yeovil people

Harbin Family

of Newton Surmaville for 399 years

 

Robert Harbin (1) (1526-1621)

The earliest recorded member of the Harbin family was Robert Harbin, born about 1526 and possibly of Scottish ancestry. He was married to Margaret Mounsell, daughter of Peter Mounsell of Blandford Forum, Dorset, and they lived in Blandford Forum until about 1576 when Margaret died.

They had seven children; John (d 1638), George, Temperance, Agnes, Margaret, Elizabeth and Robert (1565-1654). After Margaret's death Robert married Margaret Mervin, daughter of Sir John Mervin of Fonthill, Wiltshire and the widow of William Drewry, late steward to the Earl of Hertford at Savernake, Wiltshire.

After their marriage Robert and Margaret moved to Wyke Hall, Gillingham, Dorset. This portrait was painted in 1619 and hung in Newton Surmaville House until the house sale in 2007.

In May 1612 these arms were granted to Robert Harbin by William Camden, Elizabeth I's Officer of Arms. This date with the initials RH appear on lead water pipes at Newton Surmaville as the new manor house was completed, replacing the earlier residence of the Compton family. The arms were azure, a saltire voided between four spears' head erect or (a blue ground, a golden saltire cross with the middle removed so the field is visible, between four golden erect spear heads).

A prosperous and wealthy mercer, Robert began acquiring a number of small properties in Dorset and Somerset. His final purchase was in 1608 when he purchased Newton Surmaville from Joseph Compton. He and his eldest son, John, commissioned the building of a new grand house at Newton, which was completed around 1612. Robert and his son John moved into Harbin Castle, later called Newton Surmaville House.

Robert Harbin's will (see below) was dated 2 August 1615 and he died in Yeovil on 24 December 1621. He was interred in the Harbin vault which lay beneath the family pew in the north transept of St John's church. The transept had earlier been the Chantry of the Holy Cross but the whole of the chantry properties were sold in August 1548. The north transept became the family pew of the Harbin family of Newton Surmaville. The Harbin family vault lies below the floor of the transept and family memorials adorn the walls. Robert was succeeded by his eldest son John.

 

John Harbin (1) (1560-1638)

Heir to his father Robert, John was the second owner of Newton Surmaville House. In 1588, at the age of 28, married Bridget Drewry, the oldest daughter of his father's second wife, in Yeovil.

They had ten children; William (married Margaret Turberville), Margaret (married Will Stanton), Lucy (m George Barber), Bridget (married Robert Prowse, d 1663), Katherine (married Robert Hill, Anne (married ? Reeve), Robert (1588-1658), John (b 1588, married Elizabeth Moore), Temperance (b 1596, married Samuel Seward) and Elizabeth (b 1597, married William Gollop). 

In 1623 he was the High Sheriff of Dorset. He was also a student at Middle Temple in London. In 1631 he was fined for refusing to accept the honor of Knighthood. John died in Yeovil in 1639, aged 79, and is buried in the family vault in St John's church.

 

Robert Harbin (2) (1588-1658)

Robert Harbin, the second son and heir to John, was born in 1588 and was the third owner of Newton Surmaville House.

In the civil war of the 1640's he took the side of Parliament and served as a Colonel in the Parliamentary army in the fighting in Somerset in 1642. Nothing is known of his military career during the war, but he may have persuaded his father to obtain a pardon from the king during a lull in the fighting. Robert concealed the fact that he had been pardoned from his friends and continued his work for the Parliamentary troops. Eventually he was found out and heavily fined by the Commonwealth.

In 1611, at the age of 22, at Yeovil he married Gertrude Stocker Morgan, widow of Christopher Morgan. Her father was John Stocker of Chilcompton, Somerset. They had eleven children; Anne (married ? Durnford), Edward, Robert (born at Newton Surmaville, d 1665 at Yeovil, married Margery), Margaret (married Richard King), Elizabeth, Bridget (1612-1663, married Robert Molesworth and then Robert Prowse of Kingston), John (1614-1672, married 1. Isabella Pert, 2. Elizabeth Strode), Christopher (1621-1685, married Alice), Gertrude (b 1623, married Lawrence Edwards), Samuel (b 1630, married Sarah Fone) and Katherine (b 1631, married Thomas Turberville).

On 5 May 1652 the County Committee reported that the late County Committee secured his estate and appraised his goods on a charge of delinquency, but that he appealed to the Committee for Sequestrations and Barons of Exchequer "where his case depends and that there has been no actual sequestration". On 12 May 1653 his estate was discharged on the Act of Pardon (Ref: Calendar of State Papers).

The fines exacted by the Commonwealth and the provision of dowries for his daughters left him heavily in debt. As a result he had to dispose of most of the property accumulated by his grandfather, Robert Harbin, retaining only Meedford and Newton Surmaville. His will was dated 7 March 1658 and Robert Harbin died in Yeovil on 14 March 1659 aged 71.

 

John Harbin (2) (1614-1664)

Born in 1614, John was the third son of Robert and Gertrude. His eldest brother Edward emigrated to Barbados but was never heard from again, his older brother Robert died in 1665 after which John became the fourth owner of the Newton Surmaville estate. His first wife, married about 1647, was Isabella Pert, daughter of William Pert Esq. of Arnold's, Essex. John and Isabella had six children; Robert (d 1672, unmarried), Elizabeth (1648-1720, married Thomas Compton, then married William Young), William (1654-1708, married Elizabeth Wyndham of Yeovil, 1654-1708), Charles (1658-1691, unmarried), Bridget (1658-1716, unmarried) and John (1660-1699, unmarried). Isabella died about 1664 and in 1665 John married Elizabeth Strode, daughter of Sir Richard Strode, Knight, of Newnham, Devon. John divorced Elizabeth in 1669.

