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Will of John Combe, Gentleman of Old Stratford, Warwickshire
January 28,
1613

PROB 11/126, folio 419 recto

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PROB 11/126, folio 419 recto
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Document-specific information
Creator: Prerogative Court of Canterbury
Title:   Will of John Combe, Gentleman of Old Stratford, Warwickshire
Date: November 10, 1615
Repository: The National Archives, Kew, UK
Call number and opening: PROB 11/126, fol. 419-421
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Item Creator
Prerogative Court of Canterbury
Item Title
Will of John Combe, Gentleman of Old Stratford, Warwickshire
Item Date
November 10, 1615
Repository
The National Archives, Kew, UK
Call Number
PROB 11/126, fol. 419r

PROB 11/126, folio 419 verso

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PROB 11/126, folio 419 verso
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Institution Rights and Document Citation

 

Images reproduced by permission of The National Archives, London, England.

Terms of use
The National Archives give no warranty as to the accuracy, completeness or fitness for the purpose of the information provided.
Images may be used only for purposes of research, private study or education.  Applications for any other use should be made to The National Archives Image Library, Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW9 4DU, Tel: 020 8392 5225   Fax: 020 8392 5266.

Document-specific information
Creator: Prerogative Court of Canterbury
Title:   Will of John Combe, Gentleman of Old Stratford, Warwickshire
Date: November 10, 1615
Repository: The National Archives, Kew, UK
Call number and opening: PROB 11/126, fol. 419-421
View online bibliographic record

 

Item Creator
Prerogative Court of Canterbury
Item Title
Will of John Combe, Gentleman of Old Stratford, Warwickshire
Item Date
November 10, 1615
Repository
The National Archives, Kew, UK
Call Number
PROB 11/126, fol. 419v

PROB 11/126, folio 420 recto

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PROB 11/126, folio 420 recto
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Institution Rights and Document Citation

 

Images reproduced by permission of The National Archives, London, England.

Terms of use
The National Archives give no warranty as to the accuracy, completeness or fitness for the purpose of the information provided.
Images may be used only for purposes of research, private study or education.  Applications for any other use should be made to The National Archives Image Library, Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW9 4DU, Tel: 020 8392 5225   Fax: 020 8392 5266.

Document-specific information
Creator: Prerogative Court of Canterbury
Title:   Will of John Combe, Gentleman of Old Stratford, Warwickshire
Date: November 10, 1615
Repository: The National Archives, Kew, UK
Call number and opening: PROB 11/126, fol. 419-421
View online bibliographic record

 

Item Creator
Prerogative Court of Canterbury
Item Title
Will of John Combe, Gentleman of Old Stratford, Warwickshire
Item Date
November 10, 1615
Repository
The National Archives, Kew, UK
Call Number
PROB 11/126, fol. 420r

PROB 11/126, folio 420 verso

View Image Assets
PROB 11/126, folio 420 verso
Click image to enlarge

Institution Rights and Document Citation

 

Images reproduced by permission of The National Archives, London, England.

Terms of use
The National Archives give no warranty as to the accuracy, completeness or fitness for the purpose of the information provided.
Images may be used only for purposes of research, private study or education.  Applications for any other use should be made to The National Archives Image Library, Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW9 4DU, Tel: 020 8392 5225   Fax: 020 8392 5266.

Document-specific information
Creator: Prerogative Court of Canterbury
Title:   Will of John Combe, Gentleman of Old Stratford, Warwickshire
Date: November 10, 1615
Repository: The National Archives, Kew, UK
Call number and opening: PROB 11/126, fol. 419-421
View online bibliographic record

 

Item Creator
Prerogative Court of Canterbury
Item Title
Will of John Combe, Gentleman of Old Stratford, Warwickshire
Item Date
November 10, 1615
Repository
The National Archives, Kew, UK
Call Number
PROB 11/126, fol. 420v

PROB 11/126, folio 421 recto

View Image Assets
PROB 11/126, folio 421 recto
Click image to enlarge

Institution Rights and Document Citation

 

Images reproduced by permission of The National Archives, London, England.

Terms of use
The National Archives give no warranty as to the accuracy, completeness or fitness for the purpose of the information provided.
Images may be used only for purposes of research, private study or education.  Applications for any other use should be made to The National Archives Image Library, Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW9 4DU, Tel: 020 8392 5225   Fax: 020 8392 5266.

Document-specific information
Creator: Prerogative Court of Canterbury
Title:   Will of John Combe, Gentleman of Old Stratford, Warwickshire
Date: November 10, 1615
Repository: The National Archives, Kew, UK
Call number and opening: PROB 11/126, fol. 419-421
View online bibliographic record

 

Item Creator
Prerogative Court of Canterbury
Item Title
Will of John Combe, Gentleman of Old Stratford, Warwickshire
Item Date
November 10, 1615
Repository
The National Archives, Kew, UK
Call Number
PROB 11/126, fol. 421r

PROB 11/126, folio 421 verso

View Image Assets
PROB 11/126, folio 421 verso
Click image to enlarge

Institution Rights and Document Citation

 

Images reproduced by permission of The National Archives, London, England.

Terms of use
The National Archives give no warranty as to the accuracy, completeness or fitness for the purpose of the information provided.
Images may be used only for purposes of research, private study or education.  Applications for any other use should be made to The National Archives Image Library, Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW9 4DU, Tel: 020 8392 5225   Fax: 020 8392 5266.

