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About document 16

This document is the registered probate copy of the will of Agnes Langmead, a widow from East Alvington in Devon, dated 9 November 1642.

(Catalogue reference: PROB 11/282 quire 525)

The will ends with a grant of letters of administration, rather than a probate clause. Grants of administration were made on wills when probate could not be granted to the executor(s). This might occur if a person died intestate, or if the named executors were unavailable. The next-of-kin, a friend or even a creditor could apply to the probate court for the administration of the estate of the deceased. The applicant had to swear to pay all funeral expenses and debts, and submit an inventory of the estate. Such grants are written at the end of the will, which is registered in the usual way.

In this case, Agnes' chosen executors died before they could execute the will, and letters of administration were granted to her son, Nicholas Langmead.

Please note:

  • The document is written in a cursive mixed hand.
  • The use of several versions of the lower case 's' particularly at the beginning of a word.


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