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  Catherine Hansbie's Will


Catherine Hansbie’s will is one of several wills of Tickhill people available in the Documents Online section of the National Archives website. The will is the most detailed of those written by occupants of Tickhill Castle (House) and gives us some useful information about Catherine Hansbie’s possessions and relationships. Written in February 1714, two years before her death, the will explains that Catherine was the widow of Ralph Hansbie (Hansby), her second husband.

Catherine was a wealthy woman by the standards of the time, leaving monetary bequests amounting to £287 10s. (today’s equivalent being over £37,000) in sums ranging from £1 to £50. She also left £5 to each of her servants, without giving their total number, except to mention five maid servants later in her will. In common with many wealthy people in this area, Catherine Hansbie also remembered the poor. She left £20 in the care of two people ‘to be disposed of as they shall think fit’ for the benefit of the poor. Her other main possession was a lease on a London house. Among her smaller possessions were silver plate and jewellery. The jewellery was listed in specific bequests and included a pair of diamond pendants, a pearl necklace, a diamond cross, a locket, a gold watch, a gold ring set round with stones, a wedding ring given her by her first husband, and another gold ring. She left her clothes, as well as any silks, linens and woollens, to be shared alike amongst her five maid servants. The only furniture she mentioned, but not in any detail, was that in the room ‘up two pair of stairs in my house at Tickhill’ where her brother (in-law) Michael Hansbie lived. He was given the furniture.

Other than a brother, Catherine named a sister, nephews, nieces and cousins. She paid particular attention to two people. The first was a little youth, called Stoakham Margrave, she entrusted to Gervase Clifton, leaving £50 for the boy’s care and ‘putting out to a calling’. She also bequeathed £20 to her cousin Francis Gill, with a request to take Catherine Addison, her apprentice, and to provide for her during the remaining time of her apprenticeship. 

The will is a copy of the original, made for probate purposes as part of the records of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury. For the full will, reference PROB 11/551, see website: <>. A charge of £3.50 is made for downloading each document. A website which gives the equivalent values of money in the past is:  <>.







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