An article entitled “The Will of Sir Philip Hoby” appeared in the December 1917 edition of the Badsey Parish Magazine, contributed by E A B Barnard, FSA, FR Hist S, of Evesham.
Sir Philip Hoby, who purchased the house and site of the dissolved Monastery of Evesham in 1542, together with other monastic property in this neighbourhood, came of a Leominster family.
It is evident that he often resided at Evesham, probably in the old Abbey Gate House, which faced Merstow Green, and that members of his family came here too. His sister Magdalen married Thomas Bigge of Lenchwick, and her effigy, with that of her husband, is in Norton Church. Sir Philip's half brother, Sir Thomas Hoby, also often came to these parts, as is evidenced in his delightfully interesting diary, A Booke of the Travaile & Lief of Thomas Hoby. Sir Thomas, like Sir Philip, had a distinguished and busy diplomatic career, and it must have been a very pleasant diversion to them both when they were able to snatch a short holiday in the Vale. So, in 1555, Sir Thomas writes in his diary, "About Allhalloutide ......from London I went to Evesham and there lay a season until my brother cam thither." In 1556 he writes, "Abowt Candlemas cam my brother to London out of Flaunders and shortlie after tooke his journey into Worcestershire ..... In the Whiteson week I returned to Evesham where the Bisshopp of Worcester cam shortlie after in visitation to set up imags etc.", at the time of the brief return to the Roman Obedience. In 1557 we find Sir Philip again at Evesham. In 1558 Sir Thomas records, "the 18th of Aprill my brother Philipp went ..... to London, there to seek the aide of phisitions where he made his last will and testament, and made disposition of all his lands and goodds .... Whitesonday, the 29th of May departed my brother out of this lief to a better. In 1560, the 13th day of May my brother Richard maried .... The 20th of September I departed toward Evesham and taried there 15 daies."
Sir Thomas died in 1566 aged 36, leaving his brother Richard to remain long associated with Badsey, the Manor of which, as we shall see, he had inherited from Sir Philip. Here, he died, at the Seyne House, on 11th February 1616.
Nash's History of Worcestershire and other competent sources, state that Richard Hoby inherited the Manor of Badsey from Sir Philip Hoby. Further research proves that this was not the case. At the Dissolution the Manor passed from Evesham Abbey into the hands of the Crown, with whom it remained until 24th April, 1562, when Queen Elizabeth granted it, with that of Aldington, to Sir Robert Throckmorton of Coughton and his heirs. From him it descended to his son Thomas, who alienated it to Richard Griffin, from whom it passed to Richard Hoby in 1598. Sir Philip, then, never held the Manor, but he died possessed of what probably was a lease of the advowson and tithes of Badsey, which he bequeathed, with other similar possessions to his brother Richard.
Richard Hoby figures prominently in his brother's will and, therefore, a few further particulars concerning him may be of interest. He married Margaret Newman of Chaddesley Corbett, a widow, who had three children, Richard, Gerard and Margaret. He was Churchwarden 1596/7 and a monument to him and his wife is still to be seen against the North wall of the Chancel, the figure of Margaret Hoby being much damaged. She was buried on 4th July, 1625. This monument was erected by Richard Hoby's stepdaughter Margaret, and formerly stood where the organ now is, but it was moved further East to its present position when the Church was restored in 1885. An account of it is given by Habington, the famous Worcestershire antiquary, for which there is not space here. For a similar reason it is not possible here to discuss the strong evidence there is that two Richard Hobys, probably father and son, lived in Badsey at the same period, to the confusion of several genealogists.
Sir Philip Hoby died, on May 29th, 1558, at his house in Blackfriars, London, and was buried in the Church of Bisham, on the banks of the Thames, near Marlow. Here in 1566, Sir Thomas Hoby, who also figures prominently in his brother's will, was buried, and alabaster recumbent figures of the two brothers lie side by side over their tomb.
We have seen, from the diary of Sir Thomas, that Sir Philip went to London on 18th April, 1558, to consult physicians. Their opinion was evidently serious for he made his will on the 1st May following. It may still be seen in the archives at Somerset House, and commences as follows:-
"In the Name of God. Amen. The first daye of May in the yeare of our Lorde God a thousand fyve hundred fiftie and eight I Sir Phillipp Hobbye Knight of hole mynde and parfite remembrance thanckes be to God and mynding to seet all my goodes cattalles dettis landes tenementis and heriditamentis in suche order and stay that after my death the same may be had used and enjoyed in quietness without sute or trouble Doo therefore make and declare this my last wille and testament in fourme following that is to say First and before all thinges I commende my soule unto the mercifull handes of allmightie God my creatour only redemer and Saviour and my bodie to be buried after a decent sorte as the tyme ind place wherein I shall fortune to dye shall in suche cace requir."
