Date:January 19, 2016

1814 – Francis Shellaker of Lyndon

Francis Shellaker born in the village of Lyndon in the County of Rutland in 1733. He married Sarah Scott of the same parish in 1760. This Will was signed on 21st July 1814 when had he reached at the advanced age of 81 years. He died the following year, 1815 and was buried in Lyndon Churchyard…..

His family and the legacies mentioned in his will are below. Click on the image to open a larger picture



The Last Will & Testament of Francis Shellaker of Lyndon in the County of Rutland – 1814

In the Name of God Amen. I FRANCIS SHELLAKER of Lyndon in the County of Rutland, Cordwainer, [1] being of sound and disposing mind, memory and understanding but mindful of my mortality do this twenty first day of July of the year of our Lord, One Thousand eight hundred and fourteen make and publish this my last Will and Testament in manner and form following.

I give and bequeath to my son RICHARD SHELLAKER all my freehold closes lying and being in the Lordship of Glaston [2] in the County of Rutland aforesaid to hold the same to my said son Richard Shellaker for and during his natural life and for and during the life of his present wife MARY SHELLAKER after which I give and bequeath and devise the same to my Grandson WILLIAM SHELLAKER son of the aforesaid Richard Shellaker his heir and assigns for ever on condition that he the aforesaid William Shellaker shall pay out of the said estate to each of his two Sisters the sum of thirty pound and all such other legacies hereinafter mentioned unless they have been paid before time.

I likewise I give a bequeath to my said Grandson William and his two Sisters CATHERINE and SARAH, son and daughters of my said son Richard Shellaker the sum of ten pounds each to be paid to each of them by my Executors herein after mentioned at the end of twelve calendar months after my decease.

I give and bequeath to my daughter in law Mary Shellaker wife of my said son Richard Shellaker the sum of twenty pound.

I give and bequeath to my five Grand Children FRANCIS, THOMAS, SARAH, JOHN and WILLIAM the Sons and daughter of my son William Shellaker the sum or sums of ten Pounds each to be paid to then severally as they attain the Age of twenty one years.

I give and bequeath to my to my daughter ANN BROOKS, wife of John Brooks the sum of thirty pounds to be paid to her at the end of twelve calendar months after my decease also to my Grandson, the son of the said John and Ann Brooks (now an infant) the sum of ten pound to be paid to him when he attains the age if twenty one years. I give and bequeath to my Grand-daughter SARAH LOWE, wife of Samuel Lowe the sum of sixty pound to be paid to her at the end of twelve calendar months after my decease likewise to my two grand children, SAMUEL and MARY, Son and Daughter of the said Samuel and Sarah Lowe the sum of ten pounds each to be paid to them severally (when they) attain the age if twenty one years.

I give and bequeath to my Son in Law CUTHBERT BUCK the sum of ten pounds to be paid to him at the end of twelve calendar months after my decease and whereas I have one hundred and eighty pounds in the hands of A. W. Bellairs & Son Bankers Stamford [3] in the County of Lincoln the said A. W. Bellairs & Son as this bankrupts the dividend of the said sum is uncertain but be the said dividend more of less I give and bequeath the same be divided amongst my daughter ANN BROOKS aforesaid, my granddaughter SARAH LOWE aforesaid and all the  rest of my Grandchildren and Great Grand Children hereinbefore expressed to be equally divided amongst them share and share alike to be likewise paid them as they severally attain the said age of twenty-one years  

but if any of them die unmarried before he or she attain the said age of twenty-one years his or her share so dying shall lapse to the Executor and if any of the aforementioned named Legacies  should not be paid as at the herein expressed I give full power by this my Will to my two sons in law, that is to say my son in law John Brooks and my grandson in law Samuel Lowe, to see that the said Legacies  so omitted duly paid and to distrain for the same all the rest residue and remainder of my Money, Credits, Goods, Chattels, Cattle and personal Estate whatsoever and wheresoever and of who’s nature kind or quality soever the same may be, after payment of my debts Legacies, Funeral expenses  and the expense of proving this my Will.

I do hereby give and bequeath the same to my said Son Richard Shellaker, whom I ordain nominate, constitute and appoint Executor of this my last Will and Testament wrote of two sheets of paper annexed together reworking all former and other  Wills and Testaments by me at any time heresofore made.

In witness whereof I have to this my last Will and Testament set and subscribed my hand and seal that is to say my hand to the first sheet and my hand and seal to the second and last sheet the day and year above written.

Signed, sealed, published and declared by the said

Testator Francis Shellaker as and for his last Will
and Testament in the presence of us who at his
request in his presence and in the presence of
each other subscribed our names thereto







William Palfy
Joseph Pinney
Edward Potter

On this the 21st day of February 1816 Richard Shellaker of Lyndon the Executor …..the within Will was then …..and faithfully to perform the same according to Law and that the within named deceased at the time of his death was not…..personal estate to the amount of two hundred pounds.

Before me


[1] Cordwainer – a shoemaker who makes new shoes and boots from new leather. This is in contrast with a cobbler who only repaired shoes.

[2] Glaston– is a village in Rutland 3 miles south of Lyndon. Its is recorded in White’s Directory for 1846 as being ‘a pleasant village on the Stamford Road, 2 miles E. by N. of Uppingham. It has in its parish 294 souls and about 1,000 acres of land. Within the village was a Wheelwright, a Blacksmith, a Joiner who was also the Parish Clerk, a public house – The Three Horse Shoes, a Grocer and Baker, two Boot and Shoemakers, a Constable and several Farmers and Glaziers.

