Hartley Wills - Beresford Family
Back to index.
The Beresford family lived at Squerries Court, Westerham (not the current house you can visit there). They owned both Goldsmiths Cottage and Hartley Wood, which was apparently used to manufacture charcoal. Tristram Beresford sold Goldsmiths in 1663 to Edmund Peckham.
Peter Mayer, 2002
Will of Michael Beresford of Westerham esq. (1608) (PRO PROB11/111 f28)
He leaves his soul to Almighty God.
To poor of Westerham - £4.
To "wellbeloved" wife Dorothy : parts of Squireies listed while she remains a widow. Also all plat and a dozen apostle spoons at his London house, 4 best featherbeds and 4 others, 5 mattresses (at Squerries) with blankets etc. while she is unmarried. Also bedding etc. which she brought with her on marriage. Also sheets, tablecloths, napkins as specified. And use of brass and pewter at Squerries while unmarried.
To daughters Jane and Marie: £500 each when they are 20 or when they marry. If one dies before 20, the other is to inherit their share.
To son Tristram Beresford: £20, since he has already received £200.
To grandchild Joan: £20.
To son Richard Beresford: a guyste (?gift) of the parsonage of Otford.
To sons Thomas and Henry: annuity of £20 out of his lands. To be paid by son George.
To son William Beresford: the reversion of the jointure manor of Elinden, Kent, when he is 21.
To son George: the residue of goods and other lands except as above. He is also appointed executor.
Dated 25 February 1608
Proved at London 30 April 1608
Inquisition Post Mortem of Michael Beresford, 7 James I (1610)
Indented inquisition held at Estgreenwich in the said county of Kent, 14th February 7 James I. Before Ralph Clark esq., escheator of the said lord King for the said county, by virtue of a writ of the same lord King of mandamus to enquire after the death of Michael Beresford esq. deceased, by the oaths of John Eaton etc.... good men and true of the said county. Who say on their oath that the said Michael Bereford before his death was seized in his demesne as of fee of......
1. Squerries in Westerham etc.
2. Messuage in Hedcorne
3. Two messuages called Colallens in Eatonbridge.
4. Two other messuages and 8 acres in Hedcorne
5. Half of Kent Chantery in Hedcorne
6. "And of and in one messuage or farm with divers houses, buildings, gardens, lands and tenements, containing by estimation 30 acres belonging to the same messuage or farm, lying in Hartley in the said county of Kent, now in the occupation of Richard Stephins or his assignees"
7. One messuage and 12 acres in Cudham
8. One messuage and 160 acres of pasture called Queene Meades in Horsmonden and Goudhurst
9. One 34 acres marsh called Swanpoole in Shorne
10. 27 acre woodland called Great Coppice in Westerham
11.` 2 acre woodland called Great Coppice in Westerham
12. One messuage called Randalls and 31 acres in Westerham
13. Meadow containing 1 acre in Westerham
14. One messuage and 14 acres called Nethers Borzies in Westerham
15. One messuage called Gilmans and land in Westerham and Brasted
16. Manor of Farnham in Brenchley
17. "And of and in divers parcels of land called Northefeld or Great Northefeld and Hartley Gosse, containing by estimation 108 acres of land, lying in Hartley in the said county of Kent"
18. Manor of Brixham and miscellaneous named parcels in Westerham
19. Manor of Elinden in Herne Hill and Seasalter and Whitstable
20. One messuage and premises in Dorbridge in Derbyshire
And the jurors further say on their oath that the said Michael Beresford was so seized of all and singular the premises on 26 February 1607 when he made his will and last wishes in writing .... (details follow)....
"And that the said messuage and 30 acres of land in Hartley in the tenure of Thomas (sic) Stephins and all the other premises in Hartley called Great Northefeld and Hartley Gosse were held and at the time of the death of the said Michael Beresford, named in the said writ were held from the said lord King in chief for a 200th part of one knight's fee. And are worth annually in all revenues after expenses - 40s."
...... And the jurors further say on their oath that George Bereford esq. is the son and nearest heir of the said Michael Beresford deceased, and is of the age of 44 years and above at the date of the taking of this inquisition. And that Dorothy Beresford, relict of the said Michael Beresford and the said George Beresford have and received the revenues and profits of all and singular the said manors, messuages, lands, tenements, hereditaments, from the day of the death of Michael to the present.
See also WARD 7/34/157.
Will of George Beresford of Westerham (1613) (PRO PROB11/123)
"I recommend my soul to Almighty God and to Jesus my only saviour."
The funeral costs etc to be at the discretion of his wife and brother in law Thomas Petley.
To poor of Westerham: £3 5s 8d.