 

William Harbin (1654-1705)

William born in 1654, the second son of John and Isabella, became the fifth owner of the Newton Surmaville estate in 1672 after the death of his father and elder brother Robert.

The arms of Harbin (see above) impaling Wyndham appear on a memorial on the west wall of St John's church and date from 1673 when William Harbin of Newton Surmaville married Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Francis Wyndham, Bart, of Trent (who afforded Charles II protection after the battle of Worcester). Their combined ages were 36. The Wyndham arms were azure, a chevron between three lions' heads erased or (on a blue field, a golden chevron between three golden lions' heads, torn off leaving a ragged edge).

They had three sons; John (d 1704), Wyndham (1684-1741) and William (d 1705). William Harbin died in Yeovil on 10 November 1705, aged 51.

In 1699 Rev Martin Strong recorded in his ‘commonplace book’ (see Gallery below) in which he complains of not receiving his due tithes "Mr Harbin pretends a Custom of paying 3s per annum for Penmill, But is no doubt a wrong custom too, he was wont to pay". This reference to 'Mr Harbin' would have been this William, who refers to Pen Mill in his will (see below)..

 

Wyndham Harbin (1) (1685-1740)

Wyndham Harbin was born in 1685, the son of William Harbin and Elizabeth née Wyndham. His older brother John died in 1704 and his younger brother William died in 1705 so, when his father also died in 1705, Wyndham succeeded to the Newton Surmaville estate as its sixth owner.

He married Abigail Swayne in 1714. She was the daughter and sole heiress of Richard Swayne Esq., of Gunville, Dorset. Wyndham and Abigail had one son, Swayne Harbin.

Wyndham Harbin died in Yeovil on 26 February 1740.

 

Swayne Harbin (1718-1781)

Swayne Harbin, the seventh owner of Newton Surmaville, was born in 1718 the only son and heir of Wyndham Harbin (1685-1741) and his wife, Abigail née Swayne. He attended Corpus Christi College, Oxford, matriculating 6 March 1733 at the age of 18.

In 1760 he married Barbara (d 1809), daughter and heiress of George Abington of Over Compton, Dorset, by his wife, Barbara, only daughter and sole heiress of William Wyndham of Dinton, Wiltshire. They had six children; Wyndham (2), William, Robert, John, Charles and Henrietta. Their eldest son, Wyndham Harbin (2) (1761-1837), inherited the Newton Surmaville estate. Swayne Harbin's arms were those of Harbin impaling Abingdon quartering Wyndham.

The Manor of Sutton Bingham descended to Isabella, wife of Charles Abingdon but she died childless, and the family of Compton being apparently extinct, she gave Sutton Bingham by her will to her husband, and under his will in 1724 it passed to his nephew and heir, George Abingdon of Over Compton. From him it descended to Barbara, his only daughter and heiress by his wife, Barbara Wyndham, of Dinton, who became the wife of Swayne Harbin, of Newton Surmaville. His eldest son, Wyndham Harbin, sold Sutton Bingham in 1815 to William Helyar, of Coker Court.

The erection of the Summer House surmounting Summerhouse Hill can be safely attributed to Swayne Harbin, who inherited his father's property in 1741. Swayne Harbin died on 8 February 1781 aged 63. He was buried in St John's on 15 February 1781.

 

The record of Swain Harbin's burial from St John's parish register.

 

Wyndham Harbin (2) (1761-1837)

Wyndham Harbin, born in 1761, went to Wadham College, Oxford, matriculating on 23 April 1781 at the age of 19. Wyndham inherited the Newton Surmaville estate from his father Swayne Harbin in 1781, becoming the eighth owner of Newton Surmaville House and estate as well as the Manor of Sutton Bingham. He sold Sutton Bingham in 1815 to William Helyar, of Coker Court. Wyndham Harbin never married and died in 1837 with the Newton Surmaville estate passing to his nephew, George Harbin.

 

George Harbin (1800-1880)

George Harbin (1800-1880), son of William Harbin (1762-1823) and his wife, Rhoda, youngest daughter of Edward Phelips of Montacute. George went to Merton College, Oxford, matriculating at the age of 19 on 8 June 1819 and getting his BA in 1823. George succeeded to the Newton Surmaville estate as its ninth owner upon the death of his unmarried uncle, Wyndham Harbin in 1837. During his long residence at Newton, George Harbin devoted himself to running the estate and maintaining the house, to which he made a number of sympathetic changes in the 1860s and 1870s.

He was a Justice of the Peace and Commanding Officer of the Mudford Independent Troop of Yeomanry Cavalry which brought the Yeovil Reform Riot of 1831 to a close. He was Captain Commandant of the unit from its enrolment in 1830 until it was disbanded in 1838.

The Phelips family of Montacute had held the Lordship of Yeovil for generations but in 1846 William Phelips sold the rights to George Harbin. When Yeovil obtained municipal status by Act of Parliament in 1854, the lordship of the manor passed to the new Mayor and Corporation. George Harbin was a Member of the Somersetshire Archaeological and Natural History Society in 1855 and 1860. In the 1871 Census he was listed as a ‘Landowner and Justice of the Peace’ aged 71 living at Newton House with his 56-year old wife Elizabeth, two young nephews, a housekeeper, butler, groom / coachman, housemaid and dairymaid.

