Jeremiah Benskin (1657-1703)of Henrico, VA, whose daughter Mary (1690-1742) married John Easley (1682-1742), is often erroneously listed as the son of Francis Benskin of St. Martin's in the Field, England;this error is now spreading exponentially through the electronic databases. I sincerely hope that the following document will help correct this error before it spread further.
Jeremiah Benskin lived in Virginia at the same time as a Henry Benskin (1659-1691), who is proven to be a son of Francis Benskin in the will below. Henry Benskin left two daughters in Virginia: Mary (who married Wm. Harman) and Frances (who married Wm. Marston).However, no relationship between Henry Benskin and Jeremiah Benskin has, to my knowledge, been established through documentary evidence.
I received a copy of Francis Benskin's will from a researcher in London in December, 2001. I have reproduced the will in its entirety below. You will notice that while several children are mentioned, including Henry of Virginia, NO MENTION IS MADE OFJEREMIAH BENSKIN, thus making a father/son relationship highly improbable. I have attempted to reproduce the will with all punctuation and capitalization as in the original.
Administrando tadem Ad Sancta Dei Ebangelia Jurat Ex
IN THE NAME OF GOD AMEN
I ffrancis Benskin of the parish of St. Martin in the ffeilds in the County of Middlesex Esq. being sick in body but of sound mind and memory Praised be God Doe make this my last Will and Testament in manner and forme following (that is to say) ffirste commend mySoule into the hands of Almighty God And my body to the Earth to be decently buried at the discretion of my Executors hereafter named
And for that worldly state which God in mercy hath bestowed upon me I give and bequeath the same as followeth Inprimis I give devise and bequeathe unto my loveing friends Edmund Wyatt of Maidstone in the County of Kent Serjant at Law RichardBingo the elder Esq. & Edmund Ogar Esquire and Thomas Whitfeild Scrivener their Executors Administrators and Assignes all that my Messuage or Tenament with the appurtenances scituate in Oxendon street in the said parish of St. Martin wherin I now dwell and in my estate right title interest terms of yeares yet to come and [illegible] proffit claims and demand whatsoever of in and to the same To have and to hold the said Messuage or Tenament and premisses with the appurtenances onto them the said Edmund Wyatt Richard BingoEdmund Ogar and Thomas Whitfield their executors Administrators and Assignes for and during all the terms and time of years which Ihave to come of in and to the same by virtue of any lease or Grant whatsoever Upon the speciall trust and confidence in them reposed That they the said Edmund Wyat Richard Bingo Edmund Ogar and Thomas Whitfeild and the Survivors and Survivor of them and theExecutors and Administrators of such Survivor shall permitt and suffer my deare wife ffrances Benskin to take and receive to her owne use the rents issued and proffitts thereof during her naturall life if she keeps herselfe a widdow, except one roome by one paire of stairs forward and the furniture thereof which I give and dispose to the use of my daughter ffrances Benskin for her owne use~ And after the decease or marriage of my said wife Then upon further trust that they shall permitt and suffer my said daughter and theheires of her body, and for want of such issue my sonn Thomas Benskin and the heirs of his body, and for want of such issue my sonnHenry Benskin and the heirs of his body, and for want of such issue my cosen Edward Benskin his Executors Administrators and Assignes to take and receive the rents issues and proffitts of my said Messuage or Tenament with the appurtenances to her his and their use successively during all the remainder of yeares then to come in the same Nevertheless my will and meaning is that if my said daughter shall marry with the consent of any two of my Trustees Then I do appoint my said Trustees if they think it convenient after the decease ormarriage of my said wife to sell my said Messuage or Tenament as soone as they can to the best advantage and the money by such sale raised to pay to my said daughter or the ~~~heirs of her body But if my said daughter shall dye without issue lawfully begotten and before such money be paid to her Then the money raised by such sale shall be paid To my sons Thomas and Henry Benskin equally to be divided between them And as for my Household goods (except the furniture of the said roome by one pair of staires) and also all my plate I give and bequeath them to my said wife for her life and after her decease to my said daughter her Executors and Administrators
