[I have added a small number of full stops to make the text easier to understand. The estate duty copy contains no commas and only one full stop (at the very end).]
This is the last Will and Testament of me John Sercombe of Bovey Tracey in the county of Devon Soap boaler [sic: soap boiler on the cover] which I do hereby declare to be as follows. Imprimis I give and bequeath unto my beloved wife Elizabeth Sercombe Mr James Soper of Hennock and my eldest Son John Clampit Sercombe and their Heirs Executors Administrators & assigns for ever upon trust for such ends & purposes as are hereinafter expressed and declared. All that Dwellinghouse which I now live in with the Soap & Ash Houses and Stable adjoining with all its appurtenances thereto belonging or appertaining with the Orchard formerly two Orchards and a Field at Still Head all which said Premises I bought in reversion and which is now in my occupation situated in Mary Street in the Borough of Bovey Tracey for the sole use of all my Children for my said Trustees to Mortgage or sell the Reversion of all or any part thereof as may appear to them necessary and meet for the better maintenance of my said Children in the lifetime of their Mother. And it is my will that my Children be educated and brought up under the Care and Direction of my said Trustees for and during their Minority. After the Death of my beloved Wife it is my will that such parts of my Lands and Premises that are not disposed of in the lifetime of my Wife be sold by my surviving Trustees James Soper and John C. Sercombe or his and their Heirs Executors & admors [ie. administrators] and the Money arising therefrom to be applied to the maintenance of the Children until the youngest shall attain the age of twenty one years then what money remains to be equally and justly divided among all my surviving Children when the youngest shall arrive shall arrive at the age of twenty years share and share alike. And the Receipt and Receipts given by my Trustees to the Purchaser or Purchasers of the said Lands and Premises shall be considered a good and lawful discharge for the Purchase Money and the Purchaser shall not be answerable for the misapplication or nonapplication thereof by my Trustees who will sell the said Lands and Premises at such time previous to my youngest child becoming the age of twenty one years as may appear to them for the mutual benefit of my said Children. All the remainder of my lands goods chattels money stock in trade and every thing which I may possess I give and bequeath unto my said beloved Wife James Soper & John Clampit Sercombe their Heirs and Assigns for ever in trust for the use of all my Children my Trustees to sell or dispose of it in such way as may appear to them most advantageous to my said Children and the money arising thereform to be applied towards their maintenance and education and bring them to some employment by which they may get their living either by apprenticing them or otherwise as may appear to my Trustees most for my Children’s advantage. And whatever part of my Chattle Estate may remain and unexpended when my youngest Child arrives to the age of twenty one years it is my Will that such part be divided among all my surviving Children Share and Share alike. And I do hereby constitute and appoint my said Wife James Soper & John Clampit Sercombe my joint Executrix and Executors (in trust) of this my last Will and Testament revoking all former and other Wills by me made ratifying and confirming this to be my last Will and Testament. In Witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this fourteenth day of February One thousand eight hundred and twelve 1812.
Signed sealed published and declared by the said
John Sercombe the Testator (some erasures
and interlinations being first made) for his
last Will and Testament in the Presence
of us who have hereunto set our hands and
subscribed our names as Witnesses