William Marbury or Merbury or Merburie, Gentleman, was born about 1524, son of Robert Marbury and Katherine Williamson. Robert served as yeoman to King Henry VIII’s grandmother in 1509, and in 1517, he was appointed to be serjeant at arms in the Royal Household. Robert and Katherine only had one known/living child, William, before Katherine died. Robert later remarried to Agnes Wodfurth(?). William was the only child listed in Robert’s will dated 28 Jul 1545. Robert left lands and tenements in Lincolnshire, Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire.
William attended Pembroke College at Cambridge University, matriculating at Easter in 1544. He married Agnes, daughter of John Lenton or Linton about 1545; the couple had nine known children. In May 1551, he was admitted to the Middle Temple and practiced law for many years. He was elected a Member of Parliament in 1572 and 1576. He wrote his will on 22 Jan 1577, and he was buried in May 1581 in Lincoln, Lincolnshire, England.
Two of William’s children had connections with colonial America. His son, the Reverend Francis Marbury, had two daughters who emigrated with their husbands, and his daughter, Katherine, had at least one son who emigrated.
Below is a transcription of the will, as I have been able to make it out, formatted to make it easier to follow. Some spellings may not be letter for letter with the original; spell check can be a devil to avoid. A scan of the will is available for download from the British National Archives at: Will of William Merbury of Grisby, South Willingham, Burgh upon Bayne, Biscopthorpe,…
Note: Though the British Archives lists the will this way, saying he was from Grisby, the will itself says Grisbye, which I assume would now read Girsby. Girsby is a hamlet in the parish of Burgh on Bain, where the family held a manor.
In the name of god amen. The xxvi (26)th daie of Januarye in the yere of our lorde god after the romputation? of Englande a thousand fyve hundrethe and fowerteone, I William Merbury of Grisbye in the countie of Lincolne esquier, beinge whole of minde and of perfecte memorye (thankes be allmightie god) doe make and ordeyne this my testament and laste will, in manner and forme folowinge,
- ffirste I bequeath my sowle to allmightie god, my onelie creator and redemer, my body to be buried in the churche or churchyarde, whene as it shall please god I shall departe oute of this transitorie lief.
- Item I give to the poore scholars of Oxford and Cambridge five pounds thirteen shillings & sowen pence.
- Item I give to Richard Hynde tenne shillings befice? his wayes, and tenne shillings yearlie during his lief.
- Item I give to Mathewe twoe royalle of goulde
- Item I give to Robart one royall of goulde
- Item I give to John Linde a rone two ewes and tenne shillinges in monney
- Item to Kate Langtonne twoe ewes and tenne shillinges in monney
- Item I give to anesie other my Servantes three shillinge o fower pence. I will that all that I have given to my Servantes shall be givenne theyme, besides theire waiges.
- Item I give to Mary Thuley two royalle of goulde.
- Item I give to S Thomas Camhole? a token of gratefull rememberance. I give to Thomas Samtpole an angell? and to my lady his wief an angell, To my cosigne Thomas Morysonne an angell and to my cosigne his wief an angell, To my cosigne Edward Aisroughe, an angell, and to my cosigne George Oldington an angell, and to my cosigne his wief an angell.
- Item I will that the money which I owe to my sonne Broxolme and my daughter Broxolme be tuewlie paid at the daie appointed.
- Item I give to my sonne Broxolme and my daughter Broxolme [ed. note: his daughter, Anne] either of theme a ring of gold.
- Item I give to ffrannces Merbury, my sonne five markes of yearlie annuytie to be paide him during his mothers lief.
- Item and after her deceasse tenne poundes yearlie during his life.
- Item I give to the saide ffrannces all my books twentie nobles in monney after to be paide within one yeare after my decease.
- Item I give to the saide ffrances all my books excepte englishe bookes and lawe bookes.
- Item I give to the saide ffrannces a ring of goulde.
