Wills: 25 Henry VI (1446-7)

Pages 508-513

Calendar of Wills Proved and Enrolled in the Court of Husting, London: Part 2, 1358-1688. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1890.

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Monday next after the Feast of S. Agatha, Virgin [5 Feb.].

Stafford (John), chaplain.—Testament touching certain lands and tenements in the parishes of S. Mary Magdalen near the Old Fish Market and S. Peter, otherwise Benedict, near Powliswharf at "Petreslane eend," which he leaves to the Master and Brethren of the Hospital of S. Bartholomew in Westsmythfeld, on condition they assure by deed under their common seal to Thomas his son an annuity of one hundred shillings, and to Richard Stafford his kinsman an annuity of forty shillings; also that they pay a certain sum to a chantry priest for masses, &c., at their altar of S. Nicholas for the good of his soul, the souls of Johanna his late wife, John and Juliana his father and mother, and others, the priest turning himself to the congregation at every mass between the offertory and the washing of hands, (fn. 1) and saying these words: "I recomende in to youre devoute prayers the soules of John Stafford and Johane his wyf, John and Julyan his fadre and moder, of Henry Barton, of Johane and Agneys his wyves, and of all Cristen," with other religious observances as directed. The same chantry priest is also to receive thirty-three shillings and fourpence by the year at the hands of the master aforesaid for instructing boys in grammar and singing; poor children, and more especially those of the testator's kin, to receive their instruction gratuitously. Dated London, Wednesday, 9 September, A.D. 1444.
Roll 175 (18).

Monday next after the Feast of S. Mathias, Apostle [24 Feb.].

Estfeld (fn. 2) (William), Knt., citizen and mercer, and Alderman of the City of London.—Testament touching his movables. To be buried in the church of S. Mary de Aldermanbury. Directions as to funeral, which is to be conducted without display. The torches used at his funeral to be afterwards distributed among various churches. Bequests to the poor of the parishes of S. Mary de Aldermanbury, S. Peter near Powliswharf, S. Mary Somerset, S. Benedict at Powliswharf, and S. Laurence in the Jewry; to the vicar and chaplains of the church of Tikhill, (fn. 3) the chaplain of the chapel in the castle of Tikhill, and the poor of the parish; to the inmates of divers hospitals and prisons; the lepers in and near London; the various orders of friars in London, the friars of Hicchyn (fn. 4) and Tikhill; the nuns of Burnham near Wyndesore, Ankerwyk, (fn. 5) Roughsparre, Blakbergh, co. Norfolk, Higham, co. Kent, the nuns of Huntyngdon and Feveresham; also to his apprentices, servants, and others. For the repair and maintenance of the bridge at Wallyngford he leaves forty shillings, and divers sums to the churches of Gedeleston, (fn. 6) Greneford, (fn. 7) and Wotton (fn. 8). To the poor-box of the Mercers of London twenty pounds, and other sums to the chaplains of the Art of Mercery, the beadle of the art, and for a breakfast (jantaculum (fn. 9) ) to be given to the apprentices to the art that they may pray for his soul. The gold cup and ewer which he received when he attended as Mayor at the coronation of the lord the King (fn. 10) he leaves to John Bohun, son of Margaret his daughter, and in default of an heir of the body of the said John the same is to go to Humphrey Bohun, brother of the said John, and again in default of an heir the cup and ewer are to be sold, and five silver chalices to be bought out of the proceeds and given to churches in the country that require them. Leaves a cask of red Grascony wine or its value to the Abbey of S. Alban, the Priory, Christ Church, Canterbury, the House of the Salutation of the Blessed Mary of the Carthusian Order near London, the Priory of Walsyngham, (fn. 11) and the Convent of Sapwell, (fn. 12) he being a capitular brother of each of the said houses. Among other bequests he leaves one hundred pounds for the repair of highways between London and Hoddesdon. To Humphrey Bohun his son-in-law he leaves the coler of gold given to him by the King and silver vessels to the value of one hundred marks. Another coler of gold set (infixum) with precious stones and pearls (fn. 13) is to be offered at the shrine of the Virgin Mary at Walsyngham, whilst an ouche of gold set with precious stones and pearls is to be similarly offered at le Shryne of S. Thomas of Canterbury. His personal apparel of silk and gold, as well as that of Alice his late wife, to be converted into vestments for churches. Bequests for sermons to be preached at S. Paul's Cross and in the pulpit at the Hospital of S. Mary without Bisshopesgate, and also to clerks of the universities of Oxford and Cambridge coming to London to preach the word of God, so that his soul be had in remembrance by them. The Bishop of Lincoln, to whom he leaves his large Portifory and a silver-gilt cup, appointed one of his executors. Dated London, 15 March, A.D. 1445.

