Location: Cantref Parish, Brecknockshire, Wales
Surnames/tags: Awbrey Aubrey
This will is a free download from Ancestry.com. A genealogist in Bristol was paid to make the following “translation” whose personal information appears at the end of the translation. The original will has been divided into paragraphs for ease of reading.
Explanation of terms and practices:
- Capital or Mansion House – the terms refer more to the primary residence than to its size. The size of the house had more to do with the wealth of the individual
- Household Items:
- Clothing - wealthy people had valuable clothing which was passed down; poor people typically made their clothing from homegrown products
- Metal pots and pans were valuable as they were typically bought and were passed down
- Furniture – wealthy people purchased fine furniture which was passed down; poor people seldom mentioned furniture in their wills as it was typically homemade
- Animals were valuable; the value varied as to the quality of the animal
- Denominations – 20 shillings = 1 pound; 12 pence = 1 shilling. 3s. 4d. means 3 shillings and 4 pence
- Value - It is very difficult to make a direct comparison of the value of 16th century money to today's value. The will leaves for the poor of Cantref 10 shillings which does not seem much. However, in the day, a laborer would work in the fields from daylight until dark for 3 pence daily.
- Debts and Loans – as there were no banks, individuals would both borrow and lend money as their needs varied. It occurred regardless of status, it was whoever had excess cash at a given time
- P.C.C. in the title of the will refers to Prerogative Court of Canterbury.
NOTE: The footnotes and text within parenthesis were added by the translator.
In the name of God Amen. In the year of our Lord 1578 and in the 21st year of the reign of our Queen lady Elizabeth now etc dated 19th day of January etc.1
I Charles Awbrey of the Cantref in the county of Brecknock esquire do make my last will and testament in manner and form following:
First I bequeath my soul to almighty God and my earthly body to be buried in the parish church of the Cantref aforesaid.
Item I do give and bequeath unto the poor people of the Cantref to be distributed by Sir Lewes Thomas parson there among them 10 shillings.
Item for my forgotten tithes 12 d.
Item I give and bequeath unto Richard Masterson my son-in-law and Jane his wife my daughter, all that my capital or mansion house with all the lands thereunto belonging together with one grist mill, set, lying and being within the aforesaid parish of the Cantref in the said county, to have and to hold all the premises aforesaid unto the said Richard Mastersonne and Jane his wife according to a certain conveyance and assurance made betwixt them and I the said Charles Awbrey.
And also my will is that Alice Awbrey my wedded wife during her natural life shall remain and continue to and with the said Richard Mastersonne and Jane his wife upon their costs and charges, together with one manservant and maidservant and William Havard my eldest daughter’s son until he shall come to the age of one and twenty years.
Item I give and bequeath unto the said Richard Mastersonne my lease or farm of Penylan which I hold of Thomas ap Morgan for years yet enduring, according to such conveyances and assurances as are passed betwixt the said Richard Mastersonne and I the said Charles Awbrey.
Item I give and bequeath one tenement of lands set lying and being within the parish of Llanvrenaghe whereupon Meredd ap Jene do dwell, to the said Richard Mastersonne and to Jane his wife my daughter and to the heirs begotten of their two bodies, to have and to hold the said lands forever according to such conveyances and assurances made between the said Richard Mastersonne and I the said Charles Awbrey and for lack of such issue, to remain to my right heir.
Item I give and bequeath all such lands and tenements as I have in reversion within the several parishes of Penderyn and Istradveltey to the said Richard Mastersonne and Jane his wife and to the heirs begotten of their two bodies and for lack of such issue heirs to remain to my right heirs according to such assurances made between me and Richard Mastersonne (the lands and tenements which I sold to Mr David Williams excepted).
Item I give and bequeath unto William Havard my eldest daughter’s son, all my lands lying and being within the parish of Saint John the Evangelist in the town of Brecknock, commonly called “tire y paroge”, to have and to hold to him and to his heirs lawfully begotten of his body forever, and for want of such issue, my will is that the said lands do remain to the heirs of Richard Mastersonne which he shall beget upon the body of Jane my daughter. And for want of such issue, to remain to my right heir forever.
Item my will is that my son-in-law Richard Mastersonne shall redeem the aforesaid lands and my wife Alice Awbrey to receive and to have the commodity of the said lands towards the maintenance of William Havard, until the aforesaid William Havard shall come to the age of 21 years, and after that to the use above specified.
Item I give and bequeath all my lands and tenements lying and being in several parishes of Llanavan Vethan and Llanganten within the county of Brecknock to the said Richard Mastersonne and Jane his wife and to the heirs of their two bodies lawfully begotten, to have and to hold according to such conveyances and assurances as are made between me and the said Richard Mastersonne immediately and after the decease of my wife Alice Awbrey, who hath a state2 therein for term of her life.
Item I give and bequeath and assign one lease that I have of the Queen’s Majesty’s grant, of one tenement, a house and a garden lying in the parish of Llanganten and the town of Llanvayre in Buyllte unto the said Alice Awbrey my wife.
