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The will of Henry Cruwys of Hillersdon

Proved on 22nd December 1760

© Crown Copyright

National Archives Catalogue Reference PROB 11/861,

Records of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, Lynch Quire Register 445-492

Transcribed by Debbie Kennett

Henry CRUWYS was the son of John CRUWYS, the Lord of the Manor of Cruwys Morchard, and Sarah FOOTE, the daughter of Samuel FOOTE, the MP for Tiverton. He was born in 1689 in Cruwys Morchard. Curiously there is no record of his baptism in the Cruwys Morchard registers although all nine of his siblings were baptised there. Henry married Jane RAWLE, the daughter of Richard RAWLE, gentleman, on 26th September 1718 at Ilminster, Somerset. Henry was an attorney-at-law and a solicitor in Chancery. He was admitted to Lincolns Inn in 1737. He had chambers at New Inn, London, and a country estate at Hillersdon in the parish of Cullompton, Devon. Henry was for many years the solicitor to the Stamp Office, and was said to be "of great eminence and very considerable business". He resigned as Solicitor of the Stamp Office in October 1750 and was succeeded by his nephew Thomas Augustus CRUWYS, who had served him as a clerk for ten years. Henry died on 1st October 1760 at Hillersdon. His will was signed on 28th October 1758 and was proved on 22nd December 1760 in London by his nephew Thomas Augustus CRUWYS. After Henry's death it was discovered that no account had been settled for some years from the Stamp Office business. His widow Jane brought a bill in Chancery claiming £3,000 due from the business and £100 from the Revenue. Jane died on 20th October 1765 and her will was proved on 4th December 1765 in London.

