Yeovil People

John Boucher

Grocer and Mercer


John Boucher was probably born in Yeovil during the 1690s. He was the son of Yeovil locksmith Francis Boucher. His brother was Edward Boucher (2), a Yeovil tobacconist.

John was recorded as a grocer in three different deeds of 1723, 1734 and 1738 and in 1748 the Woborn Muniments recorded him as a mercer. The monthly Poor Rate Returns of 1729 record that he paid eight pence and in 1760 that he paid one penny valued on his premises, presumably his shop, in the Borough. A one penny rate indicates a small shop.

The annual Window Tax of 1729 recorded John as paying six shillings tax, which indicates that his house, presumably Court Ash House - which he had either inherited from his uncle Edward Boucher (1) or had built on the orchard called Courtash he inherited - was quite substantial and had between10 and 20 windows, indicated by the amount of tax. He was recorded as paying another sum of six shillings for a different property.

He was a Churchwarden at St John's church in 1728 and 1729, serving alongside Henry Penny. John was also heavily involved with the Woborn Almshouse and the Woborn Muniments record that John was a Warden of the Almshouse, certainly from 1726 to 1748 and served as Custos of the Almshouse in 1745 and 1746.

It is conceivable that John never married as there is no mention of a wife or children in his will and his entire estate was left to his nephew Edward Boucher (4) the Younger (the son of John's brother Edward Boucher (3) the Elder), including Court Ash House.

John Boucher wrote his will in 1762 (see below) and died in early 1764. He was buried in St John's churchyard on 7 February 1764.


Reduced boucher Family Tree



John Boucher (towards top right) inherited Court Ash House from his uncle, Edward Boucher (1) and left it in his will to his own nephew Edward Boucher (3), who in turn left it to his own son Edward Boucher (4).




A contemporary sketch of Court Ash House by an unknown artist.


Will of John boucher, 1762


From my collection

In the name of God Amen I John Boucher of Yeovil in the Co. of Somerset Mercer being in good health of body & of a sound & disposing mind & memory thanks be given to Almighty God for the same Do make this my last Will and Testament in manner & form following (that is to say) First I give & devise all my Mess[uag]es Lands Tenem[en]ts & Heredit[ament]s whats[oeve]r with their Appurt[enance]s sit[uate] lying & being in Yeovil af[oresai]d & elsewhere unto my Nephew Edward Boucher (4) the Younger of Yeovil af[oresai]d Gent. his Heirs & Assigns for ever chargeable with & I do hereby charge the same as well with the paym[en]t of all my just debts as also the sev[era]l Legacys hereinafter by me given that is to say I give unto John Boucher Hooper of Yeovil af[oresai]d Schoolmaster the sum of £20 I give unto Rachel Hodges Dau[ghte]r of Tho[ma]s Hodges of Yeovil af[oresai]d Glove cutter the sum of £10 I give unto my serv[an]t Mary Moore the Sum of £10 all which s[ai]d sev[era]l Legacys hereinbefore by me given I do hereby order & direct shall be p[ai]d within one year after my decease by my Ex[ecuto]r hereinafter named I give unto my Sister Mary March of Yeovil af[oresai]d widow the Sum of £10 to buy her a mourning ring Also all the rest and residue of my personal Est[ate] Goods & Chattles of what nature and kind soever not herein by me given I give & bequeath unto my s[ai]d Nephew Edw[ar]d Boucher whom I do hereby make full whole & sole Ex[excut]or of this my Will hereby revoking all former Wills by me at any time heretofore made & declaring this only to be my last will &Test[ament] In wit[ness] whereof I the s[ai]d John Boucher hath hereunto set my hand & seal this 24th Day of Ap[ri]l in the y[ea]r of our L[or]d 1762

John Boucher

Signed sealed published & declared by the s[ai]d Test[ato]r John Boucher as & for his last Will & Test[ament] in the presence of us who at his req[ues]t & in his presence have subscribed our names Witness

James Cook      Charles Francis      Jonath[a]n Hooper


Transcribed by Bob Osborn