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John Wheelock


I, John Wheelock, captain of His Majesty’s Ship Modeste, being in bodily health and of sound and disposing mind and memory, and considering the perils and dangers of the seas and other uncertainties of this transitory life, do for avoiding controversies after my decease make, publish and declare this my last will and testament in manner following:

That is to say first I recommend my soul to God that gave it and my body I commit to the earth or sea as it shall be pleased God to order and as for and concerning all my worldly estate I give, bequeath and dispose thereof as followeth:

That is to say all and singular my wages, sum and sums of money, lands, tenements, goods, chattels and estate whatsoever as shall be anyway due, owing or belonging unto me at the time of my decease I do give, devise and bequeath the same unto my beloved brother Anthony Wheelock Esq. of Yarmouth in the Isle of Wight in the County of Southampton and I do hereby nominate and appoint my said brother Anthony Wheelock to be my sole executor of this my last will and testament hereby revoking all former and other wills and testaments and deeds of gift by me at any time heretofore made and I do ordain and ratify these presents to stand and be for and as my only last will and testament.

In witness whereof to this my said will I have set my hand and seal, the tenth day of May in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy one and in the eleventh year of the reign of His Majesty King George the Third over Great Britain, etc. John Wheelock.

Signed, sealed, published and declared in the presence of William Higgins, Emanuel Morton, William Orton.

In the name of God amen, I, John Wheelock, captain of His Majesty’s navy and now commanding His Majesty’s Ship Sultan do make this codicil to my last will and testament made to my last will and testament made to my brother Anthony Wheelock Esquire in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy one when I commanded His Majesty’s Ship Modeste confirming the same except that I give and bequeath to Mrs Mary Davis of Elson in the parish of Alverstoke in the County of Southampton, widow, all and singular my household goods, plate, linen, china of every kind whatsoever item.

I give and bequeath unto the said Mary Davis one third part or share of all the prize money that may become due to me and my will and testament shall be as essential and valid as if it had been inserted in the body of my will.

In witness to which I have hereunto set my hand and seal this ninth day of May in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy eight. John Wheelock.

Signed, sealed and delivered in the presence of us William Vase, Richard Lambeth, William Higgins.

This will was proven at London with a codicil the twentieth day of March in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy nine before the Worshipful Francis Simpson, Doctor of Laws, Surrogate of the Right Worshipful Peter Calvert, Doctor of Laws, Master Keeper or Commissary of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury lawfully constituted by the oath of Anthony Wheelock Esquire the brother of the deceased and sole executor named in the said will to whom administration was granted of all and singular the goods, chattels and credits of the said deceased having been first sworn duly to administer.

The will was proved 20 March 1779, PRO 11/1051.


Transcribed by John Robson


  1. Elson is now a part of Gosport in the north of the town on the western shore of the inner Portsmouth Harbour.

Originally published in Cook's Log, page 25, volume 30, number 1 (2007).     

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