Letter of Administration to Mary FROOME
for the Estate of Phillip BUNN


©Transcribed by Michael Russell OPC for Fordington January 2009
Last updated January 2011

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 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 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. As with the great majority of seventeenth century records the document is written in Secretary hand which takes some getting used to and I have used the “Dictionary of Genealogy by Terrick VH Fitzhugh as my guide. As with medieval Latin some words are abbreviated. I have done the best I can with the translation adding some punctuation to help with clarity but would welcome a full translation by someone versed in Mediaeval Latin & Secretary Hand. I am the OPC for the Parish of Fordington and can be contacted in the usual way through the OPC site.

Latin Key facts:

Thoman [Thomas] FFROME of Ffordington in the County of Dorset
Marian FFROME --- Mr Willus (William) BASCOMBE ---
[probably a joint obligation with] Edwardo ONSLOWE prebendary of ffordington

The Condition: of the above written obligation is that if the above bound Mary FROOME: the principal legatee named in the Last Will of Phillip BUNN late of Fordington the above said deceased, and administratrix of all singular his goods and chattels with the Will thereto annexed:

To: well and truly administer the good and chattels of the said deceased, pay his debts if he owed any, and after his legacies given and bequeathed by him in his said Will, as far as his goods will thereto extend, and to charge her to well and truly execute the same Will according to the true meaning thereof:

And: also make, or cause to be made, a true inventory of all the deceased goods and enter it into the Registry of the above named Edward ONSLOWE and render up and pass a true and perfect account of her said administration when she is lawfully called.

And: lastly save and defend and render harmless the said Edward ONSLOWE and all others his officers for rendering the granting unto her the said Letters in this behalf, then this said obligation to be void or else to be and remain in full force and virtue.

Signed sealed & delivered
in the presence of

The mark of Tho: [Thomas] FFROOME

The mark of Mary FFROOME

The mark of William BASCOME

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

The condton: of th above written obligaton is that of the Above
bounden Mary FFROOME: the principall legataria named in the Last
Will of Phillipp BUNN late of ffordington abovesaid deced and
admidtrix of all and singlr his goods & chattles wth the Will
thereto annexed doe well & truly adminisster the goods and chattles
of the said deced, pay his debts if he owed any affor said
and after his legacies given and bequeathed by him in his said
Will as fare as his said goods will thereto extend & the charge
her and well & truly execute the same Will according to the
true meaninge thereof. And alsoe make or cause to be
made a true inventie of all the deceaseds goods &
exhibit it into the Registrie of the above named Edward
ONSLOWE and render up & pass a true & perfecte Accounte
of & upon her said Admin when she is thereto Lawfully
called And Lastlye save & defend & reepeall harmeles
the said Mr Edward ONSLOWE & all others his officers for
or concerning the grannting unto her the said Letters in
this behalfe then this said obligatione to be void or else to
be & remayne in full force and vertue

Genealogical Notes:-
(1). His daughter Mary FROOM nee BUNN was baptised in Fordington on 9th May 1630
(2). Edwardus ONSLOWE was prebendary of Fordington from 1641 to his death in 1667.

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