Document-specific information
Creator: Prerogative Court of Canterbury
Title:   Will of John Combe, Gentleman of Old Stratford, Warwickshire
Date: November 10, 1615
Repository: The National Archives, Kew, UK
Call number and opening: PROB 11/126, fol. 419-421
View online bibliographic record

 

Item Creator
Prerogative Court of Canterbury
Item Title
Will of John Combe, Gentleman of Old Stratford, Warwickshire
Item Date
November 10, 1615
Repository
The National Archives, Kew, UK
Call Number
PROB 11/126, fol. 421v

Institution Rights and Document Citation

 

Images reproduced by permission of The National Archives, London, England.

Terms of use
The National Archives give no warranty as to the accuracy, completeness or fitness for the purpose of the information provided.
Images may be used only for purposes of research, private study or education.  Applications for any other use should be made to The National Archives Image Library, Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW9 4DU, Tel: 020 8392 5225   Fax: 020 8392 5266.

Document-specific information
Creator: Prerogative Court of Canterbury
Title:   Will of John Combe, Gentleman of Old Stratford, Warwickshire
Date: November 10, 1615
Repository: The National Archives, Kew, UK
Call number and opening: PROB 11/126, fol. 419-421
View online bibliographic record

 

The registered copy of John Combe’s will, shown here, carries the date of January 28, 1612 [i.e. 1613] in a heading which may give the impression of concluding the preceding will. Like the original copy of his will, this copy also carries a date of probate of November 10, 1615.

After death, a will was carried, usually by the executor or executrix, to the appropriate probate office, where it was copied into a parchment register. Wills thus generally occurred in at least two copies: the original will, and the registered copy.

For a discussion of aspects of John Combe's will and burial relevant to William Shakespeare, see "John Combe's last will and testament: original copy."

 

Modernized/Translated transcriptions

[Text adapted from Halliwell Phillips. Outlines (1887), ii, 234-40. This transcription is pending final vetting.]

In the name of God, amen. I John Combe, of Old Stretford in the county of Warwick, gent., being both in perfect health and memory, God be thanked, do make, ordain, and declare my last will and testament in manner and form following, that is to say, first I commend my soul to God my Maker, hoping and stedfastly believing that through the only merits of Jesus Christ, my alone Saviour and Redeemer, I shall after this life ended be partaker of the life everlasting, and my body to be buried in the Parish Church of Stretford upon Avon in the said county of Warwick, near the place where my mother was buried; and my will is that a convenient tombe of the value of threescore pounds shall be by my executors hereafter named, out of my goods and chattels first raised, within one year after my decease, be sett over me.

Item, I give and bequeath to my cousin Sir Henry Clare knight two hundred pounds of lawful English money, to be paid unto him within six months after my decease, and if he die before [payment thereof], then, I will and bequeath the said two hundred pounds to Frances Combe, his daughter, to be paid to her within the said six months.

Item, I give and bequeath to my brother John Combe all that my messuage or tenement with the appurtenances wherein William Cawdery alias Cooke nowe dwelleth, situate, lying, and being in Warwick in the said county of Warwick, near and adjoining to the Gable there, to have and to hold the same unto the said John Combe my brother, for and during the term of his life, and after his decease, the reversion and remainder thereof to be to the use and behoof of the heirs males of the body of the said John Combe lawfully begotten and to be begotten, and, for want of such heirs, to the heirs males of the body of my nephew William Combe esquire, and the heires males of his body lawfully begotten and to be begotten, and for default of such heirs, to the use and behoof of my nephew Thomas Combe gent. and of the heirs males of his body lawfully begotten and to be begotten, and for default of such heirs, to my brother George Combe and the heires males of his body lawfully begotten and to be begotten, and for default of such heirs, to the right heirs of me the said John Combe for ever.

Item, I give and bequeath to the children of my brother John Combe the sum of three hundred pounds of lawful English money to be paid unto them within six months after their father's decease, and to be equally divided amongst them, I mean those of his children as shall be living at his decease, and in the mean time my will is, and so I bequeath and devise the said three hundred pounds shall within one year after my decease be raised out of my goods and chattels and be set forth or otherwise employed to the best use it may be, and the use and profit coming thereof to be paid yearly to my said brother John Combe during his life to his own use, and towards the bringing up of his children.

Item, I give, will, devise and bequeath unto the said William Combe one close or ground with the appurtenances called Pole Close, and one close or ground called Walnut-tree Close, and one other close or ground with the appurtenances lately divided into two grounds called Ligon Grove, all of them situate, lying and being within the parish of Bishops Hampton alias Hampton Lucy in the said county of Warwick, to have and to hold the same to the said William Combe and the heirs males of his body lawfully begotten and to be begotten, and for default of such heires the reversion and remainder thereof to be and remain to my said nephew Thomas Combe and the heirs males of his body lawfully begotten and to be begotten, and for default of such heires to my brother George Combe for and during his natural life, and after his decease to my nephew John Combe, son of the said George, and to the heirs males of his body lawfully begotten and to be begotten, and for default of such heires, to the right heirs of me the said John Combe fore ever.

