Greenwood Genealogies, 1154-1914 (Chapter 4)

By Frederick Greenwood, East Templeton, MA — 1914


The very earliest Greenwood wills recorded at York, Eng., are the following, which are interesting as showing the great variety in the spelling of the name, and they also throw light upon the method of living in those early years. The number of persons bearing the Christian names of John, James, William and Thomas in the Greenwood family is remarkable. "Sir" in these wills denotes a clergyman. The recording of wills at York began in 1389.

Jan. 22, 1430 (will proved Jan. 30, 1430) William Grenehude, Sayntmarygate, York).

Jan. 30, 1436 (proved Feb. 11, 1436) Robert Grenewod, Clerk, Advocate in the court of York, bur. Thresk (Thirsk).

Adm. — (will proved Mar. 10, 1453) John Grenewode, Threske (Thirsk).
Adm. — (proved Feb. 25, 1461) William Grenwode, Osgodby.

Will of William Grenewod, of Heptonstall, dated Jan. 2, 1494, proved Jan. 14, 1494, orders his body to be buried in chapel of St. Thomas of Heptonstall or in church yard of same. My best beast for mortuary; iij d. to the making of a chalice to be held and used in the aforsaid chapel. Also I leave to use of the aforsaid chapel iii s. iv d. for being buried in same. Also I leave vi s. viii to use of same chapel if they purchase any lands, rents or tenements at any future time towards the support of any chaplain celebrating divine service in the chapel aforesaid, but not otherwise. Residue after debts paid I leave to Marjory, my wife, and John, my son whom I ordain and appoint my faithful executors.

Oct. 12, 1506. Another William Grenewod, of Heptonstall, bequeathed his body to be buried within the quire of St. Thomas the Martyr church of Heptonstall, and for mortuary my best beast. My executors shall purchase as much land as they can get for the value of x marks and that land so bought I will to remain to the aid and finding of one honest priest to sing within the chapel of our Lady in the church aforesaid and so to continue. And as soon as mine executors have a lawful estate by the law of and in all such lands, rents and tenements as they shall purchase with the said x marks, I will that they immediately after the same make a lawful estate and feoffment as strong as they can of and in all such lands, rents and tenements as they purchase with said x marks to vi honest men of the parish aforesaid to the use and behoof of the finding of said priest. Also I give to the work of said chapel xx s. The residue of all my goods not bequeathed I give and bequeath to John Michell, of Guilsley, and William Grenewod, of Hey (High) Grenewod, whom I ordain and make mine executors to dispose among my wife and my children as they think best.

Nov. 20, 1508. William Grenewod, of Heptonstall, parish of Halifax: To be buried in the chapel of S. Thomas Martyr, Heptonstall. My best animal for my mortuary. £4 to buy a vestment for the said chapel. To the fabric of Hebden bridge 13s. 4d. if those nearest it (proximi ibidem) will build it of stones. To Thos. Bentlay to distribute equally among his boys xxxv s Residue to my brother James (Jacobus) Grenewod and Rd Bentlay, executors. Witnesses: Doms. John Hall, chaplain, Thos. Bentley and John Grenewode. Proved 15 Dec., 1508.

Feb. 20, 1508. James (Jacobus) Grenewode of Waddesworth: To be buried in the chapel of St. Thomas Martyr, Heptonstall. For my mortuary what the law requires. To Richard Brig, chaplain, to celebrate a trental for me 6s. 8d. To Cecily, dau. of Thos Bentlay, 3s. 4d. To the fabric of Hepden bridge 3s. 4d. Residue to John Grenewod, my brother, and Richard Bentlay, executors. Proved 7 March, 1508.

Nov. 30, 1514. William Grenewod, of the parish of Halifax makes a will, proved Apr. 26, 1515, in which he mentions his wife Cristabell whom he gives his tenement built in the town of Saltonstall with its appurtenances for her life. At her death the property was to go to Richard Saltonstall, son of Edward, forever. To Robert Thomas he gave his best ornament and to Robert Croser a tunic. He desired to be buried in the church of Saint John Baptist, Halifax, and bequeathed to the adornment of the rood of said church xij d. Witnesses were John Hebell, clerk, Henry Kokrofte, John Grenewode.

In 1517 probate was obtained of the will of Isabella Grenwodde of Heptonstall, par. of Halifax; proved by the Dean.

In 1519, a John Greenwood makes his will which is proved May 23d, 1520. He desired to be buried in the church yard of St. John Baptist of Halifax. He mentions wife Margaret and children James and Margaret.

