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John Crickmer the Elder of Brockdish, Norfolk, England, yeoman; Will.

The will is dated 22nd October, 1625. A transcription of the Will has been obtained by Richard John Crickmore of Australia with the assistance of Mr. Ron Meadows and his wife, Mrs. Gwen Meadows, verger of Brockdish Church, est.1324 A.D. and is detailed hereunder and recorded for ancestral purposes:-

It should be borne in mind that this document is not the original will, but a copy made by a clerk of the archdeacon's office. This accounts for the occasional errors; the frequent abbreviations (the missing letters are enclosed in square brackets in the transcription); and the occasional omissions. Sadly, in the case of this will, the clerk has not included the names and signatures (or marks, in the case of the illiterate) of the witnesses and the testator. As the witnesses are usually relatives or servants of the deceased, this is an unfortunate omission.
In documents of this age, the term "son in law" can refer to a son-in-law in the modern day sense of the word, as, indeed, it does in this document. However, it was also used to refer to stepsons; the male siblings of daughters-in-law, and (more rarely) even adopted children.

The name Wallen which appears in the will, is an alternative spelling of the name WALNE; one of the most distinguished "old" families of Brockdish. A Thomas Walne, who died in Brockdish c.1827, left a considerable amount of land in trust,and the 'Trustees of Thomas Walne' appear as landowners in Brockdish in documents as late as the 1920's. The Thomas Walne/Wallen/Wallend mentioned in this will married Elizabeth Crickmer at Brockdish in 1612. Incidentally, there are still Walnes and Wallens living in the Diss-Harleston area today.


In the name of God Amen The two and twentieth daie of October in the yeare of our Lord god one thowsand sixe hundred twentie and five I John Crickmer the elder of Brockdish in the countie of Norffolke yeoman beinge of good and perfect remembrance blessed be god therefore doe make and ordaine this my last will and testament in manner and forme followinge,

First I bequeath my soule into the handes of Almightie god my curator and Jesus Christ my Saviour and redeemour by whose death and merritts, I doe confidentlie beleeue to be saued, Any my boddie to the earth out of which it was taken to be buried in decent manner,

Item I giue and bequeath unto the poore people of Brockdishe aforesaid the some of Tenn shillinges,

Item I giue and bequeath unto Marian my wife; all my landes lyinge & beinge in Hardwicke in the said Countie of Norffolk dureinge the naturall life of her the said Marian, & after her decease, I give and bequeath the aforesaid landes unto Thomas Wallen my sonne in Lawe, uppon condition followeinge, that the said Thomas Wallen his heires Executours or administratours shall paie or cawse to be paid, unto Anne Pirland and her heires, Cicely Crickmer and her heires and Elizabeth Wallen and her heires my three daughters, to either of them the sume of eleven pounds a peece of lawfull englishe money, to be paid to euerie of them with in seven monethes next after the decease of the aforesaid Marian my wife,

Item I give & bequeath unto the sixe children which my said daughter Anne have now liuinge, the sume of thirty pound of Lawfull Englishe money, to be equallie devided and parted within sixe monethes next after my decease amongst so manie of those sixe children as shalbe then liueinge

Item I give and bequeath unto the five children which my said daughter Elizabeth have now liueinge, the some of five andt wentie poundes of lawfull english money to be equallie devided and parted within sixe monethes next after my decease as aforesaid, amongst so manie of those five children as shalbe then liueinge,

Item I give and bequeath unto Thomas Aynsworth, and unto Henrie Aynsworth my grandchildren and to either of them the some of threescore poundes a peece of lawfull englishe monie to be paid to either of them at their severall ages of twenty three yeares, yf it shall happen either the said Thomas or the said Henrie to departe this life, before he shall accomplish his said age of three and twentie yeares aforesaid, Then I will his parte deceaseinge to be paid to the other furuiveinge, yf they shall both die before their aforesaid severall ages of three and twentie yeares Then I will both partes to be equallie devided amongst so manie of my other grandchildren as shalbe then liueinge,

Item I give unto John Fletcher my godsonne twentie shillings, Item I give unto Raphe Harte sometime my seruant, the some of eleven shillings, to be paid within sixe monethes next after my decease,

Item I will and give unto the aforesaid Marian my wife all the residue of my goodes and chattills, whatsoeuer, not formerlie given and bequeathed in this my present last will and testament towards the paieinge and dichargeinge of my debtes and legacies given in this my last will, unto my grandchildren as aforesaid and the dischargeinge of my bureall rites,

And lastly, I doe ordaine and make the aforesaid Marian my wife sole executrix of this my last will and testament And doe appointe Robert Pirland, John Crickmeare and Thomas Wallen my three sonnes in Lawe to be ioynt Suprauisours of this my last will and testament desieringe them to be aideinge and assisteinge unto my said wife in the proueinge hereof, In witnes whereof of that this is my last will, I doe renounce all former wills and testamentes and doe publishe and declare this to be my last will and testament under my hand

These beinge witnesses {3}

[The ninth day of December, 1626, before Richard Gammon servant and clerk....

of the venerable Thomas Muriell, bishop of Norwich,.......{the above testament}

was approved in the presence of Robert Pirland and Anna his wife, John Crickmeare, Cicilia his wife and Thomas Walland and Elizabeth his wife children

of the said deceased....

Ref. Court of the Archdeaconry of Norfolk (ANF) f. 123 r. (1626).



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