Item, I give, will, bequeath and devise to my said nephew Thomas Combe, all those grounds or closes of land meadow and pasture lying and being in Hampton aforesaid, with their and every their appurtenances; called or known by the several names of Sindry Meadow, Rynell alias Rynhill, and Priest Croft, to have and to hold the same to my said nephew Thomas Combe, and to the heirs males of his body lawfully begotten and to be begotten, and, for default of such heirs, the said last mentioned premises to be and remain to the use and behoof of the said William Combe, and the heirs males of his body begotten and to be begotten, and for default of such heirs to my said brother George for and during his natural life, and after his decease, to my said nephew John his son, and the heirs males of his body lawfully begotten and to be begotten, and for default of such heirs, to my brother John and the heirs males of his body lawfully begotten and to be begotten, and for default of such heirs to the right heirs of inc the said John for ever.

Item, I give, will, bequeath and devise unto my said brother George Combe all those closes or grounds with the appurtenances, called or known by the name of Parson's Close alias Shakespere's Close, lying and being in Hampton aforesaid, to have and to hold the same to the said George Combe for and during the term of his natural life, and after his decease the said last mentioned premises with their appurtenances, and the reversion and reversions thereof, to be and remain to my said nephew John Combe, and the heirs males of his body lawfully begotten and to be begotten, and for default of such heirs to my nephew William Combe, and the heirs males of his body lawfully begotten and to be begotten, and for default of such heirs to my nephew Thomas Combe, and the heirs males of his body lawfully begotten and to be begotten, and for default of such heirs to my said brother John Combe, and the heirs males of his body lawfully begotten and to be begotten, and for default of such heirs to the right heirs of me the said John Combe for ever.

Item, I give and bequeath unto Thomas Raynoldes, son of Thomas Raynoldes. of Old Stretford aforesaid gentleman, one hundred pounds of lawful English money. To my cousin Margaret Raynoldes, wife of the said Thomas Raynoldes the elder, one hundred pounds of lawful English money. To the children of Jane Featherston, daughter of the said Thomas Raynoldes the elder, one hundred pounds of lawful English money, equally to be divided amongst them, and to be paid unto the said children at the decease of the said Jane; and my will and meaning is and so I devise and will that the said one hundred pounds shall within one year after my decease be set forth by my executors and overseers to the best use and commodity that may be, and the use thereof coming shall be paid yearly to the said Jane during her life for her maintenance.

Item, I give and bequeath to Margaret Raynoldes, daughter of the said Thomas, twenty pounds. To every one of the rest of my cousin Thomas Raynoldes his children ten pounds apiece, to be paid within one year after my decease, and my will is and so I devise that if any of the children of the said Thomas Raynoldes happen to die, then his her and their legacy so dying shall be and remain amongst the rest of his now children as shall be then living, equally to be divided amongst them.

Item, I give and bequeath to my brother George Combe my best suit of apparel and my second gown, and if lie be not living at my decease, my will is that his son shall have the said apparel and gown.

Item, I give and bequeath to my sister Hyett and her children one hundred marks of lawful English money to be paid within six months after my decease, and to be equally divided amongst them.

Item, I give and bequeath unto my nieces Mary Combe and Joyce Combe, daughters of my brother Thomas Combe deceased, one hundred pounds apiece of lawful English money to be paid within one year after my decease, and if either of them die before her legacy be due to them, my will is and soe I devise that her legacy so dying shall be paid and remain to the survivor of them, and if both of them so die, then my will is and so I devise that both their legacies shall remain and be paid unto my brother George his two daughters, equally to be divided between them.

Item, I give and bequeath to my said brother George his two daughters one hundred marks apiece of lawful English money, to be paid unto them within one year after my decease, and if either of them die before that time her legacy so dying shall remain and be paid to the survivor of them, and if they both die before their legacies be due, my will is and so I do devise that both their legacies shall remain and be paid unto the said Mary and Joyce Combe, equally to be divided between them.

Item, I do give, will, and devise unto my cousin Margaret Reynoldes, wife of the said Thomas Raynoldes the elder, all my right and title I have to those grounds called Samon Joale and Samon Tayle lying and being within the parish of Stretford upon Avon in the county of Warwick, to have and to hold the same for and during the term of her natural life, and after her decease, the said last mentioned premises and the reversion thereof to be and remain to William Raynoldes her son, and the heirs males of her body lawfully begotten and to be begotten, and for default of such heirs, to Thomas Reynoldes her sou and the heirs males of his body lawfully begotten and to be begotten, and for default of such heirs, to Walter Reynoldes her son and the heirs and the heirs males of his body lawfully begotten and to be begotten, and for default of such heirs, to the right heirs of the said Margaret Reynoldes for ever.

Item, I give, bequeath and release unto my said cousin, Thomas Reynoldes the elder, all such sums of money mid debts which he oweth unto me, and thereof, and of all reckonings accompts and demands whatsoever, I do by this my will release acquit and discharge him, the said Thomas Reynoldes the elder, his heirs, executors, and administrators tor ever.

Item, I give and bequeath unto my said cousin Margaret Raynoldes all my plate, my best gown, and all my household stuff except my apparel.

