Hartley-Kent
Walter Family Wills 1556-1675

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Thomas Walter of Fawkham (1556)
Thomas Walter of Middlesex (1601)
Thomas Walter of Fawkham (1608)
John Walter of Fawkham (1626)
Dorcas Walter of Fawkham (1630)
John Walter of Hartley (1675)

Most of these have been summarised.

KAO DRb/PWR.12.80

Will of Thomas Walter of Fawkeham, yeoman (1556)

He leaves his soul to God Almighty, Blessed Lady St Mary and all the holy company of heaven. Body to be buried in Fawkham churchyard.

To high altar of Fawkham: 3s 4d and 13s 4d to the Church for repairs.

To high altar of Hartley: 3s 4d

To John Walter his brother: 4 marks (53s 4d)

To Thomas Oliver's wife, his daughter: 1 quarter of barley

To Margaret Walter, his daughter: 1 quarter barley

To poor of Fawkham: 7 bushels of corn (half corn, half malt). He also leaves 10d to every household in Fawkham without a plough, and every one of his farmers forgiven half a year's rent.

He has land at Fawkham, Hartley and Ash. No specific bequest but Thomas his son to have most; wife Johane to have southern part of "Paynes Place". Thomas Oliver his godson to have his house at Ash where Thomas Finton dwelleth. Reversion of Thomas's lands to Richard Walter's son.

Dated: 3 May 1555

Proved: 22 March 1556

PRO

Will of Thomas Walter of Lyons Inn in the Parish of St Clement Danes, Middx (1601)

He leaves his soul to Almighty God and body to be buried in convenient place of burial "nothing doubting, but being assuredly persuaded, and constantly believing, that God by his omnipotent power, will raise it up in the last day, and join it to my soul. And that I both soul and body shall be received into the everlasting joys of heaven, and be made a citizen of the heavenly Jerusalem, there to enjoy the presence of God and of his holy angels, together with all the elect and chosen saints of God, for ever and ever. And that not for any defect of mine own, but by the free mercy of God, through the only mediation, and for the only merities of Christ Jesus my lord and only saviour, who is made unto me righteousness, justification, sanctification, and redemption, who also shall translate this my mortal body, and make it like unto his glorious body, at his coming into judgement".

Leaves to "my natural and loving father, Thomas Walter and his heirs forever: all those messuages, lands, tenements and hereditaments with all and singular their appurtenances whatsoever, set, lying or being in Hartley, Ash, Fawkham, Darnth, Horton Kyrby, St Margarettes Hilles, Stone, Southfleete and Dartford or in any of them, in the county of Kent, whereof my said father by his deed indented bearing date the eight and twentieth day of April, in the year of our Lord God 1590.......

He also leaves his personal estate to his father.

(S) Thomas Walter the younger

Witnesses: Thomas Maxfield, John Walter, Robert Walter.

Dated 6 Feb 1600/1

Proved at London 25.6.1601

....................................................................................................................................

PRO

Inquisition Post Mortem of Thomas Walter (1608)

Tombstone of Thomas Walter in Fawkham Church
Inquisition held at Sevenock... 17th September 6 James I before Thomas Wildosse esquire, escheator of the said lord king, by the oaths of William Olyver gent. etc...., good and true men of the said county. Who say on their oath that the said Thomas Walter... long before he died and on the day of his death was seized in his demesne as of fee of and in one messuage called "Daltons" and 102 acres of land by estimate more or less, situate and being in Hartley in the said county, the same messuage is usually demised and occupied? (also 2 messuages and 22 acres of land at Ash; 2 acres at Fawkham demised with the Ash lands; 1 messuage and 60 acres of land at St Margaret Hilles; and 30 acres at Darenth and 60 acres at Stone demised with the St Margaret Hilles lands). And so seized thereof on 18 May 6 James I (1608), he died so seized. And the said jurors say further on their oaths that the said messuage called Daltons and the said lands with the same messuage usually demised is held and at the time of the death of the said Thomas Walter was held of William Sedley knight, as of his manor of Hartley in free and common socage for the rent of 47s 1d and suit to court every three weeks, and is worth 8 pa. clear besides expenses (lands at Ash held of William Bowes as lord of the manor; lands at Fawkham held of Thomas Barham gent as lord of the manor for rent of 3d and are worth 6s)... And the said jurors further say on their oaths that John Walter is son and heir of the said Thomas Walter and is of full age, viz 50 years and above.....

