Yeovil People

William Goodford

Glover of Yeovill


William Goodford was born during the latter half of the seventeenth century. He was the second son of Samuel Goodford the Elder (d1717) and Martha née Pitman. Little is known of his life other than he described himself as a 'Glover' which, at this time must be construed as a glove manufacturer.

His father's will left the vast bulk of his fortune to his eldest son and William's brother, Samuel Goodford the Younger, and William appears to have benefitted little from his father's will, in which he wrote; "I give devise and bequeath unto my son William Goodford and the Heirs of his body all the Rent issueable or payable out of a piece or plott of Ground commonly called or called by the name of the Quakers burying place lying in Yeovil aforesaid."

William had an older brother, Samuel, and three sisters (none of his sisters' names are known), one [her initial was 'A'] married Yeovil mercer Ambrose Seaward and had three children; Ambrose, Elizabeth and Mary. A second daughter married a man called Waddon and had two children; Samuel and Elizabeth. The third daughter married James Everton and had four daughters; Elizabeth, Gertrude, Ann and Mary.

Despite the relatively poor legacy left to him by his father, William amassed a reasonable fortune of his own which he distributed in his will with cash payments totalling £570 (around £1,500,000 at today's value).

William wrote his will on 13 December 1727, but died within a matter of weeks. He was buried in St John's churchyard on 18 January 1728.




The entry of William Goodford's 18 January 1828 burial from St John's burial register.


Will of William Goodford, 1727


In the Name of God Amen I William Goodford of Yeovill in the County of Somersett Glover being weake of body but of a sound memory and understanding (thanks be therefore given to Almighty God for the same) doe make this my last Will and Testament in manner and forme following Imprimis I give devise and bequeath unto my mother Tenn pounds Item I give unto my Sister Seward [her name began with 'A' and she was the wife of Ambrose Seward] Fifty pounds and to her Three Children (towitt) Ambrose Elizabeth and Mary Fifty pounds apiece Which said legacies to her Children my will is shall be paid in Twelve months after my decease and if either of them dye before the legacy of him or her so dying shall goe in equall share to the survivor Item I give unto my Sister Waddon Ten pounds a yeare during her life to be paid her in such manner and portion as my Executor hereinafter named shall thinke fitt And to her two Children (towitt) Samuel and Elizabeth I give Fifty pounds apiece to be paid them when and as they attain their respective ages of one and twenty yeares but the legacy given to the said Elizabeth is on this Condition that she marries with the approbation and good likeing of my said Executor and nott otherwise And if either of the said Children dye before the said legacies become payable the legacy of him or her so dying shall goe to the survivor Item I give unto my Sister Evertone foure daughters (to witt) Elizabeth Gertrude Ann and Mary Fifty pounds a piece to be paid them when and as they attain their respective ages of one and twenty yeares or be marryed with the approbation and good likeing of my said Executor hereinafter named And if any or either of them dye before her or their legacy or legacies become due and payable the legacy of her so dying shall be equally divided amongst the survivors Item I give to my Wife the sum of Forty pounds and alsoe the use of all my household goods during her life together with my Chaise two horses and all the wood in the house and backside Item I give unto all my brothers in law and to Edward Bouchers wife a Mourning Ring each Item I give unto John Genge and John Dyer all my woollen Apparell to be divided by my Executor And doe also give and discharge them all from all money and debts which they respectively owed me Item I give Tenn pounds per annum forever unto the Almes house neare the horse pool in Yevill aforesaid And for the due payment thereof I doe hereby charge all my lands and hereditaments lying in Marsh within the parish of Yeovill aforesaid which I lately purchased of Edward Muncton [see note below] All the rest and residue of my personal Estate goods and chattells of what nature and kind soever not hereinbefore by me given I give and devise the same unto my brother Samuel Goodford whome I make sole Executor of this my Will hereby revoking all former Wills by me heretofore made and declaring this only to be my last Will In Witness whereof I have hereunto sett my hand and seale this Thirteenth day of December in the first yeare of the reigne of our Sovereign Lord King George the second [two words illegible] One Thousand Seaven hundred and Twenty Seaven
Will Goodford
Signed Sealed and delivered published and declared by the said William Goodford to be his last Will and Testament in the presence of
John Milner     Ed[war]d Boucher


Transcribed by Bob Osborn


Note: The following is from the Report from Commissioners: Charities in England & Wales of 21 April to 23 November 1820 - "Mr Goodford afterwards discovered amongst his papers indentures of lease and release, dated 13th and 14th April 1721, whereby Edward Muncton, in consideration of £210 conveyed to William Goodford 'three closes of land and meadow, called Seller's Okely, containing by estimation 12 acres, theretofore one close, situate in Marsh, in the parish of Yeovil'." By the time of the Yeovil Tithe Apportionment of 1846, the name Seller's Okely was no longer used and its exact location is therefore unknown.