Sir Philip next bequeaths to "Thomas Bigges my brother in lawe and Maude his wif my suster the advowson and tithes of Bengeworth of which he held the lease for terme of certaine yeres yet to come, with rversion to their eldest child." To his brother Thomas Hobby he leaves "that farme or personnage and tithes ..... called three Littletons and Uffenham," with reversion to his sons, should any be living at the time of his death. Failing them this bequest is to go to Richard Hobby of Badsey, and then to William Hobby or his sons.
The will then continues:- "And moreover I wille that my brother Richard Hobby shall during his lif have the profittes and occupacion and use of the personnage and tithes of Badsey, Wickanford and Nawnton with the appurtenaunces and the profittes use and occupation of the personnage and tithes of Hampton with the appurtenaunces in the said countie of Worcester which saide personnage I doo hold for terme of many yeres to come, with reversion to Thomas Hobby and his heirs, or to William Hobby and his heirs. "
He bequeaths to Symond Gillonde his lease of the advowson and tithes of Willersley (Willersey). This Symon Gillonde is doubtless synonymous with Simon Gealyinge, to whom there is reference in the Badsey registers, from which we learn that he was Sir Philip's Steward.
To his wife Dame Elizabeth Hobby, and to his son in law Walter Welche, he leaves the Manor of Wresburye, in Berkshire, and makes an elaborate proviso that if any members of his family attempt to do any act to alter these foregoing legacies they shall at once forfeit any interest or title which they may have in them.
Sir Philip had already made "heretofor .... sufficient leafull conveyance and assurance in law .... of all manner my landes, tenementis and hereditaments" at Evesham and elsewhere. He now proceeds to bequeath under certain conditions detailed in the Will, and made "according to the lawes and statutes of this Realm," conditions to which it is not necessary to refer here, the remainder of his lands, tenements and hereditaments. These consist of the Manor of Bisham, otherwise Bustelsham, in Berkshire "with the scite and demaynes of the monastry [priory] her" ; the Manor of Alton, otherwise Alvington [modern Aldington] in Worcestershire; "my mansion house with the orchardes and gardeynes in the precincts of the late Blak freers [Blackfriars] at London"; the Manors of Rowell and Cotesdame [Cutsdean, Worcs.] in Gloucestershire; and the Manors of Lenchewike and Norton in Worcestershire. Bisham and the property at Aldington and in Blackfriars are bequeathed to Thomas Hoby and his heirs with reversion to Richard Hoby and his heirs, or, in default thereof to William Hoby and his,heirs. The Manors of Rowell and Cottesden, so spelt this time, are to go to Wiliiam Hoby and his heirs; and Lenchwick to Thomas Hoby and his heirs.
This portion of the Will concludes with the statement that "thus have I made a full declaration of my last Will concerning all my Mannors, Landes, tenements and heriditmentz, as well in possession as in reversion."
Sir Philip now turns to the disposition of "all Manner my movable goodes and cattalles."
He had married Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Walter Stonor, who only survived him a little more than 2 years, dying on the 25th August 1560. Their portraits, engraved by Bartolozzi, and also by Bocquet, after the drawings of Hans Holbein in His Majesty's collection, are in "Imitations of Original Drawings by Holbein (1792 and 1812), and they were also published separately. Copies of the Bartolozzi engravings are preserved in the library at Abbey Manor, Evesham, and I possess a copy of the Bocquet engraving of Lady Hoby. In the course of his eventful life and his many journeys on diplomatic service in foreign countries, Sir Philip doubtless had many opportunities to collect valuable possessions for the adornment of his houses, and it is of course, also possible that some of his bequests originally came from Evesham Abbey and Bisham Priory.
To his wife Elizabeth, then, he leaves many pieces of plate, with other bequests, some of which are detailed below and which, for the greater convenience of readers, are spelt in their modern form. These bequests included three bowls double gilt plain, containing about 57 ozs.; two small plain potts double gilt, containing about 56 ozs.; two square salts with a cover double gilt containing about 33 ozs.; 12 plain spoons double gilt containing about 26 ozs.; a beer jug with a cover double gilt containing about 20.ozs.; a basin and a cover partly gilt containing about 54 ozs.; two of his eight beer cups with covers partly gilt; and two silver candle sticks containing about 30 ozs.; giving a roughly estimated total of 276 ozs.
Then follow bequests of household furniture and necessaries on a large scale, including a quantity of tapestry and sufficient table-linen for six tables, and two garnishes or sets of pewter.
To William Hoby, who then lived at Marden, Hants, and who afterwards came to Hailes, he leaves all his cattle upon his lands at Rowell and Cutsdean, and plate which included a salt trimmed with crystal under a cover double gilt and some double gilt bowls.
