Transcripts of wills stored at WYAS Sheepscar, Leeds, taken from Richmond Will Index 1700-1858

Marion Hearfield
September 2007

transcribed and circulated with the agreement of the WYAS Sheepscar, Leeds    MH September 2007

James BROWN of Low Row, stonemason, aged 68, proved 1849

Will: dated 17 Feb 1849 left everything to "my dear wife Betty" who was also appointed executor. The will was witnessed by John and Grace BOYD. James died on 22 May 1849.  On 16 Nov 1849 Betty BROWN swore (X her mark) that the personal effects were under the value of £20.

1 Cow ..... £4
2 Bed Steads (very old) 5/- each..... 10s
2 old Feather Beds £1 4s each..... £2 8s
Bed clothes..... £1
3 Kitchen Chairs..... 3s
1 Arm Chair..... 1s
1 Dining Table..... 3s
1 Kitchen Table..... 1s 6d
1 Breakfast Table..... 1s 6d
1 old Clock..... 8s
1 Buffett..... 10s
1 Chest of Drawers..... 10s
1 Corner Cupboard..... 2s 6d
2 Delph Racks..... 2s 6d
1 Pair of Bellows..... 6d
1 old set of fire Irons..... 1s
1 Smoothing Iron..... 6d
3 Candle Sticks..... 6d
1 Tin Tea Kettle and 1 Pan..... 2s
1 Churn..... 5s
1 Bed Pan..... 1s
Dairy Utensils..... 4s
Basons, Plates, Cups and Saucers V.V..... 3s
Knives, Forks Spoons V.V..... 1s
1 Blue Coat 3s Vest 1s Knee Breeches 1/6..... 5s 6d
Hat and 1 pair of Shoes..... 2s
            [total value] ..... £11 7s

signed by William Pearson and Anthony Garth, joiner, on 14th November 1849.

Legal Debts due at the time of his death:
To Money Borrowed on a Promissory Note..... £21 15s
To Rent due..... £6 2s 6d
To Poor Rates due..... £1
Due to Mr E Coates of Feetham..... £3
To Butchers A/c..... 12s 6d
To Shoemakers A/c..... £1 8s
To A/c due Mr Milner, Reeth..... £15
Due to Mr David Calvert and Coy Gunnerside..... £1 9s
To A/c for Medicine during illness..... 15s
To Funeral expenses..... £6
            [total value] ..... £57 2s


David CALVERT of Gunnerside, innkeeper, proved 1843

Will:     To sons (executors) James CALVERT of Fremington, Joiner, and David CALVERT of Gunnerside, Miner, and their heirs: all real and personal property in trust as follows:
To wife Henrietta CALVERT the interest of all my property during her lifetime, then to be equally divided between James and David.

dated 1843, signed by him (very wobbly); witnesses Edmd P LUSCOMBE of Melbecks in the Parish of Grinton (clerk), Jonathan DAYKIN Serv Dikheads Farmer, Christopher SUNTER of Gunnerside Butcher.

Money in the House the Property of the deceased........... £1 10s
1 Horse and Harness........... £6
1 Cow........... £5
1 Swine........... 17s
1 Cart........... £1
Household Goods and Furniture, Beds &c &c........... £50
Wearing apparel........... £2
Books &c........... £1
            [total value] ..... £67 7s

written and signed on 17 Nov 1843 by Thomas COATES, countersigned by William COATES


Edmund CLARKSON of West Stonesdale, yeoman, proved 1841

Will:     To sons John CLARKSON and Edmund Thomas CLARKSON, left all freeholds to be shared equally, and all copyholds to be shared equally as tenants in common, not joint tenants.
To wife Isabella £15 per annum to be paid £5 from John and £10 from Edmund Thomas. Also to wife Isabella all household furniture.
To daughter Mary wife of William FAWCETT £25.
To daughter Jane wife of Edward ALDERSON £30.
To grandchildren Jane, William and Isabella FAWCETT, £10 each.
To daughter Ann wife of Alexander CLARKSON £25.
To daughter Margaret CLARKSON £30 when she reaches the age of 21.

            dated 2 Oct 1841, proved 24 Dec 1841. Signed by Edmund CLARKSON (shaky) and witnesses Anthony CLARKSON, Thomas ALDERSON and Michael RUKIN (X his mark).


