Vicar William Eddy






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This is taken from our 1930 book

The Eddy Family In America 1930 Genealogy

Compiled by Ruth Story Devereux Eddy, A.B., A.M.



1. William Eddye, b. at Bristol, England; d. at Cranbrook, Co. Kent, England, Nov. 23, 1616; m. (i) at Cranbrook, Nov. 20, 1587, Mary Fosten; dau. of John and Ellen (Munn) Fosten. Mary died in July 1611 and William m. (2) Feb. 22, 1613/4, at Cranbrook, Sarah Tayler, a widow. She d. before Feb. 5, 1639/40 when her will was proved.

  Elizabeth became Queen of England in 1558 and reigned until 1603. William Eddy was born probably between 1558 and 1564 and died in 1616, so that with the exception of the last few years, his whole life was spent in that great period,  the Age of Elizabeth. His years of life were almost the same as those of Shakespeare, who was born in 1564 and died in 1616.
    In spite of many years of research it has not as yet been possible to learn the names of the parents of William Eddye. Upon the first page of the Parish Register at the Church of St. Dunstan in Cranbrook, it is written by the hand of William himself, since his signature is at the foot of the page, that he was "borne in the cittie of Bristoll." The church registers of the towns about Bristol as well as those of Bristol have been searched in vain for this birth record. Among the many wills which have been found (abstracts of which will be found in Bulletin No. 8) the two following seem to be the only ones which might throw any light on the problem. The town of Northleach is in the eastern part of Gloucestershire and the city of Bristol is in the southern part of the same county.

25 March 1578. Thomas Eddie of Norlach (Northleach), co. Glouc., tanner. To be buried in Norlach Church or churchyard. Sons: John; William; Harrie; Thomas; Christopher. To John that house and part of my 3 tenement at east end of Norlach next to a lane leading to the water, one now inhabited by Harrie Mynchin with reversion to son Thomas. To son William second tenement inhabited by George Mynchin. To son Harrie 3rd tenement inhabited by Nycholas Horton. To my sister Agnes Lane 40s. Residue to my son Harrie, sole execr. Over seers: Thos. Herbert the elder, & Christopher Lane. Wit: Thomas Dutton, Harrie Wynchcombe, Wm. Hanle, Robert Fyfield, Thomas Herbert the eider. 2 July 1579 Proved at Gloucester by Harrie Eddie, son.

12 Jan. 1586/7. Henry (or Harrie) Edie, of Northleach, shoemaker. To son Thomas, his heirs, etc. z tenements . . at east end of Northleach in occupancy of John Evance & John Green. . To Harry my son £5. at age of 18 years. To Marie. . . To Ane. . . . Residue to my wife Margaret, sole executrix. Overseers: Richard Rose & Henry Winchcombe. Wit: Henry Winchcombe, Rychard Rose. Gregory Townsend, Thomas Edie. Proved 2nd Sept. 1589.


If the Harrie of the second will was the son, Harrie, of the first will he must have been married before 1557 in order to have a son Thomas, who is of age to inherit immediately. This would seem to place the children of Thomas Eddie,  namely, John, William, Harrie, Thomas, and Christopher, one generation earlier than the V icar William. But it is just as probable that the Thomas and Henry (Harrie) of the two wills were of the same generation. In this case the son William (if second son, as position in will would suggest) must have been born as early as 1552. This date is earlier than has usually been ascribed to William, the Vicar, but of course not impossible. The problem of his parentage, however, must remain unsolved until more information is discovered. It is possible that the family to which our William belonged left the vicinity of Bristol during his childhood and settled in some other part of England, perhaps in the vicinity of Bury St. Edmunds, co. Suffolk, or in Cambridgeshire, where William became imbued with the desire to become a clergyman.

  William Eddy matriculated as "sizar" at Trinity Hall, at the University of Cambridge, and there received the degree of B.A. in 1583. (A sizar is one who performs certain duties in part payment of his expenses at a school or college.) William then went to Thurston, a small parish in co. Suffolk, near Bury St. Edmunds and not very far from Cambridge. There he occupied the position of curate, perhaps from 1583 to 1586, as is shown by his signature on the transcript of the Register which was sent to the Bishop's office at Norwich. This signature was compared with those at Cranbrook and found to be the same, so there can be no question concerning the identity of William the Curate at Thurston, and  William the Vicar at Cranbrook. During this period he matriculated at Trinity College at the University of Cambridge and in 1586 received the degree of Master of Arts - "magister in artibus" as he records it on the Register at Cranbrook. 
In this same year, 1586, Richard Fletcher, who since 1559 had been Vicar of Cranbrook, died, and Robert Roades, the President of St. John's College, Cambridge, was chosen by Archbishop Whitgift to succeed him. To have held this  position in the College, Robert Roades must have been a very able and distinguished man, probably a Fellow of the University for many years and one who had taken a leading part in moulding its views and spreading its teaching and  discipline. It is likely that he had become acquainted with William Eddye and was attracted to him, perhaps because of his scholarship or personality, and invited him to accompany him as his assistant to the Parish of Cranbrook in 1586. To a young man this must have been a wonderful opportunity, this chance to work with and be the companion of one of the scholars of the day. William accepted the invitation and settled in Cranbrook. There he met Mary Fosten and in November of the year 1587 he married her. Upon the Marriage Register in his own handwriting there is the following entry:




November, 1587

Willimus Eddye in artib' magister et Marya

Fosten Virgo

Inductus autem fuit in realem actualem 
huius Ecclesiae parochialis Vicariae de 
Cranbrooke possessionem 
Duodecimo die Januarii, A. 1591.

    Mary Fosten was the daughter of John and Ellen (Munn) Fosten, who were married Jan. 19, 1562. John Fosten died and his widow married Andrew Ruck on Jan. 1 1, 1574. There was at least one child by this second marriage as William Eddye in his will mentions "my loving brother Stephen Ruck. "  It is possible that Mary inherited from her father some property, which would become hers upon her marriage, so that William felt that he could marry when only a curate.  This marriage portion may be the "Annuitie of five pounds a yeare granted unto me and Mary my late wife now deceased and to the heires of our body ", whereof he makes mention in his will.
This first year of their married life was a very exciting one in the history of England, for it was the year of the war with Spain and the defeat of the great Spanish Armada. Cranbrook is not very far from the coast and must have taken a very active part in furnishing men for the ships and in other preparations for the defense of the coast bordering on the English Channel.

