William Stable of Harewood (b. circa 1534, d. 1575)

William is the oldest confirmed ancestor of the Harewood Stables Line and, judging by the ages of his children at the time of his death, would probably have been born around 1534.

He rented a house and farm at Hetherick, where he lived with Agnes, his wife, and their five children, John, James, Roger, Elizabeth and Margaret.

William died whilst the children were still very young and he left the house and farm to his wife for ten years, on the condition that she bring up his children and do nothing 'prejudiciall or hurtefull' to his eldest son John.

The fact that the property was left to her for just 10 years would indicate that his eldest son, John, was just 11 years old at the time of his father's will and would reach his manhood, the age of 21, in 1585. This would mean that John would have been born around 1564.

We know not what became of William's wife, Agnes, after his death, nor whether she re-married but four of their children did indeed reach maturity and go on to have their own children. His eldest son John went on to found the Harewood branch of the Stables Family, of which there are many hundreds of descendents around the world still living today.

There is a puzzling section in William's will requiring his four younger children to be 'well broughte upp of my said farmeholde until they be thre years olde'. Clearly, unless they were quadruplets, at least one of them would have been older than three years at the time of William's death and we can only wonder if this was a transcription error made by the cleric at the Court in York. Presumably, the 'three stickes', he left to them was a parcel of land.

It is possible that William Stable may have had two brothers. His will makes Richard Stable a supervisor, so we can presume that this was a close relative. We also know that there was a Stephen Stable and Jennet, his wife, living at nearby Huby at this time, who could also have been a close relation.

The Will of William Stable of Hederick - Dated September 26th, 1574

In the name of God Amen the xxij day of September in the year of our lorde god one
thousande fyve hundrethe seventie & fower I William Stable of hederick in the pishe of harwodd
& in the countie of yorke beyinge sicke of bodie but of good & pfecte remembrance praysed be god do
mayke & ordaine this my last will & testamente in manner & forme folowinge viz first I commend
my soule to allmyghtie god my creator & Redemer & my bodie to be buried when it shall please
allmyghtie god Item I gyve & beqwyth to Agnes my wyfe my house & farmeholde with all comodities
& pfittes thereunto belonginge for the terme & Space of ten year condicionallie that she shall bringe
up my children with meat drinke & clothinge honesteli at the right & discresion of the supervisors
of this my last will & testament Itm I will that Agnes my wyfe yf she marry agane befor the
said ten years be expired that both she & he that dothe marry her shall enter into bondes to do nothing
or thinge that shalbe prejudiciall or hurtefull to my sone John Stable unto whom I gyve & bequithe
all the Residewe of my righte title & terme of years specified in one lease of my said house & farmehold
pvided allwais that yf my said wyfe do not marry before my lease be expired That then I will that
she shall occupie the one halfe of my said farmeholde & the comodities thereto belonginge with my sone
John his executors or assignes Itm I will that my said sone John Stable shall gyve unto the
Residew of my children viz xiijs iiijd of his owen px goods within thre years next after he entreth
to the halfe or moitie of this my said farmeholde or the one close or crofte called weste close for
the terme & Space of fower years Then next folowinge equallie to be devided amonge them Itm
I will that James Stable Roger Stable Elizabeth Stable & mgaret Stable my children
shall have the three stickes equallie to be divided amongste them And to have them well
broughte upp of my said farmeholde until they be thre years olde Itm I will that my debtes
be paed of my whole goods The Residewe of all my goods my funerall  expence & figure discharged
I gyve to Agnes my wyfe whom I mayke my whole executrix Itm I will that Richarde Stable
willm Rawdern & willm morris be supervisers of this my laste will & testamente to se that my
wyfe & children have their right and that their charges be borne them Thes beyinge witnesses
Richarde hutchinson Richard oldefelde John dryston willm morrys

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