Jowett wills - transcripts


Edward Jowett of Bradford, 2 February 1614/15

This is the will of Edward Jowett, clothier of Bradford, father of Maximilian and Joseph who later emigrated to America. We do not know exactly when Edward was born but he died a young man, leaving four children mentioned in the will - as well as Joseph and Maximilian he names his youngest child Sara who was only one at the time, and his eldest child William who was a mere 10 years old on his father's death. The will also mentions his wife Mary and his father in law William Tayler. It makes no mention of the other children - Grace and Josias - who presumably either died young or were to another Edward Jowett of Bradford (we know Josias had been buried as an infant). Edward was buried at Bradford on February 4th 1614/5.

Unfortunately it is a brief will making only general mention of his possesions, the value of which are known to have been over 40.

This transcript has been taken directly from both the original will and the registered copy held at the Borthwick Institute in York, both of which are comparable to that published by Hazen in 1940 (New England Historical & Genealogical Register, 1940, vol. 94, pages 99 -107). There are, however, many differences to the transcript published by F C Jewett, but the only significant one is the spelling of the name - F C Jewett invariably uses "Jewett" though there is no doubt that in the actual will it is "Jowett". Why F C Jewett should persist with this obvious (and apparently deliberate) error is not clear.

The Will of EDWARD JOWET, 1614. In the name of god amen: the second day of ffebruary in the yeare of our lord god 1614 in the xijth yeare of the Reigne of our Sov'rigne Lord James by the grace of god King of England ffrance and Ireland defender of the faithe etc. and of Scotland the eight & fortieth whereas nothing is more certaine then death and nothing more uncertaine then the houre of death Therefore I Edward Jowet of Bradford within the diocese of Yorke Clothier, though sick, and diseased in bodie yet sound and p'fect in minde and memory I prayse god therefore do in this uncertainty of life (knowing that even in health we are subject to death) make publish and declare this my last will & testament, in manner and forme following, (that is to say) First and principally I give up & commend my soule into the hands of allmightie god my creator & redeemer hoping & assuredly trustinge, to have full & free p'don & remission of all my sinnes, by the p'cious death, & buriall of Christ Jesus mine alone Saviour & for Justification, by his righteousnes: my bodie, I yeild to the earth to be decently buried, at the discretion of my friends.

Itm My will & minde is that all my lawfull debts be paide out of my whole goods.

Itm I give and bequeath two full parts of all my goods cattells chattels & creditts (in three pts to be divided) unto Willm Jowet, Maximilian Jowet, Joseph Jowet and Sara Jowet my children equally to be divided amongst them after my debts be paide & funerall expenses discharged The third pte & residue of all my saide goods cattelles chattelles & creditts I give & bequeath unto Mary my Wife whome I make the sole executrix of this my last will & testament And I doe intreat Willm Tayler my father in law Henry Tayler my brother in law Samuel Tayler & Trustrum Ledyerd to be the supervisors of this my last will and testament

Itm my will & minde is that my children shall have theire porcons paide unto them at such times as they shall sev'ally accomplish theire ages of xxi yeares or otherwise lawfully demand the same. Lastly I doe comitt the tuicon & gov'nement of all my said children wth theire sev'all porcons duringe theire sev'all minorities, unto the said Mary my wife. Witnesses hereof

Jowet [On the 12th day of July anno dni 1615 Laurence Wilson clerk, dean of Pontefract] certified concerning the probate of the will of Edward Jowet late of Bradford in the diocese of York, deceased, through the witnesses named, being sworn, and administration of the goods of the said deceased was committed to Marie Jowet, relict of the said deceased, sole executrix named in the said will, previously sworn. There was exhibited an inventory above 40 pounds, and the said Mary and others were put under bonds. (York Registry, Act Book, Pontefract, 1615)




Benjamin Jowitt of Carleton, 20 September 1828

This is the will of Benjamin Jowitt of Carleton in the parish of Pontefract, Yorkshire, dated 20th September 1828. The wording of the date signifies that Benjamin was a Quaker, as indeed was his son Benjamin, the only child named in the will; there is no wife named. Benjamin was a wealthy property and land owner with goods were valued at 4000 - a lot of money then! As well as several local charities, benefactors include the Stevensons from Huddersfield, Horsfalls from Halifax and Whiteleys from Woodhouse Moor, Leeds as well as George Travis, a labourer of Carleton.

Benjamin is referred to by John Batty (The History of Rothwell, 1877, p110) as being of Carlton, and a member of the Society of Friends. He was buried at Rothwell on Jan 4th 1830 (the same day as he died?) age 91. Could he be the Benjamin Jowitt born in Holbeck to Richard and Elizabeth Jowitt, 30 Sep 1739 [IGI]? There is no indication as to the identity of the Robert Jowitt also mentioned in the will.

