© Isaac Cummings Family Association 2017
The Will of Isaac’s Father, John Commyn
by David Butler Cummings
This will was transcribed from the original by Peter C. Nutt, an English genealogist and record agent. From it we learn that, sometime after the birth of his children in Easthorpe and Copford, John moved to Ipswich, Suffolk where he made this will and presumably where he died. There are bequests to four children, John, Abraham, Isaac and Ursula, a brother Robert, and a Robert George. Isaac’s debt of forty-four pounds is forgiven. (Original spellings have been retained and bold type has been added to help locate names in this one long sentence.)
Prerogative Court of the Archbishop of Canterbury [P.C.C.] 1634
In the name of God Amen
John Commyn of Ipswich in the county of Suff yeoman being in good helth of body and of good and perfect memory thankes be given unto Almighty God therefore doe make and ordayne this my last will and testament in manner and forme followeing Ffirst I com[m]itt and com[m]end my soule and body into the handes of my alone Saviour and Redeemer Jesus Christ by and thorough whose most pretious merrits I assuredly hope and expect fruic[i]on of a ioyfull resurrection and eternall lyfe And as concerneing such worldly goods and estate which it hath pleased Almighty God to lende me in this transitory lief whereof I have not heretofore disposed I will give bequeath and dispose thereof as ensuith Imprimis I give and bequeath untoJohn Commyn my sonne and to his heires and assignee forever my ten[emen]t and landes with their appurtenances called Wallcrofte or by what other name the same is called knowne by situate lyeing and being in Little Tey within the county of Essex and alsoe one close or field called or knowne by the name of Lanefeild with thappurten[a]nces lyeing and being in Marks Tey in the said county of Essex And I doe alsoe give and bequeathed unto the said John my sonne and to his heires forever All that my tenem[en]t with the orchard and appurten[a]nces to the same belonging situate lyeing and being in Lexden nere Colchester in the said county of Essex Item I give and bequeath unto Robert George sonne of Thomas George late of Copforde deceased whoe maried Mr Mott wyves sister the some of fyfteene poundes of lawfull money of England in manner and forme followeing [vizt]fyve poundes w[i]thin one yeare next after my decease and yve poundes w[i]thin two yeares next after my decease and the other fyve poundes residue within three yeares after my decease by my three executors in this my will nominated to be payed at or within the South porch of the parrish church of Sct Mary in Colchester Item I doe give and bequeath unto the said John Commyn my sonne and his heires forever all that my ten[emen]t with the Garden and appurtenances to the same belonging w[hi]ch I bought and purchased of William Talcott of Colchester Brasier and Amiable his wyf scituate lyeing and eing in the suburbs of the towne of Colchester in a streete there called Magdalen Street within the parrish of St Mary Magdalen provided alwaies that yf Isacke Com[m]yn my sonne his heires executors or Assignes shall and doe well and truly paye or cause to ber payed unto the said John my sonne his executors of Assignes the some of seaventeene poundes of lawfull money of England within six moneths next after my decease at or within the south porch of the parrish church of St Peter in Colchester aforesayd and alsoe the som[m]e of tenn poundes of like money within twelve moneths or one whole yeare next after my decease at or in the place aforesayd Then I will and my meaneing ys and I doe give and bequeath the same tenement and garden with thappurten[a]nces soe by me purchased of the aforesaid William Talcott unto the saidIsaacke my sonne and his heires forever and he or they to enter and possession and estate thereof and therein to receave take hould and enjoy from after and upon such payment had and made of the sayd som[m]e of seaven and twenty poundes asaforesaid unto the said Isaack my sonne and his heires and assignee forever anything herein formerly conteyned to the contrary notwithstanding But if the said Isaack my sonne his heires executors or assignee shall make default of payment of the said som[m]e of seaven and twenty poundes unto my said sonne John his executors or assignee contrary to the manner and forme aforesaid then I will and my mynde and meaneing is That my said sonne John his heires executors or assignee shall within six moneths next after such default of payment had and made of the said twentie and seaven poundes by my said sonne Isaack his executors or assignee paye or cause