- Item I give to Mary Merburie my daughter twoe hundrethe pounds wherof one hundrethe shalbe delyvered unto her within one yeare after my deceasse and the other hundreth poundes within two yeares after. Also I give to the saide Marie a goulde ringe.
- Item I give to Katherine Merbury my daughter two hundrethe poundes, wherof one hundrethe shalbe delyvered to her within one yeare after my decease, and the other hundreth poundes within two years after.
- Item I give to the saide Katherine Merbury the nagyt I had of xposer hoten? and a goulde ringe.
- Item all the ringes I have givenne I have written therin names of theire that theye mai be known.
- Item if my daughter, Mary Merburie or Katherine Merburie doe not borde with, Edward Merbury, then I will he shall give to ather of theme the fieftey ane three poundes, and onerie of the other …till shatchaneshant? whole to eache of theme fortie shillinges yearlie.
- Item I will that Agnes my wief shall have for her dower all my landes, houses, meadows, pastures, commons and hereditaments, whatsoever, lyinge and beinge within the Townes and fieldes of Burgh upon Bayne and Bisropthorpe in the saide countie of Lincolne Excepte two pastures called the stony pasture, and the stony fielde, whiche twoe pastures are nowe occupation of me the saide William Merbury.
- Item so longe as she shall lyve a widow and unmarried I will she shall have three chambers of the newe buildinge at Grisby, withe conveinent casementes in other houses.
- Item I give unto her my graye mare and her youngest foall, the hosse I had of Hofen?, fower kyne fortie ewes and one sowe, all this so longe as she is unmarried, and shalbe kepte for her at Grisby i bothe winter and sommer, But if she marrie and assent herself to anye man, no longer
- Item so long as she is unmarried I will she shall have broughte her and given her sixe good lodes of wodde yearlie and the cariage? of twoe shalden of roles, But if she marrie and assent herself to anye manne, to have none of theise.
- Item unto her twoe of the beste featherbeddes with theire furniture hedstedes and all, one rouufe featherbed withe same mattress
- Item I give her five paire of fyne sheetes and six paire of forst sheets, half my napcirie?, halfe my pewter half my brasse.
- Item one silver potte and guilte withe a roxen? and five silver spoones of the beste sorte, and six of the wozsen sorte
- Item three chirse suche as she will choose, one ringe of goulde, and twentie poundes in monney.
- Item as muche malte and barelie as shall bue her twoe maide and a manne till Easter next.
- Item whene I have a contenyt leasse of the church of Lincoln of a holof and resteime landes, in Burgh upon Bayne, my meaninge is that Agnes, my wief shall take the proffittes and have the occupation of the saide leasse duringe her lief But not to have any properitie in the Lease to alienate or make anye leasse therof longer then during her owne lief.
- Item I will also that she shall maytaine the mynsther howse, and lathe withe sufficient reperations, and that she carofe the rente to be duelie paide at the daies, that is to saie, at the ffeaste of Phillippe and Jacob, and S Martyn, in nomiter at the chapter howse at Lincolne for avoydinge the greate foefeyture that depends the theuppon.
- And for the disposition of my landes, this is my full, minde, intente and purpose. I give to Edward Merbury, my second sonne the manor of Grisby, in the countie of Lincolne, withe all howses, messuage, landes, tenements, meadowes pastures commons, woddes, under woods, and all other hereditaments, whatsoew in grisby aforesaid, Southwillingham, Bardneye, Baton in the Wold, Brynylthorpe and Cadeley in the said countie to him the saide Edward Merbury, and to the heires males of his bodye, lawfullie begotten.
- And for defaulte of aneye issue, to ffrances Merbury, my third sonne, and to the heires, males of his bodye lawfullie begotten
- And for defaulte of suche issue, to the heires males of the bodye of William Merburie my loist sonne, lawfullie begottenne
- And for defaulte of suche issue to the righte heires of the said William Merburye the elder.
