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William Willys will

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Date: [unknown] [unknown]
Location: London, Englandmap
Surnames/tags: Willys Willis
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A transcription of the will of William Willys 1706 [1][2] naming his and Katherine's children.
Items in [brackets] are my own additions or corrections.
Paragraphs added for clarity, line breaks are as per the original.

People listed

  • Thomas
  • William
  • Anne
  • Jane
  • Frances
  • Hester
  • Dorothy
  • Mary


  • Katharine


  • Susan Hare
  • Katherine Fisher
  • Elizabeth Gore
  • Bridgett Pindar
  • Alice Cary wife of [blank] Banks
  • Benjamin Hoadly

Places mentioned:

  • Fen Ditton, Horningsea & Uphall, Cherry Hinton, in Cambridgeshire
  • Property in Kent, Surrey and Sussex
  • Bridewell & Bethlem Hospitals
  • Hospital of St. Thomas, Southwark

I William Willis Senr. of London Merchant being in good health of Body and
of sound and disposeing mind and memory yet considering the uncertainty
of this mortall Life which is compared to the grass and flower of the field
and to things of greatest uncertainty Therefore that I may be the readier
to depart this Life whenever it may please God to call me doe this
seaventeenth day of June Anno Domini One Thousand Seaven Hundred
and Six make and ordaine this my last will and testament in manner
following first I commend my soul to Almighty God my Creator hopeing
to be saved by the meritts of my Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ
and my Body I committ to the Earth to be decently buried in the parish
Church of Fen Ditton in the County of Cambridge at the discretion of my
Executor herein after named

Item I give devise and bequeath unto my
deare Wife Katharine Willis all my Mannor of Uphall in the parish of

[page 2]
[Cherry] Hinton in the County of Cambridge with all its rights members[?]
and appurtenances whatsoever and all and every my Lands Tenements
and Hereditaments in Hinton aforesaid which I hold by Lease of St
Thomas’s Hospitall To Hold the same Mannor Lands Tenements and
premises unto her my said deare Wife and her Assignes for and
dureing the terme of her naturall life And from and after her decease
I give devise and bequeath the said Manor Lands Tenements and
Hereditaments unto my sonn Thomas Willis his Heires Executors
Administrators and Assignes

Item I give unto my said Wife Katherine
Willias all my Household Stuffe Plate and Furniture and my Coach
and Horses with the Harnesses and Furniture to them belonging and
alsoe the summe of five hundred pounds of lawfull money of England
And I doe hereby declare that what I have hereby given and devised
unto my said Wife is by me intended to be in full satisfaction of her
Dower and Thirds and all Claimes and demands that she can or may
have out of my reall and personall Estate by virtue of the Custome of
the City of London or otherwise And that if my said Wife shall not within
Six months after my decease upon request in that behalfe made
unto her by my Executor hereafter named Release all her Claime
and demand of into or out of my Reall or personall Estate and every
part thereof Then the aforesaid devise and bequests made unto my
said Wife shall cease and She shall have no benefitt or advantage by this
my Will

And I haveing fully advanced my Sonn William and Daughter
Anne doe not hereby make any farther provision for them Item I give
and bequeath unto my Daughters Jane Frances Hester Dorothy and
Mary the summe of two Thousand pounds apeice of lawfull money of
England for theire portions to be paid them at theire respective ages of
One and Twenty years or days of Marriage which shall first happen
together with Interest for the same from the day of my decease after the
rae of five pounds per Cent per Annum And I doe hereby will and
declare that the said portions of two Thousand pounds apeice by this my
Will given to my said five Daughters are and shall be esteemed in lieu
and full satisfaction of all such part of my Estate as they or any of them
can or may claime or be intituled to by the Custome of the City of London
And that In case my said Daughters respectively shall not within two
moneths next after my decease upon request by my Executor release all
theire demands and Interest in my personall Estate by the Custome of
London Then the portions hereby given her or them who shall soe refuse
to release shall be void

