Another handwriting challenge
I am really struggling to decipher a word in the probate record above. It is a copy of the will of Thomas Walker, draper, of 1649. It references his brother-in-law, Francis Marshall, and states that he is ‘of [word unknown]’. Any guesses as to what it says? Here is a zoomed-in image:
I presume it is a place name. My best guess is Upfield but there doesn’t seem to be any such place. Or it could be Uphold? And what is that character at the end?
Potential clue: Francis Marshall appears in another will of 1678 as Francis Marshall of Derby. (The two Marshalls are definitely the same person). So the word could be a town or village in Derbyshire.
Update – a huge thank you to everyone who commented, e-mailed or tweeted me about this. The general consensus was that it was Uphold or Upholder. A bit of googling revealed that Francis Marshall was indeed an upholder or upholsterer: he is described as an upholsterer in the record of his will of 1681 in the Lichfield Consistory Court. He was Warden of the Derby Company of Mercers in 1675, and again is described as an upholsterer.
A couple of people have suggested checking the original will in PROB 10 at the National Archives (this is the probate copy in PROB 11 and will have been copied by the probate clerk from the original). Without doing that, it’s impossible to know for sure, but it seems like the clerk has simply mistranscribed the original wording, which may have been “an upholder of Derby” or something similar.
With many thanks to Gavin Robinson, Ben Coates, Christopher Thompson, Simon Pilgrim, Ruth Selman, Jeremy Dibbell, Niccolo Valentini, Rob Harkins and Guillaume Ratel.