The parish registers contain many references to Poultons and the churchyard has two monuments to them. They were clearly once an important family in the village, although they’re all long gone. They deserve more research. Two Poultons were given land at enclosure in 1808, and a Poulton once lived in Church Farm.
Meanwhile, the will of William Poulton was transcribed by Gary Colquhoun in 1996 and published by Stuart Poulton around 2007 here. Stuart maintains an extensive Poulton family history website, and has kindly given permission for us to copy the will here.
It’s possible that William Poulton is the one listed in the burial register as having been buried on 15 Jan 1688 (old style dates), in which case his wife would have been Elizabeth Poulton, buried 5 May 1676. Only one child is apparent in the baptism register, Ann, baptised on 26 Jun 1665, and no relevant weddings, although the registers are full of Poultons.
Where was “Mallion’s Close” in Eversholt, mentioned in William’s will? and where was Copmone Field? There’s a “Mallions Piece” (or maybe Mullions) between the present locations of Berrystead and New England on the 1764 map. And there are several fields labelled “Copmore …” (not Copmone) between there and Berrystead. The map shows houses at New England, so maybe that’s where William lived. The same map shows pieces of land labelled “Poultons…” near the present Falcon.
Anyway, here is William’s will. This has been transcribed multiple times, so anything is possible! I (EJW) modified the Colquhoun transcription by inserting paragraph breaks; otherwise, it should be the same.
Public Record Office, Chancery Lane, London – Ref: PROB 11/394
I William Poulton of Eversholt in the County of Beds Gent being sicke in body but of good and perfect memory (praise be to Allmighty God) doe make and ordaine this my last Will and Testamt in manner and forme following that is to Say.
First and principally I commend my soule unto Allmighty God my Creator aforesaid believing that I shall receive full pardon and free Remission of all my Sinns and be saved by the precious death and meritts of my Blessed Saviour and Redeemer Jesus Christ and my body to the Earth to be buried in such decent manner as to my Executors herein after named shall seeme most
Item I give and bequeath unto my Daughter Elizabeth Loughton and to her Heyres and Assignes for ever all that my Messuage Cottage or Tenement with the Orchard and appurtences thereto belonging Situate in Bedford in the said Parish of Eversholt in the occupation of Robert Smith
Item I give and bequeath unto my Sonne Charles Poulton all that my Messuage or Tenement I now dwell in Eversholt aforesd and the Orchard and Close thereto belonging called Mallions Close To hold to him his Executors Admistrs and Assignes for and dureing all the rest residue and remainder of the respective tearme and tearmes of yeares I have therein yet to come and unexpired he paying out of the same promisses to my Sonne Arthur Poulton the Sume of eighty pounds of lawfull English money when the said Arthur shall attaine to the age of one and twenty years and the Sume of three pounds of the lawfull English money yearly at the two most usuall Feasts of Christmas and Lady-day by equall porcons for the interest of the same eighty pounds untill it shall be due and payable to the said Arthur as aforesaid
Item I give and bequeath unto the said Arthur my Sonne all that my Messuage or Tenement in Eversholt aforesd in the occupation of John Doleman and my those of pasture to the Same adjoining lately purchased of William Rowland and alsoe all that my Acre of Land in Copmone Field in Eversholt aforesd lately purchased of Humphrey Taylor gent To have and to hold to him the said Arthur my Sonne his Executors Admrs and Assignes for and dureing the respective tearmes I have therein yet to come and unexpired
Item I give and bequeath unto my Daughter Anne Poulton her Executors Admrs and Assignes all that my Six and fifty pounds due unto me from John Randall of Sindon upon Mortgage and Bond with the interest due or to growe due for the same together with my lease and Mortgage of his houses and Land for the respective Tearmes therein to come to secure the same
Item I give and bequeath unto my Daughter Sarah Poulton her Executors Admistratrs and Assignes the Sume of Twenty pounds with the interest due or to grow for the Same now owing me upon Bond from George Bolt and Richard Cooke of Flitwick and alsoe eight pounds with the interest thereof due to me upon Bond from Richard Bennett of Stepingly and alsoe fifteen pounds with the interest thereof due to me from George Looton of Eversholt aforesd upon Bond and three pounds due to me from Richard Wilcock of Asply Guise
Item I give unto my eldest Sonne William Poulton tenn Thousand of bricke to take away at his Will and pleasure from my Brickelampe
Item I give unto my daughter Sarah and Anne three paire of sheets apeice and to my Sonne Arthur foure paire and to my daughter Elizabeth one paire and to my said Sonne Arthur my best bed and to my said daughters Sarah and Anne and to each of them a bed
Item I give unto my Grandsonne William Poulton and to my grandchild Sarah Poulton the fourty shillings such their Father owes me to be equally divided between them
All the rest of my goods and Chattells not herein before bequeathed I give unto my said Sonne Charles Poulton whome I make sole Executor of this my last Will and Testamt he paying unto my said Sonne Arthur forty shillings and the debts such I justly owe to any person
In Witness whereof I have hereto sett my hand and Seale to this my last Will and Testament the thirteenth day of January Anno Dom 1689 and in the fourth yeare of the Raigne of our Soveraigne Lord James the Seconde King of England
of the marke of William Poulton.
Signed sealed published and declared by the said Testator in the presence of us whose names are hereto subscribed who subscribed our names in the presence of the said Testator
the marke of John Poulton