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Will of Richard DAVIDGE [d.1667]

Merchant of Dorchester

Will dated 7th April 1666 + Memorandum dated 21st day August 1667
Will Proved PCC 11/325 on 11th December 1667

Modern English Transcription below - Link to Original Transcription

Transcribed by Michael Russell OPC Dorchester - December 2010 - queries in red
for Nancy Frey of Newcastle, Ontario, Canada
who has kindly agreed to this being displayed on the OPC website.


In the Name of God Amen:
The seventh day of April one thousand six hundred and sixty six, and in the eighteenth year of the reign of our sovereign Lord Charles the Second by the grace of God King of England Scotland France and Ireland, Defender of the Faith I Richard DAVIDGE (1 )of London Merchant being at present in good health of body and of perfect mind and memory (Thanks be to Almighty God) Do make and declare these presents to be my last will and testament as follows (that is to say)

First I commend my soul into the hands of Almighty God in trusting and believing by and through the merits, death, and passion of Jesus Christ my only Saviour and Redeemer to have full and free pardon of all my sins and to enjoy eternal happiness

My body I commit unto the earth to be decently buried in expectation of a glorious resurrection And as for and concerning that worldly estate which God of his goodness has bestowed upon me, my debts being paid and funerals discharged, I dispose of in the manner following (that is to say)

First as for and concerning my goods chattels and personal estate I give and bequeath out of the same personal estate unto my loving wife Katherine (12) the sum of one thousand pounds in money

    And also her wearing jewels and rings hereafter particularly mentioned namely; one great jewel containing nine diamonds at the top and twenty nine diamonds in the middle and a Pendant containing ten diamonds, in all forty eight diamonds; of several kinds - one jewel with my picture containing sixteen diamonds; one large rose diamond ring (2); one small rose diamond ring; one table diamond ring; one emerald ring; one necklace containing one hundred and thirty eight pearls; with all other her gold rings without jewels:
    And all her gold chargers and bracelets
    And likewise I give unto my said wife All my household stuff as bedding, hangings, linen
    And all other furniture made up and which have been worth hoping that according to her voluntary promise) she will preserve the said household stuff and furniture & dispose the same to my children when it shall please God to make them capable to use the same household stuff and furniture
    And further also I give and appoint the use of my plate (other then such plate as was here before our marriage
    And such plate as particularly belongs to my children or any of them) unto her my aforesaid wife until one of my sons shall attain the age of one and twenty years
    And in case of all my sons death before such age then until my daughters shall be of that age
    And all such ages respectively the said my plate shall be delivered to such my children so first attain such age to his or their own use for ever
Item I give out of the said my personal estate to my several children the general legacies and portions hereafter mentioned (that is to say)

    To my son Richard DAVIDGE the sum of one thousand pounds (3)
    To my son Thomas DAVIDGE the sum of Seven hundred pounds (4)
    To my son John DAVIDGE the sum of five hundred pounds (5)
    To my son Charles DAVIDGE the like sum of five hundred pounds (7)
    To my daughter Sarah DAVIDGE the sum of Six hundred pounds (8)
    To my daughter Katherine DAVIDGE the sum of five hundred pounds (9)
    To my daughter Elizabeth DAVIDGE the sum of four hundred pounds (10)
    And to my daughter Anne DAVIDGE the like sum of four hundred pounds (11)
Item I will leave and appoint also out of my personal estate in case my wife at the time of my decease shall be insentient with a child which shall be afterwards born also the sum of three hundred pounds unto and for the use of such after borne child

    All which aforesaid legacies and portions before given and appointed to my children afore named, and to such after borne child if any such shall be, I will and appoint shall be paid unto my sons at their respective attainments of the ages of one and twenty years
    And to my daughters at their respective attainments of the like age of one and twenty years or at the respective days of their marriages which[ever] shall happen [first]

Item I give and bequeath to the poor of the Parish of St Peter in the town of Dorchester where I was born ten pounds

    And to the poor of the respective parishes of Holy Trinity and of Allhallowes in the said town of Dorchester five pounds each

Item I give to the poor of the town of Bridport in the County of Dorset five pounds

