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Bewcastle Will 16th Century

A will made in the 16th century which shows some local names in Bewcastle

Bewcastle area was notorious for the actions of border reivers and the retribution by the authorities.  An illustration of the usual fate of the Borderer in those days, who rarely died “like a cow” in his bed.  In the churchyard at Bewcastle there is an excess of the names of women over those of men on the headstones and when asked “What happened to the men”, the Sexton explained drily “Wey, the men were a’hangit at weary Carlisle!”  [see preface in book “The Lord Wardens of The Marches: Pease 1913]  Perhaps making a will anticipated an early demise, at least the family had some inheritance if they were be-reived.

Note: Each £1 has 20s (shillings) and each shilling has 12d (pence) so there are 240d (pence) in the pound. (Thankfully we now have decimal currency!)

gawin Armestronge £2
Adam Storie £16s.8d.
Ecke noble £17s.
geordy pruddom 15s.
rychie Sowerby £16s.
Johns willy £1
Cuddies John of the trough 15s.
Joh. Murresse of heskatt £16s.8d.
Will Sanderson £2.6s.8d.
Christopher Sanderson
geordy of the butter hill 12s.4d.
Jamy of the nuke 13s.
mathewe of the parke 3s.4d.
peter Lambart 9s.
mathew kirsop £1
Jenkin Armestronge 6s.
John of the kill 6s.6d.
Josye bell 6s.
Eckies edmount  17s.
Duke Stavely  £16.13s.4d.
gawin of the moore 8s.
Summa £33. 13s. 4d.
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