STUKELY WESTCOTT (1592-1677)
Lost Will and Testament
Much of his land he conveyed to his sons by deeds of gift during his life and this explains in a measure why Jeremiah,
his youngest son, is not mentioned in his will. The following is a copy of the will:
"I, Stukely Westcott of Warwick in the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence
Plantations in New England, now residing in Portsmouth in Rhode Island aforesaid, being aged about
eighty-five years, and in my right senses and perfect understanding and memory, doe make this my
last will and testament, to the disposing of my estate which is as follows, to wit:
"Item. I make ordaine and appoint my eldest (living) son Amos Westcott my
lawful and sole executor to see this my will performed, and also to pay and receive all my debts as
beglonging to me.
"Item. I give and bequeath to my said Executor all my movable estate
as Cattell goods and chattels, and also my land lying in Potamet neck, and my meadow lying at
Toskownk in the township of Warwick aforesaid. Also two-fourths of my land at Cowesit; all of which
said lands together with all privileges thereunto belonging or appertaining I give to him his heirs
and assighnees forever.
"Item. I give and bequeath to my grandson Amos Westcott, my town lot in
Warwick aforesaid which I formerly lived on, with orcharding fencing and all things thereunto
belonging; and also my thirty acre lot and a meadow lot lying in Shawomet aforesaid, and also my
share of land lying on the south side of Patuxet River which I purchased together with Mr. Samuel
Gorton, Mr. Holding, Mr. Collins and John Potter; all of which aforesaid lands or parcels will
all and singular the privileges appertaining I doe give grant and confirm to my aforesaid
grandson his heirs and assignes forever.
"Item. I give and bequeath unto my grandson Amos Stafford a fourth part
of my land lying in Cowesit, which is to say, the fourth of the eleventh part of that purchase,
to him his heirs and assignes forever.
"In confirming of all of the above written presents, I set my hand and
seal this 12th day of January, 1677."
The above will was never executed. He was dissuaded from signing it by his grandson,
Caleb Arnold, until his sons, Amos and Jeremiah, who were then upon the neighboring island of Prudence, could be sent for,
but before the grandson could reach them (Stukely's sons), he was unable to sign thereunto.
"A short time after his death, his sons, Amos and Jeremiah, by petition
desired the 'Town Council to settle the estate of their father, who died without his will being
signed and sealled.'"
"Whereupon, the Town Council, first stating that they are informed
that 'he spake somewhat as in Adition to his will which was not committed to writing, and for
as much as by reason of the late unhappy warres the counsel have been put by that they could no
sooner afect the same, nevertheless deeming it their duty to perfect the sayd will,' they then
proceeded to make a will for him by which they:
(1) give to his son Amos 'all goodes chattells moveables and lands' not otherewise therein disposed of,
and make him the executor to receive and pay all debts;
(2) to Jeremiah they give all the lands his father had deeded to him in his lifetime; also the estate
of John Bennett had deede to Stukely; also the share of meadow bought of 'Peeter Buicot,' on the south
side of the brook that runs out of the 'grate pond,' and one share of 'meddowes at Potowomut laying
aboe the rocky nooke, only we apointe him to pay 3 pounds country pay to his brother Amos';
(3) to Damaris Arnold, his daughter, 20 shillings in silver to be laid out in 'a piece of plate';
(4) to Mercy Stafford, his daughter, 'the bed in her hands with the furniture and such other of the
goods mentioned in the inventory to bee in her hands,' provided the executor is to be 'freede from
any other payment concerning her father's keepinge or funerall to her husband or her';
(5) to 'Robert Westcotes' eldest sonn Zerobabel, is given one fourth part of the farm at Weequichaconuke';
(6) to Amos Stafford, 'sonn of his daughter Mercy,' is given a 'fowerth part' of his grandfather's
share in the township of 'Coweeset';
(7) to 'Amos Westcote sonn of Amos his grandfather Stukley Westcotes town lott and comanidg' 'after
his fathers disease,' and 'one fowerth' part of his grandfathers farm at "Weequisacomet' when he
comes to the age of 'twenty one yeares.'"
This will, which evidently was drawn a year to the day after Stukely
Westcott's death, is signed and sealed by John Greene, Assistant, Samuel Gorton, Assistant, Randall
Houldon, Thomas Green and Benjamin Barton, they then comprising the Town Council of Warwick.
1. Source: Stukely Westcott, Vol. 1, Pgs. 27-28, 1932<