Since I transcribed the will, Jason Jowitt has delved deeper, and is relatively sure that Benjamin Jowitt of Carleton is indeed the same person as Benjamin, son of Richard and Elizabeth nee Pearson. There are a number of things that point to this assumption being correct, for instance; their years of birth are the same and they are both Quakers or come from Quaker families. Regarding "Robert Jowitt of Leeds, Woolstapler", the only Robert Jowitt, woolstapler listed in the Parson's business directory of Leeds, 1830, was the son of John Jowitt great grandson of Richard and Elizabeth nee Pearson, making Robert Benjamin's nephew. Another person that is named in Benjamin's will is Benjamin Horsfall, another nephew. Elizabeth one of the daughters of Richard and Elizabeth nee Pearson, married a Horsfall sometime between 1749-92 according to the Quaker meeting records.

Jason also came across the name of Benjamin of Carlton's wife in the Leeds Society of Friends Preparitive Meetings records 1749-92. Her name was Ann Arthington (also from a large Quaker family).

This is the last will and testament of me Benjamin Jowitt of Carleton in the Parish of Pontefract, and County of York, gentleman, made this twentieth day of the ninth month (September) in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and twenty eight.

First I order and direct that all my just debts and funeral expenses and the expense of proving this, my will be paid and discharged by my executor herein after named.

And I give and bequeath into John Stevenson and his sister Elizabeth Blaydes, children of the late Jeremiah and Sarah Stevenson of Huddersfield the sum of fifty pounds each.

And I give and bequeath unto William Horsfall, Joseph Horsfall, Hannah Riley, Martha Horsfall, John Horsfall, Benjamin Horsfall the younger, Edward Horsfall, Henry Horsfall and Sarah Horsfall, children of my nephew Benjamin Horsfall, his first two late wives of Halifax the sum of fifty pounds each.

And unto William Whiteley, and his sister Martha, children of John and the late Susannah Whitely, of Woodhouse Moor near Leeds the sum of twenty pounds each.

And I give and bequeath unto George Travis of Carleton, labourer, ten pounds, unto the treasurer of the Pontefract Dispensary for the use of that charity thirty pounds, unto the trustees of the benevolent Society of Hunslet near Leeds for the use of that charity ten pounds and unto the poor residents in Carleton, the objects to be selected by my executor, ten pounds. The above legacies to be paid at the end of six months next after my decease.

And I do hereby give and devise all and every part of my Messuage, Cottages, Warehouses, Lands, Tenements and Herediments, and all my other real estates whatsoever and wheresoever, and all the rest, residue and remainder of my personal estate and effects unto my son Benjamin Jowett, his heirs. administrators and assigns. And I do hereby nominate constitute and appoint my said son Benjamin Jowitt, sole executor of this my last will, and Robert Jowitt of Leeds, Woolstapler, trustee, hereby revoking all former and any other wills by me at any time heretofore made. In witness my hand whereof I the said testator Benjamin Jowitt have set my hand and seal the day and year first within written.

Signed, sealed, published and declared by the said testator Benjamin Jowitt, as and for his last will and testament, in the presence of us, who, in his presence, and in the presence of each other, and at his request, have hereunto subscribed our names as witnesses.

I, Benjamin Jowitt of Carleton in the parish of Pontefract in the county of York, Gentleman, being one of the people called Quakers, do solemnly, sincerely and truly declare and affirm that I believe the writing shewn to me is, and contains the last will and testament of Benjamin Jowett, late of Carleton in the diocese of York, Gentleman, deceased; that I am the son and sole executor therein named; that I will well and truly execute and perform the same by paying his debts and then the legacies therein contained, so far as his goods, chattels and credits will extend and the law charge me that I will exhibit unto court a true full and perfect inventory of all the said goods chattels and credits, and tender a true and just account of the same when I shall be thereto lawfully called, and that I believe the whole of the said goods, chattels and credits, within the diocese of York do not amount in value to the sum of four thousand pounds.

Witness my hand

Benjamin Jowitt

I do hereby certify that on the 28th Day of Jany 1830 the above written afirmation was duly made and subscribed by the said Benjamin Jowitt before me.

John Atkinson, Surrogate.

Died 4 Jany 1830

Passed 29th Jany 1830




James Jowett of Thornton, weaver, dated 23 May 1831.

Though disappointingly not connected to my family, this will is quite revealing about the family of James, naming his father Ely, his wife Betty and six siblings, some with spouses and children. No children are named so it would also appear that James died childless.

