Guild of One Name Studies
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The Docwra coat of arms

1716 - William DOCKWRA of London, Merchant

Will was written on 26 October 1712
Will was proved on 2 November 1716

In the Name of God the Father God the Son Jesus Christ and God the Holy Ghost Amen The Twenty Sixth day of October in the Year of our Lord God One Thousand Seven Hundred and Twelve and in the Eleventh Year of the reigne of our Sovereigne Lady Ann Queen of Great Britain &c I William Dockwra of London Merchant at this present time being in a good State of Health And of a sound disposing mind and memory praised be God therefore And considering not only the common frailty of humane nature and that it is decreed for all men once to dye and after that the Judgment And the daily memento mori of my great Age (having now past above Seventy Seven years calling upon me to cancell my last Will of above Sixteen Years Standing and imediatly to make a new Will more suitable to the very great alterations of my affairs as to my Worldly Estate and the Circumstances of my ffamily as now from what it was then when I made that Will And yet as a further motive and necessity indeed) not to delay it least by Sudden death or disability and incapacity the alive I should be Surprized and so be hindered from making a Will agreable to my just Intentions of and concerning my two whole proprieties purchased of Samuel Groom and Peter Sonmans and other shares of proprieties Tracts Lotts and parcells of Land purchased of several other persons in the province of East New Jersie in America as are now remaining unsold and that I may devise bequeath dispose or Mortgage all or any part of my real Estate in the said province as also all or any part of my real Estate in Great Britain as I shall thinck fitt thereby removing all pretences of any eldest Son or Daughters only Surviving me to Claim any propriety or other Estate in Land either in America or Great Britain as Heir or Coheirs at Law therefore and for other the aforesaid motives and reasons I do now make my last Will and Testament in manner and form following

that is to say first and above all my Soul being the most precious I resign that to my Lord God the Creator who first gave it me Humbly and most devoutly blessing his Holy Name for the comfortable hopes that his blessed Spirit hath Establisht in my Heart that by unfeigned repentance and Stedfast ffaith in the merits of Christ Jesus my Lord and Saviour I shall obtain full padon for all my Sins and eternal Salvation of Soul and Body in the Kingdom of Heaven my Body I commit to the Earth from where it came in belief of a glorious Resurrection to Life everlasting therefore I desire it may have decent Christian burial but witout and superfluous Charge or any eating at all nor any thing more than one or at most two Glasses of Good Wine to each ffreind that appears And that my Corps be not put into the Heard sooner than nine or rather Tenn a Clock at Night in Company with three or four mourning Coaches filled with some of my nearest relations and two or three select freinds with all the privacy and Slience that may be to the parish Church of Saint Olave Jewry in London the place of my Nativity where my Will and desire is to be buried in the Cross Isle of the said Church between the two Gates North and South as near as there may be roome next to the Grave where my ffather Mother Brother Sisters and several of my Children are interred desiring no Sermon at my Silent ffuneral but do injoyn my Executrix hereafter named to direct that my Coffin under the Pall may be sett upon the stands or Bier in the Isle nearest to the desk and to oblidge Doctor Green if the living or the minister of the parish for the time being that he solemnly do read the full office for burial of the dead as tis appointed in the book of common Prayer according to the order of the Church of England into whose Communion as reformed and seperated from Popery I was by the carefull instruction and pious education of my Parents according to their own good example early entered a member thereof and have through Gods Grace continued firm in the sound Doctrine and principles thereof (praised be God) and done my best endeavour to practice accordingly but alass how many and great failings have I been guilty of and cannot answer for one of a Thousand but I am heartily sorry for all my Sins of omission and Commission the burthen of them is intollerable and I have no refuge to fly to but the infinite mercies of God for pardon of my innumerable Sins and Transgressions for the sake of my ever blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and therein I will place my Trust

And as to my Worldly Estate both real and personal which it hath pleased God to entrust me with I give devise and bequeath in manner following that is to say Whereas I stand seized to me and my Heirs of and in two whole proprietys of the Province of Nova Cesaria or East New Jersie in America aforesaid a Propriety being one four and Twentieth part of the whole Province of East New Jersie now called the Eastern division of Nova C?saria or New Jersie and also all Legally intituled is a Twelfth part of all the Quit Rents as well as my share of the great Arreas of Quit Rents withheld in the hands of the Planters and Land Holders Tenants to the proprietors as to the yearly growing Rents thereof the ffirst of the said proprieties or ffour and Twentyeth parts being purchased of Samuel Groom of London Merchant on or about the year of our Lord one Thousand Six Hundred Eighty three and the other propriety or ffour and Twentieth part being purchased of Peter Sonmans Esquire about the year of our Lord 1703 out of which proprieties Vizt that bought of Samuel Groom there has been sold by one Richard Salter (who I trusted as my Attorney) Six Thousand Acres of Land more or less and out of Several other tracts and Lotts bought of private persons (who had purchased some shares of other proprietors) Two Thousand Acres more or less by the Records of the province in the Registers Office may appear and out of the same propriety bought of the said Samuel Groom one Jeremiah Bass Esquire has formerly sold Two Thousand ffive Hundred Acres of Land lying and being at Croswicks Creek in the said Province also out of the propriety bought of Peter Sonmans aforesaid the said Richard Saltar had orders from me to sell and dispose of part of the Lands Pattented to the said Peter Sonmans but he transgressing the orders I gave him so that pretended sale is diallowed and will be contested This having set forth the general Substance and nature of my Estate in the said Province of East New Jersie by the foregoing narrative I now proceed