Item, I give and bequeath unto my servant Richard Mason, if he be my servant at my death, fifty pounds of lawful English money; to Audrean Holder, if he be my servant at my decease, thirty pounds of lawful English money. To John Featherston, ten pounds. To Robert Davies, if he be my servant at my death twenty pounds. To Richard Burnett, if he be my servant at my decease, twenty shillings; and to Panckeridge, if he be my servant at my decease, fourty shillings and to my cousin Thomas Reynoldes the elder, his servants, such as shall be his servants at my decease, five shillings apiece. All these legacies to be paid within one year after my decease.

Item, I give and bequeath to my uncle, John Blunt(e), if he be living at my decease, fourty shillings to buy him a ring. To my cousin Anne Dickins, five pounds to buy her a ring. To my god-daughter Garden twenty pounds, and to her sister ten pounds, to be paid within one year after my decease.

Item, I give, will and bequeath, one hundred pounds of lawful English money to be used and employed for ever according to my intent and meaning hereafter expressed in this my will, that is to say, and my will is, that my executors and overseers hereafter herein named shall, within one year after my decease, upon good and reasonable security, lend the said hundred pounds unto fifteen poor or young tradesmen, occupiers or handicraftsmen dwelling within the borough of Stretford upon Avon aforesaid, viz. to every one of them twenty nobles apiece for the term of three years, every one of them paying yearly during the said three years the sum of three shillings and tour pence at the feasts of Saint Michael the archangel and the Annunciation of blessed Mary the Virgin by equal portions, and at the end of the said three years to fifteen others for three years, every one paying yearly 3s. 4d. in manner aforesaid; so from three years to three years for ever, paying as aforesaid, according to my true meaning, which said yearly several sums of three shillings and fourpence before mentioned to be paid as aforesaid for the said one hundred pounds, shall be and for ever remain to the use of the almsfolks of Stretford aforesaid. And my will is, and so I do desire that my executors and overseers, or the survivor of them, will take such order either with the bailiff or burgesses of the borough of Stretford aforesaid for the time being, or by some other way or mean, that the said hundred pounds and the benefit thereof coming may continue for ever according to my meaning before expressed.

Item, I give and bequeath to the poor of Stretford twenty pounds, to the poor of Warwick five pounds, and to the poor of Alcester five pounds.

Item, I give unto William White fourty shillings which he oweth me by bond, if he be living at my decease, and the same bond to be cancelled. To Mr. William Shackspere five pounds, and to my landlord John Davies 40s.

Item, I give and bequeath unto unto Francis Collines the elder of the borough of Warwick ten pounds of lawful English money, and to my godson John Collens his son other ten pounds of like lawful English money, to be paid unto them within one year after my decease, and if either of them die before receipt of his said legacy, then my will is and so I devise and bequeath that the survivor of them shall have his legacy that shall so happen to die: and if the said Francis and John Collens happen to die before the time appointed for the payment of their legacies, then my will is, and so I devise and bequeath both their legacies of ten pounds apiece to Susanna Collens, wife of the said Francis, and to the eldest son of the said Francis equally betwixt them.

Item, I give and bequeath to the said Susanna Collens six pounds thirteen shillings four pence of lawful English money, and to Mr. Henry Walker twenty shillings.

Item, I give and bequeath unto my servants Richard Mason and Audrian Holder, if they be my servants at the time of my decease, all my wearing apparel not before given, except that apparel that was my uncle William Combes; and if they be not my servants, then to such persons as my executors shall appoint.

Item, I give and bequeath to my cousin Thomas Reynoldes the elder, and Margaret his wife, my team of oxen which I shall have at my decease, and if I then shall have no team, then I give and bequeath forty marks of lawful English money; and also I give unto them, the said Thomas and Margaret, my waynes, tumbrells, ploughs, and other things belonging to a team.

Item, I give and bequeath unto Sir Francis Smith, knight, five pounds to buy him a hawk, and to the Lady Anne his wife fourty pounds of lawful English money to buy her a bason and ewer; and unto Mrs. Palmer, the wife of John Palmer esquire, 40s. to buy her a ring.

Item, I give and bequeath to every one of my godchildren before not named five shillings apiece.

Item, I give will bequeath and devise to my cousin Thomas Combe, his heirs and assigns for ever, all my meadow ground with the appurtenances in Shottery meadow, to the uses intents and purposes hereafter herein mentioned, that is to say that he the said Thomas Combe, his heirs and assigns, shall yearly and every year for ever pay to a learned preacher twenty shillings to make a sermon twice a year at Stretford church aforesaid, and also shall and do yearly and every year for ever, one week before the feast of the Nativity of our Lord God, give and deliver to such ten poor people within the borough of Stretford aforesaid as shall he yearly appointed and elected by the bailiff and chief alderman for the time being of the said borough, and two of the auncientest aldermen there, ten black gowns, every one of them worth thirteen shillings and four pence apiece: and if my said nephew Thomas Combe, his heirs or assigns, shall or do not pay the said twenty shillings yearly to a preacher, and give and deliver the said gowns, then my will is, and so I will and devise that it shall be lawful to and for the bailiff and burgesses of the borough of Stretford aforesaid and their successors for the time being, from time to time and at all times hereafter, so often as the said twenty shillings shall not be yearly paid to a preacher, or the said gowns or any of them delivered and given as aforesaid, according to my will and meaning herein mentioned, to enter into the said meadow ground and every part and parcel thereof, and the issues and profits thereof [to take, and the issues and profits thereof (H-P omits)] to pay give and satisfy the yearly sum of twenty shillings so behind unpaid and the arrearages thereof, if any be, together with the said gowns as shall be behind undelivered, according to this my will, and after, the said meadow ground to be to the said Thomas Combe his heirs and assigns, charged as aforesaid.

