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Leonard Woolliscroft c1610-1642 of Cauldon, Staffordshire
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Leonard Woolliscroft c1610-1643

of Cauldon, Staffordshire

Leonard was living with his wife and son in Cauldon, Staffordshire when he died most likely in January 1642/3. The will is dated 1642 I think it possible that Leonard was fighting in the Civil War and the will was written hastily before his departure. His son William was very young at the time of his death and his estate was left to his wife Joan Yate and son William. However, if Joan remarried she lost the right to the property mention in the will. If Leonard’s son William died without issue then the estate was to pass to his cousin William the son of Bonaventure Woolliscroft.

The will also mentions John Woolliscroft the son of John Woolliscroft of Farley and Leonard Snape the son of Robert Snape of Denstone, Staffordshire who received legacies as did his sister Anne. His ‘natural’ brothers William & Bonaventure were executors of his will. Leonard’s will was proved twice. He died at the start of the Civil War in England and initially Probate was granted at Lichfield on the 20 January 1643. During the Interregnum, the Prerogative Court of Canterbury (PCC) and lesser courts were replaced by a Court for Probate of Wills and Granting Administrations, whose jurisdiction covered the whole of England and Wales. For some reason Leonard’s will was proved for a second time on 14 Jun 1652. Leonard’s brother William travelled to London and was granted the probate as one of the executors.

Leonard Woolliscrofte 1643

Extract from the will of Leonard Woolliscrofte proved at th PCC in 1652. The will had originally been proved at Lichfied in 1643

Leonard’s wife Joan died five years after her husband. In her will she mentions her ‘natural’ mother Dorothy Yate and brother John who were executors of her will. She also mentions her son William who was aged '5 years upwards'. William Laughterhouse was one of the appraisers of her inventory and Bonaventure Woolliscroft one of the witnesses.

Joan Wolverscroft 1647

Extract from the will of Joan Wolverscroft proved in 1647

Leonard & Joan’s son William lived in Cauldon after the death of his parents. In 1648 William left him £5 in his will proved the following year. On the Hearth Tax taken at  Michaelmas 1665 William is listed as having one hearth. In March 1667 William was described as a yeoman and freeholder of Cauldon with other freemen of Cauldon in an draft agreement between the Duke of Newcastle and his son Henry, Earl of Ogle.

William died intestate towards the end of April or early May. His Uncle Bonaventure Woolliscroft was granted administration of the estate on the 11 May 1669. An Inventory was taken on the 7 June. As William did not have lawful heirs his property and land passed to his cousin William, the son of Bonaventure.

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