To Thomas Hoby, of Aldington, he leaves all his cattle at Evesham, Offenham, Poden [Honeybourne] and Twyford [near Evesham], together with a bequest of plate, containing many items the total of which must have been considerable, but the weights are only specified in certain cases. The bequest includes a basin and ewer chased, double gilt (80 ozs.) ; two pots of chased double gifts (63 oz.; two new flagons plain with arms double gilt; three great bowls under a cover double gilt (99 ozs.); a beer cup with antique leaves and cover; 18 spoons "of the Almayn' fashion" double gilt (33 ozs,); three bowls double gilt plain; two small flagons double gilt; a little French cup with a cover double gilt; a great basin and ewer parcel gilt (98 ozs.); two of his eight beer cups; and three great bowls (80 ozs). Concerning Thomas Hoby, reference is made to the fact that he stands bound "to my assurer friends Sir William Cecil and Sir Richard Blunt in the sum of £1000," faithfully to discharge the office of executor to which he is appointed under this will. It is of interest to note that he died at the venerable age of 103 years, and it is written of him in a contemporary manuscript that he was "a man unlearned, very just and very plain in his actions, and of great hospitality."
To Richard Hoby, of Badsey, he leaves all his cattle at Westcote [Glos.]; two of his beer cups and one half of his household stuff at Evesham, and "seven pieces of dornix hangings" at Bisham.
To Thomas and Magdalen Bigge, of Lenchwick, he leaves the other half of his household stuff at Evesham, and one of his three "maudelin cuppes." The bequest of household stuff would appear to infer that Thomas Bigge was then building or had just completed his Mansion at Lenchwick.
To the daughter of his sister Juliana there is a bequest of £40, and also bequests of money to "the daughter of my sister Carter" who is to have a deep French bowl double gilt. He further wills that his two unmarried daughters, Margaret and Frances, are to have one hundred marks on the day of their respective marriages, and other financial arrangements are made concerning them into which the name of "Walter Welche their brother" enters. There is also a bequest of money, etc. to "Seton my nevewe."
Sir Philip then wills that his servants shall have such sums of money as are detailed in a codicil, and he further wills that his servants, Spragyn, John Welshoo "of my chamber," Rockold Thomas of Rother, Thomas Smith, John Cooke and Charles "the Waggayner" shall have "some convenient farm or coppieholde whiche shal happen to be voide at or after my death in any my manors or lands, paying the accustomed rent for the same and without any fyne to be paid therefore."
A sum of One hundred marks (£66 13s. 4d. in money of that day and probably of the spending power of about £500 in 1918) is to be divided "amongest the poore folke aboute my houses at Bisham and Evesham."
Further bequests are of a great basin and cover graven with the Story of the New Testament, to Mary Elizabeth Grace; "my best jennett," a small Spanish horse, to Sir Henry Paggett; a serpentine cup with a cover double gilt, to Sir John Mason; a maudelin cup double gilt, to Mr. Agmondsham; and "to my twoo faithefull freendes Sir Willm Cicill and Sir Richard Blounte," two double gilt basins and ewers. He also appoints them as executors, with his brother Thomas.
As stated above, a codicil to the will gives the names of his " howsholde servauntry " totalling 41, with the various sums of money he left them and which ranged from £20 to £1. It is possible, of course, that some of the men came from this neighbourhood. The list is as follows :-Thomas Keymes, Steward; William Page; John Cooke; Richard Sprag; William Baker; John Jownes; George Clerke; John Welshawe, otherwise John of the Chamber; Robert Seton; Humphrey Rockold; Thomas of Rother; Richard Aldeford; Gregory Goodaye; John Wllimotte; Nicholas Abbot; Claude de Buskyn Frances; John Thomas otherwise Butler; Anthonny Anthony otherwise Antony of the Warderobe; Richard Racke; Thomas Smith the porter; John Hitchekins otherwise John Cooke; Thomas Smithe of the stable; John Dyas otherwise Blacke John; John Shropshire otherwise John of the stable; Charles the Coucheman; Edward Turnour the Warrener; Henry Brodefeeld the butcher; Thomas Dutton otherwise Fawconer; John the Showsmith otherwise John Smith; Christofer of the Bakehouse; John of the Kitchen; Dicke of the Stable; Haunce Engle the Joiner; Ewstace his boy; Tice the Locksmith; "two joyners almaynes"; Anthony Derowder the wagon maker; Henry Pilgrym; James Pilgrym and Sparrow.
Sir Philip signs his will in the presence of William Cicill; William Sheldon; John Lovelace; William Amondsham; Edward Warren and others. It was proved on 2nd July, 1558.