William Brewster Estate
Though not included here, William Brewster left behind numerous volumes of books–so many that a separate inventory was made of them. Dying intestate, it was agreed by his sons that they could agree on a fair and impartial settlement of their father’s estate, however this was not entirely the case as noted in the last of these proceedings.
Elder William Brewster died at Plymouth, 10 April 1644, without having made a will, and on 5 June, 1644, his "onely two sonnes surviveing," Jonathan and Love, were appointed administrators of his estate.
Court Orders, II: 101. Under date of 5 June, 1644.
Lres of administracon of all the goods and cattells of mr Willm Brewster deceased are graunted by the Court to Jonathan Brewster and Love Brewster And A true Inventory thereof was exhibited to the Court upon the Oathes of the said Jonathan & Love.
Plymouth Colony Wills, I: 53.
Lres of Administracon of all the goods and cattells of mr Willm Brewster Deceased were graunted to Jonathan Brewster and Love Brewster at the genrall Court holden at Plymouth the fift Day of June in the xxth yeare of his said Mas now Raigne of England &c and a true Inventory thereof was exhibited to the Court upon the Oathes of the said Jonathan and Love the same Court.
The totall is 107 0 8
Myles Standish Tho: Prence.
The totall of both latten & English books amounts to the sum of
42 . 19 . 11
The totall both of goods & bookes amounts in all to
150 . 00 . 27
Plymouth Colony Deeds, I: 198
Whereas William Brewster late of Plym gent deceased left onely two sonnes surviveing vizt Jonathan the Eldest and Love the yeonger And whereas the said William dyed intestate for ought can to this day appeare The said Jonathan and Love his sonnes when they returned from the buriall of their father to the house of Mr Willm Bradford of Plymouth in the prsence of mr Raph Partrich Pastor of Duxborrow mr John Reynor Teacher of the Church at Plymouth and mr Edward Buckley Pastor of the Church at Marshfeild and many others being exhorted to honor their Revrend father wth a peaceable pceeding about the division of his estate between them.
The said Jonathan first answered for his part that although hee were the elder yet was willing to devide lands and goods equally betweene himself and brother. And if in case any differrence should arrise betweene them that it might be soone suppressed said he heere are four of my fathers deere and auncient frends vizt mr Willm Bradford then Govrnor of Plymouth mr Edward Winslow of Marshfeild mr Thomas Prence of Plymouth aforesaid and Captaine Miles Standish of Duxborrow. And if my brother please to accept my motion whereinsoevr we shall differ we will stand to their award wch shalbe as firme as if it had beene done by our father &c
To all wch the said Love Brewster condiscended to the greate satisfaccon of the whole Assembly the said freinds of his father being there also prsent who willingly engaged themselves therein to the utmost of their power
And whereas afterward differrence arose betweene the said brethren Jonathan and Love in divers prticulers about the late dwelling house of their said father at Duxborrow wherein the said Love dwelt and had donn from his marriage to that instant also about certaine accompt wherein Jonathan was made debtor to the estate in a large sume &c Hereupon according to prmise they referring themselves to the said speciall and most intimate frends of their said father the said Edward Winslow afterwards Govrnor of Plymouth mr Willm Bradford mr Thomas Prence and Captaine Miles Standish aforesaid haveing heard divers thinges alleadged on Loves behalf to prove that the said House and half the Lands of the said Willm belonging thereunto aswell as any other the lands of the said Willm devided or to be devided wth an entire half part of the estate of the said Willm was given to the said Love and Sarah his wyfe upon a Covenant of Contract of marryage to be due at the death of the said Willm Brewster now deceased.
All wch was offerred to be prooved legally if neede require by solemne prmise though not in writing The said Jonathan also offerring to take off upon oath the greatest prt of the said debts also &c The said Edward Winslow Willm Bradford Thomas Prence & Captaine Miles Standish being well acquainted wth their said case aswell by divers thinges heard from their revrend father in his life as by the evedence now offerred to be prduced on both sides determyned as followeth
And first of all for the said debts wch were alleadged against the said Jonathan the elder brother by the said Love the yonger as aforesaid we conceive that if their father had not acquitted them before his death yet hee would nevr have charged his Eldest sonn wth them in regard of his greate charge of children and so beleeveing it was donn actually or intensively or both we discharged Jonathan of all the said debt his brother made him debtor to the estate aforesaid except foure pounds sterling wch wee award him to pay his brother Love in consideracon of the wintering of some cattell wch the said Jonathan had the sommering upon the division and for the dyett of Isaack Allerton a grandchild of the said Willm wch he had placed wth his sonn Love to table And because hee was the first borne of his father we gave him his fathers Armes and also a two yeare old heiffer over and above his part of the devideables of the said estate.
And for the Dwelling house aforesaid of the said Willm wherein the said Love Brewster resided we were so well acquainted wth the purpose of the sd Willm now deceased and the evidence offerred for proofe seemed to us so strong as wee beleeveing the said Willm had actually or intentively or both given the said house to his sonn Love and Sarah his wyfe and their heires &c Wee the Edward William Thomas and Myles awarded the said dwelling house to the said Love and Sarah his wyfe and their heires &c together wth half the said Estate of Lands goods and cattells except before excepted and aswell such other lands as are not yet divided blonging to the said Willm as a Purchaser of the Patent & Plantacon of New Plymouth aforesaid as that at Duxborrow whereon hee lived
And whereas some differrence might have arrisen about the division of the said Lands at Duxborrow mr Willm Vassell being requested to survey the said Lands he made a division of yt in two parts being an hundred & eleaven acrees of upland or there abouts vizt to Jonathan Brewster an sixtie eight acrees or there abouts wch lay entire together next a dwelling house wch the said Jonathan had built on the said land by the leave of his said father and all the meadow on that side a creeke (wch divided the greatest part of the said land) below a Bridg on the way betweene the houses of Jonathan and Love his brother
And to Love Brewster fourty three acrees of upland or there abouts adjoyneing to his dwelling house whereof thirty acrees was cleered land and almost all in tillage the other thirteene being woodland as it was devided in the said Plott drawne by the said Surveighor and marked out and allowed by us except a prcell of land about three quarters of an acree prte in the garden of the said Jonathan and prt in a Swamp adjoyneing wherein onely the said Jonathan had Water to his house as it was marked and staked by us
Also we gave unto Love Brewster all the meadow on that side the Creek adjoyneing to his land where he liveth and also that smale prcell wch lyeth above the Bridg betweene their two houses before expressed
And the reason wherefore we gave Love the lesse quantitie was and is because the quallity of Loves land in goodnes is equall to the quantitie of Jonathans as we judg And that this is the full determinacon of us the said Edward Willm Thomas and Myles upon the referrence aforesaid of the said Jonathan and Love as wee are prswaded in our consciences to be equall and just haveing to our best abillities faythfully discharged our duties towards God their deceased father our former worthy frend and towards Jonathan and Love his onely children remayneing
In witnes thereof we have put to our hands and ordered it to be put Upon the Records of the Gover meet. ffinished at Plymouth the xxth August 1645
Tho: Prence Myles Standish