The Cripps were an important family in Hartley in the 16th century, heir status being signified by the description 'yeoman'. They lived at Hartley Court as tenants of the Sedley family of Southfleet, their wills suggest they knew how to keep in with them! By the 17th century the family had left Hartley.
Will of Thomas Creppys of Hartley (1527)
Reference: Centre for Kentish Studies DRb/PW2
In the name of God, Amen. The last day of May the year of our Lord 1527. I Thomas Crippes of the parish of Harteley in good mind and whole memory, fearing the house of death, make my testament in this wise. First I bequeath my soul to Almighty God and to our lady St Mary and to all the saints in heaven, my body to be buried in the Churchyard in the parish of Hartley. Also I bequest to the high altar for my forgotten tithes and offerings - 40d. Item to Sir John Cartar - 40d. Also to my brother Richard Crippes - £4 and he to be my overseer. Item: to John Smyth - 20 sheep and all his debts. Item: to Richard Smyth - 26s 8d. Item to Joan Walter, the wife of John Walter - 40s. Item: I bequeath to buy a cross of copper and gilt for Hartely Church - 26s 8d; and a torch, price 5s. Item: to reparations of the Church - 6s 8d. Item: to John Bele for his intendence and labours - 6s 8d. Item: I bequest to Agnes my wife: all the residues of my moveable goods and unmovable, and her only I make my executrix to pay all my debts and bequests and to receive all such debts as is owing to me, first of Thomas Coke - 4 marks, and thereof I have forgiven him 13s 4d. Item: of Thomas Iffelde - 26s 8d. Item of John Skudder the elder - £4 13s 4d. Item of John Gardyner - 26s 8d. Item of John Caryman Gardynar - 26s 8d.
Witnesses: Sir John Bele, rector there, and John Bele paleman(?)
Proved at Rochester before the official 16 June in the aforesaid year....
Will of Thomas Crippes of Hartley, yeoman (1587)
Reference: Centre for Kentish Studies DRb/Pwr/17.141
In the name of God Amen. The 27th day of August in the years of our Lord God 1586 and the 28th year of the reign of our Sovereign lady Elizabeth, by the grace of God, Queen of England, France and Ireland, Defender of the faith etc. I James Crippes of Hartley in the County of Kent, yeoman, being sick in body, but of good and perfect memory, thanks be given unto Almighty God for the same, so make and ordain this my last will and testament in writing in manner and form following, that is to say.
First I give and bequeath my soul into the hands of Almighty God, my maker and redeemer, and my body to be buried in the churchyard of Hartley aforesaid in the east side of the chancel there, near unto the bodies of my wife, my father and my mother. Item: I give and bequeath unto my son James Crippes, £200 of lawful money of England, to be paid unto him within 2 years next coming after my death. Item: I give and bequeath unto James Crippes, the first (?) son of my said son James Crippes, £13 6s 8d of like lawful money, and 19 ewe sheep to be paid and delivered unto him within 18 months next coming after my death. Item: I give and bequeath unto Thomas Crippes, William Crippes, George Crippes, Alice Crippes and Elizabeth Crippes, the rest of the children of my said son James Crippes, to every one of them £10 to be paid to every of them at such time as they shall come to the several ages of 18. And if it shall happen any of them to die before they shall come to the age of 18, then my will is that the money so to them bequeathed as aforesaid to be equally divided amonst the rest of them. Item: I give and bequeath unto Thomas Crippes and James Crippes, sons of my son Thomas Crippes, to every of them, £20 to be likewise paid unot them at such time as they shall accomplish the several ages of 18 years. Item: I give and bequeath unto Dorothy Crippes, Alice Crippes, and Ellenor Crippes duaghters of my said son Thomas Crippes, to each of them £10, to be paid unto every of them at such time as they shall accomplish their several ages of 18 years. And if it shall happen any of them to die before they shall accomplish the several ages aforesaid, then my will also is that the said money so to them bequeathed as aforesaid shall be equally divided amongst the rest of them. Item: I give and bequeath unot Joan Ifelde my servant, £6 13s 4d to be paid her within 2 years next following my death. Item: I give and bequeath unot my good landlady Mrs Anne Sedley and husband Mr William Sedley esq, to each of them, for a remembrance, 2 angels. The residue of my goods and chattels not given nor bequeathed, my funeral discharged and my debts and legacies paid, I give and bequeath unto my said son Thomas Crippes whom I also make and ordain my whole and sole executor of them my said last will and testament, and my said good master? Mr William Sedley overseer thereof. In witness whereof I have herunto put my hand and seal, the date and year first above written. Witnesses.....
Proved 17 January 1587
Will of Thomas Cripps of Hartley, yeoman (1596)
Dated 28th October 1592
He leaves his soul to Almighty God. His body to be buried at executor's discretion.
To Dorothy Cripps, his daughter: £200 (£10 of which was bequeathed by his father James) when she is 20 or on the day of her marriage, "so that in the meantime she keep her body chaste and be married with the goodwill and consent of William Sidley esq. and Robert Burrowes and Thomas Burrowes, my brethren in law".
To Alice and Ellen Cripps, his daughters: £500 each (£20 of this bequeathed by James), conditions as above.
To William Sedley esq: £5 p.a. at Christmas until his sons Thomas and James reach the age of 21 "for the affection I bear unto the said gentleman and that I am assured he will always stand a sure friend unto my children". In the event of his decease then money to be paid to William's brother John "so that my said sons or either of them shall continue and dwell in the now dwelling house of me the said Thomas Cripps, commonly called 'The Court Lodge' in Hartley aforesaid ..... paying for the same farm no more rent than I now pay".
To Alice Cripps, daughter of his brother James: £10 at full age of 15.
To Robert Burrowes, his godson: 6 ewes
To his godchildren, Thomas Cripps, son of his brother James: 5s; to Alice Carpenter: 2s; and to other godchildren: 12d each.
To William Sedley esq.: a debt of £50 owed him by Lady Brooke, lent by him to Sir Henry Cobham kt.
The residue of personal estate to Thomas and James, his sons equally.
Regarding his lands:
To Thomas Cripps, his eldest son: his lands in Seal, Shibborne and annuity due from lands of William Porter in Seal.
To James Cripps, his other lands and annuities out of lands of Thomas Scudder of Stansted, and lands of Robert Nynne of Milton next Sittingbourne. Reversion to James his brother (of testator).
To Dorothy, Alice and Ellen his daughters: his deceased wife's linen to be shared and 5 sheets and a featherbed each.
"I will that forasmuch as by the goodness of my landlady Mrs Anne Sedley, I have enjoyed the farm wherein I now dwell at an easy and reasonable rate of rent, and that I desire of her........ that my children may enjoy the same accordingly at the same rate". Therefore he gives Anne an interest free loan of £500 until his sons reach 21.
He appoints his sons Thomas and James Cripps as executors and Robert and Thomas Burrowes his brothers in law as overseers.
(S) Thomas Cripps
Witnesses: (X) Robert Burrowes; (X) Lawrence Porlers; (X) Robert Dodd ?; (X) Henry Brisiley; (X) Thomas Cripps