1557: The Will of William Alen of Castletown & Kyldroght

1557 Will of William Alen of Castletown of Kyldroght, transcribed by Walter FitzGerald, MJ McEnery and James Mills

About this period there was residing at Castletown a William Alen, brother to Sir John Alen, Chancellor of Ireland, who had acquired the recently dissolved Abbey of St Wolstan’s.

His will is preserved in the Record Office in Dublin; it is here given line for line and word for word (except that the contractions are lengthened) as a specimen of the class of wills in vogue in the middle of the sixteenth century:—

In the Name of the father, the son, and the holy goste,

I Wyll Alen of Castelton of Kyldroght in the countie of Kyldare,

hoole of mynde and in perfecte memory

the xvi day of October in the yere of christes incamacyon

after our computacyon

a thousande fyve hundreth fiftie and eight,

doo make my wylle and testament as foloweth —

ffyrst I commende my sowle to almighty god the creator of me,

and my body to be buryede in the churche of Donaghcompor

where it shall plese my broder Sir John Alen,

and to the reparacyon of the sayd churche

I give ten shillings stirlinge after Irland rate,

and to my paryshe churche of Kyldroght other ten shillings.

And I ordeyne and constitute of this my laste wyll and testament

my broder Sir John Alen Knyght, late lord chancellor of Irland,

and my broder Thomas Alen clerke of thannaper my executors,

and wyll that after my decesse

my goodes and cattails be by them

dyvyd into three parts

wherof won parte I wyll that Margret my wyffe

shall have as due to her for her portyon.

Annother parte to my chyldeme

John Alen, Thomas Alen, Mathewe Alen, Symone Alen, and Crystofer Alen,

and my doghters Kateryne and Anne Alen,

And the thyrd parte after my buryall aud funeral)

doon, debtes, and legacyes payed,

to be dyvyd by my sayde bretherne in two partes

wherof won parte I do give to my sayd wyffe

and thother parte to my sayd chyldeme

to be equally distribute amongst them by my sayd executors.

And I wyll if any of my sayd chyldeme decesse befor manage

that his or her porcyon. and legacy of my goods not spent before

upon hym or her so dyenge

or as moche as shall remayne then unspent,

be by my sayd executors, or the longest lyvd of them,

or the executors or assigns of the (indecipherable)

lyvd of them, equally distributed amongs the (indecipherable)

And lyko order I wyll to be (indecipherable)

so shall dye before mariage (indecipherable)

thage of xviii or the wom (indecipherable)

I wylle that my sayd wyfe

as longe as she kepe hersylf soole and unmaryed

upon securytye at my executors dyscratyon

shall have as well the custodye of my sayd chyldeme

as thoccupynge of theyr portyone of my goodes and ciittalls.

And if she kepe nott herself soole, or as sone as she mary

I wyll my sayd bredeme my executors

and the longer lyvd of them or ther tissignes

shall have the kepyng both of my sayd chyldem

and ther portyons of my goodes and cattails.

I gyve my wyfe all my napery , pewter, and candelstickes.

I bequeth and gyve to M’. Meyler Hosey, steward to my lord of Kyldare

my beste gowne. To my broder Thomas my seconde gowne.

The reste of my apjiarell I gyve to iny Sonne John.

I bequeth to my broder Thomas chyldern x (indecipherable)

lams to be dyvyd amonges them at ther fathers dyscretyone.

I bequeth allso to my broder Sir John Alen Knyght my (indecipherable)

and my payre of Andyemes* with a chafynge dysh* (indecipherable)

and to my neeso his doghter Anne Alen an incalfe cowe.

Item. I wyll that Anne Artor,

that noryshyth my sonn crystofer Alen (indecipherable)

an incalfe cowe, the ecreese of the same to be reservyd

from tyme to tyme as she calveth to my sayd sonn crystofer.

Item. I bequeth manys Smythe of Lucan,

that norysheth my sonn Symone Alen an incalfe cowe and a heyfer,

the increase of them reserved to my sayd sonn Symone

as before of thother.

Item. I bequeth to davy browne that norysheth my sonn mathewe Alen

an incalfe cowe,

the increase therof lykewyse reserved to my sayd sonn mathewe.

Item. I gyve to belle newell a sowe.

Also I gyve the vicare of Kyldroght thre shyllyngs that he owthe me.

And to oldo Joharolde a peake of whete that he owthe me.

And a fryese cote f urder I bequeth to my base sonn Jacke Alen.

Present at the declaratyon of this my laste wyll and testament

Sir Symone han-y vicar of Kyldroght,

Wyllyam Omulmoy,

Geffry Walshe and others.

(indecipherable) the inventorie of his goodes foloweth. ffyrste. in redy mo-

(indecipherable) ohn Shelton owth iiii li styrlynge.

Item. Olyver

(indecipherable) sheen of S* Mary Abbaye vi li ii’ viii*

(indecipherable) of Kylmacredoke xlv’ x** ob’ styrlynge

The chiefe rent of Kyldroght the same terme xvi styrlynge

For the chiefe rent of the Moretcm the same terme viii’ X* styrlynge.

Master Meyler Hosey oweth xxx fy ve li styrlynge.

Upon piers Wesly Ixvi* viii styrlynge.