For some reason William Eddye was in Staplehurst, a town about six miles from Cranbrook, in the spring of 1589 and there his son Nathaniel was born and baptized, for the Register of the Staplehurst Church has the following record: 

1589 Marche The XXX day was baptized  ye sonne of Wyelyam Eddye 
mynyster & preacher of ye 
gosspell of our lord Jesus cryst.    


The Register at Cranbrook records that on February 24, 1589/90, was buried Master Roberte Roades, "whoe was President of St. John's Colledge in Cambridge and after Vicar of this parish of Cranbrooke". Archbishop Whitgift then appointed Richard Mulcaster, the Head-Master of the Merchant-Taylors School, to the office of Vicar. But he remained only a year, during which time William Eddye continued as curate. Then on Jan. 12, 1591, Archbishop Whitgift appointed William Eddye to succeed. He occupied this position for twenty-five years, until his death in 1616. Perhaps this appointment gives us the clearest picture of the ability of William Eddye which we have, in that he was deemed worthy to succeed the three brilliant and scholarly men who had occupied the vicarage for the previous thirty years.

Richard Fletcher, the first Protestant vicar, served from 1559 to 1586. He received ordination in the reign of Edward VI, and during the reign of Mary remained in England, in spite of many hardships and imprisonment. When he was Vicar of Cranbrook he had associated with him two men who were so Puritanical in their views that they were ordered to stop preaching their doctrines. This Richard Fletcher was the father of Richard Fletcher who became the Bishop of 
London and religious adviser and Chaplain of Queen Elizabeth, and he was grandfather of John Fletcher, whose name is so often, associated with that of Beaumont as a writer of brilliant plays. After the death of Fletcher, Archbishop Whitgift, a "strong Calvinist in doctrine and a strict enforcer of conformity," chose Robert Roades, the scholar, a kindly gentleman, one whose views were above suspicion and one whose manners were conciliatory, who, as President of St. John's College, Cambridge, had long shown his ability and genius. These were two of the noted men whom Archbishop Whitgift deemed William Eddye worthy to succeed. Thus it seems likely that in 1591 William Eddye was a strict Conformist and it is probable that he held these views for the greater part of his life, for there seem to be no accounts of any religious disturbances recorded in the parish during his incumbency. If there were any changes they must have come gradually as a natural growth rather than from any sudden adoption of the more radical views of the Puritan element, which was gaining ground in the section to the north-east of London, especially in the counties of Suffolk and Essex.
We can imagine the pride which William felt upon being chosen, when only about thirty years of age, to become the Vicar of the Church at Cranbrook, and we can understand the joy in his heart when he wrote below the record of his marriage those Latin words which when translated are " But he was inducted into the real and actual possession of the Vicarage of the Church of the parish of Cranbrooke on the twelfth of January in the year 1591".


Another proof of his installation as Vicar is a record found in the First Fruits' Composition Books in Vol. XI, fo.131, at the Public Records Office, which contains the following records:

    Kent:    Cranbrook Vic:             17 Dec. 1591: William Eddye, Clerk, 
                                                    compounded for first fruits of 
    Archbishop of Canterbury         the vicarage aforesaid-
                                                    Extending to £19.19.6 the 
                                                    tenth whereof 39s.11¼d.
                                                    I June and I Dec 1592 and
                                                    I June and I Dec 1593 £17.19.6 ¾.


Bondsmen of the said William, Richard Jurden of Cranebrook in Co. Kent yeoman and Robert Hovenden of the same clothier.

    Every new incumbent of a feudal or ecclesiastical benefice or of an office of profit was obliged to pay to his superior the "first fruits" or in other words, the income for the first year of the benefice or office. In England up to the time of Henry VIII these "first fruit" taxes were paid to the pope by every new incumbent of a benefice in the pope's patronage, but Henry VIII abolished this payment and the "first fruits" tax was transferred to the Crown. This record shows that 
the income of William Eddye for the first year of his incumbency, which began on Jan. 12, 1591, was £19.19sh. 6d. and that on Dec. 17, 1591 he paid one-tenth of the stipend and arranged with Richard Jurden, yeoman, and Robert Hovenden, clothier, to act as security for his payment of the rest. It also shows that he paid the remaining amount £17.19sh. 6¾d. in four payments, two in 1592, and two in 1593.

Previous to 1598 the Church Registers of England had been written for the most part on paper. In the latter part of that year a law was issued to the clergy that the records must be kept on parchment. William Eddye set about this task and scholar that he was, he wished it well done, so he did it himself. Eighty pages bear his signature. The book bears evidence of careful work as a scribe and it shows some skill in drawing and designing, but a critic states that the illuminations are poor when compared with the work of mediaeval artists, but far superior to those of the average vicar of his time. The Rev. David Brewer Eddy, who visited Cranbrook in 1927, writes as follows:
"The vicar opened the large steel safe which stands in the rear of the entrance hall near his study door, and placed before me, with my two younger boys, Russell and David Brewer, Jr., the sacred pages of the old parish records. He spoke with satisfaction of the painstaking care with which our famous William had recopied on permanent parchment the earlier records. Turning the pages he showed exactly where the handwriting of our ancestor began. He opened several sections of the records to show the decorations that William had added to embellish the pages for Burials, Marriages, Births. Together we sought the names of the Eddy children noted at birth, the longer lists of parish deaths at the times of plague, a surprising list of vicars with all too brief tenure in these times of the Black Death, possibly related to our modern epidemics of the flu, and vastly more fatal. Each new page of parchment was endorsed with the signature of "William Eddye, Vicar" and one or two names of church officials added to his own as witnesses. The principal pages show designs of rather crude workmanship, often in a pale green ink, with rulings for margins and an occasional flower pattern with geometric patterns at the corners of the page. It is all free hand work and totally without artistic effect but reveals care and patience thru many years of faithful effort."
This Title Page is of interest, since it is the source of much of our knowledge concerning William Eddye himself.

