The Last Will and Testament of Isabel Grey, 1581

Dame Isabel Grey

of Ogle Castle

(Nee; Grey)

1533 – 1582

Testamentum Isabelle Gray

Source: Raine, J., Greenwell, W., & Hodgson, J.C. (1860). Wills and Inventories Illustrative of the History, Manners, Language, Statistics: & c., of the Northern Counties of England, from the Eleventh Century Downwards. pp 49- 54. J.B. Nichols and son.

Oct 6, 1581.

I, Dame Isabell Gray, of Ogle Castle in the county of Northumberland, widow, late wife to Sir Raphe Gray of Chillingham, knight, being of whole of and perfect remembrance, thanks be to the almighty God, and considering the variable and mutable change of this world, and the uncertainty of the end of man’s life, and also weighing the great ambiguities and doubts, which do daily arise and grow about last wills and testaments, do make this my last will and testament, in manner and form following.
First, I bequeath my soul to almighty God, the father, the son, and the Holy Ghost, who hath created, redeemed, and sanctified me, unto life everlasting, by the precious death and merit of Jesus Christ, my only Savior, and my body to be buried in the parish church of Chillingham, near unto the corps of my late husband Sir Raphe Gray, and my funeral order of my burial to be according to the ancient and laudable custom of the Church of England, and as shall be thought meet to mine executors and supervisors of this my last will.

I give to thirty of the poorest householders in Dodington, every of them one bowl of beer.

To the poor of Fenton and Dodington, upon the day of my burial, 6l.13s.4d.

To my son the right worshipful Sir Thomas Gray, knight,

  • my leases of the tythe corn and sheaves of Fenton and Dodington,
  • one nest of silver bowls,
  • one dozen of silver spoons,
  • one salt of silver,
  • and double guylt,
  • my best bed, with all the furniture belonging thereto,
  • and my best table, with one dozen of joined stools.

To my son Raphe Gray

  • 2 silver pots,
  • 1 dozen of silver spoons,
  • and my next best bed, with the furniture thereof.

To my son Edward Gray

  • 20l.

To my son Henrie Grey

  • my lease of Ogle Castle, and the demeane there unto belonging;
  • also I give unto him all my corn at Ogle,
  • and my lease of pasture in Shilvington feldes,
  • also I give unto him more xx kye and xx oxen.

To my son Roger

  • all my corn at Dodington, as well that which is sown, and that which unsown,
  • also I give unto him more xx kye and xx oxen.

To my son Arthur

  • all my corn at Fenton, both sown and unsown,
  • also I give unto him more xx kye and xx oxen.

To my son Sir Thomas Gray

  • my lease of the east demeanes of Elwicke.

To my son Roger

  • all my corn, sown upon the ground of Loninge Head, nighe Morpitt.

To my daughter Anne

  • cc markes
  • 20l.
  • xx kye
  • lx sheipe to make up her stock cccxx
  • I commit or bequeath her … to the good governance and tuition of my son Sir Thomas Gray, until … marriage.

To my daughter Dorothee

  • 1 table of gold,
  • 1 pair of bracelets of gold,
  • 26l. 13s. 4d.,
  • my best velvet gown,
  • and a kirtle of velvet embroidered.

To my daughter Isabell

  • 13l.6s.8d.,
  • 1 velvet gown,
  • a kirtle of turfed taffaty.

To my daughter Anne

  • 1 gown of satin,
  • and a kirtle of damask.

To my sister Margaret

  • a new gown of broad-cloth

I give for tokens or remembrances, first to my son Sir Thomas one rose noble, to my son Raphe and Edward, and to my sons-in-law, Mr. Robert Delavale and Mr. Frannces Ratclyfe, every of them one old angel.

To my sons, Henrie, Roger and Arthur, to every of them one old angell.

To my son Raphe one gold ring.

To my son Henrie … gold.

To my daughters, Isabell and Anne, to either of them one gold ring.

