In December of 2014, in a search online, I made a match to a Will for Agnes Bagby, dated 1404. The Will was for sale from the University of York, Borthwick Institute, York, England. I purchased the Will and when I received it, it was in Latin and I began searching for someone who could translate it for me. In 2019, I found a fellow genealogy researcher of another surname who thought he would be able to translate the Will, but as he put it, “The Will is in it’s original 15th-century manuscript, handwritten with the conventions (script and ligatures) peculiar to that time and place, and therefore illegible to me.” After failing to obtain a translation for (5) years, I decided to pay the translation fee, which amounted to £75.00 to the Borthwick Institute and received the translation in 2020. The Will is copyrighted and I am not permitted to post it in any format, so I am sharing a summary along with my research afterward which provides the surname of Agnes at birth and a son and grandson.

Date of the Will: December 10, 1404

Will: Agnes of Bagby, widow of John of Bagby, recently deceased.

Content Summary:

She leaves instructions for her own burial, along with religious rituals she wants carried out, i.e., candles to burn around her body, people who she wants to celebrate for one year for her soul and the soul of her recently deceased husband, John Bagby. She leaves a silver gilt bowl to Lord Thomas of Speton to celebrate [mass] for the soul of John Bagby and for her soul and of all the faithful deceased. She leaves fabric and lights for Saint Mary of Sowerby; (the location of her specified burial), likewise to the guild of Saint Mary of Thirsk. She specifies certain articles of clothing to be left to certain ladies, specifically (3) fur tunics.

As pertaining to family members, she names Thomas son of John, my son.

It’s interesting to note that everything she owns are personal items and not land, houses or other tangible items. This is due to the fact that she lived in the Manor located at Bagby, mentioned on page 164 of “Doomsday Book For Yorkshire”. As many of you know, the Manor and furnishings for the Manor did not belong to the family who occupied the Manor. The family was merely permitted to be the caretaker.


Lord John Hovyngham Canon of Newburgh Lord Thomas Chaco Lord Richard Marschall John Topclif and others.

After running a search for Lord John Hovyngham, I found that he was appointed by King Richard II in 1396 to the benefice of Saint Peter, Westcheap in the City of London. There is quite a bit of information recorded about him, including that he died in 1417, leaving a lengthy Will in which he mentioned his sister, Agnes.

On page 166 of “Doomsday Book For Yorkshire”, there is a Manor at Hovingham described. My educated guess is that this is where Agnes Hovyngham lived and was married to John of Bagby who lived in the Manor at Bagby.

In conclusion, we would have:

John (1), of Bagby; m. Agnes of Hovyngham, John (2); Thomas (3)