Fishlake History Society

Recording historical information before it disappears

Fishlake History Society

Recording historical information before it disappears

Old Fishlake Wills

A selection of village wills dating between 1528-1588.



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From Wills and Probate Records: A Guide for Family Historians. By Karen Grannum and Nigel Taylor. With thanks.


Local wills were proved at the Prerogative Court of York from 1389 to 1858 these are now stored at the Borthwick Institute of Historical Research, York University. 280 wills survive for Fishlake and Sykehouse dating before to 1680. Prior to about 1500 wills were written in Latin but after this date Old English was the general rule making them more accessible to the modern reader.

These early wills are of great interest to local and family historians as, unlike later wills, they provide a huge amount of personal and local information. Detailing possessions, family relationships, personal likes and dislikes, funeral arrangements with preferences, debts owed and charity bequests. Below is a small selection of transcripts of 16 th century local wills made by Fishlake inhabitants.

Will of William Tremyngham of Fishlake. 27 October 1527.

In the name of God, Amen. In the yere of our lord M D xxvijth the ten aye of the monethe of November, I William Tremyngham of good mynde and hoal remembrance make my testament in this maner. Inprimis I bequest and gyveth my sall to Almightie God and to oure Ladie Sancti Marie and to all the celestiall company of heavyn. Item my best beast in the name of my mortuay, my bodie to be buried in the Kirke of Sancti Cuthberte at Fifshelake. Item I bequest to the hie alter for forgettyn tithes xvjd. Item to the rood light iiijd. Item to our ladie light iijd. Item to every light in the Kirk ijd. Item I bequest to a sute of vest-iments vjs viijd. Item I bequest to the hie waye betwix Snellstill and Henry Blacklocks ijs. Item to the hye waye at Butler crofse xijd. Item to the Revestre covering iijs iiijd, if the will nind it beside my grant. Item to a superaltare halowyng, xijd. Item to a wood brig at William Bynde yatts viijd. Item to Sir Robert Maghome xijd. Item to Sir Nicholas Farbarne xijd. Item to William Chamberlaine a mare and a ffole. Item I forgyve John Parkyn all that he ought me salve xxs. Also I forg--yve Thomas Himsworth al that he owithe me also I bequest to every one of my godchilder beying of lyve iiijd. Also I bequest to William Chamerlayne vjjs viijd. I bequest to Jennet my wife iiij nobles and a brasse pot besides her thirde. Item to John Hall viijd. Item to Willian Trymyngham viijd. Item to Thomas Yarwith wife iijs iiijd. Item to Thomas Trymingham iijs iiijd. Item I bequest to John my sone my wayne and ploughe and times yoks, harrowes and al other things thereto perteyuyng and all my heire lomethis withoute any partyng with my wife. Item I bequest iij li xiiis iiijd to a preist to pray for me on yere. Item iiijs to the moder church, Residue to John my son. And I will that John Butler and Robert Thomsom be the supervisors of this my testament and last will, and they to have between them 6s 8d. Witness to this maister vicar. Sir Nicholas ffarebarne, * Sir Thomas Byngley, Sir Robert Maghome, John Butler, Thomas Thomom and John Woodall.

*This Nicholas Farebarne was nephew to Thomas Fairbarn, vicar of Fishlake, who died in 1496 and in mention in his will.

Will of Nicholas Farbarn prest of Fishelake 31st September 1532. Proved May 22 1533.

