Extracted from the Registry of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury
In the Fear and Omnipotence of God the Father and his Beloved Son Christ Our Lord and only Mediator between God and Man On whom I depend for the Salvation of my Soul through his Death and Sufferings who is the One Offering One for all and hath given a Measure of his good Spirit to lead and guide all that will give up in Obedience thereto into all truth Now I Benjamin Hopkins of the Parish of George Southwark in the County of Surry Gardner being in Health of Body and of Sound and Perfect Mind and Memory Praised be God therefore Considering the Certainty of Death and the uncertain Duration of this Mortal Life Do make my last Will and Testament in manner and fform following ffirst and principally I Commend my Soul into the Hands of Almighty God my Creator hoping through the Meritts of my Blessed Redeemer Christ Jesus to Inherit Everlasting Life And my Body I committ to the Earth to be decently buryed at the Discretion of my Executrix hereafter named And as for and concerning All Such Worldly Estate where with it hath pleased God to bless me and whereof I Shall be Possesst or whereunto Intitled at the time of my Decease I give devise and dispose of the same in manner and ffrom following Vizt Imprimis I Will that all my Just Debts and ffuneral Expences be paid and Satisfied Item I give and bequeath to my Loving Son Haddon Hopkins the Sum of three hundred pounds to be paid unto him when he Shall have attained the age of One and twenty Years Item I give and bequeath unto my Loving Daughter Mary the Sum of two hundred Pounds to be payd her when She Shall have attained the age of One and twenty Years or on the day of her Marriage which Shall first happen Provided Such Marriage be with the consent of my Said Executrix Item I give and bequeath unto my Loving Daughter Sarah the Sum of Two hundred Pounds to be payd her when She Shall have attained the age of One and twenty Years or on the day of her Marriage which Shall first happen Provided such Marriage be with the Consent of my Said Executrix Item I give and bequeath unto my Loving Daughter Elizabeth the Sum of two hundred Pounds to be payd to her when She Shall have attained the age of One and twenty Years or on the day of her Marriage which shall first happen Provided such Marriage be with the Consent of my Said Executrix Item I give and bequeath unto my Loving Son Ebenezer the Sum of two hundred Pounds to be payd him when he shall have attained the age of One and twenty Years All the rest residue and remainder of my Estate both reall and Personal and of what Nature or kind Soever I give devise and bequeath unto my Well Beloved Wife Sarah her heirs Executors Admtors and Assigns for Ever and I do hereby Nominate and Appoint my Said Wife Sarah Sole Executrix of this my last Will and Testament Hereby revoking Annulling and making void All former and other Wills Testaments and Codicills by me made Willing That these Presents only do contain my last Will and Testament In Witness whereof I the Said Benjamin Hopkins the Testator have to this my last Will and Testament Sett my Hand and Seale the Eighth day of October in the Second Year of the Reign of Our Sovereign Lord George the Second by the Grace of God of Great Britain ffrance and Ireland King Defender of the ffaith &c. Anno Dom 1728.
Benjamin Hopkins - Signed Sealed Published and declared by the Testator Benjamin Hopkins as and for his last Will and Testament in the Presence of us who at his Request and in his Presence have hereunto Subscribed Our Names at Witnesses. T: Usher in Mansell Street Goodmans ffields Jno Peck in Salisbury Court ffleet Street S: Martyn in Birchiss Lane /
Probatum Londinis 90 dia monsis Octobris Anno Domini 17300. Coram Venerabili Viro Gulielmo Branston Seguin Doctore Surrogato &c. per Declarationem Sive Affirmationem Solemmom of Sincoram Sara Hopkins Vidua Relicta et Epcentricis Unica in dicto Testamento nominat Cui &c. Declaratione Sivo Affirmatione predicta de bene &c. per dictam Saram Hopkins prius facta. /
|281 Auber.||F. H.||Pet: S. Eloy||} Deputy Register ./.|
Wife: Sarah Hopkins
Children & Bequests:
Haddon (1715-1757) £300,
Mary (1709-1786) £200,
Sarah (1710-1762) £200,
Elizabeth (1712-1765) £200,
Ebenezer (1718-1757) £200
Executrix: Wife Sarah
Witnesses: T: Usher, Jno Peck, S: Martyn
This will was among the papers of Samuel Nicholson Rhoads, which were left to the library of the Historical Society of Haddonfield, and where it now resides.
Benjamin Hopkins was a member of the Vintner's Company of London, as shown in the Quaker records of his marriage and the births of his children. However, this will describes his occupation as gardner. Benjamin's father, William, was also described both as a gardener and as a Vintner.
In the Quaker death records, Benjamin was said to have died of consumption His father also was said to have died of consumption. It may be that he was already ill when he made out this will, since he was only 42 at the time. Consumption was a common cause of death cited in the records of that time. Today we would call it pulmonary tuberculosis.
To estimate the value of the estate Benjamin left, the £200 left to each of the younger children would be roughly £20,000 today. Benjamin had been left a rental house and the lease for his father's house and garden ground in his father's will, and his wife Sarah was left the lease of his house, his personal property, and most of the residue of his estate by her father John Haddon. In her letters, Sarah mentioned stock in lead mines and other investments. Thus Benjamin had a considerable estate to leave to his wife and children.
This estate would have passed to the three daughters who survived their parents. These were Mary, who married Edward Butcher, Sarah, who married a man named Simpson, and Elizabeth, who married Joseph Etherington.
For further information about Benjamin and his family, see Family Beginnings in England.
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This file was last updated on 4/14/2010.