George Harbin died on 10 September 1880. His will was proved on 22 November "The Will with a Codicil of George Harbin late of Newton-sur-Maville in the Parish of Yeovil in the County of Somerset Esquire who died 10 September 1880 at Newton-sur-Maville was proved at Taunton by Herbert Butler Batten of Hollands in Yeovil Esquire and William marsh of Yeovil Gentleman the Executors".  George's personal estate was valued at 'under £6,000' (about £4.3 million at today's value).

His memorial (see below) in the family pew of St John's church says of him "He was a Justice of the Peace for the Counties of Somerset and Dorset and for many years Chairman of the Yeovil Bench for Magistrates. He administered Justice with the highest integrity and impartiality and his urbanity and kindness of heart won for him the love and esteem of all classes."

 

For the Harbin family tree - click here

 

 

 

Following the death of Sophie Rawlins (née Sophie Wyndham Bates Harbin), Newton Surmaville House was sold in 2007 - for the first time in its history.

 

 

 

The Chantry of the Holy Cross was founded in 1432 in the north transept of St John's church. It later became the family pew of the Harbin family and still retains many memorials to members of the family, shown below, as well as a hatchment bearing the Harbin family armorial achievement.

 

Map

 

The Newton Surmaville estate (based on the 1846 Tithe Map) outlined on a modern map.

 

Land Holdings

 

Below are tabulated the land holdings of the Harbin family in the 1846 Tithe Apportionment, at this time owned by George Harbin.

Owner Occupier No Parcel
Harbin, George Adams, Adam 1376 Cottage, Garden & Orchard
Harbin, George Adams, Adam 1377 Cottage, Garden & Orchard
Harbin, George Allen, Robert 859 Pen Mill Garden & Orchard
Harbin, George Allen, Robert 860 Yeovil Bridge Mead
Harbin, George Allen, Robert 970 Lyde Lane
Harbin, George Fox, James 520 Withey Bed
Harbin, George Harbin, George 501 In Pen Field
Harbin, George Harbin, George 502 In Pen Field
Harbin, George Harbin, George 517 Gardens
Harbin, George Harbin, George 822 Hanging Coppice
Harbin, George Harbin, George 824 Garden 
Harbin, George Harbin, George 825 Garlands Coppice
Harbin, George Harbin, George 826 Little Middle Hills
Harbin, George Harbin, George 836 Withey Bed
Harbin, George Harbin, George 839 Yonder Paddock
Harbin, George Harbin, George 840 Middle Paddock
Harbin, George Harbin, George 841 Orchard, The
Harbin, George Harbin, George 845 Brick Mead
Harbin, George Harbin, George 846 Home Orchard
Harbin, George Harbin, George 847 Newton House & Garden
Harbin, George Harbin, George 848 Rookery
Harbin, George Harbin, George 849 Coppice
Harbin, George Harbin, George 850 Crickets Ham
Harbin, George Harbin, George 852 Plantation
Harbin, George Harbin, George 853 In Pen Hill
Harbin, George Harbin, George 854 Pen Hill
Harbin, George Harbin, George 855 Higher Pen
Harbin, George Harbin, George 856 Lower Pen
Harbin, George Pope, William 498 Barrowhayes
Harbin, George Pope, William 814 Lower Newton Hill
Harbin, George Pope, William 815 Higher Newton Hill
Harbin, George Pope, William 816 Cottage & Garden
Harbin, George Pope, William 817 Newton Copse
Harbin, George Pope, William 818 Five Acres
Harbin, George Pope, William 819 Hollow Close
Harbin, George Pope, William 820 Fourteen Acres
Harbin, George Pope, William 821 Six Acres
Harbin, George Pope, William 823 Swing Gate
Harbin, George Pope, William 827 Grove
Harbin, George Pope, William 828 Hanging Sleight
Harbin, George Pope, William 829 Clifton Mead
Harbin, George Pope, William 830 House Leaze
Harbin, George Pope, William 831 Great Rough Mead
Harbin, George Pope, William 832 Little Rough mead
Harbin, George Pope, William 833 Ten Acres
Harbin, George Pope, William 834 Pond Close
Harbin, George Pope, William 835 House Mead
Harbin, George Pope, William 837 Cowleaze
Harbin, George Pope, William 838 Sic Acre Orchard
Harbin, George Pope, William 842 Home Orchard
Harbin, George Pope, William 843 Farm House & Garden
Harbin, George Pope, William 844 Orchard Below the House
Harbin, George Pope, William 851 Victoria Hill
Harbin, George Pope, William 857 Island, The

 

gallery

 

Robert Harbin (1526-1621) commissioned the building of a new grand house at Newton.

 

Robert I was granted the Coat of Arms in May 1612 by William Camden, Elizabeth I's Officer of Arms. It is properly described "Azure a saltire voided between four cronels or. The Crest: A gauntleted hand, couped above the wrist of azure holding a spur or"

.... or in English - a blue shield with a blue diagonal cross between four golden spearheads and the crest is a hand, cut off above the wrist, wearing a blue gauntlet and holding a golden spur.

 

An extract of 1699 from the ‘commonplace book’ of Rev Martin Strong in which he complains of not receiving his due tithes - this entry reads "Mr Harbin pretends a Custom of paying 3s per annum for Penmill, But is no doubt a wrong custom too, he was wont to pay".

