John Denchfield was the son of Mathew Denchfield, whose own will is transcribed HERE…. John was born 30 November 1639, and at the age of 19 was, as we know from his father’s will, engaged in an apprenticeship, which most likely involved the iron trade, as John made his living as an iremonger.*
Although there is no record of a marriage in any of the existing Buckinghamshire parish registers, it appears John was married at least twice: first to Parnell, with whom he had seven children, and then to Audrey who is named in his will.
Here is the transcription of John’s (rather long-winded) will, made 18 June 1689. It was proved in November of the same year. It’s a lot to digest….I’ll be back later in the week with an abstract and some thoughts on what this document reveals about the Denchfield clan.
In the Name of God Amen I John Denchfield of North Marston in the Countie of Bucks Iremonger being sickly and indisposed in body But of good and sound memory apprehencon and understandinge (blessed be God therefore) being willinge soe to settle and dispose of that estate and those things wch God of his mercy hath sent and intrusted me wth all in this [paper is torn here] noe trouble or difference maybe about them after my decease Doe make and ordaine this my last will and testament in manner and forme followinge (that is to say) First and principally I [torn but might say commend] my Soule to Almighty God that gave it and my body to the earth to be decently interred by my Execr named hereafter and waiting for a joyfull resurrecton att the last day when I firmely hope and beleeve that my body and soule shall be reunited and raised in glory for ever to be in Blisse with Almighty God through the only meritts and mediacon of my blessed Lord and Redeemer Jesus Christ To whome wth god the Father and god the Holy–Gost three persons one eternall God be all honor and glory now and forever. Item I give and bequeath unto my welbeloved wife Audrey (she being otherwise well provided for) One paire of Flaxen sheets and one iron pottage pott and three months dyett Lodginge and washinge gratis att my Executors proper charge in my house wherein I now dwell in North Marston aforesaid, Item I give and bequeath unto my daughter Parnell the wife of John Stevens (she having had a good portion in marriage from me already) the sume of twenty shillings To be paid unto her by my Execr wthin six months next after my decease Item I give and bequeath unto my grandchild and god sonne Ralph Stevens sonne of the said John Stevens and my said Daughter Parnell the sume of twenty shillings To be paid by my Execr unto his said mother Parnell for his use wthin six months next after my decease Item I give will and bequeath unto my sonne John Denchfield his Execrs Adminrs and Assignes the rents issues and profitts of my house malthouse close of pasture thereunto adioyning or lying neare and belonging, wth all Comons Backsides orchards buildings and appurenncs thereunto apportoyninge in Quaynton in the said County of Bucks wth Full power[?le] and authority to lett sell and dispose of the sayd house and premisses until my sonne Richard Denchfield shall atteyne his age of one and twenty yeares and noe longer, The better to enable him to pay my debts and the Legacyes charged upon him by this my will, Item my will and mind is and I doe hereby order and declare That my sayd oldest sonne John Denchfield [a crossed out word] his Execrs Adminrs or assignes shall yearly and every yeare pay or cause to be paid unto my said sonne Richard Denchfield his brother the sume of forty shillings per annum to be paid att Michaelmas and Lady day every yeare by equall porcons untill my said sonne Richard shall atteyne his full age of one and twenty years The first payment to be made upon the next of the said twoe dayes of payment above lymitted wch shall happen after my decease Item I give will devise and bequeath unto my said sonne Richard Denchfield and to his hres and assignes Forever All that my said messuage cottage or tenement wth malthouse outhouses yards orchards gardens comons and appurtenncs thereunto belonginge And all that[?] or little close of pasture ground wth the appurtenncs adioyning or lying neare to the said cottage or tenement and therewth hold and enioyned and belonging thereunto lying and being in Queynton abovesaid in the said County of Bucks when he the sayd Richard Denchfield my sonne shall atteyne his full age of one and twenty years then to enter and enioy it and not before but, my said sonne John shall hold and enioy the same till then to his owne use and beheefe[?] as is about specifyed To the ends and purposed above declared upon condicon neverthelesse That my said sonne Richard Denchfield his hres execrs Admrs or assignes shall and doe wthin one month next after he shall atteyne his said age of one and twenty years pay or cause to be payd unto my daughter Mary Denchfield (or to her Execrs or Admrs if she be dead or shall be marryed before that tyme) the sume of Five and thirty pounds of lawfull English mony wch sayd sume of five and thirty pounds I doe by this my will give and bequeath unto the said Mary Denchfield to be paid in manner abovesaid wth the burton[?] and payment whereof I doe hereby charge my sayd messuage cottage or tenement malthouse close comons premises and appurtenncs in Queyton abovesayd given as abovesaid unto my sayd sonne Richd Denchfield And in case my sayd sonne Richard Denchfield shall neglect or refuse to pay my said daughter Mary Denchfield (or to her Execrs or Admrs in case she be dead and marryed) the sayd sume of five and thirty pounds according to the tener[?] and effort of this my will Then my mind and will is I doe hereby declare That it shall and may be lawfull to and for my sayd daughter Mary Denchfield, her Execrs or Admrs in case she be dead and marryed To enter uppon recover possesse hold and enioy to her and [Heir?] owne use and beheefe The said house cottage tenement malthouse close comons appurtenncs and premises in Queyton abovesayd given as abovesaid unto my sayd sonne Richd Denchfield untill she the sayd Mary Denchfield (or her Execrs or Admrs if she be dead and marryed) shall be satisfyed and payd the sayd five and thirty pounds And my will and meaning is and I doe soe hereby declare That in case my sayd sonne Richard Denchfield shall dye before he shall atteyne his sd age of one and twenty years by means whereof the sayd house close