The will of John Waterworth of Islington, proved 1625




The parish register of St James Clerkenwell includes these burials of members of the Howcutt family:

  20 January 1619/20 - John Howkett, out of Mr Waterworte's house, in body of Church

  20 January 1621/22 - Mr Francis Howcott, out of Mr Waterworte's house, in ye Church




IN THE NAME OF GOD AMEN The Nynth day of July One Thousande Sixe Hundred and Twenty Five In the First yeare of the raigne of our Soveraigne Lord Charles by the grace of god Kinge of England Scotlande France & Ireland defendor of the Faythe I JOHN WATERWORTT of Islington in the parish of St James at Clarkenwell in the County of Midd. Cittizen & Inholder of the Citty of London beinge nowe daylie admonished of the uncertain state of this life not knowinge howe soone yt may please god to Call me out of this woolde doe therfore in my perfect memorie make & ordaine this my present Testament Conteyninge herin my laste will in manner & forme Followinge


FIRSTE I commende my soule to the hands of Allmighty god my maker and of my all sufficient Savyour & Redeemer Jesus Christe, through the onlie merritts of whose most bytter death & passion I stedfastlie beleeve to obtaine free remission of all my synnes & offences & therby to be made partaker of everlastinge happines in the Kingdome of heaven amongst the number of the Elect, And my body I bequeath to the earth of whence yt was first framed which I will to be buryed in the parish Church of St James at Clarkenwell aforesaid neare unto the place where the body of my late wife Elizabeth Waterwortt deceased doth remayne there already buryed as Conveniently may be


ITEM my mynde & will ys, And I doe soe ordayne & appointe that all such debts & sommes of money which I shall in right or Conscience owe unto anie person or persons at the tyme of my decease shall be well & truely paide & discharged within Convenient tyme after my decease, And specyally I will That within Sixe monthes after my decease my Executor doe truly paie into the Chamber of the Citty of London all that Legacie, money which shall be truly founde in my hands att the tyme of my decease, and belonginge to Edward Sanderson yongest sonne of Thomas Sanderson deceased, and soe to discharge my Recognizance there entred, And therby to Cleare my estate of for & concerninge the same for that by the will of the said Thomas Sanderson ther is a Succeedinge Executor nominated to mannage those affayres after my decease


NOW concerninge the disposinge of the Landes & Tenements which I have heartofore purchased by the blessinge of Allmighty god my will is as Followeth


FIRST I give & devise unto my eldest sonne John Waterwortt & his Heires for ever All That my greate Messuage or Tenement with thappurtenances Commonlye knowne by the signe of the Axe scituate in the parish of St Mary Aldermanbury in London, And all those Three other Messuages or Tenements therunto adioyneinge with all the Lands Tenements & hereditaments to them & every of them belonginge  or appertayneinge which I had & purchased from one William Audley, The Thirds or dower of my nowe welbeloved wife Joyce Waterwortt of & in the said Messuages Tenements Lands & premisses by the Courte of the Common Lawes of this Realme & Custome of the saide Citty to be had & claymed unto her the saide Joyce Waterwortt for & duringe the terme of her naturall life allways excepted & reserved, And one Annuytie of Fowre pounds per Annum yssueing out of the same to my brother Richard Waterwortt likewise excepted & reserved, And the rest of the Rentes & profittes out of the said Lands & Tenements growinge or accrewinge duringe ye mynorytie of my saide Eldest sonne to such uses as I have hereafter provided alsoe excepted, Also I give & devise to my saide sonne John Waterwortt, All those my Freehoulde Lands Tenements and hereditaments scituate in Walton Ladeall neare Preston or elsewhere in the County of Lancaster which I lately purchased of Sir William Cokaine Knight Alderman of London, To have & to houlde All the same my Freehould Lands Tenements & hereditaments in the County of Lancester aforesaid, unto the said John Waterwortt my sonne & his heires for ever, for and ymeadiately after the decease of my said welbeloved wife Joyce Waterwortt whoe beinge ioyned purchaser thereof with me hath therby estate therein for the terme of her naturall lyfe which I will she shall accordingely holde & enioye without interupption Provyded allwaies and, my will & meaninge ys, That the Rents & profitts groweinge & accreweinge to my said sonne John Waterwortt out of my Lands & Tenements in Aldermanbury aforesaie for & during his minorytie shall be receaved by my Executor and imployed for & towards the better educacon meanes & maintenance of my Three Children namely the saide John Waterwortt Robert Waterwortt & Ann Waterwortt


