Will of Thomas Payne of Meldreth, 1630
I have been researching my family tree for several years now and have discovered that my ancestors originate from Meldreth as far back as 1630. This is the will of Thomas Payne who was also a ancestor of Benjamin Payne who kept the Dumb Flea public house as mentioned elsewhere on this website.
Benjamin Payne would have been my great x3 uncle and his son John Payne, who also kept the same public house, my first cousin x4 removed. The research I have done has shown many links to Meldreth and the surrounding villages and at present the family is still living in this area, although not in Meldreth itself. Here is a copy of the document that I had transcribed from its original old English text which I got from the National Archives in London.
Transcript of the will of Thomas Payne, Yeoman of Meldreth, Cambridgeshire, made on 1 February 1630. Proved on 16 May 1631 by the Perogative Court of Canterbury
In the name of God Amen. The first day of February Anno Domini one thousand six hundred and thirty I Thomas Payne of Meldreth in the County of Cambridge yeoman being sick in body but sound in mind and perfect memory thanks be given unto almighty God for the same now considering the frailty of my life and although there is nothing more certain than death yet nothing more certain than the time of the coming thereof I thought it good in this time of my good and perfect memory to ordain and make this my last will and testament for the better quitting and satisfying my mind whenever it shall please God to visit me with further sickness in manner and form following. Viz First I commend my soul into the hands of almighty God who gave it to me and my body to the earth from whence it came assured and trusting through the death and merits of Jesus Christ my Redeemer to inherit the kingdom of heaven with everlasting joy and happiness. And as touching my lands and tenements, goods and chattels, which God hath bestowed on me here in this transitory world, I devise give and bequeath as following. Viz First I give and bequeath unto my daughter Marie the now wife of Tryamor Huggins the sum of twenty shillings of lawful English money and to her son Tryamor my grandchild the sum of fifty pounds of lawful money of England to be paid him at his age of one and twenty years. Item I give and bequeath unto Frances my well beloved wife my lease and term of years which I have and hold of the Master and fellows of St Johns College in Cambridge of and in one farm in Meldreth aforesaid to have and to hold the said lease and term of years yet to come unto the said Frances my wife for and during her natural life. And after her decease I give and bequeath the said lease and term of years which shall be then to come under Benjamin Payne my eldest son. Item I also give unto him the said Benjamin the sum of ten pounds of lawful money of England to be paid him immediately after my death. Item I further give unto her the said Frances my wife all those my four and twenty hides of Copyhold lands, more or less lying and being in the parish of Meldreth aforesaid and belonging to the Dean and Chapter of Ely for and during her life henceforward. And after her death I devise and bequeath all the copyhold lands with the appurtenances unto my said son Benjamin to his heirs and assigns forever. Item I give and bequeath unto Thomas Payne my son the sum of forty pounds of lawful money of England to be paid him at age of one and twenty years provided always that he the said Thomas do release mine executrix hereafter named of and from out legacy of ten pounds give him by the last will and testament of one Symonds Payne his uncle deceased, and also and from one other legacy of fifty pounds given him by the last will and testament of Marie Wilson his grandmother deceased. Item I further give unto him the said Thomas Payne all such sum and sums of money which one Alexander Blount(?) doth owe upon me upon a mortgage to me by him made of and in one Messuage cottage and tenement in Meldreth aforesaid. Together with the said mortgage and writings concerning the same in as large and ample manner as I have and ought to have the same. And moreover I give unto him the said Thomas the sum of ten pounds of current English money. Item I give and bequeath to Frances Payne my daughter the sum of three short pounds of lawful money of England to be paid her at her age of one and twenty years or due of her marriage which of them shall first happen provided that she do in like manner release mine executrix hereafter named of and from one legacy of fifty pounds given her by the last will and testament of the said Marie Wilson her grandmother and of and from out of her legacy of ten pounds given her by the last will and testament of the said Symonds Payne her uncle deceased. Item I give and bequeath unto Edward Payne my son and to his heirs and assigns forever all my copyhold lands and tenements with the appurtenances called or known by the name or names of (Ofes?) and (Lillirs?) in Meldreth aforesaid and belonging to the Manor of Sheene in Meldreth aforesaid. And my will and mind is that if he the said Edward do happen to die before he shall come to his age of one and twenty years and without issue of his body lawfully to be begotten that then I will…and give all the copyhold lands called (Ofes?) and (Lillirs?) with their appurtenances unto the said Thomas Payne his brother and to his heirs and assigns forever. Item I do further give unto him the said Edward the sum of ten pounds of current money of England. Item I give and bequeath unto Judith Payne and Joyce Payne my two youngest daughters to their heirs or assigns forever equally betwixt them all those my freehold lands with the appurtenances which i purchased of one Tryamor Huggin and William Huggin and either of them lying and being in Melbourne. aforesaid and Meldreth and either of them one to be the others heir and my last will and mind is that if the said Judith and Joyce do happen to die before they attain to their several age of one and twenty years and without issue of their bodies lawfully to be gotten that then in such case I will give and bequeath all the foresaid freehold lands with the appertenances unto Thomas Payne, Edward Payne, Frances Payne and John Payne my four children to their heirs or assigns forever equally betwixt them one to be the others heir. Item I do further give unto them the said Judith and Joyce the several sums of ten pounds apiece of current English money. Item I give and bequeath unto John Payne my youngest son and to his heirs and assigns forever all those my customary lands and meadow ground lying and being within the fields of Meldreth aforesaid containing by estimation twelve acres and a half or less and belonging to the Manor of Argentine in Melbourne. I do further give unto him the said John the sum of twenty pounds of lawful money of England. And my will and mind is that if he the said John do happen to die before he shall attain to his age of one and twenty years and without issue of his body lawfully to be gotten that then in such case I will give and bequeath all the said twelve acres and a half of land unto the foresaid Thomas Payne my son to his heirs or assigns forever. Item I give unto William Ayloffe son of Mr Benjamin Ayloffe Knight Baronet twenty shillings. And unto William Ayloffe the son of James Ayloffe Esq another twenty shillings. Item I give unto Jane the now wife of my foresaid son Benjamin twenty shillings. Item I give unto my brother in law William Sterne the sum of twenty shillings. Item I give unto my sister in law Agnes Leckfield the wife of John Leckfield the sum of twenty shillings. And unto my two brothers in law Thomas Wilson and William Whisson both of London the several sums of twenty shillings apiece. Item I give unto Margaret Giffin widow ten shillings. Item I give unto the poor people of Meldreth twenty shillings and to the poor of Melbourne twenty shillings and to the poor of Whaddon twenty shillings. Item All the rest of my goods and chattels what so ever unbequeathed i wholly give and bequeath unto Frances my loving wife who I do ordain and make sole executrix this my last will and testament she paying and… my debts performing this my last will and bringing my body decently to the ground. And for the better perfomance hereof I do requeast and appoint Robert Adams and Tryamor Huggin of Melbourne to be….. of this my last will and testament to whom I do hereby give the twenty shillings apiece towards their pains in behalf. In witness where of I the said Thomas have here unto set my hand the day and year first above written. Thomas Payne these being witnesses Robert Adams and me Matthew East (Signature) The mark of the said Robert Adams.