1. Richard BOWLBY(1)
was born about
1506.(9) He signed a will on 12 Dec 1552
in Helmsley in Ryedale District, North Riding of Yorkshire County, England.
(10) His will was proved 31 May 1553.
This transcription has been made available by Barry Burley, to whom we are all
The Will of Richard Bolbie of Helmsley, 1552
IN THE NAME OF GOD AMEN. The xii day of December the yere of owre Lord God 1552
I Rychard Bolbie Helmesley sik of body and perfytt in memorie maikith this my
last will and testament in maner and forme following ffirst I bequeath my soull
into the hands of almightie God. And my bodie to be buried within the church
earth of Helmesley Item I give to Rychard Bolbie my sone xIs within stokkyn to
enter at saint Ellen Day next ensuyng And also I give to the said Rychard my
sone one Acree of haver that shall be sowen at the tyme of the yere And also
if my sone Richard will manor one Acree of winter and a nother of ware he shall
have them Item I bequeath to Bridgett my Daughter vis viiid within stokkyn after
the death ot my wif Item I bequeath to John Bolbie my eldest sone vis. viiid
within stokkyn after my wif wynter & somer Itern I bequeath to Jane Rowlande
my daughter vis viiid within stokkyn boith wynter and somer after the death of
my wif Item I bequeath to Rychard Bolbie my sone by his good abearinge vis viiid.
within stokkyn after the death of my wif Item I bequeath to Rauf Bolbie and to
Matthew Bolbie my too sonnes half of the conynge garth after the death of my
wif And the other half of it to Jane Rowland my Daughter after the death of my
wif Item I bequeath to John Bolbie my eldest sone half of the Lowe Medowe beneth
greff the rent xs. after the death of my wif Item I will that none of my children
shall taverne or put away any parte or parcel of ther bequests for if they doo
they shall have no part of ther legacie And also I will and comande that all
my said children shal be griable amonge them selves as they will have my blessings
And if any of them do contemne or stryve with another who so ever they be they
shall have no part of ther legace as well John my sonne of the greff as the
other of my children Item I will that John my sone of the griff shall have xls
at griff and xs in the low medowe beneth griff Item I bequeath to Matthew Rowlande
a yowe and a lambe and eyther one of my childers children a lambe Item I bequeath
to Richard Bolbie my sone my interest and title of my farmhold within Helmyslay
after the death of my wif if he demean hymself gentle to his mother and she (
) it her lif And if he do any thing contrarie to the said will or comandement
he shall have no part of it nor legacie nether Item the residue of my goods
unbequest I give to Alison my wiff whom I make my whole executrix of this my
last will and testament witness hereof Thomas vickerbie curati Hugh Read Christopher
Rayc John Bell Rauff Rolland
Barry Burley offers the following explanations:
I explain the terms used in Rychard's will as I knew there would be readers unfamiliar
with mediaeval farming practices and the Yorkshire accent.
The land around Helmsley was divided into very large fields, one of these being
called the Maisterstokking. The 'Town Fields' were held by the Lord of the Manor
from the King. The fields were divided by temporary wooden hurdles into strips
220 yards x 22 yards. This is 1 acre, the amount of land a team of oxen and
a man could plough in 1 day. Each farmer's strips were scattered about the fields
so each had a selection of the good productive land and no one person had only
The rent for their strips would vary from one field to another so the amount
of land they held was counted according to the rent paid.
In Latin numerals, l =50 and x = 10. xl means 50 - 10. Rychard was therefore
leaving his son an amount of land with a rental of 40 shillings per annum.
Before the calendar was reformed in 1752, the New Year began on 25 March. The
changes included a jump of 11 days made by missing out 3 Sept to 13 Sept 1752
to bring us in line with astronomical time. The year formerly ended on 25 March
but the tax year had to be its usual length so now the tax year ends on April
5 which is 25 March plus 11 days. At the same time the year began officially
on 1 January as in the rest of Europe. You will have seen this in Parish Registers
and other documents. I have an example which is dated 'the eleventh month called
25th March is Saint Helen's Day and all farming agreements have always commenced
on this date. Labourers were engaged from 25 March to 24 March so that they
did not qualify for Parish Relief if they were unable to work. The Poor Law said
they must live in the parish for at least a year to gain 'Settlement' and so
qualify. March 25 is still used for farm leases and our Tax Year ends on 25 March
plus 14 days for settlement making it the 5 April. That does not add up but it
is something like that!
St Ellen's day next ensuying just means 25 March next.
vis viiid is 5+1 shillings, 5+1+1+1 pence. In more modern form that would have
been 6/8 d. or in full, six shillings and eight pence. Again it is a piece of
land as above.
Conning was a common local family name. A Garth is a small field. like a paddock.
I have not found where the Conyng Garth was.
The practice of strip farming died out early around Helmsley and by a survey
of 1642 the land was divided into individual farms as now. A strip was called
a selion. There are no definite records of the field names or their exact locations.
The modern Griff Farm has 242 acres.
Until schooling became compulsory in 1880, there was no standard spelling. Griffe,
Griff and Greff all mean the same place.
The Lowe Medowe below Greff can still be identified. Beside Griff Farm the land
falls sharply down to the River Rye. This steep drop is about 100 feet and below
the bottom of the 'cliff' and the river is a flat meadow. The road from the village
site runs down this hill through a narrow gully, the Viking name for which is
I hope this helps.
He died between 12 Dec 1552 and 31 May 1553.(11)
He resided Helmsley, North Riding, Yorkshire, England.. His will, dated
12 December 1552, and proven at York 31 May 1553, is the earliest known document
in the lineage of this family. Therefore, he is considered the first generation.
He was married to Alison ?.(12)
(8) was born about 1510.(14)
Richard BOWLBY and Alison ? had the following children:
(8) was born about 1534.(16)
(7)(8) was born about 1536.
6 v. Ralph
(7)(8) was born about 1540.
(7)(8) was born about 1542.