Money in the House........... £6
Wearing apparel........... £1 10s
Furniture in the Kitchen........... £1 15s
Furniture in the Parlour........... £1 10s
Furniture in the Kitchen Chamber........... 10s
Furniture in the Parlour Chamber........... £2
Dairy Utencels........... £3
Husbandry Gear........... £15
3 Cows at £10........... £30
3 Heifers at £6........... £18
2 Stirks at £4 10s........... £9
2 Calves at £3........... £6
2 Horses at £3........... £6
1 Pig........... 10s
128 Ewes at 13s........... £83. 4s
42 lambs at 7s........... £14 14s
Hay and Fog [sic]........... £18
            [total value] £202 8s
Funeral Expences........... £12

written and signed (flowing) on 11 Oct 1841 by Anthony CLARKSON, countersigned (less confidently) by Jarvis COATES

John MACE of Bedale, innkeeper, proved 1857

Will:     To my dear wife Jane MACE:  the life assurance policy from the Corporation of Scotland Provident Institution No 5xxx dated 17 August 1852 and also the sum of £200 secured by the same policy. Also the rest of my personal estate and effects.
            [The sum assured by the policy is not specified, unless it is the £200 mentioned separately]
            Wife Jane and son Thomas MACE to be joint executors.

            dated 2 Nov 1855. Signed by John MACE witnesses Geo ANDERSON and John WHITTON

            John MACE died 14th August 1857.

Oath:    On 1 Oct 1857 Jane MACE and Thomas MACE, joint executors, swore before Richard ANDERSON, Swinegate (?), that the personal estate and effects of the testator were under the value of £300.


Family details:

John MACE m Jane DOBBY in 1824 Q4 in Bedale. They had the following children:

Thomas b 1826 Q1, m Sarah Ann SIMPSON 1858, 6 children, joiner and innkeeper in 1881, member of the Parochial Committee in 1879, died 1890 Q1 in Bedale
Elizabeth b 1827 Q3; kitchen maid in London in 1851
John b 1829 Q1
Christopher b 1830 Q4, apprentice joiner in 1851
Jane b 1832 Q2, apprentice joiner in 1851
Mary Ann b 1834 Q1 m John Henry HEARFIELD 1858 Q4. Mary Ann died 1871 Q3 in Manchester and two of her six children, John Charles HEARFIELD b 1859 Q4 in Manchester and Thomas Mace HEARFIELD b 1864 Salford went to live in Bedale with grandparents John and Jane MACE. John Charles’ headstone (died 1936) is in Bedale churchyard.
Christiana b 1835 Q3, m George BERRY 1868 Q4, 3 children;  Wiltshire lodging house keeper in 1891 and 1901
Henry b 1837 Q3, apprentice currier in 1851
Charles b 1838 Q4, joiner in 1861

John MACE seems to have been a great believer in insurance. He was Secretary and Treasurer of the local Cow Club, whereby local stock was insured against accidental loss. The Cow Club record book was in Bedale’s own local archives in 2002, and it also contains accounts for Jane Mace & Son 1867-1898.

White's 1840 directory shows John MACE at the Oddfellows Arms, also Cabinet Maker.  The Oddfellows (local businessmen) met regularly at the pub in his day. In 2002 we visited  the pub although it is now called the “Three Coopers”.  It's just down Emgate, 50 yards from the Market Cross in Bedale.  The landlord said that the house had been a pub for 300 years, and the MACE family had owned it for much of that time.  The last MACEs there had given up and emigrated to New Zealand in the 1980s (?), and after that the business had gone downhill and went bankrupt in the early 1990s.  Jennings Brewery bought it, installed a manager and renamed the house the 'Three Coopers'.  The manager now owns it.

