Monday, October 17, 2011

Amanuensis Monday - The Will of Thomas King (ca1600-1676) of Marlborough, Mass.

Genea-blogger John Newmark (who writes the excellent TransylvanianDutch blog) started a Monday blog theme many months ago called Amanuensis Monday. What does "amanuensis" mean? John offers this definition:

"A person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another."

The subject today is the will of Thomas King (ca 1600-1676) of Marlborough, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, probably born in Dorset, England,.  He married Anne --?-- in about 1624, and they had seven children:  Anna King (1625-1698); Peter King (1628-1704); Mary King (1630-1715); Sarah King (1632-1706); Elizabeth King (1635-1667); Mercy King (1638-1669); Thomas King (1642-1643).  Thomas King married Bridget (Loker) Davis (1613-1685), widow of Robert Davis, on 26 December 1655 in Sudbury, Massachusetts.  They had no children.

The will of Thomas King was dated 12 1st month (March) 1675/6.  The will reads (transcribed from Middlesex County [Mass.] Probate Records, Volume 5, pages 23-25, accessed on FHL Microfilm 0,521,762):

"Marlborow.  12 1 1675.1676: Tho: King.
It having pleased God, to cast mee Thomas King of Marlborough upon the bed of sickness, and being weake, yet in perfect understanding, considering that God by his providence, and Dispensation towards mee at this time, calls for me, to Set my house in order, and to Dispose of the estate, that God in his mercy hath given me, to my beloved wife, children, & relations.

"I give and bequeath unto my beloved wife Bridgett King dureing her life, my dwelling house, barnes, orchards, closes, & Pastures, all that pt of my house lott from the highway on the west end, unto my great Pasture fence, and halfe my meadow called by the name of Pod meadow and halfe my meadow in Angell meadow, with the rights & priviledges belonging thereto.  It is also my will that my beloved wife should injoy peaceably, all the land & meadow called by the name of Cole Hole, lying in Sudbury new grant, and to have it forever to her owne disposing at her owne will & pleasure, further whereas there was an agreement made before mariage of me the said Thomas King & Bridgett my wife, bearing date the 17th of Decembr 1655, Signifieth, that I the said Thomas King should dy first, & leave my wife Bridgett King a widow, that I should leave unto my beloved wife the full sume of fourscore & twelve pounds, and upon the acct of the same, my will is that my deare wife should have foure oxen of mine and three cowes, & a heiffer, & two mares, and a muskett, & an Iron Barr.

"Also I do give & bequeath unto my Sonne Peter King all my lands & meadows undisposed of being in Sudbury, also my Butchers tooles and my fowling peece.

"Also I do give and bequeath unto my son Wm. Kerly, and Anna my daughter my Second Division of land lying in Marlborow, and all my meadow lying in Rocky meadow.

"Also I do give and bequeath unto my sonne Nathaniell Jocelin, & Sarah my daughter, all the rest of my hay lott, being eastward of that which I have given unto my beloved wife and halfe my mead. in Podd mead, and halfe my meadow in Angellico mead, and after my wifes decease to have my now dwelling house & all my house lott, and all my first Division of meadow excepting Rocky meadow.

"Also I do give & bequeath unto Thomas Rice, Jossuah Rice, & Josiah Rice, my 3 grandchildren all my third division of land lying in Marlborow and all my Second division of meadow both land and meadow, to be equally divided between them.

"And also I do give and bequeath unto Anna Carly, Mary Rice, & Sarah Joselin, my 3 daughters, all my household stuffe, wch shall appeare to be mine before mariage of my wife Bridgett King, and all the rest of of my household goods, it is my will my wife Bridgett King should have it, upon the acct of the fourscore & twelve pounds.

"Further I Thomas King have made my Sonne Peter King Executor of this my last will & testamt.  Further I do give & bequeath unto my Sonne Peter King & my sonne Jno Brigham my two horses that are in the woods to be equally divided between them.  Also before Richard Nuton & Jno Maynard I Thomas King do acknowledge this to be my last will & testamt, as witness my hand,
......................................................................................... Thomas King

"This signed in the prsence of 
Richard Nuton his mark
Jno Maynard"

Thomas King added a codicil to his will on 15 March 1675/6:

"The 15th day of the first mo 1676."
"This is an addition to this my Will that ye money I have wch amounts to the Sume of foure pounds or thereabts and this money besides wh is expended on my buryall, I do freely give & bequeath it unto my beloved wife Bridgett King, or forty shillings of the above Specifyed Summe of money.

"And further it is my Will & order that my beloved wife Bridgett King Should have her fourscore & twelve pounds, as will appear by an agreement before our marriage, and if that that is before mentioned in this my will, upon the account of making up that Sume, be not enough, it shall be made up to her, out of my propper estate, as corne & provisions, & other things undisposed of.  And the rest I give & bequeath unto my Sonne Peter King, Executor of this my last will & testamt, and this I Thomas King do owne to be my will, as an adition to the Same, as witness my hand
..................................................................................... Thomas King (his mark)"

Richard Newton his marke
Jno. Maynard"

Note that the three grandchildren mentioned in his will were the eldest sons of Mercy (King) Rice, Mary (King) Rice, and Elizabeth (King) Rice.  Mercy and Elizabeth died before their father.

An inventory of Thomas King's estate was made by Deacon Wm. Ward and Lt. Rudduck on 24 March 1676, and amounted to 383 pounds, six shillings.  The houses and lands in Marlborough were apprised at 200 pounds, and the lands in Sudbury at 60 pounds.

The will and the inventory were accepted by the Court on 20 June 1676 (Middlesex County [Mass.] Probate Records, Volume 5, pages 27-8, accessed on FHL Microfilm 0,521,762).

My ancestry is through two daughters of Thomas and Anne (--?--) King - Mary King who married Thomas Rice, and Elizabeth King, who married Samuel Rice.


Geolover said...

Randy, those pre-1752 dating items take thinking to 'translate' for most of us. In this case, perhaps you needed another minute of thought.

"12 1st mo." could not be "12 March" because March 25 was the end of the year. So it was 12 April, wasn't it?

Randy Seaver said...


I understand what you're saying, and it is logical. However, my understanding is that March was considered the firstm onth even tohugh the new year did not start on 25 March.

I recall that September was the 7th month, October the 8th, etc. That makes February the 12th month and therefore March is the first month. I think that's why records for March usually provide the two years in question, in this case 12 day 1st month 1675.1676.

Geolover said...

Ah, Randy, it was I who needed a good deal more than a minute's thought. March was indeed considered the 'first month' even though the year did not begin until the 25th March.

This somehow never sticks in my brain for long. I will have to bookmark an explanatory site on this particular issue!