Will of Nicholas Barton, Tailor, 1662

'Household stuffe and lumber'

By David Miller

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Will of Nicholas Barton, Tailor, 1662' page


As is frequently the case when John Wootton is witness to the will, it is written in a nice clear hand, even though  it does not look as if John is the actual scribe. The letter 'O' of Orwell is however very extravagant, and would baffle any modern eye.

The Will is mainly of interest to family historians, giving as it does a list of the other Bartons to whom Nicholas is presumably related. Nicholas was 68 when he died.

It looks as if Nicholas was not particularly well off - legacies of two shillings is hardly lavish, even in those days. Nor was he familiar with the use of a pen, obviously, even though you might expect him, as a tailor, to have some dexterity. Perhaps he really was at death's door and was too feeble to sign his name. The house of John Barton, 'Gent,' must have been larger than average, since it is recorded as having three hearths in 1664. In 1662, he had declared only two hearths (one short, as the records state.) Perhaps, if he was trying to evade the tax, he was not such a gentleman after all?

The statement that the testator was in possession of 'perfect minde and memorie' was intended to prevent any questions as to his capacity to make a will, and is a common form in most wills of the period.


Transcript of the Will of Nicholas Barton, Tailor, 1662.


In the name of God Amen; I Nicholas Barton of Orwell in the County of Cambridge Taylour, being very sicke and weake in body, but in perfect mind and memoryie (praysed be god therefore) doo make and Ordayne this my last will and Testament in manner and forme following vidz:

Inprimis I bequeath my soule to Almyghtie God, hopeing to be saved by the merits of Christ my redeemer, and my body to be decently buried at the will of my Executor

Item I give unto John Barton gent that household stuffe and lumber that is in his Custody now at his house

Item I give unto William Barton two shillings

Item I give unto Richard Barton two shillings

Item I give unto Thomas Barton my brother one half acre of red wheate growing next Mortlockes willows

Item I gice unto my sister Cockrill one brase pan

Item the rest of my goods and Chattels un bequeathed I give unto Robert Barton my brother whom I make sole Executor of this my last will


                                                                                                                                Nicholas  Z  Barton

Witnesses John Wootten                                                                    mark


Marye   X  Arthur




Probate granted 4th October 1662 (to Robert King?)

This page was added by David Miller on 25/03/2013.

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