The Last Will of Zechariah Symmes
The twentieth day of January 1664, I Zechariah Symmes of Charlestown, New England, being at present through God's mercy in some competent measure of health, yet daily wayting for my change, have revised the last former draught of my will, but revoking it, do establish this following as my last will and testament, and do hereby appoint my dear and faithful wife Mrs. Sarah Symmes sole executrix thereof.
First, I commit and commend what I am and have into the hands of my most loving Father and Gracious God in Christ Jesus : my soul immediately upon my death to be received into those heavenly mansions which my blessed Saviour hath prepared for me ; my body to be for a time, in a comely, but not over costly manner, interred, in assured faith and hope that my Saviour will in his time raise up my vile body and make it like his glorious body, and, uniting it to my soul, will continue them forever with himself in perfect blessedness and glore.
For my temporal estate wherewith the Lord hath blessed me, it is already in good parte disposed of by reason of the mariage of my eldest sonne William, and of six of my daughters, viz., Sarah, Marye, Elizabeth, Huldah, Rebeckah, Deborah. To each of these seven I have already given such a portion, as our own necessities would permit, and that without any partialitie farther than a legacy given to my daughter Brock, and daughter Savage did equity require ; therefore my earnest desire and will is that none of them grudge at any of the other, or trouble their mother in the least wise any further demand, or motion about what is already disposed of.
For Ruth, my wife hath already set by for her a portion as with a very small enlargement (which I leave to my widow's discretion) may equal her portion with her sisters.
For my two sonnes Zechariah and Timothy, to the former upon his going to Rehoboth I gave some books, with some household stuff, and to make up his first dividend, I assign unto him all my library, except what is after mentioned, and provided that soone after my death he oblige himself in a bonde of eighty pounds, together with his heirs and assigns, to pay unto his brother Timothie fourty pounds sterling in money, or merchantable goods at money price, within one year after my decease, or in case his brother Timothy dye before the year expired, then to pay it to my other children surviving, in equal portions, reserving a double portion to my eldest sonne William.
Other legacies doe some of my dear friends deserve, and therefore may probably expect, but considering my dear widos probable necesseties, and that farr most of our estate came by her, I trust they will take it well though I do dispose of the remainder of my estate in the manner following.
First, my debts being discharged (which are none that I know of but what my wife is privye unto) and one legacy of five pounds to my dear brother Mr. William Symmes, to which I know my wife will be as willing as myself, it being but a small remembrance of his very great love and costs to us and ours, I then give and bequeath to my faithful and dearly beloved wife, the whole use and benefit of all my temporal estate, consisting in lands, houses, cattell, moneye, plate, with all other goods and moveables which the Lord hath given, to her own proper use, to have, hold and enjoy during the whole time of her widowhood. In case she shall see good to marry, which I suppose she will never do without good advice, then I take it for granted that it will be with one that may bring some comfortable outward estate with him, and therefore in case she shall marry I give a third part of my whole estate to be equally divided among my children then living, only a double part to my eldest sonne, and at her death the other two thirds to be alike divided, only I give her liberty and power at her decease to dispose of fifty pounds sterling to any of her children or any other of her relatives or friends as she shall see mete. Further, out of my books and papers, I give her that large English Bible wch was her mothers, also such books as I have of Doc Sibs or Doc Prestons, also a book of Baynes letters, and about comfortable walking with God. Also all my notes and sermons, one book in octavo upon 16th Matthew 24 and 17 cap of John, 2 small books of my latter sermons, one in decimo sexto, the other hath yet but a few sermons. Also I give to my eldest sonne Fulke on Rhem. Test. with 4 books in quarto of Mr. Bolton's works, as also a fourth part of such manuscripts either mine owne or my father's sermons, as are in papers or stitch, but not bound up. All my written books besides I give to Zech: with the rest of the manuscripts, yet so as upon their requests not to deny the lending of them for a small time to any of their brethren or sisters to peruse for their owne private use only, for I never intended or prepared anything of mine to be put in print.
Item. At my wives death I give my farm neere Woburne and land at Nottimos to my eldest sonne, provided that he bynde it over to pay onto the rest of my children a hundred pounds in equall portions in two years time : 50 pounds per annum.
Item. I give to all my sonnes in law, at the death of my wife, to each of them thirty shillings for a ring, or any other meanes of remembering my love to them ; and to each of my grandchildren, by nature or by law, thirteen shillings four pence for a spoone.
Witnesses. Francis Norton, Joshua Teed [Tidd].