Monday, February 24, 2020

Amanuensis Monday - 1788 Will of John Richman (1724-1807) of Hilperton, Wiltshire

This week's document is the will and estate papers of John Richman (1724-1807) of Hilperton, Wiltshire, England.  There are three papers in this estate file:

 Image 1 of 3:

 Image 2 of 3:

 Image 3 of 3:
The transcription of the will and papers is:

[image 1 of 3 - the will]

The last will and Testament of me John Richman
of Hilperton in the County of Wilts Blacksmith which I
do make in manner following / that is to say / in the first
place I Do hereby Give and Bequeath unto my loving
wife Mary Richman all and singular my Freehold
and household Estates Whatsoever and wheresoever
Stock in Trade Book Debts and personal Estate whatsoever
which I shall or may die possessed off or untitled
to ??ite and to the use of my Wife Mary and her
Assigns for and During the Term of her natural life.
And from and immediately after my said wife's Death
I Give Devise and Bequeath all and every my
my said Freehold and household Estate Stock
Trade Book Debts and personal Estate whatsoever and
wheresoever and of what nature soever unto my two
Sons William Richman and John Richman To
Hold to them my said sons William and John
Richman their heirs Executors Administrators, and
assigns forever as Tenants in Common and not
as Joint Tenants and there my said wife Mary
together with my said sons William and John
I do hereby make nominate Constitute and appoint
Executrix and Executors of this my last Will and
Testament hereby revoking and making void all
other and former wills by me at any time heretofore
made or given and do declare this to be my last Will
and Testament.  In Witness whereof I the said John
Richman the Testator have hereunto set my hand
and seal this ninth day of January in the year
of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eight
                                         John Richman an? {seal}

Signed sealed published and Declared   }
By the said Testator John Richman of  }
and for his last will & Testament who   }
by his presence and in the presence      }
of each other have hereunto set our       }
names as witnesses hereto                     }
James Burgess
Sarah Burgess                   Jmagg

[image 2 of 3 - Surrogate's statement]

At Sarum on the 2^nd Ap^l 1807              }
W^m Richman the lawful son of the        }
deced & the Surviving Uxor within            }
named  (the other two Exors dying             }
in the Lifetime of the deced) was duly       }
sworn that the Goods Ch??? and Credits   }
of the deced do not amount in value          }
to the Sum of Twenty pounds before       }
                              Edward Moore

[image 3 of 3 - folded document cover]

Dated 9^th Jan^ry 1788

The last will and
Testament of Mr. John
Richman of Hilperton

2^d April 1807
The Will of Jn^o. Richman

This Will was proved at 
Sarum on the 2^nd day of April
1807 before the Rev^d Edw^d Moore
Clk.n: a lawful Surrogate of the
Rev^d & Worshipful the ^Chancellor^
of the Diocese of Sarum
And by him Admin of the 
Effects of the deced and any
ways concerning his Will was
granted to W^m Richman the
Surviving Executor within
named being first duly sworn
of the truth of the said Will
to perform the same and pay
the deceds debts & Legacies &c
and to exhibit a true Inventory
& rend^r a just Acct. when req^d
Sav^? the rights of all Persons.
                                  J. C.

The source citation for this probate record is:

"Wiltshire, England, Wills and Probate, 1530-1858," indexed database with record images, ( : accessed 20 February 2020), P01: Probate records of the Consistory Court of Salisbury > 1807, Ref. No. P1/1807/5 (images 148-150 of 163), John Richman will, written 9 January 1788, proved 2 April 1807.

John Richman (1724-1807) wrote this will on 9 January 1788, but it was proved on 2 April 1807.  He appointed three executors - his wife, Mary, and his two sons William and John Richman.  In 1807, William Richman was the only surviving executor - the wife Marty and son John having died.  It is possible that the testator John Richman died earlier than April 1807 but there is no parish register record of his death or burial.  Mary Richman, the wife of the testator, may be the Mary Richman who was buried in 1802 in Hilperton.  There is also a John Richman who was buried in 1802 but it is not known if that is the son of the testator John Richman.  At the time of the proving of the will, the estate was valued at less than 20 pounds.

Based on my research, I am fairly sure that the testator John Richman was baptized on 12 April 1724 in Hilperton, the son of William Richman (1694-1769) and Elizabeth Sartin (1700-1758).  William Richman's was a blacksmith, and his 1765 will names his son John Richman, blacksmith, and three daughters, and several grandchildren, including John's son's William and John Richman.

The testator John Richman (1724-1807) married Mary Crabb (1724-1802) on 12 August 1756 in Hilperton, Wiltshire, and three had three children:

*  unnamed Richman (1758-????), in parish register baptisms
*  William Richman (1760-????), married 1793 Hannah Picture (1774-????).
*  John Richman (1762-????), perhaps married Jane Child (1767-????) in 1788 in Biddestone, Wiltshire.

My current thinking is that this John Richman is not my ancestor.  My 3rd great-grandfather, John Richan (1789-1867) was born before William Richman (1760-????) was married in 1793.  My John Richman 1789 may be the son of John Richman 1762, but I doubt it.

Finding this will again - I abstracted it in 1993 in the Trowbridge (Wiltshire) County Record Office but did not transcribe it at the time - helped me figure out who some of the John Richmans in Hilperton and surrounding parishes are in a process of elimination of who might be the parents of my John Richman 1789.

Unfortunately, the Hilperton parish registers (available on and bishop's transcripts (available on FamilySearch digital microfilm) are incomplete, and there are few other Hilperton records available.  The parish chest records would likely be invaluable but probably exist only in the St. Michael's and All Angels church records in Hilperton.  In 1993, the church warden, Mr. Potts, had them in his home in Hilperton.


NOTE:  Genea-blogger John Newmark (who writes the excellent  TransylvanianDutch blog) started a Monday blog theme years ago called "Amanuensis Monday."  John offers this definition for "amanuensis:" 

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

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