Will of Thomas Thrale - 8 September 1600

  • Posted on: 14 September 2009
  • By: David Thrale

Will of Thomas Thrale - 8 September 1600
Thomas Thrale's will was witnessed and written on 8 September 1600. On 23 September, an inventory of Thomas Thrale's possessions was written. Therefore we can conclude that Thomas died in the short period between these two dates, and that he bequeathed his worldly possessions from his death bed during the last few days of his life.

From a family history perspective, exciting thing about the will, is that it bears Thomas Thrale's unique mark. When I first saw his mark1 I was astounded to see that his mark was nothing like the "x" mark commonly used by illiterate individuals, but instead was the mark of a Broad Arrow.

This is an important discovery. It provides evidence of the Thrale Broad Arrow legend from during Queen Elizabeth I's lifetime. Queen Elizabeth I, did not die until 24 March 1603, almost three years after Thomas Thrale made his broad arrow mark on his will.

All other previously known references to this family legend arrow did not occur until 280 years later in the late 19th century. This mark was made on 8 September 1600, about 40 years after Queen Elizabeth I's life was apparently saved and just 42 years or so since the Royal grant of the Broad Arrow was made to the Thrale family.

Line Transcription
1 In the name of God Amen, the viiith of September, in the xliith of her Mtis2 most happie reighne 1600.
2 I Thomas Thrale the younger of the Parish of Sandridge wthin3 the Countie of Hertf. Yeoman
3 beinge sicke of bodie but of sound remembrance praise be to Almightie god, do make and ordaine this
4 my last will and testament in manner and forme followynge. First and above all after dying, I
5 bequeath my soul into the hands of Almightie god who made it, hath revived it, and will raise
6 it upp at the latter daye, and I confidently trust, make it partake of everlasting glorie. Item
7 my bodie & will to be buried in the Graveyard of Sandridge. And touching the disposition of my worldly
8 goods my will and true meaning it as follows: Impremis4 I will and bequeath onto my four
9 children xx 5 pounds apiece to be payed but everyie of them as they shall come to the age of xxi 6 years
10 provided always that if any of them shall disease7 before the sayd age, that then the legacy
11 or legacies of the diseased shall be devided to the survivors. Item all the rest of my goods & chattels
12 moveables and unmoveables (my debts and funeral expemses discharged) I gyve and bequeath
13 unto Helen my wiffe whom I make the sole exectrix of this my last will and testament. Amen
14 I request of my father Thomas Thrale and my brother John Thrale to be overseerse of this my
15 last will and testament.
16 Witnessed
17 William Westerman8
18 Thomas Thrale's Broad Arrow mark from his 8 September 1600 will
Signed Thomas Thrale junior
John Clark
  • 1. In July 2004.
  • 2. Majesty's.
  • 3. within.
  • 4. Latin for first or foremost.
  • 5. 20.
  • 6. 21.
  • 7. Meaning pre-decease.
  • 8. The parish priest.