John SPENCLY of Low Whitay, Mason, proved 1752

Will:     To wife Ann SPENCLY, executor, all substance, and to pay just debts and funerall expenses
To brother George HARKER my best Coat.
To father Geo SPENCLY the remainder of my clothes, plus 5s a quarter for two years.
To mother (unnamed)  2s 6d.
To my three sisters (unnamed) each 2s 6d.

dated 15 Jun 1752, written and signed by John SPENCLY, witnesses George HARKER and John FORSTER.


Purse and Apparell........... £2
A Calf........... 10s
Two Stirks and One Heifer........... £4 10s
Two Cows........... £8
One Horse and Saddle........... £3 10s
Household Goods........... £6 10s
Utensils of Husbandry........... £1
            [total value] £26

written and signed on 27 Jun 1752 by James Harker, countersigned by John FORSTER, Henry FORSTER


Robert SPENCELY of Barf End, Grinton, yeoman, proved 1756

Will:     To Almighty God: my soul, to the earth, my body.
            To son James SPENCELY all lands and tenements, requiring him to pay out of the said lands to the Child with which my dearly beloved wife Mary SPENCELY is pregnant provided it be a Son the sum of £20 at the age of 18, plus a further sum of £70 [unclear].             To the same child £70 if the child be a Girl, at the age of 18.
To daughter Mary SPENCELY £70, at the age of 18.
To brothers John and William SPENCELY all goods and chattels, in order to be tutors and guardians for son James and daughter Mary and the new baby.
To father and mother, Henry and Mary SPENCELY £5 pa.
To sisters Hannah BOUSEFIELD and Margaret HAWKINS £5 at the first martinmas after father’s death.
If the children die before the age of 18, all Lands and Tenements to brothers William and John, and the money to four sisters Elizabeth BIRBECK, Mary PEACOCK, Hannah BOUSEFIELD and Margaret HAWKINS equally.

dated 10 Apr 1756, signed (waveringly) Robt SPENCELY, witnesses Thomas WILSON, James HANKINS, James WHITE. Executors to be brothers John and William SPENCELY (duly sworn on 1 May 1756).


Tuition Bond: dated 1 May 1756, where John and William SPENCELEY, uncles, undertake to maintain, educate and bring up Mary SPENCELEY aged 4 and James SPENCELEY aged 2, the natural and lawful children of Robert SPENCELEY of Barf End, deceased, “with sufficient of Meat, Drink, Cloaths, and all other Necessaries”, and to keep accounts to the satisfaction of the Right Revd (see below).  Witnessed by Thos HUTCHINSON, Robt WENSLEY, John SPENSLEY, William SPENSLEY, James BELL, John HOGG (all confident signatures; no marks; NB John and William’s spellings of their own surnames).

Tuition Bond of £100 seems to be payable to the Right Reverend Father in God Edmund Lord Bishop of Chester. Payment is to be made by John SPENCELEY of Darlington, Hatter, William SPENCELEY of Barf End in Swaledale, yeoman, James BELL of Lodge Green in Swaledale, yeoman and Thomas HOGG of Richmond, furrier (?).


Simon SPENCELY of Blades, Grinton, sworn 1713

Tuition Bond: dated 17 Feb 1713, in which Simon SPENSLEY of Whitey Side in the county of York  (Ebor), yeoman and Matthew SIMPSON of the same place (do eadom) agree to pay the bond to [next bit in abbreviated Latin], and in which John SPENSLEY accepts responsibility for William and Elizabeth SPENSLEY, children of Simon SPENSLEY late of Blades deceased. Signed Simon SPENSELEY (his mark | | |) and Matthew SIMPSON (?) (his mark M), and by Tho BLAIDES and J O Closexxnd (v ornate; clerk?)