By a codicil he wills that the water conduit in Aldermanbury (fn. 14) be finished at his expense; and also that the belfry of the church of Aldermanbury be raised to a more convenient height and five bells hung therein. Among other bequests he leaves to John Middelton his large Legend of the Saints, a portoos, and a vestment of cloth of gold with popyngeays. To the perpetual chaplain of his chantry in the church of S. Mary de Aldermanbury he leaves a certain tenement with shop, situate near the church of S. Peter in Westchepe. Dated 16 March in the year aforesaid.

By another codicil of the same date he leaves to the Wardens of the Mistery of Mercery of the City of London a tenement called "le Three Coupes upon le hoop" in the parish of All Hallows in Bredestrete, and other tenements, &c., in Morestrete in the parish of S. Giles without Crepulgate, charged with certain payments towards a chantry in the church of S. Mary de Aldermanbury for the good of his soul, the souls of Juliana and Alice his late wives, and others, and with the due observance of his obit in manner prescribed; also with the payment of thirteen shillings and fourpence annually to the Dean and Chapter of the Collegiate Church of S. Martin le Grand on account of the obit of William Kynwolmerssh. In case of default the property is to go over to the Master of the House of S. Thomas de Acon under similar conditions.
Roll 175 (19).

Estfeld (William), Knt., citizen and mercer, and Alderman of the City of London.—Testament touching certain quitrents in the parish of S. Botolph without Aldrichegate, the reversion of which he leaves to the Prior of the House of S. Mary de Overey and the convent of the same, whensoever the Prior and Convent of S. Bartholomew in Westsmythfeld shall make default in maintaining a chantry for the soul of Reginald Colyer, Prior of S. Bartholomew's in Westsmythfeld, the souls of the testator, his late wives, and others, in manner prescribed. Dated London, 28 January, A.D. 1445.
Roll 175 (20).

Monday next after the Feast of S. Chad, Bishop [2 March].

Stoke (Ralph), grocer.—Testament touching an annual rent of six shillings and eightpence issuing from a mansion in the parish of S. Andrew upon Cornhill, which he leaves to Master John Savage, the rector, and churchwardens of the said parish church, so that they spend half that sum annually upon the observance of his bit of William Traynell and of Johanna, wife of the same, in manner prescribed. The other half of the said rent to be given to the poor of the parish. Dated London, 8 May, A.D. 1445.
Roll 175 (25).

Rithe (John), "malemaker."—To Matilda his wife a life estate in his lands and tenements in Watlyngstrete in the parish of S. Augustine at S. Paul's Grate; remainder to his heirs begotten upon the body of his said wife; remainder to Margaret Neve, daughter of Matilda his wife by John Neve her former husband, in tail; remainder to William Clere, "malemaker," in tail; remainder in trust for sale for pious and charitable uses. Dated London, 14 April, A.D. 1443.
Roll 175 (26).

Wiltshire (William), horner.—To be buried in his parish church of S. Martin in Bowyerrowe within Ludgate. Directions as to funeral, distribution of torches, &c. Provision made for a chantry in the said church for one whole year after his decease for the good of his soul, the souls of Matilda and Agnes his wives, and others. Bequest of four pounds towards the purchase of an Antiphonar for the church of Elmondon, co. Essex, his native place, so that the parishioners also assist towards purchasing the book and specially pray for his soul. To the church of Beauchamp Rothyng, co. Essex, he leaves a chalice of the value of thirty shillings; and six shillings and eightpence to the fabric of the church of Sabrichefford, co. Herts. To Thomas Wiltshire his brother, among other things, his gown of musterdevilers, (fn. 15) furred with Bevers; and to Thomas, son of the same, forty shillings. To his apprentices and servants he leaves divers forms or moldes appertaining to his craft, some holding three hundred pounds of metal, and others half a hundred pounds. Also to Thomas his aforesaid brother a bakehouse, &c., in Knyghtriderstrete in the parish of H. Trinity the Less for life; remainder in trust for sale, and the proceeds to be devoted to the purchase of a complete set of vestments for the church of S. Martin aforesaid, wax tapers, &c. The co-feoffees with Richard Coyf of three parcels of arable land in Meapham, co. Kent, known respectively as "Vynkrede," "Sloppes," and "Sholle," are to release the same to the said Richard whenever duly requested. Desires his feoffees in trust of lands and tenements in Beauchamp Rothyng and Wylynghale, co. Essex, to make a good estate to the Prior and Convent of the Church of H. Trinity, London, of an annual rent of ten shillings thereout, and to convey the same property to John Fitz Richard, brother of Agnes his late wife. To John Kermerdyn, the rector, and churchwardens of the church of S. Martin aforesaid, tenements in Tourstrete and in Mynchonlane in the parish of S. Dunstan in aid of a chantry; remainder over, in case of default, to the Fraternity of S. Giles within the church of S. Giles without Crepulgate. Dated London, Thursday, 25 January, A.D. 1441.
Roll 175 (27).