His household goods (except plate, linen, wool etc.) to be sold to pay any debts; plate etc to go to eldest son Michael as heir to house at Westerham. His wife to have use of them during Michael's minority if she remains unmarried (and half after he reaches 21). He hopes son and mother will dwell in the same house. Wife Elizabeth and son Michael to be executors; overseers to be brothers in law Sir Thomas Harslett, Thomas Petley, "loving friend" John Dawling, and wellbeloved servant Ralph Twigg. Each of the overseers are to get 4 angels of gold to make a mourning ring with death's head engraved on it in remembrance of his love to them and for their pains.
Overseers are to sell lands, viz. Manor of Ellenden; lands at Seasalter, Whitstable and Herne Hill; manor of Farneham in Brenchley; "and also all those several parcels of land and woodground with the appurtenances containing by estimation 100 acres more or less lying and being in Hartley, in the occupation of the widow Beste or her assignees. And also all that my messuage, tenement or farm with the barn, garden, orchard and lands thereunto belonging and containing by estimation 34 acres or thereabouts situate, lying and being in Hartley aforesaid, in the occupation of Richard Stephens, collyer or his assigns"; marshland called Swannepool at Shorne; Queenmeade in Horsmonden, Goudhurst, Yalding and Brenchley; Gilhams in Westerham; other land at Westerham; and land at Darebridge, Derbyshire. Out of the money daughters Anne, Dorothy, Bennet and Rose to get £400 each when they are 21. Annuity to younger sons Roger, Thomas, Tristram, and Henry..
Dated 26 November 1613
Proved at London 8 February 1614
Inquisition Post Mortem of George Beresford, 11 James I (1614)
[this ms is badly faded for about 2" down the right hand margin]
Indented inquisition held at Estgreenwich.... 3 March 11 James I... by the oaths of John Sherman etc..... good and true men of the said county. Who say and present on their oath [.....] one Michael Beresford esq., father of George, was seized in his demesne as of fee of...
....of and in one messuage or farm with all houses, buildings, lands and tenements belonging to the same messuage, containing by estimation 34 acres, lying in Hartley [.......] to the present in the tenure of Page or his assignees......
And of and in diverse parcels of land [............] Northfeild alias Great Northfeild and Hartley Gosse, lying in Hartley aforesaid, and recently in the tenure of widow Best or her assignees....
(recital of will)
And in addition the jurors say and present.....
..... that the said messuage [......] land in Hartley aforesaid in the tenure of Richard Stephins, is held and was held at the time of the death of George Beresford was held from the said lord King by knight service, but they don't know for what part of a knight's fee. And it is worth annually in all revenues after expenses: 20s.
And that the said land and woodland called Northfeild alias Great Northfeild and [.........] tenure of widow Best or her assignees is held and was held at the time of George Beresford from the said lord King in chief by knight service, but the jurors don't know for what part of a knight's fee. And it is worth annually in all revenues after expenses: 20s.
And that Michael Beresford is the son and nearest heir and is of age of 16 years [..........].
Will of Michael Beresford of Ash next Sandwich (1628)
No obvious reference to Hartley but other estate, eg Swannepool, has not been sold. He grants all land not otherwise mentioned to his brother Tristram.
Dated 11 February 1628
Proved at London 1 April 1628
Inquisition Post Mortem of Michael Beresford, 4 Charles I (1628)
Indented inquisition held at Westmallinge... 11 August 4 Charles I... by the oath of Hugh Willand etc.... who say on their oath that the said Michael Beresford.. was seized in his demesne as of fee.....
And also of and in all those parcels of woodground with the appurtenances, containing by estimation 100 acres, lying and being in Hartley... now or recently in the occupation of John Overy or his assignees.
And also of one other messuage with all barns, buildings, orchards, gardens, lands, tenements and hereditaments thereunto belonging, containing by estimation 34 acres, situate, lying and being in Hartley aforesaid, now in the occupation of Richard Stevens, collyer, or his assignees.
And the jurors further say on their oath. That Michael Beresford abovesaid died seized of all and singular other the said manors, messuages etc... on 24 February last past (1628).... And that Thomas Beresford gentleman is his brother and nearer heir and is of full age, viz. 23 years and above. And that the said Elizabeth Petley, mother of the said Michael Beresford is still living and is in full and unfull ? (inplena) life at Shoreham....
And the said jurors further say on their oath.... that the said messuage and land, tenement and hereditaments belonging to the same, containing by estimation 34 acres in Hartley, now and recently in the occupation of Richard Stevens; is held and was held at the time of the death of the said Michael Beresford from the said lord King in chief by knight service; but by what part of a knight's fee the jurors do not know. And is worth nothing during the life of the said Elizabeth Petley, but afterwards it will be worth annually in all revenues: 20s.