Rychard Cowlocke of Dublin iiii li v styrlynge.

Item. Wynter of Dublin caatell oweth for x peckes of dreye malte Ix sterlinge Wyllyam ffyan of lexlyp oweth iiii peckes whete.

Thomas Relyke late myller of Kyldroght mylle in arere for the sayd my lie in wheete xxxvi peckes,

he allso in woote malte and cruslagh’ xl peckes.

The corne in the hagarde by estymacyon

Ix cople whych wyth the haye pryced at clxxx li styrlynge.

wynter corne in grounde by estymacyon Ixx acres valued at xl li styrlynge.

flfowre score and ix kyne bulles oxen heyfers and calves pryced won with annothcr at xvi’ styr. Ixv li per hasten (?)

xxiii garrans with an hakney pryced at IviZi str.

tfoure score and V swyne valued at xx li str.

tfyften score and x shepe valued at xxx li str. Item,

an broken hacbut of crocke^ xiii’ iiii

Brasse potts, pannes, barnesse tryppets’ and kytchen stuffs valued at xxii li str.

A Panne in gage* for xl* str.

Axtyllery and instruments to the plowe and husbandry estemed at vii li vi str.

Cartes & carte whels with ther necessaryes worth cvi’ styrlynge

A carpet and six quishens^ worth Ixvi’ viii

cubbordes and tables worth x li iii’ iiii*

ffowrmes and chayrs xxiii’ iiii.

The Beddys and beddynge cvi’ viii styrlynge.

A sylver cupe and fyve small sylver spones valued at iiii li str.

hys apparell was bequethed to his sonne and frends.

hys naperye, pewter, candelstycks bequethed to his wyffe.

Deltes owynge by hym.

ffyrst for the rent of the manor of Kyldroght & Castellton for the laste Michelmas terme xviii li xv’ iiii

tfor the rent of Tyrells’ freholde in Kyldr (indecipherable)

Twelve shyles viii ffor the rent (indecipherable)

-olde the same fine x’ iiii ff (indecipherable)

rent of S’ John Alen’s hou (indecipherable)

xiii’ iiii styrlynge. (indecipherable)

[Page 4 is a continuation of the above, and mostly illegible owing to stains

on the paper.]

napery =household linen

pewter=pewter plates, dishes

Andyernes = dogs and other fire-irons.

Cjafing dyshe=a warming-pan.

Norythyth= fosters.


Obolus=a halfpenny.

Woote malte=oaten malt.

Crualagh=Probably the Irish name for grain in some form of the malting process.


A hacbut was an arquebus, the fire-arm of the period

What “of crocko “ means is puzzling.

Barnesse = brandreth, a sort of gridiron.

Tryppets = tripods. This instrument was therefore probably some kitchen utensil consisting of an iron grating supported on iron legs over the tire.

In gage=in pawn.

quishens= cushions.

My thanks are due to Mr. James Mills of the Record Office for the above explanations.

The following entry occurs in the Annals of Lough Ce: AD 1582. The Earl of Cill-dara’s Steward, Meiler Huse, died in the beginning of this year.” (Meyler Hussey was of Mulhussy, Co. Meath.)

The above will appears to be a very old copy of the original, as the signatures are not on it. The writing is good, bat faint, and some of the letters — such as the “s’s” “h’s” “r’s” “c’s” &c, are of an obsolete form. The paper is of a bad quality, written on both sides, much stained, and has the right hand bottom corner of each page torn off; hence the dotted portion in the copy given above. My thanks are due to Mr MJ McEnery, of the Record Office, for his assistance to me in deciphering the writing.

John Alen re-named St Wolstan’s “Alen’s Court”.

Another of his brothers was Thomas Alen, Clerk of the Hanaper, of Kilheale (or Kilteel, as it is now called) in this county, who by his wife, Mary Rawson, was ancestor of the Alens of Bishop’s Court.

These brothers were the first of their name in Ireland and were descended from the Alens of Coteshall, in Norfolk.

There is on record a letter from five of the Alen family (all of whom were bitter enemies of the Geraldines), which was addressed to their ”right worshipful brother, Mr. Thomas Alen, Warden of the College of Youghyll” (afterwards of Kilteel), which was written in all haste at Youghyll in Irland, the 17th of May, 1534, by your brethren” (and signed by), Bichard Alen, John Alen (Master of the Rolls), Robert Alen, Jasper Alen, and Mellsher Alen.

John Alen, Archbishop of Dublin, who was murdered on the 28th July, 1534, by two yeomen of Dublin — John Teeling and Nicholas Wafer — who were followers of the Silken Thomas, was a cousin of the above-named brothers, and a brother of Thomas Alen, of Rayleigh, in Essex.’

William Alen of “Castleton of Kildroght” married Margaret (unknown) and from him were descended the Alens of Palmerstown, in the Co. Dublin. The date of his death is uncertain, but it was probably in 1559.

These Alens had no connection with the Allens, created Viscount Allen in 1717; the latter were a Dublin family, and lived in a mansion built by them at Mullinahack, called Allen’s Court, too. The fourth Viscount lived at Punchestown, Co. Kildare.

Walter FitzGerald, 1898, Journal of the Kildare Archaeological Society, Vol 2 No 8

The original document was subsequently destroyed during the Civil War in 1922

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