Simon's Family History

The Last Will and Testament
of John Curtis  -  1799

 

In the name of God Amen I John Curtis of Fobbing in the County of Essex Yeoman being of sound memory and understanding do make this my Last Will and Testament in manner following (that is to say) first and principally I commend my soul to God who gave it hoping through the merits of my blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ to receive remission of all my sins and my body I commit to the earth desiring to be decently interred in the Church yard of West Thurrock and in the next place I order and direct that my just debts the expenses of my funeral and proving this my Will and all other expenses that may attend the execution thereof be fully paid and satisfied

I do also by this my last Will and Testament resign and give up all my right property claim and demand of whatsoever nature or kind I might or could have had or demanded from or on the farm or farms or other the premises late in the occupation of my son William Curtis deceased situate at West Thorock (Thurrock) aforesaid held under Sir James Winter late to my daughter in law Sarah Curtis widow of my late son William Curtis aforesaid in trust to and for the equal use and benefit of the children of my late son William Curtis aforesaid on condition

That my said daughter in law Sarah Curtis pay or cause to be paid from and out of the estate and effects of my late son William Curtis aforesaid the sum of three hundred pounds of good and lawful money of Great Britain unto my daughter Ann Spitty to and for her own use and benefit and not to be subject to the debts power intermeddling or control of her present husband John Spitty or any future husband she may happen to marry and her receipt whether sole or covert to be sufficient discharge for the same which sum of three hundred pounds as aforesaid it is my will and desire that the same may be paid to my said daughter Ann Spitty within three months after my decease

And further on condition that my said daughter in law Sarah Curtis lay out or cause to be laid out from and out of the estate and effects of my late son William Curtis aforesaid within six months after my decease the further sum of five hundred pounds to be invested in some of the public funds and placed in the name of my wife Sarah Curtis in trust for the use and benefit of Thomas Curtis Creed the supposed natural child of my late son Thomas Curtis deceased until he arrives at the age of twenty four years and on his attaining that age I give and bequeath the said sum of five hundred pounds unto him the said Thomas Curtis Creed and it is also my Will that the said Thomas Curtis Creed shall be intitled to and paid the interest of the aforesaid sum of five hundred pounds as it shall become due and payable from the time the same sum is so laid out and invested as aforesaid until he shall attain the age of twenty four years for his sole use

I also give and devise and bequeath unto my wife Sarah Curtis all that tenement customary with an orchard heriotable with the appurtenances in Fobbing held of the Manor of Fobbing with Stanford-le-hope being part of the premises I purchased of Jeremiah Kesterman (Kerstenan) to hold to her my said wife in trust in the first place by and out of the rents issues and profits thereof to keep the same in repair and after to apply the rest residue and remainder of the issues and profits thereof for the sole use and benefit of the aforesaid Thomas Curtis Creed until he has attained the age of twenty four years and on his attaining that age I give and bequeath the said cottage and orchard unto him the said Thomas Curtis Creed his heirs and assigns forever provided always that if the said Thomas Curtis Creed shall depart this life before he attains the age of twenty four years without having lawful issue of his body then I give and bequeath the said cottage and orchard unto my said wife Sarah Curtis to hold to her my said wife Sarah Curtis her heirs and assigns forever

I also give devise and bequeath unto my wife Sarah Curtis the sum of eight hundred pounds joint stock of Old South Sea Annuities now standing in my name in trust to and for the sole use and benefit of my son John Gurnett Curtis if living at the time of my decease if not then living I give and bequeath the said eight hundred pounds Old South Sea Annuities as aforesaid to my wife Sarah Curtis in trust for the use and benefit of my son George Curtis and my daughter Charlotte Curtis equally share and share alike

And I further give devise and bequeath unto my said wife Sarah Curtis all that freehold fresh and salt marsh containing about one hundred and sixty acres be the same more or less commonly called or known by the name of Narswick Marsh or by whatsoever name or names the same is called or known with the appurtenances together with all houses barns stables and buildings thereupon erected situate lying and being in or near Fobbing in the County of Essex all which premises I purchased of William Hornby esquire and Martha his wife and also all the stock both live and dead and crop growing thereon and other things that may be standing growing and being thereon at the time of my decease and on those several parcels of freehold land some time three parcels situate lying and being in Fobbing aforesaid commonly called or known by the name of Stonyhills or by whatsoever name or names the same are called or known containing by estimation eleven acres be the same more or less and also a barn thereupon built

and also all that my copyhold customary messuage or tenement with the appurtenances heretofore demolished but since rebuilt and one croft of land called Rogers (Rogers Croft) containing by estimation two acres and a half and also all that other parcel of land called Sprats (Sprots) heriotable situate and being in Fobbing aforesaid held of the Manor of Fobbing with Stanford-le-hope which copyhold I have surrendered to the use of my Will

and also that other parcel of land called the Hoppit situate standing and being in Fobbing aforesaid which last mentioned freehold and copyhold estates purchased of Ruth Unwin Widow and all and every the barns stables houses outhouses buildings gardens orchards closes yards and all and every the ways waters commons commodities rights members and appurtenances whatsoever to the said last mentioned freehold and copyhold premises belonging or in any wise appertaining and also all the household goods furniture and whatever else may be in my said house at Fobbing together with all the crop growing on the said land and stock and utensils of farming of every sort that may be thereon at the time of my decease

and also all that customary tenement called Prowdes and nine acres and a half of land customary and heriotable lying in three parcels and one parcel of salt marsh called Prowdes containing by estimation six acres held of the Manor of Fobbing with Stanford-le-hope which copyhold I have surrendered to the use of my Will and one croft of customary land heriotable containing by estimation four acres called Knights part of the premises I purchased of Jeremiah Kesterman (Kerstenan)

