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Dr Stephen Pumfrey, Department of History, Furness College, Lancaster University, LA1 4YG UK
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Last Will and Testament

William Gilbert wrote his will in May 1603, six months before his death.

The main beneficiaries were his family, some friends, and the Royal College of physicians to whom Gilbert bequeathed 'all my bookes in my librarye, my Globes and Instrumentes, and my cabenet of myneralles'.

Gilbert's will is now held at the National Archives (PROB/11/102). A transcription of the will has been produced here:

Transcription of Gilbert's Will (pdf)

A sentence given by the Perogative Court at Canterbury (TNA PROB10/7486/3) reveals that there was a dispute between Gilbert's executors - his half-brothers, William and Ambrose Gilbert - on the one hand, and his other siblings, Agnes Smith, Prudence Millington, Elizabeth Jones, Anna Barret and George Gilbert, on the other. The court ratified the contents of Gilbert's will and pronounced that Gilbert was of sound mind when he appointed William and Ambrose as his executors.

A transcription and translation of the probate sentence is available here:

Probate Sentence (pdf)

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