In the Name of God Amen I Henry Cruwys of Hillersdon in the County of Devon, Esquire make my last Will and Testament in manner following I Give and bequeath all my Pictures Books Household Goods China Plate Furniture and Utensils of and belonging to or in my House at Hillersdon in the County of Devon and the Outhouses Offices and Gardens thereunto belonging unto my Executors hereinafter named In Trust to permit the same to be used and Enjoyed by the person and persons to whom the Possession and Enjoyment of the said House at Hillersdon Shall by Virtue of this my Will for the time being belong or appertain To the Intent the same Pictures Books Household Goods China Plate Furniture and Utensils may go with the said House as or in the nature of Heir Looms so far as the Rules of Law or Equity will admit And I Give Devise and bequeath all that my Moiety or Halfendeal of all those the Manors of Cullompton Ponnsford and Upton Weaver1 in the County of Devon and my Capital Messuage of Hillersdon with the Outhouses Offices Park and Gardens thereunto belonging and the Meadow lying under the same And all that my Barton Farm Lands of Hillersdon and all those Farms Lands and Tenements lately purchased of Mrs Drewe and John Chaplin and all other my Lands Tenements and Hereditaments whatsoever Situate lying and being in the County of Devon with their and every of their Rights Members and Appurtenances unto Thomas Putt of Combe in the said County of Devon Esquire the Reverend Samuel Newte of Tidcombe2 in the said County Clerk and my Nephew Thomas Augustus Cruwys and their Heirs To the uses upon the Trusts and Subject to the Powers Provisoes and Directions and for the Purposes following that is to say To the Use of my Dear Wife and her Assigns for her life And from and after her Decease To the Use of my Nephew Thomas Augustus Cruwys and the Heirs Male of his Body lawfully to be begotten And in Default of such Issue To the use of my Nephew Henry Shortrudge Cruwys and his Assigns for his life without Impeachment of Waste And Immediately after the Determination of that Estate To the Use of the said Thomas Putt and Samuel Newte and their Heirs during the life of my said Nephew Henry Shortrudge Cruwys In Trust to support and preserve the Contingent Remainders yet nevertheless to permit and suffer the said Henry Shortrudge Cruwys and his Assigns to receive and take the Rents Issues and Profits of the same premisses during his life And Immediately after the decease of the said Henry Shortrudge Cruwys To the use of the first Son of the Body of the said Henry Shortrudge Cruwys lawfully to be begotten and the Heirs Male of the Body of such first Son lawfully Issuing And in Default of such Issue To the use of the Second Third fourth fifth and all and every other the Son and Sons of the Body of the said Henry Shortrudge Cruwys lawfully to be begotten Severally Successively and in remainder one after another in Order and Course as they respectively shall be in priority of Birth and the Several and respective Heirs Male of the Body and Bodys of all and every such Son and Heir lawfully Issuing every Elder of such Sons and the Heirs Male of his Body being always preferred and to take before a younger of them and the Heirs Male of his Body And in Default of such Issue To the use of my Nephew John Cruwys and his Assigns for his life without Impeachment of Waste and Immediately after the Determination of that Estate To the use of the said Thomas Putt and Samuel Newte and their Heirs during the life of my said nephew John Cruwys In Trust by the ways and means aforementioned to Support and Preserve the contingent remainders yet nevertheless to permit and Suffer the said John Cruwys and his Assigns to receive and take the Rents Issues and Profits of the said Premisses during his life and Immediately after his decease To the use of the first Son of the Body of the said John Cruwys lawfully to be begotten and the Heirs Male of the Body of such first Son lawfully Issuing and in Default of such Issue To the use of the Second third fourth fifth and all and every other the Son and Sons of the Body of the said John Cruwys lawfully to be begotten Severally Successively and in remainder one after another in Order and Course as they shall respectively be in priority of Birth and the Several and respective Heirs Male of the Body and Bodys of all and every such Son and Sons lawfully Issuing every Elder of such Sons and the Heirs Male of his Body being always preferred and to take before a younger of them and the Heirs Male of his Body And in Default of such Issue To the use of my Brother Matthias Cruwys and his Assigns for his life without Impeachment of Waste and after the determination of that Estate To the use of the said Thomas Putt and Samuel Newte and their Heirs during the life of my said Brother Matthias Cruwys In Trust by the ways and means aforementioned to Support and Preserve the contingent remainders yet nevertheless to Permit and Suffer the said Matthias Cruwys and his Assigns to receive and take the Rents and Profits of the same Premisses during his life and Immediately after the decease of the said Matthias Cruwys To the use of the Second Son of the Body of the said Matthias Cruwys lawfully to be begotten and the Heirs Male of the Body of such Second Son lawfully issuing and in default of such issue to the use of the Third Fourth and all and every other Son and Sons of the Body of the said Mathias Cruwys lawfully to be begotten Severally Successively and in remainder one after another in Order and Course as they shall respectively be in Priority of Birth and the Several and respective Heirs Male of the Body and Bodys of all and every such Son and Sons lawfully Issuing every Elder of such Sons and the Heirs Male of his Body being always preferred and to take before the younger of them and the Heirs Male of his Body And in Default of such Issue To the use of my Sister Bridget for her life and from and after her death To the use of the first and every other Daughter of my Nephew Henry Shortrudge Cruwys lawfully to be begotten Successively according to their Seniority and the Several and respective Heirs of the Body and Bodys of such Daughter and daughters Issuing the Elder of all and every such Daughter and daughters of my said Nephew Henry Shortrudge Cruwys and the Heirs of her and their respective Bodys being always to take and be preferred before the younger of such daughter and Daughters and the Heir or Heirs of her and their respective Bodys And in Default of such Issue To the use of the first and every other Daughter of my said Nephew John Cruwys lawfully to be begotten Successively according to their Seniority and the Several and respective Heirs of the Body and body of such Daughter and Daughters Issuing the Elder of all and every such Daughter and Daughters of my said Nephew John Cruwys and the Heirs of her and their respective Bodys being always to take and be preferred before the younger of such Daughter and Daughters and the Heir or Heirs of her and their respective Bodys Issuing And in default of such Issue To the use of my said Nephew Thomas Augustus Cruwys his Heirs and Assigns for ever And whereas I am Intitled to Several Lands in the County of Somerset for the remainder of a term of Five hundred years or of some other long Term of years therein yet to come and unexpired Now my Will is and I do hereby Give the same unto them the said Thomas Putt Samuel Newte and my said nephew Thomas Augustus Cruwys their Executors Administrators and Assigns for all my Estate and Interest therein Upon the Trusts and for