The two wills copied out below were taken from type written sheets of loose paper that were under the name Bryan in the box of loose manuscripts, papers, etc. that are in the library of the Society of Genealogists in London. They were photocopied by Eardley Bryan and then copied onto disk at a later date (28 Apr 1991). I do not know if either of them have any connection with us, but they are interesting to read anyway!

Abstract of the Latin Will of Thomas Bryan, Knight.

(In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, the Blessed Mary, Mother of Jesus Christ and St. Anne with Ss. Christopher and George) Justice of the King's Bench and unworthy liegeman of the Catholic Bench of Faith, sound in mind and memory, dated 7 Feb 1495.

Soul to God my Creator and Saviour.

Body to be buried in the church of the religious men of Ashringe if it happens that I die within 20 miles, and if there I leave to the Rector and Bretheren for my funeral exequies and other obsequies, to celebrate according to their œ20. and if beyond 20 milestones thence, where it seems good to my executors, without needless pomp, and without illicit profit and overcharge. Whatsoever is distributed in great works of charity shall be by discretion of Doctors of Divinity of good life 40 marks to such parsons places and the like as may serve my soul and like perils and penalties. To Thomas Brian my son and Margaret his wife all lands rents and services to them and their heirs lawfully begotten between them and if they have no such issue to Elizabeth and ultimate remainder to my right heirs.

Reasonable reward for 1000 masses by friars and others at the discretion of my executors.

To the High Altar of St. Andrew in Holborn London for tithes these not fully paid in the times of Masters Worthyngton and Grene and others 40s. and the like to the High Altar of the church of Masseworthe in the times of William and Thomas Paulyer 40s. and the like to the High Altar of St. Sepulchre London in the times of Masters Dalton, Welles and Broun and others 100s.

To each house of Friars in the City of London 20s.

Bread and drink to the prisoners of Newgate, Ludgate Flete King's Bench and Mariscale. œ5 between them according to the rate of prisoners.

To Elizabeth my dau. 12 silver spoons which I had in past left me by Lady Otteley and œ10 relief for the appropriation by her will thence made.

To Joan my bastard dau. late wife of Thomas Clement 40s. and anually after my obit 40. out of all my lands.

To Anne Dilcock dau. of the said Elizabeth œ10 towards her marriage.

To Lady Katherine Ottley late wife of Bartholomew Seman of London 100 marks if so much remain.

From my goods I leave to the parish churches of Everton, Heyton and Clareborough-next-Retforde co Notts œ4 equally to be divided between them.

A priest to be found to sat Mass and other obsequies for mt soul and souls of my parents for 20 years after my death.

To emend the church of Masseworth and especially the image of the most glorious Virgin Mary œ10.

To the servants to whom nothing is left by will 20 marks.

I leave to Thomas Bryan my son and Margaret his wife 1040 marks according to agreement and promises made to my Lord the Earl of Surrey and Lady Elizabeth his wife upon the marriage articles of Thomas and Margaret. The Residue to the same Thomas and Margaret and I make them executors. Sealed the day and year above said.

Wit. Master Richard Baker, Clerk, Thomas Betonson, Chaplain, Christopher Michell, Chaplain, Henry Hede, Iremonger, Robert Serle, brewer.

Thomas! Thomas my son, Thomas I ask and require you as bound by filial love for my soul and you my beloved Margaret his wife I beg your help. Farewell.


Proved 11 Dec 1500 by Wm Swayne lawful proxy of Thomas.

P.C.C 13 Moone.




Richard Bryan - dated 1558.

1558. T. Ric. bryan de Stoke 18 Janua. In the name of God

Amen. In the yere of our Lord god MDLviij the xiiii day of November.

I Ric Bryan of Stoke co. Leicester within the Diocese of Lincoln being

sick in body but of whole and pfyte mynde and meori etc.

My soul to God Almighty my creator and my body to be buried in

the churchyard of St. Margaret in Stoke. To the mother church of

lyncolne iiijd.

To my son Robert bryan my greatest pot & my greatest pan and an

other mydling pot &c. I will that my wyfe shall make to the said

Robart a Russett Jacket with sleeves and another without sleeves and a

payre of hoose. To my wyfe Agnes bryan the tacke of my house for the

space of vij yeres next following the feast of Seynt mychael

tharchangel last past. Also my teme carte ploes tec. so that at the

same yeres end she shall deliver to my sayd son Robart the sayd tacke

teme &c. Also half the crop of the lase of sevn yeares. To my son

John bryan for the wch his mother my wyfe shall delyver to hym when

she shall think best for her yese and hys pffet. To my servant Johan

a payre of sheets &c. My will ys Robart pallet shall have the house

wch he dwelleth in fvye yeres from Michaelmas last if he cannot place

himself better else.

The residue of my goods &c. I give to my wyfe Agnes bryan whom

I make sole & lawful executrix to dispose & divide same for the

health of my soul. I make Elyce Smyth of Stoke & Robart pallet of

the same Supervisors. Wytnes the same Elyce & Robart wt other.

Inventory of goods &c. of the said Ric. ryan late of Stoke in

the Diocese of lyncolne praysed the ix day of Dec. by John bebe,

Elyce Wykes Elyce Smith & Robart Pallett Anno Dni 1558. Amount with

debts the whole sum is œix xviij d.

This will formed the subject of Chancery Proceedings in

1568. Agnes his wife died in 1565 (see Adm. bond of that

date, in which the suffix 'Golding' is added to the place

name - the first instance yet discovered.


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