This Register is devided into three bookes in which are 
contained the names of all such persons which have bene either 
Baptised, Married and Buryed within the parrish of Cranbrooke 
from yeare to yeare and from tyme to tyme wch Register 
was begune to be keapte in the moneth of August 
Anno Domini 1559
Theye were first writen in a booke of paper appointed for 
that purpose and so contanued from yeare above 
writen unto the first day of Decembr anno Dominy
1598 at which tyme all that was writen before 
until! then were taken oute of the sayed Woke of 
paper and placed into this Book of Parch-

mente by commanndemente from aurtheurtie 
for the better continuance of the same 
unto Posteretie
The Pastor or minister then of this parrish of Cranbrooke 
was William Eddye in artib' magister of the univer-
setie of Camebridge and borne in the Cittie of Bristoll 
whoe wroat or coppied owte this Register to the end it 
mighte more faithfullie donne wth his owne hand 
The Churchwardens at the same tyme
of this sayed parrish of Cranbrooke were 
James Kinge Senior church w:yt yeare and 
Mr. Allexander Brickenden 
Æterna expeto qd Eddye


The Rev. William Bell, who was Vicar of Cranbrook in 1902 made a careful study of the Register for the purpose of writing a Memoir of William Eddye. He states that scattered throughout the book are several scholarly quotations. Some are from the Scriptures and others from Latin authors. The following quotation from Cyprian is found on the Title-page preceding the records of Baptisms,- " Ut deus personam non accipit sic nee aetatem item a baptismo atque gratia nemo
prohibetur." One from Augustine precedes the records of Burials. " Nee aliquid nocet fidelibus negata eorum corporibus sepultra, nee si exhibeatur aliquid infideli bus prodest." Mr. Bell states that here and there after the entry of a burial William Eddye added a comment, such as "an honest man" or "a good woman", "a good Christian." Some places show that sometimes he erased the comment which he had added. From the fact that the names of the children of William were Bible names and not those that were characteristic of the Puritans of the time, such as Faint-not, Comfort, Repent, and Experience, Mr. Bell draws the conclusion that William Eddy did not go to extremes in his beliefs, but was a sincere adherent of the Church of England as it was in the reign of Elizabeth. He adds that this idea is borne out by the fact there are no records of any disputes in the parish while he was Vicar.

One section of this Register contains a description of a plague which fell upon Cranbrook. It is of interest because it was written by William Eddye and is the only piece of his own composition that has been found. It is quoted below in  modern spelling.

In this year following 1597 began a great plague in Cranbrook, which continued from April the year aforesaid unto the 13th of July, 1598.

1. First it is to be observed that before this infection did begin that God about a year or two before took away by death many honest and good men and women.
2. Secondly, that the judgment of God for sin was much before threatened and especially for that vice of drunkenness, which did abound here.
3. Thirdly, that this infection was in all quarters at that time of this parish except Hartley quarter.
4. Fourthly, that the same began in the house of one Brightlinge out of which much thievery was committed and that it ended in the house of one Henry Grynnoche who was a pot companion and his wife noted much for incontinency which both died excommunicated.
5. Fifthly, that this infection was got almost into all the inns and victualling houses of the town. Places then of great misorder, so that God did seem to punish that himself, which others did neglect and not regard.
6. Together with this infection there was a great dearth at the same time, which was cause also of much heaviness and sorrow.
7. This was most grevious unto me of all that this judgment of God did not draw the people unto repentance the more but that many by it seemed to be more hardened in their sin."

The other matters of interest in the Register are the records of the baptism of his children, a record which has proved invaluable to his descendants of later generations. It is also noted that the records in the latter part of 1610 and for nearly all of 1611 are written by another hand. When this fact is added to the record that "Thomas Greene, son of Mr. Greene preacher of the word, was baptized in Cranbrook," it would seem likely that for some reason William was away from his vicarage or else was suffering from a long illness. This was the year in which Mary, his wife, and also a new-born child, Nathaniel, died.

    Two years later he married again. The second wife, Sarah Tavler, was a widow with several children by her first husband. From her own will and from the will of William Eddye it is evident that she had property. There is on record at Cranbrook a deed, dated 1617, between Dence Weller of Cranbrook, clothier, and Sarah Eddy of Cranbrook, widow, late wife of William Eddy, late  Vicar of Cranbrook. This deed bears a seal heraldic and five signatures (Coleman's catalogue of 1875, No. 56).

From the inventory of William's estate it is possible to get some idea of his home. There was a hall with a large fireplace and some armor on the walls and behind it the kitchen, evidently a large room where the family ate. Here also was a large fireplace surrounded by the utensils used in cooking, many of them similar to those used in the very early New England kitchens. The kitchen had two cupboards, one of wood and the other, either with a glass front, or else made for holding glassware. The shelves were filled with pewter dishes and there were several pieces of brass. On this same floor opening out of the hall and kitchen, were several other rooms. First of all there was a parlor which was well-furnished. There were curtains and "mappes" and pictures on the walls, a carpet on the floor, tables, chairs, and cushions for further comfort and decoration. Then there were six chambers, the Chapel chamber, which was his own and which he probably used for his study and work, a parlor chamber, a hall chamber, a kitchen chamber, a maid's chamber, and another over the shop, which seemed to have been used partly as a storeroom, as was also the shop below. If one recalls the pictures of the interior and exterior of Shakespeare's house and members that William Shakespeare was a contemporary of William Eddye it will greatly aid in forming a mental picture of the appearance of the vicarage ofCranbrook. Beyond the kitchen were the regular outbuildings, one where the meal was sifted (or bolted) and then stored and where the loaves were kneaded, another building where the ale and other drinks were brewed and a third where the products of the dairy were cared for and stored. The three buildings generally adjoined the kitchen, while the other outbuildings were entirely separate. There were several of these besides the barn and the woodhouse.

We learn from the Register that at times there were other inmates in the household of William besides his family and servants, for on Feb. 10, 1599 Mistress Bridget died, about whom he wrote "she appeared a maiden and most godly Christian gentlewoman. She lodged with me at the Vicarage and there died." There is also the entry of the death of a gentleman "who was schooling for the Latin tongue." So we may believe that William increased the income derived from his position as a Vicar by tutoring. It is probable that among these scholars was his own son, John, who shows in after life, that he had a very good education. William Eddy did not live long after his second marriage which took place in Feb. 1614. One daughter, Priscilla, was born to him. Early in 1616, if we can judge by the handwriting on the register, William was so ill that he was no longer able to perform his duties as Vicar and on Nov. 23, 1616 he died. He left a will dated Aug. 20 1616 and proved Dec. 4, 1616 in the Court of the Archdeacon of Canterbury. The seal on this will is not armorial.


