The Will of Sir John Tregonwell 1563

This is the longest, oldest, and certainly the most tedious will that we have ever transcribed.

One of our transcribers has single-handedly completed the mammoth task of transcribing the 19 pages of tightly spaced, 16th century legal writing. We owe them a huge debt of gratitude for this.

Although it is in English, the letters are not consistently formed, the spelling is such that Google docs spell checker has had a headache, and the sheer repetition of phrases is mind boggling.

This is an example chosen at random.
Our transcription is :
“the said John Tregonwell myne heire apparent to decease and die w[i]t[h]out heires of his bodie lawfully begotten, that then my said mannor of Estpullam [East Pulham] and all other my lands and tenements in Estpullam aforesaid w[i]th there appurtenances shall holie [wholly] remaine to theires [the heirs] males of the bodie of the said Jane Thornehill my Daughter and to theires males theire bodies lawfullie begotten, the remaynder thereof for lacke of suche yssue to the right heires of me the said Sir John Tregonwell Knight for ever, now my will mynd and intente is that yf the said Robart Thornhill Esquire do not”

The fluidity of spelling is amazing. Although this was written by a professional scribe at the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, he can spell the exact same word in two different ways in the same sentence!

The transcribed document gives us entirely new information not found elsewhere. It includes the friends and relatives of Sir John Tregonwell, a room by room inventory, and the manors and estates in Dorset that were purchased between his purchase of the former Abbey of Milton from Henry VIII in 1540 and the date of this will of 1563.

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