    All which said legacies to the poor of the said several parishes and town aforesaid shall be distributed to and amongst the said several poor at the discretion of my executors hereafter named with the advice of Mr William PITT of Dorchester (21) And of the respective churchwardens and overseers of the said several parishes

Item I give unto Richard POLLARD son of Robert POLLARD late of London bookseller deceased ten pounds And to Thomas POLLARD and Frances POLLARD two other children of the said Robert POLLARD deceased five pounds a piece

The Rest and residue of all and singular my goods chattels and personal estate (not otherwise hereby disposed of) I give and leave to all my children which I have and such child as my wife shall be insentient with at the time of my decease (if any such shall be afterwards borne alive) equally, share and share alike, to be paid unto them my children, and such after borne child, when and at such times as their other several legacies and portions aforesaid are before herein appointed to be paid

    And in case of the death or decease of any of my children either now being, or which hereafter shall be, before such times of payment of their said legacies or portions as aforesaid Then as well the several legacy and portion and legacies and portions before herein given or intended to such child or children so deceasing (as also his her and their share and part and shares and parts of the said residue of my personal estate) shall come and accrue to the survivors and survivor of my said children to be paid unto such survivors and survivor when and at such times as his her or their own legacy part and portion or legacies parts and portions are before appointed to be paid
    And in case of the death of all my children now in being and which hereafter shall be before the said times of payment of their said legacies parts and portions as aforesaid Then a half part (or moiety) of the said legacies parts and portions of my Personal Estate before given or intended to my children as aforesaid shall come and accrue to my said wife (And that her half or moiety thereof shall come and accrue to the children of my two sisters Mrs Sarah HILL and Mrs Johan BALE deceased or to the then survivor or survivor of them equally
    And as for and concerning my capital messuage farm and demeasne lands called Leaston (15) with the appurtenances situate lying and being in the Parish of Langton Matravers in the Isle of Purbeck and County of Dorset
    And all other my messuages farms tenements cottages several houses and parcels of land meadow and pasture and other hereditaments situate lying and being in Langton, Langton Matravers, Hearston (16) and Sandwich (17) also Swanwich (18) or any of them in the said Isle of Purbeck and County of Dorset which I bought and purchased of John Hill Merchant deceased
    And also my house tenement with the appurtenances situate lying and being in the parish of St Peter in Dorchester
    And as for and concerning also All that my capital messuage or Mansion House with the appurtenances called or known by the name of Sharpham Park Lodge (19) with the appurtenances And all other my messuages tenements several croft's and parcels of land meadow and pasture and other hereditaments which are or late were reputed to be part or of or belonging to the demeasne lands and Park of Sharpham situate lying and being in the parishes of Glaston and Streete or one of them in the County of Somerset which I of late bought and purchased of Hugh POTTER Esquire, John TORANTE gent and dame Margaret MELTON widow or some or one of them
    And also All that my brewhouse with the appurtenances and the pigeon house, barn, stall, hopyard and barn croft
    And all other the messuages or tenements several croft's and parcels of land meadow and pasture and other hereditaments which also are or late were reputed to be parcel of and belonging to the demeasne lands and park of Sharpham aforesaid in the said parishes of Glaston Streete and Walton or some or one of them in the said County of Somerset and which I lately bought and purchased of Edward DYER Esquire (since deceased) and Stephen DYER son and then heir apparent of the said Edward or one of them
    And all other my messuages lands tenements and hereditaments whatsoever in the said County of Somerset I do hereby signify and declare that my will and pleasure is that all and every the uses and estates at any time or times heretofore limited raised or appointed by any former deed or deeds or indenture or indentures under my hand and seal of upon or concerning the said messuage or tenement farm demeasne lands houses brewhouse and all other my said messuages lands tenements and hereditaments in the said Isle of Purbeck in the County of Dorset and parish of St Peter in Dorchester and in the Parishes of Glaston and Streete or one of them or elsewhere in the said County of Somerset and of every or any part or parcel of them shall cease determine and be void And I do hereby give and devise my said messuage farm and demeasne lands called Leaston
    And all other my said messuages lands tenements and hereditaments in the Isle of Purbeck in the County of Dorset and my said house or tenement in Dorchester unto my said sonne Richard DAVIDGE his heirs and assigns to thereby proper use and behoof of the said Richard DAVIDGE his heirs and assigns forever
    And I give and devise my said Capital Messuage or Mansion house called Sharpham Park Lodge and my said Brewhouse and all other my said messuages houses lands tenements hereditaments and premises in the said parishes of Glaston and Streete or one of them or elsewhere in the said County of Somerset unto my said wife Katherine DAVIDGE and Robert ELLIS of the City of London Merchant and William PITT of Dorchester Merchant (21) their heirs and assigns for ever upon this special trust and confidence nevertheless that they my said wife Katherine DAVIDGE the said Robert ELLIS and the said William PITT or the survivors or survivor of them or the heirs of the survivor of them do and shall as soon as conveniently they can after my decease bargain and sell the said Capital messuage or mansion house called Sharpham Park Lodge Brewhouse and other the said lands tenements hereditaments and premises in the said parishes of Glaston and Streete or elsewhere in the said County of Somerset and every part thereof for the best and most advantage they can or shall see most fitting
    And upon further trust that all and every such some and sums of money as shall proceed or be made or raised by or out of the sale thereof
    And also ayt? the rents issues and profits thereof which shall arise or come of the said premises so appointed to be sold until the sale thereof shall come be paid and disposed as follows (that is to say) :

