Last Will and Blog write-up of 2020
Here is my third deciphered RAYNER Will of five available from years ago. I decided that I could only work on what I hold at the moment so it is taking the easier route and find the older material later. As I have mentioned before it appears that most of these RAYNER families used a limited range of fore-names for their children. Each new marriage mostly relied on the names of Uncles and Aunts to provide the names for the new generation. In some ways it helps to follow through the families and create a hopefully true line. However, surprises do occur. There will be more about the problem of identification later. When the census taking started in 1831, in-house family names were often given to the enumerator on census days and I would have to scan through the Public Record Office (PRO) lists of Births, Deaths and Marriages (BDMs) to ensure I recognise the real given name. It did show some peculiar results that on official records the person making the application for the birth, death or marriage certificate could get away with making incorrect information on those records.
The Last Will and Testament of Joseph RAYNER (1727-1787)
This Joseph RAYNER wrote his Will in 1782 and it may not have been his first one but was according to the wording – his last. He was the grandson of Joseph the Elder 1667-1747. Usually this designation applies to a father and son combination. I have a reference to a son of Joseph the Elder, born 1733, but know nothing more of him.. This is awkward because the Joseph I have – married to Rebecca BROWN appears to be the son of William (1702-1768) RAYNER son of Joseph the Elder. But in his Will of 1743, Joseph the Elder designates his son, Joseph as the beneficiary of his property. As Joseph the Elder must have left property to his son William as well as his son Joseph and Joseph born 1727, his grandson, must have received property from his father William, son of Joseph the Elder. It was confusing at first.
So at the time of writing his Will this Joseph (1727-1787) had two sons and three daughters surviving at home and they are the duly given positions as beneficiaries in the Will as was also his daughter Rachael COOK, his only child to have left home through marriage by that time.
This Will is four sheets of A4 the longest one so far. I have added the photographs to shows Hedingham Road and the building that was the “Crown” which in 1740 was in the possession of Thomas the Elder and run by his son Thomas RAYNER and wife Susan who had two sons, Joseph (1726-1759) and Thomas (1729-????). The other photo is of the “Old Bull Hotel” which is one of the oldest buildings in Halstead.
Next time we will see what information this Joseph RAYNER’s wife , Rebecca, can tell us in her Will of 20 December 1798.
1782 Will of Joseph RAYNER :
This is the last Will and Testament of me Joseph RAYNER of Halstead in the county of Essex, farmer, as follows viz: I give and bequeath my Right, Interest and Term of Years to cement my death in the messuage or tenement and farm and the land, meadows and pastures and hereditaments thereto belonging in Halstead aforesaid now in my occupation unto my beloved wife Rebecca for and during the term of her natural life. In case only she shall so long continue my widow and keep her unmarried and not otherwise; She paying the rent reserved by the Lease thereof and performing the covenant therein contained on the Lessees part; And from immediately after my said wife’s decease or married again, which (what)soever shall first happen, I give my Lease of the same farmlands and premises and all benefits thereof and the possession, and Right of Possession in the Premises by virtue thereof. Unto my son Joseph his executors administrators and assigns for all the remainder of the term of years then to come therein. He and they paying the rent and performing the covenants mentioned and contained in the said Leases Part. Also I give and bequeath all my household goods and furniture of every kind farming stock, implements and utensils of husbandry, corn, grain, hay, growing crops and of my farming effects of what nature, kind, (what)soever belonging to my said farmlands and premises. Unto my said wife Rebecca, to and for, her own use and benefit. The paying there-out the two following legacies (that is to say) the sum of thirty pounds (30.00) of lawful money of Great Britain unto my eldest daughter Rachael, now the wife of James COOK, within one year next after my decease; And the further sum of twenty pounds (£20.00) of like lawful money unto my youngest son William at his age of twenty one years and in the meantime and until he shall have attained that age I do hereby desire and direct that she my said wife do and shall pay and apply the interest thereof at the rate of five pounds per cent per annum towards the maintenance, clothing, and education of him my said son, William; And if he, my said son William, shall die before such age then I give the said