 

Swayne Harbin's signature on the accounts of Woborn's Almshouse in the year 1738 when he was Custos.

 

Early morning mists across the Newton Surmaville valley, a scene largely unchanged for centuries. Seen from Wyndham Hill and photographed in 2014.

 

Newton Surmaville House, photographed around 1900.

 


Courtesy of Jane Cannon of Newton Surmaville House

Robert Harbin (1) was granted the Coat of Arms in May 1612 by William Camden. The date 1608 in this beautiful window in Newton Surmaville House refers to his purchase of the estate.

 

John Harbin (1560-1638). Heir to his father Robert, John was the second owner of Newton Surmaville House.

 

The memorial, primarily to the four generations - John Harbin (1), Robert Harbin (2), John Harbin (2), and William Harbin - in the north transept of St John's church. The inscription reads "In a Vault Beneath this Place Lie the Bodies of JOHN HARBIN Esq Son and Heir of ROBERT HARBIN of Weeke in ye County of Dorset and of Newton in this County Esq and BRIDGET his Wife, Daughter of WILLIAM DREWRY Gent. As also the body of ROBERT HARBIN Esq Son of JOHN and BRIDGET, who Married GERTRUDE Daughter of ANTHONY STOCKER of Chilcompton in this County Esq. As also the body of JOHN HARBIN Esq Son of ROBERT and GERTRUDE who first Married ISSABELLA Daughter of WILLIAM PERT of Arnolds in ye County of Essex Esq and afterwards ELIZABETH Daughter of Sr RICHARD STRODE of Newnham in the County of Devon Knt. As also the body of ROBERT HARBIN Eldest Son of JOHN and ISSABELLA who died unmarried. As also the body of WILLIAM HARBIN Esq their Son and Heir, who died 10 Novr 1705 Aged 51. He married ELIZABETH (who lies by him) Daughter of Sir FRANCIS WYNDHAM of Trent in this County Barronet, by whom He had nine Children. She Exchanged this life for a better 30 June 1708 they lived together many years being as great patterns of Piety and Vertue as they were Remarkable for their Hospitality and Extensive Charity. As also the body of JOHN HARBIN their Eldest Son who died 17th of March 1704. As also the body of WILLIAM HARBIN their Youngest Son who died 15th of May 1705. In pious Memory of all theses WYNDHAM HARBIN of Newton Esq only Surviving Son of WILLIAM and ELIZABETH hath Erected this Monument Anno Domini 1711."

 

Portrait of Wyndham Harbin (1685-1741). Pastel, 38cm x 25cm.

 

The memorial, primarily to Wyndham and Swayne Harbin, in the north transept of St John's church. The inscription reads "Underneath are deposited the Remains of Wyndham Harbin Esq. Son of William and Elizabeth Who married Abigail the Daughter of Richard Swayne of Gunvill in the County of Dorset Esq. He died February 26 1740. Also the Remains of Swayne Harbin Esq only son of Wyndham and Abigail Who married Barbara the Daughter of George Abingdon of Over Compton in the County of Dorset Esq by whom he left five Sons and one Daughter. He departed this life on the 8th Day of February 1781, Aged 63. He was an affectionate Husband and tender Parent and a faithful Friend. His Widow in sincere regard to his memory caused this Monument to be erected. Also the remains of Barbara Harbin the above named Widow, who died June 13 1809. Also of the Rev Robert Harbin BA the third Son of Swayne and Barbara Harbin who died March 12 1808 Aged 48. Also of William Harbin Esq their second Son who died Oct 22 1823 Aged 61. Also of Wyndham Harbin Esq their eldest Son and Heir who died unmarried May 3 1837 Aged 76. Also of Rhoda Harbin. Widow of the above named William Harbin Esq third daughter of Edward Phelips of Montacute Esq who died Aug 27 1846 Aged 87."

 

A sketch of George Harbin by J Nicholson Johnson entitled "Squire Harbin".

 

 

The memorial to George Harbin in the north transept of St John's church. The inscription reads "In loving remembrance of George Harbin of Newton Surmaville in this parish Esquire who departed this life Sep 10 1880 in the 80th year of his age. He was a Justice of the Peace for the Counties of Somerset and Dorset and for many years Chairman of the Yeovil Bench for Magistrates. He administered Justice with the highest integrity and impartiality and his urbanity and kindness of heart won for him the love and esteem of all classes. He married Elizabeth daughter of W Bishop Esquire of Long Load and this Tablet is erected by his sorrowing Widow."

 

The order for the mourning coaches, and the mourners they carried, to the funeral of George Harbin on Saturday 18 September 1880.

