Secretary of State
Colony of North Carolina
County not given
Dated 1 April 1739
In the name of God amen. I William Downing of the province of North Carolina Esqr.being in body but of sound and disposing mind& memory praised be the Almighty, do make and ordain this my last Will and Testament in manner following Viz First I recommend my Soul to God my Maker, and as to such wordly goods as it hath pleased God to bestow upon me I give & bequeath the same in manner following Viz:
First - I give and bequeath the land and plantation whereon I now live in Tyrrel County to my beloved wife Dorcas for and during her natural life in case she continues to long a widow excepting always the said Mill which stands on the said plantation together with all buildings dames waters and water courses belonging to and nacessary to the said Mill and all Pine and other timber trees growing of lying upon the said plantation and from and after the death or marryage of my said wife I give and bequeath the said Plantation to my son William Downing his heirs and assigns forever the aforesaid saw mill with the appertenances aforesd excepted
Item - I give and bequeath the aforesaid saw mill with all buildings dams watters and appertenances thereto bellonging to Cullen Pollock Esqr. & Stephen Lee gentm. and their heirs and assigns forever subject to the trust and upon the conditions following to witt that the said Cullen & Stephen and their heirs shall apply seven eight parts of all profits and sums of money arising yearly by all timber sawed by the said mill for the payment of a dep. of one hundred & thirty pounds Sterling due by me to one Samuel Herring of London woolen Draper they first deducting five percent for their labour & troble and I do hereby authorize & direct the said Cullen Pollock & Stephen Lee to pay the same to him yearly and ever year until the said dep. Be fully satisfied and I do likewise give to the said Cullen & Stephen & their heirs full power to cutt down all timber trees or other trees growing on the said Plantation which they shall judge naccessary for the use of the said mill and as to the other eight part of the profit of said mill it is my will that they shall pay the same to my wife towards the expences of house keeping and after the said dep. Shall be satisfyed in trust that they the said Cullen & Stephen shall permitt my son William his heirs and assigns forever to hold and enjoy the said saw mill with all proffit arrising thereby.
Item - It is my will that my son shall live with my wife in my dwelling house & I do hereby bequeath to him the chamber therein next to the kitchen for his own sole use.
Item - I give and bequeath that half part on the western side of a tract of 450 acres of land on Muratuck river in Tyrrel county to my brother in law Ebenezer Slade and his heirs and assigns forever and the other half part of the said tract I give to my son William his heirs and assigns forever.
Item - I give to my wife Dorcus & her Executor administrators and assigns forever one Negro man called Primus and one Negro woman named Nann.
Item - I give and bequeath to my said wife for and during her life the use and labour of my Negro man called Compy.
Item - I give and bequeath to Ebenezer Slade his heirs and assigns forever one Negro named London.
Item - I give and bequeath to my Brother in Law Henry Slade and his assigns forever one Negro girl called Sarah.
Item - I give and bequeath to my son in law Thomas Lee the sum of forty pounds lawfull money of this province
Item - I give and bequeath to my son William and his assigns forever all the residue of my slaves.
Item - I give and bequeath to my wife for and during the term of her life the use of all and every part of the household goods and utensills which did belong to my wife at the time of our intermariage and from and after her death I bequath the same to my son William & his assigns forever.
Item - I give and bequeath all the rest of my household goods and utensils to my son William.
Item - I bequeath to my wife one young horse which I always intended for her and also one young mare.
Item - I give and bequeath to my said wife and her assigns forever two thirds of my stock of black Catle Hogs & Sheep.
Item - I give and bequeath to my friend Stephen Lee my watch.
Item - I do declare it is my will and intention that after the aforesaid dep. of one hundred & thirty pounds sterling shall be paid that then and from thence forth my wife shall have & enjoy one eight part of all the clear profit arising by my aforesaid saw mill
Item - I give and bequeath to my son William and his assigns forever all the rest & residue of my personal Estate he paying thereout all debts due by me together with all such sums & sums of money as may be wanting to repair the said Mill and I do hereby apoint Cullen Pollock Esqr. and Stephen Lee Gent. Guardian of my son.
Item - I do hereby constitute and appoint my friends Cullen Pollock & John Montgomery Esqrs and Stephen Lee and Peter Payne Gent. Executors of this my Last Will and Testament hereby revoking all former and other Wills by me made In Testimony whereof I have signed sealed and published this as my last will & Testament this first day of April in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred & thirty nine.
Signed Sealed & Published
in the presence of
the ___ two in the 6th line of the last
page was first inserted before the ........
A codicil to be anexed to the last will made by me William Downing bearing the date this day.
Whereas I have by my said Will bequeathed the use of all the household goods & utensils to my wife which did belong to her at the time of our intermarrying I do hereby bequeath to her my said wife & her assigns forever all & every part of this and household goods and utensills
Item - I do hereby direct that Callen Pollock Esqr. & Stephen Lee do employ my negros named Donas Jack & Philander about my saw mill as often as they shall judge necessary. In witness whereof I have Signed Sealed & Published this as a Codicill to be anexed to my last will & Testament this first day of April in the year of our Lord 1739
Signed Sealed & Published
In the presence of
April ye 6th 1739
The above will and codicill was proved before me in due form of law.
W. Smith Clerk
Tyrrell County Court of Pleas & Quarter Sessions
March Session 1740
An inventory of the estate of Capt. William Downing was exhibbeted in court and proved by the oath of Stevens Lee one of the acting executors.
Return to the Tyrrell County Probate Records