to be payed unto the said Isaack my sonne or the executors of assignee of him the somme of fyftie and eight poundes of lawfull money of England at or within the south porch of St Peters church in Colchester and then my said sonne John Com[m]yn his heires and assignee to have hould and enioye the same tenem[en]t and garden with thappurtenance forever any thing herein expressed or conteyned to the contrary in any wise notwithstanding Item I give and bequeath unto Abraham Com[m]yn my sonne and to his heires forever all that my messuage por tenement called Hatchmans of by what other name the same be called or knowne with all the edifices houses yards gardens and appurtenances to the same belonging and one close of lande lyeing on the backside thereof conteyneing two acres more or lesse with all the appurtenances scituate lyeing and being in Much Tey in the county of Essex Item I give more to my sonne Abraham and to his heires forever two crofte of lande called Skynners and one croft of lande called Skynners acre lyeing in Much Tey in the said County of Essex And I doe further hereby fully and absolutely acquite release and forever discharge the said Isaack Commyn my sonne his heires executors & adminstr[ators] of and for and concerning a certaine debt or som[m]e of forty and fower poundes w[hi]ch he oweth unto me and standeth bound by obligac[i]on bearing date the eleventh day of March in the yeare of our Lord God 1630 to paye unto me requireing my executors of this my will to cancell the said obligc[i]on and to deliver the same unto the said Isaack my sonne or his assignee presently after my decease Item I give and bequeath unto the above named Robert George my coppie hould ten[emen]t with all thappurtenances scituate lyeing and being in Brickellsie within the said county of Essex to have and to hould and einoye to him his heires forever Item I give unto my daughter Ursula and unto my brother Robert Commynten shillings a peece Item I doe give and bequeath unto the poore people of the parish wherein it shall please God I shall happen both to lyve and dye twenty shillings to be distributed amongst them at my buriall Item I give unto the preacher that shall make a sermon at my buriall twenty shillings to be payed him presently after the sermon ended and that preacher to be nominated and appointed by the executors of this my will All the residue and remaynder of my goods chattells money houshouldstuffe and other things whatsoever unbequeathed I give and bequeath the same unto my said three sonnes John Abraham and Isaack And I doe ordayne and make the aforesaid John Abraham and Isaack my sonnes executors of this my last will and testament hopeing they will bring my body decently to the grounde and see this my will ... and truly performed being conteyned in three sheetes of paper to every of w[hi]ch I have set my hands and to the last sheete thereof put my seale the day and yeare first above written the mark of John Commyn Sealed subscribed published and declared by the said testator to be and conteyne his last will and testament in the presence of memorandum that the wordes the eight day of November and item I give and bequeath unto and by my three executors in this my will nominated to be payed was interlyned before the sealeing and delivery hereof Thomas Dodd Robert Lord
Proved 24th April 1634 to John Commyn son with power reserved to sons Abraham & Isaac
Probatum fun' testamentum suprascripting apud London coram Magistro Roberto Aylet legum Doctore Surrogate ven[er]abilis viri Dm' Henriri Marten militis legum etiam Doctoris Curie Prerogative Cantuarien[sis] Magistri Custodis sive Com[m]issary legitime constituto vicesimo quarto die mensis Aprilis Anno dm millesimo sexcentesimo tricesimo quarto Juramento Johannis Com[m]yn filij dicti defuncti et unius executoru[m] in testamento nominate cui commissa fuit adminstriato' omni[um] et singularum bonorum et creditorum dicti defuncti de bene et fideliter administrando eadem Ad Sancta dei Evanges jurat reservata potestate commissronem faciendi Abraham et Isaacs Commyn filijs dicti defuncti et executoris etiam in testamento nominatis cum ven'int candem petitur
There can be no doubt that this is the will of John, the father of John, Abraham, Isaac and Ursula, who were born in Easthorpe, Essex. Obviously he was wealthy and most of his properties were near Easthorpe including Hatchmans in Great Tey where Abraham had two children and which is mentioned in Abraham’s will. Naming John first, with the largest inheritance going to him, suggests that he is the John born in Easthorpe 17 Jun 1595, rather than the John born 25 Mar 1608 in Copford.