Item I give and bequeath unto my said daughter Ffrances Benskin eight hundred pounds of lawfull money of England to be paid her at her age of twenty years or day of marriage which shall first happen and the interest thereof in the meane time to be for her present maintenance
Item I give and bequeath to my said son Thomas Benskin the sum of five hundred pounds of lawfull money of England to be issuing andpayable out of a rentaine Mortgage or Estate in Leicestershire granted unto me and my son Thomas by John [illegible symbol(s))atts and Theophilus Bernard
Item I give and bequeath unto my son Henry Benskin of Virginia the summe of two hundred pounds to be paid within one year after my decease to him, or in case he be dead to his children ~and to my kinsman Edward Benskin the summe of twenty pounds of lawfull money of England to be paid within one yeare after my decease And whereas my said wife hath for many years last past left out to the value of five hundred pounds or thereabouts and hath received plate jewells and other goods as pawnes for the security thereof Now mywill is that immediately after my decease my said wife shall give sufficient security to my Executors hereafter named to be approved of by my said Trustees to pay the summe of one hundred pounds of lawfull money of England with interest within six months next after my decease which said one hundred pounds is to be disposed of in payment of my legalles And also that my said wife doe by her owne Bond give my said Executors security for the payment of five hundred pounds of lawfull money of England without interest at her day of marriage or day of death which said two hundred pounds I give to my said Daughter Ffrances Benskin But if she shall dye without issue before the marriage or death of my said wife then I give to my sonns Thomas and Henry Benskin the said two hundred pounds to be equally divided between them And my will further is that my said wife shall immediately after my decease deliver up to one of myExecutors and fuor of my Trustees aforesaid the books of accounte and all the money plate jewells pawned and Obligations in the wayof the said trade whatsoever that she knowes of or hath in her custody or that is or are in the custody of any other person or persons for her use that she ransome by with the names of such person or persons in whose hands they are to remaine in their hands until my saidwife shall give such security as aforesaid And after my said wife hath given in with security as aforesaid Then my will is and I do herebygive and bequeath to her the sole use and benefitt of the said money plate jewells pawned goods and Obligations to dispose of at her willand pleasure, but if she shall refuse to do the same and shall conceal any part or parcell thereof from my Executors and Trusteesaforesaid then she shall have not benefitt or advantage by this my Will And I doe further will that my said Trustees shall put out the saideight hundred pounds herein given to my said daughter to Interest from time to time as the same shall come in, And shall be allowed all charges they shall be at in the execution of the trust hereby in them reposed And that they shall not be chargeable with any loss that may happen in putting out the said moneys and for their trouble herein I give them twenty shillings apiece to buy them rings
Item I doe appoint my Executors to pay my said Trustees the summe of five hundred pounds part of the said Eight hundred pounds given to my said daughter out of the first money that may be raised out of my estate and the interest thereby arrising to be for her maintenanceand the rest of my Legatico to be paid within twelve months after my decease And after the paymenbt of all my Legatico aforesaid andmy funerall charges I give to my said sonns Henry Benskin and his children the summ of one hundred pounds more And to my said daughter Ffrances Benskin after the decease or marriage of her mother All my plate (except one silver Tankard to my wife) and all the rest of my estate not hereby bequeathed and charged I give to my sonn Thomas and Daughter ffrances
Lastly I make my said sonn Thomas Benskin and daughter ffrances Benskin Executors of this my last Will and Testament Thereby revoking all wills by me formerly made and declare this to be my last Will and Testament In Witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this Twenty Sixth day of September In the third year of the Raigne of our Sovereign Lord and Lady King William andQueen Mary Anno Domini One Thousand Six Hundred Ninety One.
Signed sealed published and delivered by the Testator as his last Will and Testament in the presence of after the interlineations above W: Hill Tho: W Cather Robt Sandford Servants to Mr. Whitfeild Sr.