 

 

The 1615 Will of Robert Harbin (1)

 

 

In the name of God Amen the second day of August in the yeare of our Lord god 1615 I Robert Harbin of Newton in the p[ar]ish of Yevell in the Countie of Somerset gentleman beinge sicke of bodie but of [abbreviation xsitt = excellent ?] remembrance (praysed be god) Doe make this my last will and testament in manner followinge First I bequeathe my soule into the handes of my almightie Creator beseechinge him to accepte of the deathe and bloodshed of his sonne Christ Jesus my onelye Saviour as a full sacrifice and satisfaction for all my sinnes It[e]m I appoint my body to be buried in Christian buriall at the discrecon of John Harbin my sonne and heire It[e]m I give unto my sayed sonne John Harbin all my landes within the Realm of England to him and his heires for ever It[e]m I give unto my poore sister Emma Androe the somme of fyve pounde It[e]m I give unto Richard Androe my sayed sisters sonne the somme of fyve pounde It[e]m I give unto Brigett Cornishe the somme of three pounde six shillinge and eight pence It[e]m I give unto the [fouer ?] Children of my [daster = daughter] Temperance woch she had by her first husband William Bramble the somme of twentie pounde of current English money to be payed to every one of them within Three monthes after their severall dayes of marriage It[e]m I give unto six of the youngest Children of my [Daster = daughter] Agnes [Kemmell ?] woch shee had by her first husband John [Clewes ?] the somme of Thirty pounde that is fyve pounde to every one of them to be payed at the dayes of their marriages or within three monthes after It[e]m I give unto my [two ?] younger sonnes George Harbin and Robert Harbin and to my six [dasters = daughters] if they shalbe livinge at the day of my death toe every one of them [apiece ?] of the price of three pounde six shillinge & eight pence It[e]m I give unto Briget Harbin my [daster = daughter] in lawe wife of my sonne John Harbin one peece of plate of the price of three pounde six shillinge & eight pence also I give for Gartrude Harbin The wife of my grandechild Robert Harbin one peece of plate of the price of three pounde six shillinge & eight pence It[e]m I give unto William Harbin my brother the somme of five pounde to be paied him w[i]thin three monthes after my death It[e]m I give unto my sister Anne Wheeler a ringe of twentie shillinge price It[e]m I give unto my sonne John Harbin all my goods and Chattells not given or bequeathed by thismy Will whome I doe make my sole Executor of this my last will and testament Lastly I doe constitute my verie lovinge and faithfull friendes & [word illegible] S[ir] John [Ryver ?] knight and Henry harbin gentleman the Overseers of this my last will and testament In witness I have hereunto sett my hand and seale even the day & yeare first above written

Robt Harbin

Witnessed under written

William Phelpot         Giles Jenninge

 

Transcribed by Bob Osborn

 

The 1705 Will of William Harbin

 

In the Name of God Amen The Eighth day of June in the year of our Lord One Thousand Seaven Hundred and Five I William Harbin of Newton S[ur]meavill in the parish of Yeovill in the County of Somersett Esq[uir]e being od a sound and perfect mind and memory (thanks be therefore given to Almighty God) and calling to mind the certainty of death and the time thereof most uncertaine doe make publish and declare this my last Will and Testament wherein I principally commend my Soul into the hands of Almighty God my Maker and trusting through the meritts and mediation of Jesus Christ my Saviour to have full and free pardon and forgiveness of all my Sinns and my Body to be decently buried in the Isle in the Church of Yeovill aforesaid And as touching all my Estate Reall and personall that is in my power to give and dispose of which the Lord hath made me Steward of in this life I give devise bequeath limitt dispose direct order and appoint the same as hereafter followeth (vizt) Impri[im]is I give and bequeath unto the poore of the said parish of Yeovill the sum of five pounds to be disposed of as follows (vizt) Fifty Shillings there of to Fifty poore men which have no releife from the said parish and above Sixty Years of age and the other Fifty Shillings to Fifty poore Women which have no releife from the said parish and above Sixty Years of age. Item I give bequeath and devise unto my four Daughters Anne Harbin Elizabeth Harbin Frances Harbin and Katherine Harbin All that Messuage Tenement Lands and premisses with all and singular theire right to memberes and appurtenances by me purchased of Sir Thomas Wyndham Barr[one]t deceased and comonly called or knowne by the name of Broad Marsh [NB. a field in Marsh] scituate lying and being within the parish of Yeovill aforesaid To Have and to Hold All and Singular the said Lands and premisses unto my said Son & Daughters theire Heires Executors Administrators and Assignes for ever equally to be divided betweene them Item I give bequeath and devise unto my said four Daughters Anne Elizabeth Frances and Katherine All my Messuage Tenement Lands and premisses scituate lyeing and being in Charleton Horethorne in the County aforesaid which one Thomas Hussey [contraction illegible] now enjoys for Years determinable on the death of the said Thomas Husseys wife To Have and to Hold All and Singular the said Messuage Tenement Lands and premises and every part and parcell thereof with all and every the rights members and appurtenances thereunto belonging unto my said four Daughters Anne Elizabeth Frances and Katherine theire Heires Executors Administrators and Assignes for ever from and imediately after the death of the said Thomas Hussey's now wife equally to be divided betweene them and in the meantime to have the reserved Rent equally divided betweene them Item I give bequeath and devise unto my said four Daughters Anne Elizabeth Frances and Katherine All that Moiety of Penmill with the parcells of ground there unto belonging lyeing within the said parish of Yeovill the [Fee ?] whereof I lately purchased of the Lord Stourton To Have and To Hold to them my said four Daughters theire Heires and Assigns for ever equally to be divided betweene them Item I give and bequeath unto my said Daughter Anne Harbin the sume of Two Hundred pounds Item I give and bequeath unto my said four Daughters Anne Elizabeth Frances and Katherine all the rest and residue of my moneys that shall be due and oweing unto me at my decease upon Bills Bonds Mortgages to be equally divided amongst them provided they marry by and with the consent of my Executrix hereafter named But if any or either of my said Daughters shall marry without her consent or approbacon that Then Heave such her or theire Legacy or Legacies herein before given and bequeathed to the disposall of my said Executrix And if my Executrix happen to dye before they are married that Then they marry by and with the approbation and consent of my Sisters in Law Madam Rachell Wyndham and Madam Frances Wyndham theire Aunts and of this may last Will and Testament I doe make and ordaine my dearly bloved Wife Elizabeth Harbin my whole and Sole Executrix unto whome I give and bequeath all my Rents which at my decease shall be one from my Tennants and all my Plate Jewells Rings and all my Goods within doors and without of what nature kind or quality soever and wheresoever and all other things not herein before given and bequeathed And I doe hereby utterly revoke and annull all and every former and other Testament Will or Wills by me at any time heretobefore made In Witness whereof I the said William Harbin to this my last Will and Testament have sett my hand and Seale the day and year first above written

