From records in the posession of Tim Farr.
William Aldous, though he was born (1667) at Earl Soham, Suffolk, England, remembered very little of living there, since his family moved the few miles to Fressingfield, his father's original home, when he was just a little boy. He grew up in Fressingfield, and mar- ried there in 1700, his bride being Elizabeth Wright. In addition to pursuing his occupation as a blacksmith he acquired some farm land. Most land was under the jurisdiction of a manor. A manor was an area owned and administered by a person called the lord of the manor. A given manor could be all or part of a parish or parishes. The lord of the manor used part of the property, and the remainder was held by tenants, who had rights to pass their portion to heirs, etc. A given tenant often held acreage in more than one manor. Also, the manors and villages had commons, or pastures, which tenants and occupants shared.
William and Elizabeth became the parents of eight children, one of whom, Anne, died in infancy; another, Robert, died at the age of twenty. We have an interesting situation regarding the christenings of their children: three of them, Samuel in 1705, John in 1710, and Martha in 1712, are called, in the parish registers, the children of Steven Aldous blacksmith; but they are named in William's will, along with his and Elizabeth's other children who lived: Elizabeth, William, and Richard; and no Steven Aldous blacksmith can be found to be father of the three. Later the same people are named in son John's will. Also, son Samuel bequeathed the land, part of it by name, that his father William had willed to him. We can conjecture that William per- haps looked like his father, Stephen Aldous, and on those three occa- sions the parish minister inadvertently wrote down the wrong name.
Elizabeth died in 1724, and the next year William married Mary Pullford. By her he had another son, Jonathan, who is also named in the wills mentioned previously. This son was only four and a half years old when William made his "Last will and testamentt" in Decem- ber of 1732.
His will is of interest, one of the reasons being the unusual spelling in it. For instance, the year is written "one thousnd seaven hundred and thirti too." William called himself "saner [sen- ior]," and gave his lands in Fressingfield "houlen [holden] of the manor of Wittingham Com Waklin" to his son "Sameual," "with the Com- nage [commonage] with the privlig and Aparncs [appurtenances] thare unto blongin with the paster [pasture] in the Broyd Rod and the mean profets thareunto Blong and part of my goods and chatels." Samuel was to pay "unto Mary Aldous my Loving wife the sume of seaven pownds a yeare and yearly during the tearm of her naturall Life quartly [quarterly].to be paid." Samuel was also to receive "one beed [bed] in the palor [parlor] with the fertr [furniture] and the houshould Lineng [linen]" and "after my dessace to pay the Leagys [legacies] folling [following] . . . to Willm Aldous my son twenty pownds . . . Elizabeth Aldous my dafter twenty pownds . . . twenty pounds to Rich- ard Aldous my son . . . to Mather [Martha] Aldous my Daftr twenty pownds . . . Johnathn Aldous my youner son twenty pownds for indeca- tion [education] and twenty pownds to be paid when he come of age, and twenty pownds John Aldous my son." He signed his will, but the signature is not the same handwriting as the body of the document, so someone else wrote it down, and thus we cannot attribute the in- teresting spelling to William. We have another sample of William's signature, as a witness to the will of his brother Francis in 1730. William died in February of 1734, over a year after making his will.
It was thirty-one years later (1765) when son John wrote a will (probated 1767). He had married late in life and had no children. He gave his "well beloved wife Mary" some personal items and also the interest of two hundred pounds to be paid to her quarterly; after her death the whole was to be divided amongst his "brothers and sisters." He bequeathed five pounds each to the children of his sister Martha Clebond, to his "brother in law" (here meaning half brother) Jonathan Aldous, to John son of Richard Aldous (his brother), and to his sis- ter Elizabeth Andrews. Of interest, too, is: "to my kinsman Francis Aldous of Fressingfield, Blacksmith, forty pounds if he be industri- ous and mind his business within six months after my Decease But if he should not be so tractable as he might but waste his stock, then the forty pounds shall be paid yearly at five pounds a year." He appoint- ed Henry Clutton senior of Fressingfield as executor, but Clutton re- nounced, and "Samuel Aldous of Fressingfield, Blacksmith, natural and lawful Brother of John Aldous testator" was appointed.