PRO PROB 11/

Will of John Walter of Fawkham, esquire (1626)

John Walter's tomb in Fawkham Church, showing him and his wife Dorcas. Beneath the effergies are details of his charity.

He leaves his soul to Almighty God and body to be buried in the Church or Chancel of Fawkham. Similar wording to Thomas Walter about soul.

"I do will, give and bequeath unto two of the poorest men and unto two of the poorest women in Fawkam aforesaid, and unto two of the poorest men and unto two of the poorest women in Ashe, as also unto two of the poorest men and unto two of the poorest women in Harteley, the said parishes being adjoining unto the parish of Fawkam aforesaid, being widowers and widows if such poor be in every of the said parishes or otherwise unto such two poor men and two poor women, as shall from time to time dwelling in the said parishes every year from and after my decease, to evry of the said poor men a coat of good russett cloth with skirts to the knees, and from and after the decease of my wife Dorcas to every of the said poor women every year one gown of good russett cloth, these my said gifts to continue forever (that is to say so long as the world endureth), the same to be delivered unto every of them upon the five and twentieth day of December, commonly called Christmas Day, at or in the house wherein I now dwell in Fawkam aforesaid between th hours of eight and nine of the clock in the forenoon, on which day they are to go to the Church of Fawkam aforesaid and there to hear divine service and a sermon, and so to return to my said dwelling house and there to take their dinners, the said bequests to be given and delivered unto every of them by such person or persons or their assigns as shall have the inheritance or estate for life in my said dwelling house, Skinners Crafte, Grovers Deane, Haywards Crafte, Pennes Valleys, Longe Valleys, Holley Reede and the Grove (the names of the said poor men and women that are to receive and the foresaid bequeaths to be given in writing by the Churchwarden or Churchwardens of every of the said parishes yearly, and by two other substantial men of every of the said parishes for the poor of the same parishes, at my said dwelling house at Fawkam the 15th day of December......." Provisions for non-compliance.

To minister of Fawkam "if he be a sufficient preacher" or to such other preacher: 10s for sermon on Christmas Day in the forenoon "exhorting them to praise God, but not to pray for the dead".

To sisters Joan Maxfield, Ann Baker, and Dorothy Smith: 3 to make mouring gowns.

To William Browne his servant if he is still with him: 5, and 10s to each servant with him at his decease.

To Mistress Elizabeth Meredith and Mistress Sara Grobb, sisters in law: 40s each.

To John Michell, his godson, son of his deceased brother in law Samuell Michaell esq: parcell gilt basin and ewer of silver.

"I do give and bequeath one annuity or yearly rentcharge of 10 a year unto Robert Walter, my brother Robert Walter's son, during his natural life, to be reserved and taken out of all my lands in the parish of Hartely aforesaid ... " details of payment.

To sister Dorothy Smith: annuity of 30 from all land in Fawkam.

"I do give and bequeath my manor of Fawkam and all other my manors, messuages, lands, tenements and hereditaments by what name or names soever they be called or known, situate, lying and being within the parishes of Fawkam aforesaid, Ash, Hartley and Horton Kirbis in the county of Kent aforesaid, with all and singular their appurtenances (except the messuage or tenement with all the lands thereunto belonging and now in the tenure or occupation of Robert Beverlie the elder of Fawkam aforesaid, lying in Fawkam aforesaid and Farningham) unto my most dear and loving wife Dorcas Walter during her natural life, and after the decease of my said wife Dorcas. I do will, give and bequeath all my before named manors, messuages, lands, tenements and hereditaments whatsoever within the parishes aforesaid (except before excepted) with all and singular their appurtenances unto John Walter my godson, my brother Robert Walter's son and to his heirs forever". John to pay his sisters Anne Walter and Alice Rigesbie, 6 each. And paying to Thomas Walter his brother - 5, and Dorcas Baker, Jane Baker, Anne Baker and Elizabeth Baker, his brother in law's William Baker's daughters - 3 each. And paying to Robert Walter his brother - 12, to Francis Walter and Maxfeild Walter his brothers - 3 each. And paying to Isaac Walter his brother - 3, and Dorothy Walter and Rebecca Walter his sisters - 6 each.

