IN THE NAME OF GOD, AMEN. I, John Hecklefeild, of the Precinct of Pequimmons, in the County of Albemarle, in the Province of North Carolina, Gent., being sick & weak of Body, but of sound mind & memory (Blessed be God for the Same) & Knowing ye Certainty of Death, to hereby make, Ordain, Constitute & Appoint this to be my last Will & Testament, hereby revoking & making void all former Wills by me made, & this only to stand & be of force in Law. First & principally I recommend my Soul to God that gave it, hoping and Assuredly trusting in & thro’ the Meritts of my Blessed Lord & Saviour Jesus Christ, to obtain full & free pardon of all my Sins; My Body I committ to the Ground to be decently interr’d at the discretion of my Executors hereafter mentioned, according to the manner I buried my last Wife. As for w’t worldly Goods it hath pleas’d God to bestow on me in this Life, I give, devise & bequeath the Same in manner & forme following:
Imprim. I give to the Hon’ble Charles Eden, Esqr., Governor, my Mourning Ring w’th a Death’s Head & y’e Christall
Item. I give to Mr. Edm’d Gale, ye Diamond Rign I formerly us’d to wear, being all Diamonds.
Item. I give to Mr. George Durant one Mourning Ring, value thirty Shillings.
Item. I sett at perfect freedom from all Slavery to be claimed by my Heirs, Executors, &c., my Negro Woman Jane, for her diligent care had of me in my Sickness.
All the Rest, Residue & Remainder of my Estate W’tsoever & wheresoever to be found I give & bequeath to my Son, Hecklefeild, & I further Nominate, make, constitute & appoint Mr. Edmond Gale & Mr. George Durant, Executors of this my last Will & Testam’t, & Guardians to my sd. Son, John Hecklefeild, that they my afors’d Executors shall have the Tuition & Education of my sd. Son until he arrive at the age of Twenty & one years after the best thought manner this Country will admitt.
What Negroes he hath Capable of it, I desire they may be hired yearly to Good paymasters for the better Support of my Sd. Son. And I further desire, that watsoever of his Estate will not be thought Serviceable to him when he shall come of Age, may be disposed of for good pay & converted into Young Negro Women for his use.
But if my sd. Son do die before he be of the Age of Twenty & one years w’ch (by Gods blessing) will be in the year one thousand, Seven Hundred & Thirty seven, then w’t Estate I have by this Will given to him, I give & bequeath as follows, viz: the one half p’t thereof to my Sister in Law, Mrs. Mary Cox, or her heirs, living near Essex Bridge, in Dublin, in Ireland; the other half p’t to Mr. Edm’d. Gale.
In Witness whereof, I hereto set my hand & seal this thirtieth day of May, in ye year of our Lord, 1721.
JOHN HECKLEFEILD (Seal)
Sign’d, Seal’d, publish’d & Declar’d by the Testat’r to be his last Will & Testam’t in Presence of:
DARBY 0 O’BRYAN.
NORTH CAROLINA SS. CHARLES EDEN, Esqr., Govern’r &c. Darby O’bryan this day came before me & made Oath that he saw Collo. John Hecklefield, Seal & declare the within Will to be his last Will & Testam’t & y’t Wm. Berclift & Enoch Flower, the other two Evidences thereto were then Present; that ye Sd. Hecklefeild was then of Sound Memory & sign’d the same without any Constraint or compulsion.
In testimony whereof, I have hereunto sett my hand at Chowan, Aug’st ye 8th, 1721. CHARLES EDEN.
Recorded in Will Book 2, page 305, Office of the Secretary of State.
Contributed by Nola Duffy