Item, I give and bequeath to every one of my good and just debtors for pay twenty pounds that any man oweth me, twenty shillings, and so after this rate, for a greater or lesser debt, to be delivered back to them by my executors then they pay in their debts. All the rest of my goods, chattels, leases, credits, and rights whatsoever, after my debts and legacies paid, and my funerals discharged according to my degree, and my will performed, which I will and charge my executors to do within one year and an half after my decease, upon pain of forfeiture of such legacies of as well of lands as money or goods I have [H-P: leave] or do herein give and bequeath unto [original: them I give and bequeath vnto]  my said nephew Thomas Combe. And I do make and ordain the said Thomas Combe, Sir Richard Verney, knight, and Bartholomew Hales, esquire, executors of this my last will and testament. And I do give and bequeath to the said Sir Richard Varney and Bartholomew Hales twenty pounds apiece of lawful English money, and also I do nominate and appoint Sir Edward Blunt, knight, Sir Henry Rainsford, knight, Sir Francis Smith, knight, and John Palmer of Compton, esquire, to be overseers of this my will, unto whom I give five pounds apiece, or unto every one of them a silver salt worth five pounds.

Item, I give to Mrs. Barnes fourty shillings to buy her a ring, and to the Lady Rainsford fourty shillings to buy her a ring; And my will is and so I do devise that if any person whatsoever before named shall dislike of such legacies as I have herein devised or bequeathed unto them, and not hold themselves therewith contented, shall lose the same and all other benefit that they can any way claim by this my will. And I do hereby revoke all former wills by me heretofore made; and do declare and publish this to be my last will and testament, and have unto every sheet hereof written my name.

Semi-diplomatic transcription

[Text adapted from Halliwell Phillips, Outlines (1887), ii, 234-40. This transcription is pending final vetting.]

[Image 1: fol. 419r]
Vicesimo octauo die Januarij Anno Regni Domini nostri Jacobi nunc Regis
Anglie ect Decimo et Scotie xlvjto Annoque Domini 1612
RM: Testamentum Johannis Combe./

In the name of God Amen. I John Combe of Old stretford in the
County of Warr[wick] gent beinge both in perfecte health and memory god be thanked do make ordaine
and declare my last will and testament in manner and forme followinge that is to saie ffirste I
comende my sowle to god my maker hoping and stedfastlie beleeveinge that thorowe the onlie
merrites of Jesus Christe my alone saviour and redeemer I shall after this life ended be pertaker
of the life everlasting and my bodie to be buried in the parrish Church of Stretford vpon
Avon in the saide countie of Warr[wick] neare to the place where my mother was buried and my will
is that a conveniente tombe of the value of threescore pounds shalbe by my Executors hearafter

[Image 2: fol. 419v]
named out of my goodes and chattells firste raysed within one yeare after my decease be sett over me. Item I
give and bequeath to my Cozin Sir Henry Clare knight too hundred pounds of lawful English money
to be paid unto him within six monethes after my decease and yf he dye before then I will and bequeath the
saide to [sic] hundred poundes to Frances Clare his daughter to be paid to her within the saide six monthes
Item I give and bequeath to my brother John Combe all that my messuage or tenemente with thappurtenaunces
wherein William Cawdery alias Cooke nowe dwelleth scituate lying and beinge in Warr[wick] in the saide countie
of Warr[wick] ^neare and adioyninge to the Gable there to have and to holde the same vnto the saide John Combe
my brother for and duringe the Tearme of his liefe and after his decease the revercion and remainder
thereof to be to the vse and behoofe of the heirs males of the bodie of the saide John Combe lawfullie
begotten and to be begotten and for wante of such heires to the heires males of the bodie of my nephew
William Combe Esquire and the heires males of his bodie lawfully begotten and to be begotten
and for defaulte of such heires to the vse and behoof of my said nephew ^Thomas Combe gent. and of the heires
males of his bodie lawfullie begotten and to be begotten and for defaulte of such heires to my brother
George Combe and the heires males of his bodie lawfully begotten and to be begotten and for defaulte
of such heires to the right heires of me the saide John Combe for ever, Item I give and bequeath to the
Children of my brother John Combe the some of three hundred poundes of lawfull english money to be
paide vnto them within six monthes after their ffathers decease and to be equallie devided amongst them I
meane those of his children as shalbe lyvinge at his decease and in the meane time my will is and soe I
bequeath and devise the saide three hundred pounds shall within one yeare after my decease be raysed
out of my goodes and chattells and be sett fourth or otherwise imployed to the best vse it maie be
and the vse and profitt comminge thereof to be paide yearlie to my saide brother John Combe
duringe his life to his owne vse and towardes the bringinge vpp of his children Item I give will
devise and bequeath vnto the saide William Combe one cloase or grounde with thappurtenaunces
called Pole cloase or grounde called Walnuttrye Close and other close or grounde with
thappurtenaunces latelie devided into two groundes called Ingon Grove all of them scituate lying and
beinge within the parish of Bishoppes Hampton alias Hampton Lucie in the saide Countie of
Warrwick to have and to holde the same to the saide William Combe and the heires males of his bodie
lawfullie begotte and to be begotten and for defaulte of such heires the revercion and remainder
thereof to be and remain to my saide nephew Thomas Combe and the heires males of his bodie
lawfullie begotten and to be begotten and for defalte of such heires to my brother George Combe
for and duringe his naturall life and after his decease to my Nephewe John Combe son of the saide
George and to the heires males of his bodie lawfullie begotten and to be begotten And for defaulte
of such heires to the vse and behoofe of my brother John Combe and the heires males of his bodie
lawfulie begotten and to be begotten and for defaulte of such heires to the right heires of me the
said John Combe forever ^Item I give will bequeath and devise to my saide nephew Thomas Combe all those
grounds or cloases of lande meadowe and pasture lyinge and beinge in Hampton aforesaide with
there and everie theire appurteynaunces called ^or knowen by the severall names of Syndrye meadowe
Rynell alias Rynhill and Prieste Crofte to have and to holde the same to my saide nephewe Thomas
Combe and to the heires males of his bodie lawfullie begotten and to be begotten and for defaulte of
such heires the saide laste mencioned premisses to be and remaine to the vse and behoofe of the saide
William Combe and the heires males of his bodie lawfullie begotten and to be begotten And for
defaulte of such heires to my saide brother George for and duringe his naturall life and after his
decease to my saide nephewe John his sonne and the heires males of his bodie lawfullie begotten
and to be begotten, and for defaulte of such heires to my brother John and the heires males
of his bodie lawfullie begotten and to be begotten And for defaulte of such heires to the righte
heires of me the saide John for ever, Item I give will bequeath and devise vnto my saide brother
George Combe all those closes or groundes with thappurteynaunces called or knowne by the
name of Parsons Close alias Shacksperes close lyinge and beinge in Hampton aforesaide to
have and to holde the same to the saide George Combe for and duringe the tearme of his naturall
life and after his decease the saide last mencioned premisses with their appurtenances and the
revercion and revercions thereof to be and remaine to my saide nephewe John Combe and the heires
males

