Will of Thomas¹ Lawton of Portsmouth, RI Circa (1614 – 1681)
In the name of God Amen the 5th day of June in the year of our Lord One Thousand Six Hundred Seventy Four, Anno Regm Regis Car… Secundi… Anglis CXXV3…
I, Thomas Lawton of Portsmouth upon Rhode Island in New England, yeoman, being in perfect bodily health and sound memory prays to Almighty God for his soul knowing the uncertainty of this present life and being desirous to settle that outward estate that this Lord hath… I do make this my last will and testament in manner and form following (that is to say first and principally I recommend my soul to Almighty God my estate, hoping to received full pardon and remission of my sins by Jesus Christ my… and my body to the earth to be buried in decent manner as by my executors or overseers hereafter named shall be thought most convenient. And as touching such worldly estate this Lord has sent me my will and meaning is that the same shall be employed and bestowed as herein and by this my will is expressed.)
Imprimis, I do pronounce and make void all wills by me formerly made and I declare and appoint this my last will and testament. I will that all debts I justly owe to any manner of person or persons shall be paid in convenient time after my decease, by Executors herein after named, I do hereby declare that although Grace have not behaved herself towards me as a wife ought to do towards an husband, yet for the manifestation of my care of her I do hereby give and bequeath unto her all the goods that are yet remaining in my custody of those that were hers when I married her, as also one good feather bed and bolster. Item, I give and bequeath unto the said Grace the sum of 12 pounds per annum in current pay at Rhode Island during the time of her natural life to be paid unto her by my executors hereinafter named, in lieu of what right or interest she might have or claim on any of my lands or to any other of my estate.
Item, I give and bequeath unto my son Daniel Lawton, his heirs and assigns forever all that farms that is now in his possession commonly called and known by the name of Long Swamp farms with the rights, privileges and appurtenances to the same belonging.
Item, besides what assurance I have formerly given unto my said son Daniel Lawton of a certain farms commonly called Hunting Swamp farms upon Rhode Island aforesaid I do hereby further ratify and confirm the said farms unto my son Daniel Lawton, his heirs and assigns forever. And my will is that William Wodell shall have and enjoy the said farms with the store upon the same for and during the term of years that are yet to come and unexpired as they are mentioned in a leass that I have granted unto him under my hand and seal. That the said William performing his part of the covenant therein exprest.
Item, I give and bequeath unto my son, Isaac Lawton his heirs and assigns forever all that farms of mine lying and being at Punctages with the privileges and appurtenances to the same belonging. As also all the lands rights and privileges that I have, may or shall have upon Martha’s Vineyard in New England aforesaid.
Item, I give and bequeath unto my daughter Elizabeth Shearman the wife of Peleg Shearman, and her heirs forever one quarter share of land lying and being unto the said Peleg… at Pon..ganset in the Township of Dartmouth in New England.
Item, I give and bequeath unto my said daughter, Elizabeth Shearman her heirs and assigns forever all that plot or parcel of land mine that is now in the tenure and occupation of the said Peleg Shearman lying in Portsmouth aforesaid, and adjoining to that land that Philip Shearman gave unto the said Peleg.
Item, I give and bequeath unto my said daughter Elizabeth Sherman her heirs and assigns forever all that my now dwelling house with all the land belonging to this same as the same is situated, lying and being between the land of William Wodell and the land of Philip Shearman.
Item, I give and bequeath unto my said daughter Elizabeth Shearman her heirs and assigns forever all that pasture of mine in Portsmouth aforesaid that is commonly called and known by the name of the 50 acres as the same is lying and being betwixt the land of William Hall and the land of Thomas Wood.
Item, I give and bequeath unto my daughter, Anne Slocum the sum of 5 shillings in lawful money of New England to be paid unto her by my executors here after named immediately after my decease as the full of her portion (with what I have already given her) from my estate.
Item, I give and bequeath unto my daughter, Sarah Sisson the full sum of 50 pounds in lawful money of New England to be paid unto her by my executors within the space of one year next after my decease.
Item, I give and bequeath unto my overseers hereafter named the full sum of 5 pounds in lawful money of New England as a token of my love.
Item, I give and bequeath all the remainder of my real and personal estate whatsoever it may be found unto my daughter Elizabeth Shearman and Sarah Sisson their heirs and assigns to be equally divided between them.
Item, I do hereby nominate and appoint my son Daniel as the sole executor of this my last will and testament.
Item, I do hereby also nominate and appoint my loving friend William Wodell and my loving son-in-law George Sisson to be overseers of this my last will and testament assigning them to assist my executor as they can in the performance of this my last will and testament.
Item, my will is that my executor shall not sell or dispose of any part of my estate but by the advice of my overseers or one of them. And further my will is that my executor shall not under any pretense whatsoever claim any more of my estate than is expresst to be given unto him in this my last will and testament. Also my will is that all the debts that I shall justly owe at the time of my decease be… paid out of my personal estate before the division be made betwixt my daughters aforesaid. For witness I the said Thomas Lawton have hereunto set my hand and seal the day and year first above written.
Rec. Aug. 1, 1681