This is the Last Will and Testament of me William SPARKS of Dorchester in ye County of Dorset Maltster & being of sound & [perfect?] mind and understanding made the first day of January 1778 [i.e. 1777/8]:
First I commend my soul into the hands of Almighty God [before] for absolution of my sins through ye merit of Jesus Christ my saviour
My body I commend to ye Earth to be buried at the direction of my executor herein after named and as for ye worldly estate & effects whereof I shall die posed or possessed I give and depose of ye same as follows:-
First I give son Isaac SPARKS all [that] my Lands at Roden [i.e. Rodden] in ye Parish of Abbotsbury for ye term of his natural life and after his death I give ye sd [said] Lands at Roden to my grandson William SPARKS and his heirs for ye term I have upon it.
I give to my grandson William JACOB the reversion rite [right] of that copyhold estate [in ye parish?] of Piddletown late Andrew LANGFORDS that [held?] of Jno [John] ALLEN for his son and dafters [i.e. daughters] lives as by ye copy Will appvd [approved] after death of my wife
I give all ye Leasehold estate I have in ye Manor of Piddletown called Bartlets & Woolshams? to son Isaac SPARKS in trust for my grandson Joseph SPARKS till he shall attain the age of twenty one years (and if?) he should happen to die before he attain that age then ye trust for my grandson Thomas DAVY till he shall attain of age of 21 years.
I further give that house and garden I have in ye parish of St Peters in ye Baron of Dorchester to Willm [i.e. William] DA[VY] and his heirs
I give all my household goods to my wife and my three granddaughters Eliz DAVY; Eliz SPARKS & Eliz JACOB To be equally divied [divided] by my executor as near as possible between them share and share alike
My wearing apparel (linen and woollen) I give to John ELIOT [or ELLAT] Junior & Nathaniel BURT my sister Mary & her own sons to be equally divided by my executor between [them]
I give to my son Isaac SPARKS & my son in law John JACOB in trust, or the survivor of them their executors administrators, all rite & interest I have at Forden [i.e. Fordton] in ye parish of Crediton in that house upon it & buildings that John DAVY now dwell in & occupies to my dafter [daughter] Eliz [Elizabeth] wife of the said John DAVY for her sole & separate use during the term of her natural life and after her death to such use or purpose as she or sd [said] JOHN DAVY shall appoint
I likewise give to ye said Isaac SPARKS and John JACOB in trust that copyhold estate I have at Reame (Rime) late Hills and now be in possession of Thomas GILL for my dafter [i.e. daughter] Eliz: [Elizabeth] DAVY sole and separate use for and during her natural life
I likewise give to ye sd [said] Isaac SPARKS & John JACOB in trust that copyhold estate I have at Forthington [Fordington] after ye death of my wife for my dafter [daughter] Eliz [Elizabeth] DAVY sole & separate use for & during her natural life and my will is that ye rent & profits of ye aforesaid dwelling house building at Uton Foll[y] at Fordon [i.e. Fordton] ye copyhold estate Rime at Forthington [Fordington] to be paid into ye hands of sd [said] Isaac SPARKS & John JACOB they paying ye nett produce thereof to ye sd [said] Eliz [Elizabeth] DAVY apary? for her life.
[Note:- Large deletion here - illegible]
I give to my son Isaac SPARKS & John JACOB or ye survivor of them the sum of Seven hu[ndred] and fifty pounds in trust for my five grandchildren
Eliz: Sarah & John JACOB a sum of one hund[dred] & fivefty [fifty ]pounds each & to Wm [William] JACOB ye sum of one hundred pound & to Marth[a] JACOB ye sum of two hu[ndred] pounds as they & each of them shall attain ye age of 21 years if either of ye sd [said] grandchildren shall happen to die before they attain ye age of 21 years my will is that his or her share so dieing [dying] shall be paid to the survivors to share and share alike & my will is that ye sd [said] Isaac SPARKS & John JACOB put ye money of all such as shall next attain ye age of 21 years at my death out to interest on ye best security they can get & for the produce thereof for the support of them.
I give unto ye sd [said] Isaac SPARKS & John Cadlick DAVY & ye survivor of them ye sum of eleven hundred pounds in trust for eleven grandchild[ren]
Willm [William]; Eliz [Elizabeth] Thomas; Saml [Samuel]; James; Mary; Martha; Sarah; Isaac; Rebecca; & Joseph DAVY ye sum of one hundred pounds each as they & each of them attain ye age of 21 years if any of ye sd [said] grandchildren shall happen to die before they achieve the age of 21 years my will is that his or her share so dieing [dying] before ye age of 21 years shall go ye [i.e. be paid to the] survivors share and share alike my will is that ye sd [said] Isaac SPARKS & John DAVY put ye sd [said] money of all ye sd [said] grandchildren as they attain ye age of 21 years at my death out on ye best security they can get & pay ye pounds thereof to my dafter [daughter] Eliz [Elizabeth] DAVY for ye support of ye children
I give to my son Isaac SPARKS ye sum of eight hundred & fifty pounds in trust for my six grandchildren
William, Joseph, Isaac, Sarah, Lucy & Rebeck[a] SPARKS: Willm [William], Rebeck[a], Sarah & Isaac, Lucy ye sum of a hundred & fifty pounds each to Joseph ye sum of one hundred pounds as they and each of them shall attain ye age of 21 years my will is that if they my sd [said] grandchildren shall happen to die before they attain the age of 21 years then his or her share so dieing [dying] shall go to [be] divided equally amongst ye survivors of them
I give to my sister Honor Ellen & Thomas PAULL ye elder the sum of fifety [fifty] two shild [shillings?] a year each for & during the term of their natural lives to be paid by my executors ye first payment to be in three months after my death & rest to be paid quarterly to each of them
My Will is that my sd [said] trustees shall not [ section torn away] that may be left In ye execution of ye trusts [missing] should happen that each & every [section torn away] left.