Testm Nichr Farbarne de Fishelak  1532. In the name of god Amen the iij is day of September the yere of our lord god MD xxxij I Nicholas Farbarn prest Fishelake hoole of mynde and remembrance make my testament and will in this maner first I bequeath my soul to almyghte god our lady sanite marie and to all the holy company of hevyn, and my body to be beried in the trinitie where of the churche of Sanite Cuthberte of Fishlelake It I gif to the highe altar viijd It to the rood light and Sanite Anthony iiijd It to evry honest peose that shall present at durge and messe the daye of my beriall vjd It to amendyng of the highe waye betwixt the pyndfold and the churche xijd It I gif to alione parker iiij Kye and whnes It to Elisabeth parker iiij Kye and whnes Item to Sir Nicholas holme vicar of Fishelake iijs iiijd whom I make supvsore of my will The residue of my goods not bequeathed I gif and bequeath to the use and disposlory of Agnes parker and Mathewe parker the whuse? Agnes and Mathew I make my executors thes beyng Wittenes Sir Nicholas holme vicar Sir Ric Waite prest John parkyn with other moo.

Will of John Redeman vicar of Fishlake, dated 22 December 1531 proved 28 March 1532.

In dei Noie Amen In the vere of oure lord god m li Dc xxxj ti the xxij ti day of the monethe of december | John Redeman vicar of fishlaik makes my will and testement in hole mynd and good remembrance in this man First I bequeith my soulle to god almyghtie to our ladie sainte mary and of saintes I heven and my bodie to be buried in the high quire of sainte Cuthberte of Fishlaik Also 1 begueith my dirige my dirige (sic) to be song the daie of my buriall Also I bequethe the same daie for to gif for my soulle at the will of my brother Also I bequethe to all the lygthe in the churche ij li was Also I bequeith x s to a preist to praye for my soulle Also I bequeath to the amendyng of the high way betwixt the churche and the stone brige xijd Also I bequeith to the churche nedes vs vijd Also I bequeith to Eliz shaw i kie i whyes of ij yeres old my fether bedde with all thynges therunto belonging all herme hemp and towe my pott my panne thre chargers ij pewter dishes and my ark Also I bequeith to Katharine my svnt my Fether bedde best but un Also I bequeith to Sir John Redeman a dune stagge that was Ridilstone maire Also I bequeith to Johne Goodbarne my mare that was Rowsone Also I bequeath to bland Waite my furred gowne and my fustian Doublet Also I bequeth to Br Richard waite my furred gowne Also I bequeith to Sir Thomas byngley too bookes smones discipuli and postella Also I bequethe to Briane Redeman sone whie with a whyte hede of ij yeres old The resides of my goods nott bequeathed I gif to my brother Charles so that my will be fulfilled and my detts paid witnes hereof Br Richard Waite Sir Thomas byngley Thomas besatle Johne kyine by the churche Rolland blande with other mor et.

Will of William Allotte of Fishlake 1545. An extract. Transcribed by Rev George Ornsby. An extract.

“ I will that my wife shall bestow above the mending of the conipie at the sight of Maister vicar, and I bequest vjs viijd to the churche, also I bequeath to mending of Bell windowes for keepinge furthe of the doves the forth pairte of the chairgies therof, if it be doone within the yere after my dicease or els nothing”.

Will of Thomas Besacle of Fishlake, Yeoman, transcribed by George Ornsby. May 4 1556, probate 4 July 1556.

I give and Bequeath my soull unto God Almighti; and to Our Lady Sansti Marie and to all the blessed company of heven, and my body to be buried within the parishe churche of Fishelacke, in the Lady Quere. Item, I will that I have the wholl suffriage of the churche as olde custom hath bene and poor folke to have peny dole of the day of my buriall, torpray for my soull, and for all christen soulles, and that all my funeral charges be born or maybe of my wholl goods. To the poore of Fishlake vjs viijd to the poor of Sykehowses xs wher most neide is, to every one of my children ( childer ) vjs viijd; Henry Huntingden pagde, to William Sampull my boye xs, John Thorpe xls, to Jenet Barnard a harnest girdle, which my wife hays to give her, to John Besacle all my reyment and a cow that was olde Hunsworth wive's, and the best fether bed but one even as it is, to Alice Skot my servent vs, and to the cawsey beyonde William Parkins xijd, to Everetone churche a banner rodde and a banner bothe of the price of iijs or forty pence. To casting of the bell at Fishelake vjs viijd. Residue to Edmund Besacle, my son, to Sir John Besacle preist my son, and they to be executors as the law of God and Holy churche well admit. Witness Henrye Johnson, the vicar, Thomas Perkyn, Gentleman, Thomas Raven, and Robert Wayt.

