SMITHY's GENEALOGY OLDE HANDWRYTYNGE PAGE
The purpose of this page will be to provide information on the various styles of old English handwriting, particularly that which was called Secretary Hand, used in documents of the 16th and 17th centuries.
I'm strictly an amateur but with the assistance of various articles on deciphering old handwriting, some patience and practice I've managed to almost completely transcribe some documents which at first glance seemed way out of my 'ken'.
Extracts from the Will and Inventory of Henry HADFIELD of Whitfield in the parish of Glossop, Derbyshire, written in 1546. Note: The second 'em' in remembrance is written as 'e' with a horizontal stroke above it. An 'arke' was a chest, box or coffer; 'boards' were simple tables - boards lying on trestles; 'lames' were lambs of course.
I henry hadfelde of good & pfycte remembrance do make thys my
It[em] I beqweth to Rowse Rawson x  lames to be taken...
...to husbandre & my best arke & all boards wythin howse...
Extract from the Will of William Vivian of St Columb Major, Cornwall, yeoman, 1659.
I doe nominate & desire to be my overseers Henry Carlion
of St Austell William Slade of Gorran John Pears of
St Enoder & John Prideaux of St Issey to be overseers of
this my last will & testament.