February Meeting, 1943

    A STATED Meeting of the Society was held at the Club of Odd Volumes, No. 77 Mount Vernon Street, Boston, on Thursday, February 25, 1943, at three o’clock in the afternoon, the President, Kenneth Ballard Murdock, in the chair.

    The minutes of the last Stated Meeting were read and approved.

    The President announced the death on December 20, 1942, of William Vail Kellen, a Resident Member; that on January 19, 1943, of Grenville Lindall Winthrop, a Resident Member; and that on January 20, 1943, of Joseph Henry Beale, a Resident Member.

    The President, Kenneth Ballard Murdock, read a paper entitled “Who Was Simon Biby?”

    The Editor communicated by title the following document submitted by Miss Isabel M. Calder:

    The Will of Henry Davenport

    AMONG the Lichfield wills, in 1938, deposited in the District Probate Registry in Birmingham, England, is the original will of Henry Davenport. Since the document throws light on the personal history and economic status of the father of John Davenport, Puritan divine and founder of the New Haven Colony, it is of interest to New England readers. The will was proved at Lichfield June 11, 1627, thus definitely fixing the date of Henry Davenport’s death between March 27 and June 11, 1627. It gives the names of Henry Davenport’s children living in 1627 and of his second wife, and hints at the incompetence of Barneby Davenport, his eldest son. The will is followed by an inventory, dated June 13, 1627, of miscellaneous articles in the great parlor, the hall, the chamber over the great parlor, the chamber over the entry, the maid’s chamber, the chamber over the buttery, the chamber over the little hall, the chamber over the kitchen, the “bulting” [bolting-] house, the kitchen, and the little hall, indicating the size of the Davenport dwelling-house in Earl Street, Coventry.

    March. 27. Anno D[o]m[ini]. 1627

    In the name of God Amen. I Henry Davenport of the Cittie of Coventry Draper and Alderman, being at this tyme in perfect healthe of body, and in good memorie, praysed be god, doe make and ordaine this my last will and Testament, in manner and forme following, that is to saye, ffirst and principaly I doe Committ my soule to my Lord Jesus Christ, by whose merites only I hope to be saued, And my body to be buried in the Church of the holly Trinity in the Citty of Coventry, neare to the place where my father and mother lie buried; Item I giue and bequeath to Barnaby Davenport mine eldest sonne the sume of Twenty poundes, to be payde to my brother Christofer Davenport for the vse of him the said Barnabie, toward the payment of certaine monies, w[hi]ch he the said Christofer hath for him longe since disburced, And this twenty pounds to be paid to the said Christofer a yeare after my decease, Item I giue and bequeath to Edward Davenport my sonne Twenty poundes, And to Christofer Davenport my sonne Twenty poundes to be paid to each of them a yeare after my death, Item I giue to my sonne John Davenport Tenn poundes, to be payd him a yeare after my decease, and to be laid out in plate, Item I giue and bequeath to euery one of my grandchildren the children of my sonnes, w[hi]ch shalbe living at my death, the sume of ffourty shillinges a peece, to be emploied by their parentes to their vses, they giuing security to mine Executrix to discharge her from their Children for clayming of it of her when they shall come to age of Twenty and one yeare, at w[hi]ch tyme my will is, it shalbe due to them, and if anie of them die before, that then that legacy goe among the rest of his or her brethren and sisters, Item I doe bequeath and giue, and by this my last will and Testament, doe for divers and waighty considerations me therevnto mooving graunt, devise, and set over, vnto my beloued brother Christofer Davenport, both those my houses in the Cooke streete, now or lately in the occupation of Barneby Davenport my sonne, or of his assignes, w[i]th all the standardes and implements and gardens or orchards therevnto belonging, Also one garden in Anglers lane, now or lately in the occupation of Jonas Greene gardinor or, of his assignes, To haue and to hold to him the said Christofer Davenport my brother and to his heires in fee simple for ever, Not doubting but in tyme to come, he will haue respect vnto my sonne Barnaby, and to his wife and Children, as his and their good carrjage, and godly behaviour, shall cause god to move his good harte, w[hi]ch hath bine over ready to doe them good, Item I giue to my brother Christofer Davenport the sume of five poundes to be bestowed in a peece of plate, w[i]th my name on it, Item I giue to the poore in Smithford Streete ward tenn shillings to be distributed by my deputie at his discression on the day of my funerall, of w[hi]ch I will that two shillings be to John Scott cutler Item I giue to Margaret Bacon my servant 13s. 4d. The rest of my goods and Chattells vnbequeathed, w[i]th my plate, debts, money stocke of employment, housholde stuff, and aparrill, and the fee farme of my dwelling house being in the Earle streete in Coventry w[i]th the standards and implements therein my debts beinge payd my legacies discharged, and my funerall performed I giue to my beloued wife Elizabeth Davenport whome I make full and sole Executrix of this my last will and Testament, not doubting but she will see the same faithfully performed according to her wonted kindnes shewed to me and mine Overseers I make my brother Christofer Davenport and my sonne Edward Davenport.

    per me henry Davenport


    Richard Randell