The Document Chest

The Will of William Abbott

The 1712 Will of William Abbott, Sadler of Yeovill


There is almost no information concerning William Abbott in the records, other than this will. From this, we know that William was a sadler and lived in Vicarage Street with his wife Joan. They had at least one daughter who married a man named Alford, and had at least two sons, Joseph and William, and two daughters named Elizabeth and Jane.

That William had been successful in his career is evidenced by the fact that he owned land and tenements in Marsh - the term "tenement" originally referred to tenancy and therefore to any rented accommodation. Therefore William was the landlord of an unidentified number of properties in Marsh. He also owned arable land in the tything of Hendford. Further he owned "All those my five houses lying and being between my now dwelling house and the Inne called the Chase". This is the only known reference to this inn. He also refers in his will to "Security for Four hundred pounds which I have gotten by my Industry" equal in today's value to more than £60,000.

William's will was written in 1712, and he died later that year.


The Will of William Abbott, 1712


In the Name of God Amen I William Abbott of Yeovill in the County of Somersett Sadler being weak of Body but of sound mind and memory praised be therefore given to God Almighty I do make and ordaine this my last Will and Testament in manner following First and principally I give my soul to God that gave it hoping through the meritts of our Lord Jesus Christ my only Saviour to have full pardon and forgiveness of all my Sins and to inherit everlasting life And as to my body I committ to the Earth from whence it was taken to be decently interred according to the discretion of my Executor here after named And as for the disposicion of my worldly Estate which God in his bounty hath blessed me with all I give and dispose thereof as followeth Imprimis I give devise and bequeath unto my loving Wife all my Lands and Tenements lying within the Tything of Marsh within the parish of Yeovill aforesaid and all my arrable Land within the Tything of Hinford in the parish aforesaid unto Joan my now Wife for the Term of her life and from and after her decease Then I give grant and devise the same unto Joseph Alford my Grandson and his Heirs for ever Subject nevertheless and I doe make my said Lands and Tenements chargeable with the payment of Tenn pounds per Annum unto William Alford my Grandson and his Assigns during the term of his naturall life of five payments in every year that is to say at the Feast of St Michael the Archangel and the Annunciation of the blessed Virgin Mary by even and equall portions And alsoe I give unto my said Wife Joan Abbott and her heires for ever All those my five houses lying and being between my now dwelling house and the Inne called the Chase one of them in the possession of Edward Sonns and the other of them in the possession of John Astin and all my right and title thereunto with the appurtenances And whereas I have Security for Four hundred pounds which I have gotten by my Industry by Bonds and otherwise or upwards I doe give and devise the yearly Income and interest thereof to my Wife who have been carefull with me in the getting up of the same And after her decease I give and bequeath the said sume unto my said Grandson Joseph Alford and his heires forever Subject nevertheless for the payment of one hundred pounds unto Jane Alford my Grandaughter and Elizabeth her Sister Fifty pounds if they or either of them shall survive my said Wife And I doe give the same sums unto the said Jane and Elizabeth to be paid by my Executor hereafter named at the time aforesaid to them respectively and not otherwise Item I give to the said Elizabeth Alford my Grandaughter all that my House in Viccaridge Street and [term ?] therein with the appurtenances Item I give all my household goods unto my said Wife and which doe belong to my Trade And all the residue of my Estate I give and bequeath unto my Grandson Joseph Alford aforesaid his Heires Executors and Administrators whom I make sole Executor of this my Will Hereby revoking all former Wills by me made In Testimony whereof I have here unto sett my hand and Seal the Eighth day of July In the year of our Lord One Thousand Seven Hundred and Twelve [a short sentence in abbreviated Latin]

William Abbott

Signed sealed and published by the said William Abbott in the presence of us who subscribed our names in the presence of the said Testator presently thereupon as Witnesses thereunto

James Wills      Edmund Sonns       Wm ACourt


The will was proved in London in 1712 (many thanks to Google translate).


Transcribed by Bob Osborn