Wm Harbin

Sealed and delivered published and declared to be the last Will and Testament of the said William Harbin in the presence of us

Wm Cox        Joshua Code       Tho Day

 

Transcribed by Bob Osborn

 

 

The 1776 Will of Swayne Harbin

The problem with this will was that it was unsigned and not witnessed. Therefore extraordinary lengths were made to ensure that the will as it stood was, in fact, written by the deceased. Consequently, at the end are several statements of witnesses confirming that the will had indeed been written by Swayne Harbin himself.




In the Name of God Amen I Swayne Harbin of Newton Sur Mavil in the Parish of Yeovil in the County of Somerset Esq[uir]e being of a sound and perfect Mind Memory and Understanding and willing under the Enjoyment of a competant State of Health to prepare for sickness and Mortality do make this my Will and Testament in manner following that is to say First I commend my Soul into the Hands of the Father of all [word illegible] and commit my Body to the earth to be decently buried by my Executrix and Executors hereinafter named in a private manner and with as little Exposure as possible in my Family Isle in the Church of Yeovil aforesaid and as touching all my Estate real and personal that is in my Power to give and dispose of which the Lord hath made me Steward of in this life I give devise and bequeath limit dispose direct order and devise and appoint the same as hereafter followeth I give bequeath and devise unto my dearly beloved Wife Barbara Harbin the Sum of six hundred pounds to be paid her out of my Arrears or Rents due at the time of my death within one Month of my decease I also give unto my said Wife my Chaise Harness and [Horns ?] as also the Furniture and Plate and [word illegible] she brought at our Marriage of what kind or nature whatever she brought to my house at Newton aforesaid And I also give her the free use of my Mansion House aforesaid with all the Furniture thereto belonging of what kind or quality whatever together with the Stables Outhouses Gardens Orchards and a Meadow called Brick Meadow and the use of Newton Paddock for [two words illegible] and other ways to enjoy the aforementioned House and Premises Rent Free till my eldest Son Wyndham Harbin attain the age of twenty one years or at his Marriage and in case he should die before that time then to hold and occupy the same till the next son or sons attain that age or be married as for and concerning all that my Manor and Demesne Lands and Premisses which are situate and lying in the Parish of Tarrant Gunvil in the County of Dorset I give and devise the same to the uses and upon the Trusts hereinafter mentioned that is to say it is my will and I do devise direct and appoint that my good Friends Charles Pounddock of Compton Chamberlain and William Wyndham of Dinton both in the County of Wilts Esq[ui]r[e]s and their Heirs and Assigns and all and every Person and Persons who are is of than be seized or interested of or in the same Premisses or in any part thereof by or under or in Trust for my heirs or assigns shall as soon as can conveniently may be after my decease sell and may dispose of all my said Lands Messuages which are in the aforesaid Parish of Tarrant Gunvil in the County of Dorset to the best purchasor or purchasors that can be gotten for the same in order to pay and satisfy all my debts and Legacies which shall remain due and unsatisfied at the time of my decease and also all such costs and charges as they shall respectively sustain or be put unto in pursuance of this my Will or in pursuance of any Trust or Power in them reposed And as to the residue or Remainder of such Sums of Money which shall remain out of the beforementioned Lands and Premises to be disposed of I give after my debts and Legacies are paid and devise the residue and remainder of such Sum or Sums of Money to my five Youngest Sons and Daughter namely William Harbin Robert Harbin John Harbin Charles Harbin and Henrietta Harbin to be equally divided betwixt them share and share alike and to be paid them as soon as they shall arrive to the age of twenty one years each And my will is that if any of my youngest Sons or daughter should die before they attain to the age of twenty one or if any of my said younger sons should become the eldest Son then my Will is that such Sons share or shares shall be equally divided amongst the Survivors of my said younger Children except as is aforementioned as and for an augmentation of their Fortunes which is provided for in my Marriage Settlement and my Will is that what Sum or Sums of Money shall remain from the sale of my aforementioned Lands and Premises after Debts and legacies are paid that Charles [Pounddock ?] and William Wyndham Esq[uire]s shall put or cause to be put out upon the best Landed Security that can be found and in case no landed security can be procured then to put and place out such Sums the Yearly Interest which is produced after their Maintenance and Duration is Deducted upon any other Securities as they in their discretion shall think proper Item as for and concerning all may Manors Lands and Premisses lying in the Parishes of Mudford Yeovil Barwick and Stoford or elsewhere in the said County of Somerset I give and devise the same to the uses and upon the trusts hereinafter mentioned that is to say it is my Will and I do direct and appoint that my good Friends Charles Pounddock and William Wyndham Esq[uire]s and their heirs and assigns and all and every Person and Persons who are is or shall be seized and invested in the same Premisses or any part thereof In Trust to and for the use of my eldest Son Wyndham Harbin and his Assigns for the term of his natural life without Impeachment of waste and after his decease to the Use of the first Son of his body lawfully begotten and the heirs Male of the body of such first Sons lawfully to be begotten and for default of such Issue to the use of the second third fourth fifth sixth seventh Son or Sons and of all and every other the Son and Sons of the Body of the said Wyndham Harbin lawfully to be begotten severally and successively and in order and course one after another as they and every of them shall be in priority of birth and Seniority of Age and the Heirs Male of the Body and Bodies of every such Son and Sons respectively lawfully issuing every the elder of such Sons and the Heirs Male of his body being always to be preferred and to [take ?] before every the younger of such Sons and the Heirs Male of his body and for default of such issue to the use of my second Son William Harbin and to the Heirs Male of his body lawfully to be begotten and for default of such Issue to the use of my third son Robert Harbin and to his heirs Male of his body lawfully to be begotten and for default of such Issue to the use of my fourth son John Harbin and to his Heirs Male of his body lawfully to be begotten [there follows a line of spacers] and for default of such Issue to the use of my fifth son Charles Harbin and to the heirs Male of his body lawfully to be begotten severally and successively and in order one after another in Priority of birth and seniority of age Itemmy will is that if my aforementioned five sons should die leaving no Issue Then I give and bequeath the aforementioned Lands and Premises to my daughter Henrietta Harbin and the Heirs Male of her Body lawfully to be begotten and after her decease she dying without issue to the Heirs male of my Nephew Wyndham Godden Son of my late Sister Abigail Godden Wife of Rob[er]t Godden of Over Compton in the County of Dorset Esq[uir]e and to the heirs Male of his body lawfully to be begotten And for Default of such Issue to my Nephew [word illegible] Goodden Son of the aforesaid Robert Goodden and to the heirs of his body lawfully to be begotten and for default of such Issue to my own right heirs for ever Provided always nevertheless and is my Will and Mind is that it shall and may be lawfull to and for my eldest Son Wyndham Harbin and my four other Sons namely William Harbin Robert Harbin John Harbin and Charles Harbin and either of them being in possession of all my lands Manors Tenements and Premisses which are situate lying and being in the Parishes of Mudford Yeovil Barwick and Stoford Sutton Bingham East and West Coker All which are lying and being in the County of Somerset by Virtue of this my Will by any Writing or Writings under their or either of their Hands and Seals and executed in the presence of three Credible Witnesses to grant dispose limit or convey all or any of the said Manors Lands and Tenements to or for any Woman or Women who they or either of them shall marry or take to Wife for and during the natural life or lives of such Woman or Women for her and their jointure and that afterwards the said manors Lands and Tenements shall be and remain to such person and persons to whom the immediate [Estate ?] and Interest thereof [there follows a line of spacers] is hereinbefore given limitted or appointed according to the Intent and Meaning hereinbefore declared I also give to each of my servants that has lived with me twelve months one Years Wages in lieu of Mourning and to the poor of the Parishes of Mudford Yeovil Barwick Stoford and Sutton Bingham the Sum of twenty pounds to be distributed as my Wife shall think fit As to all the rest and residue of my Goods and Chattells Real and Personal except what I have before devised I give to my eldest Son Wyndham Harbin And I do make and ordain my dearly beloved Wife and Charles Pounddock and William Wyndham Esq[uire]s to be Executrix and Executors of this my last Will and Testament In Witness whereof I the said Swayne Harbin being my own Handwriting I have to this my last Will and Testament set my Hand and Seal this [blank space] in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy six
signed sealed Published and declared by the said Swayne Harbin as and for his last Will and Testament in the presence of us who were present at the Signing and sealing thereof