Item I give and bequeath unto Alice Awbrey my wedded wife one tenement of lands lying in the parish of Glaskoine within the county of Radnor, to have and to hold to her for term of her natural life and after her decease unto Margaret Havarde my eldest daughter during her natural life and after her decease, the same lands to remain unto William Havarde and to the heirs lawfully begotten of his body and for lack of such issue, to remain to my right heir.
Item I give and bequeath the one moiety of all my goods and cattles unto Richard Mastersonne, the other moiety unto Alice Awbrey my wife, only all my corn growing on my lands excepted, which I give and bequeath unto my wife.
Item I give and bequeath my coat of arms and my thick coat unto my son-in-law Richard Mastersonne.
Item I give and bequeath unto Margaret Havard my eldest daughter during her natural life the sum of four pounds to be paid yearly every Michaelmas3 by the hand of Richard Mastersonne my son-in-law.
Item my will is that my son-on-law Richard Mastersonne shall bear half the costs and charges that I was at since I came from Chester and half my charges towards my burial.
Item I give and bequeath unto my brother Morice Awbrey forty shillings every year to be [paid] quarterly unto him upon my executors until fifteen pounds be paid clearly unto him in consideration4 and condition that my brother Morice Awbreye shall deliver up a bond unto my executors or my sureties Philip5 Havarde, Thomas Jenckin, Thomas Awbreye and John William Walter, which bond they have sealed for me for the payment of twenty five pounds.
Item I give and bequeath unto John Madock my servant forty shillings.
Item I give and bequeath unto John Baorges forty shillings.
Item I give and bequeath unto Hugh William forty shillings.
Item I give and bequeath unto Alice Gybbon twenty shillings.
Item I give and bequeath unto Ivan Meade three shillings four pence.
Item I give to Sir Lewes Thomas parson of the Cantref ten shillings.
Item my will is that my Executors shall satisfy Jenckin Howell Morrice for his bond that I have sealed unto him.
Item I give one of my cloaks to my sister Elizabeth Awbrey.
Item my will is that my tenant Meredd ap Jene’ who dwelleth on my lands in Llanvvelaghe shall occupy and enjoy the said lands during his natural life, paying no rent for it.
Item I give and bequeath unto Richard Mastersonne all my woods and timbers which are in the parish of Llanthettye which I bought of William James, as it appeareth by a pair of indentures which are made between me and him. And also all my wood which I bought of Mr Thomas ap Morgan esquire in the parish of Llangeneder.
Item I do make and constitute my son-in-law Richard Mastersonne and Alice Awbreye my wife to be my executors.
Examined thus far by me6Meredith Thomas Notary Public and the original subscribed by Sir Lewes Thomas, Richard Herberte, Philip Awbrey, Thomas ap Morgan, William Philippe7
Money owing unto me the Testator
Imprimis one David Flowarghe ten pound.
Item David ap John David ap Howell four pound.
Item John Watkyns for a horse three pound six shillings eight pence.
Item William Edwarde and his executors eighteen pounds.
Item William Goz’ twelve pound.
Item Edmond Rycharde by a bond five pound.
Item Thomas Lewes thirteen pound six shillings eight pence.
Item David Pries of Gascoine nine pound.
Item Charles Boothe seven pound ten shillings.
Item due unto me upon the foot of my last account four and twenty pound, four shillings eight pence.
Item upon the vicar of Brodwey twenty shillings.
Debts on me to the persons subscribed
Due to Richard Backrod of Hereford five pound and odd money, Edward Arowder of Llandlowe as much as appeareth by my specialty to be paid, and upon payment thereof to receive my salt double-gilt.
Item to John Jacson of Salop8 as much money as I do owe unto him, and as he will depose to be due allowing me four pound which I paid him going to Chester and three pound which I paid him coming out of Ireland.
Due to Walter Goz’ of Knyten upon my chain eight pound and the same to be delivered upon payment thereof.
Due to Mr Foynes of Bristo as much money as he upon his oath will declare to be due, allowing such payments as I have already paid.
Due to Richard Johns shoemaker twenty six shillings, four pence of Shrosberie9 for shoes.
Due to one of Shorbery Studfill thirty six shillings four pence.
Debts to Thomas Lewes mercer10 as much as he can depose.
Debts due to Harry Glyberye four shillings.
This copy examined by me Meredith Thomas. Ex[amined].11
There was proved the above-written testament at London before the venerable master William Drewry, Doctor of Laws of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury etc the first day of the month of July in the year of our Lord 1580 by the oath of Richard Mastersonne executor etc to whom there was commission to administer etc well [and truly] etc Sworn etc Alice Awbreye relict of the said deceased and executrix named in this same will having died.
Transcript for Stuart Awbrey by M. McGregor AGRA Member 11 June 2018 ref: Q510 Awbrey8
1 The new year was reckoned to begin on 25 March so this January date is 1578 by their reckoning but by modern dating 1579.
2 An estate
3 Feast of St. Michael: 29th September.
4 End of folio 26/ 211
5 Written abbreviated as Phe
6 These words written in Latin
7 Abbreviated as Phe
10 Dealer in silks and fine fabrics
11 End of folio 211 verso