I do not know the location of the ‘freehold closes’ (fields) within Glaston which are mentioned in this Will.

[3] Bellairs‘ commenced banking in the 1780s at Stamford in Lincolnshire, where they traded as dealers and chapmen. Branches were subsequently opened at Derby and Leicester, the latter as Bellairs, Welby & Co, later George Bellairs. Although their business had a high reputation, a run developed on the Stamford Bank in July 1814, which forced closure after only one and a half hours. The Leicester branch failed the following day, and the Derby office the day after that. The assets were sufficient to satisfy all creditors within two years.

In his Will Francis Shellaker has placed £180 in 1814 with Bellairs’ but as you can read above the bank failed in July of the same year but it appears Francis’ children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren who have received their legacies as the bank had paid all creditors by 1816.


Francis had five children, once of whom Ann died at only one day old. Of his four surviving children two received legacies but two children are not mentioned in their father’s Will, but it is possible his daughter Mary had died by the time the Will was written.

MARY SHELLAKER – not mentioned in the Will.
Francis’ daughter MARY SHELLAKER, who was baptised on 15th Aug 1764, is not mentioned in her father’s Will but her husband, Cuthbert – a soldier, whom she married aged 21 year on the 17th Sept 1785, at the Owston, is mentioned and receives a legacy.

It is my assumption that when the Will was written in 1814 Mary had died – in that years she would have reached the age of around 50 years.

However I have not sought or found any records to support that assumption that she had died but neither have I located any further records of Mary Shellaker since her wedding in 1785.

WILLIAM SHELLAKER  – not mentioned in the Will.
Francis’ son WILLIAM SHELLAKER, who was baptised on 28th Oct 1772,  is also not mentioned in her father’s Will. However records suggest he was still alive at the time this Will was written in 1814.

I believe William married MARY WOODS on 12th April 1798. William and Mary had six children; Francis (b.1799), Sarah (born and died in 1800), Thomas (b. 1801) , another Sarah (b. 1802), John (b. 1804) and William for whom the record of his birth/baptism has not been located but his existence is proven by this Will of his grandfather.

A record can be seen of a William Shellaker receiving an apprenticeship from Robert Pitt of Caldercott in Rutland as a Tailor from 30th June 1786 to 4th April 1789, if this is the son of Francis he would have been 13 years old at the start of this apprenticeship and 16 years old once completed.

The 1841 Census taken on 6th June of that year records a William Shellaker, a Tailor, living in Northgate Street in Oakham with an age of 65 years. At first viewing this is not consistent with William’s birth date of 28th October 1772 as he would have reached 68 years at the time of the Census. However in the 1841 Census In the 1841 census, the age of people over 15 are rounded down to the nearest multiple of 5 – so in this instance 68 years is recorded as 65. There is no record of his wife Mary on this Census.

The 1851 Census taken on 30th March of that year records a William Shellaker, a Tailor, living in Northgate Street in Oakham with an age of 78 years. with a birthplace of Lyndon in Rutland. On this record it appears his condition is that of a ‘Widower’ but I have not found any record the death of his wife. The age of 78 is totally consistent with William’s birth date of 28th October 1772.

A William Shellaker, who lived in Northgate Street, Oakham was buried in that town on 13th Feb 1857 at the age of 84 years. This age at death is totally consistent with William’s birth date of 28th October 1772.

So it is established that Francis’ son William was alive when his father’s Will was written in 1814, when William was 41 years old but I have no clue why he was excluded from a legacy from his father.

MARY SHELLAKER – receives a legacy
Francis’ daughter ANN, now married with a surname of BROOK, receives a legacy of £30.

RICHARD SHELLAKER – receives a legacy
Francis’ firstborn child RICHARD appears to be the main beneficiary of the Will, receiving the ‘freehold closes’  at Glaston.

Francis has two son-in-laws and two daughter-in-laws and again, there are inconsistencies with the legacies contained within the Will.

Francis provides a legacy to his son-in-law Cuthbert Buck, the sum of £10 but their is no legacy to his other son-in-law John Brook or to his daughter-in-law Mary Shellaker (the wife of William Shellaker mentioned above). His other daughter-in-law, also named Mary Shellaker (but she is the wife of Richard Shellaker mentioned above) does not receive a specific legacy but, in the event of the death of her husband, receives the ‘freehold closes’  at Glaston during her own lifetime.

Francis has nine surviving grandchildren, all of whom receive a legacy. The three children of Richard & Mary all receive £10 plus the two girls Katherine and Sarah will each receive £30 from their brother William upon him receiving ‘freehold closes’  at Glaston upon the death of both her parents. The five children of William and his wife Mary Wood all receive £10 and does the infant son of Ann Shelacres and John Brook.

It appears his granddaughter Sarah Lowe receives two legacies; “I give and bequeath to my five Grand Children Francis, Thomas, Sarah, John and William……the sum or sums of ten Pounds” and also “I give and bequeath to my Grand-daughter Sarah Lowe, wife of Samuel Lowe the sum of sixty pound.

I do not know why this should be so.

Finally his two grandchildren Samuel and Mary Lowe, the children of his granddaughter Sarah mentioned directly above, both receive £10.


16th March 2016