I have a large number of Wills, mainly for the Read family. I collected them in the hope they would help with connecting different branches of my ancestors. There are a lot that still do not appear to be connected although could well be, but that connection hasn’t yet been discovered!
Below I show a copy of one of the Wills – it is that of Cozens Read and can be copied here from the screen (right click, save to your computer etc.,) or you can let me know if you want me to send you a copy of this or other Wills.
Below the copy of Cozens Read’s Will is a transcript of it. Some of the Wills are very difficult to read, especially the older ones and when you get to the 1500s, they are usually in Latin, but it is still possible to pick out names and places etc.. I have managed to do transcripts of several Wills and am still working on doing some for others. When I send you a copy of a Will, I will send a copy of the transcript as well.
The list of Wills for those with the surname Read are on a separate Page but under the heading of this one. The same applies for other surnames of those connected to the Reads, with their own separate Page.
Copy of Cozens Read’s Will
dated 7 June 1777 with a Codicil dated 14 October 1781
and Proved 19 June 1783
You will see that Cozens Read’s Will ends and the start of another for someone else appears! This is how they are copied into Probate Books originally at the time of probate. The original copy of the Will is at the National Archives, London and their reference is PROB 11/1105 for Cozens Read’s Will.
This is the transcript of Cozens Read’s Will
Will of Cozens Read
In the Name of God Amen I Cozens Read of the parish of Lower Winchendon in the county of Bucks Grazier being at present in good health of Body and of sound and disposing mind and memory for which I bless God do this Seventh day of June in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Seventy Seven make and ordain this my last Will and Testament in manner following that is to say Imprimis I will that all such debts that I shall justly owe at the time of my decease and my ffuneral charges and Expenses be in the first place paid by my Executors hereinafter named and as to me Estate I dispose thereof as followed that is to say ffirst subject to my said debts and the payment of the Legacies hereinafter deducted I give and bequeath all my Goods Chattels Cattle Stock debts and other personal estate of what nature and kind soever and whosoever unto my two sons Michael Read and Edward Read and to their Executors and administrators upon the Trusts and for the purposes hereinafter mentioned that is to say in Trust that they the said Michael Read and Edward Read and the survivor of them and the Executors and administrators of such survivor do and shall by and out of the interest and produce of my said Estate and Effects pay and apply the sum of twenty ffive pounds a year which I do hereby give and bequeath unto my Wife for her life free and clear of all Taxes and deductions whatsoever to be paid quarterly at Midsummer Michaelmas Christmas and Lady Day the first payment thereof to be made on the first quarterly day which shall next happen after my decease but in case my said Wife shall choose to live with my said Executors then in case they shall provide for her every thing suitable to her condition then I will and direct that the said annuity of twenty five pounds given to my said Wife as aforesaid shall not be paid or payable for such or so long time as my said Executors shall so provide for my said Wife to her own likeing and Satisfaction in manner aforesaid next I give and bequeath unto my sons William Read and Robert Read the Legacies of ffive Shillings apiece only I having already made provision for them next I give and bequeath to my sons Thomas Read and Stephen Read the Legacies or sums of ffour hundred pounds apiece of lawful money of Great Britain to be paid to them by my Executors hereinafter named within twelve months next after my decease next I give and bequeath unto my daughter Jane the wife of Richard Mayo the Legacy or sum of one hundred pounds of lawful money of Great Britain to be paid to her by my Executors hereinafter named within twelve months next after my decease next I give and bequeath unto my ffive daughters Mary the wife of William Rose Rachel the wife of ffrancis ffarmbrough Catherine the wife of Jeremiah Pollard Sarah the wife of Joseph Rose and Elizabeth the wife of William Wood the Legacies or Sums of ffifty pounds a piece of lawful money of Great Britain to be paid to them by my Executors hereinafter named within twelve months next after my decease and lastly I give devise and bequeath all the rest and residue and remainder of all my Estate and Effects real or personal whatsoever and whosesoever not having before otherwise effectually disposed of after payment of my debts Legacies and ffuneral expenses to my said two sons Michael Read and Edward Read equally to be divided between them share and share alike and I do hereby make ordain constitute and appoint my said two sons Michael Read and Edward Read Joint Executors of this my last Will and Testament hereby revoking all former Wills by me at any time heretofore made and declare this to be my last Will and Testament in writing whereof I the said Cozens Read the Testator have to this my last Will and Testament contained in two sheets of paper set my hand and Seal (to wit) my hand to the bottom of the first of the two said sheets and my hand and Seal to this last sheet of paper the day and Year first within written Cozens Read Signed sealed published and declared by the above named Cozens Read the Testator as and for his last Will and Testament in the presence of us who have hereunto subscribed our names as Witnesses thereto in the presence of the said Testator and in the presence of each other Joseph Burnham John Parker his old doctor Patton Burnham
Whereas I Cozens Read of the parish of Lower Winchendon in the County of Bucks Grazier having made and duly executed my last Will and Testament in writing bearing the date the Seventh day of June one thousand Seven hundred and Seventy Seven Now I do declare this present writing to be as a Codicil to my said Will and direct the same to be annexed thereto and taken as part thereof and I do hereby give and bequeath unto my son Stephen Read and unto my six daughters Jane the wife of Richard Mayo Mary the wife of William Rose Rachel the wife of ffrancis ffarmbrough Catherine the wife of Jeremiah Pollard Sarah the wife of Joseph Rose and Elizabeth the wife of William Wood the Legacies or sums of ffifty pounds a piece of lawful money of Great Britain and above what I have already given and bequeathed to them respectively in and by my said Will and I do hereby direct the same to be paid and payable at such time and in such manner as their respective Legacies given and bequeathed to them in and by my said Will are directed to be paid and I do ratify and confirm my said Will in every thing as is not altered by this Codicil In Witness whereof I the said Cozens Read have hereunto set my hand and Seal the ffourteenth day of October one thousand Seven hundred and Eighty one Cozens Read Signed Sealed Published and declared by the said Cozens Read as and for a Codicil to his last Will and Testament in the presence of us who have hereunto subscribed our names as Witnesses at the request and in the presence of the said Cozens Read and also in the presence of each other Nanny Rose X her mark Matthew Deverell
This Will was proved at London with a Codicil the nineteenth day of June in the Year of our Lord one thousand Seven hundred and eighty three before the right worshipful Peter Calvert Doctor of Laws Master Keeper and Commisary of the prerogative Court of Canterbury lawfully constituted by the oaths of Michael Read and Edward Read the sons of the deceased and Executors named in the said Will and to whom admon was granted of all and singular the Goods Chattels and Credits of the said deceased having been first sworn duly to administer.