Amanuensis: A person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another.
I know I said I was taking a vacation, but I received an amazing email this morning from geneablogger, Martin Hollick of The Slovak Yankee. Apparently he has experience with 16th century English script, so 18th century was easy for him to read. So when he saw my post this morning concerning the will of Barnard Goldfinch, it didn't take him long to transcribe it. I plan to use his transcription to try to familiarize myself with this style so I am able to do the same in the future.
This is the last Will and Testament of Mr. Barnard Goldfinch of Portsea in the County of Southon. Sailmaker made whilst in sound mind perfect memory and disposing understanding whereby I recommend my soul to God and Give Devise Bequest and Dispose of my worldly Estates and effects in manner following that is to say first I give all and bequeath all that Messuage or Tenement Garden or parcel of land thereunto belonging situated on the North side of Heath fields in the parish of Portsea to my daughter Jane Goldfinch and to her Heirs for ever, I give and bequeath ten hundred pounds part of my stock in the three per cent consolidated Bank annuity to my daughter Jane Goldfinch and to her heirs for ever I give and bequeath to my daughter Jane Goldfinch four Silver Table Spoons and one silver Tankard and to her heirs for ever. I give and bequeath to my son Joseph Goldfinch ten hundred pounds part of my stock in the three per cent consolidated Bank Annuities and to his Heirs for ever I give and bequeath to my Son Joseph Goldfinch two silver Table Spoons and to his heirs for ever and I give and bequeath to all the rest of my relations generally one shilling to be paid by the executrix of this my last will and testament and I appoint my daughter Jane Goldfinch sole Executrix of this my last will and testament in testimony that this is my last will and testament containing two sides of this sheet of paper I the said Barnard Goldfinch the testator to this first and this second sides have set my hand and seal this thirteenth day of August in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty two.
And delivered by the said Barnard Goldfinch the testator as and for this last will and testament on the day of the date hereof in the presence of us who have hereto subscribed our names as witnesses in his presence and at his request: Benjamin Oliver, David Spencer, John Wellsteed.
This will was proved at London the twenty seventh day of June in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty nine before the right worshipful Sir William Wynne, Knight Doctor of Laws Master Keeper of Commissary of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury lawfully constituted by the oath of Jane Goldfinch Spinster the daughter of the deceased and sole Executrix named in the said Will to whom administration of all and singular the goods chattels and credits of the said deceased was granted she having been first sworn by Commission duly to administer.
1) I believe "County of Southon" is shorthand for "County of Southampton." (See #4 below)
2) I wonder if I can figure out exactly what parcel of land is on the North side of Heath Fields in the parish of Portsea, and in whose hands it currently resides. It would not likely be Goldfinch hands, as it passed into Denyer hands when Jane married William Denyer.
3) Barnard bequeathed a total of 2000 pounds to his children. This converter says that is equal today to 207,000 pounds on the retail price index, and 2,440,000 pounds in average earnings. So Barnard appears to have been a successful sail maker.
4) FamilySearch has a burial record for a Bernard Goldfinch
Name: Bernard Goldfinch
Burial Date: 06 May 1789
Burial Place: Portsea, Southampton, England
Indexing Project (Batch) Number: B03632-0
System Origin: England-EASy
Source Film Number: 1596292
Reference Number: Page 40 Entry 23
Collection: England Deaths and Burials, 1538-1991
It appears I have a closer date for his death, and there was a month and a few weeks between burial and proving of the will.
5) While it's highly speculative, there also appears to be a record for the birth of a Joseph Goldfinch to a Barnet Goldfinch, in Portsea, in 1747. This would have been 23 years before Jane was born. However, it's not impossible, and would explain why he bequeathed his property to his daughter, if his son was already full grown, and possibly successful on his own. While the given names have different origins, it appears that the name Barnet is an occasional alternate to Bernard.