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Will of George Lawson

Privacy Level: Open (White)
Date: 29 Dec 1587 [unknown]
Location: Usworth, Durham, Englandmap
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This profile is part of the Lawson Name Study.

Testamentum Georgii Lawson (George Lawson) of Litle Usworth, in the county of Durham, esquire.[1]

  • Dec. 29, 1587.[2]

My body to be buried in the quire at Washington, over against my grandfather's tomb, where I will, that my son Thomas shall cause a window and a tomb to be built, and he to bestow 201. or 101., at his discretion.

I give to the maintenance of a grammar school in Hexham 201.

My will is, that if Mr. Roberte Claxton, of whom I purchased the lordship of Burnhall, do pay unto my son Thomas Lawson 20001., within one year next after my death, then he shall have the same again, with this proviso, that he, the said Roberte Claxton, shall not alienate nor sell the said lordship, but that the said lands shall linealy descend to the heirs male of the said Roberte Claxton; and if he make payment of the said 20001., then my will is, that my son shall give him back 301.

I will that Mr. Claxton his son's annuities be perfected, according to the drawghte thereof made.

To Mrs. Claxton, wife to the said Roberte, 101., to be paid into her own hands, and to be employed to her own use, and her husband not to know of it.

I will that if my brother William Whithed,[3] can procure, at the hands of the dean and chapter of Durham, the lease of Merington water milne, by Mr. Rauff Bowes his means, or otherwise, that William More,[4] shall have the same lease, paying, out of his portion, such sum of money, as shall be disbursed, for the obtaining of it.

To my brother, Gilfourd Lawson, all my estate, right, term of years &c., which I have in my lease of the tithe corne of Sudwick.

To William,[5] son of my brother Gilfourd Lawson, an annuity of 101., to be paid out of my lands, after the death of Elizabeth Lawson, my mother.[6]

To my son Thomas my lease of Barmstone, he paying unto his four brethren, Robert, George, Rauff and Edward Lawson, to every of them 1001., and to his sisters, Elizabeth,[7] and Katherine,[8] Lawson, to either of them 3001.

To two of the poorest scholars in Houghton school, which shall continue there, so long as the said school is maintained, 40s. yearly, out of my lands in the said parish, to be given at the discretion of the church wardens and school-master, to by the said scholars books and apparel.

I will that the money that I am owing unto my uncle George Lawson his children shall be paid.

Wheras Doctor Bellamie doth owe me 121. 10s., I will that he shall not pay it, until he be very well able to pay it, and if he be not very well able, that then he shall never pay it.

I will that my mother Elizabeth Lawson have the fishing at Barmston, for her life, and further I give unto her my xij silver spoons, called the xij apostells, which my wife Mabell has in her custody, and also the silver goblet I had given by widow Kirkhouse.

To my son Thomas my two silver canes.

To my uncle, William Lawson, one old riall.

To my aunt Harbottlet one old riall, and to everyone of her children 10s.

To everyone of my sisters one old riall, and to every one of their children 10s.

To my cousin Rauff Lawson, of Brugh, my best horse, and to his daughter Alice my baie stoned stagg.

To my cousin William Lawson, of Rock, my gray gelding, which is at Winyard.

To my cousin, Margaret Claxton, my baie nag, at Wynyarde.

To my brother Gilfourd my black stoned horse, and my gray nage.

To Umfrey, son of Roberte Claxton, my dune colte.

To George Lawson, of Sheles, my gray nag, which I bought in Allstone more.

To William, & son of Thomas Swinburne, 201.

To Thomas, son of William Whithed, 201.

To my cousin, George Whithed, 101.

To William Lawson, his wife, of Sheles, 40s.

To Michael Brunskall my gray rackinge mare.

To every man servant in Litle Usworth 10s., and to every made servant 6s. 8d.

To Thomas Bowbey 40s.

To John Plumton 20s.

To William Walton, Rauffe Brian and Richard Dobson, to every of them 10s.

To Mary Dobson a cowe, and 6s. 8d.

To William Storye a cowe.

I will that my son Thomas shall be as good to my servants Thomas Bowman, William Storie and George Allen, in preferring of them, as I was to Lionell Martin, they serving for it, and deserving it.

To George Allen all my apparel, which I use daily to were, and 61. 13s. 4d.

I will that a cow of mine in widow Chamber's hands, of Gateside, shall be sold, and the money distributed to the poor of Gateshed.

And lastly I give unto the poor of Houghton, Bouldon, St. Oswolde's, in Durham, and Washington parishes, 131. 6s. 8d., to be divided equally among them.

All the rest of my goods &c., to Thomas Lawson, my son, whom I make sole executor, and if he refuse, then my sons Roberte and George to be my executors. Witnesses, Gylfourd Lawson, William Whithed, George Allen and Humfre Siddon.


  1. Wills and Inventories, 1860, p. 322-324. Google Books.
  2. Eldest son of Thomas Lawson, of Usworth, co. Durham, gentleman, by his wife, Elizabeth Darrell. He married Mabell, d. & coh. of Sir Reginald Carnaby, of Halton, co. Northumberland, knight. His will is a very interesting one, and betokens a kind and considerate man. His good intentions, regarding the estate of the Claxtons, at Burnhall, were unavailing to keep it in the family. Robert Claxton, who was deeply implicated in the "rebellion of the north,” had saved both life and estate, but, either through this unhappy adventure, or from general habits of extravagance, he was never able to redeem his lands, and they passed away from the family for ever. The terms of the testator's bequest to Mrs. Claxton seems to imply that her husband was a spendthrift. His own son Thomas became involved in money difficulties, and sold his estate to his uncle, Sir Wilfrid Lawson.
  3. Son of Thomas Whytehed, of Monk Wearmouth, gentleman, and husband of the testator's sister Catherine. He was vice-admiral of the county of Durham.
  4. See the will of Elizabeth Kirkhouse, printed p. 306.
  5. Ancestor of the family of Lawson, baronets, of Isell, co. Cumberland, now represented by Sir Wilfrid Lawson, bart.
  6. Elizabeth, dau. of Constantine Darrell
  7. Wife of Edward Ewbanke, of Durham, gentleman, brother of Henry Ewbanke, M.A., rector of Washington, and prebendary of Durham.
  8. Wife of Benjamin Widdrington, of Hirst, co. Northumberland, gentleman. He died in 1633, leaving his widow Catherine, and children, John, Ursula, Katherine, Dorothy, and Mary. Administration was granted to Edward Lawson, of Costley, par. of Hexham.


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