Will of Cuthbert Parkyn of Fishlake, tanner. 28 December 1557. Transcribed by Dr J Addy.

In the Name of God Amen the 28 day of December in the year of our Lord God 1557 I Cuthbert Parkyn of Thornynghirste in the parish of Fishlake tanner, sick in bddie but hole of mynd and remembrance...I give my soul unto Almighty God and to Our Lady Saint Marie and to all the saints in heaven and my body to be buried within the Church of St Cuthbert at Fishlake at the Quire door of the south syde of the great through stone behynd the vicars stall. I will have principal Dirge with mass of the day of my burial with all the suffrage of holy church that becomes a Chrysten man to have and my neighbours that offers with me to have an honest dinner. I bequeath to the high altar for tithes forgotten 12d.Item I bequeath to the causey betwixt the lowend gate and horseshewe 12d.I bequeath to my men to beare me to the church every one of them 4d.I bequeath unto them that take payne to Ringe of the day of my buriall to have 12d shared amongst them in drinke.I bequeath to Wm Browne an ewe & a lamb to be delivered unto him at the feats of St Ellen When winter is paste and 3/4d in money.I bequeath to Thomas Bestewodde an ewe and a lamb and 3/4d in money.I bequeath to Alice Bestewood an ewe and a lamb and 3/4d in money...I bequeath to every of my god children4d. I forgive Thomas Gibson £6.6.8d which he doth owe me.I bequeath to Alice Gibson on stirke of a yeare old. I bequeath to Ann my daughter that dwelleth in the South cuntrye yf she or any of her children come for it 40/-I bequeath to Dorothy Cler my daughter £4. I bequeath to Thomas Gibson and to Alice Gibson the children of Thomas Gibson an ewe and a lambe to either.I beqieath to Robert Hodgson my wifes son 20/-I bequeath to Dorothy Parkyn daughter of Thomas Parkyn my son 3/4d.I bequeath to Thomas Parkyn my son two dakar of tanned lether of daybar tayll lether.I will that Thomas Parkyn shall have my daughter Elizabeth and all that belongs to her in custody after the death of her mother.I will that my detts be paid to Wm Gibson for lether £3.10s and to Robert Ughtybrigs of Hatfield for lether 11/4 and to John Michel of Rawcliffe for lether 33/4d to Wm Wyman of Rawcliffe for shepe and lether 10/- and to Wm Richardson of Hook Hall for barley 10/- to Thomas Wayte butcher for calf skins 2/- and to Ihomas Johnson for a quarter of beef 6/8d and to John Brown butcher for two cow hides 13/_ the residue to my wife Alice and my daughters Margaret and Elizabeth.

Will of Lawrence Palmer of Fishlake, 12 December 1557. Transcribed by Rev George Ornsby. Probate 17 February 1557.

1557 Dec 12 Lawrence Palmer of Hay Grene p: of Fishlake to be buried in the church of St Cuthbert, Fishlake, in the middle alley if room may be had. William Palmer my brother my Kinsman;Robert Palmer of Doncaster, alderman all the goods at Rossington that should be mine by the will of Sir William Palmer my uncle Jenney wife of Thomas Morehouse of Doncaster. Ellen my wife.

Will of Edmond Besacle of Fishlake, transcribed by Rev George Ornsby. probate 20 January 1557. An extract.

