Last Will and Testament of Matthew Gilbert

I Matthew Gilbert, senior having my understanding and memory yet through ye goodness of god continued, yet being under great paynes even to ye stopping of my breath sometimes which makes me think of a sudden change, doe therefore make this my last will & testamt this fourteenth day of ye eleventh month commonly called january, one thousand six hundred and seventy-nine Impr I doe give up my soule into the hands of jesus Christ my redeemer, for I know whom I have believed & am persuaded yt he is able to keep that which I have committed to him against that day. And my body to a comely buriall, in hope of a joyful resurrection, whereof he hath given this reassurance in that he raysed him from ye dead.

1st that estate which the Lord hath been pleased to continue to me (who giveth and taketh blessed be his name) my will is that it be thus disposed: After just debts be paid (which by this my will I provide not for) I give to my deare and loving wife one half of my personal estate be it more or less, and to take her half in those things yt she shall judge most useful for her, to be hers to dispose: And I doe give to my loving wife my dwelling house, orchard and barne with all ye convinences belonging thereunto, during her natural life or widdowhood: And I give her foure acres of land in ye quarter commonly called Mr. Davenport’s quarter neare my pasture, and five acres & a half in ye necke, & one half of my eight acres of meadow lying on this side in ye salt meadow, & I give her five acres of my meadow on the Island: And I also give her twenty acres on the playnes beyond Ed Dormans, except my two sons would take it in to themselves, which by my will they may, provided they pay or cause to be payed to their mother ten pound, or else to layout this twenty acres: this housing and land to improve as shee sees best for her comfort, but if it should please god to follow her with aflixion in her widdowhood, that ye improvement will not yeild her conventient supply my will is that she may sell some parcell or parcells of land to supply her necessitys: but if the wise disposer of all things should dispose of her in marriage, that then ye one half of my dwelling house lott and barne be delivered to my son Samuell Guilbert to possess & all ye land remaining in her hand at her marriage be kept to be disposed of according to this will.

Item. I give my son, Mathew Gilbert, an acre of my house lott with ye chimney wall & cellar & ye new house (though built by my estate to my great damage in my condition) upon these conditions: first that he pay or cause to be payed unto my two daughters twenty pounds sterling to witt: ten pounds to Mary Auger and ten pounds to Hannah Parker within four years after my death. 2ndly, that he set up and maintain a sufficient fence between his lott and his mothers lott during her widdiwhood: to cut short, I joine my two sons Mathew Guilbert and Samuel together in ye dividing of my land: I give to my son Mathew half my land butting on the mill lane & to Samuell ye other half; and to Mathew halfe ye land in the little quarter & to Sammuell ye other halfe. I give to Mathew half of my ten acres of land yt lies neare ye mill necke & a halfe of land lying on ye west side to Samuell the other halfe: I give to Mathew thirty three acres of my land on ye playnes & Samuell thirty three more: (If they will not pay the forementioned summe to their mother and soe possess all): I give to my son Mathew seven acres of meadow in ye salt meadow lying on ye north side of ye Creeke: I give my son Samuell foure acres of meadow lying on the south side of the creeke: yt piece of meadow to be equally divided between his mother and hee: And I give to Samuell five acres of meadow on ye Island: and I give to Samuell my dwelling house, lott and barne to be his after his mothers death shee dying in her widdowhood: but if she change her condition then to possess one half as before mentioned: I give to my two sons Mathew & Samuell Guilbert the one half of my personal estate, to be equally divided between them: that the land which my loving wife has for her improvement her life, at her death I give to Mathew. Ye five acres of meadow on ye Island, and to Samuell the foure acres of meadow which lyeth next to his own foure acres given by this will, and the land in ye quart of the necke which my loving wife hath to improve, my will is that at her death she dispose of it to my daughters children, as she shall see best, either to sell the land and divide the money, or as she shall see most for their advantage.

I give to my cousin Sarah How twenty shillings. I give to my grand child John Guilbert one acre of meadow lying on the north side of the seven acres given to Mathew & I doe constitute and make my loving wife my sole executrix. This my last will I signe and seale in the presence of these witnesses. By me, Mathew Guilbert (seal)

William Peck,
Thomas Munson.

The affidavit of the witnesses follows; also the inventory of his estate which amounted to £504 13S. 11d. Appraised by James Bishop and Moses Mansfield.