Feb. 12, 1521. William Grenewod, of Hye (High) Grenewod, senior, To be buried in the chapel of Heptonstall. To the perpetual vicar of Halifax my best beast in the name of my mortuary as the custome is. Itm. I give and bequeath towards one full Antiphonarium for the said chapel of Heptonstall x1 s. Itm. I give to Sir Gilbert Stansfield, chaplain, to celebrate a trental for the health of my soul during one year, ten shillings. I give to Alice, my sister, a cow. I give to each of the 3 daughters of John Grenewod, my brother, one mark to their marriages. I give to Jennett, daughter of William Grenewod, my son, xxvj s viij d. Residue of all my goods I give to Jennet, my wife and Thomas Grenewood, my son, Witnesses, Sir William Cokcroft, parish chaplain of Heptonstall, Sir Ric. Grenwod, chaplain, Thomas Grenwod, of Grenewodlee (Greenwood Lee), Ric. Brig. Proved Apr. 2, 1522.

Aug. 4, 1534. William Grenewod, parish Halifax, Township of Ovenden. To be buried in ye parishe churche of Sancte John Baptiste at Halifax. I bequeath too kye to the chapell of Helyngworth which I will be putto the most profitte thereof at the site and advicement of the foure men of the said chapell for tyme beyng. To John Haldesworth, my son in lawe, foure marc and also iiij s which the said John haith in his handes at the makyng herof, of lent money. To Richard Haldesworth, son of said John Haldesworth, on cowe which is at the house of the said John Haldesworth. To Thomas Haldesworth son to the John xx s. To John Crother, son to Ric. Crother, my son in lawe, xx s. To Ric. Crother, son of the said Richard xx s. The reversion of all my goodes, not bequeathed, I gif to Richard Crother, my son in lawe, and to Elizabeth, his wif, whiche said Ric. and Eliz. I orden my executors. Witnesses: Richard Best, younger, Thos Sha & Ric. Deyne; approved Sept. 3, 1534.

Feb. 13, 1536. John Grenewod, of Colden, in the chapelrye of Heptonstall. To bee beryed within the chapell of Heptonstall. To the vicare of Halyfax, a mortuarie according to the Kynges actes. Also I bequeathe to the reparaling of the rode lofte at the said Heptonstall iij s iiij d and for the beryall of Jenet, late my wyfe, and also for my owne, when it shall pleas God to take me to hys mercye vj s viij d, and I wyll that Thomas Grenewod, oure sone, paye, or cause to bee paid yearlie unto Jenet Grenewod, our daughter and his suster, or to her assignes, xx s in the name of her childes parte during terme of her lyfe naturall. Resydewe of all my goodes I gyve to the same Thomas whom I make my executor, to dispose as he shall thinke beste. Theis witnes, Sir John Grenewod, my curate, William Mychell, of the Hegrenwode (High Greenwood), Thomas Grenewod of Leerynges, Richard Mychell of Stryndes. Proved Mar. 7, 1536 by Thomas Grenewod, son.

Dec. 7, 1534. Richard Grenwod, of the towneshype of Northowrome, in the parish of Halyfax, shereman. To bee beryed in the paryshe churche erthe of Halyfax, orels where as it shall please God to visite me with bodilie dethe. And I gyve and bequeathe to the church wardons of the said paryshe churche of Halyfax, for the tyme beyng, all theis dettes owen me wiche hereaftre foloweth, to bestowe upon church workes accordyng as they thinke most expediente, that ys to say, of Roberte Boye xvj d, of Rychard Stokes xij d, of William Ramesden xij d of George Mylner iij d, of Edmonde Watterhouse of Blakwod ij s. I bequeathe Margarete Greenwod, my daughter, one whye Resydew of my goodes aftre my funeral expenses paid I gyve and bequeathe to Jenet Grenwod, Alyson Grenwod and Eliz. Grenwod, my daughters, whome I make executors or excutrices to dispose as they shall thinke moste helthfull for my saule and profitable to them selfes. Theys witnes, Alexander Emote, preiste, William Mychell and Robert Baustowe. Approved Jan. 24, 1536, by Janet, Alice and Elizabeth Grenwod.

Dec. 12, 1539. James Grenwode of the parishe of Heptonstall: to be buried in the chapell yerde of the said Heptonstall, and the vicar thereof (my) mortuary after the Kinges grace actes. Then I will that my dettes be paid of my holl goodes. The reuersion of all my other goodes I give to Isabell, my wif, James and Agnes Grenwod, oure childrin, whom I ordan and make my true executors to dispose as they thinke goode, thes witnesses being present, Sir John Grenwod, prest, Ric Horsfall, Wm. Farer.