1557 Sept 11. Edmond Besacle of Fishlake commend his soul to the mercy of God, and to the Gloryouse virgyn Merye, besechinge herof her great goodness to be betwixt myne enemye and me in the hower of death, and to all the company of heaven to be buryed in the church of St Cuthert. To John Besacle my best jackett, Elizabeth Besacle my daughter, to the mending of the cawsey at Snellsteill, Thomasin Perkyn my doughter Alys Perkyn her doughter Mr Perkyn Isabel my wife land at Gunthorpe.

Will of John Parkin of Fishlake 1558, transcribed by Rev George Ornsby. Probate 20 March 1558.

1558 Oet 11. John Parkin of Fishlake 'merryner'- to be buried in the church of St Cuthbert, Fishlake in the North alley, where best rowme may be had, and I bequeath xls to pave the said alley with; and if that any leave, to bestow it where most nede is in the church. Item, I will have principall dirige with mass of the day of my buriall, and be fetched at home with the crosse and the quere, and every priest to have vjd that is there; and the clerk to have vid and every child that sings in the quere a penny; and every clark that is in man's state to have lid and I will have penny dole of the day of my burial to every one that will put forth their hand for it; and I will that every one that will take it will have the best fat ox of 11J to be slain, and to be occupied every 'deyll' at the said dinner, beside mutton and other stuff etc.

1573 12 Jan: Administration of Henry Johnson vicar of Fishlake to Thomas Parkin for Alice, Margaret, William, and Edward (minors) children of deceased.

Will of Isabell.Mare of Fishlake dated December. 19.1562: proved March. 11.1562

In the name of god amen the xix day of december the yeare of our lord god/1562/ I Isabell mare of pfcte mynd and rememberance land and praise be unto almyghtie god make my testament herin conceing my last will in this maner and forme followinge, ffyrst I comend my soull to god almyghtie and my bodie to be buried within the churche yeard of fishelacke my pishe churche/and I will that my neahbors that take paynes withe me at the day of my buriall shall have an honest din, at the decrescon of of (sic) my frends also I gyve and bequithe to Edmund my sone, that cowe whiche my husband willm mare bequithed unto me, also I gyve and bequithe to agnes the wyf of Edmund wright my best Kirchew my best raill, my best napkin, and apaire of silv hooks/Item I gyve and bequithe to Ellen the wyf of willm briggs one Kerchew and one raile, best next thes afore bequithed/ Item I gyve and bequithe to mergaret, the wyf of Richard hirst one Kirchew and one raill/and to Jennet hirst one Kirchew, a Raill and an apron Item I gyve and bequithe 'to Edmund wright my husband best sherte/Item I gyve and bequith to Jennet whitley a petticoate/Item I gyve and bequithe to Jennet my doughter, a frocke, a silkehatt and all the rest of myne apperell, my best covlet and my best lynnen shite Item I gyve and bequith to Thomas my brother fyve yeards of russet clothe to agnes whalley thre yeards of white wollen cloth and to John mare and Edmund hughson my brother in lawe, thre yeards of carsey/Item I gyve and bequithe to John mare my husband best coate and a paire of Kmves/Item to willm mare my sonne a browne stott withe a whit head The Remnannt of my goods after my detts paid my legacies discharged, my funeralls pformed, and this my will fulfilled, I gyve and bequithe to John, Robert, Edmund Willm and Jennet my sones and doughter equallie amongs them/and I ordayne make and appoynt the said John, Robert, Edmund, Willm and Jennet thexecutors of this my last will and testament /and I will that my brother Thomas land and Edmund hughson my brother in lawe, shall have the custodie of thre eldest sones and of my doughter, and of the good during ther nonage, Thes men beyng witness/Edmund wright francis trymynghm, and Richard hirst.

Will of Mathew Parker of Fishlake. ‘Testm Mather Pker poch de fishelaike’ February 7 1562. Proved March 11 1562.