and also all that messuage or tenement and one croft piece or parcel of land meadow or pasture ground situate lying or being in the Parish of Corringham in the said County of Essex containing by estimation four acres be the same more or less now in the occupation of (blank) his undertenants or assigns abutting upon the lands late of Peter Cassell north and north east upon the lands now or late of the Lord of the Manor there west and upon the Kings highway leading from Corringham Cross to Fobbing south east and all and every the barns stables houses outhouses buildings gardens orchards closes yards and all and every the ways waters commons commodities easements and appurtenances whatsoever to the said last mentioned messuage or tenement lands and premises belonging or in any wise appertaining or now or at any time heretofore had used or enjoyed therewith as part parcel or member thereof all which last mentioned premises (St.John's Forge1) I purchased of Phebe Price  of Billericay In the said County of Essex Spinster together with all the stock crop and things that shall be standing growing or being in the said messuage or on the said land at the time of my decease

and also all that my freehold messuage or tenement situate standing and being at West Thorock (Thurrock) in the County of Essex aforesaid now in the tenure or occupation of Richard Smith called or known by the name or sign of the Fox and Goose and a close or piece of garden ground containing by estimation one acre and a half adjoining to the said messuage or tenement

and also all that messuage or tenement situate standing and being at West Thorock (Thurrock) aforesaid formerly called or known by the name or sign of the Old Boars Head and also one piece or parcel of arable land or garden ground adjoining to the last mentioned messuage or tenement containing two acres also three other gardens containing about thirty five poles and also all that cottage or tenement situate and being at West Thorock (Thurrock) aforesaid late in the tenure of (blank) Unwin or his assigns together with all the houses outhouses buildings barns stables yards gardens orchards ways paths and passages to the said last three mentioned messuages or tenements belonging which I purchased of Sarah Brown Widow

and also all that freehold estate consisting of a house and nine acres of land be the same more or less situate in the Parish of Corringham in the County of Essex which is now in the tenure or occupation of William Dentry as tenant thereof

to hold all the said before mentioned premises situate lying and being in Fobbing Corringham and West Thorock (Thurrock) in the said County of Essex together with all the rest residue and remainder of my estate and effects of whatsoever nature or kind and wheresoever found to belonging not hereinbefore disposed of to her my said wife Sarah Curtis for and during the term of her natural life in trust for the sole use and benefit of my son George Curtis and my daughter Charlotte Curtis desiring that she will out of the rents issues and profits thereof take care to bring up my said children and to have them clothed and educated in proportion to the value or income of the said estates by this my Will given and bequeathed to her aforesaid and from and after the decease of my said wife Sarah Curtis I give and bequeath all my estates as hereinbefore mentioned and expressed together with all and every part and parcel thereof and all other my effects of whatsoever nature or kind not hereinbefore disposed of unto my son George Curtis and my daughter Charlotte Curtis to be divided between them equally share and share alike

and in the case that my said wife Sarah Curtis shall marry again I then give and bequeath unto her my said wife Sarah Curtis the sum of fifty pounds of good and lawful money of Great Britain to be paid her yearly and every year during the term of her natural life by two half yearly payments out of my estate and effects and all the rest residue and remainder of my estate and effects to come to an be equally divided between my children George Curtis and Charlotte Curtis in manner as aforesaid

And lastly I do hereby nominate constitute and appoint my said wife Sarah Curtis sole executrix of this my Last Will and Testament and Mr Samuel Robinson of Runwell in the County of Essex Yeoman as nominal executor to aid and assist my said wife in the execution of this my Last Will and Testament hereby revoking all and every other former Will or Wills by me at any time heretofore made and declaring this to be my Last Will and Testament

In witness I have to the same contained in three sheets of paper set my hand and seal Viz. My hand by making my mark at the bottom of the two preceeding sheets to this last my mark and affixing my seal to the place where the said three sheets are severally connected together the fifteenth day of December one thousand seven hundred and ninety eight
John Curtis O his mark

Signed sealed published and declared by the said testator John Curtis as and for his Last Will and Testament in the presence of us who at his request in his presence and in the presence of each other have subscribed our names as witnesses hereto
Peter Amos, William Rust, Jno Horncastle

This Will was proved at London the third day of October in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety nine before the Worshipful Samuel Pearce Parson Doctor of Laws Surrogate of the Right Honourable Sir William Wynne Knight Doctor of Laws Master Keeper or Commissary of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury lawfully constituted by the oath of Sarah Curtis Widow and relict of the deceased and sole executrix named in the said Will to whom administration was granted of all and singular the goods chattels and credits of the said deceased having been first sworn duly to administer.


1 This property identified as St. John's was bought by John Curtis from Miss Phoebe Price in 1787.

'St. John's and the Forge' also known as 'The Duke's Head'.
   The Duke's Head off licence recently known as the Old Cellar in Fobbing Road (now empty 1986) was originally built as a Public House by Messrs Seabrooke's of Grays in the late 1800's. Originally known as St. John's and described variously :-
   - Manor Court Roll 1597 :- a croft called St. John's croft, about 2 acres and common of pasture for sheep, the rent of 6s. 9d. per annum, also for St. John's croft 21/2 acres 3s. 10d. per annum and a messuage, a curtilage, a garden, an orchard and a croft of land 2 acres by estimation called St. John's House 2. 2d. p.a..
   - 1695 - one croft of meadow or pasture four acres (some of the property evidently been sold) in the possession of John Robinson blacksmith.
   - Deed 1820 - one messuage or tenement and one croft piece, meadow or pasture four acres known as St. John's.
  Source - ref. pg 71 'The Corringham Chronicle' by J.K. Payne.


PCC will (Prerogative Court of Canterbury) 1799 CURTIS, John, Essex : PROB 11/1331
Acknowledgement to the
The National Archives

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