William Clarke's Will, dated 1st June, 1671

"In the name and service of the Lord my God, I William Clarke of Loughboro in ye County of Leicester, apothercary, being at his present position by the mercy of God in good and perfect health of body and also of a sound mind, judgement and understanding, so make and ordaine this my Last Will and Testament in manner and form following. Placing my soul into the hand of God, my merits, humbly and earnestly beseeching Him to adopt of me only in my merits, meditation and confession of Jesus Christ my only Saviour and Redeemer and humbly beseeching Him to beget and [illegible] in me more and more to that lovely home wherein sometimes I pause, glad because of my salvation in the same Jesus our real friend of the bible, and of never fading importance, received for this reason for all times, now awakened by the power of God, brought by the faith to Salvation. Also I commit my body and soul to be decently buried at the supervision of my friends.

Here I bequest and give my personal estate to be disposed of as followeth.

First I give unto my good and loving wife Katherine Clarke all at my messuage and endourment now in the tenure and occupation of Widow Kirke, butcher, situate in Grantham close by the Wood-Yarde. Also the kitchen belonging to the same, and with all the other appertainences so belonging thereto, to be disposed of to her own use and benefit during her naturall life. And a further Istate to be disposed of as followeth: And I give and bequeath unto my Sonne Joseph Clarke all that remaining part of my tithe and interest in the shop, with all the wares, goods and the deed books thereunto belonging and remaining part therein. I set him up at Loughboro all I reserved to myself during my naturall life.

All the rest of my Istate, real and personal, lands, houses, goods and chattells whatsoever. My Will is that the they shall be equally and indifferently be divided betwixt my daughter Martha Clarke and my Sonne John Clarke, provided notwithstanding that in both the said hands, various goods and chattels upon equal preferrment shall amount about the double value of the shop, met by goods, wares and deed books thereto belonging. Upon my wish is that the amount surplus or overplus or double value shall be sub-divided into three parts and distributed equally at my loving brethren Dr Humphrey Babington and my loving brethren Mr Joseph Clarke, Physician, betwixt my sonne Joseph Clarke, daughter Martha Clarke, and my sonne John Clarke at Low Estate, of my said wife Katherine Clarke, as before.

As many or any of them shall be disposed of for their preferrment in marriage of otherwise according to the discretion of my said wife, and my said wife in the meantime to advise them whereof as the occasion may require.

That I give unto my sonne William Clarke from the day and date of my decease, my late dwelling house in Grantham now rent in his name and living and the garden in Deadmans Lane with all the appertainences thereto belonging, though it is not to be his by virtue of his mothers. joynture untill my death.

And revoking and legally making null former Wills by me made, I do make and ordain my dear and loving wife to be my supervisor of this my last Will and Testament, and my loving brother Dr Humphrey Babington, Doctor of Divinity, and my loving brother Mr Joseph Clarke, Physician my supervisors thereof, earnestly intreating them to take the name of all my pleasures upon them to see that this my Will be fulfilled. And for their great pains and kindness therein I give unto each of them ten shillings a man.

In witness required of the said William Clarke, have hereunto set my hand and seal this first day of June Anno Domini 1671.

In the presence of:

Edward Storer
Susan Storer
Frances Key

If any be not thanken that person or persons shall have none.

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