    In the name of God Amen the twentieth day of August 1616 and in the yeares of the Reigne of our sovereigne Lord James by the grace of God of England Scotland Fraunce and Ireland King defender of the faith &c vizt of England Fraunce and Ireland fourteenth and of Scotland the fyfteth I William Eddye Minister and Pastor of the parrish Church of Cranebrooke in the County of Kent being at this present afflicted wth great bodely infirmities and weaknes whereby I doe assuredhe conceive that the tyme of my dissolution out of this mortal life draweth neere and is at hande have therefore determined to make and ordeine this my present last will and testament in manner and fourme followinge vizt Inprimis I comend my soule into the handes of allmighty God my heavenlie father in Jesus Christ by the merritts of whose death and passion only my sinnes (wch I confesse to be many and great) being wholly remitted and forgotten I am fully persuaded in heart this mortal life ended to enjoy everlastinge life Item I give and bequeath unto forty poore householders of this parishe that are apparentlie knowen to resort diligentlie to ye church upon the lordes day and doe live peaceablie and godlie the sume of forty shillinges of lawful money of England to be paid unto them wthin halfe a yere next after my decease Item I give and bequeath unto John Eddie my sonne the some of sixescore poundes of lawfull money of England to be payd unto him by my executor in manner and fourme followinge vizt threescore poundes thereof when he shall accomplish his full age of one and twentie yeares and other threescore poundes residew of his said portion wthin one whole yeare next after his said age Item I give and bequeath unto Samuell Eddie and Zacharias Eddie my sonnes to either of them one hundred poundes a peece of lawfull money of England to be paid unto them and either of them when they and either of them shall severally accomplish their severall ages of two and twentie yeares And if it shall fortune  that either of my said sonnes Samuell and Zacharias to departe this life to Gods mercie before  the tyme that his or their said Legacie or Legacies shalbe due & my said son John then being livinge then I will that he shall have Twentie poundes of his or their legacie or legacies so deceasinge to be paid unto him at his age of twentie and two yeares if either of his said bretheren depart this life before he shalbe of the said age. And if after the said age then to be paid him wtihin one whole yeare next after the death of his brother so disceasinge And the residew to be equally devided betweene the survivor and my executor Item I give and bequeath unto Abigail Eddie Anne Eddie and Elizabeth Eddie my daughters to either of them the some of one hundred poundes of lawful! money of England to be paid unto them and either of them at their severall ages of XXtie yeares or at their severall dayes of marriage wch shall first happen And if any of my said daughters shall happen to departe this life to Gods mercie before the tyme aforesaid that her or their legacie or legacies shallbe due then I will that my Executor shall pay unto Priscilla my daughter twentie markes thereof at her age of twentie yeares or day of marriage woh shall first happen (if she shall live untill her said age or day of marriage) And allso unto my sayd sonne John Eddie twentie poundes thereof if he be then livinge and neither of his younger brethren deceased to be paid unto him as the twentie poundes abovesaid lymitted out of his younger brothers portion Provided allwayes if he have Twentie poundes by the death of either of his younger brethren he shall not have anythinge out of any of his sisters legacies aforesaid And if either of his Sisters die first then to have nothing out of either of his said Brothers portions. And the residew of the said legacie or legacies of my said daughters see departinge this life I will shall remaine to my executor Item whereas Sara my now wife in love and kindness to me and my other children hath promised to make up a portion for Priscilla my daughter weh I had by her yet I doe give and bequeath unto the said Priscilla my daughter my great new silver salt two silver beare cupps two new silver wine cuppes an d one greene ragge coverlett all woh I will shall be delivered unto the said Sara my wife ymediatlie after my decease for the use of my said daughter Priscilla to be given to the said Priscilla at such convenient tymes as she in her discretion shall thynke fitt Item I further give and bequeath unto the said Priscilla my daughter my best greene standard cloth wrought wth needle worke and one suite of my best needle worke Cushions belongings thereto to be delivered to the said Priscilla by my Executour at her age of twenty yeares or day of marriage weh shall first happen Item I give and bequeath more unto the aforesaid John Eddie my sonne one other suite of my needle worke Cushions vizt one large and two short that were wont to lye in the chamber window over the Parlor and my greene Cupboard Cloth for the Parlor that is wrought with needle worke together allso wth my Cipres table wth boxes in it wherein I doe use to lay the evidences of this house and one faire pewter Candlesticks set forth wth a man Item I give and bequeath more unto Samuell Eddie my sonne one little sylver salt called a trencher salt to be delivered unto him at his age of one and twentie yeares Item I give and bequeath more unto Zacharias my Sonne one payer of my greatest brasse Candlestickes to be delivered unto him at his age of one and twentie yeares Item I give and bequeath unto my daughter Marie the wife of Simeon Evernden one needle worke Cushion that is went -V stand upon the Cupboard i the Parlor to he delivered ntn he ymediately after that decease Item I give and bequeath more unto Abigall Eddie Anne Eddie and Elizabeth Eddie my daughters three needle worke Cushions vizt to each of them one wch were wont to stand in the large wyndow in my parlor to be delivered unto them ymediatelie after my decease and to be reserved in their trunkes for them wch longs since I gave them Item I give and bequeath unto Simeon Evernden