Ancestors of Mandy Willard

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The Will of

Thomas RENVILL (1708-1785)


This is the last will and testament of me Thomas Renvill of Wivelisfield in the County of Sussex, yeoman, touching the disposition of that temporal estate which God in his bounty hath been pleased to bestow on me as follows that is to say I give and devise all that my customary or copyhold cottage with the garden orchard and appurtenances thereto belonging lying at South Common in the parish of Chailey  and holden of the manor of Waningore in the said County and which I have duly surrendered to the use of my will to my dear wife Jane Renvill and her assigns for and during all the term of her natural life and from and after her decease to my youngest son Josiah Renville his heirs and assigns for ever.

Also I bequeath to my said dear wife the use of such of my household goods and linen as she shall reasonably have occasion for and choose to keep house withal during her life. 

Also I give and bequeath to my two sons Thomas Renvill and Joseph Renvill all other my goods stock ready moneys securities for money chattels and personal estate whatsoever and wheresoever upon this special trust and confidence nevertheless in them reposed that they or the survivor of them his executors or administrators do and shall as soon as may be after my decease sell and dispose of the same for the best price and in the best manner they can and turn the same into money and thereout in the first place pay and discharge all my just debts and funeral expenses together with the charge of proving this my will and all other charges and expenses attending the execution of the trust hereby reposed in them and after payment and satisfaction thereof then that they place the remainder of the said moneys out at interest in their own names or in the name of the survivor of them his executors or administrators upon such security or securities as they in their discretion with the approbation of my said wife to be testified by her subscribing or indorsing such securitys from time to time shall think proper and then upon this further trust that they or the survivor of them his executors or administrators do permit or suffer my said wife or her assigns to take and receive the interest proceed and profit of all such trust moneys from time to time during all the term of her natural life and from and forthwith after the decease of my said wife I will and direct that my executors do dispose of all such household goods and linnen as she shall have had the use of as aforesaid and as to the money thereby arising as well as the other trust money aforesaid upon this further trust that they the said trustees do pay divide and distribute all the said trust moneys as soon as the same can be got into and amongst themselves and all my other children (except my eldest son John for the reason hereafter mentioned) and their legal representatives share and share alike save as to the part of my youngest son Josiah Renvill to whom I have given the cottage garden and orchard aforesaid I give such a part of the said trust money only as shall make up the said copyhold (Thomas Renvill) cottage valueing the same at forty pounds equal to the share of the rest of my said children in the said trust moneys such shares to be paid to such of my said children as shall be of the age of twenty one years at the descease of my said wife as soon as may be after her death and to such as shall then be under that age when and as they shall severally attain that age and the interest of their shares to be paid them in the mean time towards their maintenance and the only reason I omit my son John in having a share of my effects with the rest of my children is because he will take as heir of his mother her freehold lands and tenements in Maresfield in the said County of Sussex at mine and her decease and which I judge to be more than equal to any shire of my other children under this my will and my interest and desire being to make a provision for every one of my children as nearly alike as I well can. 

Lastly I make and appoint my said two sons Thomas and Joseph joint executors of this my last will and testament upon the trusts aforesaid and revoke all former wills by me made and declare this to be my last will and testament in witness whereof to this my last will and testament contained in two sheets of paper to the first sheet thereof I have set my hand and to the last my hand and seal this twenty second day of September in the year of Our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy. Thomas Renvell. Signed sealed published and declared by the testator Thomas Renvill as and for his last will and testament in the presence of us who in his presence and in the presence of each other have subscribed our names as witnesses thereto the word September in the last sheet being first interlined.

Richd Dungate     Sam Duplock     Richd Lack


The will of Thomas Renvill late of Wivelisfield within the Archdeaconry of Lewes yeoman deceased was proved the sixteenth day of April in the year of Our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty five before the Reverend Robert Austen Clerk Surrogate and so forth upon the oath of Thomas Renvell and Joseph Renvell the joint executors in the said will named to whom was committed the administration of the goods etc they being first sworn well and faithfully to administer the same and so forth and also that the goods of the said deceased do not amount unto three hundred pounds.


Thomas Renvill was buried 28th March 1785 at Wivelisfield, his wife having died in 1780.


In the Maryon-Wilson archive at ESRO, SRL 5/1/34b, there is a fragment of Jane Renvill’s will, which runs:


In the name of God Amen I Jane Renvill the wife of Thomas Renvill of Wivelisfield in the County of Sussex yeoman (being of sound mind and memory praised be Almighty God therefore) do make and ordain this my last will and testament touching the disposition of my copyhold or customary cottages lands tenements and hereditaments hereinafter mentioned in manner following (that is to say) whereas on or about the twenty sixth day of May in this year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and fifty eight my said husband Thomas Renvill and myself did in due form of law and according to the custom of the manor of Newick in the said County surrender into the hands of the Lady of the said Manor by the rod and acceptance of Henry Burtenshaw Gentleman the Steward of the said Manor all that the….(document torn along a fold)… dependent upon the date of…of the estate for life of myself and my said husband and of the longer liver of us of and in all those three cottages a barn and several pieces or parcels of customary land containing by estimation fifteen acres more or less lying and being in Newick in the said County and holden of the said Manor under the yearly rent of two shillings and two pence and  other services late Howels and all other my customary messuages lands tenements and hereditaments with the appurtenances so holden of the said Manor to such use intents and purposes as I the said Jane Renvill …revert or sale and notwithstanding my revertine should in and by my last will and testament in writing give devise limit direct declare or appoint or in words and substance to the same effect as in by the same surrender remaining in the hands of the aforesaid steward of the said manor relation being thereunto had it doth and may now fully and at large appear now by virtue and in pursuance of the said …surrender I hereby give devise direct limit declare and appoint the said reversion and remainder expectant from and after the decease of myself and my said husband Thomas Renvill and the decease of  the longer liver of us of and in the said cottages barn buildings land and ..

(document torn off)


In the same archive, SRL 5/1/34a, are receipts dated 12th October 1785, given to Josiah Renvill for their share of their mother’s estate by each of his brothers and sisters, being Thomas Renvill, Ann Lindfield (signed by her husband Peter Lindfield), Jane May (signed by her husband Edward May), James Renvel, William Renvill, Robert Renvill, and Joseph Renvil (spellings as per original signatures).


Transcribed by Rosie Ansell, July 2005