William SPENCELY of Whiteside, Grinton, yeoman, proved 1747

Will:     To wife Ann, House and Land, during the time of her natural life, then to son William SPENCLY.
To daughter Dorothy HARBOL of Show End in Westmorland, £6 to be paid by William one year after Ann’s death.
Likewise to daughter Isabell SPENCELY £6.
Likewise to daughter Margaret SPENCE £6.
Likewise to daughter Elizabeth SPENCE £6.
Likewise to daughter Ann SPENCLY £6 and one panell Chirt to her self over above the rest of my daughters.
When wife Ann dies, all household goods equally between daughters Isabell, Margrett, Elizabeth and Ann.
To daughter Mary BRODRICK one shilling.

            dated 22 Feb 1745, signed (his mark IXI) William SPENCELY, witnesses Jno FORSTER, Geo BRODRICK (his mark S), Henry FORSTER.

[William had started to write “I declare this to be my last will and testament” and had to cross it out to write in the  bequest to daughter Mary – maybe his son-in-law, waiting to witness the will, had indignantly said “’ere what about our Mary?” just in time. From the amount of the bequest, maybe William had not intended Mary to have anything, but why...?]

Purs and Apparell........... £2
An owld lame Hors........... 10s
A Cow........... £2 5s
Household Goods........... £1 5s
Two Bedsteads with Beding........... £1 5s
Utencills of Husbandry........... 6s
            [total value] £7 11s


written and signed by John FORSTER, countersigned by John HIRD and Geo BRODRICK (his mark 2).

Administration Bond: dated 19 May 1747 granted to Ann SPENCELY widow and relict of William SPENCLEY late of Whitaside, yeoman, deceased, in view of there being no executor named in the will. The bond required Ann SPENCELY of Whataside in Swaledale, widow, John FORSTER of Crackpott in Swaledale, Hosier, and Jonathan METCALFE of Gunnerside in Swaledale, Minor [miner?] , to pay the bond of £20 to the Lord Bishop of Chester.

            Ann swore that the goods &c of the deceased did not exceed the sum of £10.

            Signed by Ann SPENCELY (her mark S), John FORSTER and Jonathan METCALFE in the presence of Wm DIXON and Wm CRADDOCK. Ann’s mark is the most ornate yet, a large angular capital S with an extra lower loop.

Edmund TIPLADY of Townend Hall Reeth, farmer, proved 1851

Will:     To son Edmund TIPLADY £150.
            To daughter Jane TIPLADY £200.
            To daughter Hanah BRADBURY £50.
            To Edmund and Jane equally, all household furniture, farming stock, and any other effects.

            Executors to be William PRATT farmer of Woodhouse and George METCALF farmer of Healaugh.

            dated 28 May 1849. signed (shakily) Edmund TIPLADY witnessed by John BRADBURY and Ann BRADBURY.

Codicil:  To daughter Hanah BRADBURY an additional £10.
            dated 12 Nov 1850, signed Edmund TIPLADY (his mark X) witnessed by James BLENKIRON and James METCALFE.


Oaths:  on 11 January 1851, in Richmond, William PRATT and George METCALFE swore before James TATE, Surrogate, that the personal estate of the testator did not amount to [more than] the sum of £800.

Oath:    At the same time John BRADBURY of Reeth, Draper, swore that along with Ann BRADBURY he was one of the witnesses to the signing of his last will and testament by Edmund Tiplady, bearing the date 28 May 1849.

            At the same time, James Blenkiron, farmer, of Reeth Lane, swore that along with James Metcalfe he had written out the cocidil and witnessed the making of his mark by Edmund TIPLADY, on 12 Nov 1850.

            NB these last two Oaths, on pre-printed forms headed “In the Consistory Court of the Archdeaconry of Richmond”, carry a handwritten annotation of 5/- on each, and a tax stamp showing a circle containing a crown and the words “LONDON” and “11.2.51 Z” and “11.1.51 Z” respectively.