Court of Wards

I have been transcribing a document held in Gloucestershire Archives and described as a ‘Court of Wards valor of lands of Richard Guynett, deceased’.  The Court of Wards and Liveries was established by two Acts of Parliament during the reign of  Henry VIII to deal, among other things, with the estates inherited by minors and lunatics who inherited property.

This particular document (G.A. Ref. D1313/2) refers to the property of Richard Guynett, who died in 1615, when his two sons were under the age of majority. It covers land in Badgeworth, Shurdington, Witcombe, Bentham and Down Hatherley and particularly mentions the old farm house called Crippetts.

The document is divided into two parts:  In the main body of the document, it states the date of death of Richard and the birth date of his eldest son, George, neither of which were known in detail, and it lists all his property, both houses and land, from whom he purchased it and to whom it was leased, giving a wonderful picture of the estate he owned. Down the wide left hand margin, it states the findings of the investigation by the Court of Wards and records the contents of Richard’s will, including the name of his executrix, his wife Mary, which has not been found elsewhere.  What a wonderful document!