      One thousand pounds of the said moneys proceeding of the sale of the said messuages lands and premises and of such the rents issues and profits thereof aforesaid shall come and be paid to my said wife Katherine DAVIDGE,

      One thousand pounds more thereof to my said sonne Richard DAVIDGE

      Six Hundred pounds more thereof to my said sonne Thomas DAVIDGE

      Six hundred pounds more thereof to my said sonne John DAVIDGE

      Six hundred pounds more thereof to my said sonne Charles DAVIDGE

      Six hundred pounds more thereof to my said daughter Sarah DAVIDGE

      Six hundred pounds more thereof to my said daughter Katherine DAVIDGE

      Six hundred pounds more thereof to my said daughter Elizabeth DAVIDGE

      Six hundred pounds more thereof to my said daughter Anne DAVIDGE

    And three hundred pounds more thereof (in case my wife shall be insentient with a child at the time of my decease which shall be afterwards born alive) shall come and be paid to such after borne child
    And the residue and remainder of the sum and sums of money proceeding from the sale of the said messuages lands and premises so given to be sold as aforesaid And of the rents issues and profits thereof until such sale shall come and be disposed to and amongst all my said children now in being both sons and daughters And to such after borne child (if any such shall be) equally share and share like And that all and every such sum and sums of money so severally limited and appointed to and for such my said children now in being & which hereafter shall be, shall be paid unto them as follows (vizt to every of my sons at their respective attainment of the ages of one and twenty years And to every of my daughters at their attainment of the like ages of one and twenty years or at the days of their respective marriages (whichever shall first happen)
    And if any of my children now in being or which shall be happen to depart this life before the time of payment aforesaid then the part share and portion and parts shares and portions of the said moneys proceeding from the sale of the said messuages lands and premises and of the rents and profits thereof intended and appointed to or for such my child or children so deceasing shall come and be paid to the survivor and survivors of my children when and at such time and times as his her and their own parts shares and portions aforesaid are to be paid

    And if all my children in being and which shall be as aforesaid shall depart this life before the time of payment of the said sums of money and shares and parts of the moneys proceeding from the sale of the said messuages lands and premises and the rents and profits thereof to them limited and appointed as aforesaid That then the one half part or moiety of the said moneys and shares and parts of the moneys proceeding of the sale of the said lands And of the rents and profits thereof intended and appointed to my said children as aforesaid shall come and accrue to my said wife

    And the other half part or moiety thereof shall come and accrue to the said children of my afore named two sisters or to the survivors and survivor of them equally

