Made the day before he died, this will is simple in structure. It gives a bequest of property to his wife, and £100 to each of his children except his eldest son Andrew who receives the residue of the estate. Responsibility for the younger children is divided between Andrew, who is to support them, and his uncle William who is appointed guardian.
The biggest mystery is the bequest to his wife Honor which is made absolutely, and suggests that she was to have a separate household. Perhaps she already had money of her own, from a marriage settlement, and the 'Skinner estate' was a rather grand term for a dower house. Her son Andrew may already have been married or was planning to do so, and the bequest might have been offering her the opportunity to move out without necessarily implying that she was to do so immediately. For all that, to cut her out of any formal involvement with the children or the administration of the rest of the estate suggests that all was not well. But this cannot explain why she was not simply granted a life interest in the Skinner estate, which would be usual.
I Andrew Hingston of Adston in the parish of Holbeton and County of Devon being Weak in Body but of sound mind thanks be to God for his Mercies, do make this my Last Will and Testament
In the first place I give and Recommend my soul to God who gave it In the second place I devise my body to be buried in a Christian and Desent like manner by my Executor Administrator and assignees not doubting but at the generall Resurrection it shall rise again to Life Immortall as to my worldly goods it has pleas'd God to bless me with I give and bequeath in manner following that is to say Item 1st I give and bequeath to Honor my beloved Wife that estate at Bridgend in the Parish of Holbeton commonly called or known by the name of Skinner together with two Cows as she pleases to take the best Bed and Bedstead and Bed Cloaths compleat together with one thing of a sort of household Goods and Furniture and Ten guineas of lawfull money to be paid on Demand Item 2nd I give and bequeath to my beloved son William the sum of one Hundred Pounds lawfull money of Great Britain to be paid 2nd February 1804 Item 3rd I give and bequeath to Henry Hingston my beloved son the sum of one Hundred Pounds lawfull money of Great Britain to be paid 2nd February 1804 Item 4th I give and bequeath to my beloved son James Hingston the sum of one Hundred Pounds lawful money of Great Britain to be paid when of age Item 5th I give and bequeath to my beloved son John Hingston the sum of one Hundred Pounds lawfull money of Great Britain to be paid when come of age Item 6th I give and bequeath to my beloved daughter Lydia the sum of one Hundred Pounds lawful money of Great Britain to be paid on Demand Item 7th I give and bequeath to my beloved daughter Sally the sum of one Hundred Pounds lawfull money of Great Britain to be paid 2nd February 1804 Item 8th I give and bequeath to my beloved daughter Agnes H the sum of one Hundred Pounds lawfull money of Great Britain to be paid when come of age Item 9th I give and bequeath to my beloved daughter Mary Ann the sum of one Hundred Pounds lawfull money of Great Britain to be paid when come of age Item 10th I give and bequeath to my beloved son Andrew Hingston who I make my sole Heir Executor Administrator and Assignee to have and to hold all and every of my personal Goods Moneys and Effects without Hindrance or Molestation whatsoever after my Funeral Expenses and just Debts are paid Except such as are specified in this Will upon Condition to take care of and bring up his sisters and brothers until capable of getting their living and taking care of themselves. - Also I constitute and appoint my Brother William Hingston of Calstone their Guardian during their Minority to see them properly taken care of - This Will and Testament made the 24th day of May 1802 Being signed sealed and delivered in presence of us the 24th day of May in the 42nd year of our Sovreign Lord George the Third of Great Britain King Defender of the Faith etc and in the Year of our Lord One thousand eight hundred and two
Andrew Hingston —
WE Ralph Barnes Clerk Master of Arts Archdeacon of the Archdeaconry of Totnes lawfully constituted DO by these presents make known to all men that on the Ninth day of October in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and two before the Reverend Samuel Lane Clerk our Surrogate lawfully appointed the Last Will and Testament of Andrew Hingston late of Adston in the Parish of Holbeton in the County of Devon and Archdeaconry aforesaid deceased hereunto annexed was proved approved and registered and administration of all and singular the Goods Chattels and Credits of the said deceased which at the time of his death did anyway belong to his Estate or concern his Will was granted to Andrew Hingston his Son the sole Executor named in the said Will being first sworn upon the Holy Evangelists in due form of Law In Testimony whereof we have caused the Seal of our Office to be affixed to these presents dated the day month and year above written
Transcribed by Treeby W Hingston in 1945 and checked by AJH from the original copy 1998