the Purposes following (that is to say) Upon Trust that they do and Shall assoon as conveniently may be after my Decease Sell and Dispose of the same or any part thereof either publickly or privately entire or in parcels as they shall think fit and lay out the same in the purchase of Lands of Inheritance lying in the said County of Devon to be conveyed and settled to the same uses and purposes and Subject to the same Powers and Provisoes as my said Moiety of the Manors of Cullompton Ponnsford and Upton Weaver and my Messuage and Barton of Hillersdon and my said other Lands in the County of Devon are hereby Devised and made Subject unto or to such and so many of such uses purposes and provisoes as Shall then Exist or may take effect And that in the meantime and until Such Sale they my said Trustees do and Shall permit and Suffer such person and persons to take and receive the Rents and Profits of my said Lands in Somersetshire for the time being as Shall under and by Virtue of this my said Will be Intitled to receive the Rents and Profits of my said Devonshire Lands hereby Devised as aforesaid and that from and after such Sale or Sales of my said Somersetshire Lands and until the said purchase money Shall be layn out and Invested in such Lands in the said County of Devon as aforesaid it Shall and may be lawful to and for them my said Trustees from time to time to place put and lend out the said purchase Money or any part thereof at Interest on Parliamentary or Real Security or Securitys and that they shall pay the Interest of the said Money from time to time to such person and persons as for the time being will be Intitled to the Rents and Profits of the Estates to be purchased by such Moneys and I do hereby Direct that the person or persons who shall be purchasor or purchasors of my said Somersetshire Lands or any of them Shall not be Obliged to look to the application of the said Money nor be Answerable for the non application or Misapplication thereof or of any part thereof Provided always and my Will is that it shall and may be lawful to and for my said Nephews the said Thomas Augustus Cruwys Henry Shortrudge Cruwys and John Cruwys when and as they respectively shall be in possession of the premises hereby limited or hereby directed as aforesaid to be limitted in use to them as aforesaid by Indenture or Indentures under their respective hands and Seals to Grant Limit or appoint any part or parts of the premises so limitted or Directed to be limitted to them as aforesaid unto upon or to the Use of any Woman or Women that they respectively shall Marry for and during the Life or lives of such Woman or Women respectively for or in the Name of her or their Jointure or Jointures so as the yearly Rents of the Lands and Heredit[amen]ts so to be limitted in Jointure do not exceed Seventy pounds for every Sum of One thousand pounds which the person and persons so respectively making such Jointure shall actually and bona fide receive either in Money or in Land for his own use or benefit of the same value as and for the Marriage Portion of such Woman or Women respectively And also that it shall and may be lawful to and for my said Nephews the said Thomas Augustus Cruwys Henry Shortrudge Cruwys and John Cruwys when and as they respectively Shall be in the possession of the same Premisses and upon and in consideration of their respective Marriages with any Woman or Women by Indenture of Indentures under their respective hands and Seals to Demise Lease or Grant any part or parts of the same premisses whereof they Shall be so and respectively in possession as aforesaid unto any person or persons for any Term or Number of years to take effect after the Death of the person so respectively Granting limiting or Appointing Upon Trust by Sale or Mortgage of the Lands and Hereditaments in the meantime until such Sale or Mortgage Shall be made or by all or any of the ways and means aforementioned to raise and Levy any Sum or Sums of Money not Exceeding in the whole the Marriage Portion of each such Woman or Women which the party so Granting limitting or Appointing shall respectively Marry for the portion and portions of all and every the Child and Children of any such Marriage respectively other than such as Shall be Intitled to the Inheritance of the same premises by Virtue of this my Will to be paid at such time and times and with such Maintenance from the Death of the person so respectively Granting limitting or Appointing not Exceeding the Interest of the said portion after the rate of three pounds and ten shillings per Cent per Annum as at the time of such Marriage respectively Shall be agreed upon So as in every such Grant Lease or Demise there be contained a proviso or agreement for the Term and Terms so to be respectively granted limitted and appointed to cease and be void or to attend the Freehold and Inheritance of the same premises when the said portion and portions thereupon to be charged Shall be raised paid and Satisfyed or shall cease to become payable And also that it Shall and may be Lawful to and for my said Wife and also for my said Nephews the said Thomas Augustus Cruwys Henry Shortrudge Cruwys John Cruwys & my Brother the said Matthias Cruwys and my said Sister the said Bridget Cruwys when and as they respectively Shall be in Possession as aforesaid to make Leases of the said Lands and Heredit[amen]ts (Except the said Capital Messuage of Hillersdon and the Offices Gardens Nursery and Park thereto belonging) for any Term or Number of years not exceeding Twenty one years in possession and not in reversion at the stated [?] most Improved Rents that can be reasonably had or Gotten for the same without taking any Fines And Whereas I am possessed of all that Messuage or Tenement called Moorhays and a Close and Field called Maryland in the parish of Tiverton in the said County of Devon for Several Terms of Fourscore and Nineteen years yet to come and unexpired determinable on the Deaths of Several persons I do hereby Give and bequeath the said Messuage or Tenement called Moorhays and Close and Field called Maryland and all my Interest therein unto the said Thomas Putt and Samuel Newte their Executors and Assigns for and during the Several Terms and Estates which I have or Shall have to come and unexpired therein as aforesaid In Trust to Permit and Suffer my said Dear Wife and her Assigns to have hold and enjoy the same and the Rents Issues and Profits thereof to have and take to her own use for so many years of the said Terms as She my said Wife shall happen to live if my Estate therein shall so long continue And from and after her Death Then to permit and Suffer my said Nephew the said Thomas Augustus Cruwys and his Assigns to have hold and enjoy the same and the Rents Issues and Profits thereof to have and take to his and their own use for so many years of the said Several Terms as he my said Nephew Shall happen to live And from and after his Decease I Give and bequeath the residue and remainder of the said Terms and my Interest in the said premisses to the first Son of my said Nephew that shall attain the age of Twenty one years. And in case he shall have no Son that shall attain the Age of Twenty one years Then I Give and bequeath the same and all my Interest therein to such person or persons who for the time being shall be Seized of or Intitled to my Freehold Lands in Cullompton aforesaid by Virtue of this my Will for the residue of the said Terms And my Will is and I do hereby also Declare that the said Several Lands Tenements and Hereditaments hereinbefore limitted to my said Wife for