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Will of Henry Morse(1775 August 28)

  • MS 1982.5 (3X)
  • Microfilm: M-1561
  • 1 item

Will is on vellum and contains neither the signature of Henry Morse nor that of any witnesses. The paper seal of the Archbishop of Canterbury is attached to the will, as is a certificate granting administration of the estate to Thomas Woodall. Mose appointed Benjamin Waller, Robert Prentis, and Thomas Woodall as executors and left them legacies of one mourning ring apiece. Among other bequests are diamond rings to Martha Waller and Thomas Woodall’s wife. Morse’s mother and brother in England are the main beneficiaries.

Henry Morse was an Englishman who lived in Williamsburg for several years (ca. 1767–1775). Morse owned a forge and gristmill and 2000 acres of land at Rocky Ridge, which he acquired as a prize in Col. William Byrd’s lottery in 1767. He advertised the property for sale in the Virginia Gazette in 1770 and 1771. In June 1770 Morse signed a non-importation agreement. In June 1775 he published notice of his intent to leave the colony and offered a mulatto slave, some furniture, and two mares for sale prior to his departure. Morse died between 28 August 1775 (date of will) and 29 December 1775 (date of probate).