In The name of God Amen the twentie nyneth daye of November in the one and fourteth yeare of our soveraigne Lady Elizabeth by the grace of god Quene of England, France and Ireland, Defender of the Faithe &c Anno dominni A thousand fyve hundred nynetye eight I Richard Cowper alias Bowchere of Rudgwicke in the countie of Sussex, yeoman, beinge sicke in body neverthelese of good and perfecte remembrance thanks be gyven unto almightie god. Doe make ordayne publishe and declare this my last will and testament in manner and forme followinge; First I bequeath my soule unto Almightie God my maker and Creator trustinge onelie to be saved in, by and through the death merritts and passion of my onelie and sole redeemer Jesus Christ and my body to be buried in christian buryall where yt shall please God to call me to his endles mercie, By the discretion of myne Executors and Overseers undernamed; Item I gyve unto the poore people of Rudgwicke aforesaide Ten shillinges to be distributed by myne Executors and Overseers accordinge to theire discretions: Item I gyve and bequeath unto Richard Cowper alias Bochere, my sonne John Cowper alias Bochers childe, Twentie shillinges Item I gyve unto his brother John, one other sonne of my sonne Johns Childe Tenn shillinges: Item I gyve unto their other brother Thomas six shillinges eight pence Item I gyve unto their syster Annis five shillinges; Item I gyve unto Jane Franckes my daughters childe six shillinges eight pence: Item I gyve unto John Franckes, brother of the said Jane five shillings: Item I gyve unto George Franckes, one other of their brothers five shillinges: Item I gyve unto Richard Franckes, one other of theire brothers five shillinges: Item I gyve unto Henry Thayre, one other of my daughters sonnes Tenn shillinges: Item I gyve unto Edward Thayre, his brother six shillinges eight pence Item I gyve unto Annys Chasmore, servante with John my sonne five shillinges Item I gyve unto John my sonne towards the keepinge of my syster Alice, fortye shillinges Item I gyve unto Johan my daughter fortie poundes of lawfull money of England Item I gyve unto Alice my wiffe thirtye poundes which she hath in her kepinge; Item I gyve unto John my sonne as standerds to be left in my house my best presse in the loft where I did lye and the best table with a frame standinge in the hall, with all the benches in the hall: Item I gyve unto Thomas my sonne one annuytie or yearelie rente of fortye shillinges by the yeare, which I have in the Towne of Perterfeilde to have and to hold to him the same Thomas my sonne his heirs and assignes forever; Item I gyve will and bequeath unto Richard my sonne one little parcell of land called Hawkeshyll conteyninge by estimacion Twelve acres of Lande be yt more or lesse lyinge and beinge in Rudgwike aforesaide, to have and to hold to him the same Richard my sonne his heires and assignes forever; The residue of my goods and chateles my debts paide my legacies fulfilled and my bodie honestlie buried I gyve will and bequeath the same unto the said Richard Cowper alias Bochere and Thomas Cowper alias Bochere my sonnes, to be equallie devided and shifted betwene them and I make and ordayne the said Richard and Thomas my sonnes to be myne Executors of this my last will and testamente. And I ordayne constitute and appoynte Henry Thayre th'elder and John Stenynge of Exfolde to be myne Overseers of this my last will and testamente, to see the same trulie executed and performed accordinge to the trewe meaninge hereof and accordinge to the greate trust and confidence which I repose in them. And I gyve to every of them tenn shillings over and above there reasonable costes and chardges susteyned in that behalfe. And thus our Lord have mercye upon me. Theis beinge wittnes, Henry Thayre, John Stenynge and me Ralph Dalton The mark of Henry Thayre the mark of John Stenynge the mark of Richard Cowper Bocher alias. Also I Richard Cowper th'elder alias Bochere Doe confesse that I doe owe unto John my [son] Twentie poundes which was promised to his mariadge and I owe unto Thomas my sonne fyve poundes which he did lend unto me.
The above written will was proved before the most worshipful Master John Gibson, Doctor of Laws at the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, Master Keeper or Commissary lawfully constituted, the first day of February in the year of our Lord according to the computation of the English church, a thousand five hundred and ninety eight [1599 Gregorian Calendar] on the oath of Thomas Warde, public notary, procter for Richard Cowper alias Bochere and Thomas Cowper alias Bochere, the Executors named in this will, to whom administration was granted of all the goods etc in well and faithful administration etc, sworn and examined
Transcribed from the original document, held in The National Archives, ref: prob/11/93/556, by Jane Wicks