In the Name of God Amen This first and twentieth day of May in the year of our Lord one thousand six hundred and fifty seven I John HILL of London Merchant being in good health of body and of sound and perfect mind and memory then before Almighty God do make ordain and declare this present to be my last Will and Testament for and concerning the disposing of my Worldly Estate as follows (that is to say)
First: my debts being paid and funerals discharged
I Give and bequeath to every of those children of my late daughter-in-law Mistress Sarah HILL deceased the late wife of Master Richard HILL Merchant namely to John, Mary and Sarah HILL the sum of one hundred pounds a piece to be paid unto the said John at his attainment of the age of one and twenty years and to the said Marie and Sarah at their respective attainments unto the like age or the respective day of their marriage which shall first happen and if any of them the said children shall happen to depart this life before his, her or their said legacies shall be due and payable as aforesaid then the legacy of him her or them so deceasing shall come and be paid to the survivors and survivor of them the said children share and share alike to be paid when and as his her and their own legacy and legacies are before appointed to be paid
And if all of them the said three children shall depart this life before the said time of payment of those said legacies as aforesaid Then the moiety of their said legacies of one hundred pounds a piece shall come and accrue to the said Richard HILL their father if then living and if he then be dead to Richard HILL his son and that the moiety of the said legacies shall come and accrue to my Grandchild Sarah CULLEN the daughter of Richard CULLEN and of Mary his late wife deceased to be paid and delivered to her when and as the remainder of my estate hereafter given and intended to her is appointed to be paid and delivered and in case of her death before such time of payment then to such other person and persons and in such order and manner and accordingly as the said remainder of my estate is hereafter limited unto
And my will and mind is that the said three several legacies of one hundred pounds a piece given and intended unto the said John, Marie and Sarah HILL shall within one year after my decease be paid and delivered into the hands of their said father Richard HILL for their use and benefit he giving good surety to my executors to pay the same to the said children
And in case of their deaths to such others to whom the same is before appointed when and as the same or any part thereof shall be due according to the true meaning of this my will
And whereas I have lent unto my said son-in-law Master Richard HILL Merchant two several sums of two thousand pounds and five hundred pounds upon several mortgages at six per cent per annum for some time and years yet to come which will expire and fall due in July which shall be in the year of our Lord one thousand six hundred and sixty my will is and I do hereby declare that for so many years and such time as shall be to come at the time of my decease before the said principal monies shall fall due upon those mortgages he the said Richard HILL and his executors shall only pay and allow for interest of the said two thousand pounds and five hundred pounds or such part thereof as shall then rest upon the said mortgages after the rate of three pounds per cent per annum only or on and besides the principal.
I Give and bequeath to every of the children of my daughter-in-law Mistress Johane BALE which shall be living at the time of my decease the sum of fifty pounds a piece to be paid into the hands at their respective attainments of the age of one and twenty years and to her daughters at their respective attainment of the like age or at the day of their marriage which shall first happen and if any of the said children of my said daughter-in-law Mistress Johane BALE which shall be living at the time of my decease shall afterwards happen to depart this life before his her or their said legacy or lagacies shall be due and payable Then the legacy or legacies of him her and them so deceasing shall come and be paid to the survivors and survivor of them share and share alike when and as his her and their legacies are before appointed to be paid
And if all the children of the said Johane BALE shall depart this life before the time of payment of their said legacies as aforesaid Then the moiety of those said legacies shall come and accrue to their father Gifford BALE (3) to his own use and the other moiety thereof shall come and be paid to my aforesaid Grandchild Sarah CULLING to be paid and delivered to her when and as the remainder of my estate hereafter given and intended to her is limited to be paid and if she die before such time of payment then to such other person and persons unto whom the same remainder of my estate is limited and in such order and manner and accordingly as the same remainder of my estate is limited unto and appointed
And my will and mind is that the same several legacies of Fifty Pounds a piece given and intended to my said daughter-in-law Johane BALE her children shall within one year after my decease be paid and delivered into the hands of their said father Gifford BALE for their use and benefit he giving good security to my other executors to pay the same to the said children
And in case of their deaths as aforesaid to such others to whom the sum or any part thereof is before appointed when and as the same shall be due accordingly to the true meaning of this my Will.
Item: I Give unto Sarah DAVIDGE and Katherine DAVIDGE the daughters of my Son-in-Law Richard DAVIDGE the sum of Fifty pounds a piece to be paid unto their said father to their use within one year next after my decease upon his own cognizance to be given for the sum to my other executors which legacies to the said children of the said Richard DAVIDGE are to be in performance of my voluntary promise to him made when he purchased Leaston Farm of me.
