The Will of Bridget Hodgson

The ninth Day of September Anno Domini 1683

In the name of God Amen, I Bridget Hodgson of the City of York, Midwife being in perfect health and of sound memory and understanding, but mindful of death and desirous to dispose of that estate which God hath blessed me with so as no differences may arise about the same after my death, I make and ordain this my last will and testament in manner and form following.

And first and principally I commend my soul unto Almighty God hoping for salvation only by the merits of Jesus Christ. And I commend my body to the earth to be laid in St. Helen’s Church in Stonegate in York, in a tomb I build there trusting that at the general resurrection the same shall be raised incorruptible and reunited to my soul to enjoy eternal happiness. And I do direct that Sir John Hewley, Sir Henry Thompson, Sir Stephen Thompson, George Pricket Esq., Edward Thompson, Alderman Robert Waller, Alderman William Breary Doctor of Laws, and Thomas Fairfax Esq., be invited to carry me to my grave, and I give to each of them a mourning ring which I have prepared for that purpose, and in case any of them die or be absent from my funeral I desire Alderman Philip Herbert may supply such vacancy. And I give unto the heralds painter who shall order my funeral and make my escutcheons a mourning ring, and I desire Christopher Harrison may do the work. And it is my request that the Minster bell may toll at my death and at my funeral there be a peal of the bells at the Minster which I direct my executrix to pay for. And I give to the minister who shall officiate at my funeral a large mourning ring which I used to wear being hollowed for hair [?].

Item. I give to the poor people in every ward of the city of York twenty shillings to be distributed at the discretion of the Lord Mayor of the said city for the time being immediately after my death.

Item. I give to my servants who shall live with me at my death such of my wearing clothes as may be fit for them to wear, and every of them in money twenty shillings over and above their wages.

Item. I give unto the several persons hereafter named for whom I was Godmother ten shillings apiece, to wit: Bridget Swain, Bridget Ascough, Bridget Morris, Bridget Wilberfoss, Thomas Robinson, Edward Watson, and Thomas Horsley.

Item. I give unto Lady Thompson, wife of Sir Stephen Thompson, my own picture and frame, and unto Robert Gathorne, Grocer, Captain Robert Wildboar picture and frame.

Item. I give unto my cousin Mrs. Jane Hodgson (if living at my death) a gold ring with seven stones in it, and unto Martha Stopford who was my maidservant and my deputy a large plain gold ring which I used to wear on my thumb.

Item. I give unto John Taylor of Gatefulforth Esq., my padding[?], my velvet saddle and trappings for accommodation of his children.

Item. I give unto my son in law Edward Stamford ten pounds, and to my daughter his wife and her children every of them a piece of gold called a guinea, which I declare shall be in full satisfaction of all they can or ought to claim out of my estate in regard they have been chargeable unto me in an extraordinary measure.

And whereas I have [loaned] at interest two hundred pounds in several hands secured by a mortgage and bonds, I give the same to my daughter Bridget together with what other money I shall have at my death. And I also give unto my said daughter Bridget my silver plate consisting of six pottingers, a dozen spoons, a ladle, six salts, a large tankard, two little tankards, a pepper box, a mustard box, three tumblers, and a large whistle and stopper, and drinking cup, and all of my pewter, linen, bedding, and all my household goods whatsoever.

And I also give unto my said daughter Bridget my coral necklace and bracelets, my large ring with two and twenty stones in it provided she wear the same as I do, and also a sealed ring of gold with my late husband’s coat of arms and my own engraven on the same.

All the rest of my goods and chattels not hereby given and bequeathed I give unto my said daughter Bridget whom I make my soul executrix of this my last will and testament. In witness whereof I have hereunto put my hand and seal the day and year above written.

Bridget Hodgson

Signed, sealed and published in the presecne of us:

  • James Breary
  • Ellin Breary
  • Robert Waller
  • Jane Waller

To view the original will, click here. Once again, I am grateful to the Keeper of the Archives at the Borthwick Institute for Archives for allowing me to post copies of this document here.