her life are and were so limitted to her in lieu of and in recompence Satisfaction and Compensation for her Dower and the Settlement and Provision made for her upon my Intermarriage with her And I Give and bequeath unto my said Dear Wife all such Jewels Watches and Rings which are used or worn by her And I Give and bequeath unto my said Dear Wife my Coach and Post Chariot or Chaise and Coach Horses with the harnyses and all other things thereunto belonging or such of them as she shall think fit to take for her own use and the Choice of such or as many of my other Horses as She Shall Desire or Choose to have with my Cart and Waggon and all my Implements in Husbandry with my Draught Oxen And I Give and bequeath unto my said Nephew Thomas Augustus Cruwys all my Chambers and House in New Inn being Two Sets of Chambers and also my House in Witch Street3 adjoining thereto for all my Estate Interest Term and Terms therein held [?] paying the Rents reserved thereon and performing the Covenants on the Lessees part to be performed And I Give and Bequeath unto my said Dear Wife the Sum of Two hundred pounds to be paid her Immediately after my decease and all such Arrears of Rent as shall be due to me at the time of my Death for any of my Lands Tenements or Hereditaments Except such as I shall have Settled any Account of with any of my Tenants or for which I have taken any Security which I declare Shall be Deemed and taken as part of my Personal Estate and which I have hereafter otherwise Disposed of And I Give to my said Brother Matthias Cruwys and my said Nephews the said John Cruwys and Henry Shortrudge Cruwys the Sum of Ten pounds each for Mourning And I Give and bequeath to my Sister Bridget Cruwys Twenty pounds for Mourning And I do hereby release and Discharge her from all Demands on Account of Board or her having lived with me And I do Direct my Executors to Execute unto her a Release and Discharge for the same if it shall be desired from them And I Give to my said Nephew Thomas Augustus Cruwys all my Law Books in London and the Gold Watch I usually wear with the Chain and Seal thereto belonging and Ten pounds for mourning and such of my Horses (as my said Dear Wife shall not take for her use) as he shall desire for his use and unto the said Thomas Putt and Samuel Newte the Sum of Twenty Pounds each to be laid out in a Ring or a piece of plate as they shall think proper to be worn or kept in remembra[u]nce of me and unto such of my Servants as my said Wife shall think proper One years Wages over and above what shall be due to them and Mourning And I do hereby Give and bequeath all my ready Money Securitys for Money Stocks in the Publick Funds Goods Chattels and Personal Estate whatsoever not herein before Specifically Given and Disposed of unto my said Wife the said Thomas Putt Samuel Newte and my said Nephew Thomas Augustus Cruwys their Executors Administrators and Assigns Upon Trust in the first place to pay my Funeral Expences and all the Just Debts I Shall owe at the time of my Death and afterwards the Several Pecuniary Legacys in and by this my Will Given and bequeathed and such other Legacys and Sums of Money as I Shall by any Codicil or Writing under my hand hereafter Give bequeath and Dispose of and Shall and do lay out Apply and Dispose of the residue and Surplus of my personal Estate which Shall remain after and Shall not be applyed in for and towards the payment of my Funeral Expences Debts and Legacys in the purchase of Lands Tenements and Hereditaments in Fee Simple and shall and do Immediately after such purchase or purchases shall be made Settled Convey and Assure the Lands Tenements and Hereditaments so to be purchased to for upon and Subject to such and so many of the uses Estates powers, provisos and Limitations in and by this my Will limitted created [?] and declared of and concerning the said Moiety of the Manors of Cullompton Ponnsford and Upton Weaver and other my said Lands in the said County of Devon as Shall be then Existing undetermined or capable of taking effect and my Will is And I do hereby Declare that in the meantime and until such purchase or purchases shall be made as aforesaid it Shall and may be lawful to and for my said Trustees their Executors Administrators and Assigns to place out the residue of my Personal Estate hereby Given and bequeathed to them as aforesaid upon the publick Funds or on Government or other Real Securitys at Interest and also from time to time to call in the principal Money so to be placed out and place the same out again upon new or other Securitys of the like Nature at Interest and that the Interest and yearly produce arising from such Securitys Shall be paid to such person and persons as would be Intitled to the Rents and Profits of the Lands and Hereditaments hereby Directed to be Purchased in case the same were purchased and Settled pursuant to this my Will And I make Constitute and Appoint my said Dear Wife the said Thomas Putt Samuel Newte and Thomas Augustus Cruwys Executors of this my Will And I do hereby Will and declare that my said Executors and Trustees shall not nor Shall any of them or the Heirs Executors or Administrators of them or any of them be answerable or accountable for any Money to be received by Virtue of the Trusts hereby in them respectively reposed any otherwise than each person for such Sum and Sums of Money as he or she Shall respectively actually receive and that no one of them shall be answerable or accountable for the Acts Receipts Neglects or Defaults of the other of them And also that my said Trustees and Executors their respective Executors and Administrators shall and may out of the Estate and Effects hereby respectively Vested in them for the purposes as aforesaid retain to and reimburse themselves for all Costs Charges Damages and Expenses that they respectively shall or may Sustain or be put unto in and about the Execution of the Trust hereby in them respectively reposed And I do hereby Direct and Declare that it Shall and may be lawful to and for them my said Executors and I do hereby Impower and Authorize them from time to time as they shall think fit to compound or make up and Compromise any Debt or Debts which Shall be due or owing to me at the time of my Death or which shall at any time then after become Due and owing to my said Trust Estate and Effects and to Give Releases Discharges and Certificates for such Debt or Debts and for the person or persons of such Debtor or Debtors And that they my said Trustees Shall not be answerable or accountable for any loss or Losses which may happen by reason or means of any Insufficient or defective Security or Securitys on which my said Personal Estate or Effects may at any time be placed or lent out without their wilfull default And I do hereby revoke all former Wills by me made In Witness whereof I the said Henry Cruwys have to this my last Will and Testament and also to a Duplicate thereof both to the same Tenor and Effect and each containing Two Skins of parchment to the first Skin of each I have set my hand and to the Second and last Skin of each my hand and Seal this Twenty Eighth day of October In the year of our Lord Christ One thousand Seven hundred and Fifty Eight And in the Thirty Second year of the Reign of our Sovereign Lord George the second King of Great Britain Hen: Cruwys Signed Sealed published and declared by the said Testator Henry Cruwys as and for his last Will and Testament in the presence of us who at his request and in his presence and also in the presence of each other have Subscribed our Names as Witnesses hereunto

