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Will of Joan Groves of Wymeswold, Widow

    July 20th 1521

    I Joan Groves of Wymeswold [being] of whole mind and perfect memory make my testament and last will in manner and form following.

    First I bequeath my soul to Almighty God, to our Lady Saint Mary and to all the holy company of heaven, my body to be buried in the churchyard of Wymeswold. Also I bequeath for my mortuary [1] my best goods after the custom and manner of the country. Also I bequeath to our Lady of Lincoln [2] 4 pence. I bequeath to the rood light in the church of Wymeswold two serges of wax [3] price of 12 pence. Also I bequeath to Brantingby church 8d.

    I bequeath 10 shillings for to have a trentall [4] of masses sung for my husband's soul and my soul and all other souls.

    I bequeath to John Humberston 2 pewter plates and a candlestick and a little pot. Also I bequeath to Robert my eldest son a coverlet, a matress a pot and a winer and also I bequeath to John my son a pan and 2 platters and a kerchief to his wife. I bequeath to Richard my son, my cow and 2 pairs of sheets and a coverlet.

    I bequeath to Agnes my daughter a gown and one kerchief. I bequeath to Joan my daughter a pot gown and a kerchief. I bequeath to Elizabeth my daughter a kirtle a pot and a kerchief. Also I bequeath to Elizabeth Medylton a pair of sheets and the residue of all my goods, I give and bequeath to John Humberstone and to Robert my son whom I ordain and make my sole executors they to dispose them for the health of my soul as they shall find most expedient.

    Witness of this my testament I John Holt vicar of Wymeswold, Richard Mores and William Barratt.


  1. mortuary – money or goods given to the church to allow for non-payment or underpayment of dues for the church in one's lifetime.
  2. Our Lady of Lincoln – Lincoln Cathedral; there was no Leicester Diocese in 1521.
  3. Serges – a serge of wax was a large thick candle used in churches.
  4. Trentall of masses – 30 masses.

This will was transcribed by the late Jessie Moretti, a founder member of the Wolds Historical Organisation, and the notes are hers.

Brantingby [Brentingby] is south east of Melton Mowbray and may have been the village where Joan Grove or her husband was born.

There are no records of other members of the Grove family being buried at Wymeswold though a George Groves married Alice Foxe at the Church in 1590. The name appears several times in the early Prestwold registers and another Joan Groves, presumably a granddaughter of the above, married Gabriel Stapleton at Prestwold in 1575.

John Humberston was the vicar of Prestwold.

Originally published in The Wolds Historian No.3 [2006]

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