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The Will of Margaret Nashe

(My modernised spelling and punctuation: for original spelling select here.)


Original source supplied by the Ipswich branch of Suffolk Record Office . Their reference is: Will of Margaret Nashe (widow) 1589 - Ipswich Record Office - Archdeaconry Court of Suffolk ref: IC/AA2/32/225.

"In the name of god Amen: this second day of December in the year of our lord God 1589 and in the 30th year of the reign of our most gracious sovereign lady, Queen Elizabeth:

I, Margaret Nashe of Lowestoft in the county of Suffolk, widow, being of sound and perfect remembrance, thanks be given to God, do ordain, constitute and appoint this my last will and testament in manner and form following, viz:
Imprimis, I commend and yield my soul into the hand of Almighty God, hoping to be saved in the kingdom of heaven by the only merits and passion of my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; and my body to be buried where it shall please God to assign.

    Item: I give and bequeath unto my son Thomas Nashe my feather bed, the bolster, the bedstead and the coverlet which I do lie on; a silver spoon; two diaper napkins; a tablecloth for a round table; two pairs of sheets which are laid up together.
    Item: I give all my pewter upon my cupboards head and in the buttery and the candlesticks to be equally divided betwixt my said son Thomas and Israel my son.
    Item: I give and bequeath my best bedstead in the hall, the featherbed and coverlet with all the furniture thereto belonging unto my son Israel.
    Item: I give unto Mary the wife of Thomas Atkinson, being my late husband's daughter, half a dozen table napkins; a pair of sheets which are laid up together.
    Item: my will is that my son Israel shall deliver, if God call me, unto one Gilian the pack of his which he left in my hand, containing 4 pair of sheets and pillow bare, 2 towels, a tablecloth and a shirt band.
    Item: I give unto Elizabeth Blancher my kinswoman a pair of sheets
    Item: I give unto Elizabeth the wife of Mathew Wytchingham my kinsman a pair of sheets
    Item: I give a pair of sheets unto Stephen Wytchingham my kinsman.
    Item: I give and bequeath all my other goods, moveables, utensils whatsoever ungiven and bequeathed unto Israel my son, whom I assign and constitute to be my sole executor.Witnesses hereof; Stephen Phillip : signam X Whiborow Mahew"

It's not really possible to deduce from this bare document anything of Margaret's feelings for the son who had gone to pursue his own path in London. All we can say is, she hadn't forgotten him - he is mentioned first, and seems to do almost as well as her main beneficiary, his elder brother Israel.

Margaret was buried at St. Margaret's, Lowestoft on 10 December, and her will proved by her son and executor Israel Nashe on 21st February following. The document is now held at the Ipswich Record Office. For notes on the variations between the original will and the copy made in the archdeacon's court, select here.

  • Note: I'm indebted to Lowestoft local historian David Butcher for the information that the witness "Whiborow Mahew" (first name more usually spelt "Wyborow") was Margaret Nashe's sister-in-law, having married a John Mahew after the death of Margaret's brother George. For more about Margaret Nashe's family, click here
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