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Will of John BrowneJohn, King's Feodary, of Burghclere. 1633

This is the last Will and Testament of me John Brownejohn of Burghclere in the County of Southampton, gentleman, written with mine own hand the 29th day of June in the year of our Lord God 1633 and in the ninth year of the reign of our sovereign Lord Charles by the grace of God of England Scotland France and Ireland King, Defender of the Faith. 

First I bequeath my soul into the hands of Almighty God and my body to the Earth from whence it came there to the rest until the glorious return of my Lord and saviour Jesus Christ to judgement in hope then both soul and body to be reunited and from thence fourth for ever to enjoy that blessed inheritance prepared for them that love him and long for his second coming. 

And as touching that estate whereof God hath made me his Steward here upon the Earth I leave and dispose thereof as followeth 

To the Cathedral church of Winchester, I give five ****and to Master Dr Young dean there 30 shillings, Master Dr Kercher one of the Prebends there and Master Dr Alexander one other of the Prebends there 20 shillings apiece desiring them to buy them rings and to wear them for his sake that ever loved them. 

To the church of Burghclere where I live I give 40 shillings and to the poor there I give 20 shillings. 

To the poor of Newtown I give 20 shillings. 

To the poor of Highclere 10 shillings. 

To the poor of Ashendsworth 10 shillings. 

To the poor of Dryhurstborne 10 shillings. 

To the poor of Boscombe in Wilts, where I was born 10 shillings. 

Item, my will is that my brother Anthony shall have his keeping at Burghclere while he liveth in such manner as he hath had since he first came forth to me. 

To my most dear and loving wife Mary Brownejohn I give all the money both gold and silver which she hath in her own keeping except such moneys as she and I call house moneys, building moneys, and money for extraordinary expenses which money I will shall be disposed as she knows I intended them. 

Item, I give to her £50 which Mr Manse of Andover owes me and other £50 which Mr Birch the grocer of Newbury owes me, and £10 which the glazier of Newbury owes me, and to her I leave the use of all our plate during her life desiring her to dispose the rest amongst our children as she shall think fit. 

To my son Richard I give all my bedsteads, tables, chairs and forms and stools in my house at Burghclere and the furnace and all the wainscot and glass there but not to move or remove anything while his mother liveth without his mother's consent, to whom I give the use of them while she liveth at Burghclere. 

To my daughter Sarah, I give £350 which with the hundred pounds Master Dr Lucye owes her which also I formerly gave her and £50 which Mr Say owes me and I now also by this my will give unto her makes up £500. I would have the money she hath already made up half her portion **** within half a year after my decease and delivered into her own hands and the other £250 being the remainder of her portion I would have to remain with my executors until her marriage and then to be delivered unto her if she marry with her mother's consent otherwise not until her age of 25 years. 

To every other of my daughters unmarried vide Katheryne, Hester and Ann I give £500 to be paid unto them at their several marriages so as they marry with the consent of my executors or else not until they shall attain their several ages of one and twenty years. 

To my son Henry I likewise give £500 to be paid unto him at his age of 24 years. Also I give him all my Feodary books and writings, all which I took out and procured of my own charge, they cost me not so little as £100 I have not so much as one script of my predecessor for I think he had none. 

And I most humbly desire the Master of the Wards that he will be pleased my said son Henry may have the offer of the Feodaryship of Hampshire for which I know no man be more fit than he may be considering the books which I have given him and his training up in that place under me, which place if the Master of the Wards shall be pleased to confer upon him then I will his £500 shall be paid unto him within half year after my decease. And humbly desire all the offices of his Majesties Court of Wards and Liveries namely Master Surveyor, Master Attorney, Master Receiver, Sir Robert Cooke, Master Auditor, Master Chamberlain and Master Andrew and Master Raymonde to be aiding and assisting to my said son for the expressing this place for him wherein his father have served his Majesty and his Majesty’s father now almost 30 years and was belonging to the said court 15 years before this. I am in hope the Master of the Wardes will yield unto this rather because I desire it upon none other terms for him than an other man. 

To my son Henry after his mother's decease I give likewise my lands in Dryhurstborne called Wolhymes to have and to hold to him and his heirs for ever. 

Item, my mind is that he shall have the Meadow in Whindsworth which I purchased of John Cole to him and his heirs for ever which I intend to leave unto him if it please God alive till he come of age. If not, I will my son Richard to render it unto him when he becomes of age but his mother is to have it while she liveth. 