aforesaid my sonne in law and to my said daughter Marie his wife twentie poundes of lawful! money of England to be paid unto them or either of them by my executor wthin fewer yeares next after my decease and to their three children viz Simeon Katherine and Robert each of them ten shillings to be put into or bestowed upon silver spoones for each of them one to be delivered unto them within two yeares next after my decease Item I give and bequeath unto Richard Taylor Robert Taylor Thomas Taylor Elizabeth and Sara Taylor the sonnes and daughters of Sara my now wife ten shillings a peece to be bestowed uppon Silver Spoones for everie of them one and to be given or delivered unto them wthin three yeares next after my decease Item I give and bequeath unto my good friend Mr Elmestone of Cranebrooke one gold Rings of the price of xiiis iiiid and also unto my loving brother Steven Rucks I will in like manner one gold Ringe of like valew to be delivered unto them wthin one halfe yeare next after my decease Item I give and bequeath unto my two maid servauntes vizt Marie Greene and Anne Goodman to either of them five shillings to be paid unto them and either of them wthin one month next after my decease The residew of all and singular my moveable goods and chattells Bookes Corne Cattell and household stuffe whatsoever before herein not willed given nor bequeathed my Debts Legacies and funerall expences discharged and paid I give and bequeath unto Phinees Eddie my Sonne whom I make and ordeine full whole and sole Executor of this my present last will and Testament This is the last Will and testament of me the aforesaid William Eddie made and declared the day and yeare aforewritten as touchinge the disposition of all and singular my lands Tentes and hereditaments whatsoever vizt I give and bequeath unto the aforesaid Phinees Eddie my sonne (for and towardes the better performance of my will and for the full and more absolute payment of my debts and legacies) ail my messaages or Tentes Edifices buildings Orchardes gardens rentes annuities landes and hereditaments whatsoever wth all and singuler their appurtnces situate lying and being in the parrish of Cranebrook aforesaid or elsewhere in ye Realme of England to have and to hold the same unto the said Phinees my sonne his heires and assignes for ever Provided alwayes and my verie will and meaning is that if the aforesaid Phineas my sonne his heires and assignes shall make default in payment of any of the foresaid legacies before given to my sonnes and daughters That then ymediatelye from and after any such default of payment so made contrarie to this my will it shall and may be lawful! to and for such of my sonnes and daughters as shalbe so unpaid to enter in and upon all and singuler my foresaid lands and Tentes whatsoever wth their appurtenances before given unto my sonne Phinees And the same to have hold and occupye and enjoy vizt my Sonne John for the full terme and space of fewer whole yeares in recompence of his foresaid legacies of size score poundes And my other sonnes and daughters everie one of them that shalbe so unpaid to enter in and upon all my said landes and Tentes wth their appurtences and the same to have hold occupie and enjoy everie one of them for the full terms and space of three whole yeares in full recompence of his her or their foresaid legacie or legacies of one hundred poundes And this everie one of them to doe successivelie one after another as often as any of them shalbe unpaid Item my will and my minde is that whereas I have an Annuitie of five poundes a yeare granted unto me and Mary my late wife now deceased and to the heires of our bodies lawfully begotten wth said Annuitie after my decease by law will descend unto ail my scones equally yet I by this my will have given the same unto the foresaid Phinees my sonne now my will and true meaning is that my foresaid sonnes John Eddie Samuell Eddie and Zacharias Eddie and everie of them in respect of their foresaid legacies to them by me given shall at all tyme and tymes after they and everie of them shall severally accomplish their several! ages of one and twenty yeares upon reasonable request to them and everie of them to be made by the said Phinees my sonne his heires or assignes and at the costs and charges of the said Phinees his heires or assignes make convey and assure unto the said Phinees his heires or assignes such assurances and conveyances for the dischardging of their severall rightes tytles and demandes of in and to the foresaid Annuities as the said Phinees Eddie his heires or assignes or his or their Councell learned shall devise And if any of my said sonnes John Samuell and Zacharias shall refuse so to doe upon request made as aforesaid that then he or they wch shall so refuse shall loose the benefit of all his or their foresaid legacies before to them by me given Item I will and my mind is that the aforesaid Phinees Eddie my sonne his heires or assignes shall well and vertuouslie bringe upp the foresaid Samuell Eddie Zacharias Eddie Abigall Eddie Anne Eddie and Elizabeth Eddie my sonnes and daughters in good and vertuous education and maintaine and keepe them wth meate and suffitient meat drinke and apparell vizt my sonnes untill they accomplish their severall ages of eighteene yeares except before that tyme he can place them forth in good services fytting for their degree and my daughters untill they shall severally accomplish their severall ages of eighteene yeares In witness whereof I the foresayd William Eddie to everie sheet of paper of this my will conteininge size sheetes have set my hand and to this last sheete have also sett my scale Dated the day and yeare first above written William Eddie Sealed and published in the presence of John Elmestone and George Martin scriptor.
Probate was made of the will of Wm Eddie clerk late Vicar of Cranebrooke Archdeaconry Court deceased 4th day of the month of December A. D. 1616 by the oath of Phinees Eddie the Executor Afterwards namely the 8th day of the month of October 1617 by the Oaths of John Elmestone George Martin John Weller and Dence Weller the Probate was confirmed 