Item: I Give and bequeath unto my said Daughter-in-law Mistress Johane BALE fifty pounds to buy a piece of plate Item: I Give
unto John HILL son of my late brother William HILL twenty pounds.
Item: I Give unto my said son-in-law Master Richard HILL Merchant twenty pounds to buy him a piece of plate.
Item: I Give and bequeath the sum of one hundred pounds to be disbursed and paid by my Executors here after named in the purchase of some Lands or Tenements as an estate as income, same as so to lie in the County of Dorset, or in some other County advisement of the most value the same will work unto, to be conveyed by my said executors or the survivors or survivor of them and his and their heirs and assigns by the means and provisement of the Mayor, Aldermen and Capital Burgesses for the time being of the Town of Dorchester in the said County of Dorset within two years next after my decease and within a convenient time as may be for such purchase and assurance passed to my said executors or the survivors or survivor of them and their heirs to be by them by advice of Leonard CONNELL lawfully and sufficiently sealed and assigned to and upon the said Mayor Aldermen and Burgesses and their successors for ever upon my Land confidently that the yearly rents issues and profits of such lands and tenements from time to time arising to be made shall in a yearly 'exhibition' or revenue for ever be paid and applied for and towards the maintenance of a poor Scholar who shall be born of honest parents inhabitants of the said town of Dorchester and shall be educated and brought up in the 'Free School' there, and then sent and promoted to one of the Universities of this nation, from the time as such poor scholar first entrance or admittance into such University until he shall commence Bachelor of Arts (if he shall so long live)
And as any such poor scholar shall so commence Bachelor of Arts or depart this life (which shall first happen) then for and towards the like maintenance of another like poor scholar of like birth and education and for like time and like manner one at a time successively and immediately to succeed after another at the University for ever.
And upon further Trust that in case it shall happen that there shall be no further poor scholar so fitted and sent from that School to the University as aforesaid within two years after such purchase and settlement of the said Lands and Tenements as aforesaid or that there shall be a discontinuance of sending such scholars to the University in succession one after another by the whole space of two years or any longer time that then the yearly rents issues and profits which during every such time and (happance?) and until such scholar shall be so from time to time fitted and sent to the University as aforesaid shall be had and received as or for the said Lands and Tenements shall be to and for the only use and behoof of such person or persons from time to time as shall be my heir or heirs at Common Law and to whom the sum shall be accounted and paid by the said Mayor Aldermen and Burgesses and their surrogates accordingly
Item: I Give unto the poor of the three several parishes in the said town of Dorchester twenty nobles a piece to the poor as each said parish to be paid and distributed amongst them within six months after my decease at the discretion of the respective Church Wardens and Overseers of the said several parishes for the time then being
Item: I Give unto such manservant as I shall be living with me at the time of my decease five pounds
The Rest and Remainder of all and singular my goods chattels debts ready money and personal estate after my debts and funerals and legacies before and hereafter given paid or deducted I wholly give loan and bequeath unto my aforesaid Grandchild Sarah CULLING to be paid and distributed unto her at her attainment of the age of one and twenty years or at the day of her marriage which shall first happen and if my said Grandchild Sarah CULLING shall depart this life before her attainment of the said age or day of marriage Then my will is that the said rest and remainder of my goods chattels ready money debts and personal estate shall come and accrue to the aforesaid John HILL, Mary HILL and Sarah HILL the children of my aforesaid daughter-in-law Sarah HILL deceased and the children of my said daughter-in-law Mrs Joane BALE which shall be then living and the survivors and survivor of them the said children of my said two daughters-in-law equally to be divided amongst them the said children of my said two daughters share and share alike and to be paid and delivered unto them the said children of my said two daughter-in-law or to the survivors and survivor of them, when and as their own special legacies to them particularly before given and before respectively appointed to be paid unto them yet nevertheless with this proviso
And my express will and mind and meaning is that if my said Grandchild Sarah CULLING shall depart this life before the said day of marriage as aforesaid and that the aforesaid John HILL son of my late brother William HILL shall be then living then there shall be taken and defaulted
out of the said remainder of my goods chattels monies debts and personal estate as aforesaid intended to my Grandchild the full sum of four hundred pounds which said sum
I do in such case hereby give and appoint unto and for him the said John HILL son of my said late brother William HILL which shall be allowed by the said children of my said two Daughters-in-law who are succeed to have the said remainder of my said personal
estate in the case of the death of my said Grandchild as aforesaid rateable according to his her and their share thereof
And I do nominate make and ordain my brother Roger HILL Gentleman and Master Richard DAVIDGE and master Gifford BALE of London Merchants executors of this my Last Will and Testament not doubting of their faithfulness and care in the due operation thereof in all points according to my true meaning herein declared and that they will as it is my hearty desire they should use their best endeavours in the getting in and managing of my estate for the best and most advantage of my said Grandchild and others whom it may concern
And I do give to each of my said executors twenty pounds a piece to buy each of them a piece of plate for a remembrance
And I do nominate and appoint my late servant Thomas WILLIAMSON for to be Overseer of this my Will desiring his care and advice to my executors the best he can in the getting in of my estate
And I do give unto him the said Thomas WILLIAMSON twenty pounds for his pains and care therein to be taken
Item: I Give unto my said son-in-law Master Richard CULLING twenty pounds to buy him a piece of plate
And My will mind and desire is that my aforesaid executors and survivors and survivor of them shall as my estate shall be gotten in and come to their hands employ and dispose of the said remainder of the said estate given and intended to my said Grandchild as aforesaid until the same shall be due and payable by this my will: The same to be employed and disposed at the discretion of them my said executors or the survivors and survivor of them for the best advantage and benefit (they can) of my said Grandchild and others whom it shall concern and at their respective adventures?
