Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Will of John Pincombe of Molland dated 3 Apr 1837 (probated 17 Apr 1840) (Source: Inland Revenue Wills - p 884)

The will of John Pincombe of Molland (deceased 19 June 1838) is a rather interesting one. This John was a brother to my 3x great grandfather Robert.

The reason for my Pincombe line coming to Canada passed down through the family was Robert Pincombe (eldest brother to my John Pincombe (2x great grandfather)) who had emigrated to the United States prior to 1835 came back with stories of the rich land to be had for a reasonable price already under cultivation with buildings. Robert had returned to marry Mary Shapland sometime in 1835 and they went back to the United States (Gennessee New York to be precise) almost immediately. Leaving England and coming to Canada was like little more than moving from county to county, except you had to cross an ocean to do it, if you happened to be English/Scot/Irish.

In his will written 3 April 1837, the above mentioned Robert has already returned to the United States and John does not mention him at all. He does though mention all of the other children of Robert Pincombe and Elizabeth Rowcliffe (my 3x great grandparents) with the exception of Elizabeth who has married Richard Elsworthy. Robert Pincombe (my ancestor) in his will had passed all of his copyhold land to his brothers in 1827 and left a number of legacies to his children which were to be paid from the profits of the copyhold land one might assume (although not written). John Pincombe (the present testator), his brother William Pincombe and brother in law Philip Rowcliffe were the Executors of that will.

In this will John identifies himself as being of Great Woods in Molland. This is the property that was held by him for his entire adult life. He is first found on Great Woods in the 1780s. This is now a Grade II Listed Building:

SS 72 NE
14/51 Great Woods Farmhouse
Farmhouse. Probably C16, with late-C19 addition and mid-to late C20 alterations. Rendered over stone rubble and cob. Gable-ended asbestos-slate roof, formerly thatched. Rendered front lateral stack, tops of stacks of C19 red brick. Plan and development: Probably 3-room and cross-passage plan,  facing west with ground falling to right. Central room with full-height projection and external lateral stack to front, probably with cross passage to right. Service room to right with external lateral stack to rear and upper room to left with entrance in left-hand gable end. C19 wing to rear of upper room with integral brick end stack and lean-to outshut to north.  Old list description mentions open fireplaces, hall with beams and joists, and kitchen with plain timber ceiling. Sawn purlin ends visible in left-hand gable end.

I find the reference to it likely being a 16th Century dwelling most interesting. At some point I want to do a history of the property as I suspect it was one of the properties that William Pincombe (married to Emott Snow) held. My ancestor John Pincombe was a butcher and farmer in this time period at Molland living at Gatcombe. John Pincombe (the testator) does not have any sons so I am assuming that his reference to himself as Elder is because my John Pincombe is considered the younger in this case (both living in Molland). They are fairly close together with John Pincombe (butcher) the younger at Gatcombe being about 1 mile north west of Molland and John Pincombe the Elder at Great Woods being about 1 mile to the south west of Molland. The only other Pincombe at Molland in this time period is Thomas (brother to John at Gatcombe) and he is a wheelwright.

The will commences with his remembering his two brothers William at Bishops Nympton and Thomas at Twitchen and his remaining sister Grace married to Richard Headdon. He remembers his niece Philippia Baker (daughter of Thomas Pincombe at Twitchen) married to Henry Baker. At the end of the will we discover that the witnesses include Richard (to be mentioned) Pincombe, Henry Baker and George Cockram. To the best of my knowledge George Cockram is not related to the Pincombe family. He then remembers the sons of his deceased brother Robert Pincombe  Richard (signer), Philip the youngest, Thomas and George the next two in birth order before Richard (Richard is the second youngest). Then John Pincombe (2nd eldest son of Robert) Butcher is mentioned and there is some confusion on people's part because his aunt Grace Pincombe (sister of the testator's father John) was married to John Butcher and their son was named John Pincombe Butcher but he died as an infant at the same time as his mother died (in childbirth likely or shortly thereafter). He remembers two of Grace Headon's children John and Grace and coincidentally they are the only unmarried ones. The other two boys and three girls are married or living away from the area. One of Grace's daughters Ann married John Bond and their son John Joseph Bond was a Mormon who (with his family) made the trek to Salt Lake City probably in the 1860s. In particular though he mentioned his child born out of wedlock by Ann Smaldon - Mary Pincombe Thorne and she is to inherit Great Woods and Eastweek from him. Great Woods is a freehold but Eastweek he has by Copyhold so lifetime only. He also mentions Thomas Pincombe son of his brother Thomas at Twitchen. He has mentioned the daughter Phillippa already (married to Henry Baker one of the witnesses) but does not mention the other nine living children of Thomas! That is likely because the copyhold land that Robert passed to John and William will now pass to Thomas although not mentioned in the will. Most of the children are still young as well whereas all the others mentioned are adults. William Pincombe Junior of Bishopsnympton is the son of his brother William who also lives at Bishops nympton and is unwell at this time. Again only William is mentioned and not the other living children Mary married to William Matthews (has three children) and Anna married to John Hole (has four children) - the other children have died young. It would appear that most of the legacy recipients are unmarried children of his siblings.

