This is my second contribution to the Amanuensis Monday blog theme that was started by John Newmark on his blog Transylvanian Dutch, in which he is transcribing letters, newspaper articles, audio tapes, and a war diary etc., concerning his family.
John explains Amanuensis as “a person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another”.
I have chosen for today’s theme, the Will of Rachel Read. Rachel is the sister of my 6 x great grandfather Cozens Read and her Will was responsible for leading the way to their siblings and discovering even more ancestors.
The discovery of Rachel’s Will was made because of the wonderful original Discharge of Legacies we found in the back of the huge Rose Family Tree book that I mention elsewhere in this blog and which original document can be seen on the Old Documents Pages.
I have found that when spinster ladies die, as they have no children of their own, they tend to leave legacies to nephews, nieces, brothers and sisters and so on and of course this usually provides a lot more information than in most Wills.
Rachel’s Will is great because it not only confirms details I had about the children of Cozens Read but gives additional information about other relatives. This is such a treasure for me!!
The Will of Rachel Read
And here is my Transcript for Rachel’s Will:
Transcript of the Will of Rachel Read
I Rachel Read of Tiddington in the parish of Albury in the County of Oxford spinster being of sound and disposing Mind Memory and Understanding praised be God for the same do make publish and declare this my last Will and Testament in manner following (that is to say) I give and devise the Messuage or Tenement wherein I now dwell with the closes lands hereditaments and appurtenances to the same and belonging situate and being at Tiddington and in the parish of Albury aforesaid by me purchased of Giles Prickett Gentleman and all other my Messuages Lands Tenements and Hereditaments whatsoever unto and to the use of my Nephew Michael Read of Lower Winchendon in the County of Bucks yeoman his Heirs and Assigns But nevertheless upon trust that he my said Nephew his Heirs or Assigns shall and do with all convenient speed after my decease absolutely sell and dispose of the same Hereditaments and premises with the Appurtenances either together or in parcels and either by public auction or private contract to any person or persons for the most Money or the best price or prices than can be reasonably had or got for the same and after deducting and retaining to him and themselves in the first place all such costs charges and Expences as shall be incurred in or about such sale or sales or otherwise in the Execution of the trusts hereby in him and them reposed(?) do and shall pay and apply the Monies to arise from such sale or sales as aforesaid in manner following (that is to say) do and shall pay thereout unto my Nephews and Nieces William Read of Upper Winchendon in the said County of Bucks Yeoman Edward Read of Doddershall in the parish of Quainton in the same county Yeoman Thomas Read of Worminghall in the same county Yeoman Stephen Read now or late of Little Hazeley in the said County of Oxford Yeoman Rachel Farmborough the wife of ffrancis Farmborough of Hartwell in the parish of Stone in the said County of Bucks Yeoman Jane May wife of Richard May of Westcot in the parish of Waddesdon in the same County Yeoman Catharine Pollard wife of Jeremiah Pollard of Waddesdon aforesaid Baker Sarah Rose of Westcot aforesaid Widow Elizabeth Wood wife of William Wood of Chearsley in the said County of Bucks Cordwainer and my Nephews and Niece William Read John Read Elizabeth Read and Thomas Read (sons and daughters of my late Brother William) the Legacy sum of Twenty Pounds apiece and unto my Niece Betty the wife of William Burgess of Great Hazeley in the County of Oxford labourer the Legacy or sum of Thirty Pounds all of which Legacies and sums of Money I give unto my said Nephews and Nieces respectively and direct to be paid unto them respectively within six calendar months next after my decease and also do and shall pay the cost unto my cousin Ann Cozens who now lives with me for and during the term of her natural life One annuity or clear Yearly sum of Ten Pounds free from all manner of Taxes and deductions whatsoever and to be paid to her or her Assigns by four equal quarterly payments (that is to say) on the fifth day of January the fifth day of April the fifth day of July and the fifth day of October in each Year by even and equal portions and the first payment thereof to be made on such of the said days as shall first happen after my decease And after payment of the said several Legacies and Annuity aforesaid and my just debts funeral and Testamentary expenses do and shall retain and pay the net residue or surplus of the Monies to arise from sale of my said Estate as aforesaid unto and between him my said Nephew Michael Read and my Nephew Edward Read who now lives with me in