AND as Concerninge my personall Estate Consistinge in moveables, Leases, Cattell, moneys, & other goods and Chattells, whatsoever, aswell where I dwell & in or neare the Citty of London, as alsoe in the saide County of Lancester or elsewhere my will & mynde ys, That after a true & perfect Inventory and valuation therof made accordinge to the Custome of the Citty of London, The same shal be devyded into Three equall partes, One parte wherof I give & appointe & bequeath to my saide welbeloved wife Joyce Waterwortt as to her due & belongeinge by the Custome of the saide Citty. One other Thirde parte therof beinge devyded as aforesaid I doe bequeath and appointe unto my said Three children John, Robert & Ann, as to them likewise due & belongeinge & appertayninge by the said Custome of the saide Cittie of London as their Competent Orphanage part & portion of my personall Estate, betweene then equally to be devided parte & portion like  accordinge to the Custome aforesaide, And concerninge th other Third parte of my said personall Estate which accordinge to the said Custome belongeth to my own free disposition my will ys as Followeth namelie I give & bequeath out of the same unto my saide welbeloved wife Joyce Waterwortt as a toaken of my Love the somme of Fifty pounds of Lawfull English Money


AND I further will That my Executor shall give & paie unto her the said Joyce Fifty pounds more of like Lawfull money for & in liewe of her Chamber or furniture for her Chamber yf she shall please to disclayme the same & not otherwise


ITEM I give and bequeath unto my Brethren Hughe Waterwortt & Thurstone Waterwortt And to my Sister Alice the wife of John Lowe, all dwellinge in the saide County of Lancaster yf my said Two brethren & Sister shal be lyveinge att the tyme of my decease or else to such & soe manie of then as shall then be liveinge Twenty pounds a peece of Lawfull Englishe money. Alsoe I give and devise to my saide Brother Richard Waterwortt One Anuytie or yearly Rent Charge of Fowre pounds of Lawfull English Money for & duringe the naturall lyfe of him the said Richard to be levyed yssueinge & payeable out of my said Lands & Tenements in Aldermanbury aforesaid, And to be paid unto him the said Richard, att Foure Feastes or termes in the yeare moste usueall, vzt. att the Feaste of St Michaell TharchAngell, The birth of our Lord god ThAnuncyacon of our Lady St Mary the virgin & the Natyvytie of St John Baptiste by even & equall quarterlie portions, the Firste quarters payment wherof to begynn & be made att such of the said Feaste daies as shall next ensure after my decease,


Item I give & bequeath to my Cosen William Waterwortt nowe servant to Mr Plumpton a Salter in London Fifty pounds of Lawfull English money which I will to be trulye payde him att the tyme of the expiration of his yeares of his nowe Apprentishipp yf he the said William shall soe longe live


Item I give to my Cosen John Waterwortt lyvinge in the County of Chester Ten pounds of like money to be paid him within Sixe monthes after my decease


ITEM I give to all & everie my househould servantes aswell men as women kynde which shalbe abydinge with me att the tyme of my decease, Twenty Shillinges a peece.


Item I give to the Company of Inholders of the Citty of London whereof I am a member Sixe pounds Thirteene Shillings & Foure pence like lawfull money


Item I give to the use of the poore people inhabitinge in the saide parish of Sainte James Clarkenwell in the County of Midd. to be disposed of as the Churchwardens of the said parish for the tyme beinge with the Advise of Mr Michael Hart parishioner there shall in their discretions be thought most meete for their future releefe the some of Twenty pounds of Lawfull English money


And I give and bequeath Five pounds more of like Lawfull money which Five pounds I will to be distributed to the saide poore people of the said parishe of St James Clarkenwell about the tyme of my funerall in bread or money as the Churchwardens there shalbe thought moste meete,


Alsoe I give & bequeath to the use of the poore people of the parish of Islington in the County of Midd. the Somme of Ten pounds to be imployed for the beyfitt of the saide poore as in the discrecons of the Churchwardens therefor the tyme beinge with the Consent & advice of Mr Thomas Wilkes a parishioner there shalbe thought moste meete


Alsoe I doe hereby remise release & freely forgive unto Mr John Andrews Clarke late preacher at the saide Church of St James Clarkenwell aforesaide, Twenty pounds parcell of debt of Fifty pounds which he nowe oweth me.


