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The Wills of 3 John Merrells
Will of John Merrell 1600
Wherstead and Belstead
John Merrell chart
Will of John Meryell 1551
Will of John Meryell 1528
The Reformation

A Merrill Memorial


    Samuel Merrill, 1928, reprint 1983

The Wills of Three John Merrells - Chapter IV, pp32-47

Will of John Meryell 1528

   The third will in which we are interested is that of another John Merrell of Wherstead, its record reference being Archdeaconry of Suffolk, book x, folio 40. This also appears to have been unsigned, though regularly admitted to probate. In it the family name is written Meryell and Moryell indiscriminately.

   This interesting old document is entered in the record book under the caption “Testam Johnis Moryell.” Copied carefully, line for line, it reads as follows:

  In the name of god Amen, the iij daye of
Decemb in the yere of our lord god mlcccccxxviij
I John Moryell of Wherstede wthin the Countye of
Suff husbondman beyng seck and ffebill of bodye
5
hooll and pfyght of rememberaunce make this my
psent testament and last will under this maner of
of fourme and condicion folowyng Inprimis I bequeth}
my soule to allmyghtie god to our blessed Ladye saynt
Marie and to all the glorious company of hevyn my
10
bodie to be buried wthin the cherch yerde of Wherstede
aforesaid unto the which highe Aulter for my tythes
and oblacons forgoton & unpaid I bequeth iijs. ii ijd.
Item I bequeth likewise unto the highe Aulter of
Belstede cherch iijs. iiijd. Item I geue un to Syr
15
John ffulchehm my gostlie ffather and vicar of
Wherstede xs. for a trentall to syng it where it shall
please hym for my soule and all Crystyn soulys Item
I geve and bequeth unto John meryell my oldest
son my tenement in Belstede wt all my londes wt
20
in the said towne both fre and bonde in fee symple
upon this condicion that the said John my son shall
paye or cause to be paid unto Anne my wiff Im
mediatlie aftr my decease the yerelie ferme of
the said tenement and londes the space of ij yerys
25
and also to pay or cause to be paide unto John
meryell his brother xxs. out of the said tent
and londes as the said John shall nede it to his
fynding to lernyng And ovyrthat I will the
said John my oldest son shall kepe or cause to be
30
kepte an obite wtin the cherch of Whersted the
terme and space of v yerys next folewyng aftr
my decease and evy obite to be kept to the valewe
of viijs. starling money Item I geve and bequeth
unto the said John my oldest son all my bargayn and
35
pte of Goodylsforde woode and also my Cartys plowys
and tomberellys wt. all the utensells to them belongyng
Except horsys and Oxsen) payeng unto his brother
John vjs. viijd. to receyve them att the fest of
Saynt mychaell next aftr my decease Item I will
40
yf the said John my yongest son depte the worlde
or he have receyved the foresaid xxs. of myn
tenement and londes before specified that than the
said xxs. to be paide to Anne my wiff un to the which
Anne I geve and bequeth all my stuffs and utensills
45
of houshold. Item I geve and bequeth unto Julyan
and Elyn my doughters un to evy of them xxs.
starling mony to be paid att the daye of the
mariage of eyther of them And yf eyther of my
said doughters depte the worlde or they com to
50
mariage than I will the survyv of eyther of them
shall haue other parte and if they both departe the
worlde or the com to marriage than I will the said
xls. be don in dedys of charite by the discrecion
of myn executors for my soule and all cristen soulys
55
Item I geve unto Johan meryell my sonnys doughter
a combe of barly The Residue of all my gooddes not be
quethed this my will pformyd and dettys paid I geve
and bequeth un to Anne my wyff Item I will that
60
myn executors shall occupie my parte of my ferme that
I dwelle in un to the most profight for the pformaunce
of this my last will and testament whom I ordeyn
and make John moryell my oldest son and Thomas
Belchm my brother in lawe they to receyve my detts
and pay my detts and pforme this my psent testament
65
and last will unto the which Thomas for his labor
and payn I bequeth vjs. viijd. These beyng wittnesses
John Goldynghm priest Syr John ffulchehm, Vicar
of Wherstede Edmunde Wyng of Belstede wt other.

This will was proved 12 March, 1528/9.

Line 15.
gostlie: spiritual
16.
trentall: trental; a service of thirty masses.
23.
ferme: farm, revenue.
26.
tent: tenement.
28.
fynding to lernyng: expense of education.
28.
ovyrthat: moreover.
30.
obite: obit; a memorial service on the anniversary of one’s death.
34.
bargayn and pte: share.
35.
tomberellys: tumbrels, dump-carts.
41,
49, 52. or: before.
56.
combe: four bushels.

   In this will his wife Anne is mentioned, and children John (I), John (II), Julian and Eleanor. John (I) was of age; he was named as one of the executors, and he had a daughter Johan, to whom was given in the will a “combe” of barley. John (II) was probably a minor, receiving an education. Was either of these sons the “John Meryell” whose will was proved in 1551/2?

   Only one child of John (I) is mentioned in the will. If John (I) had no other child in 1528, he could hardly have been the John who made his will 1551, for the latter John had ten children in 1551, four of whom, at least, were grown up. But John, whose will we are considering, was under no obligation to make bequests to his grandchildren. The fact that the bequest to Johan was four bushels of barley would indicate that Johan was not a young child, and this would strengthen the theory that John (I) may have had other children in 1528, making quite plausible the assumption that “John Meryell,” who made his will in 1551, was son of the John whose will was dated 1528.

   If you have further information on the book, "A Merrill Memorial" and would like to share it with others, please contact me.

     © Merrill.org - Updated 8 July, 2002