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  • Andy Williams

Jasper Tudor's Will


By 1495 Jasper Tudor, uncle to Henry VII, was the patron of Keynsham Abbey. By his Will, dated 6 days before his death, he bequeathed that his body be transported from Thornbury to Keynsham Abbey for interment there. Written in English, his Will is transcribed:

I, Jasper, Duke of Bedford and Erle of Pembroke, make my testament and laste will in this forme folowing:-

I bequeith my body to be buried in the monasterie of our Lady of Keynesham in a place convenient, where I will that my tombe be honorable made after thastate that it hath pleased God to call me to And thereupon to be employed an hundred markes.

I will that certain of my manors and lands which I haue in fee simple as well in the Counties of Notingham, Derby, and Werwyk as in the Marche of Wales and elliswhere be amorteysed for the fyndyng of 4 preestes to syng perpetually in the said church and Monastery aswele for my soule and for my faders soule, as for the soules of the [lady of] noble memory Kateryne, some tyme Quene of Englond, my moder, and of Edmund, late Erle of Richemonde, my brother, and of all other my predecessours.

Item, I will that in defaute herof oon or 2 benefices of the value of 40 or 50 poundes yerely be appropried to thabbot and Couent of the said Monastery perpetually to thentente 5 or 6 preestis shalbe founde deaily to syng in the saide Monasterie aswele for my soule as the soules aforesaide. In defaute of both the premisses an Cli shall be delyuered to the said Abbot and Couente in redy money to thentente that 2 preesties shalbe perpetually founden in the saide Monastery to syng daily for me and the soules above rehersed, according to an offre made by the said Abbot and Couent in that behalf.

Item, I bequeith to the saide monasterie my best gowne of cloth of gold for vestmentes.

Item, I will that the day of my intrement there be distributed emonges euery pouer man and woman that will take it 2d a pece; and lyke wise at my monethis mynde.

Item, I bequeith to the monasterie of blessid sainte Kenelme of Winchecombe toward the bilding of the same 20li and my long gowne of Crymesyn velwett to make a coope there to the honor of God and the sainte.

Item, I bequeith to the church of Thornebury toward the reparacion of the same, 10li.

Item, to the seid church, a gowne of blak velwett for a cope to be made there, and vestmentes.

Item, to the vicary of the saide church of Thornebury, for tithes unpaid and other dueties, 40s.

Item, I bequeith to the 4 Ordres of Frires of Bristowe 8li. to be equally departed.

Item, to the blak freires of Hareford, 40s.

To the Gray Frires of Harford, where my father is entered, 20li.

Item, to the 3 Ordres of Frires at Gloucester, 6li.

Item, to the 2 Ordres of Frires at Kaerdiff, 4li.

To the Frires of Newporte, 20s.

To the Frires of Harford West, 40s.

To the house of grey Frires of Harford Est, my secunde gowne of cloth of golde for a Cope or vestmentes there to be made.

Item, to the vicary of the parish church of Winchcombe, or the church there, 40s.

Item, I bequeith my jakket of cloth of golde to make 2 jakkets to the b’essid Trinite of Crichurch.

Item, I bequeith my other blak velwet gowne to the church of Pembroke for a cope or vestementes to be made there.

I will that myne executours content sir Thomas Okeley, parson of Sudley, for this duetie of tharbage of the parke there onpaied sith the tyme that he was parson all that shalbe founde yerely due unto hym for the same, with all such dueties and tithes of hey as to hym of right belongith.

To every parissh church that my body shalbe caried into bitwene this and Keynesham 20s. and 2 torches.

Item, I bequeith to the Crochfrires of the qauntis of Bristowe, 40s.

Yeven at my mannor of Thornebury the 15th day of December, A.D. 1495.

Proved 2nd July, 1496, and administration committed to Morgan Kydwelly, one of the executors.

[Somerset Medieval Wills]

Jasper’s body was met at the boundary of Bristol City by the then mayor, William Regent, with 2,000 townsmen all clothed in black. They then accompanied the body to Keynsham Abbey, where it was interred.

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