Letter of Administration for the Estate of Lucy EAMES (or EMES)

of Fordington, Dorset, England

Administration 24 June 1665 - Inventory 17 Nov 1662

Transcribed by Michael Russell OPC for Fordington December 2009

NOTE:- Letters of Administration: When a person died intestate [i.e. leaving no will] the next of kin or a close friend would often have to apply to the probate court for Letters of Administration to enable them to take possession of and distribute the estate. The term 'estate' refers to the chattels, cash, debts and leases of the deceased. The ecclesiastical courts had no jurisdiction over bequests of freehold property. The applicant had to swear that there was no will, that the applicant would pay all funeral expenses and debts, administer truly, and submit a true inventory and account of his/her stewardship. The inventory itemised the estate held by the deceased, including leases, chattels, debts owed and owing, cash, crops, stocks and slaves. No account of real estate (land) was normally taken in estimates and totals. The Court then granted Letters of Administration and might require the administrator to enter into a bond to administer the estate faithfully, in which case a copy of the act was endorsed on the document.

A Bond is a binding agreement with a penalty for non performance. A bond deed is in two parts, the Obligation and the Condition. Before 1733 the Obligation, which records the penalty, was written in Latin. The Condition describes what the bonded person has undertaken to do, or otherwise committed himself or herself to (e.g. administer an estate), and was always in English.

This is clearly what we have here. My Latin is not good enough to do a proper translation of the first paragraph so I have confined myself to a summary of key facts to help make sense of the document.

The Obligation:

In Latin - Rough summary of Key facts:

Presents by Jonathan EAMES of Ffordington in the County of Dorset Yeoman
and Moses SLADE ibm (abbreviation of the latin Ibidem "at or in the same place) Fuller
----- Richardo BAYLIE Canon
----- 24th day in the month of June in the 17th year of the reign of Charles II (1665)

[Note: I have retained the same line structure as in the original document to aid location of text]

The Condition:

The condition of this obligation is such that if the above bounden Jonathan
the relict and Administrator of all and singular
the goods chattles & credits of Luce EAMES his mother
late of the same place intestate deceased
doe well and truly administer the goods chattells and creditts of the said
deceased (that is to say) in paying her debts if any be due her far forth as
her goods chattells and creditts will thereunto extend and the Lawe charge
him. Also doe make or cause to be made A true and p'fect inventory of All
such goods chattells and credits as the said deceased dyed possessed of and
exhibite the same into the Registry of this Court At or before the 24 day
of July
now next ensuing And alsoe make a true and p'fect accompt
of and upon her said Administration when she shall be thereunto required
And such pte (part) and portion of the residue of the said goods upon such Accompt
left unadministered shall distribute and dispose in such manner as by the
said Mr.DEANE or his surrogate or other competent judge in
that behalf shall be lymitted and appointed And lastly doe nowe and at all
tymes hereafter save defend and keepe harmeles the said Mr DEANE and all
others his officers and Ministers for grannting Letters of Administration in
this behalf and for all other causes ensuing by reason of the same then
this obligation to be voyd orelse to abide in full force force and virtue

Signed in the presence of Jonathan EAMES
Johis [i.e. John] SAINTBARBE?

NOTE:- On the reverse is the date written in pencil of 24 June 1665 Dean of Sarum

The Inventory

[Note:- For unfamiliar terms refer to Glossary ]

An Inventory of the wearing apparel of Luce EAMES
of ffordington in the Countie of Dorsett widdow taken by
Robt: (Robert) INGRAM & William PATE the 24th of June
1665 as ffolloweth:

Costume 1649-1660
    4 pettie coates £2
    [ The modern term for petticoat is an underskirt which is not seen. 17th Century petticoats were termed an under skirt because it went under an apron or a top skirt which would be pinned up to expose the underskirt. For the widow of a Yeoman at this date her petticoats would have been to the ground, and for the more wealthy may have had a short train at the back. Even working class ladies usually had some sort of trim on the petticoat. Red petticoats seem to have been popular, even among puritans]
    3 wastecoates & a iump coate 1
    [Ladies also wore waistcoats as shown above. "i" and "j" are interchangeable so this is a jump coat ie a short coat]
    3 whittles & two aprons 1
    [Whittles probably refers to wimples or a cloth headdress covering the head, neck and the sides of the face sometimes still worn by nuns. Aprons were a part of a ladies attire not like those used today in the kitchen. She would have had a servant to prepare food.
    2 hats; & two paier of stockings & 2 paire of shoes 10 shillings
    [Hats were tall crowned with wide flat brims similar to those worn by men but worn over a lace edged linen bonnet. Stockings were worn by men women and children and came up over the knee (knitted to a small gauge of 12 stitches to the inch or more).
    two paire of caddes & some lininge (i.e. linen) 1
    [Caddes (or caddis) would have been a rough woollen covering and linen a reference to clothes made of linen not underwear which was not worn by women until after 1800].
    Total 5 10 shillings
Signed Robt: (Robert) INGRAM
William PATE:

Genealogical notes:-
(1). Lucy Eames was the widow of John EAMES (1586/7-1662) See transcription of Letters of Administration concerning his estate
(2). Jonathan Eames was her only son being proceeded by a sister Ruth. Jonathan was baptised in Fordington on 14th September 1628 and did not die until 1702.
(3). For more information about the family please refer to the biography of Anthony Eames the youngest brother of John EAMES (1586/7-1662)
(4). The inventory was only for her personal apparel as Jonathan EAMES her son and heir had inherited everything else from his father in 1662.

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