    Parties to the Sentence
Phinees the Son, Sara Eddie the widow, John Samuell & Zacharias the Sons, Marie Eddie als Evernden wife of Simon Evernden Abigal, Anne, Elizabeth & Priscilla Eddie the daughters. 
(Archdeaconry of Canterbury Book 61 fo. 331 District Probate Registry at Canterbury) 

Original copy of this will was received by Miss Clara A, Avery July 27, 1922, from her representatives, Phillimore & Co., Ltd., London, England.

By the greatest of good fortune the Inventory of the estate of William Eddye was discovered in 1922 in the Canterbury Probate Registry- Inventoria Book 43 fo.36.


Because of its description room by room of the possessions of William Eddye and because of the wonderful picture it gives of his home in Cranbrook it is printed in full, together with a glossary of obsolete terms, the gift of Mr. Byron B. Horton.

An Inventory of the goods and Chattells of Mr William Eddy Minister and Preacher of the word of God in Cranebrooke taken the sixth day of December 1616 and apprized by those whose names are here underwrytten 


Imprimis his purse and Gyrdle and money in his purse in the hall 

Item a litle square Table a standerd a Corslet two Pykes a houlberd and a warbyll

Item two great brandyrons in the Kitchin

Item a table a frame wth an olde forme a ioynd Cubberd wth a deske and a Cubberd Cloth and a Cushion uppon yt 

Item a glasse Cubberd, a Cage two small Chyres wth certaine shelves a pewter Cesterne wth a frame to yt 

Item three spitts wth Chowies two yron Dripping pans two pothangers one brand yron a plate to sett before meate an yron peele a grydyron a toasting yron a skymmer a fyre a payre of tongs and a payre of bellowes 

Item 2 brasse ketles, a brasse pan 5 brasse stepnets a Chaffer, a warming pan 3 brasse potts a Cullendr two Chafindishes 4 latten Candlestickes two hanging Candlestickes a brasse morter 2 brasse potlidds 2 brasse ladles a basting ladle and a skimer

Item 2 lytle yron Pottes 

 the Pewter

Item one Bason & Ewer 2 other basons vii; platters a dozen of large pewter dishes a dozen of smaller dishes 2 plates 1q saucers 3 porrengers 2 salts one double candlesticke 4 other candle- stickes a pynte botle 6 potts litle & great, 2 Chamber potts

Item 2 Curtayne Rodds & a plate to warme meat 

Item 2 dogwheeles & a Chayne 


in the boulting howse

Item an oulde kneadyng troughe, a boulting hutche, a great peele, a boulter, a meale bag a Renning Tubbe, a Racke & other small things 

in the brewhouse

Item a furnace a brewing Tunne, two great keelers a soping keeler a malt quearne & other olde Tubbes & 4 pales 

Item an olde Coope & a meale sacke 

in the buttry

Item one Cage, a mustard quearne a Tobut, 3 halfe kilderkins a Tunnell 3 dozen of Trenchers a stalder and a lanterne 

in the Parlour

Item one long table wth a frame and two fourmes 2 Square tables and  Cushion Chayre wth a wrought backe, one turned Chayr, 6 mockadow Cushions 6 high ioynd stooles 2 dornix Curtains a Curtaine Rod vij mappes & pictures wth one Curtaine

Item a Carpett 3 needleworke Cushions and one needleworke Cubberd Cloth 

in the Shoppe and an other Roome thereto adioyning

Item an olde Table, ij Cradles one still two trendles, one Settell 2 sadles wth their furniture, one Pillion 

Item a parcell of bordes & Joystes

Item a barrow a Corne sive and two whipletrees

Item in butter & cheese 

Item a chiesepresse and Chieseboles a Churne a garden Rake a spade a two hand sawe & an axe 

in the Seller

Item a bryne tubbe & a dozen of trugs & bowies

in the Chamber over the Shop 

Item in bordes to the value of 

Item one halfe headed bedstedle an olde Table wth tressells & a fourme


in the hall Chamber

Item one high ioynd bedstedle wth two setles a Truckle bedstedle two standerds a small Table wth a frame & a forme, a spruce boxe uppon a frame one ioynd chest, a Truckke a litle turnd Chayre and two Cushion stooles 

Item a small needle worke carpet a stander Cloth bordered wth needle worke, a long needle work Cushion and 2 smaller needle worke Cushions

Item a fetherbed & bolster a Tapistry Covering & a payre of Curtaines & the vallance 

in the Parlor Chamber

Item a ioynd bedstedle wth two setles a truckle bedstedle, a ioynd presse, one chest a stander and a deske 

Item a fetherbed & bolster, 3 needle worke Cushions, a purrell Cushion, a Slander Cloth a payre of small brandyrons wth Copper heades and a fyre slyce 

in the Chappell Chamber

Item a ioynd bedstedle wth vallance and Curtayns a greene Rugge a ioynd Chest a turnd Chayre and a bedmat

Item his wearing apparell lynnen & woollen 

Item his bookes in the Studye and the shelves and a Chayre 

in the Kitchin Chamber

item a great ioynd Chest, a borded Chest a small sauare Table with a frame and a Setle 

in the Maydes Chamber

Item a bedstedle wth a halfe head and a Truckle bedstedle, a Childes bedstedle a Stander two Chayres & a litle Table 

The Lynnen as followeth

Item a payre of fyne sheetes 6 payre of Course sheetes 4 halfe sheetes a  dozen of fyne Table napkins a dozen of newe napkins a fyne large Towell and a Table cloth, a small Diaper Table cloth a drinking  Cloth, a payre of fyne pillow Coates 6 olde napkins a payre of course pillow coates & 6 Course Towells 

Item 2 payre of shetes & one odde shete more


The bedding

Item fower flockbeds and fower bolsters 3 fether bolsters 3 Coverings 9 blankets and 3 pillowes in the Gallet and a lowe Roome

Item 4 scarves of malt

Item an olde sydesadle & a basket cradle 

Item an Osle hayre  

in an outhowse

Item a Capon Coope 

Item 3 loades of postes & rayle 

in the Barne & other outhowses

Item 20 loads of hay or thereabouts 

Item in barley to the value of 

Item a Fanne a Corne sive 6 Rakes 3 forkes & 2 ladders 

in the Closes

Item 14 loads of wood & fagots 

Item a parcell of Joystes & bordes

Item certaine small pieces of Tymber 

Item a gutte to carry water into the brewhowse 

Item 4 hogges  

in the workehowse

Item the Copper & fate 

Item the Kitte & jacke & scranes and other ymplements 

in the fields

Item 6 kyne & a Calfe 

Item 2 mares 

Item 13 sheepe 

Item an olde Hardle & a Taynter 

Item the wheate uppon the ground 

Item in lumber and other small thinges unnamed 

Item one beare Cup 0f silver and two wyne Cuppes and a salt seller 

Item in redy money 

Item in Debts by bonds & bills _ 

Sume totall is 434li-07s-08d


William Hartredge 
John Stoogull 
Symeon Evernden 
George Martin 

(Canterbury Probate Registry - Inventoria Book 43 f0.36)

In the inventory of the estate above the value of the items are shown to the right.  li = pounds, s = shillings and d = pennies So Williams estate was valued at 434 pounds 7 shillings and 8 pennies.


standard - a chest; the upright stem 0r support 0f a lamp 0r candlestick.

brand iron - the cob irons 0r fire dogs which confine the brands 0n an open hearth. 
peel -a long handled broad shovel used for putting bread into the oven. 
stupuet - a stew pan 0r skillet.
chaffer-a chafing dish.
hutch - a chest, box, coffer 0r bin. 
boulter - a sieve.
keeler - a cooler, being a broad, shallow vessel of wood wherein milk was set to cream or wort to cool.
quearne - a handmill for grinding grain or seed. 
tolvet - a measure holding half a bushel.
kilderkin -a small vessel the eighth part of a tun or vat. 
tunnel - a funnel.
stalder - a stillen or frame to put barrels on.
mockadow - moccado, stuff made of wool and silk and apparently of a mixture of either with flax. 
Being a substitute for more expensive velvet. Probably similar to velveteen and made in many grades of fineness and beauty.
dornix-linsey wolsey; also a heavy damask linen having a diaper figure (flowered or figured)  formerly much used for church vestments, altar hangings, etc.
truckle bed - trundle bed with casters to run under a higher bed. 
trug - a basket with a fixed handle like an American grape basket. 
purrell - made of lace called purl.
oast hayre - the cloth on the oast above the fires where the hops are dried. 
joined stool - one framed with joints.
gutte - gutter or drain pipe.


