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Will of Humphrey Bell, London, Kent, 1653

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This is a transcription of the register version of the will of Humfrey Bell, Skinner of Deptford, Kent.[1][2]
The will was written on 24 September 1652 and proved at the Prerogative Court of Canterbury on the 24 September 1653.
Letters of administration issued: 7 July 1656 and 10 (?) June 1658

Spelling, punctuation and line breaks are as per the register copy. Capital F is rendered as F rather than ff. Abbreviations are expanded in [square brackets]. Paragraph breaks and bold text for names are my own for ease of reading.

Transcription by: Gill Whitehouse

People Mentioned:

  • Ellen my wife
  • trusty freinds Evan Seize and Henry Colborne'
  • my loveing daughter Anne Bickley
    • her husband John Bickley
  • my Nephewes Hollis Bell, Thomas Bell and Humphrey Bell
  • William Benson
  • Witnesses: Edward Higgins John Higgins William Neeale

Footnote / Letter of Administration 10(?) June 1658:

  • Francis Burghill

Sidenote / Letter of Administration 7 July 1656:

This is the Last Will & Testamt.
of mee Humfrey Bell of London Skinner nowe dwelling att Deptford
in the County of Kent First I doe will and devise and bequeath my seaven messuages
wth their Appurten[a]nces in Wapping in the County of Midds on the South side of
Wapping Streete unto Ellen my wife for her life, And after her death I doe hereby
further will and devise and bequeath all and singular the aforesaid menc[i]oned
p[re]misses wth all the rents, p[ro]fitts, Commodities, advantages, [reversions?], and re=
mainders whatsoever in anywise to them belonging or app[ur]teineing. And also
all those my sev[er]all tenements lying and being in or neere Budgrowe
London wth their and every of their Appurten[a]nces unto my trusty freinds
Evan Seize and Henry Colborne theire Executors and Admi[nis]trators Nev[er]thelesse
uppon this Speciall trust and Confidence that they the said Evan Seize ande
Henry Colborne their and either of their Executors and Admi[nis]trators shall dulie
and quarterly pay unto my loveing daughter Anne Bickley or to whom shee shall
appoint for her maynetenance a part (and noe part thereof to her husband John
Bickley) All the Rents, Issues, p[ro]fitts and Commodities whatsoever ariseinge
from or out of the sev[er]all distinct tenements. And all the rest of the p[re]misses
And shall alsoe after the death of the said John Bickley settle [reconvey?] and
assure uppon the said Anne Bickley and her heires All the aforemenc[i]oned
p[re]misses wth all their and either of their right, Title, Interest Clayme and
Demannd to the aforemenc[i]oned p[re]misses or any p[ar]te or parcell thereof (reserv-
ing full power to my said daughter if they refuse or she dislike them att any
tyme hereafter to nominate and appoint any person or persons whom shee shall
thinke fitt for her in trust in the places of the said Evan Seize and Henry Colborne
or either of them) And for default of such issue, Then to the heires of my Ne=
phewes Hollis Bell, Thomas Bell and Humphrey Bell. And I doe hereby make
and appoint the abovesaid Evan Seise and Henry Colborne Executors of this
my will and alsoe full power to defalte tenne pounds apeece for their paynes. And
alsoe full power to defalte out of the Annuall Rents of the p[re]misses All
manner of Costs Charges and allowanc[e]s for any trouble paines, and dam=
mages & costs that they or any of them shall disburse or sustaine by

[Page 2]
reason of of the said Trust or Executorsshipp. And I doe give unto William Benson the sum[m]e of
tenne pounds. And I doe revoke all former wills by me made. witnesse the hand
and seale of me the said Humphrey Bell the fower and twentieth day of September
Anno Domini One Thousand six-hundred ffifty and twoe ./. Humphrey Bell.
Signed Sealed, published and Declared by the testator to be his last will and testamt
In the p[re]sence of Edward Higgins John Higgins William Neeale ./.

This will was proved att Westm[inst]er; the fower and twentieth day of
September One Thousand six hundred ffiftie three before the Judges for p[ro]bate
of wills and granting Admi[nis]trac[i]ons appointed by an Act of Parliamt Intituled
an Act for p[ro]bate of wills and granting Ad[ministra]c[io]ns by the oath of Henry Colborne one
of the Executors &c To whome was granted Ad[ministra]c[io]n &c: he being first sworn well
& truly to ad[minis]ter &c Power being nev[er]thelesse reserved to grant the like p[ro]bate and
Admi[nis]trac[i]on unto Evan Seise the other Executor named in the said will when he
shall come and in legall manner desire the same./.

[Footnote, page 1]
On ye [tenth?] Day of June in the yeare 1658: issued forth letters of Ad[ministra]c[i]on To Francis
Burghill one of ye Trustees appoynted on ye behalfe of Anne Bickley als[o] Bell ye daughter
of Humphrey Bell the Testator dec[ease]d To Administer all [or?] singular of goods chattls & debts of the
sayd dec[ease]d Both were [paid left non?] administred [?] as well by Henry Colborne ye Executor
as by Robert Bell ye late Administrator [?] ye sayd will [?] of all his goods chattles & debts [both? as needed?]
according to ye tenor and effect of ye sayd will for & on behalfe of ye sayd Anne Bickley als
Bell hee ye sayd Francis Burghill being first sworn [to ?] to Admi[ni]ster
by order [?]

[Sidenote, page 2]
The seaventh day of July 1656 issued
forth [Letters of Administration?] to Robt Bell the Nephewe
of Humphrey Bell Dec[ease]d To [Administer?] the goods
chatls & Debts of the said Dec[eas]ed according to
the tenor & effect of his said will wich were
left [unadministered?] by Henry Colborne one
of ye Ex[ecu]tors in trust named in the said will [?]
whom [?] was comitted [&?] he ye said
Robt Bell being first sworn [truely?] to
[Ad[mini]ster ?] & Evan Seise the other Ex[ecu]tor [which?]
named in ye said Dec[eas]eds will & Ann
Bickley als[o] Bell ye Daughter & only
Child of ye s[ai]d Dec[eas]ed have [ind?ally]
renounced ye execuc[i]on of his said will
as by ye Acts of Court itt Doth & may [?]
& Ellen ye Dec[eas]eds relict Dyed before
she took upon her ye execuc[i]on of his
said will./.


  1. England & Wales, Prerogative Court of Canterbury Wills, 1384-1858 for Humphrey Bell, PROB 11: Will Registers, 1644-1654, Piece 227: Brent, Quire Numbers 110-165 (1653). Probate Date: 24 September 1653. Residence: London, Kent, England. Ancestry.co.uk database online.
  2. Will of Humfrey Bell, Skinner of Deptford, Kent Reference: PROB 11/227/581 Description: Will of Humfrey Bell, Skinner of Deptford, Kent Date: 24 September 1653 Held by: The National Archives, Kew Legal status: Public Record(s) Closure status: Open Document, Open Description. The National Archives online. Accessed 10 October 2021.

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