Eastnor Probate Material 1561 - 1580
There are 11 surviving probate documents for the period 1561 - 1580, two for women and nine for men. As the Eastnor burial registers begin in 1561, although with a gap from 1579 to 1591, it has been possible to identify some of the testators. Where this is the case, a note has been made at the end of the transcript.
During this period a number of the wills take on a decidedly Protestant tone, stressing belief in redemption solely through the death of Jesus Christ. Such is the will of William Clifton, shoemaker, who described himself as 'the improfitable servant of God' and who went on to stress his belief 'nothing doubting but that this my lord God for his mercies sake, set forth in the precious blood of his dearly beloved son Christ Jesu our alone saviour and redeemer, will forgive me all mine offences, and receive my soul into his glory.'
Much can be learned from these wills and inventories about everyday life, too. Farming stock, crops and implements are listed, as are household goods and personal items. Anne Hopley, a young woman, left specific items of clothing to her aunts. Alice Bache left cows named Lilly, Filpail and Mullins to her daughters. John Webley left detailed instructions about his household furnishings, including painted cloths, some of which were to remain as 'standards' in his house, that is, were not to be removed but passed down with the house.