[Image 3: fol. 420r]
of his bodie lawfullie begotten and to be begotten and for defaulte of such heires to my nephewe William
Combe and the heires males of his bodie lawfullie begotten and to be begotten and for default of such
heires to my nephew Thomas Combe and the heires males of his bodie lawfullie begotten and to be
begotten and for defaulte of such heires to my saide brother John Combe and the heires males of
his bodie lawfullie begotten and to be begotten and for defaulte of such heires to the right heires
heires [sic] of me the saide John Combe for ever, Item I give and bequeath vnto Thomas Raynoldes sonne
of Thomas Raynoldes. of olde Stretford aforesaide gentleman one hundred poundes of lawfull
English money to my Cozen Margarett Raynoldes wife of the saide Thomas Raynoldes
thelder one hundred pounds of lawfull English money to the children of Jane ffeatherston daughter
of the saide Thomas Raynoldes thelder one hundred poundes of lawfull English money equally to
be devided amongst them and to be paide vnto the saide children at the decease of the saide Jane and
my will and meaning is and so I devise and will that the saide one hundred poundes shall
within one yeare after my decease be sett fourth by my Executors and overseers to the best vse and
Comoditie that maie be and the vse thereof cominge shalbe paide yearlie to the saide Jane
duringe her life for her mainteynaunce Item I give and bequeath to Margarett Raynoldes daughter
of the saide Thomas twenty poundes to every one of the rest of my Cozen Thomas Raynoldes
his Children tenne poundes apeece to be paide within one yeare after my decease and my will
is and soe I devise that yf any of the Children of the saide Thomas Raynoldes happen to dye
then his her and theire legacie so dying shalbe and remaine amongeste the reste of his nowe
Children as shalbe then livinge equallie to be devided amongst them Item I give and bequeath to my
brother George Combe my beste suite of apparrell and my seconde gowne and if he be not living
at my decease my will is that his sonne shall have the saide apparrell and gowne Item I give
and bequeath to my sister Hyett and her children one hundred markes of lawfull English money to
be paide within six monethes after my decease and to be equallie devided amongst them Item I
give and bequeath vnto my neeces Mary Combe and Joyce Combe daughters of my brother Thomas
Combe deceased one hundred poundes apeece of lawfull English money to be paide within one yeare
after my decease And if either of them die before her legacie be due to them my will is and soe I devise
that her legacie so dyinge shalbe paide and remaine to the survivor of them and if both of them soe
dye then my will is and soe I devise that both their legacies shall remaine and be paid vnto my
brother George his two daughters equallie to be devided betweene them Item I give and bequeath
to my saide brother George his two daughters one hundred marks apeece of lawfull Englishe
money to be paide vnto them within within one yeare after my decease and yf either of them dye
before that time her legacie soe dyinge shall shall [sic] remaine and be paide to the survivor of them
and yf the [sic for they] both die before there legacies be due my will is and soe I doe devise that both their
legacies shall remaine and be paide vnto the saide Mary and Joyce Combe equallie to be devided
betweene them Item I doe give will and devise vnto my Cozen Margarett Reynoldes wife of
the saide Thomas Raynoldes thelder all my right and title I have to those groundes called
Samon Tayle lying and beinge within the parrish of Stretford vppon Avon in the saide
County of Warrwick to have and to holde the same for and duringe the tearme of her naturall life and
after her decease the saide last mencioned premisses and the revercion thereof to be and remaine to William
Reynoldes her sonne and the heires males of her bodie lawfullie begotten and to be begotten and for defalte
of such heires to Thomas Reynoldes her sonne and the heires males of his bodie lawfullie begotten and to
be begotten and for defaulte of such heires to Walter Reynoldes her sonne and the heires males of his
bodie lawfullie begotten and to be begotten And for defaulte of such heires to the right heires
of the saide Margaret Reynoldes for ever, Item I give bequeath and release vnto my saide Cozen
Thomas Reynoldes thelder all such sommes of money and debtes which he oweth vnto me and
thereof and of all Reckininges accomptes and demaundes whatsoever I doe by this my will release
acquite and discharge him the saide Thomas Reynoldes thelder his heires executors And Administrators
forever Item I give and bequeath vnto my saide Cozen Margarett Raynoldes all my plate my beste

