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The Last Will & Testament of some local people

Every so often I, and other contributors, come across copies of the wills of local people. Sometimes they contain information of interest to the local historian but more usually they are a great help to the family historian. On this section of the site I will post my analysis of these documents and would ask if anyone else has other wills that may be of interest then they send the relevant details to me so they too can be included.

Many thanks to Susan Bellefeuille and Chrissie for their contributions

Eventually all of those listed will be summarised and some will reveal interesting facts. For example George Gale's illegitimate children, Reverend Gale's begrudging payment of a debt of honour, James Ralfe giving two voting house in Great Bedwyn to the Ailesburys for no apparent reason and in most, the mistrust of any daughters' future or current husband and the attempt to control the family fortunes well beyond the grave. I would recommend looking at the inventory of George Jackman's possessions to give some idea of how the world has changed in 250 years.

The easiest way to find individuals mentioned in the analysed wills, you could use the search facility on the home page

Date Proven
Richard Jackson Page 1 , Page 2 , Page 3 1603
Thomas Blandy of East Grafton after 20/09/1670
John Blandy of East Grafton after 28/06/1720
James Westbury Page 1 , Page 2 , Page 3 1729
Giles Westbury Page 1 , Page 2 1748
An inventory from the will of George Jackman, yeoman of Grafton 07/04/1749
William & Rachel Jackman's Will and Rachel's Administration Bond 1755
James Ralfe, gentleman of Burbage 27/06/1758
William Westbury Page 1 , Page 2 , Page 3 , Page 4 , Page 5 1795
Thomas Blake, yeoman of Burbage 29/11/1799
Thomas Norfolk, innkeeper of Burbage 05/02/1800
William Hilliard Barley of Burbage 02/06/1808
John Jackman of East Grafton 01/12/1820
Mary Westbury Page 1 , Page 2 1821
John Clarke, farmer of Westcourt 20/03/1822
John Church, yeoman of Harepath 26/03/1834
Thomas Stanley, gentleman of Burbage 13/11/1847
Charlotte Stanley, nee Robins, wife of Thomas Stanley 07/05/1849
Fanny Lawrence, spinster of Burbage 23/06/1850
Robert Church of Burbage 27/02/1828
Reverend John Shepard Gale 16/02/1852
John Martin, labourer of Durley 22/08/1852
William Cox, shopkeeper of Burbage 13/10/1852
George Gale, farmer of Durley 29/04/1857
Ann Astley, saddler & harness maker of Grafton 13/09/1886

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©Colin Younger 2008