Administration & Inventory for Robert Bartlett of Fordington
3rd August 1661

©Transcribed by Michael Russell OPC for Fordington from CLDS Film 1067158 May 2008

NOTE:- Letters of Administration: When a person died intestate [i.e. leaving no will] the next of kin or a close friend would often have to apply to the probate court for Letters of Administration to enable them to take possession of and distribute the estate. The applicant had to swear that there was no will, that the applicant would pay all funeral expenses and debts, administer truly, and submit a true inventory and account of his/her stewardship. The Court then granted Letters of Administration and might require the administrator to enter into a bond to administer the estate faithfully, in which case a copy of the act was endorsed on the document.

A Bond is a binding agreement with a penalty for non performance. A bond deed is in two parts, the Obligation and the Condition. Before 1733 the Obligation, which records the penalty, was written in Latin. The Condition describes what the bonded person has undertaken to do, or otherwise committed himself or herself to (e.g. administer an estate), and was always in English.

This is clearly what we have here. My Latin is not good enough to do a proper translation of the first paragraph so I have confined myself to a summary of key facts to help make sense of the document. As with the great majority of seventeenth century records the document is written in Secretary hand which takes some getting used to and I have used the “Dictionary of Genealogy by Terrick VH Fitzhugh as my guide. I have done the best I can with the translation adding some punctuation to help with clarity but would welcome a full translation by someone versed in Mediaeval Latin & Secretary Hand. I am the OPC for the Parish of Fordington and can be contacted in the usual way through the OPC site.

Latin Key facts:

Presents by Janam [Jane] BARTLET of Ffordington
relict [widow] of Roberti [Robert} BARTLET --------in the same place died
[probably a joint obligation with] and E WILLIAMS of Dorset
and Edwardo ONSLOW Canon
3rd of August in the year 1661

[Note: I have retained the same line structure as in the original document to aid location of text]

The Condition:

Of this, that is; the above bound Jane BARTLETT
the relict and adtrix [female administrator] ~~ of all and single the goods chattles and
creditts  of Robert BARTLETT ~~ Late of Ffordington in the County of
Dorset and peculiar jurisdiction of the prebendary above named,
deceased,  too well and truly adutor [auditor] the same goods and chattles and
creeditts that is to say in paying his debts (if any be due) as
farr forth as any of the same goods chattles and creditts will
hereunto extend and the law charge her And also to exhibate [exhibit]
or range [arrange] to be exhibited into the Registrie [Registry] of the said prebend
a true and as pfect [perfect]  Inventory of all such goods chattels and creditts as the
said deceased, assessed of, at or before, the feast of the Birth of
Day of ye Lord God next & also too defend and keep Harmoles [harmless? as in free from harm] she
at all tymes [times], hereafter the said prebendarie and all others his surrogates assents and Ministers for granting the said administration to the
said Jane BARTLETT ~~ the said administration of the said dec’d [deceased] goods
and for all other causes ensuing by reason thereof, Lastly too send and
give soo [so] a true & perfect Account in writing of and upon said Admi~
istration and thereupon too stand to the order & decree of the said
prebendarie or other competent judge in that behalfe made & determined
then the said obligation to be void or els [else] to be and abide in full power ~
force and virtue.

The Mark of Jane [X] BARTLETT

Signed sealed and delivered
in the presence of [illegible signature]

A trew Inventor of the goods of Robert BARTLET deceased
Note:- Modern English translation used - Original text in brackets

Two little kettles worth five shillings [tow lettell kettels worth 0-5-0]

One Iron Pot two shillings [one iron pott 0-2-0]

One little old settle board one shilling [one lettell old settell bord 0-1-0 ]

[Unknown?] two shillings and six pence [one yueat? cruet? 0-2-6 - ] Note: The word cruet if correct would refer to a small bottle or vial which only later referred to a container for salt or pepper]

Two little trendols and one little [unknown?] one shilling and six pence [tow lettell trendols and one lettell voult? 0-1-6 ]

One old cupboard one shilling and six pence [one old cobord 0-1-6 ]

One frying pan and one ladle one shilling and six pence [one frieing pan and 1 skimmer 0-1-6]

six acres of corn, four acres of wheat, and four acres of barley eleven pounds ten shillings [sixth akers corne - 4: of wheat - and 4 of barlye 11-10-0]

Wheat of equal parts is sold for payment of debts [ wheart of equeal parte is sold for paiment of debts]

Some other small things which are not valuable [sum other small things weh is not vailluable ]

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