malthouse and premisses wth the appurtenncs in Queyton abovesd shall fall to my sonne John Denchfield or his hres Then my will and mind is and I doe hereby declare that my sayd sonne John Denchfield his hres or assignes shall pay or cause to be pd unto the sayd Mary Denchfield my daughter (or to her Execrs or Admrs if she be dead and marryd) the sayd sume of Five and thirty pounds wthin three months next after the decease of the sayd Richd Denchfield and upon fayler of payment thereof she or they may and shall enter uppon and enioy the sd house close malthouse and premisses in Queinton abovesd wth the appurtenncs in like manner as if the sayd Richard Denchfield had lived and made fayler of payment thereof as above is hereby specifyed and declared Anything herein conteyned to the contrary thereof in anywise not withstandinge And my will and mind further is and I doe hereby declare That in case my sayd sonne John denchfield his heirs Execrs or Admrs shall neglect or refuse to pay or cause to be payd unto my sayd sonne Richd Denchfield the sayd sume of forty shillings a yeare att such dayes and by such porcons as the same is above lymitted and appoynted to be pd unto him by this my will during his minority untill he shall atteyne his age of one and twenty years By the space of six weeks next after one or either of the dayes of payment thereof above mentioned Then and from thenceforth it shall and may be lawfull to and for the sayd Richard Denchfield my sonne to enter into and upon the sayd cottage close and premisses wth the appurtenncs in queinton abovesayd soe given & bequeathed unto him ad abovesayd by this my Will and the same to have hold and enioy to him and his hres forever imeadiately after such neglect or fayler of payment as aforesayd Anything herein to the contrary notwthstandinge Item I give and bequeath unto my daughter Martha Denchfield one bedstead and all the blancketts Coverletts beddinge ruggs and utensells belonginge to it standing and being in the chamber over the hall in the house wherein I now dwell in North Marston aforesayd. She the sayd Martha to choose wch bedstead beddinge ruggs Coverletts and utensills belonginge to it she will have and to take and enioy it accordingly. Item I give and bequeath unto my sd daughter Martha Denchfield a little deale table wth a drawer under it, one paire of Callico sheets, one Callico sideboard Cloath & twoe napkins Item I give and bequeath unto my sayd Daughter Martha Denchfield the sume of three and fortie pounds of lawfull mony of England To be paid to her the sayd Martha (or to her Execrs or Admrs if she shall be dead and marryd before she dye) by my Executor when my sayd sonne John Denchfield shall atteyne the age of one and twenty years or upon the day of the death of the sayd Richd my sonne wch shall first happen Item I give and bequeath unto my sayd daughter Mary Denchfield all my goods chattells household she[ ?en? something illegible] now standing being and remayninge in and about my sayd house in Quainton wherein she now lives (Except my stock of malt, ready mony in the house or in her the sayd Maryes custody or possession and all wares in the house shopp wch I give to my Execr hereafter named) And alsoe Except as aforesayd the Fatt, Mill, measures, hayre, and all other utensells belonging to the maltinge trade and one ioyned bedstead standing in the Chamber over the hall Wch I hereby will direct and require shall be left and continued as standards in and about my sayd house and malthouse in Queinton abovesayd untill my sd sonne Richd Denchfield shall enioy the sd house and then the sayd excepted standard goods to be my sonne Richards forever, But if he dye before he is to have the sd house then the sayd excepted standard goods to be my Execrs forever, Item I give will and bequeath unto my sayd sonne John Denchfield and to his hres and assignes forever my house cottage or tenement wherein I live in North Marston aforesayd wth the malthouse barnes stables comons rights and appuertenncs thereto belonginge And my house orchards gardens yards buildings and backsides wth the appuertenncs in Ovinge in the sayd County of Bucks wch I purchased of Mr. Arthur Claver (upon Conditon that he my sayd sonne John Denchfield doe pay all my debts and the Legacyes wch he is to pay according to tener and direccon of this my last will and testament, For the payment whereof I doe by this my will oblige and engage my sayd last twoe mentoned houses in Ovinge and North Marston aforesayd wth the appurtenncs I doe hereby revoke and make voyd all former and other will and wills by me att any tyme heretofore made either by word of mouth or in writinge and doe sollemnly declare this to be my very last will & testament And I doe hereby nominate declare constitute ordayne and appoynt my sayd eldest sonne John Denchfield my whole and sole Executor of this my Last will and Testament to all intents and purposes I doe nominate declare and appoynt my Lovinge brothers Richard Denchfield and Matthew Denchfield to be Overseers of the same desiring them to be aiding and assistinge to my sayd Executer in the due execucon of his executorship and the performinge and fulfilling of this my will soe farr as it concerns him And for their paynes & as a testimoniall of my love to them and confidence in their friendship & integrity I give unto them tenn shillings a peece to be pd them by my Execr wthin one month next after my decease All the rest of my goods and chattells unbeqeathed I give to my sayd sonne & Execr John Denchfield In witness whereof I have to this my last will and testament putt my hand and seale Dated the eighteenth day of June In the yeare of our Lord (Attending to the computacon now used in England) one Thousand six hundred Eightie and nine.
Signed sealed published and declared by the above named John Denchfield to be his very last Will and Testament in the presence of us.
The mark of
Arth: Claver noEy pubb:
Source: England, Buckinghamshire, North Marston, will book, John Denchfield, 1689 (citing DAWf/54/266); Centre for Buckinghamshire Studies (BCC), Aylesbury Bucks. Photocopy of clerk’s copy held by author.
iremonger: (variation of ironmonger) maker or seller of metal gadgets and tools for domestic use. Originally used to mean brass or tin artisans, it evolved into more of a term for a hardware store retailer.
deale: constructed of pine or fir wood
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