It is always interesting to read this lengthy will where the individual is unmarried and he mentions all of his siblings, his nephews and nieces. It does so help to tie a family together. Plus there is always the curiosity why didn't he marry Ann Smaldon; presumably she was Ann Thorne since the name of their child was Mary Pincombe Thorne. The set of wills that I am now doing (three of them) tie together the children of John Pincombe and Mary Charlie/Charly/Charley but the will that John himself left was lost in the bombing of Exeter Record Office in WWII unfortunately as was the will of his father John Pincombe married to Grace Manning. This family though did make an effort in Canada to retain the genealogy of their family in England. There was a Bible with the genealogy back to John Pincombe and Grace Manning which I saw as a child. The Bible that has my great grandparents Pincombe Wedding Registration does not contain any details prior to the marriage of William Robert Pincombe and Grace Gray.

The will of John Pincombe the elder of Great Woods (my 3x great grand uncle) follows:

Recorded: 26 Oct 2011
Source: Inland Revenue Wills - p 884
Place: Molland, Devon, England
Type of Record: Will
Dated: 3 Apr 1837 (probated 14 Apr 1840)
Condition: photocopy, light, modern English writing
Type: four pages - Original will (2 pages) and Probate (2 pages)

1 I John Pincombe the Elder of Great Woods in the
2 parish of Molland in the County of Devon Yeoman being at this time
3 sick of Body but of perfect mind and understanding do make and ordain
4 this my last Will and Testament in the following manner - First I give and
5 bequeath unto my Brother William Pincombe the sum of ten pounds Also
6 I give unto my Brother Thomas Pincombe the sum of ten pounds Also I give
7 unto my sister Grace Headon the sum ten pounds Also I give unto niece
8 Philippia Baker the sum of forty pounds. Also I give and bequeath unto my
9 Nephew Richard Pincombe son of the late Robert Pincombe the sum of Thirty
10 Pounds Also I give unto Philip Pincombe my nephew the sum of ten pounds
11 Also I give unto my two Nephews Thomas and George Pincombe Brothers ten
12 Pounds Also I give unto my Nephew John Pincombe Butcher the sum of
13 Ten pounds Also I give unto John Headon my Nephew the sum of ten
14 pounds Also unto my niece Grace Headon the sum of ten pounds - the above
15 Legacies to be paid by my Executors at the expiration of one year after my
16 decease. Also I give unto the poor people of Molland and Bishopsnympton
17 the Sum of twenty shillings in Bread. Also I give and devise and bequeath
18 unto my natural Daughter Mary Pincombe Thorne Daughter of Ann Smaldon
19 All that freehold Estate called Great Woods in the parish of Molland with
20 the appurtenances situate lying and being in the aforesaid parish Molland
21 unto her and unto her Children lawfully begotten and unto her heirs for
22 ever My will is that my said Daughter Mary Pincombe Thorne shall have
23 the whole of the freehold property left by me at my decease on her attaining
24 the age of twenty one years she is not to sign over nor mortgage nor sell
25 nor contract any debt on the aforesaid Estate during the time of her natural
26 life and at her decease I give devise and bequeath the whole of such freehold
27 property left to her by me at my decease unto the heirs, children lawfully
28 begotten of the said Mary Pincombe Thorne the Eldest Son if any to have the
29 freehold property but in default of Sons the eldest daughter and to her heairs
30 for ever the Proprietor of Great Woods may make a jointure to his Wife
31 not exceeding twenty pound a year But if the said Mary Pincombe Thorne
32 before she attains the age of twenty one years and leave no Child or Children
33 nor Grandchildren lawfully beggotten Then I give devise and bequeath all
34 that Freehold Estate called Great Woods in the parish of Molland unto my
35 two Nephews Thomas Pincombe of Twitchin Jun[io]r and John Pincombe Jun[io]r of
36 Molland to them two and to their heirs for ever the said Thomas Pincombe
 [Page 2]
37 and the said John Pincombe may if he succeed to the freehold Estate or