Item I give and bequeath unto my said Daughter
Hester the summe of five Hundred and Ten pounds upon Condition
that she shall grant Release and convey unto my said Sonn Thomas and
his Heires all her right and Interest in and to any Lands Tenements and
Hereditaments in the Countyes of Kent Surry and Sussex within three
mmoneths after she the said Hester shall attaine her age of One and Twenty
years But In case my said Daughter Hester shall refuse soe to doe Then
my mind and Will is that the aforesaid portions or Legacies of Two
Thousand pounds and five Hundred and Ten pounds by me hereinbefore
given unto my said Daughter Hester shall cease and be utterly void And in
such case I give unto my said Daughter Hester only the sums of Eighteene
hundred pounds and no more

Item I give and devise unto my said
Sonn Thomas all my Lands tenements and Hereditaments whatsoever
in the said severall Countyes of Kent Surry and Sussex To hold the same

[page 3]
unto him my said Sonn Thomas his Heires and Assignes forever Item I
give devise and bequeath unto my said Sonn Thomas and his Heires the
Annual summes of Eighty for pounds and Thirty one pounds and Tenn
Shillings issuing and payable by virtue of [left blank]
[left blank] out of her Majesties hereditary
revenue of Excise

Item I give unto my God=Daughters Susan Hare
Katherine Fisher and Elizabeth Gore each of them fifty pounds and
to my God=Daughter Bridgett Pindar Thirty pounds and To my
God=Daughter Alice Cary now the wife of [blank] Banks
Stationer thirty pounds and to my Godsonn Benjamin Hoadly
Thirty pounds

Item I give and bequeath to the hospitall of Bridewell
and Bethlem Fifty pounds and To the Hospitall of St. Thomas in Southwarke
likewise Fifty pounds item I give to the poor of the parish of Fenn Ditton
aforesaid tweny pounds and To the poor of the parish of Horningsy
and Cherry Hinton in the said County of Cambridge tenn pounds a peice
which four last Bequests I will shall be disposed of by the respective
Ministers and Church Wardens of the said parishes Item I give to my
Servants that shall be in my Service at my Death five pounds apeice

And I do hereby give and bequeath all the rest and residue of my Goods
Chattells and personall Estate (after my Debts funerall charges
Childrens portions and Legacies shall be paid) unto my said Sonn Thomas
Willis And I doe hereby make ordain constitute and appoint my said
Sonn Thomas Willis Sole Executor of this my last Will and Testament hereby
Revoking all former Wills by me made and declareing this only to be
my last Will and Testament In Witness whereof I the said William
Willis Senior have to this my last Will and Testament comprized in
three Sheets of paper sett my hand to the bottome of the two first
Sheets and my hand and Seale to this last Sheet the day and yeare
beforewritten ./. [signed] W:m Willys ./. Signed Sealed published and declared
by William Willis Senr as and for this last Will and testament in the
presence of us whose names are underwritten and who have subscribed
the same in his presence Edwd. Byrom, Tho: Gibion, John Thompson.

Probate (in Latin) granted, 12 Aug 1706, to Thomas Willys son of the deceased and named Executor.


As the five daughters named were under 21 and the will was written in 1706, they must have been born 1685 or later.


  1. https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/D607591 National Archives, PROB 11 - Prerogative Court of Canterbury and related Probate Jurisdictions: Will Registers PROB 11/490 - Name of Register: Eedes Quire Numbers: 182 - 226 available for download. (Accessed 27 Aug 2021)
  2. Will on Ancestry UK (subscription required) Source Citation The National Archives; Kew, Surrey, England; Records of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, Series PROB 11; Class: PROB 11; Piece: 490 Source Information Ancestry.com. England & Wales, Prerogative Court of Canterbury Wills, 1384-1858 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2013. (Accessed 27 Aug 2021)

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