    Provided always And I doe expressly declare my will mind and meaning to be that the said legacy of one thousand pounds and jewels and goods so as before given to my said wife out of my personal estate with the said sum of one thousand pounds to and for her intended and appointed out of the moneys proceeding of the sale of the said lands And of the Rents and profits thereof are and shall be and are so meant and intended to be And shall be by her taken and accepted for and in lieu recompense
    and satisfaction as well of and for all Dower and title of Dower of and in all my messuages lands tenements and hereditaments whatsoever at the time of my decease As also of and for all child's and widows part and portion of and in all such goods chattels and personal estate belonging unto me at the said time of my decease which she my said wife by the Laws of this Kingdom or by any Custom or otherwise whatsoever may have challenge or claim in any way (other than and except what shall come and accrue unto her out of my said Children's portions and estates by all their deaths as is before mentioned

    Provided always And I do expressly declare my will mind and meaning to be that the legacies sums of money parts shares and portions out of my personal estate and out of the moneys proceeding from the sale of my said lands as aforesaid and of the rents and profits thereof before herein respectively given set forth and appointed to my afore named children And to the child whereof my wife shall be insentient at the time of my decease are and shall be and are so meant and intended to be And shall be by
    my said Children respectively taken and accepted for and in lieu recompense and full satisfaction of and for every such Child and orphanage part and portion and parts and portions which they my said Children or any of them shall or may respectively have challenge or claim by any law custom or otherwise of, into or out of, all or any my goods Chattels or Personal [estate] whatsoever other than and except what may to them or any of them come and accrue by the death of all or any their other brothers or sisters by and according to the true intent and meaning of this my Last Will

    And I doe nominate make and appoint my aforesaid loving wife Katherine full and sole executrix of this my last will and testament And I doe appoint her my said wife (if she shall so long live) to be Guardian of the bodies and estates of my said Children during their minorities And to have and take the care of their education and bringing up in the fear of God And other will and commendable qualifications befitting their degrees

    And I devise nominate and appoint my aforesaid living friends Mr Robert ELLIS and Mr William PITT (21) to be overseers of this my last will and testament And to be assisting with the best advice they can to my said executrix in the disposing and improving of my children's portions and in the due orderly execution of this my last will And I do give to each of them my said overseers twenty pounds a piece for a piece of Plate as a token of my thankfulness for their pains and care to be taken in the premises

    And my will in and desire is and I doe hereby order and appoint that my said executrix shall have the management of the aforesaid legacies moneys and portions given and appointed to my said children as well out of my Personal Estate as out of moneys proceeding of the sale of my lands before appointed to be sold and of the rents and profits of the same until such sale And likewise the rents and profits of my lands before devised to my said sonne Richard And shall dispose and employ the said legacies moneys and portions of my said Children and the said Rents and profits of the said lands given to my said son Richard at interest or in some other way of profit taking and following always and from time to time in such disposing thereof the advice and approbation of my aforesaid overseers or the survivor of them if the same may be conveniently had (until the same portions moneys legacies and rents shall respectively become due and payable to my said Children to and for the use and benefit of my
    said Children. And they my said Children to bear the losses and adventures that may happen in the disposing of the same

    And my will and desire is that my said Children shall be decently maintained educated and brought up according to their degrees and qualities by and out of the increase and interest of their said respective legacies portions and rents (vizt) each of them out of the profits and increase of his and her own estates and portions at the discretion
    of their said mother their Guardian and what shall remain of such increase and interest of their said respective portions and estates (over and above what shall go for maintenance and bringing them up) shall go and be towards the increase and augmentation of their portions, And shall be paid together with the same their portions to them respectively at the times before appointed for the payment of their said legacies and portions

In Witness whereof to this my last will and testament contained in nine sheets of paper and this part of a sheet written on one side only I the said Richard DAVIDGE have set my hand to every sheet and my seal to the whole Dated the day and year before written Richard DAVIDGE Signed Sealed published and declared by the said Richard DAVIDGE the Testator for and as his last will and testament the Seventh day of April One Thousand Six hundred & Sixty Six in the presence of Giles STEELE William FFASHION John HOPE