[Image 4: fol. 420v]

gowne and all my household stuffe except my apparrell Item I give and bequeath vnto my servante Richard
Mason yf he be my servaunte at my decease fiftie poundes of lawfull English money to Audrean Holder
yf he be my servaunte at my decease thirtie poundes of lawfull English money. To John ffeatherston tenne
poundes, To Roberte Davies yf he be my servante at my decease twentie poundes, To Richard Burnett yf
he be my servaunte at my decease twentie shillings and to Panckeridge yf he be my servante at
my decease fortie shillinges and to my cozen Thomas Reynoldes thelder his servauntes such as shalbe
his servauntes at my decease five shillinges apeece all these legacies to be paide within one yeare
after my decease Item I give and bequeath to my vncle John Blunte if he be livinge at my decease
forty shillinges to buy him a Ringe To my Cozen Anne Dickins five poundes to buy her a Ringe
To my goddaughter Gardener twentie poundes and to her sister tenne poundes to be paide with
in one yeare after my decease Item I give will and bequeath one hundred poundes of lawfull
English money to be vsed and imployed forever accordinge to my intente and meaninge
hereafter expressed in this my will that is to say and my will is that my executors and over
seers heareafter herein named shall within one yeare after my decease vpon good and reasonable security
lend the saide hundred poundes vnto fifteene poore or younge Tradesmen occupiers or handicraftsmen
dwellinge within the Burrough of Stretford vppon Avon aforesaide vizt, to every one
of them twentie nobles apeece for the terme of three yeares every one of them payinge yearly
duringe the saide three yeares the somme of three shillinges and fower pence at the ffeastes of Saincte
Michaell tharchaungell and the Annunciacion of blessed Mary the Virgine by equal porcions
and at the end of the saide three yeares to fifteene others for three yeares every one payinge
yearelie iijs iiijd in manner aforesaide soe from three yeares to three yeares forever ever [sic] payinge
as aforesaide according to my true meaninge which saide yearelie severall sommes of three shillinges
and four pence before mencioned to be paide as aforesaide for the saide one hundred poundes
shalbe and forever remain to the vse of the Almesfolkes of Stretford aforesaide and my will
is and soe I doe desire that my Executors and overseers or the survivor of them will take such
order either with the Bayliffe or Burgasses of the borough of Stretford aforesaide for the
tyme beinge or by some other waie or meane that the saide hundred poundes and the benefit
thereof cominge maie continue for ever accordinge to my meaninge before expressed Item I
give and bequeath to the poore of Stretford twentie poundes To the poor of Warrwick five poundes
And to the poore of Alcester five poundes Item I give vnto William White fourtie shillinges which
he oweth me by bond yf he be lyveinge at my decease and the same bonde to be cancelled to Mr.
William Shackspere five poundes and to my Land Lord John Davies 40s, Item I give and bequeath
vnto vnto ffrancis Collines thelder of the borrough of Warrwick tenne poundes of lawfull English
money and to my godsonne John Collens his sonne other tenne poundes of like Lawfull english money
to be paide vnto them within one yeare after my decease and yf either of them die before receipt
of his saide legacie then my will is and soe I devise and bequeath that the survivor of them shall
have his legacie that shall so happen to die and yf the saide ffrauncis and John Collens happen
to die before the time appointed for the paymente of their legacies then my will is and so I devise
and bequeath both their legacies of ten poundes apeece to Suzanna Collens wife of the saide
ffrauncis and to theldeste sonnne of the saide ffrauncis equally betwixt them Item I give and
bequeth to the saide Susanna Collens six poundes thirteene shillinges fower pence of lawfull
English money and to Mr. Henry Walker twentie shillinges Item I giue and bequeath vnto
my servauntes Richard Mason and Audrian Holder yf they be my servauntes at the time of
my decease all my wearinge apparrel not before given excepte that apparrell that was my
vncle William Combes and yf they be not my servauntes then to such personns as my executors
shall appointe Item I give and bequeath to my Cozen Thomas Reynoldes thelder and Margarett
his wife my Teeme of Oxen which I shall have at my decease and yf I then shall have no
Teeme, then I give and bequeath forty markes of lawfull english money and alsoe I give vnto
them the saide Thomas and Margerett my waynes tumbrells ploughs and other thinges
belonginge to a Teeme Item I give and bequeath vnto Sir ffrancis Smith knighte five poundes