To said John Walter: his messuage and lands in Fawkamin the occupation of Robert Beverlie aforesaid, and lands called Garlands in Farningham in occupation of Thomas Robin. He also to pay wife Dorcas, his executrix 100 and deliver to his dwelling house at Fawkam 6 dozen of good sweet rabbits every year during her life. If John does not comply then Dorcas's heirs and assigns can hold all the other lands for 7 years after her death.

His "most dear and loving wife" Dorcas made executrix. He appoints brother in law Francis Michaell esq, William Hewson gent., and Michaell Smithe gent. his brother in law, overseers of the will.

(S) John Walter

Witnesses: William Helie minister there, John Wenys, William Browne, William Adgor

Dated 23 April 1623

Proved at London 14 January 1625/6

PRO PROB 11/

Will of Dorcas Walter of Fawkham, widow (1630)

For picture see John Walter (1626) above

She leaves her soul to Almighty God and body to be buried in the chancel of Fawkham Church near her "late dear husband John Walter esquire".

To poor attending Church at her burying: 3. To poor of Old Windsor, Berks: 40 to buy lands to use income for poor. To poor of Fawkam: 40s. To poor of Hartley: 30s. To poor of Ashe: 30s. "I do give to seele and seate the channcell of Fawkam aforesaid: 5."

To nephew James Rudstone: one of her silver beare bowls and 20 when 21.

To John Hewson, her godson: 5 for plate.

To Dorcas Averell, Jane Daye, Anne Minge, and Dorcas Stacy: 5 each.

To servant William Browne: 10

To ministers, Mr Healie of Fawkam, Mr Hutchinson of Hartley, Mr Homstead of Dartford, Mr Humphrey of Old Windsor and ministers of Horton Kirby and Darinth: 40s each.

To Mercy Champney and Dorcas Cary goddaughters: silver porringer and silver spoon each. And to rest of godchildren, not otherwise mentioned: 10s each.

To each of 6 men,carrying her corpse: a pice of gold of 5s and a pair of black gloves.

To 12 poor widows or women of Kingsdowne, Horton Kirbie, Darinth and Dartford (3 from each parish): a mourning gown of 3 yards broadcloth at 6s 8d the yard each. The poor to include widow Carrier of Kingsdowne, widow Boghurst of Horton, widow Allin of Darinth and widow Hasellwood of Dartford.

To her two sisters Mrs Elizabeth Meredith and Mrs Sara Grubb, and sister in law Dorothie Smith: 3. And to sisters in law Mrs Anne Baker and Mrs Anne Walter: 30s each. To widow Huckett and Rose Feilder of Fawkam and the two widow Overies of Harteley: 6 yards of peropus of 3s the yard. And to widow Comfort, Richard Whiffin's wife of Ashe, her maid Jane Jarman, sister's maid Katharine Castle: 7 yards of peropus at 3s the yard each. And to Katherine Jessopp, wife of John Jessopp of Gravesend: 6 yards of paragon at 4s the yard. To two brothers in law William Baker and Michael Smith, and to cousin John Walter and servant William Browne: 50s each. All to make mourning clothes.

To nephews Richard and John Meredith, godsons: all the furniture of the best haniker chambers, stools, hangings, bed and bedstead in the same chamber. To be sold by executors and money divided between them.

To nephew John Michell: all furniture of dining room, a long tapestry carpet and all the turkeywork chairs and stools (excepting great chair), great pair of brass andirons, "a great fair map in a frame", best suite of table damask.

To nephew Humphrey Michell: great gilt double salt, 6 of the best silver spoons, and the best suite of fine table holland.

