Tobacco Growing in the Vale of Evesham,
Winchcombe and District,
and John Stratford.
By Gerald H. Stratford.


I give here the Last Will and Testament of Anthony Stratford, Salter of Friday Street London, which was Proved on the 19th of December 1607. Not only does it give Relationships, within the Family, but it is interesting to note that Humphrey Thornbury, and Thomas Lane, who endeavoured at a latter date to obtain the Lands and Estates of John Stratford, the tobacco grower, are mentioned in this Will, and, are at this time described as Servants to the said Anthony Stratford, deceased.

The Last Will and Testament of Anthony Stratford, Esquire, a Citizen and Salter of London, the 9th of October 1607, being sick in body, etc and confident I shall be freely pardoned of all my sins, and will be made co-heir, with him of his Heavenly Kingdom, amongst his Elect. To be buried wherever my Executors name. My Debts to be paid. My Temporal Goods to be appraised, according to the true laudable Custom of the City of London.

After all my Debts are paid, the residue to be divided into three equal parts, according to the Custom of the said City, one part to my Wife Elizabeth, (Churchman), another part to my son Henry Stratford, (born in 1602), and my daughter, Elizabeth Stratford, and to such child as my Wife shall go withall, (was she expecting another child? ), if she fortune then to be with child.

My son Henry Stratford, to receive his Portion at the age of twenty one years, and my daughter Elizabeth at twenty one years, or at her Marriage, whichever happens first. All my children to have equal Portions. The last third to go to my Executors, to give the following Legacies.

  • To my Sister, James (sic) £10.
  • To my Sister Churchman, the Wife of Robert Churchman, £10.
  • I forgive my Brother John Stratford, all Debts owed to me.
  • I give to the children of my Brother John Stratford, £10, to be equally divided between them. (Married daughter of Beddell)
  • I give to my Brother Henry Stratford, a gold ring and to Abigail (Cole) his Wife, my Sister, a gold ring, value 30/-
  • To my Sister Alice (Churchman), the wife of my Brother Richard Stratford, a gold ring value 50/-
  • To Alice Stratford, the daughter of my Brother Richard Stratford, a gold ring value 30/-
  • To all the other children of my Brother Richard Stratford, a gold ring value 20/-, a piece. (Henry, Richard, Anthony and George).
  • To my Maid Servant, Katherine Smith £4.
  • To my Maid Servant Kisill Lynche, £3.6.8d.
  • To Jane Hooker, 40/-
  • To my Neighbour Mrs Woodcock, a gold ring, 20/-
  • To my Servant Humphrey Thornbury, £20, on the condition he diligently assists my Executors to the utter most of their power, and chiefly in getting in my Debt, and so as he does not at any time after my death claim off of my Executors any Wages etc, for service done to me before Michalmas past. (did he not really trust him).
  • To Thomas Lane, my Seal Ring of Gold.
  • To my Servant John Makepeace £4, in money on condition he helps my Executors in getting in my Debts.
  • To Mr. Robert Hill, Bachelor of Divinity, a gold ring 40/-
  • And, where as my Brother Richard Stratford, and I, Here before disbursed £50 apiece to Mr. Jasper Leake, deceased, and Sir John Leake, the son of the said Jasper, and like an Assurance of Recognisance for Repayment of the said Money, to my Brother Richard Stratford, and myself, monthly. I give the said £50 to my Brother Richard Stratford.
  • I name my Brother Richard Stratford as sole Executor.
  • I give to my Wife, Elizabeth Stratford, these Parcels of Plate, viz, one wine bowl, a parcel quilt, one white beaker, one white beer bowl, my best salt, and half a dozen of my best silver spoons, also as much of my linen, pewter and brass, and other kitchen furniture, as should amount to the value of £20, and it shall be appraised in my Inventory, and Exhibited in the Court of Orphans, in London. My Wife, as long as she continues as a widow, to have a competent dwelling, in part of my House in Friday Street, London, and it to kept in repair by my Executors.
  • My Servants, Thomas Lane, and Humphrey Thornbury, to have my shop and any other such rooms of my House, as my Wife shall not use, they paying the Rent, there of.
  • After all these Legacies, and Debts are paid, any money remaining to be divided as follows.
  • One tenth to my Wife Elizabeth.
  • All the rest to children, my son and daughter, and any unborn child.
  • My Executors to keep the money in their hands, during the Minority, he continuing in being the Master and Warden of the Salter's Company, to pay the Legacies, and 20/- per Annum to be Paid to the Salter's Company for their care, and 20/- to the poor of the said Company.
  • I give to my Kinswoman, Margaret Draper, Widow, 40/-
  • I give to my Cousin, Richard Combe £4. (His father Richard Stratford of Hawling had married Margaret the daughter of William Combe of Cheltenham, Anthony's mother).
  • I give to my son Henry Stratford, all my Lands and Tenements in the Parish of Stoke Juxta Nayland, Suffolk, bought of Jane Cole, Widow, ( was this his Sister in Law?), Land then in Leven Heath in the Parish of Stoke Juxta Nayland, now in the occupancy of Widow Birmingham, and the Tenement called Wallyses.

This Cancels all other Wills.
Codicil added the 8th of October 1607.
I give to my Loving Friend William Bradford, Merchant, a gold ring at 40/-
Proved 19th December 1607.

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Data transcribed by Colin Hinson from:
A document written by
Gerald H. Stratford in 1988.
Reproduced here by permission
© Gerald H. Stratford.