1666 Will of John Kendall (alias Mills)

1666 Will of John Kendall (alias Mills)

Written: 27 Aug 1666[1]

Proved: PCC London 28 Nov 1666

TNA ref: PROB 11/322/397

Verbatim transcript by Celia Renshaw, 7 Aug 2023, from image online at Ancestry


In the Name of God Amen The Twenty Seaventh day of August One Thousand Six hundred Sixty-Six in the Eighteenth yeare of the Raigne of our Soveraigne Lord Charles by the grace of God King of England Scotland &c, I John Kendall of Newport Pagnell in the County of Bucks Carpenter being in perfect memory and remembrance praised bee God doe make and ordaine this my last Will and Testament in manner and forme following.

First I give and bequeath my Soule to Almighty God my maker hopeing in the merritts and pasion of our Savior Jesus Christ to deserve the pardon and forgivenese of all my Sins. As for my Body to bee disposed and buried at the discretion of my Executor hereafter nominated.

Item I give unto my wife Martha Kendall the house now in the tenancy or occupation of Edward Sibly for the terme of her life and after her decease to returne to my Sonne John Kendall and to his heires for ever.

Item I give unto my wife Martha Kendalle the summe of Thirty pounds of lawfull money of England to bee paid to her by my Sonn John Kendalle within two yeares next insuing the date hereof.

Item I give to my Sonne John Kendall One Featherbedd one Bedstead standing in the other house, two paire of Sheets, One great Flagon one litell Flagon one Winchester quarte One Coverlid & one Blanket one posnit? two porige potts One Bolster one pillow one Bason two kettles three platters one Candlesticke two Chests two tables two Cuberds with my wearing Aparell.

Item I give unto my wife Martha Kendalle all the rest of my householde goods.

Item all the rest of my Leases Lands Tenements and houses whatsoever I give unto my Sonn John Kendalle and his heires for ever upon Condition hee shall pay my Debts and Legacyes and make him sole Executor of this my last will and Testament revoking all other wills and Testaments whatsoever in memorandum. But if my said Sonn John shall die then the next heire shall paie unto my Brother Thomas Wheatlyes Children Twenty pounds of lawfull money of England to bee divided betwixt them but if my said Sonn John Kendall shall live it shall not bee paid to them.

In witnes whereof I have hereunto sett my hand and Seale the day and yeare above written.

Signed/sealed: The marke of John Kendalle

Sealed and delivered in the p’sence of David Cunningham, the marke of Edward Kendalle.

I John Kendalle of Newport Pagnell Carpindere doe desire that my Brother Richard Kendalle of Enfield Carpindere and Thomas Kendalle of Newport Pagnell Butcher to bee my Overseers of this my last Will and Testament.

Probate (in Latin): Vicesimo Octavo Die Mensis Novemberis Anno Dmi Millesimo Sexientesimo? Sexagessimo Sexto Eman—int? Commission Rich’ Kendalle et Willmo Bristoe Guaribus? legitime Assignat’ John Kendall filio et executori in Testamento Johis Kendall nuper de Newport Pagnell in Com’ Bucks defunct ?-entis et ad Administrand’ bona iura et Credita Dicti defunct duranc minori aetate et ad usum  prefat Executoris iuxta tenere et effectum Testamenti ipsius defunct? de bene et fieliter administrand’ eadem Ad Sancta Dei Evangelia – – – – Jurat ext.

My best attempt at translation: On the 28 day of November in the year of our Lord 1666 (was granted to?) by Commission, Richard Kendalle and William Bristoe legal guardians/carers? assigned by John Kendall son and executor named in the Testament of John Kendall who lived in Newport Pagnell, county Bucks deceased to administer the goods and credits of the said deceased during the minority and for the uses of the said Executor justly to hold and effect the Testament of the said deceased well and faithfully administering the same by (God and his Angels?) Sworn etc.

In the right-hand margin next to the probate clause are 12 lines of blurry Latin with the end of lines lost at the edge of the page which are very hard to read. However, after reading the contents of the 1670 Chancery Case that John took out against his uncle Richard Kendall alias Mills in 1670, the blurry text can be read properly, as confirmation that, once he reached his majority of 21 years, John as his father’s named executor, gained full administration of the Will’s probate.

The date of 8 of January 1670 is visible.

John’s submission in the Chancery case is dated 1st October 1670,

and the answer of Richard, William & Martha is dated 11 Feb 1670/1.


Celia has done her usual amazing job of transcribing a difficult document to read in English and Latin. This will was most likely dictated by John when his demise became inevitable. His burial three days later is a clear indication he was not physically well and was likely another victim of the Great Plague that swept through Newport Pagnell in 1666. The property he gave his wife Martha was for her use during her lifetime and was intended to go to his son, John (who we have dubbed John Jr. to distinguish him from his father) after Martha’s death, and then to John Jr.’s heirs. In 1666, the parcel was occupied by tenant Edward Sibley/Sibly. 

John Jr. was also to receive, “… all the rest of my Leases Lands Tenements and houses…” on the condition he pay all the debts and legacies of his father. This is an interesting phrase because prior to this time the deeds for land or property owned by the Kendall als Mills family, dated 1629/30, 1654, and 1666, specify only one plot or building on the North Bridge in Newport Pagnell. This is the first indication John Sr. had other property, which unfortunately is not described in any detail. Without additional documentation for the other property, it’s impossible to say where it was located, and if it was even in Newport Pagnell.

John Jr. was made sole executor of his father’s estate. Household goods were to be divided between him and his stepmother, Martha, who was also to receive £30 within two years. Thomas Wheatley’s children, who were bequeathed money if John Jr. didn’t survive, were John Sr.’s nieces and nephews, the children of his brother-in-law, Thomas (W)heatley, and his sister, Mary. 

John Sr.’s brother, Richard, and a Thomas Kendall who was likely a relative in Newport Pagnell, were named as overseers. At this point, John Jr. was still a teenager which did not preclude him being designated as executor, but was a heavy responsibility for someone that young. The witnesses were David Cunningham and Edward Kendall, who may also have been related.

The Latin section further solidifies John Jr. as a minor by mention of assigning guardians Richard Kendall and William Bristoe to administer the goods and credits of the deceased during the minority of his son for the son’s benefit. The will also notes a Chancery case brought by John Jr. in 1670 because he felt he had been cheated out of some of his inheritance. The details on that are in the Chancery case post.  

Other posts in this series:

1629/30 Robert Markes to Ralph Kendall als Mills

Land of the Kendall alias Mills Family

1654 Deed of Gift from Ralph Kendall alias Mills to his son, John

1666 Deed of Settlement from John Kendall als Mills to his betrothed, Martha Mitchell

1670 Chancery Case: Kendall vs. Kendall

1673/74 John Jr. and the Old North Bridge Property

1681 Lease and Release to Jeremiah Smalridge

[1] “England & Wales, Prerogative Court of Canterbury Wills, 1384-1858,” database with images, Ancestry (www.ancestry.com: accessed 15 March 2023), John Kendall, 1666.

Author: ancestorquests

I'm Keri-Lynn, an "amateur professional" genealogist. I have a degree in Family History and have been researching my family lines for many years.

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