And The profits and in case thereof to be paid unto my said Grandchild or others to whom the said remainder of my estate shall accrue by this my Will together with the principal at such time and times and in such manner as the said remainder of my estate is before herein appointed to be paid Provided always and my express will mind and meaning is that if my said Grandchild Sarah CULLING in case she shall be married before her attainment of the full age of one and twenty years and shall not have the consent and approbation of her father Richard CULLING and of my executors or the greater part of them living at such her marriage Then she my said Grandchild not having the consent and approbation aforesaid shall forfeit and lose one half of all my goods chattels and personal estate before given and intended to her which one half of the said estate shall in such case come and accrue to those other persons before mentioned to succeed in having the remainder of my personal estate in case of the death of my said Grandchild before her age or marriage aforesaid
And that in such order manner and proportion as is before expressed for and concerning the said remainder of my said personal estate anything before herein contained to the contrary thereof in anyway notwithstanding in witness whereof to this my Last Will and Testament contained in eleven sheets of paper written on one side only I the said JOHN HILL have set my hand to above sheets and my seal to the whole The Day and years first before written
John HILL: Signed sealed published and delivered by the said John HILL the testator for and as his Last Will and Testament This twenty first day of May one thousand six hundred fifty seven in the presence of Joseph ALPORT: Sir John WALDGRAVE: his servant Benjamin WHATCOMB & Jonathan GIBBS Servant to James WINDUE Sir
This Will was proved at London the fourth day of January in the year of our Lord God One Thousand six hundred fifty and seven before the Judge for probate wills and granting Administrations lawfully authorized by the oaths of Roger HILL Richard DAVIDGE and Gifford BALE joint executors named in the above written Will to have administration of all and singular the goods chattels and debts of the said deceased was granted and committed they being first legally sworn truly and faithfully to administer the same
(1). John Hill in this Will refers to his 'late brother William Hill', who inherited his fathers estate in 1609. It also refers to only his son John Hill one of 8 children listed in their 1623 visitation of Somersetshire, and appoints his other brother Roger Hill (of Taunton in 1623 but a merchant in London in 1657) as one of his executors.
(2). Sarah Davidge (nee Green) had 4 children by her marriage to Thomas Davidge, Richard, Alice Sarah (who married Richard Hill) and Johane (who married Gifford Bale). William Whiteway incidentally refered to John Hill as his cousin and his fathers sister (his aunt) Agnes Whiteway married a Richard Cullinge. His grandchild is referred to both as Sarah Cullen & Culling.
(3). Gifford Bale's marriage to Joane Davidge is recorded in William Whiteway's diary as taking place on 10th April 1632 so this is likely to have been in Dorchester either All Saints or St Peters where records have not survived. The Municipal Records of Dorchester show that on 26th July 1632 Gifford Bale was admitted as a Freeman of Dorchester and according to David Underdown in his book 'Fire from Heaven' he was Constable of the town in 1639. The likelihood is that they left Dorchester along with John Hill during the Civil War and lived in London. I can trace two baptisms for children of a Gifford and Joane Bale in London St Dunstan's in the East (Mary 13 Nov 1649 - and Em 24 Sep 1647) and these are likely to have been two of their later children. A Joane Bale, of St Dunstan in the West, also left a Will which is at the National Archives and was proved 26 Nov 1679.
(4). Richard Hill's marriage to Sarah Davidge is recorded in William Whiteway's diary as taking place on 20th July 1630.