The family of Ely Jowett, Glazier of Thornton, is revealed as:

In the name of God Amen.

I James Jowett of Thornton in the Parish of Bradford in the County of York, weaver do this twenty third day of May in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty one make and ordain this to be my last will and testament in manner and form following.

First I give and bequeath all my effects and money lent upon interest unto my two trustees viz. Jonas Illingworth and Henry Speight who I do hereby appoint trustees and executors under this my last will and testament upon trust that my trustees and executors in the first place do pay all my just debts, funeral expenses and the probate and registering this my will.

And I do order my trustees and executors to pay unto Betty Jowett my wife and Ely Jowett my father the yearly interest of fifty pounds jointly after the rate of five percent per annum and at my father's death then my wife Betty Jowett to receive the full interest of fifty pounds after the rate above stated. But in case my wife should marry unto another man then my will and mind is that the fifty pounds be equally divided among my surviving brothers and sisters.

I also give devise and bequeath unto Martha Jowett widow of my brother Joseph Jowett the sum of ten pounds.

I also give devise and bequeath unto John Jowett the sum of ten pounds, eldest son of my brother Joseph.

I also give devise and bequeath unto my sister Rachel Craven the sum of twenty pounds and in case she should die then I give the same equally unto her surviving children as they attain the age of twenty one years.

I also give devise and bequeath unto my sister Rebeca's children the sum of twenty pounds to be divided as follows viz. Martha Barraclough to have ten pounds and the other ten to be divided equally amongst the remaining children as they attain the age of twenty one.

I also give devise and bequeath unto three children of my brother Jonas Jowett the sum of twenty pounds to be divided equally amongst them but in case David Jowett does not return I give his share unto my two trustees.

And my will and mind is that Betty Jaggar shall only have one pound a year until her share shall have been paid unto her.

I also give devise and bequeath unto my sister Ruth Speight the sum of twenty pounds.

I also give devise and bequeath unto my sister Grace Illingworth the sum of twenty pounds.

And in as any loses should arise in the collecting of money my will and mind is that all the legatees shall bear their proportional share of the loss so arising.

Lastly I do hereby nominate constitute and appoint Jonas Illingworth and Henry Speight trustees and executors of this my last will and I order them to see me properly and decently interred and this my will properly put in force in testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand to the three first sheets of this paper and my hand and seal to the fourth side thereof the day and year first above written.

Signed sealed published and declared by the testator James Jowett as and for his last will and testament in the presence of us who in his presence and at his request have subscribed our names as witnesses hereunto.

James X Jowett his mark.

I do hereby certify that on the eleventh day of October in the year of our lord 1831 Jonas Illingworth farmer and Henry Speight weaver both of Thornton in the parish of Bradford in the county of York, the executors named in the last will and testament of James Jowett late of Thornton aforesaid, weaver deceased were sworn well and truly to execute and perform the same; and that the whole of the goods, chattels and credits of the said deceased within the diocese of York do not amount in value to the sum of two hundred pounds.

Witness my hand Rc. Hartley, surrogate.

Died 27 May 1831

Passed 27 October 1831 under 200




Thomas Jowett of Wilsden, assistant overseer, 24 November, 1832

Thomas Jowett, overseer, of Wilsden was the son of William Jowett and brother to William, Mary and Charles. His wife in mentioned, un-named, in the will but we do know his father in law to be Thomas Wilkinson, manufacturer.

Looking at the IGI it is clear that Thomas's parents were William and Mary Jowett of Wilsden Hill. Family entries include:

There is no record of the marriage of William and Mary, nor of Thomas and a Wilkinson

This is the last will and testament of me Thomas Jowett of Wilsden in the parish of Bradford and county of York, assistant overseer. I give devise and bequeath all my personal property whatsoever and wheresoever whether in possession expectancy or outstanding unto Mr George Hanson of Wilsden aforesaid, Merchant my father in law Thomas Wilkinson and my uncle Thomas Jowett both of the same place, their heirs executors administrators and assigns according to the nature of such property upon trust in the first place to pay and discharge all my just debts, funeral expenses.

And then as to and for and concerning my Household Furniture, I give to my sister Mary Jowett one chest of drawers, to my brother William Jowett one loom and writing desk, to my father William Jowett my green chair and cushion and three other chairs and to my Dear Wife my watch, three chairs and a small stand or stable and the bed and bedding with all my clothes equally betwixt them and then all my household furniture undisposed of above and all the remainder and residue of my property I give to my Dear Wife and my Father, their heirs executors administrators and assigns in the following manner, viz. I give to my wife one third and to my father two thirds.