To my son William I likewise give £500. If he comes from his master with whom now he is then the money which his master will pay back of the money he had with him when he took him to be part of his £500, if he stays with his master then I intend £500 wholly to be paid unto him by my executors and his Master to keep all the money he had with him to him, and in such case my will is my executors shall pay his master £46 more, the one half in Michaelmas term the other half in Easter term next in full discharge of all reckonings and accounts between his said master and my said son. If he stays with his master my executors must find him apparel till our Ladyday next and for one whole year after, and after his master is to find him apparel. And all things as if he stays with his master his portion to be paid him all one sum and sums as his master shall think him fit to manage it but if he goes from his master then his portion to be paid him as his age of 24 years or before as my executors shall see cause, in such case my executors must allow him maintenance till his portion be paid. 

To my son John Brownejohn I likewise give £500 to be paid him at his age of 21 years. In the meantime he hath maintenance elsewhere I hope he will forfowe his book when his money shall be due, and to him I will him by all means to be advised by his mother and elder brother in the disposing thereof. I hope he will have no cause of expending any part of the principal but that his money be kept entire till it may be laid out altogether for his good. 

To my daughter Potinger though last named in my will, yet (if any) first in my affection, she had had her portion already I give only £10 in gold and amongst her children that shall be living at the time of my decease £40, all which makes £50 which £50 I desire she make use of during her life and that she shall appoint which of her children shall have the £40 after her decease. I desire her that ******* may have twice as much as any of the rest. 

And I desire her husband [Note 1] that my said daughter may dispose of her other £10 where and how she please and because he shall be more willing to grant my request hererin and for the good opinion and affection I have of him I give him other £10. He hath been a loving husband to my poor daughter and I leave not but he will continue so while it please God they live together. These legacies to my daughter Potinger her husband and children I do not intend shall be paid until the end of one year and a half after my decease. 

To my son Mr John Potinger [Note 1] I give 40 shillings to buy him a ring and to his care and love I give and commit my son John to be disposed by him. If it please God I live I will better require his love to me and mine, if I die before I desire he will wear a ring for my sake who have and truly loved him though in words I never could yet if he had had occasion indeed I would not have failed to have expressed the same. 

As to any of my children namely Sarah, Henry, William, John, Katherine, Hester and Ann [should die] before there portions be payable by this my present will, my will and meaning that the portion of him or her so dying shall be divided amongst mine executors share and share alike but if more than one of them die before their portions be payable by this my will, my meaning is that the portions of all but the first so dying shall be divided amongst mine executors and all my children as well married and unmarried surviving part and part alike. 

To my clerk Robert Savage, I give him as much black broadcloth as will make him a mourning cloak and a suit. I praise God bless him, if he be not carried away with ill company he will make an honest man and a good Clerk 

To every one of my servants both men and women that at the time of my decease shall have been in Covennts servants either with me or my wife above a year I give a quarters wages. 

And to Nicholas Palmer that as yet hath received no wages I give 20 shillings and one of my old suits. 

I desire Master Dr Lucy, Master Raymond and my brother Robert Folwell to accept of 40 shillings apiece to buy every of them a ring, and to be assisting to my executors and my poor children, whom I also desire to be overseers of this my will and likewise I desire Mr John Brambe be accepted of the like sum to buy him a ring praying him to wear it for his sake that ever loved him. 

For my Lady Lucy, Sir Thomas Lucy, Sir Richard Lucy and Mr Francis Lucy I have nothing to give them worth their acceptance, all that I can offer them is to pray for them and so do them ever. I desire whom they or either of them or any of them shall be pleased to employ me while I live which I will assuredly do. 

Lastly I make my dear and loving wife Mary Brownejohn and my eldest son Richard Brownejohn executors of this my last Will and Testament, in assurance that they will not differ I make now exhortation together to agree so God bless them all. I mean my wife and children and all other whom I have remembered in this my will. I go before them in their times must follow. God forgive all my sins. I forgive all the world and I desire all the world to forgive me, Lord Jesus come quickly. 

John Brownejohn 

Probate in London before Henry Marten 17th of November 1633 by Mary Brownejohn relict and Richard Brownejohn natural son and executors


1. John Potinger, although referred to here as "son" is not the husband of his unnamed daughter Potinger. This is only made clear in the will of Mary Brownejohn where this husband is identified as being Richard, and John is a clearly separate person - friend but not directly related.

Last updated 10 May 2014