IN Vol. LIII of Arch. Cantiana (1940) extracts
from the eighteenth century wills of two spinsters were printed. Their
interest was in the bequests to various relations of family and personal
possessions which "had been handled, handed down, worn or slept
in". The present will carries on this reverence for silver plate
and clothing, which presumably was still to be worn; and of its disposal
to many of her own and younger generations.
The will is that of Mrs. Mary Marsh, nee Prescott, wife of
William Marsh of The Wick, Castle Road, Walmer, and widow of Laurence
Baker of Guston. It was proved at Canterbury on April 10th, 1806. The
material bequests are as follows:—
To my niece Catharine, wife of William Boys of Reach in St.
Margaret's at Cliffe, yeoman, all the furniture of my best parlour, my
gold watch, my plain gold ring marked L.M.B. and my stone mourning ring
which I had in remembrance of my late husband, also six silver table
spoons marked MT, six silver tea spoons, tongs, and sugar basket; also
my silver pepper caster and punch ladle, each marked LBM one pint silver
pot marked VI, and two silver table spoons marked LBM.
To my sister in law Angiller Prescott, widow of my late
brother John Prescott, all my body linenry and all my under petticoats,
my half mourning cotton gown and coat, and one of my black Russel1
To my nephew John Prescott all my back
chamber furniture, also my Cyprus chest of drawers.2
To my nephew William Prescott my mahogany desk and bookcase
and all the books that shall be therein (except four books of Pamela
[Samuel Richardson's novel]); also my mourning ring that I had in
remembrance of my late brother Samuel Prescott.
To my great niece Mary the daughter of my said nephew
William Prescott and Ann his wife the said four books of Pamela. Also my
silver tankard marked MG and MP, my silver cup marked MG and MP, six
silver tea spoons marked MP, one pair of silver buckles, and my easy
To my nephew Samuel Prescott my clock and also my desk that is in my
To my niece Mary the wife of Morris Wellard my mourning
ring and my garnet ring.
To my niece Angiller the wife of John Pain my plain gold
ring and girder ring.
To Susannah Holtum, daughter of John Holtum of Ash (nephew
1 Russel or Russels was a
woollen fabric much used long before this date. N.E.D.
2 A huge chest of
Cyprus wood (Cupressus) formerly looked on as a fixture, used to be in
Marston Hall at Martin but was sold by a late owner.