Memorandum that in this my will in folio 5 in line twenty is interlined (William PITT of Dorchester Merchant (21)) And in the last line of that folio (William PITT) And in folio 9 and line 9 I have interlined (William PITT) All done with my own hand to declare that it is my last will mind and meaning that the said William PITT of Dorchester Merchant be joined with Mr Robert ELLIS of London Merchant a trustee for the sale of my land at Sharpham Park my wife also being added as in the will And that he be one of the overseers of this my will

In Witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and Seal 21st day of August 1667 Richard DAVIDGE Signed Sealed Published and declared this 21st August 1667 in presence of. Signed Sealed published and declared Johas DOUGHTY Elizabeth SULE

Probate: [Note:- My Latin leaves a great deal to be desired and I would welcome comment from anyone who actually knows what they are doing. It is difficult to even be sure that I have correctly transcribed the words which are written in secretary hand in latin. My best attempt is:-)

Proved was the above written testament (will) at the Strand in the County of Middlesex before Sir William MERICKE (20) Doctor at Law --Keeper of Commissary of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury on 11th day of the month of December in the year of Our Lord One Thousand Six Hundred and Sixty Seven on oath of Catherine DAVIDGE relict and executrix named in the testament is granted administration of the estate of the deceased+.


Genealogical notes:-
(1) Richard DAVIDGE Senior was the son and heir of Thomas DAVIDGE, a successful merchant in Dorchester, by his wife Sarah GREEN and was born in Dorchester in the parish of St Peters. He completed his own pedigree in 1664 at the Visitation of Kent 1663/8 - See page 46 which shows he married circa 1652 to Katherine the daughter of Thomas Stanford of Barkby Leicestershire. See transcription of his father's Will dated 9th December 1613 which was proved 23 Feb 1614.
(2). The word "Rose" refers to the cut of the diamond which resembles the shape of a rose. A "Table" cut diamond is so named for the simple fact that the top is flat, like an ordinary table. Each of the four sides has a simple facet similar to a bevel.
(3). The baptism of Richard DAVIDGE Junior the 3rd child and 1st son son of Richard DAVIDGE Senior took place at St Alfege church Greenwich Kent in Jan 1655/6 - See IGI and CLDS Film FHL BRITISH Film 363062 The actual images are available on Ancestry.com - This page is damaged and the actual date of baptism missing but it was a few days after the 7th January and his surname is recorded as DAVAGE (image 54 Ancestry.com). He matriculated at St John's College Oxford 3rd apr 1674 at the age of 18 but appears to have never married and joined the Navy dying at the age of 36 his will being proved in 1691/2 and leaving everything to his younger brother John.
(4). The baptism of Thomas DAVIDGE the 4th child and 2nd son of RICHARD DAVIDGE took place at St Alfege church Greenwich Kent on 9th March 1656 but is recorded under the surname DAVADGE (Image 56 Ancestry.com)
(5). The baptism of John DAVIDGE the 5th child and 3rd son RICHARD DAVIDGE took place at St Alfege church Greenwich Kent on 27th April 1658 but is recorded under the surname DAVIGE (Image 58 Ancestry.com)
(6). The baptism of Stanford DAVIDGE the 6th child and 4th son RICHARD DAVIDGE took place at St Alfege church Greenwich Kent on 28th September 1659. Image 60 Ancestry.com shows he was born on the "10th day" presumably of Sept. He carry's his mothers maiden name and as he is not listed in the will it is assumed that he must have died prior to 1666.
(7). The baptism of Charles DAVIDGE the 7th child and 5th son of RICHARD DAVIDGE took place at St Alfege church Greenwich Kent on 5th October 1660 he was born on 21st Sep 1660 and it is recorded on Image 64 Ancestry.com as Charls DAVIDG.
