Dated 14th June 1712 Proved July 1712
National Archives Reference – PROB 11/527 SIG 128 1712 JUL HRT
In the name of God. Amen. PROB 11/527 SIG 128 1712 JUL HRT
William BERNERS of Much Hadham in the county of a Hertford Esq. does make my last will and testament in manner following Imprimis.
I give devise bequeath all my personal estate not otherwise by me disposed or to be disposed of and also all my real Estate not settled upon my Sons by my Marriage Settlement unto my Uncles John LOCKEY Esq. and Samuel ROBINSON Esq. and my brother-in-law Henry RAWORTH Esq. their heirs Executors and Administrators upon Trust by Sale Mortgage or otherwise as they shall think fit to pay all the just debts which I shall owe at the time of my decease.
And whereas I was seized of an estate in fee simple in possession at the time of the execution of my Marriage Settlement of and in one of my four 36th shares in the Adventurers Moiety of the New River Water brought from SHADWELL and AMWELL and in this County of Hertford to London purchased of William BARTHOUSE Esq. by Josias BERNERS my grandfather and of one other of my said four shares purchased by my said grandfather of Sir John BARTHOUSE in possession in fee immediately expectant upon an estate therein for the life of Mary BERNERS my mother and whereas it was agreed between my father-in-law Robert RAWORTH Esq. deceased before my Marriage that I should reserve to myself and in my own disposal the said 4th share purchased of William BARTHOUSE and that the sums should not be included in my Marriage Settlement.
To this intent I might thereby be enacted? to pay and satisfy my Brothers and Sisters their portions which I was obliged to pay by my father’s Will and that the other three shares only should be settled subject to my Mother’s Estate for Life in the said Share purchased from the said Sir John BARTHOUSE but by mistake the said share purchased from the said Sir William BARTHOUSE is inserted in my Marriage Settlement whereby I am only made Tenant for Life thereof with remainders to my first and other sons in Tail mate with remainders over so that I am deprived of the power of disposing of the same and instead thereof have only power of disposing of the possession after my Mother’s death of this said share purchased of Sir John BARTHOUSE the same being by mistake left out of my Settlement and this said share purchased of William BARTHOUSE by Life mistake settled instead thereof. And whereas in order to certify the said mistake a Bill hath been drawn with a design to obtain an Act of Parliament for that purpose.
Now my Will and Desire is that my said Trustees with and out of the estate I have devised to them do their best to procure the said Bill already drawn or any other to that or the like effort to be passed into an Act of Parliament.
And as touching and recovering the rest and residue of my real and personal estate devised and bequeathed to my said Trustees their Heirs Executors and Administrators as aforesaid after the Trusts thereof discharged and performed I give devise and bequeath the same to my son Robert BERNERS his heirs Executors and Administrators. And whereas by my Marriage Settlement I have power to charge or appoint £5,000 or some other great sum upon or out of my Estate thereby settled or some part thereof for portions for my Daughters and Younger Sons together with maintenances till the same shall become payable. And whereas I have now only one Younger son William BERNERS and no other child saved my Elder son Robert but my Wife is with Child again
Now my Mind and Will is and I do by virtue and in pursuance of the power and Authority to me reserved and given in and by my Marriage Settlement and of all every or any other power or powers and Authority or Authorities me enabling there unto limit and appoint the several sums herein after following for the portions and maintenances of my Daughters and younger Sons and do charge the same upon my Estate according to my power or powers in that behalf that is to say in case my Wife shall have no other Child by me hereafter to be born alive in my Lifetime or after my death then I give and appoint the sum of £5,000 for the portion of my Son William BERNERS to be paid to him at his age of 21 years.
But in case my Wife shall hereafter have only one other Child by me born in my Lifetime or after my death such Child shall be a Son and then I appoint the sum of £5,000 for the portions of the said William BERNERS and such other Son hereafter to be born equally to be divided between them to be paid at their respective ages of 21 years.
And in the case of either of them dies before that age then the survivor of them to have the said whole sum of £5,000 for his portion to be paid him at the age of 21 years. And in case such my one only other child hereafter to be born shall be a daughter then I give and appoint the sum of £2,000 to my said son William BERNERS for his portion and the sum of £3,000 to such my daughter for her portion the said sum of £2,000 to be paid to my Son William at his age of 21 years and the said sum of £3,000 to paid to such my daughter at her age of 21 years or day of Marriage which shall first happen
And in case I shall have more children than one to be hereafter born in my Lifetime or after my death whether the same be a Son or Sons, Daughter or Daughters then I appoint the sum of £5,000 for the portions of the said William BERNERS and such other my Children hereafter to be born equally to be divided among them shared and shared alike and to be paid to the Son or Sons at his or their age or ages of 21 years and to the Daughter or Daughters at her or their ages of 21 years or day or days of Marriage which shall first happen and if any of them die before their portions become payable then the sum to go to the survivor or survivors and if there be but one surviving he or she to take the whole and to be paid if a Son or Sons at his and their Age or Ages of twenty one years and if a Daughter or Daughters at her or their Age or Ages of Twenty one years or day or days of Marriage which shall first happen.
And my Will is that if any of my Younger Sons born to be born shall come to inherit my Estate settled by my Marriage Settlement according to the Limitations thereof that such Son shall have no part of the said 5,000 pounds but the same shall go and remain to the rest of my Children born or to born to be paid to him her or them in a manner aforesaid. And if all my younger Children die before any of their portions shall become payable that then the whole of the 5,000 pounds shall sink into the Estate for the Benefit of my only surviving Son his heirs and issue and I too appoint him such maintenances for my younger Children born and to be born till his her or their portions shall respectively become payable as my Trustees or the survivors or survivor of them or the Executors or Administrations of such survivor shall think fit not exceeding five pounds per Contum? per Annum for his her or their portion or respective portions.
Then I bequeath to my Dear Wife her Watch Jewels Rings wearing Apparel and set of Dressing Plate and I do appoint her Guardian of all my Children born and to be born until their respective Ages of Twenty one years.
And I make and constitute my said Uncles John LOCKEY and Samuel ROBINSON and my said Brother-in-Law Henry RAWORTH Executors of this my last Will and Testament and do hereby revoke all former Wills and Testaments Devises Bequests by me made
In witness whereof I have put my hand and seal to this last Will and Testament this present fourteenth day of June in this year of our Lord One Thousand Seventeen Hundred and Twelve. William BERNERS. Sealed signed and published by William BERNERS the Testator for and as his last Will and Testament in the presence of us who have hereunto at his request set our Names as Witnesses thereof in his presence Margaret GESTLIN Charles GESTLIN John SANDFORD.