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Will & inventory of Robert Higgins of Hillend, gentleman, 1678

This is a transcript of the will of Robert Higgins, gentleman, dated 6 July 1678. He added a codicil on 5 August 1678, shortly before he was buried in Ledbury near his father, as requested in his will. The inventory was taken on 19 August 1678 and probate was granted on 27 March 1679.

This is a most interesting set of documents, for a variety of reasons. The testator can be linked to an existing building (Hillend) and the inventory gives information on the furnishing of the house and beasts and crops about the farm. The will sheds light upon his family, many of whom were significant landowners in Eastnor and district for many generations. A descendant, Joseph Higgins, was rector of Eastnor in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

However, it is the reference to the rector in his own time that is parhaps the most fascinating aspect.of the will. In the introductory section, where it is normal for the testator to 'give his body to Christian burial', with any stipulations as to where, Higgins launches into a rant, hoping that Eastnor wiill soon be delivered from the 'lying lips and deceitful tongue of that proud and perjured priest the present incumbent there'. That priest was, in fact, Richard Coke, son of George Coke, bishop of Hereford, whose will is also transcribed on this site.

University of London
Asset Author: 
Sylvia Pinches