After the death of William Eddye his widow continued to live in Cranbrook. There seems to be evidence in the Churchwarden's book that her sons and the  children of William did not always agree. Zachary Eddy, in his oration in 1880,  states that Phineas had a fight with one of them in the churchyard. When Sarah died she left no property to any of the Eddy children and since her own daughter, Priscilla Eddy, is not mentioned in her will she must have died in child hood. Her will was dated Aug. 1, 1637 and proved Feb. 5, 1639/40. (See Bulle tin No. 3, p. 29 for an abstract of this will).

Just what happened to the children of William after the death of their father can only be conjectured. It is known that the oldest son, Nathaniel, died before 1611, since another son was given that name. The latter died in infancy. The death of Eleanor (Ellen) is recorded also. The oldest daughter Mary had married Simeon Evernden and had three children before her father's death. It is probable that Phineas, who was twenty-three when his father died, soon married Katherine  Courthopp, daughter of Peter and Anne (Sheaffe) Courthopp, and so made a home  for his younger brothers and sisters, for by the terms of his father's will he was entrusted with this care.


"Phinees Eddie my sonne his heirs 0r assignes shall well and vertuouslie bringe upp the foresaid Samuell Eddie Zacharias Eddie Abigail Eddie Anne Eddie and Elizabeth Eddie my sonnes and daughters in good and vertuous education and maintaine and keepe them wth meete and suffitient meat drinke and apparell vizt my sonnes untill they accomplish their severall ages 0f eighteene yeares except before that tyme he can place them forth in good services fytting for their degree and my daughters untill they shall severally accomplish their severall ages 0f eighteene yeares."


Since Samuel was a tailor it is probable that in due time Phineas apprenticed him to that trade, which in that section of the country at that time was a very lucrative one. No record of Zacharias is found anywhere. He may have died in  boyhood or he may have been the Eddy, who, according to Pope in his "Pioneers of Massachusetts", came to New England from Boxted, England in 1639. The 12 The Eddy Family in America story of Abigail and Anne is told in the following chapter. Of Elizabeth we have  no further record. She may have died in childhood or she may have been the wife of some one of the early settlers here in New England. The marriage of Phineas to Katherine Courthopp, a niece of William Sheaffe,  allied him with two of the best families in Cranbrook. He was appointed as one  of the sidesmen at Easter in 1618. Before 1620 two of his children died, one an unnamed child, the other named Peter. Some time later Phineas left Cranbrook and settled in Portsmouth. Whether his wife Katherine died before or after this change in residence is not known, but she had died and he had married a second  wife, Christian . . , before Dec. 18, 1639, when he made a will. This will was  proved June 7, 1641. From this will, which follows, it is evident that Phineas left no male descendants, so unless Zacharias married and had sons there are no  descendants of William, the Vicar, bearing the name of Eddy, except those who  trace back either to John or Samuel Eddy.

In the Prerogative Court of Canterbury

IN THE NAME OF GOD AMEN. The 18 daye of december 1639 and in the sixteenth yeare of the Raigne of our soueragine Lord Charles by ye grace of god of Great Brittaine france and Ireland Kinge defender of the faith; I PHINEHAS EDDEY of Portsemouth in the Countie of South Yeamon and now in the calling of a Cooke . . . being since in bodye but of perfitt memory thankes begiuen vnto allmightie god for it, doe make and ordaine this my last will and Testament vizt imprimis 1 Commend my soule into the hands of the all mightie god my heauenly father in Jesus Christ by the meritts of whose death and passion only my sins which I confess to be many and great  being wholly remitted and for-gotten I am fully persuaded in my hart this mortall life being ended to inioye life euerlasting Item I give vnto the poore of the towne of Portsemouth two shillings size pence in bread. Item I give and bequeath unto my daughter Aanne Eddey twenti pound of good and lawfull money of England which is in the hands of her gramather Couhops his handes and her vnkle Allexander Courhops in then two hands vpon specialltie Item I give vnto my foresaid daughter one truneke of linnen wholly as I left it at my father in laws Mr Peter Courthops house and  as the perticulars what is in the trunck will mor apeare by A Just Inuentory of it in my Executor's hand with the band of the aforesaid twentie pounds I give vnto my foresaid daughter one great Joyned cupbeard wh was given to my late wife Katheren Eddy By her vnkle Mr William Sheafe and now is in the keping of Mr Peter Couthope my one great Joyned Cradle and on little Joyned Cradle one hye Charee wth turnd stanes for A Child to set at table and one great shipp Chest and  much more other lumber which is specified in the foresaid inuentory wth the band Item I give unto my foresaid daughter Anne all my debtes oweing me voon my shone booke all which forme a legacie of twentie pounds and the goods specified and booke of debtes my true will and meaning is that she my foresaide daughter Ann Eddey may be truly paid her legacie and possest wth the goods at her age of one and twentie years or daye of maryage fist happen and my executor to be the beest ayde she can to help her to procure it And further my will and true meaning is that if it shall please  god to take away my foresaid daughter before she come to the age of one an twentie years or day of maryag that then I give the leagacie of twenti pounds and all the goods specified wth my shope booke of debts vnto my executor Item I giue vnto my foresaid daughter Eddy one gold ringe in valua tion worth thirtye shillings wth a possie in him of these words (feare God and one siluer spoune which was her owne mothers which ringe and spoune shalbe giuen her at her age of one an twentie years or daye of maryage by my executor it being lawfully demanded Item Igiue vnto my daughter Margaret Eddey one sute of Christening linun of callicoe laune and one gold ringe and one grine kirsie cushin boxe at her age of one an twentie yeares of age or daye of maryage first happen but if it shall please god she to depart this lif before she come to age or daye of maryag I will it remaine to my executor Item I giue vnto my foresaide Daughter Margaret Eddey the house I now dwell in which came to me by maryage of her mother and the deeds thereof to be deliueried up into her hands of my oveerseers in trust presently after my deceas and they to haue the menorrities and bringine upe  of my foresayd daughter Margaret Eddey an they to let out the house and despose of it as they shall thinke best for her better maintenance and education. Item I giue vnto my daughter Susanna Eddey tenne pounds of good and lawfull money of England at her age of one an twentie years of age or daye of maryeg first heppen Item I giue and bequeath vnto my now wif Christian Eddey whome I doe make my wholl EXECUTOR three feather beadses and blousters one silluer bowie and all the  rest of my geodes and chatteles what soeuer all my debtes wages from the King ore any other lega cioes it herafter may be fall me whatsoeuer all my household stuf and goodes and further I doe ordaine and for the better performanc mak my two trustie frindes Richard Ridg and Richard Ose borne my two ouerseeres and for Richard Ridg and Richard Oseborne I apoynt them to be wholly gardions of trust for my daughter Margeret Eddey and for ther paines taken therein I giue vnto them by this my will five shillings apece for A remembrane IN WITNES wherof I haue hearvnto  sett my hand and sealle the daye and date aboue written-The testament of me PHINEHAS EDDEY (L S)-Witnesses as followeth-RICHARD RIDGE-RICHARD OSBORNE that  which is crest out in my will was done by my self because my daughter Abigall departed this lif since  I made my will and I haue made up my daughter Susanna her legacie tenne pounds which I doe afirme vnder this my hand that and all the rest to be firme and my last will and testament of me-