And lastly I do direct that my said executors shall be answerable only each for his own acts accepts and management and not for each other and shall have the liberty of reimbursing themselves respectively out of my trust monies all such expenses and remunerations for management as my said executors shall mutually think fair and reasonable from time to time until the full performance of the trust of this my will.

In witness whereof I have to this my last will and testament set my hand and seal this twenty fourth day of November in the year of our lord One Thousand Eight Hundred and Thirty Two.

Signed sealed published and declared by the said testator as and for his last will in the presence of us who at his request in his presence and in the presence of each other have herewith set our names as witnesses

Signed by Thomas Jowett

I do hereby certify that on the 21st day of May 1833 Mr George Hanson Merchant, Thomas Wilkinson Manufacturer, the father in law and Thomas Jowett, the uncle, weaver, all of Wilsden in the parish of Bradford in the county of York, the executors named in the last will and testament of Thomas Jowett late of Wilsden aforesaid in the diocese of York, assistant overseer, deceased, were sworn well and truly to execute and perform the same; and that the whole of the goods, chattels and credits of the said deceased within the diocese of York do not amount in value to the sum of two hundred pounds.

Witness my hand Rio: Hartley Surrogate

Sworn under 200 exchequer

Died 2 Dec 1832

Passed 30th May 1833 under 200.




Jonas Jowett of Clayton, Stone Mason, 1 May 1834.

Not a very revealing will. Only relative named is wife Mary.

The Thornton Bell Chapel records do contain possible identities for Jonas: Jonas of Denholme, mason, had at least two children (Sarah baptised in 1784 and Thomas buried 1795) whilst Jonas of Thornton, mason, who may indeed be the same person as Jonas of Denholme, had two daughters buried there (Mary in 1785 and Sarah, also in 1785). There is no possible Jonas/Mary marriage in the Thornton records or in the IGI.

This is the last will and testament of me Jonas Jowett of Clayton in the parish of Bradford in the county of York, Stone Mason. Whereby I wish and direct that all my just debts, funeral expenses and the cost of proving this my will shall be discharged by my executrix herein after named out of my personal estate.

Unto my dear wife Mary Jowett and her heirs I give and devise all my real estate situate in Clayton aforesaid subject to and chargeable with the payment of the sum of Eighty Pounds unto Jonas Foster of Clayton aforesaid stone mason at the end of three calendar months next after my decease.

All my personal estate of what nature or kind soever I give and bequeath unto my said Wife whom I do hereby appoint sole executrix of this my last will and testament in witness whereof I hereunto set my hand and seal this first day of May in the year of our lord 1834.

Jonas Jowett X

Signed sealed published and declared by Jonas Jowett 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 as witnesses.

I do hereby certify that on the 3rd day of October in the year of our lord 1834 Mary Jowett of Clayton in the parish of Bradford in the county of York widow, the relict and sole executrix named in this the last will and testament of Jonas Jowett late of Clayton aforesaid in the diocese of York stone mason deceased was sworn well and truly to execute and perform the same; and that the whole of the goods, chattels and credits of the said deceased within the diocese of York do not amount in value to the sum of one hundred pounds.

Sworn under 100.

Witness my hand Henry Heap, surrogate.

Died 29 June 1834

Passed 7th November 1834 under 100




John Jowett of Thornton, Woolstapler, 22 August 1837

This will is interesting because it gives some extensive family details as well as indicating the extensive wealth of John - his estate was valued at not more than 4000 - no mean sum in those days! There is no mention of a spouse or of children (nor can any be found in the records or IGI).

John does get a mention, however, in William Cudworth's "Round About Bradford" of 1878 (page 147). Referring to the two principal employers of Thornton in 1800, Jonathan Wright and a person named Wheater, after them came:

"...John and Joseph Jowett, or Joseph o' Glazener's, who did a bit of stapling besides keeping woolcombers. The father of John Jowett, named Joshua "did a bit i' t' waste trade" and seems to have been an eccentric individual and an inveterate rhymester. Although tolerably well to do, his dress was scarcely remarkable for taste, consisting as it did for years of an old serge over-all, breeches and a piece of sacking fastened with a skewer!"

Who Joseph Jowett was is not certain, but probably not a brother.

The registers of Thornton Bell Chapel confirm that John was the son of Joshua Jowett of Thornton, invariably referred to as Comber, Weaver and Stuff-maker. Four children were baptised there:

This is the last will and testament of me John Jowett of Thornton in the parish of Bradford and in the County of York, woolstapler, who is feeble in body but of a sound and disposing mind.

