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Chelmsford (St. Mary), a market-town and parish, and the head of a union, in the hundred of Chelmsford, S. division of Essex&… (Lewis…, 1848)

25 Jun 1577 Will of John BRIDGES of Chelmsford [Essex, EN] gentleman. [Undatedl] [20/26]. To Anne, my well-beloved wife, my lands and tenements as well copy as free, except one tenement in Moulsham in the occupation of John BRIDGES my brother [sic][, for life, provided that if she marry she have only a third part according to the laws of this realm.

To Thomas my eldest son, my parcels of land called Pond Land, Pit Croft and Band Croft, and the residue of the lands I purchased of Ralph NALINGHURSTLE gentleman; my lands called Warrens, Great Broche Croft Field, Little Broche Croft Field and Bridge Croft, with the buildings on the same, which I purchased of John TAMWORTHE esquire; my houses in Dartford (Kent) with a wood wharf belonging which I purchased of Edward DYTCHEFIELDE, my son-in-law ; my tenement in Moulsham called the Tabor, wherein John WORTHLYE dwelleth, a tenement next the same in the tenure of Thomas PECHYE, and two tenements in Moulsham in that of Christopher SEX; to hold to Thomas and his heirs after my wife's decease or after she marry, with successive remainders to my sons John, Matthew and William and their heirs. To John my house wherein I dwell called Toppyes which I purchased of John LYVINGE; the tenement which I have now joined to my house lying next to Colchester Lane which I purchased of Henry TYRELL knight; and 3 Acres of meadow in Baddow Mead; to hold likewise, with successive remainders to Thomas, Matthew and William; a garden with a milking yard sometime belonging to the Boar's Head in my own occupation, to hold for 21 years; and so many unexpired years of my lease of my mead called Tunman Mead. To Matthew a parcel of meadow called Keye Mead in Broomfield and a tenement called Diers I purchased of William RAYNOLDE and two crofts of land called Great Oxney and Little Oxney letten with the inn called the Cross Keys; to hold likewise with successive remainders to Thomas, John and William. To William my inn called the Boar's Head with the barn and garden letten with the same and Boar's Head Mead, and the reversion or remainer of the yard and garden devised to John for 21 years; to hold likewise with successive remainders to Thomas, John and Matthew. To my brother John for life the tenement before excepted wherein he dwelleth, the remainder to Matthew; provided that, if my brother or his wife behave towards my wife to her vexation, the term shall be void.

To Thomas my best salt gilt, 6 of my best silver spoons, 1 spoon of silver and gilt, and 1 white bowl of silver (weighting 8 oz.); my best ring with the death's head; my best bed standing in the New Chamber, the frame table with 6 stools, 1 settle, 1 less table with a cupboard in it, 1 chair covered with needlework, 1 pair of creepers, my best carpet for the great table, and another of my carpets for the little table, with the hangings in the said chamber, with the curtains about the bed and the windows, 2 little joined stools covered with silk wrought with gold in the said chamber; and £500. To John a salt of silver and gilt which I bought of Ralph NALLINGHURST (16 oz/), 3 of my best silver spoons, a little goblet of silver (6 oz.); the bed in the Parlour where I lie, a coverlet of tapestry lined, a cupboard and a settle of wainscot, a frame table, a side table, 6 joined stools with 2 small joined stools, 1 chair, a pair of Flanders cobirons, 7 flower pots, 8 cushions of Turkey work in the Hall, with the hangings or painted cloths there; and £100 to be paid within 2 years after my decease. To Matthew my little silver gilt salt (8 oz.), with 3 of my best silver spoons, my best goblet parcel gilt (18 ox.); the bed that standeth in the Long Chamber nearest the window next the street; and £100 to be paid within 3 years, also £100 after my wife's decease. To William a salt of silver and gilt (15 oz.) Which I bought of Mr ANDERKYNNE, with 1 pot of silver and gilt (14 oz.), 6 of my silver spoons of the second sort; a bed in the Long Chamber nearest the window towards the yard; and £100 to be paid within 4 years. To my daughter DITCHFIELDE 2 of my silver spoons of the third sort. As for my other legacy to her I refer it to my wife's discretion. To my daughter ELLYS 2 of my silver spoons of the third sort; and £100 to be paid in as convenient time as my executors can get in my debts. To my daughter Mary 2 of my silver spoons of the third sort; and £100 at marriage so that she do not marry contrary to my wife's consent. To my brother John £5; my old gown, 1 of my doublets, a pair of my hose, 1 of my jerkins, and my best hat. To Anges BRIDGES, his daughter, 40s, at marriage or 21. To John his son 40s. at 21. To Roger STOKES 40s., a pair of my hose, a cloth jerkin, a hat, and my blue cloak which I made for my horseman. To my sister TABOR and her children 10s. apiece. To Joan WORTHLEY, my wife's sister, and her children 6s.8d. apiece. To Agnes ROTCHELL, my maid, £5, and Joan ANDERKYNE, my maid, £3, at marriage or 28. To Thomas KNOTTE the elder 5s., Mr RUSTE 6s.8d., Mr FERMERY 6s.8d, and Thomas RUSTE my godson 5s.

I bequeath £4 a year to bestowed among my wife and children, so that they meet together twice a year at such place as she shall think meet at the Christmas and Whitsuntide. To my daughter ELLIS'S children £5 apiece, the men children at 21 and the daughters at marriage or 24. To John DYTCHFIELDE, my godson, my daughter DYTCHFIELDE'S son, £5 at 21. To John LYVINGE'S wife, my wife's sister, and to every of her children 6s.8d. Towards the reparation of Chelmsford church 10s. To Mr [Thomas] HOWLETT, parson of Chelmsford, 6s.8d. To GIGGEN the sexton 3s.4d. To the poor of the parish 40s. I make my wife and Thomas my executors and John ELLYS, my son-in-law, overseer. [No witnesses.] Proved 27 June 1577. (Extracted by Combs Researcher Vince Griffin from "Elizabethan Life: Wills of Essex Gentry & Merchants, Proved in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury," F.G. Emmison, Chelmsford: Essex County Council, 1978, E.G. Ellis & Sons, Willow Street, Chingford, E4 7EQ)

See the later Edward DITCHFIELD, s/o Edward DITCHFIELD of Edmonton, Middlesex , who had m 27 Mar 1631/2, Mary MANNING, d/o Randall & Mary COMBS Manning, the latter, d/o John & Margaret ARCHDALE Combe. See Also Thomas PECHYE, witness to the 1570 will of John COMBE of Fordham, Essex. Also note Combs-Reynolds of Warwickshire

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