Monday, March 11, 2013

Will of John Buller the elder of North Curry, Somerset, Esquire - The National Archives PROB 11/79/212, probated 3 Mar 1591/92

This will of John Buller the elder of Lillesdon probated in 1591/92 really needs the Inquisition Postmortem to make sense of it. However, he does identify his sons John and George. Missing are his other three sons - Robert, Benjamin and Richard (only four of these sons are mentioned in the Inquisition but Robert is on the Visitation). According to the Visitation George was 43 years of age  and said to be the eldest. However, John was the Executor of the will which is usually the eldest but not always. George then was born circa 1548/49 and if the eldest the rest may have been all born by about 1560 or thereabouts. No guardians are named in this will so all are over 21 presumably. His wife is not named and she was Elizabeth Rogers daughter of Sir John Rogers Knight. This John was born posthumously probably in 1529 or 1530 making him 62/62 years of age at his death. His father John was 24 or more at his father's death in 1526 (his father was Alexander Buller and his mother was the first wife of Alexander Ann daughter of Giles Lo. Danbury. He died just three years after his father Alexander and his wife Dorothy daughter of St John Kellaway Knight married into the Lyte family.

If I ever bridge the gap between this John, the testator and his sons to the Buller family at Nether Stowey then I will acquire the Inquisition Postmortem.

There is a will probated (but  not at Canterbury) written by a John Buller of North Curry, Somerset and Admon given 25 Oct 1599 to Humphry Arundell of Lillesdon, Somerset, Gent during the minority of Johane, John, Nicholas, Ann, and Edward Buller children of the deceased with consent of Johan Buller, relict, Nicholas Wadham, Esquire and Edward Seymor, Esquire, nearest of kin. This is from the Abstracts of Somersetshire wills produced by Frederick Brown. (

Is this the son John (probate 25 Oct 1599 - paragraph above) who probated his father John's will (present testator)? Hard to predict the ages of his children without the parish registers of Lillesdon or some other information. However he has left underage children as he mentions that they are in their minority so born after 1580. This is my first clue for Buller descendants of the Lillesdon family living likely into the 1600s since they would be less than 21 in 1599. This is perhaps one of the wills lost at Exeter during the bombing.

There is also an abstract of the will of Alexander Buller Esquire of Wood, Somerset. Diocese of Bath and Wells. Will dated and proved, 1526. To be buried at Knoll. My father in law John Horsey the elder. My brother John Horsey. My wife Elizabeth. John Buller my son and heir.

Unfortunately Alexander's will was likely lost in the bombing of the Exeter Record Office during WWII.

Looking at the Visitation of Cumberland for the Buller family:

Alexander is the grandfather of John Buller the elder of Lillesdon whose will was probated 1592 (present testator). Alexander's eldest son John was by his first wife Ann daughter of Giles Lo. Dawbrey and he was 24 when his father died in 1526 and John himself died in 1529. This will I have not yet obtained. The present testator was the posthumous child of the John Buller (son of Alexander) who died in 1529. Although Alexander was the father of Richard (second son) who married Margaret Trethersse of Cornwall (widow of Edward Courtney), he was not aware at his death that his son would carry the line to fame and fortune!

The Marriage Licenses of the Diocese of Exeter, edited by Vivian, contain an interesting marriage:

1596-97, Mar 8:  John Buller of Lillesdon, in co. Somerset, and Joanne Cole of Slade, Gent., widow (widow of Philip Cole of Slade, in Buckland Toutsainte). Is this the son of the testator?

Transcriber: Elizabeth Kipp
Recorded: 8 Mar 2013
Source: The National Archives, PROB 11/79/212
Testator: John Buller
Place: North Curry, Somerset
Date of document:  12 Jan 1591/92, probated 3 Mar 1591/92
Read: Electronic copy images
Document quality: 16th century English, legible copy

[Margin]: Johannis
[Margin]: Buller

1    In the Name of God Amen the twelfth daie of Januarie
2    in the yeare of our lorde god everlastinge one thousande five hundred fower score and
3    elevene I John Buller th[e ]elder of Lillesdon in the parishe of North currie in the
4    Countie of Somersett esquier doe make and ordaine this my last will and testamente
5    in manner and forme followinge Firste I committ my soule into the handes of god that
6    gave yt me And my bodie to be buried in the churche of Northe Currie surelie believinge
7    the resurrection thereof at the laste daie. Item I give and bequeath to my
8    servante George Mackrell the reversion of the Tenement of Roberte Cruche
9    Lillesdon aforesaide To have and to hold the same for terme of his liefe
10    yeeldinge the annuall rentes for the same Item I give unto my sister Causson
11    Three kine of the better sorte Item I give Tenn pounds yearlie out of the lease of
12    Ham__ Milles unto my sonn George Buller duringe his life if the lease continue
13    soe longe Item I give to my servante Humphrie Arrundell my Ro_ne and
14    gold ringe Item I give to Peeter Davie my servante my graie geld ringe buller
15    legacies And my debtes discharged I give and bequeath unto John Buller my son
16    whome I make my sole Executor of this my laste will and testament Witnesses
17    hereunto thear which named are hereunder written G W Seymour John Pine
18    John Bigges and Franncis Eyer

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