(8). The baptism of Sarah DAVIDGE the 1st child of RICHARD DAVIDGE took place at St Alfege church Greenwich Kent on 28th July 1653. She was born on 18th May 1653 and an image of the original document is available via Ancestry.com. She was left £50 in the will of John Hill (1589-1657). She married Sir Henry GOULD (1643/4-1710) a judge ( possibly as his second wife ). His life is briefly covered in the Dictionary of National Biography which states "The visitation of 1672, in which he was described as twenty-eight years old, indicates that he had married Anne Trencher of Somerset, but other sources show that he married Sarah (c.1654–1733), daughter of Richard Davidge, a merchant, and indeed a son named Davidge was born about 1680" ---and ---"In the event he died in his chambers at Serjeant's' Inn, Chancery Lane, on 26 March 1710, leaving two sons, William and Davidge, father of Sir Henry Gould (1710–1794), and a daughter, Sarah, who was the mother of Henry Fielding". The Somerset Archive and record service have the GOULD FAMILY deeds, See their Ref DD\BR\vi/33 1677-1812 which includes the marriage settlement of Henry Gould of Middle Temple, London, esq., and Sarah Davidge of Sharpham Park, Glastonbury, involving property in Hampshire and Dorset, 1677;.
(9). The baptism of Katherine DAVIDGE the 2nd child and 2nd daughter of RICHARD DAVIDGE took place at St Alfege church Greenwich Kent in March 1654. It is the 1st entry on a damaged page the actual day being missing but is between 1st and the 10th of March 1654/5. Her birth date however is clear as 23rd Feb 1654/5 (image 53 Ancestry.com). She was left £50 in the will of John Hill (1589-1657).
(10). The baptism of Elizabeth DAVIDGE 8th child and 3rd daughter of RICHARD DAVIDGE has not been located but the parish register is badly damaged and there is an entry for 14 Sep 1662 which might be her.
(11). The baptism of Anne DAVIDGE 9th child and 4th daughter of RICHARD DAVIDGE has not been found but again the parish register is badly damaged in parts. We know she was born after 1664 as she is not listed at the Visitation and before 1666 when he wrote his will.
(12). The marriage has not been found between Richard DAVIDGE Senior and Katherine the daughter of Thomas STANFORD of Barkby in the County of Leicestershire (See Visitation Davidge Kent)
(13). Richard HILL Junior's marriage to Sarah DAVIDGE (Richard Davidge Senior's sister) is recorded in William Whiteway's diary as taking place on 20th July 1630
(14). Gifford BALE's marriage to Joane DAVIDGE (also a sister of Richard Davidge Senior) 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.
(15). I am fairly sure that this refers to the Leeson Farm at Langton Matravers. It has been an estate since saxon times. Many Documents are held at the Dorset History center and are indexed on the National Archives A2A website relating to this farm. Document D/SEN/18/10/1 1702-1813 for example has an index entry which states "Schedule of deeds to Langton Matravers, the property of the Archers, the Savages and the Bowers and cottages at Coombe and on the Leeson estate".
(16). Herston is another old saxon estate situated next to Leeson and herston farm is shown on Bray's map of 1890
(17). Sandwiche is shown on 'Treswell's Map of the Isle of Purbeck dated 1586
(18). old name for Swanage During its history the bay was listed variously as Swanawic, Swanwich, Sandwich, and only in more recent history as Swanage
(19). Today Sharpham Park is a 300 acre historic park west of the village of 'Street' in Somerset and close to Glastonbury. You will see from this link that the park was owned at one time by Sir Henry GOULD (1643/4-1710) who married Richards eldest daughter Sarah DAVIDGE See Note:- 8 above.
(20). This is Sir William ME(Y)RICKE who is listed in the Oxford Alumni - He was educated at New College Oxford was a Doctor of Common Law 1627, Advocate of Doctor's Commons 1629; a member of Lincoln's Inn 1640; Judge of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury 1641; Knighted 1661; and died 1668.
(21). William PITT (d 1687) of Dorchester - His pedigree is given in the 1677 Visitation of Dorset showing that his grandparents were John PITT of Blandford & Joane the daughter of Richard Swayne of Tarrent Gunville - his parents were Thomas PITT of Blandford & Priscilla SEARLE of Hayle in Devon. William Pitt was govenor of the co of Freemen in Dorchester in 1655; elected a Capital Burgess in 1662 and Mayor of the town in 1667, the same year he was overseer of Richard Davidge's above will. William Pitt's will is at the National Archives PRO 11/ 390 and was proved 10 Feb 1688. He was buried in All Saints Church Dorchester 12 May 1687. Jane Pitt his widow was buried there on 6 Feb 1690/1

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