twenty pounds (£20.00) and all unapplied interest and do direct her my said wife to pay the same unto my said son, Joseph, immediately after his said brothers decease. And it is my mind and will and I do hereby expressly order and direct that my said wife shall and do, in case she shall be married again immediately after such her marriage not only deliver up to my said son Joseph the possession of my said farmland and premises so as aforesaid given her. But also deliver up to and admit him to take and have all my household goods, furniture, farming stock, implements and utensils of husbandry, corn, grain, hay, growing crops and other the farming effects of every kind belonging to and upon the same farmlands an premises which I do in that case give to him my said son Joseph to and for his own use and benefit. He paying so much money for the same as they shall be justly valued at by two indifferent persons . One to be chosen by her, my said wife, and the other by him my said son Joseph; in manner following (that is to say) the said sum of thirty pounds (£30.00) unto my said eldest daughter Rachael COOK in one year next after my decease. In case the same shall not have been paid to her by my said wife before such her marriage and the said further sum of twenty pounds (20.00) unto my said youngest son, William. Joseph RAYNER signature
Witnesses : Samuel BEALE Joseph HASKELL John Usher xxxxx (unr)
At his said age of twenty one years (in case he shall not have attained that age, or if he has. In case the said money shall not have been paid to him by my said wife before or at the said time of her marriage,) And in the meantime and until he my said son William shall have attained his said age of twenty one years I desire and direct that he my said son Joseph do and shall pay and apply the interest of the said twenty pounds (£20.00) at the rate aforesaid towards the maintenance, clothing and education of him my said son William. And if he, my said son William shall die under that age and without lawful heir the said twenty pounds and all unapplied interest shall (sink?) to and for the benefit of him, my said son Joseph and not before by him. And the rest and residue of such money unto my said wife to and for her own use and benefit notwithstanding such her marriage immediately after such marriage and delivery up and valuation aforesaid. And it is my mind and Will and I do hereby further desire and direct that in case my said wife shall be married again , my said son Joseph shall pay to and allow her my said wife so much money for rent of land and for the tillage of so much land as shall then be fallow in the said farm as to indifferent persons individually chosen by and between my said wife and son she estimate the same to be worth. And I do hereby declare that the bequest herein before and made or given to my said wife are and shall be upon this express condition that she do and shall make executor deliver into the hands of my executor within one calendar month next after my decease a good effectual release of her Dower or thirds in and to allow my real estate; And also within such term enter into a Bond to my executors in a sufficient penalty for her delivering up the possession of the farm, lands and premises and all the household goods and furniture, farming stock, implements and utensils of husbandry, corn, grain, hay, growing crops and other the farming effects of every xxx belonging to and upon the same farm, unto my said son Joseph his executors, administrators and assigns. In case she my said wife shall be married again immediately after such marriage in the manner and upon the terms aforesaid; And likewise for her paying the rent reserved and perform the covenants in the said Lease on the lessees part up to or until such marriage delivery up as aforesaid . And if my said wife shall refuse to execute and enter into such release and bond up then I make and declare void all the bequests herein before made or given to her. And I do give all and whatsoever I have herein before given to her, unto my said son Joseph to and for his own use and benefit. And I do desire and direct and it is my mind and Will that if my said son Joseph shall behave himself in any manner of wise undutifully, unbrotherly and unbecoming towards his said mother and his brother and sisters while she shall continue my widow and be in possession of the said farm and be at home and living with her then she my said wife shall and will insist upon and compel him to go to service or to depart from and not live with her . And in such case I earnestly recommend to her so to do. Also I give and devise all my messuages, lands, tenements herediments and real estate of what nature or tenure (what)soever situate lying and being in , at or near a certain place called Blackmore End within the parish of Wethersfield, in the said county of Essex and now in the occupation of Thomas MESSENTxxxx (?).
Signed by Joseph RAYNER signature
Witnessed by :
Jn USHER (xxxxx)?