- Item after the decease of Agnes my wieff I give to the saide Edward Merbury the Mannor of Burgh upon Bayne with all messuages, howsses, landes, meadowes pastures commons and other hereditamente in Burgh and Bishopthorpe aforesaide to him the saide Edward Merburie, and to the heires, males of his bodye lawfullie begottenne
- And for defaulte of suche issue to ffrances Merburie and to the heires, males of his bodye lawfullie begottenne
- And for defaulte of suche issue to the heires, males of William Merberie myne Gerst? sonne, lawfullie begottenne
- And for defaulte of such issue to the right heires of me the saide William Merburie the elder.
- Item I give to the saide Edward the two pastures, lyinge in Burgh uppon Bayne called the stonye pasture, and the stonye fielde, nowe in the occupation of me the saide William Merburie, and before excepted oute of the Dower of Agnes, my wieff to him the saide Edward Merburie & to the heyres males of his bodye lawfullie begottenne,
- And for default of suche issue to ffrances Merburie, and to the heires males of his bodye lawfullie begottenne,
- And for default of suche issue to the heires males of William M’bury my Leest sonne lawfullie begottenne
- And for default of suche issue, to the righte heires of me the said William Merburie the elder
- And if anye of theme to whome this entaile is lymyted and appointed shall by any meanes attempt to breake the saide order of entail, Then I will that his estate shall ymmediatelie wase? as thoughe he weare deade withoute any issue, and that the estate shalbe of sommeht ymmediatelie in the nexte lymytted and appointed by the entaile aforesaide.
- All the rest of my gooddes as well chattells reals as personally my debtes paide and legacies performed, I give to the saide Edward Merburie my seconnde sonne, trusting that he will shewe himself not onelie a naturall childe to his mother, but also sobringe to his brother ffrances, and his sisters. And that he will faithfullye perform this my testamente and last will, whiche Edward Merburie I make my sole executor
- writtene withe myne owne hande the daie and yeare above specified, witnes John Epenlief (William Lubury)
William Merbury/Marbury, b. abt 1524, Girsby, Lincolnshire, d. abt May 1581, Girsby, Lincolnshire, England
m. abt 1543?, place unknown, Agnes Lenton, daughter of John, b. about 1525?
Robert Merbury, b. bef 1545, when he was mentioned in his grandfather’s will but specifically not left any lands. Perhaps born with some type of disability? He is not mentioned in his father’s will, so I am guessing he died before 1581. OR, could he have been illegitimate? The rest of the children seem to have been born later. Research needed.
Sir Edward Marbury, Knt, b. abt 1552, d. abt 1604/5.
Reverend Francis Merbury/Marbury, bap 27 Oct 1555, London, England, d. 7 Jun 1611, London, England. He married twice and had approximately 18 children, some say 20-21. Father of Anne Marbury Hutchinson, b. 1591, an ancestor of several US presidents. His youngest daughter, Katherine, b. 1610, m. Richard Scott, Jr, was the 6x great-grandmother of Eliza Jane Olney. Both Anne and Katherine and their families emigrated to the US.
Anne Marbury, bap. 4 Mar 1557, St. Pancras, Soper Lane, London, England. Married William Broxholme, 4 Apr 1580, Burgh-on-Baine, Lincolnshire, England.
Mary Marbury, b. abt. 1559? (or 1550?). Married 27 Jan 1581 in Burgh on Bain, Lincolnshire, England, Thomas Middleton.
Katherine Marbury, b. abt 1561? Married 19 Aug 1583 in St. Peter at Gowts, Lincoln, Lincolnshire, England to Christopher Wentworth. I don’t know much about this family yet, but at least their son, William, emigrated to the US.
William Marbury Jr, b. abt 1563?. Died without surviving progeny, but I don’t know any details.
Updated: 2 Jan 2017
Connection to Olney-Hooker Family: William Merbury/Marbury, Esq. was the 8x Great-grandfather of Eliza Jane Olney through his son, the Reverend Francis Marbury, his grandson, John Scott, and his 3x great-grandson, Discovery Olney.