The name of Fugler has long since disappeared from North Hill but the wills left by James Fugler and his wife, Grace, give us an interesting view of late eighteenth and early nineteenth century life.

James was born about 1750, probably in the area south of Truro. He married in 1797 in North Hill to local woman, Grace Hurdon, when they were both in their 40s. They had no children of their own, having married reasonably late in life. He died less than two years later and is buried in St Torney's churchyard. Grace died in 1823 in Launceston and is buried alongside James.

The Last Will and Testament of James Fugler (c1751-1799)

Francis Rodd's workmen
Ann Flower
Philippa Crips
Mary Pomeroy the younger
John Probert
William Craggs
Richard Cullis
Ann Cussons
Mary Nanjulian
Joanna Kenner
Ann Parsons
Mary Bligh
Mary Couch
Philip Wadge
William Eastman
Mary Berryman (niece)
Loveday Berryman (niece)
Elizabeth Berryman (niece)
Francis Fugler (nephew)
John Fugler (nephew)
Francis Fugler (nephew)
George Fugler (nephew)
Elizabeth Fugler (niece)
James Bennett and wife Ann or Nancy
Francis Rodd esquire
Mrs Rodd
Francis Hearle Rodd esquire
Reverend Edward Rodd
John Tremayne Rodd esquire
Miss Rodd
Mrs Fursdon
Mrs Woolcock of North Hill
Grace Fugler (wife)

James Fugler wrote his last Will and Testament on 1st July 1798, describing himself as a Maltster of North Hill. Whilst this sounds to be an artisan trade, the will indicates that he had some standing in the community.

The number of recipients and his cash bequests suggest that he was well known in the community and reasonably affluent. He bequeathed cash to 33 named people and an undefined number of workmen and this cash, alone, amounted to about £250. Allowing for inflation this amount of cash would be worth over £20,000 today.

He gave three annuities amounting to £54 per year to be divided between his father, his wife and a favoured niece. These payments were to be funded from his 3% Consolidated Bank Investments; we do not know what the capital sum held was.

James declared that he wanted to be buried in a walled grave in St Torney's churchyard and cited two other graves, those of Margaret Carbis and the wonderfully named Cyriac Frederick Bodenstein, that were built in the fashion he wished for his own. This may have been to deter grave robbers but there is no evidence of such activity in North Hill.

Most surprising is that among the beneficiaries were his employer and master, Francis Rodd (1732-1812) and other members of the Rodd family. It is not common for significant sums of money bequeathed to a deceased person's employer and family but the relationship between master and employee seems to have been very special. Francis Rodd and his son Francis Hearle Rodd (1766-1836) were the executors of James Fugler's will. James' marriage into the Hurdon family, bequests to people in Minehead in Somerset and the involvement with the Rodd family all indicate a higher social standing than might be expected for a maltster.

All James' testamentary goods (his personal property ranging from the Bible to the Hay in the list of Bequests) passed to his wife, Grace.

Common Prayer Book
Household Goods
Silver Buckles
Silver Buttons
Gold Sleeve Buttons
Breast Pins

James leased his home and maltings from Francis Rodd and his will asks that his wife, Grace, be allowed to continue to live there. The location of the maltings is not known. A clue may be found in the 1841 census which shows a John Chubb (30) as a maltster living in an adjacent property to Jane Coumbe, an innkeeper. The Coumbe family ran the Ring o' Bells inn and next door was The Rodd Arms, a likely outlet for malt based products such as ale. At some point after James' death, however, Grace moved to Launceston.

James Fugler's original will, as far as is known, has not survived but it was proved in London on 30th July 1799. Probate was granted to Francis Rodd and his son, Francis Hearle Rodd, and a copy was made for the records of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury. This copy is held by The National Archives under reference PROB 11/1327/271. The banner header on this page has been taken from this source. A transcript of the will can be seen on the Online Parish Clerk website.

The Last Will and Testament of Grace Fugler nee Hurdon (1751-1823)

Grace begins her will, written on 30th July 1818 by describing herself as "of Launceston (otherwise Dunheved)". She appoints two men as her executors. One is Richard Eastcott of Stowford in Devon and the other was Richard Rowe of Penhole, near Coad's Green.

The first bequest in Grace's will was one of five guineas to Emlin Wollcock nee Wevill (1732-1824) who also lived at Penhole. She was the widow of John Wollcock who died in 1797 and who was buried in St Torney's churchyard, after many years serving as the curate there.

In the north aisle of St Torney's is an incised slab as a memorial to John Wollcock that records him as a rector of St Augustine's Church adjacent to St Paul's Cathedral in London, pictured here. The main structure of St Augustine's was destroyed by bombing in The Blitz on London during World War 2. In 1954 the tower was restored and is now part of the St Paul's Cathedral Choir School.The time that John spent as Rector of St Augustine's has not been established; the Church of England Directory of Clergy does not evidence this. Emlin died in 1824 and is buried at St Torney's.

Grace's will makes bequests to her nieces, including her favoured niece Ann Hurdon, as can be expected of a childless widow and as a result the main body of the will contains nothing remarkable. The Codicil dated 1823, however, has a point of interest. Grace had an estate that included monies held as investments that were, of course, available to her to use as she saw fit in her lifetime.

Two years after writing her will, Grace's niece the aforementioned Ann Hurdon, married in St Mary Magdalene in Launceston to Henry Greenwood. In her codicil Grace describes him as a "Common Brewer".

Around this time the owner of the Turk's Head in Launceston, a Mrs Cullis, had been obliged to surrender her ownership of the public house and two associated dwellings on account of her bankruptcy. The property's sale was administered by Messrs Pearce and Dymond who put it up for auction in the White Hart in Launceston on Friday 13th July 1821. Grace attended the auction and successfuly bought "The Turk's Head" and the dwellings on Church Street for £810.

Grace was the owner unti her death and the codicil to her will instructed that the property be placed in trust under the governance of Richard Eastcott and Richard Rowe for the benefit of Ann Greenway, nee Hurdon. The codicil protected the property such that Henry could not become owner but could take an income from it in the event of Ann's death. After both Ann and Henry's death the property was to pass to any children they may have.

As with James' will, the original document no longer exists. The copy held by Kresen Kernow under reference: CRO/SO/W/360 is the copy made by the Stamp Office. This was a forerunner of the Inland Revenue and it's role was to collect death duties. Between 1812 and 1858 there was a collection of wills in the Exeter registry, the originals of which were destroyed in 1942 when it was hit by a bomb. Old original wills dating back to the 15th century were destroyed, however, copies of wills from 1812 up to 1858, that period where copies were sent to the Stamp Office, being located elsewhere were later lodged with county record offices.

A transcript of the will can be seen on the Online Parish Clerk website.


The image at the top of the page shows the opening lines of the will, taken from a copy of James Fugler's last will and testament held in the records of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury.