1760 – Francis Shellaker of Lyndon


The Last Will & Testament of Francis Shellaker – Part 2


I give to my niece HANNAH BAKER 7 three pounds, and to my
JOHN 11 and WILLIAM PALMER; 11 and to my nieces MARY ELWOOD, 12 and SARAH
WALTER Jnr 13 forty shillings apiece.


This section is slightly misleading to me; Hannah clearly receives three pound but do the nephews (Francis, Thomas, Joseph and Thomas Walter, John and William Palmer)  also received that same amount? Or do these nephews receive the same amount, forty shillings, which was  bequeathed to nieces Mary Elwood and Sarah Walter Jnr?

It appears to be the later, the nephews each receiving forty shillings. This is confirmed later as nephew Joseph is named as the executor and that part of the Will states… ‘and for his trouble therein I give him three pounds over and above the forty shillings above given him….’

7 HANNAH BAKER – She is the daughter of Francis’ brother Richard. She was baptised in Lyndon on Sunday 11th February 1727 and married around twenty years later, on Tuesday 25th January 1757 in that same church. Her husband was JOSEPH BAKER of Oakham. At the time Francis made his Will, Hannah was around 33 years old and at the time of his death she was approximately 49 years old. She is the sister of Richard who is mentioned in note 3 above.

8 FRANCIS SHELLAKER – He is the son of Francis’ brother Richard, a brother of Hannah and he is also my great-great-great-great grandfather. He was baptised on Sunday 16th December 1733 and married Sarah Scott in Lyndon at the age of 26 years on Monday 26th May 1760, the same year as his Uncle Francis wrote his Will. When Uncle Francis died the nephew Francis was around 42 years old age.

9 THOMAS SHELLAKER – He is also the son of Francis’ brother Richard, a brother of Hannah and Francis. He was baptised in Lyndon on Sunday 22nd May 1737 and married Mary Green in Ridlington on Sunday 14th November 1762. When his Uncle Francis died, nephew Thomas was around 39 years old.

10 JOSEPH & THOMAS WALTER – These two brothers are the grandsons of MARY SHELACRES, the elder sister of Francis and so are his great-nephews. She was baptised on the 6th June 1682 and was around 6 or 7 years older than her brother. She married WILLIAM WALTER in Lyndon on the 13th May 1706 I have not researched their descendants but I have seen records for a son named WILLIAM after his father who was born in 1713 and married SARAH BULL in 1738 in Lyndon.

From that marriage there are records for a son, also WILLIAM who died within a month of his birth in 1742. There was another son also named WILLIAM born in 1744 but as he is not mentioned in the Will one could speculate he also died. A third son was baptised in January 1745 he was named THOMAS – this I believe is the THOMAS WALTER mentioned in the Will. I have not located a record of JOSEPH WALTER but it is likely he was a brother of THOMAS – possibly an older brother, as his name is mentioned before that of THOMAS in this Will, born between 1738 and and 1742.

NB – As MARY WALTER (née SHELACRES) is not mentioned in her brother’s Will suggests very strongly she had died at that time. Her age when Francis made his Will would have been 78 years. If she was alive when her brother Francis died she would have been around 97 years old. Conclusion: she probably died prior to 1760.

11 JOHN & WILLIAM PALMER At present I am not sure how these two boys are related to Francis Shellaker. I’m sure I can recall seeing the name ‘PALMER’ in a records during my research into my Shellaker ancestry but cannot recall from where. If the boys are nephews of Francis they could be the sons of his sisters Elizabeth (baptised 29th Dec 1864) or Helen (baptised 27th Feb 1685) both of whom I know nothing other than those dates. Either of these women could have married a man named ‘Palmer’ and produced nephews for Francis.

The boys may have been great-nephews of Francis. Like Joseph and Thomas Walter they could be the grandsons of MARY SHELACRES, the elder sister of Francis. Mary had two daughters, MARY & ELIZABETH, either of whom may have married a man called ‘Palmer’.

12 MARY ELWOOD – Again I do not know how this girl is related to Francis. She could result from the same speculation as directly above; Mary Elwood may be a granddaughter of  MARY SHELACRES or the daughter of Elizabeth or Helen, the sisters of Francis.

13 SARAH WALTER Jnr – She is probably the sister of JOSEPH or THOMAS WALTER and therefore the daughter of Walter and Sarah Walter (née Bull) – hence the need to name her in the Will as ‘Junior’ so as not to confused her with her mother who carried the same name. The word ‘Jnr’ does appear to be have been squeezed to the text as an afterthought to clarify to which Sarah Walter the Will refers.  Like her brothers she is a great-niece of Francis being the granddaughter of his sister Mary Shelacre.

The Last Will & Testament of Francis Shellaker – Part 3

Francis Shellaker of Lyndon 1760 Will - Part 3

I appoint Joseph Walter 14 executor of this will, and for his
trouble therein I give him three pounds over and above the forty shillings
above given him, and his share of the remainder if such there be.
All the residue and remainder if my personal estate, goods,
money, and credits, after payment if all my just debts, funeral expenses
and legacys, I order to be divided equally between my above
mentioned nephews and nieces. 15
In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal
the seventeenth day of September in the year of our Lord one
thousand seven and sixty.


