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The last Will and Testament of
John Silby
26th March 1654

The beginning of John Silby's WillI, John Silby of Desborough in the county of Northampton, yeoman, beinge weake in body but of perfect understanding and memory through God's goodness, I make this my last will and Testament this Twentie Sixt day of March one thousand six hundred Fiftie fower in manner and form following:

Imprimis I commit my Soule to God Expecting Salvation by Jesus Christ alone, And my body to be buried at the discretion of my Executrix

And for all my worldly goods I dispose as followeth:

First I give and bequeath unto William Silby, my eldest Sonne, The house in which I doo now Inhabit with all my lands and Chattles in Desborough to receive the profitts of two parts thereof when he shall come to the full age of one and Twenty years Provided he permit and suffer his Mother to continue the profitts of house Lands and [???] ontill that tyme and att that tyme doe either the plough or pay for the ploughings of her third part for three years afterwards for the better enablinge of her to bringe opp her other Children.

And doe also at the end of those three yeares pay or cause to be paid onto his sister Margery, my Eldest Daughter, The full Summe of Twentie pounds; And to his brother Samuel, my yonngest sonne, Twentie pounds of like lawfull English monyes at the end of the same Term of three years, or otherwise doe convey and assure to him, the said Samuel his brother, that house and appurtenances in which William Midstwold[?] doth now inhabit in leiue of the Twentie pounds to the said Samuell and his heirs for ever.

And My will is that if my Sonne William depart this life before he come to full age that the inheritance be inioyed by his brother Samuell upon the same terms and upon condition he pay and discharge the same legacies which his brother, if he had lived, should have done for the better subsistence of my other Children.

Item I give and bequeath Five Shillings to my Sister Maria to be paid unto her by my Executrix within Tenn dayes after my departure out of this life.

Item I give to the Minister of Desborough Tenne Groates, and to the poore of the said parish Ten Groates, to be paid by my Executrix within Tenn days after my decease.

Item I give and bequeath unto my second Daughter Elizabeth Silby all that house with the two Chambers onto it and all appurtenances in which Henry Tebbuts doth nowe inhabitt to herselfe and heires for ever; onliss she please to take Twentie pounds, and to convey that house and appurtenances to her sister Hester my yonngest daughter for her portion.

Item I give and bequeath onto Hester Silby my yonngest daughter Twentie pounds which my will is that her mother shall pay when she shall bee eyther disposed of in marriage or come to the age of Eighteene yeares

Lastly all other my worldly goods, Cattell and Chattells or disposed I give and bequeath onto my beloved wife Emey Silby who I ordayne, constitute and appoint sole Executrix of this my last Will and Testament, and doe intreat my loving brother Giles Silby of Kettering to bee Overseer of the same

In Witness whereof I have put my hand and seale to these presents the day and yeare above written

My desire is that the Well shall be free to them all, The mark of John Silby.

Memorandum Those words Twentie pounds, which is for Hester Silby's portion was entextyned[?] before the ensealing and delivery[?] of these presents Robte Smith Signed, sealed and delivered in the presents of Richard Lole, Phillipp Mursone[? or Murfont]


This will was proved att London the sixth day of May in the yeare of our Lord God One thousand sixe hundred Fifty and seven before the Judges for probate of Wills and granting Administrations lawfully authorized By the Oath of Emery Silby, the relict and sole Executrix of the said Deceased named in the said will, To whom Administration of all and singular the goods, Chattells and debts of the said Deceased was Committed, Shee being first by Commission Sworne truely to administer the same.


In 1654 the Vicar of Desborough was Richard Hooke, but by 1656 he had transferred to Moulton.

The original will has no punctuation or separate paragraphs. As this makes it hard to read I have inserted some punctuation and broken the text into separate clauses. The spelling follows that of the original.

"[?]" following a word means that the word on the original document is unclear and the transcription may be incorrect.

" [???] " means that a whole word was illegible and could not be guessed at.

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