Anne Walters Will – Where it all started

This is an extract from Anne Walters will, written 26th July 1705. It is from this will that the original funds for a school in Churchill originated.

Sir John Walter purchased Sarsden Manor from Sir Herbert Croft around 1606. He died in November 1630 and left £3,000 to each of his unmarried daughters.

Anne Walter was buried at Churchill, 21st July 1707 which is strange as this extract ends by stating that Anne Walter died in 1716……

The Will of Ann Walter of Sarsden, 1705

From the Registry of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury.

In the name of God Amen. I, Ann Walter, one of the daughters Of Sir William Walter deceased, late of Sarsden, in the County of Oxon, Baronet, and one of the Grandchildren of Sir John Walter, knight deceased: being in health of body and of sound and perfect mind and understanding, thanks be therefore given to Almighty God, do make this my last Will and Testament in manner following,(that is to say), I commend my soul into the hands of Almighty God hoping through the merits of Jesus Christ my Savior to obtain the full and free pardon and remission of all my sins, and my Body I commit to the Earth to be decently buried in the parish Church yard of Churchill in the said County of Oxon, and layd by the Church wall and near the grave wherein my Fathers’ nurse was buried, not disturbing her bones, and I desire that my Executor do take care that a black marble tomb shall be erected upon my burial place, and made in the shape of a coffin raised about a foot from the ground and railed in with iron rails, and that an inscription shall be upon the said marble declaring whose daughter I am, and I desire that the Hearse may be provided for the carriage of my body to the said burial place, well set out with white Feathers and attended with three mourning coaches six horses and all the horses covered with black and two Escutcheons on every horse, and twelve in mourning cloaks and white scarfs and white ribbons, and I desire my Executor to go in person to see me laid in the grave, and my will is that there shall not be any one person invited to my funeral, but that my Executor shall be in deep mourning and continue so for the space of one year after my decease, and I desire that my Executor shall procure one to preach my funeral sermon who shall be a learned minister of the Church of England as it is now established, and I desire that I may not be mentioned in his sermon, for my intent is that the same should be preached for the good and instructions of the poor of the parishes of Sarsden and Churchill, and I desire that his text may be the sixth and seventh verses of the five and fiftieth chapter of Isaiah and I do give to him who shall preach the said sermon three pounds and also twenty shillings to the minister of the parish Church of Churchill aforesaid if he gives leave for another minister to preach the said sermon in the said Church, but in case he shall refuse to give such leave, then I give the said minister of Churchill nothing, and then my will is that no sermon shall be preached at my funeral and I desire that my coffin may be taken out of the house and carried first into the Church under a Velvet Pall hanged round with escutcheons and held up by six of the mourners and the other six to follow the coffin into the Church and whilest Divine Service is reading the twelve mourners to stand six on one side of the coffin and the other six on the other side, and when it is carried out of the Church, six of the mourners to carry up the Pall and the other six to follow after all in their long cloaks and the body to be laid in the grave by the mourners

I give to such of the poor of the Parish of Sarsden and Churchill as shall be in the Church when the Prayers and Sermon are ended, the sum of five pounds, and I do propose and allot the sum of two hundred pounds to defray my funeral charges, but if that he not sufficient to do it in the manner I have hereby proposed, I desire that so much may be applied for that use as shall be sufficient for doing the same ltem. I do give unto the Church where I shall he buried my great Bible, and I desire that my Executor will take care to get it plated with silver at the corners.

Item in case I shall come to any untimely death of what nature or Kind whatsoever through the malice or ill design of any person or persons whatsoever, I do appoint the sum of six hundred pounds to he laid out or expended in law in and about the discovery or prosecution of any person or persons who shall he suspected to be guilty of contriving the same or of being accessory therto.

Item I give to every person who shall make a discovery of any person or persons who shall be the occasion of my death or any way accessory thereunto the sum twenty pounds a piece, to be paid out of the said six hundred pounds, but if I shall die a natural death, then my will is that the said six hundred pounds shall be laid out by my Executor in the purchase of lands of lnheritance to be settled in such manner that the yearly rents and profits thereof may he applied for and towards the maintenance and education of poor girls under the age of twenty years who shall he educated in the Doctrine of the Church of England and born in the parishes of Sarsden and Churchill in the said County of Oxon, and when the said poor girls shall come to the age of twenty years, and are capable of being confirmed, then the minister of Sarsden or Churchill aforesaid shall carry them to the Bishop of the Diocese to be confirmed, and upon each of them confirmed by the Bishop such poor girls as shall he confirmed shall receive ten pounds out of the rents, Issues and profits of’ such lands so to be purchased as aforesaid, and the minister who shall carry them to the bishop shall have twenty shillings for his pains and trouble therein, but such of the poor girls as shall refuse to comply with the former herein proposed shall not have the said ten pounds and in case part of the same six hundred pounds shall he spent upon such occasion as aforesaid, then my will is that such part of the said six hundred pounds which shall remain after the expenses aforesaid shall be defrayed shall be laid out and applied in the purchase of lands for the use of the said poor girls as aforesaid and my will is that the Deeds and writings which concern the Title of such Lands and Tenements as shall be purchased as aforesaid shall he kept by the minister of Sarsden

Dated the sixth and twentieth day of July, one thousand seven hundred and five.
(The fourth year of the Reign of Queen Anne)

To be engraved on the marble tomb :-

Here lies the body of ANN WALTER, the youngest daughter of Sir WILLIAM WALTER Baronet deceased, and one of the Grandchildren of Sir JOHN WALTER, Knight, who died in the ____ day of the ____ month and in the year 17__ and no more.

Extract from the will of Ann Walter, who died in 1716
Copied in 1957 by Mrs. Marjorie Markham Hoverd.
Headmistress, Sarsden and Churchill School.

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