Appeared Personally Barbara Harbin of Newton Sur Mavil in the Parish of Yeovil in the County of Somerset Widow and William Harbin of Chard in the said County Gentleman her Son and made Oath that Swayne Harbin late of Newton Sur Mavil in the parish of Yeovil aforesaid Esq[uire] deceased departed his Life on the eighth day of February last And this Deponent Barbara Harbin for herself saith that a few days after the death of the said deceased she this Deponent in order to find the Will of the said deceased [ordered ?] a Study or closet wherein the said deceased kept all his private papers of consequence and of which he always kept the Key in his own Custody to be opened and that she caused all the Papers Writings and Books of Account in the said Closet to be removed into the parlour of the said deceaseds Dwelling house for more particular and [space] convenient Inspection And this Deponent William Harbin for himself saith that in a Leather Case for keeping Writing Paper which was removed out of the Study or Closet aforesaid Henrietta Harbin Spinster the Deponents Sister in his presence found and took out of such Leather case the paper writing hereunto annexed purporting to be the last Will and Testament of the said deceased beginning thus "In the Name of God Amen I Swayne Harbin of Newton Sur Mavil in the parish of Yeovil in the County of Somerset Esq" and ending thus "In Witness whereof I the said Swayne Harbin being in my own handwriting have to this my last Will and Testament set my Hand and Seal this [blank space] in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy six" which in this Deponents presence was delivered to the Reverend Doctor John Wyndham who after looking at it some little time said the same ever distinctly to this Deponents Mother and all his Mothers and Sister who were then all present with this Deponent and then delivered the same to this deponents said Mother And these Deponents Barbara Harbin and William Harbin jointly and severally say that they verily believe such said Paper Writing to be all of the said deceaseds own Handwriting but without any Subscription thereto which said Paper Writing is now in the same Plight and Condition as when the same was so found as aforesaid And she the said Barbara Harbin further deposed that since the death of the said deceased and the finding of the aforesaid paper Writing she this Deponent has carefully and diligently searched all the said deceased's Drawers and Places wherein it was likely or probable for the said deceased to have forgot a paper of such Material Consequence And that she has not been able to find or discover any other Will or Paper Writing of any Testamentory Disposition whatsoever save the Will hereunto annexed And this Deponent further saith that she has been informed and verily believes that the said deceased did a few days before he died being in Conversation with Mr John Hubbard of Yeovil aforesaid an Acquaintance of the said deceased declared that he had made a will in his own handwriting which he had nor executed but that it was as good as if he had And therefore the doth depose the She doth verily and in her conscience believe from the aforesaid declaration of the said deceased and from the other Circumstances hereinbefore mentioned that the said paper Writing hereunto annexed was the very Will alluded to by the said deceased by the aforesaid Declaration

