Robert Spencer (d 1521)

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Robert was the son of John Spencer of Cople, Bedfordshire.

Robert married Anne Pecke. Robert inherited his father's right in Cople.

Robert's son and heir was John Spencer of Cople

Robert's will is dated 20 Mar 1520/1. There is no indication that it was proved, but his wife Anne also left a will dated 14 Dec 1524 by which time she calls herself a widow.


Primary documents

Will of Robert Spencer

Robert Spenser of Coople 20 March 1520/1, no record of probate

Burial in Our Lady Chapel of Coople; for mortuary his best beast as customary; to each godchild a ewe sheep; to the friars of Bedford 20s for a trental “to be sayd as shortly as goodly may after my decease”.

Testator’s feoffees are to allow his executors to take the rents of all the messuages, land, meadow and pasture in Southmyll in Blownham parish now occupied by testator’s son Batell, and a messuage with land mead and pasture in Honydon in Eton parish “only except and reservyd” until they may therewith pay testator’s debts and perform the bequests listed below.

To the high altar for tithes forgotten 10s; to the “necessaries” of Coople church 20s; to mending the streets in the same town 10s; to the “mortyfyying” [obtaining a licence to hold property in mortmain] of the brotherhood in Blownham or to the covering in lead of the steeple there £5;to Southo church, towards the cross 6s 8d; to Sandy church 6s 8d; to the college of Northivell 6s 8d; to the four orders of friars, 3 in Cambridge and the 4th in Bedford 3s 4d each; to Blownham bells and torches 3s 4d each.

His executors are to pay master Mordant “such money as it shall please hym to demand of the arrearages for the Ward and Mariage of Hugh Hasilden”

His executors are to pay Richard Monyngham the arrears due to him of the £40 that was bequeathed to Margery his wife by her father, and also the “halfdele” of her necessary wedding apparel of the “hadde” 20s.

His executors are to find an honest priest to say mass and other divine service in Coople church for five years for souls of testator, his ancestors and friends and those for whom he is bound to pray.

If testator’s son John should die before his mother , which Almighty God forbid, a priest is to sing for souls of testator and his son and friends for another 5 years after his death.

To either of his son Dikon’s sons 40s to their schooling; to his daughter’s marriage 5 marks; to Batellys daughter’s marriage 5 marks; to either of his son John’s daughters 5 marks “if they have any brother alive tyme of ther marriage”; to Elizabeth Laurence 40s to her marriage “if she wilbe rulyd and advised by myn executors”; to Alice Bays 10s; to Robert Symond 20s a year during his life; to the houses of Newenham, Elnestow, and Cawdwell 10s each to pray for his soul “as theyr devocion shall serve them”.

His feoffees are to allow his daughter Alys to occupy the house she lives in, with the land and mead and pasture, for the term of her life, she paying the out-rents and keeping it in repair, provided always that “if her husband be mysruled or disordryd that myn executors be discontentid with him” then this bequest to his daughter shall be void, and his feoffees are to allow his executors to take the profits of the property during the life of his daughter Alys and use them “accordyng to my mynd which they know truly as I put them in trust”.

His daughter Dikons is to have the rent of his house in Honeydon for the term of her life with its land mead and pasture, she keeping it in repair and paying the out-rents.

His heirs and executors shall keep his obit yearly with the profit of his house and land that belonged to Agnes the wife of Thomas Reve.

To his daughter-in-law Anne during her life, the rent of all testator’s wife’s lands and tenements in Litle Brikhyll after his wife’s death, with the remainder to testator’s son John and his heirs.

After legacies and debts are paid, his wife is to have the issues and profits of all his lands and tenements during her life, and after her death they are to go to his son John Spenser and his heirs. Residue to his executors.

Exors, wife Anne, son John, Thomas Dikon, Robert Spenser, the last two to have 20s each for their labour. Witn. Sir Thomas Bamford vicar of Coople, Henry Mannfelt, Thomas Tooth

Will of Anne (Pecke) Spencer

Anne Spencer, widow of Robert Spencer Gent 14 Dec 1524

To be buried in the chapel of Our Lady in Coople church, “next unto my husband”; the the high altar for tythes forgotten 20d; to John Spenser the great brass pot and 2 spits; to Elizabeth his daughter and testator’s god-daughter, testator’s wedding ring, her bright brass pot and the two eared pan; to John Spenser’s daughter Rose a little pot broken of the “brink” [rim] , a pan of 3 gallons and a chafer with one handle; to Agnes Batell the great pot that is broken on the brink and testator’s red girdle that was testator’s aunt Adams. To Robert Hasilden testator’s daughter’s son her best piece, a featherbed, a pair of sheets, a pair of blankets, a red coverlet, and a bolster; to Thomas Hasilden his brother a piece of silver next the best, a featherbed, a red coverlet, a pair of sheets, a pair of blankets and a bolster; to Thomas batell the little piece and a pair of sheets. To each of her son Dikon’s children, that is to say William, Richard, Robert, Nicholas, Frances and Elizabeth, 6s 8d to be paid at convenient leisure; to Thomas Spenser 6s 8d. For the salary of a priest for a year to sing for souls of her husband, herself and all of her friends, 8 marks. John Hatley is to sing one half year, and Thomas Yardy the other, where this is to be her executors shall choose. To Elizabeth Spencer her son’s daughter, testator’s best cow; to Rose her sister, the calf of the cow; to Elizabeth Dycon the other cow; to Palmer’s daughter the other calf; to testator’s daughter Alys all testator’s sheep and the corn in the barn; to Batell one of her ricks; to Gaunt her old black gown; to Gaunt’s daughter a yard of white blanket to make a petticoat; to Johan Piers her kirtle last made; to Johan Frank a smock; to Thomas Dikons £5 of the money testator makes of her crop, if he makes no claim for the rent of Honyden since the death of testator’s husband. Residue to son John to distribute in alms for her soul.

Exor. Son John. Witn. Sir Thomas Bamford, Richard Slade, Robert Newman, Robert Hasilden

Secondary Sources

  • Thanks to David Cooper for providing details from the will.
  • "The first mention of the family who give their name to the manor of BRYTVILLES or BIRCHFIELD is in 1166, when Hugh de Bryteville held one knight's fee in Bedfordshire. (fn. 44) Hugh's son William was seised of the property in 1197, (fn. 45) and one of the same name held it in the latter part of the 13th century for half a knight's fee and one-thirteenth part of a knight's fee. (fn. 46) In 1275 John was seised of it, (fn. 47) and by 1286 it had passed to Hugh de Bryteville. (fn. 48) By 1316 it was the property of Hugh's son William, (fn. 49) who held it in 1330–1. (fn. 50) By 1342 Hugh de Bryteville was in possession. (fn. 51) The family continued resident in this parish till the 15th century, William Bryteville, the last member of whom mention has been found, holding there in 1439. (fn. 52) Brytvilles Manor was subsequently alienated to John Spencer of Cople, his son Robert dying seised of the manor in 1521. (fn. 53) The descent of the manor now follows that of Rowlands in Cople (q.v.) (fn. 54)"URL. Date accessed: 25 February 2007."
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