  • 1. 1 Sometimes called the "first lavatory" (will of Isabel Howden, 1515, enrolled infra), to distinguish it from the washing which takes place after the priest has communicated. The first washing occurs before communicating, and immediately after presenting the oblations; the priest going to the Epistle side of the altar and washing the tips of his fingers, at the same time reciting Psalm xxv. 6 ("Lavabo inter innocentes manus meas, et circumdebo altare tuum, Domine").
  • 2. 1 It is not clear of what ward he was Alderman. Served as Sheriff in 1422, and was twice Mayor, viz., in 1429 and 1437. A native of Tickhill, Yorkshire (Orridge).
  • 3. 2 Co. York.
  • 4. 3 Hitchin, co. Herts.
  • 5. 4 Co. Bucks.
  • 6. 5 Rusper or Rupperar, co. Sussex.
  • 7. 6 Geldeston (?), co. Norfolk.
  • 8. 7 Greenfield (?), co. Lincoln.
  • 9. 8 Wootton (?), co. Norfolk.
  • 10. 9 "Jantaculum, cibus quo solvitur jejunium ante prandium; dejeuner" (D'Arnis).
  • 11. 10 King Henry VI. was not crowned till the eighth year of his reign (A.D. 1429), in which year the testator was Mayor. His claim to serve the King on that occasion in his official capacity, and to receive for his fee a gold cup and ewer, is entered in the City's Records as having been duly made by the mouth of the Recorder, according to the liberties and customs of the City (Lib. Dunthorn, folio 61 b). There is evidence to carry back this custom to the coronation of Richard I., the earliest coronation of which any detailed account is preserved, and the service then claimed and performed by the citizens of London was called, even at that time, an "antient service."
  • 12. 1 Co. Norfolk.
  • 13. 2 Sopewell, co. Herts.
  • 14. 3 Perr[eiis]. This seems to be the correct reading and interpretation. The word perreie occurs in the earlier Letter-Books of the City Records, which Riley takes to be identical with a fur known as puree, or cleansed minever. Women of bad character were forbidden to wear any manner of budge, or perreie, or revers within the franchise of the City (Letter-Book H, fol. 139; 'Memorials,' p. 458, n.). The word in the will admits of being read as perr[e], in which case it would mean precious stones. Cf.:—Hir riche array, if it mighte be told, As wel in vessel as in hir clothing, Sche was al clothed in perré and gold. Chaucer, 'The Monkes Tale,' 313-5. The only objection to its having this meaning in the will is that, following so close upon infixum cum petris, it becomes tautological.
  • 15. 4 "Wm Eastfield, mercer, 1438 [sic], appointed his executors of his goods to convey sweet water from Tyborne, and to build a fair conduit by Aldermanberie Church, which they performed, as also made a standard in Fleet Street by Shew lane end; they also conveyed water to Cripples gate, &c." (Stow's 'Survey,' Thoms's ed., 1876, p. 42).
  • 16. 1 Grey cloth made at Montiviliers, or Mustrevilliers, in Normandy. Cf. "Also y bequethe to Clemens, the woman that kepes me, a gowne of Musterdevylers and a kyrtell of Musterdevylers with grene sleues" (will of Margaret Asshcombe of London, proved 1434; 'Earliest English Wills,' ed. by Dr. Furnivall for Early Eng. Text Soc., p. 97). In a roll of accounts preserved among the archives of S. Paul's Cathedral it appears as "Musterdevelis," and in the Minute Book of the Grocers' Company (already mentioned) as "Mestrevyler"; it is also found under the quaint style" mustyrd devells." From the following extract from Strype's Stow ('Survey,' bk. v. p. 164) it would appear to have given its name to a colour: "I read in Books of Accounts in Guildhall that in the 19th Year of Henry VI. there was bought for an Officer's Gown two yards of Cloth, coloured Mustard Villars (a Colour now out of use)."