In the Name of God Amen. I, James Caraven, late of Droughton, near Skipton, in Craven, in the County of York, in Great Britain, but now of Edenton, in the Province of North Carolina, Esqr., being sick and weak of body, but of Sound & perfect mind and memory, trusting & Confiding in the Mercy of Almighty God, through the Merits of Jesus Christ my Saviour for Pardon and Redemption of my Sins and frailtys, for a happy Eternity in the World to Come; And Touching my Estate wherewith it has pleased God to bless me with in this World: After Payment of all my just Debts and funeral Charges, I give, Devise, Bequeath and Dispose of the Same as followeth, That is to say:
First, I give, Devise and Bequeath to my Loving Wife, Penelope Craven, her Heirs and assigns for Ever, all those Lands, Tenements and Hereditaments with their appurtenances which I purchased of her before our Intermarriage, the Particulars whereof will Appear in a Deed, Dated the Eighteenth day of February, in the Year of our Lord, One Thousand Seven Hundred and fifty Two, & Executed by her by the Name of Penelope Hodgson.
Item. I give and Bequeath to the said Penelope Craven, all the Black Cattle, Sheep and Hogs, and Plantation Tools whatsoever, I shall Dye Possessed of at the Brick house, and the Old Plantation Commonly calld. Pagetts Plantation, and in the Range Commonly Calld. the Great Marsh.
Item. I give and Bequeath to the said Penelope Craven, Ten Negro Slaves and my Will is, that she have her Choice out of all the Slaves I shall Dye Possessed of.
Item. I give and Bequeath to the said Penelope Craven, Silver Plate and Household Furniture to the Amount of One Hundred Pounds, Sterling, first Cost, the whole to be appraised and Valued by the Majority of my Executors, she afterwards to take her Choice to that Amount of the Plate and Furniture, Furniture so Appraised as Aforesaid.
Item. I give and Bequeath to the said Penelope Craven, Fifty Volums of Books to be Chosen by her out of aU my Books I may Dye Possessed of.
Item. I give and Bequeath to the said Penelope Craven, the Horse I bot. of Mr. Richmond, with her Side Saddle and furniture; and all the Provisions and Liquors that shall be in my Dwelling house or Cellar in Edenton at the time of my Death.
Item. I give to each of my God Children, one Pound proclamation Money.
Item. I give to each of the Children of John Hodgson Esqr., Deceased, the Sum of Twenty Shillings, Proclamation Money as a token of my friendship to them.
Item. I give to Dockter Abraham Boulton, my Brother, Ten Pounds.
Item. I give to Thomas Craven Hodgson, Fifty Pounds, Proclamation Money, and my Large Gold Seal.
Item. I give my Godson, William Badham, Six Silver Spoons Marked W. B., and Also Ten Pounds Proclamation Money.
Item. I give to each of my Executors hereafter named the Sum of Three Pounds Proclamation Money to buy each of them a Ring as a Testimony of my Regard for them.
Item. I Leave the use of the house wherein I Dwell, and the Six Lotts thereon, to the said Penelope Craven until all my Affairs are Settled by my Executors, and by them so Declared, She Commiting no Waste.
Item. I Will and Ordain that the Executrix & Executors of this my Last Will and Testament, And their Executors or Administrators for and towards the Performance of this my said last Will and Testament shall as Soon as they have Settled my Affairs after my Decease, bargain, sell and alien in fee Simple all the Residue of my Real Estate not herein before Absolutely give and Bequeathed for ever, for the Doing, Executing and perfect finishing Whereof, I do by these Presents give, grant, Will and Transfer to my said Executrix and Executors and to their Executors and Aciministrators, or the Majority thereof, full power & Authority to Grant, Bargain, Sell, Convey and assure all my Said Real Estate, that is to say, all my said six Lotts and Houses thereon, & my Dwelling House, the use of Which I have before Left to my Loving Wife, Penelope Craven, untill my Affairs are Settled by my Executors; and also all my Lands not hearinbefore Absolutely Given & Bequeathed for Ever, to any Person or Persons and their Heirs for Ever, in fee Simple by all and Every such Law-full ways and means in the Law as to my said Executrix and Executors or their Executor or Executors, Administrator or Administrators or their Councel Lerned in the Law, Shall Seem fit or Necessary and the Moneys Arising by such Sale to be applyed towards payment of my just Debts.
Item. I Order and Derect, and my Will and Pleasure is, that my Executors or the Majority of them, do make Sale of all my personal Estate, not herein Specially Given & Bequeathed at Publick Vendue or by Private Sale at the Discretion of my said Executrix & Executors, or the Majority of them, and the money arising by the Sale of my Real & Personal Estate aforementioned, after my just Debts are paid, I give and Bequeath to my said Loving Wife, Penelope Craven, Doctor John Craven, and my Sister, Mary Leeming, to be Equaly Divided between them, the said Penelope Craven, Doctor John Craven and Mary Leeming. If my Executors shall think giving a Certain Day for Payment of the Moneys Arising, or that may arise, by the Sale of my Said Real and Personal Estate will advance the Price thereof (as I think it will), they may, and my Will and Desire is that they do so, otherwise not.
Item. I give unto Mr. Peter Iteming, all my Wearing Apparell and Linenn of what Sort Soever.
Item. I Nominate and Appoint my Loving: Wife. Penelope Craven, Executrix and my Good Friends, Frances Corbin, Wyriot Ormand and Willam Heritage, of North Carolina, Esqrs., and John Watson, of Suffolk, in Virginia, Esqr., Executors of this my Last Will and Testament & to see the Same duly Executed and Fullfill’d According to it’s true Intent and Meaning, hereby Revoking all Other Wills by me heretofore made, Ratifying, allowing & Confirming this to be my last will and Testament & None other.
In Testimony Whereof, I have Set my hand & affixed my Seal, this Twenty Eighth day of September, in the Year of our Lord, One Thousand, Seven Hundred and fifty five, (1755).
Jas. Craven. (Seal).
Signed, Sealed, Published and
Declared by the said James Cra-
ven, as and for his Last Will &
Testament in the Presence of us
the Subscribers, who at his Re-
quest & in his Presence put our
Names as Witnesses to the same:
North Carolina, Newbern, ss-
The Execution of the within. last Will & Testament of James Craves, Esquire, deceased, was proved before me. Arthur Dobbs, Esqr., Governor & Commander in Chief of North Carolina, and Ordinary of the Same, by the Oath of John Williams, One of the Subscribing Witnesses thereto, the 11th Day of October, 1755: at which Time and Penelope Craven herself, The Executrix within named, qualified herself pr. the sd. Office, by taking the Oath appointed to be taken by Executors.
Recorded in Will Book 7, page 12, Office of the Secretary of State.
Source: North Carolina Wills and Inventories, copied from Original and Recorded Wills and Inventories In the Office of the Secretary of State by J. Bryan Grimes, Secretary of State, Published 1912)