose-Troup published by GP Putnam's Sons in 1930.
(2) "Dorset Parish Registers - Marriages" Vol 3. edited by W. P. W. Phillimore and Edmund Nevill and published in 1908 show that William Derby & Marie Brodestocke married 19-Apr 1615 in Beaminster
(3) The Visitation of Dorset taken in the year 1623 Taken by Henry St George & Samson Lennard Edited by John Paul Rylands in the year 1885 published by the Harlein Society Volume xx- page 20 Family of Bradstock and page 3 Confirms Deputy Recorder of Dorchester of the town & borough on date of visitation 9 Aug 1623.
(4) William Whiteway of Dorchester - His diary 1618-1635 based on notes compiled by Thomas D Murphy Dorset Record Society
(5) Municipal Records of Dorchester [MRD] by Charles Herbert Mayo - 1908
(6) MRD Charter 680 dated - see also charters 681; 688 and 710
(7) Pages 32, 33, 35, 39 & 40 Extract from Studies in a Dorset History by Maureen Weinstock M.A..,F.R..Hist.S. Published by Longmans (Dorchester) Ltd 1953
(8) The History and Antiquities of the County of Dorset (3rd Edition published 1868 - pages 334 to 409) by John Hutchins -- Pages 379-389
(9) Worth noting that there is a will I have not accessed at the Wiltshire & Swindon Archive for a Bartholemew DARBY of Beaminster Ref P5/Reg/78B dated 1570
(10) There is a burial for a Christian DERBY Widow at Mordon in Dorset on 30th March 1663 but I have no way of being sure this is his wife/widow

Back to Dorchester Co      Fordington Page      OPC Page