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Romsley School
The two wills and inventories transcribed here relate to the foundation of Romsley School by William Smith in 1684 and its further endowment by the schoolmaster Elijah Underhill in 1732.

The will of William Smith the elder of the parish of Halesowen yeoman 20 December 1684

Bequest to William Smith son of his son William Smith:

All that leasehold Messuage and Farm called or known by the name of Dovehouse Fields lying and being....in the parish of Halesowen now or late in the tenure or occupation of Thomas Haden and which I heretofore purchased of Sir Edward Sebright and all ediffices outhouses and buildings gardens orchards lands meadows leasowes pastures and hereditaments to the said Messuage and farm belonging or therewith occupied or enjoyed as thereunto belonging or as part parcel or member thereof with all and every their appurtenances and all my estate term and interest therein charged nevertheless as is hereinafter expressed and all my deeds writings and indentures touching or concernin the same to have and to hold all and every the said Messuage and Farmand premises with all and every the appurtenances to the said William Smith my grandson his executors heirs and assigns for and during the rest and residue of the term of 1,000 years which I have therein and is yet to come and unexpired

Bequest to grandson Joseph Smith son of his son William Smith

All that the other leasehold Messuage and Farm which I lately purchased of William Roper gent now deceased commonly called or known by the name of the Porch House situate lying and being in Honnington aforesaid in the said parish of Halesowen in the County of Salop now or late in the tenure or occupation of William Harris and all outhouses edifices buildings gardens

orchards lands meadows leasowes pastures and hereitaments to the said last mentioned Messuage and Farm belonging or therewith occupied or thereunto belonging or part parcel or member thereof with all and every of their and every of their appurtenances and all my estate term of years and interest therein and all my deeds writings and indentures touching or concerning the same to have and to hold all and every the said last mentioned Messuage Farm and premises with all and every the appurtenances to the said Joseph Smith is executors administrators or assigns during all the rest and residue of the term of 1,000 years which I have therein yet to come and unexpired

Bequest to grandson Jacob Smith another son of said son William Smith

All that my freehold messuage or tenement with the appurtenances commonly called or known by the name of the Warrilers or Warrillers Orchard now or late in the possession of one Thomas Sharplin situate lying and being in Chadwick in the parish of Bromsgrove in the County of Worcester and also all those other freehold lands tenements and hereditaments with the appurtenances lying and being in the parish of Stoke Prior in the County of Worcester lately purchased by me of one Henry Smith and now or late in the tenure or occupation of one John Tolly

Bequest to grandchild Elleanor Smith ?50

Bequest to trustees said son William Smith William Bell of Droitwich gent and William Russell of Rowley Regis ironmonger:

Item I bequeath to my son William Smyth the said William Bell and William Russell their executors and assigns all those my two little messuages or tenements with the land thereunto adjoining now in the possession of one John Harris or his undertenants which John Harris hath a lease therein for a long term of years at and for the yearly rent of four pounds situate lying and being in Romsley in the parish of Halesowen and County of Salop and all that new erected cottage or tenement situate and being at Hunnington in the said parish of Halesowen and County of Salop situate and being at or near the upper end of a field there called Nickersfield with the land and ground thereunto adjoining as it is now marked out and intended to be inclosed with a hedge and laid thereto with all and every of the appurtenances and the reversion reversions remainder and remainders thereof and all rents heretofore reserved upon any demise thereof and of any part thereof and incident to any such reversion and all my estate right title term of years interest claim or demand whatsoever out of or to the same To have and to hold all and every of the said three little tenements lands and premises last mentioned with all and every the appurtenances to my said son William Smyth and the said William Bell and William Russell their executors and assdigns for and during all the rest and residue of such term of one thousand years or other term or terms which I have therein yet to come and unexpired upon the trust and to the intents and purposes hereinafter expressed Item I give and bequeath unto my said son William Smyth and the said William Bell and William Russell their executors and assigns one annuity or yearly rent charge of five pounds of lawful money of England to be issuing out of all that my estate Messuage or Farm and the lands thereto belonging situateand being in Hunnington aforesaid and called or known by the name of Dovehouse Fields to be paid by my said son William Smyth and the said William Bell and William Russell their executors and assigns yearly at two days in every year during all such term of estate as I have in the said Messuage and Farm that is to say the twenty first day of March and the twenty ninth day of September by . equal portions the first of the said payments to be made at such of the said days as shall happen next after my decease To have receive and take the said annuity or yearly rent of five pounds to my said son William Smyth and the said William Bell and William Russell their executors and assigns for and during the rest and residue of a certain term of one thousand years or such other term which I have therein and is yet to come and unexpired And if the said annuity or yearly rent charge of five pounds shall happen to be behind and unpaid in part or in all by the space of thirty days after any of the said days on which the same ought to be paid then my will is that it shall be and may be lawful to and for my said son William Smyth and the said William Bell and William Russell their executors and assigns unto the said Messuage and Farm called Dovehouse Fields and the lands thereunto belonging or part thereof to enter and distrain and the distress and distresses then and there found to take lead drive and to carry away and impound and the same in the pound to detain there until the said annuity and the arrears thereof if any be shall be fully satisfied and paid upon trust and confidence nevertheless that the said William Smyth my son William Bell and William Russell their executors and assigns shall permit and suffer the rents issues and profits of the two tenements and land in Romsley and the little tenement and land at the upper end of Nickers Field and the aforesaid yearly rent charge of five pounds to be employed and disposed of in manner and form following (that is to say) to the intent and purpose that twenty shillings per annum part thereof shall be distributed yearly unto and among twenty of the poorest persons in the several townships of Romsley and Hunnington upon Christmas Day and on the further trust that the said tenement at the upper end of Nicker Field aforesaid may be used for an habitation of some honest sober and industrious person fit to teach to read English and to write where he may employ himself in that kind where my desire is that two and twenty at a time of the poorest men's children within the said townships of Romsley and Hunnington may be taught to read English and to write to be taught the Church Catechism and be instructed in the fundamentals of religion And my will is that no children shall be admitted there as scholars in such kind under four years of age nor continue there above seven years unless such children as shall continue to learn to write after the end of the said seven years And my will is that the residue of the said annuity or yearly rent of five pounds and the residue of the rents of the tenements aforesaid shall be employed and bestowed for and towards the better maintenance and encouragement of such a schoolmaster And my will is that my son William Smyth and the said William Bell and William Russell and the Minister of the Parish of Halesowen aforesaid and the Churchwardens and the Overseers of the Poor of Romsley Quarter in the said Parish of Halesowen for the time being shall from time to time always be governors of the said school and shall have power to place a schoolmaster there and to displace him as they shall find cause