All the Rest residue & remainder of my ready money securities for money books chattles and personal estate whatsoever I give to my son Isaac SPARKS & his heirs whom I constitute and appoint to be my sole executor of this my last Will
In Witness I the said Wm [William] SPARKS have hereunto set my hand & seal ye day & year above written.
Signed sealed published & declared by ye sd [said] Willm SPARKS
ye within writing on ye other side as for his last Will & Testament
In ye presence of us who subscribed our names as witnesses at his
request & in his presence
Proved: On the 27th day of July 1778 This Will of William SPARKS deceased was proved by the oath of Isaac SPARKS the lawful son of the deceased and sole executrix above named to whom administration of all and singular the goods chattels and credits of the said deceased was granted He being first sworn faithfully to administer the same to exhibit a true and perfect Inventory thereof into the Registry of the Court of the Archdeacon of Dorset and send a just account thereon when thereto lawfully required
Sworn before me this 27th
July 1778 John HUBBOCK Surr [Surrogate]
9. More documents are held at the Dorset History Center: For example Ref D/SBS/E4 1796-1830 Papers concerning Isaac Sparks' malthouse and house at Dorchester, including disbursements for house in Dorchester, 1801-1830, malthouse accounts, 1796-1812, agreement of John Green to pay rent of house and malthouse at Dorchester, 1803. Or:- PE/FOR(SG)/OV 7/1/3 23 Aug 1754 Elizabeth Sparks, widow and Erasmus Cox of Dorchester, innholder, Elizabeth Sparks, widow
PE/FOR(SG)/OV 5/3/4 7 Sep 1757 Elizabeth Sparks, widow, from Dorchester All Saints. D/SBS/F11 1754 Marriage settlement of Isaac Sparks and Martha Stuckey: Messuage belonging to Wm. Sparks in Fordington. (Sparks, Stuckey, Jacob). Bond to keep articles of agreement. (Sparks, Jacob, Jolliffe).D/SBS/F15 1788-1789 Inventory of household goods of Isaac Sparks at Fordington, 1788; catalogue of books belonging to I. Sparks deceased, 1788; valuation of goods of executors of I. Sparks made by Mr Hodder, the carpenter, 1788; promissory note to pay Wm. and Isaac Sparks by Giles Boame, 1789. And many more
Information about this family has kindly been provided by descendants Mary Skilton and Robert Barr who are researching the family. I am happy to pass on any additional information to them if contacted by e-mail - see the Dorchester/Fordington parish page for my e-mail address.
1. William SPARKS [1700-1778] junior the subject of this will is thought to be the grandson of James SPARKS who died 25 July 1685 at the Battle of Sedgemoor. He was the son of William SPARKS [1665c-1741/2] senior of Fordington who also left a will and was buried in Fordington on 10 March 1741/2 aged 76
2. William Sparks junior married at St Georges church Fordington on 28 June 1726 to Elizabeth BONNETT/BENNETT and was buried in the churchyard on 26 July 1778, followed by Elizabeth on 12 Nov 1789.
3. Isaac SPARKS [1727-1788] his son, referred to in the Will, married twice: 1st to Martha STUCKEY of Langport Somerset under a marriage settlement dated 11 Sep 1754 (Ref D/SBS/F11 1754) . Martha died (probably from childbirth) as she returned to her home parish of Langport where she was interred on 30th Nov 1757 (Nat Burial Index). Isaac married 2ndly to Miriam MANUEL at Bere Regis Dorset on 13 Dec 1758 and they had children baptised in the Presbyterian church in Pease Lane Doerchester. Isaac was buried at Fordington on 21 Jan 1787/8 followed by Miriam his 2nd wife on 2 May 1811.
4. William & Elizabeth's daughter Rebecca SPARKS married John JACOBS (the son of Henry & Betty Jacob bap All Saints Dorchester 22 Jan 1724/5) in Stinsford on 8 Nov 1750. They had the following children baptised in the Presbyterian church in Dorchester in Pease Lane. :- John bap 27 Mar 1759, died within 12 months: John bap 14 Jun 1761: & William bap 4 May 1763.
5. William & Elizabeth's daughter Elizabeth SPARKS married in All Saints Church Dorchester to John Cadlick DAVY on 27 Apr 1756
6. William Sparks [1700-1778] junior's sister, MARY SPARKS is referred to in the Will above when he left her a share of his wearing apparel. She married John BRETT in St Georges church Fordington on 26 Feb 1743/4.
7. The Will also refers to his sister Elizabeth SPARKS [incorrectly recorded in the IGI as Spaks] and Thomas PAUL whom she married in All Saints Dorchester on 26 May 1726. Strangely there is no mention of her in his fathers Will in 1740, perhaps because she married in 1726 and was provided for at that time.
8. Many documents on this family are held at the Somerset Archives & Record Service and indexed on the A2A website where the following description is given for one such entry:-
Ref DD\SB/7/2 1778-1887 Personal documents., including wills of William Sparks of Dorchester, maltster (dat.1778, prov.1778), Isaac Sparks of Forthington, Dorset, gent. (dat. and prov.1788), William Sparks of Langton Herring, Dorset, gent.(dat.1828, prov.1831), Isaac Sparks of Crewkerne, esq. (dat.1837, prov.1841), Loveday Laurey Sparks of Crewkerne, wid. (dat.1854, prov.1866). Marriage settlement, William Sparks and Mary Ann Trenow (1887), settlements by Susan Grace Curle(nee Sparks)on her husband John Curle (1853-58), and his indictment, etc., for bigamy (1847). Grant of burial plot, Crewkerne, to Isaac Sparks(1828)