Ancestors of Mandy Willard

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The Will of

William Comber (1703-1778)


NOTE:  I have embolden names.  Anything I am unsure of is in [ ] after the word or phrase.  Original spelling has be kept.


I William Comber of Crowhurst in the County of Surry Yeoman being of sound disposing Mind Memory and Understanding do make this my last Will and Testament in manner and form following ffirst I resign my soul to God and my Body to the Earth to be therein decently buried in Crowhurst Church Yard at the discretion of my Executors herein after named And I do direct my said Executors to cause a Grave to be deemed [?] large enough for the Interment of me and my Wife and a Tombstone to be erected thereon And I give to the Minister who shall Officiate at my ffuneral the Sum of One Guinea for a Sermon to be preached on that Occasion And as to all my Worldly Estate wherewith it hath pleased God to blefs me I give and dispose of the same as follows that is to say I give and devise all those my Mefsuages or Tenements ffarms Lands Hereditaments and Appartments situate lying and being in the parish of Lingfield aforesaid in the County of Surry in the several Occupations of Robert Care [or Robert Cane] Robert Hoad [or Robert Head] and my son John Comber and elsewhere in the kingdom of Great Britain unto John Comber of Stoneland in the parish of Westhothly in the County of Sufsex Yeoman and to John Newnham of Horley in the said County of Surry Yeoman and to their heirs and afsigns forever to take as Tenants in Common and not as joint Tenants But Subject nevertheless to and chargeable with the payment of One Annuity or yearly Rent Charge of Thirty Pounds of lawful money of Great Britain clear of all payments and deductions whatever unto my loving wife Ruth during her naturaal life to be paid to her at the place of her abode for the time being by equal Quarterly payments that is to say Lady Day Midsummer Day Michaelmas Day and Christmas Day the first payment thereof to be made on such of the said days as shall first happen next after my decease with power of Entry and Distrefs for my said Wife In Case of nonpayment of the said Annuity or any part thereof for the space of Ten days next after any of the said days on which the same ought to be paid as aforesaid and with full power to keep and sell the said Distrefs or Distrefses until and for payment of the said Annuity or any part thereof together with all charges attending the same and if said Real Estate should be insufficient to pay the said Annuity of thirty pounds then it is my Will that deficiency shall be made up from time to time out of my personal Estate by my Executors hereafter named Also I give and bequeath all my personal Estate of what nature or kind soever and wheresoever Except as herein after mentioned unto the said John Comber of Westhothly aforesaid and the said John Newnham of Horley aforesaid their Executors Administrations and afsigns In Trust nevertheless to sell and dispose thereof to pay the Legacies and for other purposes herein after mentioned that is to say I give and bequeath unto my Brother Stephen if living at the time of my decease the Sum of Ten pounds of like lawful Money but if he should be dead then I give the said Sum of Ten pounds to and equally among the Child or Children of my said Brother Stephen share and share alike Also I give unto my nephews Thomas and William sons of my Brother John and to my nephews Thomas and John sons of my Brother Thomas the sum of Ten pounds a piece of like lawful Money Also I give and bequeath unto my niece Mary daughter of my Sister Ann and to my niece Mary daughter of my sister Mary the sum of ffive pounds a piece of like lawful Money Also I give to my nephew James Smart son of my sister Elizabeth the Sum of fforty pounds of like lawful Money Also I give and bequeath unto William Dunmore my Servant the Sum of ffive pounds and ffive Shillings of like lawful Money All which said Legacies I do direct shall be paid by my Executors herein after named in twelve months after my decease Also I give and bequeath to the poor people of the parish of Crowhurst aforesaid the Sum of ffifty Shillings of like lawful Money to be laid out in Bread and distributed to them by my said Executors in One Month after my decease And from and after payment of the said Legacies I do hereby direct that the surplus of the Money arising by sale of my Quick and Dead Stock and also all Monies or Securities together with the Monies arising by Sale of the Remainder of the Term of the Lease of my ffarm shall be by the said John Comber of Westhothly and John Newnham of Horley placed out in Government or some other good Securites and pay and apply the Interest and Dividends thereof as follows that is to say I give and bequeath one Annuity of ffifteen pounds part thereof clear of all Deductions and payable half yearly unto my Son John during the life of my said Wife Ruth and from and after her decease my Will is that the said Annuity of ffifteen pounds shall cease And then I give to my said Son John the clear yearly Annuity of Thirty pounds payable in like manner during the term of his natural life And in Case my said Son John Comber should die and leave Ifsue of his Body of lawfully begotten hiers Then I give and bequeath unto such Child or Children the Sum of One hundred pounds of like lawfull Money to be paid to him her or them at his her or their Age or Ages of twenty One years Also I give and bequeath unto my wife Ruth All my plate with our Bed Bedstead and Hangings all my Linnen and such other Goods and ffurniture she shall think proper to take during her life And from and after her decease I give and bequeath the same to my niece Elizabeth Newnham Also I give to my said Son John my best suit of Cloaths Also I give to the said William Dunmore my Silver Watch my Silver Buckles and a pair of Buckskin Gloves to be delievered to them by my Executors immediately after my decease All the Rest Residue and Remainder of my Estate whether Real or Personal after payment of my Debts Legacies Annuities ffuneral Expenses and Probate of this my Will I give devise and bequeath the same unto the said John Comber of Westhothly and John Newnham of Horley their heirs Executors Administrators and Afsigns for ever as Tenants in Common And I do hereby nominate ordain constitute and appoint the said John Comber of Westhothly and the said John Newnham Joint Executors of this my last Will and Testament And I do also appoint Mr William Turner and Mr Henry Austen [or Henry Auston] both of Crowhurst aforesaid Trustees of this my last Will and Testament to each of whom I give the Sum of Three Guineas And it is my Will that my Trustees shall be reimbursed by my said Executors all such Charges that they shall be put unto in the Execution of their Trust and that they shall not be answerable for any lofs or lofses not occasioned by their Willful Art or Arts by only for their Separate Arts Deeds and Receipts Lastly I do hereby revoke all former Wills and declare this to be my last Will and Testament In Witnefs whereof I the said William Comber have to this my Will contained in two sheets of paper to each sheet hereof set my hand and seal this seventeen day of June in the year of Our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Seventy Eight   William Comber   signed sealed published and declared by the said William Comber the Testator as and for his last Will and Testament in the presence of us who in his presence and at this request have subscribed our names as Witnefses hereto  