In the name of God Amen.........first lines not copied... folkes of the day of my buriall xijd and within afortnyght after other xijd/ Item I (missing portion)  shall have my half keil for the spane of foure years after my desease, if she keipe her in my nayme towarde the bringing upp of my children/ and at the foure yeares end (if she will) to sell the aforesaid half keile, or els to use it and my children bothe as she thinke best, and as my trust is in her and I make & commit my wife my full and lawfull executrix as the lawe of god and hollie church will admytt hir/ also I will that myne executrix shall wayve all my debts that are owinge unto me/ that is to saye of glenton of bentley for barke vjs/ Item of arthure hilton of wormley hill others vjs/ Item of mynehoofe ? gell of barton halfe aquarter of peas to be delived Betwixt this and fastmas or els at fastms next/ Item of Edward preston of hull half of a marke and half of a crowne/ that is to be saie ixs ijd and vijd beside / Item of John Fyshe of sikehouse for four quaters of barlie after xijs a quarter, and half a quarter wheate xijs/ and half aquartr of Rie xijs some of all is iip xijs/ the day of payment herof is expired / Item of Roger brotlebanke a met of white peas to be delived at fastmas next/ Item of John pkin showmaker xs viijd/ and of John Baxter wyf xxijs Item I owe to John Rickobie of hull for a Filarkin of Beans iijs pyd/ It I have sold unto Richard allen other wanes wright one half keil called the mathes for xjp xs/ of the whohe? I have received at the making her of iiijp xs/ and he to have all kynd of things belonging therto/ and also a wrknynge? for this riage, and all other sence she was sold, when she comes home and he to have her warrant for a yeare and a daye, and Richard allen to payd the other vijp at mychellmas next, Thes beyng witness herine Johnson the vicar John Jennyimge Richard allen rauf Sandwith and Thomas Holmes, and evry one of them to have xijd/ for ther payms and I make Thomas Waytt and John Jennyng supvisors and to take Mr Halls com? with them.

Last two line are in latin.

Notes • Fastmas = Shrove Tuesday. • Mychellmas (Michaelmas)  29 th September. • Rauf  Rudolf. Fishlake burial regiuster Mathew Parker buried 9 th Feb 1563.

Will of Hew Bradforthe.of.Fishlake dated January 31.1557: Proved March 11.1562.

In dei noie amen the xxxj day of January in the yeare of our lord god/1557 / I hew bradforthe yongma and being synt unto willm bradforthe within the pishing of fyshlaike, seike of bodie, but hole of mynd and rememberance make here my last will and testament in maner and forme folloinge ffyrst I gyve and bequithe my soull unto god almyghtie and to our ladie sannt marie, and to all the sannts in heaven and my bodie to be buried within the churche yeard of sannt cutbert at fyshelake and I wilbe honestle brought furthe of the Day of my buriall, bothe at the churche and to have An honest Dynner/Item I bequithe unto sr henrie Johnson the vicar of the said fyshelaike vs viijd Ite to Jennet allott and mgaret baynes, either of them vjs viijd Item I bequith unto peter preiste my grene Jacket, and Robert Cosin my blacke frees Jackett, and to John browne the bocher my white Jacket, and my boots/and to Thomas drowrey my whit dublet/ Item I bequithe unto my brother Robert bradforthe xls/to by hym a gelding withe Item I bequithe unto Robt twrven and to george twrven either of them iijs iiijd/ and to mere yowith xijd/and this my will fulfilled and my legacs pformed /all the Residew of my goods detts that I have right unto by my fathers goods and by my mothers bequest, and all the right of my brother peter goods/and also the legacs that I shuld have of the executors of my grandfather vessey and also foure nobles whiche is in my brother Robert hands/I gyve and bequithe unto Thomas bradforthe my brother To his owen proper use whom I make my full and lawfull executor, Tes beyng witness henrie Johnson the vicar of the churche of fyshelake, Thomas pynder John allott of the same pishe, and I bequithe either of them xijd for ther paynes beside ther cost.

Will of Thomas Howden of Fishlake labourer.dated Sept. 23 1572, proved Apl 25 1573.