Therefore I give devise and bequeath all my Lands Tenements and Hereditaments in the said Eastern Division of Nova C?saria or New Jersey as followeth Imprimis I give devise and bequeath to my dear and loving Wife Rebekah Dockwra my Executrix and to her Heirs and Assigns forever som much and such part and parts parcell and parcells of my said Two proprieties or two ffour and Twentieth parts of the said province now remaining unsold with their and every of their Rights Members incidents priviledges advantages Emoluments and appurtences as shall be fully sufficient by the sale thereof to raise money for the payment and Satisfaction of all the Debt or Debts which I do already owe or shall or may further owe unto Phineas Bowles of London Merchant (my son in Law) in the first place he having been the longest Creditor and he only has a Judgment and next to him to pay Charles Bowles his brother and William Bowles my eldest Grandson all that I owe them and that they are in Bond or any way in Security engaged for me and after them to pay and Satisfy all other Debt and Debts and Sums of money as I shall owe to any person or persons at the time of my decease

And also the charge of my ffuneral In Trust to the intent and purpose that my said Wife and Executrix or her Heirs shall and may with all convenient speed after my Decease in due form of Law as by Councill shall be advised, grant bargain sell convey and assure to any person or persons whatsoever and his her and their Heirs and Assigns forever All such and so much of the Lands Tenements and Hereditam[en]ts with the appurtenances contained in my said Two proprietys and remaining unsold as shall be sufficient for the payment of all my Debts as before mentioned and ffuneral Charges and by and out of the money which shall be raised by the Sale of the said Lands and premisses forthwith or as soon as may be to pay satisfy and discharge all my said Debts and ffuneral Charges accordingly and I do hereby charge all the said Lands and premisses remaining unsold of the said two proprietys with and for the payment thereof

And I hereby Authorize in power and appoint my said Wife and her Heirs to make, do, perform, Seal, deliver, levy, suffer and execute all and every such Deeds writings conveyances and assurances in the Law and concerning all and every or any of the same Lands Tenements and Hereditaments with the appurtenances contained in my two said proprietys (now remaining unsold) as shall be needfull requisit or convenient for intents and purposes aforesaid

Item all the rest residue and remainder of my Messuages Lands Tenem[en]ts Hereditaments Monies Goods Chattles Rights Credits and all other my Estate both real and personal in Great Britain and in the Eastern division of Nova C?saria or new Jersy new Yorke or in any other parts of America or in any other place or places whatsoever which shall be belonging to me at the time of my decease I give devise and bequeath as followeth Vizt one full and equall moiety or half part thereof to my said loving Wife Rebekah Dockwra her Heirs Executors Administrators and Assigns to her and their own use benefit and behoofe for ever and the other full and equall moiety or half part thereof to and among all and every of my Children Richard Dockwra Mary ffreeman Margaret Bowles Ann Warburton Rebekah Dockwra and William Dockwra to be divided equally between them part and share alike and to their respective Heirs Executors Administrators and Assigns to his Her and their own use benefit and behoofe forever

Item I make ordain constitute and appoint my said Wife Rebekah Dockwra full and sole Executrix of this my last Will and Testament And lastly I hereby revoke nullify and make void all other Wills and Testaments by me made or declared to the contrary hereof and I publish and declare these presents for and as my last Will and Testament In Witness whereof to every Sheet of this my last Will and Testament the whole being contained in ffour Sheets of Paper I the said William Dockwra have sett my hand And all this my last Will and Testament is written with my own hand And at the Topp of the ffirst Sheet and at the bottom of the last Sheet have sett my Seal the day and year first herein written

./. Wm. Dockwra/. Signed Sealed Published and Declared by the said Testator William Dockwra for and as his last Will and Testament in the presence of us who have Subscribed our names as Witnesses thereunto at the request and in the presence of the Testator./. John Negus a barber on Colledge Hill Eliz. Thomas Serv[an]t Maid Wm. Neate a writing Clerk to the Testator.

Secundo die mensis Novembris Anno Domini Millesimo Septingentesimo Decimo sexto emanavit Commissio Gulielmo Dockwra ffilio Naturali et legitimo et uni Legator residuariorum nomitat in Testamento Gulielmi Dockwra nup[er] parochi? Sancti Georgij in Southwarke in Countatii Surri? vidm. defuncti Habentis &c Ad Administrandum bona jura et credita dicti defuncti juxta tenorem et effectum Testamenti ipsius defuncti (eoquod Rebecca Docwra uxor dicti defuncti et Executrix in dicto Testamento nominat in vita dicti Gulielmi Dockwra Senioris mortem obijt) De bene et fideliter Administrando eadem ad Sancta Dei Evangelia Jurat. Ex.

Transcription by Odd Ottesen, Kristiansand, Norway, 25 September 2003. (Some parts of the Latin text may be uncertain.)

PRO, catalogue reference: PCC Prob/11/554, will of William Dockwra, London, (proved) 2 November 1716 (dated 26 October 1712).

Note: William Dockwra (1635-1716) has earned his entry in the "Dictionary of National Biography" as the man who set up the Penny Post in London in 1680.

This is the son of John Dockrey, Citizen & Armourer of London, whose Will can be found in this section.
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