Alice Harding of Frensham, Surrey ~ 1605

Two years after Simon Harding, Yeoman of Frensham bequeathed his daughter Alice Harding £20 (probably for a dowry) Alice herself became ill and as an unmarried woman, she was entitled to dispose of her money and goods as she wished. Here is a transcript of her 1605 Will made on 23 July 1605 ~ she died sometime between then and 13 September 1605 when two local appraisers valued her estate.

—> Note: People’s names are as spelled in the document but for ease of reading, punctuation and modern spelling has been used.

In the name of God, Amen: I Alice Hardinge of Frensham in the County of Surrey the daughter of Symon Hardinge, late deceased, being sick in body but of good and perfect memory do make and ordain this my lawful testament including therein my last will in manner and form following:

  • First, I commend my soul unto the hands of my redeemer Jesus Christ through whom I believe I shall be saved;
  • (I commit) my body to the earth from which it came and to be buried in the church yard of Frensham;
  • I give to the church of Frensham 12s and to the poor of Frensham 2s;
  • I give to my brother Robert Hardinge 2s/5d;
  • I give to my brother William Hardinge 5s;
  • I give to my sister Elizabeth Baker 10s;
  • I give to my sister Constance Combes 10s;
  • I give to my sister Katherine Trigge 10s;
  • I give and bequeath to my godchildren Joane Boylet and Alice Strawe to each of them 12 pence;
  • The rest of all my goods I give and bequeath to my brother John Hardinge whom I make my whole executor and to see my legacies paid and funeral expenses discharged;
  • I ordain and make overseers of this my last will Thomas Trigg the Elder and John Hardinge the Elder of Frensham and for their pains, 12 pence each;
  • In witness thereof, I have to those present put my hand the 23rd day of July in the second year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord James by the Grace of God, of England, France and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, and of Scotland.
  • “Signum dicta Alicia” X
  • Read, signed and delivered in presence of us whose names here follow: John Trigge (his special mark) and Ric Holney (his signature)


  1. Alice was unable to write (she signed her Will with an X) and so would have needed a scribe to write out her wishes ~ this was probably the Curate of Frensham Church, Richard Holney, who is discussed below;
  2. She gave her 3 sisters 10 shillings each, but different amounts to her brothers Robert and William;
  3. Her brother John Harding, being the head of the family now, was the primary beneficiary and executor;
  4. As overseers (people who would not benefit from the Will but make sure it was executed correctly) Alice chose her cousin, John Harding, and Thomas Trigge (probably related to her sister’s husband, John Trigge).
  5. Will was witnessed by her brother-in-law John Trigge, who could write a symbol for his name but not his full name.
  6. The other witness was Richard Holney, Curate of Frensham ~ Richard Holney M.A. had a long career as a church minister and died in 1654 in Witley, Surrey in the position of Vicar of Witley and Thursley. His Will mentions Great-Grandchildren and his burial record stated he was age 81. His appointment as Curate of Frensham was probably his first clerical post; sadly, his Frensham Church records haven’t survived as the earliest Frensham Parish Register begins in 1647.
Witley Parish Register

Attached to Alice Harding’s Will was an Inventory of her Estate

The Inventory of all the goods and Chattels of Alice Harding, the daughter of Simon Harding of Frensham (late deceased), being seen and appraised by John Bysh and Roger Quenell, 13 September 1605: –> All her woollen apparel: £5 –> Her linen apparel and all the rest of her necessaries belonging to her: 21s –> Three ewe sheep: 8s –> Her stock in money: £20 –> Total £26/9s.

Alice Harding was buried in Frensham Churchyard
  • Select Sources
  • Hampshire Archives and Local Studies; Winchester, England; Probate Records: Wills, Inventories and Administrations Proved in the Church Courts of Winchester Diocese, 14th Century to 1858; Reference Number: 1605b/32
  • Surrey History Centre; Woking, Surrey, England; Surrey Church of England Parish Registers
  • The Clergy of the Church of England Database 1540-1835 (CCEd)