• Will and Probate inventory of William Grey, Miller, of Newcastle-on-Tyne, 1585

    This is an interesting document: the will and inventory not only of William Grey but of his whole family, all of whom died of the plague in 1585. The apparell listings for him and his family are unusually complete and more accurate than many, as the belongings of plague victims weren't subjected to the usual depredations of friends and relatives prior to the taking of a Probate Inventory.

    Text taken from Wills and Inventories from the Registry at Durham, published 1860.

    Modern English (post-1500)
    Published in 1585
    Renaissance Clothing and Textile Terms
    1500 AD - 1599 AD
    Probate Inventories


My bodie to be buryed within the churche-yeard of Sanete John.

To the poore of the Spittell almeshouse 2s. 6d.

Shillings: 2, Pence: 6

To th'almeshouse, besyd my house, 2s. 6d.

Shillings: 2, Pence: 6

To Jane Stoberte a chiste of oke, and to her sister a coffer.

To Jane Grey, my brother's wyfe, my wyfe's blewe violett froke.

To John Rogerson a greite axe, and ij wombles, with a sawe.

To Marke Rogerson all my Sonne's apparell.

To Agnes Peareson a Danske chiste, standing before my bedsyde, with a Danske potte, and my wyfe's gowne.

To William Purdus, his wyfe, my dowghter's workedaye ramente, viz., a kyrtle, a safegard, a smoke, and a hatt.

To Christobell Graye a petticote of my dowghter's.

To Dorithie Gray a white russett kyrtle.

To Sir Cuthberte, curate of Alhallowes, 6s. 8d.

I do forgyve Thomas Graye 4s., he oweth me.

To my father foure yeardes of russett.

To William Reesley my pickes and a hatchett.

To Henry Fenkell my white horse.

To Janet Stobarte a brasse potte.

To Richard Hall a white horse.

To Christobell Fletcher a Danske chiste.

To Thomas Spurre my best brasse potte, and my girdle.