This is the Last Will and Testament of me Richard BROOKES the elder of Dorchester in the County of Dorset Wagoner made this fifth day of September in the year of Our Lord Christ one thousand seven hundred and eight hereby revoking all other wills by me made:
Impremis: (In the first place) I give unto my loving wife Elizabeth BROOKES All that my messuage burgage or tenement with the appurtenances in the Parish of St Peter's in Dorchester aforesaid part whereof I now dwell in and the residue thereof now is or late was in the possession of Charles Young BARBER and John White TAYLOR for the term of her natural life,
Item: I give the same unto my sons William BROOKES, Joshua BROOKES and Thomas BROOKES equally to be divided between them share and share alike but if any or either of my said sons William , Joshua or Thomas shall happen to die before the death of my said son Caleb then I give the same to the survivors or survivor of them and their heirs
Item: I give unto my loving friends Lawrence PURCHASE Gentleman and Abraham TEMPLEMAN their executors and administrators my messuage burgage and Inn with the appurtenances in the parish of Holy Trinity in Dorchester aforesaid called the 'Royal Gate' for the remainder of such estate as I have therein In trust that they and the survivor of them his executors and administrators to permit and suffer my son Richard BROOKS and his assigns to receive the rents, issues and profits thereof to his and their own use for so many years of my estate therein as he shall happen to live.
Item: I give unto my said son Joshua BROOKES his executors and administrators the yearly rent or issue of five pounds free of all deductions to be issuing due and payable yearly after my decease out of my messuage tenement and lands in Honiton in the County of Devon during the residue of my estate therein the first payment to be made at the end of one year next after my decease
Item: I give the said messuage tenement and lands in Honiton (charged as aforesaid) unto my son William BROOKES his executors and administrators during the residue of estate and term therein
Item: I give unto my said son Joshua BROOKES my messuage burgage and tenement with the appurtenances in the Parish of All Saints in Dorchester aforesaid called the "Beare" during the residue of my estate and terms therein
Item: I give unto my son Ebenezar BROOKES one shilling and no more (3).
Item: I give unto my said son Thomas BROOKES the sum of fifty pounds
Item: I give unto my kinswoman Elizabeth MOORES that now lives with me the sum of twenty pounds All which sum I do order to be paid by my executrix and executor hereafter named within one year next after my decease
Item: I give unto my said son Caleb BROOKES and his heirs the yearly rent or sum of ten pounds thereof all deductions to be issuing due and payable yearly after my decease out of my Lands Tenements and hereditaments in "Martock" in the County of Somerset the first payment to be made within one year next after my decease
Item: I give the said Land in "Martock" aforesaid and charged as aforesaid unto my said wife to hold to her for her life
Item: All the rest and residue of my usual and personal estate whatsoever and wheresoever (after all my debts and legacies and funeral expenses are discharged I give unto my said wife and son Caleb BROOKES equally to be divided between them whom I make joint executrix and executor of this my Will And I do hereby order that my said wife shall within one year next after my decease give unto my friends Lawrence PURCHASE and Abraham TEMPLEMAN a true account in writing of all my real and personal estate whatsoever.
Richard BROOKES signed sealed and published and declared by the testator to be his Last Will and Testament in the presence of us who at the same time subscribed our names as witnesses thereto in his presence
John WHITE; Richard BAYLIE; William CROWE
(1). Richard BROOKES is the father of Mary CHANNING (nee BROOKES) who was burnt at the stake in 1705/6 for poisoning her husband.
(2). Probate of the will is in Latin and needs proper transcription but appears to refer to the will dated in 1708, mentions Elizabeth BROOKES and been proved in London. The date recorded by the national archives is 10th March 1709 although; 10 March 1719 is actually written in the margin & administration given to Caleb BROOKES
(3). The usual reason for leaving such a derisory sum is to prevent a legal challenge to a will where a normal beneficiary has been deliberately excluded. Ebenezar BROOKES appears to have followed his fathers trade of 'Wagoner' and lived in Exeter Devon. Link to more information and transcription of his will.
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