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William Willerscraft c1615-1669 of Farley, Staffordshire
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William Willerscraft c1615-1669

of Farley, Staffordshire

William Willerscroft 1669

Extract of the will of William Willerscroft of Farley proved in 1669

William is mentioned in the will of Leonard Woolliscroft in 1642 and William Laughtenhouse proved in 1649. He was the ‘natural’ brother of Bonaventure and Leonard. William was living in Farley, Staffordshire in 1649. He was still living in Farley at the time of his death in 1669 and in his will his surname was spelt Willerscroft and in Inventory Woolascraft. The Hearth Tax Return taken at Michaelmas 1665 William was liable for tax on one hearth. However, he did make a trip to London in 1652 as probate of his brother Leonard’s will was granted to him on the 14 June.

William wrote his will on the 17 January 1668/9 and must have died soon afterwards as his Inventory was appraised on the 18 January. His brother Bonaventure was one of the appraisers. 

William does not appear to have married or had surviving children. When he wrote his will his niece Elizabeth the daughter of Humphrey Woolliscroft was living with him.

William left his messuage in Cauldon which leased on the lives of Leonard Snape and John Woolliscroft (Bonnye’s son?) to his sister Anne so long as Leonard Snape and John Woolliscroft should live. His brother Bonaventure was in tenure of the messuage at the time of Williams death. On the death of Anne the messuage was to pass to Bonnye if Leonard Snape and John Woolliscroft should be living. After Bonnye’s death the messuage was to pass to John Woolliscroft on payment  of £5 to his executor.  

I think William did this to ensure Anne had an income for the remainder of her natural life. Anne is not listed on the Hearth Tax Returns of 1665 so she must have been living as part of another family. She had died by the time her brother Bonaventure wrote his will. Leases were drawn up for a specified number of years determinable upon lives of specific persons. In my experience this was usually on the life of the youngest child in the family.  However, in this case it was on the life of William’s nephew John Woolliscroft and Leonard Snape. It suggests that Leonard was also a close relative of Williams and William did not have children of his own. 

William left Mary & Elizabeth the daughters of Roger Woolliscroft  20s each. He left his Kinswoman Mary Moreton, the wife of Phillippe Moreton six shillings and eight pence. Phillip Moreton was from Okeover, Staffordshire but at present I’m unsure of how Mary was related to William.

William also left legacies to the two children of Leonard Snape, Allin Goodwin and Anthony Wall. 

The remainder of his estate including the Tythe and dwelling he left to Elizabeth Willerscroft, the daughter of Humphrey and her lawfully begotten children for ever. If Elizabeth did not have heirs then the estate was left to Mary Moreton and her heirs. He name Elizabeth as his executrix and his Kinsman Anthony Greene the overseer. The will was witnessed by Anthony Greene, Phillippe Moreton and Anthony Wall. Probate was granted to Elizabeth on the 11 May 1669. The original record is at Lichfield Joint Record Office.

Williscroft * Wool(l)iscroft * Wolliscroft  Worldwide Onename Study

Email: williscroft@one-name.org

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