Proved 7th June 1641.
Fos 12. O.B.Evelyn 66. AVP.

John Eddy was nearly twenty years of age at his father's death, so Phineas was given no care over him. No further record concerning him has been found in Cranbrook. It has been suggested that perhaps he was studying to follow in the footsteps of his father and was about to enter Cambridge, but that his father's  death put an end to these plans. At any rate he is next found in 1622 married and  living in Nayland not very far from Thurston, the little parish in which his father served as curate while studying at Cambridge. Both of the towns are in the region of Bury St. Edmunds. It has been suggested that perhaps some relatives or friends of his father lived in this vicinity and gave to this young student a home while he was studying. He does not seem to have learned any trade. This  change from peaceful Cranbrook to Suffolk county, one of those sections in which  Puritanism was rapidly increasing in strength, was destined to be a momentous one in the life of young John Eddy. It is probable that he embraced these views  with all the ardor of a young man, so that when the great Puritan migration to  New England began under the leadership of John Winthrop in 1630, he was ready  to throw in his lot with this group, and probably induced his younger brother Samuel, who was just coming of age, to be also one of those who were setting out to secure religious liberty and a civil democracy in a new land. 

    The exact spot where William Eddye lies buried is not known. It may be beneath the chancel of the church where the incumbent often was buried, or outside in the churchyard, where at some time a wooden cross may have marked the grave. If so it has long since disappeared. Thus passed the name of Eddy from the memory of Cranbrook and it remained for a descendant some two hundred and  fifty years later to restore it to the town. Robert Henry Eddy of Boston became interested in his ancestry and visited  the place which tradition had handed down as the birthplace of his first New  England parents. There on the Register he found proof of the truth of this tradi tion, and wishing to have some permanent record of his ancestor, William Eddye,  in the church which he so faithfully served for over twenty-five years, he left a  bequest of $5000 for this purpose to the Church in Cranbrook. In 1902 three memorial windows and a tablet were dedicated to the memory of William Eddye  and his emigrant children.

Children, by first wife; all born in England:
2 NATHANAELL EDDY, bapt. Mar. 30, 1589, at Staplehurst, Co. Kent; d. young. 
3 MARY EDDY, bapt. Sept. 1591, at Cranbrook, co. Kent, Eng. (Church Regis ter); m. before 1616 SIMEON EVERNDEN. Simeon Evernden was one of the witnesses of the will of William Eddy and one of those who took the in ventory of his goods. Their children were Simeon, Katherine, and Robert. Perhaps further research will connect this family of Evernden with those Everndens which appear early in New England.
4 Phineas EDDY, bapt. Sept. 1593, at Cranbrook, Eng. (Church Register);  m. (I) KATHRINE COURTHOPP, dau, of Peter and Anne (Sheaffe) Court hopp. She d. before 1639. He m. (2) CHRISTIAN . . . , who survived him.  (See his will.) His children were Peter, Anne, Margaret, Susanna, and Abigail. Peter died at Cranbrook Nov. 8, 1619 and Abigail between  Dec. 18, 1639 and June 7, 1641. Phineas died before June 7, 1641, when his will was proved at Portsmouth.
+5 JOHN EDDY, bapt. 1597, at Cranbrook.
6 ELEANOR EDDY, bapt. Aug. 1599; called Ellen when buried Oct. 1610. 
+7 ABIGAIL EDDY, bapt. Oct. 1601.
+8 ANNA EDDY, bapt. May 1603.
ELIZABETH EDDY, bapt. Dec. 1606. She was living in 1616. 
+10 SAMUEL EDDY, bapt. Sept. 15, 1608.
11 ZACHARIAS EDDY, bapt. Mar. 1610. He was living in 1616, according to his  father's will. Query-Is he the . . Eddy, who according to Savage  came to New England in 1639 from Boxted, Eng.? Did he come accom panied by a young son John, who later settled in Taunton and whom we  know as John Eddy of Taunton, carpenter?
12 NATHANIEL EDDY, bapt. July 1611; d. 1611, aged 9 days. 


Child, by second wife

13 PRISCILLA EDDY, bapt. Dec. 10, 1614. She was living in 1616, but died,  probably unmarried, before 1637, as she is not mentioned in her mother's  will, dated Aug. 1, 1637 (See Bulletin, No. 3)