Sign’d, seal’d, publish’d and declared
to be the last will and testament if the
within named Francis Shellaker, in
the presence of us, who have subscribed
our names as witnesses, at the request
of and in the presence of aforesaid
testatour, and of one another.

Thomas Barker
John Woodward
Xxx Chamberlain

14 Joseph Walter– He was one of the nephews of Francis (actually his great-nephew) and is mentioned above as receiving a legacy. of forty shillings to which is added three pounds for undertaking the duty of executor.

15 Remainder– Francis wishes any remaining monies after payment of stated legacies be divided equally between his nephews and nieces.

The Last Will & Testament of Francis Shellaker

A Codicil

Francis 1760 Will -codicil

I Francis Shellaker of Lyndon do make this codicil to my last Will and Testament. I give to my maid Mary Ashly 16 the Bedstead she lyes on with the curtains and hangings, best wool Bed Bolster Pillow, three blankets and coverlid. The Jersey & Linen wheels 17 now in use and the reels five of the chairs 18 in the house, the Baking Pan; a little table in the house and the table we eat on. In witness whereof I have hereto set my mark this twenty seventh of May one thousand seven hundred and seventy two. 19

The mark X of
Francis Shellaker

Thomas Barker
Elizabeth Barker 20

The within named Joseph Walter was duly sworn to execute this Will and codicil this Eleventh Day of August One Thousand Seven Hundred and Seventy- Seven 20

Before me
Fra: Wotton

16 Mary Ashly– Other than knowing that Mary was the Maid,I have no further information for her.

17 wheels– I do not to what ‘Jersey & Linen wheels’ refers, although the term ‘wheel’ can also relate to a round object such as a type of decoration.

18 reels – Another term I do not understand is ‘the reels five of the chairs’. I cannot find any definition of ‘reels‘ that would work in this sentence

19 date of the codicil – This codicil was written on 27th May 1772 which is around 12 years after the main part of the Will which was written on 7th September 1760. When Francis wrote his Will he was around 71 years old. Therefore he was around 83 years old when he wrote this codicil. I think it would be a fair assumption that Mary Ashly was caring for Francis as he got old. She is living in his house, she has her own bed and shares her meals with Francis.

Francis was not married and had no children of his own to look after him in his old age so this seems a logical explanation. Francis lived for further three years and eight months after he wrote he codicil until his death in September 1776 by which time he had reached the age of 86 years.

20 witnesses – This codicil was witnessed by Thomas Barker, who witnessed the original Will and also by Elizabeth Barker who was likely to have been Thomas’ wife.

21 execution of Will – On 11th august 1777 the year after his death, the executor Joseph Walter was sworn to execute this Will and codicil.


The Last Will & Testament of Francis Shellaker – Summary of Legacies


The Family of Francis Shelacres at the time he wrote his Will – 7th September 1760


Yellow: Francis Shellacres. Grey: Confirmed as deceased at the date of this Will Green: Unknown except for this Will. Blue: Direct Male Ancestor. PinkDirect Female Ancestor.

Click on the image to see a larger version in a new window


  • None of Francis’ sibling are mentioned in the Will: his brother Richard had died in 1745, some 15 years prior to the time it was written, sisters Mary, Elizabeth & Helen would have been reached the ages of 78, 75 and 73 respectively and so could have also died by that time. However Francis may have decided to only make legacies to the next generations.
  • All of the children of his brother Richard to his second marriage (to Anne Hill) receive a legacy; his niece Hannah receives three Pounds, his nephew Richard, as the oldest son of only brother, receives the house at Morcott, land and animals, the other two sons Francis and Thomas each receive 40 shillings. (Which was two pounds)
  • Incidentally at the time of the Will (Sept 1760) his niece Hannah was married as was nephew Francis.  Thomas married around two years after the Will was written in November 1762 when he married Mary Green in the village of Ridlington. Richard did not marry until October 1763 when he wed Mary Marshall, three years after the date of the Will 
  • It does not appear that any of the three daughters from his brother’s first marriage (to Elizabeth Walton); Eleanor, Mary or Elizabeth receive a legacy. Although Mary Elwood, whom I have not identified, but received 40 Shillings, could have been the middle sister.  
  • His other nephew, William Walter and nieces, the twins Mary & Elizabeth, the children of his sister Mary Shelcres are also excluded. Their ages would 51 years for the twin girls and 47 years of age for William. They may have died but again the elusive  Mary Elwood, could have been the married name of Mary Walter.
  • However William Walter’s children are included. He married Sarah Bull and their children Joseph, Sarah and Thomas all received 40 Shillings.
  • The linage of nephews John and William Palmer, who each receive 40 Shillings, is at present a mystery but I’m sure one which will be resolved by someone out there. These boys could be nephews or great nephews of Francis. So they could be the children of Mary or ELizabeth Walter or maybe the sons of one of three daughters from his brother’s first marriage (to Elizabeth Walton); Eleanor, Mary or Elizabeth. They could be the children of his sisters Helen or Elizabeth.  I do not know anything of these seven females – any of them could have married a man named Palmer

If you can identify Mary Elwood or John and William Palmer and their relationship to Francis I have posted a question in the Forum – please use that if you have the answer and I’ll amend the above text.


Who is Mary Elwood?

What was the relationship of John and William Palmer to Francis Shellaker


4th July 2016