Will of Robert Hopkins 1698-1740

First husband of Deborah Sanford

Transcribed by Frances Belsham

Wills are generally written without any punctuation or abbreviations. There is often alternative spelling of some words and using upper case letters which do not always mean the start of a new sentence. Neither are they divided into paragraphs but are continuous lines of writing This can make documents difficult to read or understand.

This post shows the Will exactly as it was written with no attempt to break it down into paragraphs. Done in this way it shows exactly how the original document is written. As the documents are sometimes very large each line of writing in the document sometimes takes up two lines when it is transcribed in to the web site.


Deborah Sanford, Grandparent to Thomas and Mary Ann Sanford, was first married to Robert Hopkins. There were four children from this marriage. When Robert died, Deborah was pregnant.

In his Will Robert tried to ensure that his children would be provided for. He left all of his estate to Deborah.

This included property and his stock in trade. His eldest son Robert was aged 12 and his daughters Deborah and Jane would have been aged 4 and 2. The child his wife was pregnant with was born 2 months after his father died.

Will of Robert Hopkins


In the name of God Amen.
I Robert Hopkins of Wivenhoe in the county of Essex Oyster
Dredger being weak of body but sound and perfect in memory
at the enlealing hereof do this thirteenth day of April one
thousand seven hundred and forty make and ordain this my last
Will and Testament in manner and form following first and
principally I commend my Soul into the hands of Almighty God
who gave it me and my body I commend to the Earth to be
decently buried at the discretion of my loving wife and as
touching such worldly Estate as it hath pleased God to bless
me with I dispose thereof followeth I do hereby give
and bequeath unto Deborah my loving wife the sum of ten
pounds yearly during the term of her natural life to be
paid to her out of the two hundred pounds which is out upon
Interest and after my wifes decease I give the said two
hundred pounds to be equally parted among my children that
are then living I also give to my said wife all my household
Goods Silver and plate the Silver Tankard to be sold if
wanted to support and bring up my Children I also order
my Smack Skiff and Utensils to them belonging with the
Stock upon the Layers to be immediately sold for the best
price that can be got and the money thereof arising from
such sale to be applied towards the bringing up of all my
Children I also give the profits of all my Copyhold messuages
and Lands and premises holden of the Manor of Brightlingsea in
the county of Essex to be applied toward the bringing up
and Supporting of all my Children till they are sixteen or
eighteen years of age as need shall require and if there be
not Sufficient of the assets before mentioned to bring up all my
said children as aforesaid Then my will and desire is that
all my said Copyhold messuages lands and appurtenances holden
of the Manor of Brightlingsea aforesaid shall be sold by my
Executors hereinafter named for the best price that can be
got and the money arising thereof from such sale shall be
applied towards the Support and maintenance of all my said
Children as well with what my said wife is now pregnant
with as those that are now born and if anything remain
thereof I give to be equally parted among my several
Children that shall be then living and do hereby nominate
and appoint my friends Mr. Peter Robinson and Mr. Samuel
Roberts both of Wivenhoe aforesaid to be Executors of this
my said Will and Testament hereby revoking all former Wills
Testements and Legacies heretofore made ratifying and confirming
this to be and contain my last Will and Testament in Witness
thereof I the said Robert Hopkins the Testator have hereunto
set my hand and seal the day and year first above written
the mark of Robert Hopkins Signed sealed published and declared
by the Testator to be and contain his last Will and Testament
in our presence and Ive attested the same in his presence
The mark of Margaret Redhead Ann Daldy John Potter
On the thirty first day of October in the year of our Lord
One Thousand Seven Hundred and forty a power was granted to
Deborah Hopkins widow the Relict and Legatee named
in the last Will and Testament of Robert Hopkins late of
Wivenhoe in the County of Essex deceased to administer the Goods
Chattels and Credits of the said deceased according to the tenor
of the said will for that Samuel Roberts the surviving executor
remained and for that there is no Residuary Legatee therein
named being sworn only to administer


This page was added on 23/08/2020.

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