Nov. 11, 1543. Thomas Grenwode, of Sorebie (1543, Nov. 19 Thomas Grenewoodde de Sourby -- Halifax Register) within the parish of Halifax. To be buried in the parish churche yerde at Halifax. I bequeath for my mortuarie accordinge unto the kinges grace statutes for that purpos ordane and maide. I give to Margarett, my wif, the thirde parte of all my goodes accordinge to the lawdable custome of Englande. Also I grant and bequeath to the saide Margaret over and beyonde her said thirde, all my pottes, pannes, pewther and brasyne vessell accordinge as it stands nowe on the shelfes, desyring her to devyde and give the same or suche part thereof as shall then remayne with her at her decease unto my childer evenly or there lawful ishues, provyded always that if it shall forton the saide Margaret to be married to any man after my decease, then I will that she before the solempnisacon of the same give and devide towe partes of all the premisses equally amonges my childer, any thinge or former legacie not withstandinge I give to the said Margaret over and beyond her third parte, one coverlette now putt to the making. The revercon of all my saide goodes I bequeath to Richarde, Edmonde, Thomas, John, Robert, William, James and to Alicie, my childer, equally, whom with the said Margarett, my wif, I ordan my executors. These witnesses, Richarde Culpon, Robert Waide, Robert Akerode, George Bannyster and James Fletcher Proved Dec. 11, 1543.

Richard Grenewod, of Heptonstall, junior, deceased, on Jun. 9, 1525, a commission was directed to the Dean of Pontefract to prove the will.

The will of John Greenwood, of Greenwood Lee, dated Sept. 22, 1552. He was son of James Greenwood and had a brother and son named James and other children named Robert, Henry, John, Lancelott and Christabell. His wife was named Jenet. His children were young and were placed under guardianship of his father, James Greenwood. John Greenwood, of Colden, was another relative, also Thomas Greenwood, of Learing. He places his inward and outward debts in the hands of John Greenwood, of Colden, and Thomas Greenwood, of Learing. Testator devises a certain amount of timber about Greenwood Lee and Clough House to Sir Robert Bentley and James Greenwood, his son, and other of his children. To his brother James he bequeaths timber for one house. His executors were Robert, John Henry, Lancelott and Christabel, his children, under care of James Greenwood, father of testator, until they came of age. Witnesses -- Richard Horsfall, John Greenwood, Laurence Bentley, Adam Farrar and John Soothill. Will proved Nov. 3, 1552.

On Febr. 3, 1553, Thomas Greenwood, of Greenwood Lee, made his will. He was son of William Greenwood and brother of John Greenwood, of Colden. His wife was named Margaret and they had one son named John both of whom he makes his executors. Evidently there was some relationship with the Sutcliffes, of Mayroyd, for he leaves to Alice Sutcliffe one best cow and to her sister, Grace, two cows, and in addition £6. 10s. 2d. the value of a debt due to him from John Sutcliffe, of Mayroyd, their brother. He also gave to William Sutcliffe, his servent, "a pair of lomes and a lether dublet." Witnesses -- Sir Gilbert Stansfield, curate of Heptonstall, William Mitchell, Nicholas Whitaker, William Shackleton, Robert Eland. Proved Sept. 3, 1554 by the exors.

The will of John Greenwood, of Mixenden, near Halifax, dated June 30, 1556, proved May 20, 1557, mentions his children Willliam, John, Isabell and Jennett. No mention being made of his wife possibly she was not then living. He desired to be buried in the church yeard of Halifax. To William, his elder son, he gave one red cow, one iron chimney, his best jacket, 2 carts, 2 shoulder irons and half of one bed and bedstocks, William to "bring me furth at my departing as shal beseme him and also to paie to john Sugden xiiij s. and to Rich. Mawde iij s. iiij d." To John Greenwood, his younger son he gave one white horse and half a bed with all his other raiment, one cart and wheels with irons pins and one wheelbarrow. "I geve Jenet Grenewoode, my daughter, one yron chimney." He desired to be buried in the churchyard at Halifax.

Dec. 1, 1551. James Grenewod, in parish of Heptonstall, wills: To be buried in the chapel or church yard of Heptonstall and to the Vicar thereof my mortuary after the King's gracious acts. "Itm. I geve to Agnes, my doughter, a nambrey, an arke, my best brasse pott, over and besides hir porcon or childe partte. Item. I geve to Willm. and John, my sonnes, ij brass pottes, an arke, and a cheste. Item. I geve to Margaret, my wife and the said Agnes, oure doughter, all my householde stuffe belonging to the shelfe. Itm. I geve to the said Willm. and John, my sonnes, my lomes with all suche things to them belonging. The residue of all my other goodes, chattells, and dettes I geve to Margaret, my wife, Willm., John and Agnes Grenewod, our children, whom I ordeyne and maike my trewe executors to dispose of as they think good. Thes witnes, Thomas Grenewod, Thomas Hole. Pr. Feby. 5 , 1551, by the exors."

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