From records in the posession of Tim Farr.
Fressingfield is a large and pleasant village in the county of Suffolk, England. From ancient deeds, written in latin, we learn that in 1477 William Aldous, whose family had lived in the parish for generations, received a gift of land there from his father-in- law, Thomas Warner, of neighboring Wingfield; from other records we can assume that this was a wedding gift to William and his bride Johan (Joan). They were deeded more property by Johan's father in the years 14"8, 1500 (four acres), and 1502 (a messuage Fhouse, out- buildings, and yard called Cryktots, with a pightle [small plot] and garden containing three roods [a rood is one fourth acre]. Re- garding the 1478 holding, which was later transmitted to Wilfiam's and Johan's son Thomas, a deed in 1568 reveals that previous to Thomas Warner it had belonged to his father Nicholas Warner; Nicho- las had received it from Thomas Cook by a gift deed dated 15 August 1442; and it came into the possession of Thomas Cook by gift deed from John Balie 7 March 1431. The 1500 deed pertains to acreage which Thomas Warner had also previously been given by his father. The 1500 and 1502 gifts included William's and Johan's son Robert, and in 1518 the three deeded those acquisitions to son Thomas.
In 1528 were written reciprocal deeds, indicating a mortgage between John Hobard and William Aldous, his son Thomas, and others, regarding four pieces of William's real estate, one called Ferfield, one in Chepenhall hamlet, one in Wittingham hamlet, and a fourth, also in Cheperihall hamlet, called "Impehedgelond." William and Johan had a third son, Richard, involving whom there may have been deeds also, but if there were they probably have not survived the ravages of time, as deeds were private and kept in the possession of the owners, with no public registration required.
In 1524 William and his three sons were listed on the Suffolk Subsidy Return, all living in Fressingfield. Their last names are spelled Aldowes, Aldhous, and Aldhows. All four paid their tax "in goodes."
In his will, dated 13 December 1528, William's surname is spelled "Aldows." He and Johan were living in Fressingfield, he "in good and hooll mynde beyng." He commended his "soule to god all- myghtie to our lady saynt Marys and to all the saynts in hevyn," and his "bodye to be buryed in the church yerde of Fresyngfeld." As was customary he bequeathed an amount, in his case three shillings four pence, to the "highs Aulter" of his parish "for my tythes for- goton wtholdyti or ellys negligeictlie paide.11 Son Thomas "shall pays and contrict unto Johan my wyff yerelie as long as she shall lyve xxvj s viij d [twenty-six shillings eight pence] sterling money And also the same Johan to have her choyse whether she will dwells still wt the same Thomas & there she to have hir chamber in the south end of my tent [tenement] or ellys to be att cherch." From this we can assume that William held a lease on some church-owned property. The will continues, "And yf she be dwellyng still wt Thomas my son than I will that he and his assignes shall fynd hir . . . sufficient mete & drunks and . . . all other thinggs to her nedefull & contment." Additionally, "yf she dwelle att my house at cherch than I will that she shall have yerelie delivred by Thomas my son or his assignes sufficient fuell or firewode And also to deliver there redie ground sufficent whete and malte . . . durying hir lyff." Further on in the will is the notation that "yf my wiff dwelle att the cherch I wyll that she shall have ij mylche ken [two milk cows] to do therwyth what she will." "Thomas my son shall have all suche landes and medowes wt thapprtennces as lye wtin Wytynghm It "Richard my son shall have a pightell called Godbaidys pygh- tell Iveing in Chepynhale. . ." Apparently son Robert had received his full portion of the estate and is only mentioned when "Johan Aldows doughter of Rob-E Aldows" was bequeathed a small amount of money "under this condicion that she be rulyed and guyded Aswele by her beldame [grandmothers as by her godfather [must be her grandfa- ther] and that money to be paid hit att hir daye of mariage but not Wtstandyng I will that hir father shall pay my executor iiij nobyllys [four nobles, a noble being worth ten shillings] which he Auyth me and that to be part of the" original legacy, "or ellys yf hir father pay it not I will she shall have but I s [one shilling]." Before mentioning Johan and her father Robert, William had stated that "The Residue of all my stuffe moveabillys & unmoveabillys I wyll that Thomas my son shall have it under this condicion that he pforme this my last will and testament." The will concludes: "I ordeyn & make Thomas my son ny executor he to pforme this my will & to do for me as he shall se most best to the pleasure of god & profyght of my Soule . . . "and I' bequeth to eny oan of my godchildren iijjd [four pence]." Probate was made 15 January 1531/2.
A commemorative plaque was put on the west wall of Fressingfield church by Robert Aldous in 1876 in memory of William Aldous born circa 1450 Fressingfield, church reve 1476, and his wife Joan born circa 1456 Wingfield, daughter of Thomas Warner, son of Nicholas Warner.
DEATH: Will Probate