Family history and 
one name study 
000008 Henry Glenister
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The discovery of the will
The will was 'discovered' by Sandra Talbot of Chesham, Buckinghamshire while looking at the Public Record Office (PRO) web site at the index of wills from the Prerogative Court of Canterbury (PCC). This court handled wills which mentioned property situated in the diocese of Canterbury, or which was in more than one diocese.

Sandra emailed me with the details, and I quickly downloaded an electronic copy of the document from the web site - a bargain at only GBP 3.00.

The court document was a transcript of the original will document, made by the court as the definitive record of how Henry's estate was handled on his death. It was written on a vellum leaf, using a quill pen, and in a style of handwriting which I found very difficult to read, and I knew I needed expert help.

I contacted Dr Peter Franklin of Accrington, Lancashire - a palaeographer who I had used before, and he quickly transcribed the will, adding explanatory notes, both of which are shown below.


Several questions arise - mostly around the identity of the children mentioned in the will.

Prior to the discovery of the will, I knew of only William (0010), John (0065), James (6157), and Edith (6580).

The will mentions others - John the younger, Joseph, Daniel, and Henry. Who are they?

Is John the younger the same as John (0470), and is Daniel the same as Daniel (0548) - both the born around the likely time for Henry's children and in the likely place. Both are roots of other trees, so including them into this tree would be a huge step.

A lot more research and checking is needed!

Notes on the transcript
  • The will is an exact letter-for-letter transcript, retaining all original English spellings and the use of upper- and lower-case letters.
  • Abbreviations in the original document are expanded in round brackets.
  • Square brackets enclose editorial notes, and also material which is not placed regularly within the original texts [such as words in margins and words added between lines].
  • Three full points (...) indicate an illegible word or part of a word.
  • "?" indicates a word of which the reading is uncertain.
  • The original document contains little punctuation: punctuation and paragraph divisions have been introduced to make the text more readable.
  • Dates and sums of money are given in their original forms.
The will of Henry Glenister

[Margin: "Henry Glenister"],

This is the last Will and Testament of me, Henry Glenister of Hog lane in the parish of Chesham in the County of Bucks [sic], Farmer,

I give, devise and bequeath unto my good friends, John Dell of Hog lane aforesaid, Farmer, and John Manton of North Church, Victualler, upon trust, all my freehold and copyhold messuages, lands and heredit(ament)s, whatsoever & wheresoever, and allso [sic] all and singular other the estates, Goods, Chattels, household furniture, book debts, and all other my personal property, whatsoever and of what nature or kind soever, at the time of my decease,

to hold to them, my said good friends, John Dell and John Manton, their executors, adm(inistrat)ors and assigns, upon the uses, ends, intents and purposes hereinafter expressed and declared of and concerning the same, that is to say,

upon trust, as soon as conveniently may be after my decease, to call in all my book? debts, monies and securities for moneys, and to sell and dispose of all and every my stock and Crops, and every implement of husbandry, for the most money that can be made, either by public auction or private contract, and therewith [word divided between two lines] to pay, first, all my just debts, funeral and testamentary expences [sic], and the expences of proving this my Will,

and then upon trust, to pay unto John Glenister the younger, one half part or share of the whole of one part that may arise & become payable to either of my said Children, William Glenister, John Glenister the elder, Joseph Glenister, Daniel Glenister, James Glenister, ["Henry Glenister" interlined], and my daughter Eve, the Wife ["th" struck through] of William Bird, as his portion,

and I do desire, and my Will and mind is, that my friends John Dell and John Manton shall, as soon as convenience may permit, cause all my messuages or Tenements, heredit(ament)s and premises, and the one acre of ground situate opposite a new Tenement which I have lately erected, wherein William Warner resides, and the other adjoining [altered], in the occupation of Joseph Glenister, situate at Hawridge aforesaid [sic], and the timber Trees growing thereon, as soon after my decease, cause all the said messuages, heredit(ament)s and premises, with their appurt(enance)s, to be fairly valued, not in a total sum, but each singly, with its appurt(enance)s, and that if either [= any one] of my said Sons or my said daughters [sic, plural] shall be so minded to purchase one of the said Tenements, such Tenement shall be in part of his or her share,

but should such Tenement and premises be of the value of more than one part or share of his or her [sic], then I desire that such deficiency shall be taken out of his or her part or share arising out of my personal property, as aforesaid,

and should my Children disagree, then I desire that all my real and personal property to be sold [sic] and equally divided between them, my said Children, excepting John the younger, share and share alike,

and also, I do hereby direct that in case either of my said Children shall die leaving issue, such issue shall be entitled to their parents shares,

but if either of my Children should die without issue, his or her share shall be equally divided among the others of my said Children,

and I do desire that my Executors, hereinafter named and appointed, shall be allowed out of my real & personal property, all reasonable expences that they may be at at the time of their attending to the execution of this my Will, and one shall not be answerable for the other, but each for his own acts and deeds,

and I do desire that upon the fun(er)al? arrangement [word divided between two lines] and in all cases under this my Will to be acted upon, that my Executors, ["their Ex(ecut)ors, Adm(inistrat)ors and Assigns" interlined], shall instruct Henry Williams, Esq(ui)r(e), of Geldem? [mispelling of "Golden"?] Lodge, Berkhampsted, Herts [sic], to see to and arrange all matters and things relating hereto, and for them, my Executors, to pay him all charges in the Law out of my real and personal property, or any other expences attending hereunto,

and I do direct my Executors, hereinafter named and appointed, to find and provide my Son, John Glenister the younger, a new suit of black, and also a beaver hat, stockings [altered], shoes, out of my personal property, the same shall not be chargeable upon ["his" interlined], John Glenister the younger [sic], half part which I have hereunto bequeathed him,

and in case my Son John the younger [sic] shall depart this life leaving issue, then I desire such issue to receive their parents part or share so devised to him and by this my Will mentioned,

and Lastly, I do nominate, constitute and appoint my said friends John Dell and John Manton, Executors and Trustees of this my last Will and Testament,

hereby revoking all other Wills by me heretofore made at any time, and I do actually declare this only to be my last ["true?" interlined] Will and Testament, contained on three sheets of paper, to the first and second sheet ["I" omitted] have set my hand by a mark, and to the last my hand or mark and seal, this fourth day of July one thousand eight hundred and twenty three,

The mark of ["+" here to represent signature or mark in original Will] Henry Glenister, [sign here to represent seal in original Will],

Signed, sealed, published and declared by the Testator as and for his last Will and Testament, in the presence of us, who, at his request and in his presence, and in the presence of each other, have subscribed our names as Witnesses thereto,

The erasing was done before the signing of this Will, which will appear, and the initials of J.S.H. was done at the same time, and the interlineation was done before this Will was executed,

John S. Hewitt, Chesham,

Eliz(abeth) Shelton,

Mary Picton,

[Grant of Probate: "Proved at London 15th Aug(us)t 1825, before the Worshipful Jesse Addams, D(octo)r of Laws & Surrogate, by the Oaths of John Dell & John Manton, the Ex(ecut)ors,

to whom Adm(inistrati)on was granted, having been first sworn duly to Adm(iniste)r"],

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