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Will of Robert Cowper (Cooper) of Hingham 1509

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This is a transcription of the copy register will of Robert Cowper or Cooper of "Hengham" (Hingham), Norfolk. It was written on 5 May 1509 and proved at the Archdeaconry Court of Norwich sitting at Hingham on 10 July 1509. [1]

The top of the will register is badly damaged with the lost of most of the text of the first 4 rows on each page. Where text has been lost, this is indicated with [....]
The first page of the will (which starts halfway down the register page) is in a neat albeit archaic hand. The second and third pages are written by a different scribe with poor scrawly writing and many abbreviations.

Spelling, punctuation and line breaks are as per the original document.
Crossings through have been included struck out
Paragraph breaks at change of bequest, and bold text are my own for ease of reading.
Where present, the obsolete letter Thorn has been rendered as th, and ff has been rendered as F
Abbreviations and breviographs have been expanded in [square brackets]

Persons mentioned:

  • Kathryne my wife her name has been abbreviated in several ways. She appears to be Testator's second wife as he bequeaths to his sister a headkerchief which belonged to his other wife. She is given 17 acres of arable land. Has the custody of Testator's two youngest children, 5 marks for their upkeep and the household stuff.
  • Thomas my son the eldest son from his inheritance. Not yet of age. To be in the custody of his uncle John Cowper. Inherits 5 marks, plus 20 shillings owed from Roger Neve, and a blue gown. Also the lands in Hackford bought from Sir Henry Heydon.
  • Petyr (Peter) my son to remain with his mother. Not of full age.
  • Alis (Alice) my daughter to remain with her mother. Not of full age.
  • Roger Neve of Wymondham relationship not stated, owes the Testator 20 shillings
  • John Cowper my broder Testator's brother who will have the custody of the eldest son Thomas. Co-executor of the will
  • John Cowper my godson inherits a gown
  • Margary (?) Cock my sister co-executor of the will
  • Sir Herry (Henry) Heydon Testator bought land from him
  • John Elyngh[a]m relationship not stated, inherits a doublet
  • my other weves (a previous wife, not named)

In Dei no[m]i[n]e Amen The v th day of Maye in the yer of owr lord god m t D ix I Rob[er]t Cowp[er]
of hengh[a]m hole of mende & in gode remembrance beyng make thys my testament & last wyll
in thys man[er] folowyng Fyrst I bequethe my sowle to god allmyghty owr lady saynt mary And to
All the holy c[o]mpany in hevyn my body to be buryed in the chyrche yarde of hengh[a]m forseyd
of Saynt Andrew un to the wyche hyghe Awlter there I bequethe for my tythys & offeryngs
forgotyn & w[i]tholdyn vi s viij d

It[em] I bequethe to the rep[er]ac[i]on of the seyd chyrche xxs It[e]m
I bequethe to the lyghte of corp[or]is cristi Saynt Andrew Saynt petyr the hyghe Rode the
browne Rode owr lady in the chapell owr lady pyte to yche of thes lyghts ijd And to ev[er]y
oth[e]r lyght kepte of Custom w[i]t[h] in the Seyd chyrche jd

It[em] I gyff to the gyles of Seynt petyr
in hengh[a]m xijd It[e]m I gefe to Kat[er]yne my wyfe xvij Acrez of areabyll lande As they lyghe

[page 2 - badly damaged at the top of the page]
in the p[a]r[ish] of hacf[ord] [....]
execut[ors] And if so be the seyd Kath...[....]
for the p[ri]ce of xxti marke that than I will that sh[....]
have xxti marke in mony to be payed as it may be[....]
goods It[e]m I will my mesuage edifi[ce] & ev[er] edifi[ce]s w[i]t[h] all my [....]
inclosez pastur[es] fedyngs w[i]t[h] thappertenancez as thei se leyd in heng[ham]
& hacford be sold be my exec[utors] to pay my detts & p[er]formac[i]on of
this my testame[n]t & last will

It[e]m I will have on[e] honest pr[ie]ste to
syng for my sowle & my b[e]n[e]fact[ors] sowlez in the churche of hengh[a]m
be the space of on[e] hole yer

It[em] I gyf to Thomas my sone v markes
as it may be payed of my goods & xxs that shall com[e] ferm
Roger Neve of Wymondh[a]m my blew gowne a falte tabyll

It[e]m I
will that John Cowp[er] my broder have the rewle & kepyng
of Thomas my sonn unto the tyme he shall come at lawghfull

It[e]m I gyff Kat[er]ine my wiff v markes to the kepyng of
my too Chyldyrn peter & Alis

It[e]m I gyff kat[er]ine my wiff my
utensell & necessar[ies] of howshold except my grete brasse potte the
whiche I will be solde by my exec[utors]

It[em] I giff John Cowp[er]
my godson my tawny gown

It[e]m I gyff to Margar[y] Co[c]k
my sister the best hedkerche sowe ov[er] the whiche wer
my other weves[2]

It[em] I geve John Elyngh[a]m my best
dobelet of wursted

It[em] I gyve to Thomas my sone
all sweche londs as I late Bowth of Sir Herry Heydon
knyght as ther lyght in hacford feld [3] to gyff & sell
for ev[er]

It[em] I gyff to Kat[er]yne my wiff a mylche
cow nexte the beste & a twelmonetyng[4] color Rede

It[em] to petyr Cowp[er] my son xxvjs viijd and to
Alis my Doughter xxs to be payed whan thei
come at lawfull Age

It[em] I wull Kat[er]yne my wiff

[page 3 top of page badly damaged]
[....] my mesuage be the space of
[....] I here goyn... of her nete[5] in the pastures
[.....] wode It[em] I geve to Kat[er]yne my wiff ij Combe whete
[.....] & a lytill mere Color white & grey w[i]t[h] all
my Fowles gesse henes & Dokys

It[em] I will desyer & requere my
cofeffey[6] & eche of them infeffid in me[d]o[w] lands pastures incloses
fedyngs & in eche p[ar]cell of them as so before rehersid shall geve
A state to my execut[ors] or to eny other be them Assyned at all
tymez whom they shalbe then desiered or requered The residue
of my goods not geve nor assyned I put them in to the hands
of my execut[or] whom I ordeyn & make my execut[ors] John Cowp[er]
my broder & Margar[y] Co[c]k my syster whom I gif for ther
labor this my test[ament] & last will fulfill & p[er]formyd the residue
of my gode at ther will to be disposed wretyn day & yere a
bove sed

Probate [from the Latin] This testament was proved at Hengham tenth of July AD M D nono (1509)


  1. Will of Robert Cowper 1509 Archdeaconry Court of Norwich Will registers v. 2 (Shaw), Folio 99. Family Search Film 008004746 Images start 122 Accessed 18 February 2022
  2. my other wife's
  3. Probably Hackford, a village to the east of Hingham
  4. twelvemonthling
  5. neat (cow)
  6. co-feoffee

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