I hereby appoint Robert Leach of Bradford in the parish thereof Stuff Manufacturer and John Robinson of Thornton in the parish of Bradford Stuff Manufacturer the sole executors of this my last will.

And I give and bequeath unto them all my real and personal estates and effects upon trust to be disposed of as follows -

I direct my executors to sell all my real estates in one year after my decease by auction or otherwise as they shall think the most beneficial, and after all my just debts and the expenses of my funeral and proving of this my will shall be paid I give and bequeath all the money arising from the sale of my real estates and all the money produced by and arising from my personal estate to my sister Hannah Leach, my brother James Jowett and the children of my late brother Nathan Jowett and it is my will and desire that the whole of the produce of my real and personal estates be divided into twenty one equal parts or shares.

And first that six of such equal parts or shares be paid to my aforesaid sister Hannah Leach, her heirs or assigns.

Second that eight other of such equal parts or shares be paid to my brother James Jowett, his heirs or assigns.

Third that the remaining seven other of such equal parts or shares be paid to the seven surviving children of my late brother Nathan Jowett, their heirs or assigns share and share alike - the names of which children are as follows - John Jowett, Joshua Jowett, Nathan Jowett, James Jowett, Craven Jowett, Mary Illingworth and Hannah Jowett - all the aforesaid shares to be paid to them, their heirs or assigns in one year after my decease.

And I give full power to the above named executors of this my last will to call in any or all of the money due and to pay all my just debts and the expenses of my funeral and of proving this my will and to charge for the time and trouble of executing this will - revoking all former wills at any time made by me. I declare this to be my last will and testament.

As witness my hand this twenty second day of August one thousand eight hundred and thirty seven.

Signed by the within named John Jowett in the presence of each other we hereunto subscribe our names as witnesses

I do hereby certify that on the 9th day of October in the year of our Lord 1837 Robert Leach of Bradford in the county of York Stuff Manufacturer and John Robinson of Thornton in the parish of Bradford aforesaid Stuff Manufacturer the executors named in this the last will and testament of John Jowett late of Thornton aforesaid in the diocese of York, woolstapler, deceased were sworn well and truly to execute and perform the same, and that the whole of the goods chattels and credits of the said deceased within the diocese of York do not amount in value to the sum of four thousand pounds

Witness my hand Samuel Redhead, surrogate

Sworn under 4000 exchequer

Died 27 August 1837

Passed 21st October 1837, under 4000




Thomas Jowett of Wilsden, weaver, 1842

From the parish records of Thornton it is clear that Thomas is one of at least eight children of John Jowett of Wilsden, weaver. Baptisms in the register are:

There is no mention of a wife or of any children of his own in the will, though who the executoer Thomas Jowett of Bingley is is not evident.

This is the last will and testament of me Thomas Jowett late of Wilsden, weaver, but now of Many Wells in the said township in th eparish of Bradford and county of york - of sound mind and disposing will and memory.

I do hereby appoint Mr Thomas Jowett of Bingley in the said county, worsted manufacturer, Mr James Toothill of Wilsden, overlooker and Mr William Pickles of Wilsden, weaver, executors of this my last will and testament.

Unto my executors heirs or assigns I gave and bequeath all my real and personal property in trust for the following intents and purposes.

That is to say I will that my executors pay all my just debts and funeral expenses.

I give and bequeath unto my niece Ann Green daughter of Thomas Green of Bingley in the said county the sum of five pounds.

The residue of my property real and personal I give unto my brother William Jowett of Wilsden weaver, my sister Hannah Pickles wife of Thomas Pickles of Wilsden Hill, farmer and Betty Wright, wife of Seth Wright of Many Wells, farmer all in the said county to be divided equally amongst them that is to say if three pounds, each of them to have one pound.

I will that my executors have wages and expenses for the executing of this my will. As witness my hand and seal this [blank space] day of February in the year of our Lord One Thousand Eight Hundred and Forty Two.

Signed declared and published in and for his last will and testament in the presence of us who subscribed our names as witnesses in the testators presence and at his request.

Signed Thomas Jowett

14th February 1842

I do hereby certify that on the twentieth day of May in the year of our Lord 1843 Thomas jowett of Bingley in the county of york, worsted manufacturer, one of the executors named in the last will and testament of Thomas Jowett, late of Wilsden, in the parish of Bradford in the diocese of york, weaver, deceased, was sworn well and truly to execute and perform the same and that the whole of the goods, chattels and credits of the said deceased within the diocese of York do not amount in value to the sum of One Hundred Pounds.

Witness my hand Willm Scully (?), surrogate

Sum under 100 exchequer

Died on or about the 4th March 1843

Passed 8th June 1843 under 100




Copyright S D Jowitt