Susanna Vowler [?] Barthow Jeffery Nich. Wooton

This Will was proved at London the Twenty Second day of December In the year of our Lord One thousand seven hundred and Sixty before the Worshipful Thomas Bever Doctor of Laws Surrogate of the Right Worshipful Edward Simpson also Doctor of Laws Master Keeper or Com[m]issary of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury lawfully constituted by the Oath of Thomas Augustus Cruwys one of the Executors named in the said Will to whom Administration was Granted of all and Singular the Goods Chattels and Credits of the deceased he having been first Sworn duly to administer (power reserved of making the like Grant to Jane Cruwys Widow the Relict of the deceased Thomas Putt and Samuel Newte the other Executors when they or either of them shall apply for the same)

This Will was proved at London the Sixth day of February In the Year of our Lord One thousand Seven hundred and Sixty one before the Right Worshipful Edward Simpson Doctor of Laws Master Keeper or Commissary of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury lawfully constituted by the Oaths of Thomas Putt Esquire and the Reverend Samuel Newte Clerk two other of the Executors named in the said Will to whom Administration was Granted of all and Singular the Goods Chattels and Credits of the deceased they having been first Sworn by Commission duly to Administer Power reserved of making the like Grant to Jane Cruwys Widow the Relict of the deceased the other Executor when she shall apply for the same)

Ex[amine]d

1 Ponsford (now spelt with just one 'n') and Upton Weaver are both manors in the parish of Cullompton.
2 Tidcombe is the name of one of the four quarters of Tiverton. It comprises the hamlets of Chevithorne, West and East Mere, Craze-Loman, and Manley.
3 Witch Street or Wych Street was originally part of the Via de Aldwych, running off Drury Lane past the entrance to New Inn on the north side and linking up with the Strand at St Clement's. The street is now part of the present-day Aldwych, whose name is derived from Old Wych Street.

Last updated: 17 Nov Jun 2006 - Brian Randell

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