Will of Edward Sprague of England – – – 1614.
The VI-th day of June in the year of our Lord God, 1614. In the name of God, Amen.
I, Edward Sprague of Upway in the County of Dorset, fuller, being sick and weak of body, but well and perfect in mind, thanks be given unto Almighty God, do ordain and appoint this my last Will and Testament to be made in manner and form following. This is to say, first of all, I do bequeath my soul unto Almighty God, my savior and redeemer, and my body to be buried within the church yard. As for such temporal goods as God has blessed me withall, I give and bequeath as hereafter follows: viz. I give unto the parish church of Upway ten shillings.
Item – I give unto the poor of the said parish of up way ten shillings.
Item – I give unto Ralph Sprague my eldest son one of the oldest pairs of shears in my shop and one lesser pair called the quarrell.
Item – I give and bequeath unto my eldest daughter Alice Sprague fifty pounds, to be paid within one year after my decease.
Item – I give and bequeath unto Edward Sprague my second son, two pairs of shears and twenty pounds to be paid likewise within one year after my decease.
Item – I give and bequeath into Richard Sprague my third son twenty pounds to be paid when he shall be one in twenty years of age.
Item – I give and bequeath into Christopher Sprague my fourth son twenty pounds to be paid when he shall be of the age of one and twenty years.
Item – I give and bequeath unto William Sprague my youngest son twenty pounds to be paid when he shall be of the age of one and twenty years.
All the rest of my goods movable and unmovable I give and bequeath into Christian [Christiana] Sprague my wife whom I do make my whole [sole] executrix of this my last will and testament.
Memorand: that if Richard Sprague, Christopher Sprague or William Sprague shall happen to die either of them before they shall be of the age of one and twenty years that then his legacy to be divided between the other two, or if two of them shall happen to die before they shall be of the age of one and twenty years, that then their legacies to remain to the other then living.
Finally, I do appoint Harvey Samweys and Willia[m] Bryar overseers of this my last will and testament in presence of those whose names are underwritten.
Memorandum: that whereas, the living of the aforesaid Edward Sprague does fall into his son Ralph Sprague after his decease, the said Ralph Sprague doth upon his father’s request promised that his mother Christian [Christiana] Sprague shall quietly enjoy the said living until he shall be one in twenty years of age.
A true and perfect inventory indented of all and singular the goods rightes, chattels and dets of Edward Sprague late of Upway in the County of Dorset, fuller, deceased made sixth day of June and priced and valued by Thomas Leball, John Sellar, William Bryar and Francis George, as follow with, viz., 1614.
Imprimus, his wearing apparel
Item, a piece of russet cloth
item, two beds furnished
item, one coverlet and a carpet
item, ten pair of sheets, board cloths, with two pair of pillow buys, and six table napkins
Item, thirteen silver spoons
item, 1 cupboard, nineteen pewter vessels, three candlesticks, and three salts
item, four coffers, one chest, two chairs and a flasket
item, a sword and dagger
item, two other beds furnished
item, a sack of wheat and a sack of malt
item, iron ropes, with other old yron
item, one willow, for old tugs with a hedlop
item, one table, board and cupboard
item, five barrels, with other timber vessels
item, to frying pans, one spit, to andyrons, three pair of pot hooks, with other kytchin stuff
item, one in twenty brass vessels
item, butter and cheese
item, a cheese press, the latter thread, with other small implement
item, for pair of Fuller’s shears with the sheer boards and iron bar, beams, and scales and weights with other things in the mill
item, three saddles
item, one pyge
item, seven kyne with three yearlings
item, one horse
item, fourscore sheep and forty-two lambs
item, 4 acres and a half of corn
item, due unto the administratrix without specialty
item, due upon bond
suma totalissimus Inventury,
So, the estate was valued at £ 257, 6 s.
Probation and Registration of the Will of Edward Sprague
We, George, by Divine Providence, Archbishop of Canterbury, Primate of all England and Metropolitan, make it known that on the 13th day of the month of October in the year of our Lord, 1614, at London, before that venerable man Sir John Benet, Knight and Doctor of laws, custos or commissary of our prerogative court of Canterbury, due proof was made of the Will of Edward Sprague late of Upwaie in the County of Dorset, in the diocese of Bristol, of our providence of Canterbury, deceased, having while he lived and at the time of his death goods rights and credits in the aforesaid diocese or peculiar jurisdiction.
Upon the production and proof of the same testament, the administration of all and singular, is goods, rights and credits, the accounts calculations and reckonings of an administration of this sort having been heard without diminution from the same are adjudged to pertain to us alone and not any other, judge inferior to us.
Mission was issued for ministry all and singular, the goods, rights and credits of the said deceased and all things whatsoever contained in his will to Christiana Sprague, widow of said deceased and the executrix nominated in his will, well and faithfully to administer the same and to make a full and true inventory of all and singular, the goods, rights and credits of the said deceased to be brought to our prerogative court of Canterbury, on the 2d day after the feast of St. Oblasus, Bishop, and also to exhibit and return a full and true computation, calculation, or reckoning thereof.
Even on the year, day, and the hour above written, and of all our translation the fourth year.
Looking at Grandfather Sprague’s inventory and who got what bequests, it appears that the family was living comfortably in 1614. I am glad I looked up what a fuller was as an occupation since him calling out a number of scissors would be confusing if I had not done that. From the looks of the bequests, a number of the sons were following in the same trade.