Note:- The Obligation (the first part of the document) as usual is written in Latin and my Latin is not good enough to provide an exact transcription. Whilst some words varied from document to document Letters of Administration followed the same basic format so I have placed the variable (and from our point of view the important) details such as peoples names , places trades etc into a standard worded document as below so that the document can be understood.
Know All Men by these presents that Elizabetham DEVENISH of Dorchester: in the County of Dorset, and Stephanus CLARKE of Dorchester upholsterer
Are held and firmly bound unto Henry JONES Official Principal of Radolphi IRONSIDE the Archdeacon of the Archdeaconry of Dorset fully constituted in the sum of one hundred pounds of goods and lawful money of Great Britain to be paid unto the said Henry JONES his certain attorney his executors Administrators or Assigns To which payment well and truly to be made We oblige ourselves and each and every of us by himself for the whole our and each and every of our heirs executors and Administrators firmly by these presents sealed with our seals
Dated the third day in the month of February in the year of Our Lord 1681 and the third year of the reign of William & Mary by the grace of God of Great Britain France and Ireland King Defender of the Faith and so forth
The Condition of this present obligation is such that if the above bounden Elizabeth DEVENISH the natural and lawful daughter and Administratrix of all and singular the goods chattels and credits of Elizabeth DEVENISH late of Dorchester above said Widow, intestate & deceased do make or cause to be made a true and perfect Inventory of all singular the goods chattels and credits of the said deceased which have or shall come to the hands knowledge or possession of her the said Elizabeth DEVENISH or into the hands and possession of any person or persons for her and the same so made do exhibit or cause to be exhibited into the Registry of the Archdeacons Court of Dorset when she shall be thereunto lawfully required,
And the same goods chattels and credits and all other the goods chattels and credits of the said deceased at the time of her death which at any time after shall come to the hands or possession of the said Elizabeth DEVENISH or into the hands and possession of any person or persons for her do well and truly Administer accpording to law,
And further do make or cause to be made a true and just accompt of her said Administration at or before ye First day of St Michael the Archangell (1) next ensuing and all the rest and residue of the said goods chattels and credits which shall be found remaining upon the said Administration accompt the same being first examined and allowed of by the Judge or Judges for the time being of the said Court shall deliver and pay unto such person or persons as the said Judge or Judges by his or their decree or sentence shall limit and appoint according to the true intent and meaning of an Act of Parliament in this behalf made and provided
And if it shall hereafter appear that any last will and Testament was made by the said deceased and the Executor or Executors therein named do exhibit the same into the said Court making request to have it allowed and approved accordingly if the said Elizabeth DEVENISH above bounden being thereunto lawfully required do render or deliver up the said Letters of Administration (approbation of such Testament being first had and made) in the said Court Then this Obligation to be void and of non effect or else to stand remain and bein full power force and virtue.
Elizabeth DEVENISH with her seal
Stephen CLARK with his seal
Signed Sealed and delivered in the presence of Elizabeth FITZHERBERT
(1). The Feast of St Michael and All Angels was held on 29th September
(2) Her burial may be the "
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