To the right honorable the Ladie Ogle, my mother-in-law, . . . Ogle, my sister-in-law, to either of them a gold ring.

To my cousins, either of the Ladie Ogle’s daughters, a French crown.

To my daughter Dorothee my wedding ring, and to each of my sisters one old angell.

To my niece Elizabeth Hearon 20l. toward her marriage.

To Grisyld Harrison 20l., towards her marriage.

To my servant John Fenwick 3l. 6s. 8d.

To my servant Oswold Harrison 3l. 6s. 8d.

To William Ansley, my servant, iiij markes.

To George Crosbie one cow.

To Elizabeth Harrison a cloth gown, and to my servant Thomas Cocke 13s.4d.

To Henrie Ogle, my servant, one year’s wages.

To my servant, Edward Were, one bowl of beer, and one bowl of rye.

To Thomas Benyon, clerk, 4l.

To Edin Fenwicke 40s.

To Michael Atchison iiij. stoates of three years age a piece.

To Nicholas Bell one cow and a calf.

To Patricke Stiddman one whye.

To every of master Delavale his three eldest sons 6l.13s.4d., to be bestowed on jewels, for tokens.

To either of my daughters-in-law, Jane Grey and Katherin Gray, 40s. in gold, for tokens.

To twelve poor men, to every of them a black gown.

To the poor of Ogle and parts adjoining 6l.13s.4d.

To Frances Ogle 40s.

To Lyonell Gray of Woller, ij kye.

To William Harrison of Chillingham, ij oxen, and to Elizabeth Harrison, his wife, ij kye, with their followers.

To Thomas Benyon, clerk, ij martes.

To the shoemaker’s wife of Ogle 3s.4d.

I will and request my son Sir Thomas Gray, that my servants, Michaell Atcheson and William Ansley, may enjoy their firmholds during their lives natural, for their service, which they had of me in Nesbitte and Dodington, and that he will allow unto either of them 13s. 4d. yearly.

I will, and my intent is that of my son Henrie Gray shall happen to die without issue, before the years of my lease of Ogle demeanes and Shilvington feldes shall be expired, that then my son Roger, and the lawful heirs of his body, shall have and enjoy the same, and if he die likewise, before the expiration of the said years, that then my son Arthur, and his lawful issue, shall have and enjoy the same.

I commit my son Henrie Gray of trust to the right honorable the Lord Ogle, my brother-in-law, to whom I give an old angell, for a token, hoping and craving at his lordship’s hands, that he will accept of him and to be instead of a father unto him.

And I commit my son Arthur and daughter Anne of trust to my son, Sir Thomas Gray, requiring him to be unto them a good governor, as I hope he will, and to be for his part instead of a father to them. And I commit my son Roger to the governance of my son Ralphe, requiring him also to be as a father to the said Roger.

Also I will that such women, as have taken pains with me in time of my sickness, shall be reasonably considered, for their pains, at the discretion of my executors, here under named.

And I will, that if any poor man, coming to me about my business, have sustained any loss, either in his horse or other ways, that he or they shall be rewarded a marke or 20s. a piece, as my executors shall think reasonable.

And I ordain, constitute, and appoint my full and whole executors, jointly and severally, of this my last will and testament, my sons Henrie Gray, Roger Gray, and Arthur Gray. And for the performance of this my last will and testament, I make and ordain the right worshipful Sir Thomas Gray, of Chillingham, knight, and the worshipful Raphe Gray, of Horton, and Edward Gray, of Morpeth Castle, esquires, my sons, supervisors and overseers of this my last will and testament.

And further I appoint an inventory to be taken of all my goods and cattles, as well movable as unmovable, and that all costs and charges of my funeral, and all other debts, that lawfully can be demanded, shall be discharged. These being witnesses, Thomas Benyon, clerk, Elizabeth Harrison, and Oswold Harrison, and William Harrison. [Pr. July 11, 1582.]


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