Under and to the use and behoof (behove?) of my said son William RAYNER his heirs and assigns forever upon condition nevertheless that he and they shall well and truly pay or cause to be paid. And I do hereby subject and charge all the last mentioned promises to and with the payment there-out of the payment of the sum of two hundred pounds (£200.00) of lawful money of Great Britain unto his sister, my daughter Anne RAYNER which I do hereby give her when and so soon as he my said son William (being the youngest) shall have attained the age of twenty one years. And my default of payment thereof or any part thereof at the time aforesaid I give my said daughter Ann full trust to enter on all or any part of the same messuages, lands, and premises and to take the rent thereof and to distrain, take away and sell any goods , chattels, cattle there found. Or to mortgage the said premises on my part thereof for the raising and thereby to raise the money so unpaid together with all charges relating thereby. But in case my said son William shall die under age and without lawful issue then I give and devise the said last mentioned messuages, lands, hereditaments and premises unto and for the use of my four children, Joseph, Hetty, Hannah and Anne RAYNER and their heirs equally to be divided amongst them and their heirs part and share alike and to take as tenants in common in fee and not as joint tenants subject nevertheless and chargeable . And I do hereby subject and charge the same messuages , lands and premises to and with the payment there-out in the first place of the said sum of two hundred pounds (£200.00) unto my said daughter Anne as soon as conveniently can be after the death of my said son William, under age as aforesaid. In case she shall at such his death have attained her age of twenty one years ; And if not then so soon as she my said daughter Anne shall have attained that age. And in case my said daughter Ann shall die before my said son William shall have attained his age of twenty one years. Or in case of his death under that age shall die before she has attained her age of twenty one years without any lawful heirs then I give her said legacy of two hundred pounds unto and amongst all my children then living in equal shares. And her part and share of and in the said testament and promises I give and devise unto and to the use of my said son Joseph and daughters Hetty and Hannah and their heirs equally to be divided amongst them and their heirs and share and share alike and to take as tenants in common in xxx and not as joint on as joint tenants. And it is my Will and Mind and I do hereby desire and direct that my executor hereafter named as one of them, do and shall receive and take the rents and profits of the said messuages, lands and premises at Blackmore End until my said son William shall have attained his said age of twenty one years, or until his death if he shall die before that age; And pay and apply the rents and profits for or towards the maintenance, clothing, education or other benefit of him my said son William and my said daughter Ann. Also I give and bequeath the principal sum of two hundred pounds due and onqoing upon a mortgage made to me by Bartholomew BROWN of Sible Hedingham in the county aforesaid farmer of a messuage and lands in that parish and all arrears of interest. And also the principal sum of sixty pounds due and owing upon a mortgage made to me by Mr Barnabas BLAKES of Bocking in the said county of a messuage or tenement with its yards and appurtenances in that parish together with all arrears of interest (to page 4)
Signed Joseph RAYNER signature
Witnessed by : Samuel BEADLE
Jn USHER xxxxxx
Due at my decease. Unto my said son Joseph RAYNER to and for his own use and benefit. Also I give and bequeath unto my said two daughters Hetty and Hannah RAYNER the sum of two hundred pounds apiece of lawful money of Great Britain; to be paid to each of them at or as soon as conveniently can be after my death. Also I give devise and bequeath all the rest residue and remainder of my real and personal estate and effects after payment of my funeral charges just debts, legacies and all other expences attending the execution of this my Will unto and to the benefit and behoof of my said son Joseph RAYNER his executors and administrators and assigns for ever absolutely. And lastly I do nominate and appoint Stephen BROWN of Toppesfield in the said county of Essex, Yeoman, to whom I do give the sum of two guineas for his trouble and my said son Joseph RAYNER executors of this my Will and Testament. Hereby revoking and making void all former Wills and Testaments by me at any time made , and declare this to be my last Will and Testament in witness whereof I the said Joseph RAYNER the testator have to the first three sheets of this my last Will and Testament set my hand and to this fourth and last sheet my hand and seal this thirty first day of October in the year of our Lord Christ one thousand seven hundred and eighty two.
Signed Joseph RAYNER signature
Signed Sealed Published and Declared :
By the said Testator Joseph RAYNER as and for his last
Will and Testament in the presence of us who in his presence
And at his request and in the presence of xxxx other have
Hereunto subscribed our names as witnesses :
Jn USHER junior