Item I give and bequeath the sum of ten pounds to be distributed among the poor of the Parish of Halesowen aforesaid and my will is that the poor of Romsley and Hunnington aforesaid shall have three pounds six shillings and eight pence thereof to be distributed at the discretion and by the direction of my said son William Smyth

And I do make and ordain mt said dear and loving son William Smyth the full and whole executor of this my last will and testament In witness whereof I have hereto put my hand and seal the day and year above written
William Smith

Signed sealed and published to be the last will and testament of the above named William Smyth the elder (the several erasures viz as to the date executor and other of less moment being first made) in the presence of
Richard Hadley
Eleanor Potter her mark
Thomas Haden

29 December 1684

A True and Perfect Inventory of all the goods cattle and chattels of William Smith of the Breach in the parish of Halesowen and County of Salop lately deceased as followeth

Imprimis his purse and girdle and weaving apparel 10  0  0
   
In the Kitchen  
   
Item in pewter and tin goods 6  10  0
Item in brass 5   5   5
Item in iron goods 2   5   0
   
In the Hall House  
   
Item in goods in the hall house 1  13  0
Item in bacon 2  10  0
   
In the Two Butteries  
   
Item in wooden ware in the two butteries 3   0   0
   
In the Pantry  
   
Item one little table board 6   8   0
   
In the Parlor  
   
Item for goods in the parlor 7  10  0
   
In the Chamber Over the Parlor  
   
Item for goods in the chamber over the parlor 12  10  0
   
In the Chamber Over the Hall  
   
Item for goods in the chamber over the hall 36  9  0
Item for goods in one little chamber more 1   0   0
   
In the Cockloft  
   
Item in odd goods 2   0   0
Item in goods in the chamber over the pantry 3   0   0
Item for one old cow 1   0   0
Item debts special and desperate 598   0   0
Item for things forgotten and out of sight 0   5   0
  _________
In all 653   3   8
   
Jacob Smith )  
Thomas Haden ) Appraisers  
Mary Birch )  
   
Will of Elijah Underhill of Hunnington in the parish of Halesowen and County of Salop schoolmaster 22 April 1731