[Image 5: fol. 421r]

to buy him a hawke and to the Ladie Anne his wife fourty poundes of lawfull English money to buy
her a bason and Ewer and vnto Mrs. Palmer the wife of John Palmer Esquire xls to buy her a
Ringe Item I give and bequeath to every one of my godchildren before not named five shillinges
apeece Item I give will bequeath and devise to my Cozen Thomas Combe his heires and assignes forever
all my meadowe grounde with the appurtenaunces in Shottery meadowe to the vses intentes and
purposes heareafter herein mencioned that is to saie that he the saide Thomas Combe his heires and
assignes shall yearlie and every yeare for ever paie to a learned preacher twentie shillinges to make a
sermon twice a yeare at Stretford Church aforesaide and also shall and doe yearlie and every yeare
forever one weeke before the ffeaste of the Nativitie of our Lord god give and deliver to such tenne
poore people within the borrough of Stretford vppon Avon aforesaide as shalbe yearlye appointed
and elected by the bayliffe and chiefe Alderman for the time beinge of the saide borrough and two of
the auntientest Aldermen their tenne black gownes every one of them worth thirteene shillinges and
fower pence apeece and yf my saide nephewe Thomas Combe his heires or assignes shall or doe not paie
the saide twentie shillinges yearly to a preacher and give and deliver the saide gownes then my will
is and so I will and devise that it shalbe lawfull to and for the baylife and burgasses of the borrough
of Stretford aforesaide and their successors for the tyme beinge from time to time and at all times
heareafter soe often as the saide twentie shillinges shall not be yearlie paide to a preacher or the
saide gownes or any of them delivered and given as aforesaide accordinge to my will and
meaninge herein mencioned to enter into the saide meadowe grounde and every parte and parcell
thereof and the yssues and profittes thereof to take and out of the yssues and proffittes thereof
to pay give and satisfie the yearlie somme of twentie shillinges soe behinde vnpaide and the
arrearages thereof yf anie be together with the saide gownes as shalbe behynde vndelivered
accordinge to this my will and after the saide meadowe grounde to be to the saide Thomas Combe his
heires and assigns charged as aforesaide Item I give and bequeath to everie one of my good
and iuste debters for every twentie pounde that any man oweth me twentie shilinges and
so after this rate for a greater or lesser debte to be delivered backe vnto them by my Executors
when they pay in there debtes all the restes of my goodes Chattells Leases Creditts and rightes what
soever after my debtes and legacies paide and my funeralles discharged accordinge to my degree
and my will performed which I will and Charge my Executors to doe within one yeare and an
halfe after my decease vppon paine of forfeyture of such legacies of aswell of landes as money
or goodes I have or do herein give and devise vnto them I give and bequeath vnto my saide
nephewe Thomas Combe and I doe make and ordaine the saide Thomas Combe Sir Richard
Verney knighte and Bartholomewe Hales Esquire Executors of this my last will and testamente
and I do give and bequeath to the saide Sir Richard Varney and Bartholomew Hales twenty
poundes apeece of lawfull English money and also I doe nominate and appointe Sir Edward Blunt
knight Sir Henry Rainsford knighte Sir ffrancis Smith knighte and John Palmer of Compton
Esquire to be overseers of this my will vnto whom I give five pounds apeece or vnto every one
of them a silver salte worth five poundes, Item I give to Mrs. Barnes fourty shillinges to buy
her a Ringe and to the Ladie Rainsford fourtie shillinges to buy her a Ringe and my will is and soe
I doe devise that yf anie person whatsoever before named shall dislyke of such legacies as I
have herein devised or bequeathed vnto them and not holde themselves therewith contented
shall lose the same and all the benefitt that they canne any way Claime by this my will and I doe
heareby revoke all former willes by me hearetofore made and do declare and publish this to be
my last will and testamente and have vnto every sheete hereof written my name (signed) John Combe /

Probatum fuit testamentum suprascriptum apud
London coram venerabili viro Magistro Willielmo Bird legum doctore Curie Prerogative Cant’
Magistro Custode sive Comissario legitime constituto decimo die Mensis Novembris Anno domini
Millesimo sexcentesimo decimo quinto Iuramento Thome Combe vnius executorum in eodem testament

[Image 6: fol. 421v]
nominati Cui comissa fuit administracio omnium et singulorum bonorum Iurium et creditorum dicti
defuncti de bene et fideliter administrando eadem ad sancta dei Evangelia Iurat’ Reservata potestate
similem Comissionem faciendi Richardo Verne militi et Bartholomeo Hales armigero executoribus
etiam in dicto testamento nominatis cum venerint eum petitur in debita iuris forma admissar’
      Examinatur

For more on wills in Shakespeare's England, see Alan H. Nelson's essay

Written by Alan H. Nelson

Sources
B. Roland Lewis, The Shakespeare Documents: Facsimiles, Transliterations, Translations and Commentary, vol. 1 (Stanford University, California: Stanford University Press, 1940), 326, 544.

David Thomas, Shakespeare in the Public Records (London: H.M.S.O., 1985), 23.

Last updated March 19, 2018