Thomas Bokey    George Rose    J Wakeham


This Will was proved at London the fourth day of December in the year of Our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy eight before the Worshipful Thomas Bover Doctor of Laws Surrogate of the Right Worshipful Peter Calvert also Doctor of Laws Master Keeper or Commifsary of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury lawfully constituted by the Oaths of John Comber the Nephew of the deceased and John Newnham the Executors named in the said Will to whom Administration was granted of all and singular the Goods Chattels and Credits of the said deceased having been first sworn duly to administor


The above Will was transcribed from the original document - PRO Catalogue Reference:  Prob 11/1048; Image Reference:  55 - by Steve Sunderland and Mandy Willard on 20/21 January 2004.


The Testator, William Comber, was born on 29 January 1702/3 and baptised on 2 February 1702/3 in Ardingly, Sussex.  He was the son of John Comber (1660-1729) and Judith White (?-1726).  William was the brother of my 6x Great Grandmother Anne Comber (1697-1753), and the brother of Stephen Comber (1705-1786) who may have been Steve Sunderland's ancestor.



Many thanks to Chris Austin for passing on the following:

The Henry Austen mentioned above was most probably born in 1730 and died in 1802.  He was a farmer at Crowhurst and married Martha Baker on 25 April 1764 at St. Georges Church in Crowhurst.  They had 5 children born between then and 1776.  Martha was born about 1740.  Their son William Austen (1765-1838) like his father farmed at Crowhurst, but his son James Austen (1799-1876) moved into the retail grocery business - a business that was to prove lucrative.  By the 1890's the family owned 3 grocery shops around Lewisham and Catford.  The business continued until Chris's father, Frederick James Austin (1913-1989), who was a veterinary surgeon.  When Frederick retired he bought a small village store in Devon.  Chris now lives in NSW, Australia.



This page was reviewed on 9 April 2012