In the name of God Amen I Elijah Underhill of Hunnington in the parish of Halesowen and County of Salop schoolmaster do make and ordain this my last will and testament in writing in manner and form following. My mind and will is that all such debts as I do justly owe at the time of my death and funeral charges shall be honestly duly paid. Item I give to Mary my wife during her widowhood till my daughter Mary come to the age of one and twenty years or time of marriage which shall first happen all the rents issues and profits of my real and personal estate for the more comfortable maintenance of herself and my daughter and subject nevertheless to such limitations and conditions as are herein after declared and expressed. Item it is my will that my said wife during her natural life or till her second marriage shall have use and possess my new house now in my possession with all the outbuildings garden and lands with the appurtenances and after the death or second marriage of my wife my said daughter shall during her natural life have use and possess the aforesaid buildings garden etc. with their appurtenances. It is my will that if my said daughter shall be married against or without the consent of her mother then from the time of such marriage it shall be in the power of her mother (being a widow) to let her daughter have but what she pleaseth of the said rents and of the interest of money anything contained to the contrary notwithstanding. I devise to William Smith of Romsley of the parish of Halesowen and County of Salop gentleman and to Robert Roe of Ucocks of the parish of Norfield and County of Worcester gentleman and to the heirs of said Robert Roe and the heirs of said William Smith all of them for the time being Trustees for the purposes hereinafter mentioned and to them in trust only all that my new house with the outbuildings garden backsides and appurtenances now in my possession may be by the said Trustees after the death or second marriage of Mary my wife and after the death of Mary my daughter (viz) that the said Trustees do and shall permit and suffer such fit and orthodox person who shall for the time being be schoolmaster and teach in the school of Hunnington erected by William Smith deceased wherein I now officiate to have use and possess the aforesaid messuage garden outbuildings and appurtenances for the encouragement and more comfortable habitation of the schoolmaster for the time being who shall teach or cause to be well taught and instructed the charity scholars of the aforesaid school in reading writing and arithmatic with the church catechism and fundamentals of the Christian religion from the age of four years to the age of fourteen years all or so many of ye said scholars (being of the poorest mens children and not exceeding the number appointed by Mr Smith) as shall from time to time to and offer themselves at the said school for instruction And the said schoolmaster for the time being shall keep in good repair at all times the buildings hereby bequeathed and annexed. And I do nominate constitute and appoint my loving and dear wife during her widowhood (and no longer) executrix. And the aforesaid William Smith with the said Robert Roe and William Roe his son to be overseers of this my last will and testament and for their pains to be taken I do give to William Smith ten shillings and to Robert Roe twenty shillings and to his son William Roe ten shillings. In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal the twenty second day of April Anno Domini 1731. I give and bequeath to Mary Green to the value in goods of five pounds. I give and bequeath to Sarah Green the value of in goods twenty shillings
  Elijah Underhill

Signed sealed and published in the presence of us who subscribed our name in the testators presence

Daniel Hanbury sen
Daniel Hanbury jun
Jeremiah Brinton

12 May 1732
Jurata fuit Executrix in hoc testamento vocat in debe juris forma
Codme W. Worth Surrogate

A True and perfect Inventory of all and singular the goods chattells and Crediits of Elijah Underhill late of Hunnington in the parish of Halesowen in the Diocese of Worcester deceased taken and apprized the 12 day of February Anno Domini 1731 by we whose names are hereunto subscribed Viz

  £   s   d
Imprimus  
Purse and Apparell 5   0   0
   
In the School  
Books 2  10  0
Four tables 2 join forms seven benches 1   5   0
Two join chairs and other chairs 0   7   0
Grate fender fire shovel & tongs 0   5   0
Spits dripping pans and other implements belonging to the fire place 0  15   0
Beef and bacon cratch and box of drawers and shelves 2  10   0
Brass and pewter in the Pantry 3  10   0
Barrels and other wooden ware and implements in the Buttery 0  15   0
   
In the 2 rooms over the School  
   
Course sheets and course linnen 8   5   0
Three chests one chest of drawers and a coffer 1   6   6
Four half headed beds and the furniture thereto belonging 5  10  0
One cupboard and several boxes 0  10  6
Chairs and shelves with other odd things 0  15  0
   
In the New House Grate cobirons and rack 0  16  0
Brass and pewter 4   6   0
A table 7 chairs a dresser of drawers and a cratch 1  11  0
In the Parlour one table 6 chairs & shelves 1   0   6
A map weather glass and Delph ware 0  10  0
In the Buttery one dresser one barrell butter lard and other things 1   0   0
In the Chamber over the  New House fire shovels fenders and tongs 0   6   0
Bed and furniture 6   0   0
Chest of drawers and glass 1  10  0
Four chairs and table 0  14  0
   
In the other two rooms over the New House  
Two chests one table and 2 chairs 1   3   0
Two Beds and linnen 9  10  0
In the Garretts over the New House one bedstead and shelves 0  13  0
Corn cheese strike and bags 2  12  0
Malt Kype and Chair 0  15  0
In the Brewhouse tubs pails table & dresser 1  10  0
Grate and several odd things 0   5   0
Drink and Vessels and other odd things 1   7   0
Two chairs and bottles 6   6   0
Coals 0   4   0
Bills bonds and mortgages 349   0   0
Things forgotten and out of sight 0   5   0
  _________
Total 414   7    0
   
William Smith
Robert Roe Apprisers
Richard Gosling
 
     
Copyright Julian Hunt 2017