To nephew Robert Rudstone: canopy bedstead and bed, and furniture belonging of green taffeta sarsnett with all other furniture belonging to that chamber, one pair of fine sheets, pair of pillow biers, her lesser standing cup of silver and gilt.

To sister Meredith: all the bed and furniture that stood in her son Edmond's house in London, with all the furniture belonging to that chamber, "tunnike?" of linen that did stand there, turkey work chair, 2 pairs of fine sheets, washing basin of silver. Latter item to go on her death to her son John.

To sister Grubb: great maudlin pot of silver, to go to her son James on her death. Also 20 hopefully for benefit of James.

To Sir Henry Clovell: great standing cup of silver and gilt.

To nephew Humfrey Meredith: great gilt tankard, a featherbed, a bolster, 2 pillows, 2 blankets, a coverlet, curtains, valence and counterpoint of orange tawny and purple, 2 pairs of sheets and a pair of pillow biers.

To Elizabeth Meredith, her nephew Edmond's daughter: her shorter tapestry carpet and 6 tapestry cushions.

To brother in law Michael Smith: stone jug covered and footed with silver. And to his wife her lesser silver tankard, one featherbed and bolster, 2 pillows and all the furniture of that bed and chamber of orange tawny and with, with chairs and stools and all furniture of that chamber, pair of fine sheets, pair of fine pillow biers, suit of diaper that was her sister Maxfield's, and a suit of new plain linen.

To Dorcas Averell, Jane Say, Anne Minge and Dorcas Stacy: a pair of sheets and suit of linen each.

To Jane Day: wine bowl of silver parcel gilt.

To Roger Kiele: 20s to buy a coat.

To cousin John Walter: the long table and form for the hall, 3 carpets belonging to the great parlour at her house at Fawkam, with other furniture in the room.

To cousin Thomas Walter: suite of chairs and stools of needlework and a silver bear bowl and diamond ring.

To servant William Browne: a featherbed, bolster, 2 pillows, 2 blankets, green rug, green curtains with needlework valence, 2 pairs of sheets (one fine, one courser), pair of pillow biers, 2 suites of table linen, bigger silver salt and 2 silver spoons. To servant Thomas Cunam: featherbed, bolster, 2 blankets, coverlet and pair of sheets. To servant John Fuller: flockbed, bolster, 2 blankets and pair of sheets. To other servants: pair of sheets and 10s each........

(line missing in photocopy here.... but goes on to say young couples lately married in Fawkam and surrounding 2 or 3 parishes to be preferred)

"Item: my will is that 5 be bestowed upon a fair long gravestone to be laid upon my husband's grave and mine with a fiar incription engraven thereon".

To John Pinson, husband's godson: 3 when 21.

To Thomas Rogers of Dartford: a giltwork bowl; and to his wife: a silver bowl.

To William Howson: gilt wine bowl and her watch.

To good friend Thomas Freshwater esq: sugar poringer; and to his wife: chain of pearl and jet.

Remainder of personal estate to be sold and divided three ways: a third to sister Grubb and her 2 sons equally; and other two thirds to sister Meredith and her 4 sons equally.

Executors to be sister Mrs Elizabeth Meredith and nephew Richard Meredith. Overseers to be good friends Thomas Rogers and William Hewson.

(S) Dorcas Walter

Witnesses: (S) William Liste, (X) John Barlman, (S) William Browne

Dated 1 May 1630

Proved at London by Elizabeth Meredith and Richard Meredith 8 June 1630.

KAO DRb/PW36

Will of John Walter of Hartley (1675)

To John and Richard Spencer of Darenth, his nephews: 3 each when they are 21, meanwhile Elizabeth their mother to have the interest.

To Elizabeth Spencer, his sister: 20s

To Joan Middleton, eldest daughter of James Middleton, late of Ash: 10

To John Middleton, godson and eldest son of James Middleton: 10

To Thomas Middleton, son of James Middleton: 40s when he is 21

To Francis French, godson, son of Richard French late of Hartley, deceased: 40s when he is 21.

Thomas Walter of Ash, his brother, appointed executor.

Witnesses: John Walter the elder of Ash; Anne Reeve of Hartley, widow.

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