ITEM I give & bequeath to Mary Leeson, Thomasine Worthington & Elizabeth Shelton the Three daughters of my saide late wife Fowrtye Shillinges a peece to make each of them a Ringe,


And I doe hereby make & ordaine my faithfull & honest frende Henry Worthington Inholder my full & sole Executor of this my presente laste will & Testament, And I will that he onlie shall dispose of my estate for & duringe the mynorytie of my Children (yf he the said Henry Worthington shall soe longe live) And in case the said Henry Worthington shall happen to dye before my said Children shall attaine their full ages, Then in such Case I doe make & ordaine my faithfull & lovinge Frend John Bourne of Knaptoft in the County of Leicester gent. Executor of this my will successively after such the decease of the saide Henry Worthington, And then & not before the saide John Bourne to take uppon him the full & sole disposinge of my estate & the execution of soe much of my will as shall not be then performed, for & duringe ye mynoritye of my said Three Children as aforeaide


AND I doe hereby nominate & appointe my saide faythfull Frende John Bourne & Moore Sandon of London Inholder Overseers of the same my will, soe longe as the said Henry Worthington shall remayne Executor therof, And the said Moore Sandon still to Continewe my Overseer untill the full execution therof, oyther by the said Henry Worthington, or John Bourne, as I have before appointed, not doubtinge of their honest faithfull Care & beste ayde in & towards the performance of the same my will, And I give unto the said Henry Worthington my Executor Twenty pounds of Lawfull money of England for a Legacie & I further give & bequeath unto him the said Henry Worthington for soe longe tyme as he shall Continewe my Executor, namely from the tyme of my decease duringe the mynotitye of my Children (yf he shall soe longe live) Five poundes yearly and every yeare for & in regarde of his paines aswell as Followeinge the business aforesaid Concerninge my owne estate & Children, As alsoe the business Concerninge the Wardshippe of Mountagu Sanderson his Majesty's Warde, graunted & Committed to me & my Assignes which muste alsoe fall uppon him as my Executor, And wherin I desire his equall Care & respect as to my owne Children, And I will that all expences & Charges whatsoever which eyther the said Henry Worthington or my succeedinge Executor John Bourne shall have occasion to undergoe in suite of Laws or otherwise in & Concerninge the managinge of my estate as Executor of this my will shalbe fully borne & defrayed out of my estate And be allowed uppon my Executors Accompte, And I give more to my saide overseers the saide John Bourne & Moore Sandon Ten pounds a peece in like Lawfull money, And further I give & bequeath unto the said John Bourne in Case the Executorshipp of this my will shall happen to fall uppon him other Ten pounds of like Lawfull money for in regarde of his further Care & paynes therin to be taken And likewise Five poundes yearely & every yeare for & in respect of his saide paines soe longe as she shall Contynewe & be Executor of this my will as aforsaide & not otherwise


ALSOE I doe further give & bequeath unto Alice Waterwortt daughter of my brother Thurston Waterworrtt, Elizabeth Milton, Ann Milton & Isabell Milton the Children of my wives Sister and to every one of them yf they be all liveinge att the tyme of my decease for to such or soe manie of them as shalbe then livinge Ten pounds in Lawfull English money for & towards their better preferment.


And I give to my two god Children John Worthington & John Leeson my late wifes daughters Children Fourty Shillings a peece,


And I give & bequeath to the use of the poore people inhabitinge in the saide parish of Walton Ladeall in the County of Lancaster the somme of Five poundes to be paide into the handes of my saide Brother Hugh Waterwortt & the Churchwardens of Walton Ladeall aforesaide by them to be distributed as in their discecon (for the best releefe & Comforte of the saide poore) shall seem most meete, And my will ys, That all the Residue of my Thirde parte of my personall estate herein not before bequeathed, shalbe equallie devyded betweene my saide Two Children Robert Waterwortt & Ann Waterwortt parte & parte like to whome for their better advancement I doe fully & wholly bequeath the same, And I doe hereby revoake Frustrate & make voyde all & every former wills & Testaments by me heretofor made


IN WITNESS wherof I the saide John Waterwortt have to this my present laste will & Testament Conteyned in these five Sheetes of paper Fowre of them written all uppon one syde & this laste sheete written with Five lynes in the topp every sheete subscribed with myne owne handes fixed my Seale the daye & yeare firste above written, vizt. the Nynthe day of Julye Anno domini One Thousand Sixe Hundred Twenty Five


John Waterwortt


Signed Sealed delivered & published by the saide John Waterwortt the Testator for and as his laste will & Testament one the saide Nynthe daie of July One thousand Sixe hundred Twenty Five in the presence of us W. Peigham, William Payne, John May Scri[vener], And of Richard Alncaster, Richard Hawes his servants.




The will was proved at London at the Prerogative Court of Canterbury on 9 September 1625 by Henry Worthington, the executor.


Transcribed by Francis Howcutt from a scanned copy of the office copy.