In The name of God Amen the xxiij daye of September in the yeare of or lord god/ 1572/I Thomas howden of Fyshlaik laborer seike of bodye but wholle of mynde and Rememberance ordanythe and makithe here my last will and Testament in maner and forme followinge Fyrst I gyve and bequithe my soule unto god almyghtie, my maker and redemer, and my bodye to be buried within the churche yeard at Fyshelaike a litle fro thorne tree as nyghe my wyf as rowme maye be hadd/Itm I will that neighboures shall have at the daye of my buryall an honest drynkynge/ Itm I bequithe unto Isabell my doughter, Two kye, also I bequithe unto Margaret my doughter *x/and she To make no more adoo/Itm I bequithe unto Margaret Ivo children, Elline baylyer and John Foxe either of them a chiste/And This my will fulfilled and my debts paid, all The Rest of my goods and debts unbequithed I gyve and bequithe unto Isabell my doughter whom I make my fall and lawfull Executrixe as the lave will admitt her Thes beinge wittness henrye Johnson vicar, henrye Elles, and lawrance Johnson withe other/also I will that Rauf Watson and henrye Elles shalbe ovseers of this my will, and that they shall have either of them for there paynes/iijs iiijd.

Will of Edmund Trimingham. 1577. Transcribed by Dr J Addy.

In Nomine Dei Amen. jij dav of March 1577 I edmund Trimingham of Hishlak Kileman sick of bodie not withstanding of good and perfect remembrance praised be God...I commend my soule unto Almighty God my maker and redeemer and my bodie to be buried in the parish churchyard of Fishlake I bequeath to Alice Trimmingham my daughter one fether bed one paire of lyne sheetes one brass pot the best two dublers one coverlet one bolster one rodd one metresse and one white quy with red spots in full satisfaction of her child portion.I will that Johan(Joan) Trimingham my wife shall have the said quiy for the space of thre yeares next after my decease with the profit that come of her and at the end of the said thre years after my decease shall deliver the same quiy with another quie of the age of two years to Alice my daughter or so much money as the same shall be valued to.I bequeath to Thomas *rimmingham my son all the landes of the quenes houlde which I have surrendered into the hands of Thomas Wayte and one red quie calfe and one stand bedd standing in the parlour in full satisfaction of his child portion. give to Joan my wife a flect cowe with a white head and that Joan my wife shall have the custodie bringing up my children during their nonage. The residue of my goods I bequeath to Joan Trimingham my wife and Robert Arimingham my son.Witnesses Sir Thomas Carson clerk, Robert Londe William Trimingham Thomas Wate Richard Crabtre.

Will of William Trimingham, 6 December 1588.
An extract.

William Trimingham of Fishlake Shipman, made his will 6 Dec: 1588 proved 17 April 1589 • Desires to be buried in the church of Fishlake " so nere the end of my stall as may be", gives to the poor of Fishlake 6 8d to the poor of Sikehouse 20d towards the rapair of the high cawsie 2-. Assignes to his wife Margaret all his messages lands ect in the Graveships of Fishlake, and Thorne until his sons William and Thomas come to the age of 21 years to bring them up at school and learning, to his daughter Jennet Trimingham 260; to his servants Thomas Allan and George Clark 3s 4d each, to Edmond and William sons of his brother Cuthbert (Trimingham ) 6s 8d each to Margaret Howle 3s 6d, to his sister Isabel Wood 3s 6d, to Thomas and Robert sons of Edmund "rimingham 6s 8d betwixt them, the remainder "to my wife Margaret", whom he appoints executrix together with his sons William and Thomas, , Supervisons Thomas Casson clerk vicar of Fishlake, John Trimingham "my Cousin", and John Bryan.

(This is a long & interesting will, at the end an account of his debts and credits - Note by Dr Sykes.). The parish register records the burial of William on 10 December 1588 and living at Haygreen.

Robert Downing March 2023.