Barbara Harbin      W[illia]m Harbin

Same Day they the said Barbara Harbin and William Harbin were sworn to the truth of this affidavit before me F.C. Parson Com[missione]r
5th May 1781



Appeared Personally Thomas Andrews of the Parish of Yeovil in the County of Somerset Gentleman and John Young of Mudford in the same County Yeoman and being sworn on the holy Evangelists deposed that they well knew and were acquainted with Swayne Harbin late of Newton Sur Mavil in the Parish of Yeovil aforesaid Esquire deceased for several years before And to the time of his death that during such their Acquaintance with the Said deceased they have often seen him write and also write and subscribe his [word illegible] and therefore because well acquainted with his Manner and character of Handwriting and Subscription and having carefully viewed and perused the Paper Writing herewith annexed purporting to be the last Will and Testament of the said deceased beginning thus "In the name of God Amen I Swayne Harbin of Newton Sur Mavil in the Parish of Yeovil in the County of Somerset Esq[uire] " and ending thus In Witness whereof I the said Swayne Harbin (being my own handwriting) I have to this my last Will and Testament set may hand and seal this [blank space] in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy six" they do depose that they do verily and in their conscience believe the whole Body Series and Contents of the said paper Writing to be all of the proper hand writing of him the said Swayne Harbin deceased

Tho[ma]s Andrews     John Young
Same Day the said Thomas Andrews and John Young were duly sworn to the truth of this affidavit before me F.C. Parson Com[missione]r

 
I John Hebbard of the Parish of Yeovil in the County off Somerset Yeoman do solemnly sincerely and truly declare and affirm that I am one of the [Dissenters ?] from the Church of England commonly called Quakers and this Affirmant doth also declare and affirm that he knew and was well acquainted with Swayne Harbin late of Newton Sur Mavil in the parish of Yeovil aforesaid Esquire deceased for several years before and to the time of his death and often advised and assisted the said deceased in the management of his Husbandry Affairs that on Sunday the fourth day of February last being four days before the said deceased died this affirmant called at the said deceaseds House at Newton Sur Mavil aforesaid and was shown into the parlour where the said deceased was then ill of the Disorder whereof he died And being in Conversation with the said deceased about settling his Affairs he the Affirmant asked the said deceased if he had made any Will to which the said deceased replied that he had made his Will himself but that he had not executed it yet as he had made it of his own Handwriting it was as good as any Will in England and was to his Intention and Satisfaction and he the said deceased then expressed himself in words to that effect or in words to the very same Import and Meaning And this Affirmant further declared and affirmed that he does verily and in his Conscience beleive the said deceased was at such time of sound and disposing Mind Memory and Understanding and well knew and understood what he then said and did and that there was not any other Person then present in the Room at the time such Conversation passed between him and the said deceased And this Affirmant lastly declared and affirmed that he had often seen the said deceased write and thereby became well acquainted with his Character of Handwriting and having now seen and carefully perused the paper Writing hereunto annexed which was found after the said deceaseds death purporting to be the last Will and Testament of the said deceased beginning thus "In the name of God Amen I Swayne Harbin of Newton Sur Mavil in the Parish of Yeovil in the County of Somerset Esq[uire] " and ending thus In Witness whereof I the said Swayne Harbin (being my own handwriting) I have to this my last Will and Testament set may hand and seal this [blank space] in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy six" he doth verily in his conscience believe the same to be all of the proper handwriting of the said deceased and by reason of the conversation aforesaid the will allouded to by the said deceased

John Hebbard
5th May 1781

The said John Hebbard subscribed made and duly repeated the aforesaid Affirmation according to Act of Parliament before me F.C. Parson Com[missione]r


This Will was proved at London on the twenty fifth day of May in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty one before the Right Worshipfull Peter Calvert Doctor of Laws Master Keeper or Commissary of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury lawfully constituted by the Oath of Barbara Harbin Widow the Relict of the deceased and Charles Pounddock Esquire two of the Executors named in the said Will to whom Administration was granted of all and singular the Goods Chattells and Crdits of the said deceased theyhaving been first sworn duly to administer that is to say the said Barbara Harbin by commission and the said Charles Pounddock before the Worshipful Andrew Colter [word illegible] Doctor of Laws and Surrogate Power being reserved of making the like Grant to William Wyndham Esquire the other Executor named in the said Will when he shall apply for the same

Transcribed by Bob Osborn