Above is an excerpt from an 1823 Will made by one of South Pool’s own: John ELLIOTT, the cooper in the late 18th century. John, who was obviously well-to-do, left £100 to each of his children (about £5000 in today’s money) as well as money to cover his funeral costs and ‘the meadow’ next to his house (was it in perpetuity to?), with his best friends William Elliott and William Randall as executors.  He also left the six best hair chairs, his bed, his dressing-table, a looking-glass, and all his silver plate to his daughter, Eleanor, who looked after him in his final days.

Wills such as these, although usually the final document of a person’s life, can give us tantalising glimpses of the way they lived – and sometimes the way their family members lived, as well.

Below is a list of some of the Wills of South Pool people available from the National Archives for a small fee for a downloaded pdf.  There are others available offline.

William GARLAND, Yeoman, 1654
John ENSCOMBE or LUSCOMBE, Yeoman, 1656
Isaac STONE, Mariner, now belonging to His Majesty's Ship Leopard, 1668
William STREET, Clerk, 1669
Ann POLLARD, 1681
Reverend Richard MARSHALL, Clerk, 1793
Reverend William FORSTER, Clerk, Rector of South Pool, 1826
Treby Hele HAYS, 1838
John GARLAND, Yeoman, 1856