38 their descendants may make a Jointer to their wives at ten pounds a year
39 not exceeding ten pounds a year each. Never to be mortgage nor sold
40 I also give and bequeath unto Mary Pincombe Thorne my Copyhold Estate
41 called Lower Eastweek situated the parish of Bishops nympton when she attains
42 the age of Twenty four year All the rest residue and remainder of my
43 property wheresoever and whatsoever I give upon trust unto Thomas Pincombe
44 my Brother and William Pincombe Jun[io]r of Bishopsnympton whom I nominate
45 and appoint sole Executors of this my last Will and Testament the[y] are to pay
46 and receive all monies connected with the property real and personal by me
47 at my decease untill my Daughter Mary Pincombe Thorne shall attain the
48 age of twenty four years when she is to have the whole of such property
49 in the hands of my Executors in trust. My Will is that my Executors in
50 trust are to pay unto Mary Pincombe Thorne the sum Forty pounds a
51 year to paid in two half yearly paym[en]ts But I confide entirely in the
52 judgment integrity and discretion and ability of my Executors in trust wheather
53 the[y] may think it right & proper or not have the whole of the property real
54 and personal at that time or not to have the whole of the property real and personal in the hands of the Executors in trust until she attains the
55 age of twenty four years, my Executors in trust are to use their own discretion
56 the[y] are to pay all my lawful debts legacies and funeral expences In Witness
57 whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this third day of April 1837
58 John Pincombe [signed and sealed]
59 Signed sealed and declared by the said
60 John Pincombe the Testator for his last Will
61 and Testament in the presence of we who have
62 set our names
63 Richard Pincombe [signed]
64 Henry Baker [signed]
65 George Cockram [signed]
66 Codicil to this will I give to the Executor William Pincombe the sum of Ten
67 pounds - John Pincombe [signed]
 [Page 3] [p 884 in margin]
68 21 July
69 No. 18
70 For the Stamp Office
71 Copy of the Will and Codicil
72 of John Pincombe late of
73 Molland Devon Freeman dec[ease]d
74 Executor
75 Thomas Pincombe of Twitchen
76 Devon Yeoman
77 (Power being resigned to
78 William Pincombe the other
79 Executor)
80 South Molton
81 Proved in the Principal Episcopy
82 of the Lord Bishop of Exeter the
83 14th April 1840
84 Testator Dec[eased] 19 June 1838
85 Effects sworn under £600
86 Ralph Barnes
87 Dep[ut]y Registrar
88 22 Apr 1840 [seal]
89 For 464
 Folios at 6 . 5 . 6
90 [page 4]
92 Appeared personally Thomas Pincombe of
93 the Parish of Twitchen in the County of
94 Devon Yeoman one of the
95 Executors named in the last Will and Testament with one
96 Codicil thereto of John Pincombe late
97 of Molland in the said County Yeoman
98 who died on the nineteenth Day of June 1838
99 and made Oath, that he had made diligent search and due enquiry
100 after, and in respect of the Personal Estate and Effects of the said Deceased, in
101 order to ascertain the full Amount and Value thereof; and that to the best of
102 his Knowledge, Information, and Belief, the whole of the Goods, Chattels,
103 and Credits, of which the said Deceased died possessed within the
104 Diocese of Exeter (exclusive of what the Deceased may have
105 been possessed of or intitled to as a Trustee for any other Person, or Persons.
106 and not beneficially. (A) but including the Leasehold Estates for Years of the
107 Deceased, whether absolute or determinable on Lives, and without deducting
108 any Thing on Account of the Debts due and owing from the Deceased) are under
109 the Value of Six hundred pounds
110 to the best of this Deponents Knowledge, Information, and Belief, (B) and
111 this Deponent lastly made Oath, that the said Deceased was not possess of
112 or intitled to any Leasehold Estate or Estates for Years of the Deceased, whether
113 absolute or determinable on a Life or Lives, to the best of this Deponents
114 Knowledge, Information, and Belief.
115 Sworn on the fourteenth
116 Day of  April 1840
117 before me
118 Thomas Pincombe [signed]
119 G M Mather B D Surrogate

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