The lack of a married name for Ursula, who was then 36 years old, probably means she hadn’t married. Also, no grandchildren are mentioned, nor sons-in-law, nor daughters-in-law, which probably means that none of his children had died leaving children.
The date of John’s move to Ipswich can be approximated from the marriages of his sons. John married about 1624, likely in Essex because he had all of his children in Tolleshunt D’Arcy, Essex. Abraham, however, married Margaret Lord on 31 Jan 1625/26 in Woolverstone, Suffolk which is about four miles south of Ipswich, and they had children there in 1627 and 1629. He and Isaac had livestock penned together in 1630 in Mistley about ten miles south of Ipswich. Isaac married about 1628 and he and Anne had four children who were baptized in Mistley beginning in 1629. Thus we might conclude that John moved with Abraham, Isaac and Ursula from Easthorpe/Copford to Ipswich about 1624/1625, in time for Abraham to court and marry Margaret Lord. Also Isaac may have married his wife Anne in Suffolk rather than in Essex where he had been known to live.
In 1633 Isaac was in debt to his father for forty-four pounds. Perhaps he borrowed the money to buy property in Mistley. If so he likely didn’t have the resources to buy John’s share of the property on Magdelan Street in Colchester. Consequently John would have had the obligation to pay Isaac the specified fifty-eight pounds. Perhaps Isaac then sold his property in Mistley and used the money, plus the of fifty-eight pounds from his brother John, as a stake to begin anew in America. Isaac would have had six months after his father’s death before he would have defaulted on the first payment of seventeen pounds to his brother John. John would then have had six months before he had to pay Isaac the fifty-eight pounds. Thus Isaac could have had the fifty-eight pounds from John by April 1635. This is after the baptism of his daughter Ann, in Mistley 22 Feb 1634/35. Although Ann would have been rather young for a long ocean voyage, Isaac probably left England in 1635 or early 1636 since he obtained land in Watertown on 28 July 1636 and probably before. This fits well with John Plummer’s suggestion that Isaac may have left in June of 1635 on the Great Hope of Ipswich, arriving in Massachusetts in August. Since his children were baptized and he was a church member in Massachusetts, the persecution of the Puritans at this time may have influenced his decision.
It seems strange that the places for payments of money were stated in John’s will. Payments to Robert George were to be made "…at or within the South porch of the parrish church of Sct Mary in Colchester…" Payments of Isaac to John, and of John to Isaac, were to be made "…at or within the south porch of the parrish church of St Peter in Colchester…" This seems fair enough for the brothers since Colchester was roughly halfway between Mistley and Tolleshunt D’Arcy where John then lived. This may only be the verbiage of an overly conscientious lawyer, or perhaps it reflects uncertain relations between John and the others.
An unresolved question is the identity of Robert George, whose deceased father, Thomas of Copford, married Mr. Mott’s wife’s sister. No debt is mentioned and fifteen pounds, plus property in Brickellsie, seems like a large bequest, even to a relative, considering the small sums he gave to his brother Robert and his daughter Ursula. The surnames George and Mott are found in a number of Essex parishes of that period. With further research we may yet learn who these people were.
This is the first record that mentions John’s brother Robert. There was a Robert Cummings who had seven children baptized in Doddinghurst, about twenty-three miles from Easthorpe. They were Daniel 25 Jun 1592, Samuel 6 Jan 1593/94, John 14 Mar 1595/96, Ann 24 Sep 1598, Mary 5 Apr 1601, Robert 15 Jan 1603/04, and Thomas 20 Dec 1607. Those dates are what might be expected for a family of John’s brother Robert. However, this connection remains to be established.
Research is continuing in England on these families.