equal shares and proportions and for facilitating the sale of the said Hereditaments and premises as aforesaid I do hereby declare that the Receipt or Receipts of my said Nephew Michael Read his Heirs or Assigns shall be a good and sufficient discharge or sufficient discharges to any purchaser or purchasers and his her or their respective Heirs Executors Administrators and Assigns for the Money for which the said premises or any part thereof shall be sold or for so much thereof as is such Receipt or Receipts shall be respectively acknowledged or expressed to be received and such purchaser or purchasers his her or their respective Heirs Executors Administrators or Assigns shall not afterwards be obliged to see to the application of such purchase Money or be answerable or accountable for the loss misapplication or non application thereof or of any part thereof And as to all my ready Money debts owing ffarming stock Household Goods and ffurniture personal Estate and Effects whatsoever and wheresoever and of what nature or kind soever I give and bequeath the same and every part thereof unto my said last named Nephews Michael Read and Edward Read equally to be divided between them share and share alike and I do hereby constitute and appoint them my same Nephews Executors of this my will and hereby revoking all former and other wills by me made I do declare this to be my only last will and Testament In witness whereof I have to this my last Will and Testament contained in three sheets of Paper set my hand to each sheet thereof and to the last of them my Seal also this fourteenth day of June in the Year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and two. The Mark of X Rachel Read. Signed Sealed published and declared by the above named Rachel Read the Testatrix as and for her last Will and Testament in the presence of us who at her request in her presence and in the presence of each other have subscribed our Names as Witnesses thereto Grace Moott of Tetsworth Oxon John Hedges atty Wallingford Chas. Carrington his clk.
This Will was proved at Oxford on the Nineteenth day of January in the Year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and four before the Reverend John Slatter Clerk Master of Arts Surrogate of the Reverend George Turner Clerk Master of Arts Official Principal of the Reverend the Archdeacon of Oxford lawfully constituted by the Oaths of Michael Read the Nephew and one of the Executors therein named to whom admon was granted being first sworn duly to administer powers reserved to the other Executor.
Notes regarding the Will: Since obtaining this Will I know who Rachel’s parents are but so far, no matter where I have looked, I haven’t been able to find her Baptism yet.
Her siblings Elizabeth, Mary and Cozens were all Baptised at Caversham, Oxfordshire and another brother was Baptised at Great Haseley, Oxfordshire. But along with Rachel I cannot find the Baptism of their brother William anywhere either. Whilst I know it is very possible their parents only had the six children I just have a feeling that there are more siblings to be found for them and I just know that when I find Rachel’s Baptism, I will more than likely find others!
I have come across a Robert Read living in Tiddington at about the same time as Rachel and I have also come across a Richard Read around Caversham but neither of these appear to belong to anyone!! I am thinking that just maybe they are also siblings of Rachel’s?
Also in Rachel’s Will she mentions her nephew Edward Read living with her but does not mention who his father is. When Rachel dies, Edward continues living with Rachel’s cousin Ann Cozens as mentioned in Ann’s Will (see my first Amanuensis Monday post). But I am not at all sure which Edward this is!!
Is he the son of Cozens Read? Or the son of Cozens Read’s brother John? Cozens Read’s son Edward dies in 1808 (so after both Rachel Read and Ann Cozens). Edward’s wife died in 1801, so before Rachel wrote her Will and maybe after she died Edward went to help his aunt Rachel?
John Read’s son Edward dies in 1829 and was living at Great Milton, Oxfordshire at that time but he married in 1797 and neither Rachel Read nor Ann Cozens make any mention of Edward having a wife or that his wife is also living with them!
My first original thought when reading this Will was that the nephew Edward was Cozens Read’s son, but he had his own farm in Doddershall, Quainton, Buckinghamshire. But it could be possible that one of Edward’s own sons ran the Doddershall farm while Edward went to live at Tiddington?
I don’t know how I am going to prove which Edward was the one living at Tiddington with Rachel and Ann. Then again, there could be another nephew Edward I haven’t discovered yet from other probable siblings of Rachel’s!! This is going to take some sorting out! Of course any discoveries I make will be posted on the blog, but I reckon everyone will know when they hear the very loud cheering that will come … one day!!