Andrew Carle over at TieandJeans remembered this exercise I’d done a while back, where I asked a group of students in my 7th grade history classes to assemble a group of artifacts that approximated the death-inventory taken as part of the settlement of the estate of John Alden of Plymouth, MA — one of the last surviving Mayflower passengers.
John Alden died in 1687 at the age of 89, one of the last surviving Mayflower passengers. The inventory of his estate was taken on 31 October 1687 by Jonathan Alden, and totalled £49 17s. 6d., all movables. On 13 June 1688 the heirs of John Alden Sr. of Duxbury signed a release in favor of Jonathan Alden, stating that they had received their portion of the estate; those signing were Alexander Standish (in the right of his wife Sarah deceased), John Bass (in the right of his wife Ruth deceased), Mary Alden, Thomas Delano, John Alden, Joseph Alden, David Alden, Priscilla Alden and William Pabodie [PPR 1:10, 16; MD 3:10].
Plymouth County Probate Records, Volume 1, pages 10 and 16.
INVENTORY £ s d (Taken October 31, 1687
- Neate Cattell sheep Swine & one horse 13
- one Table one forme one Carpit one Cubert & coubert Cloth
- 2 Chaires 5 . .
- bedsteds Chests & boxes 15
- Andirons pot hookes and hangers . . . 8 6
- pots Tongs one quort kettle . . 10
- by brass ware . . I: 11.
- by 1 ads 1s 6d & saws 7s . . . 8 . 6
- by Augurs and Chisells . . . 5 . .
- by wedges 5s to Coupers tooles l£ 2s . 17 . .
- one Carpenters Joynters . . . 1 .6
- Cart boults Cleavie Exseta . . 13 . .
- driping pan & gridirons . . . 5 . .
- by puter ware 1 pound 12s by old Iron 3s . 1 15 . .
- by 2 old guns . . 11
- by Table linen & other linen . . 1 . 12 .
- To beding .. . 5 : 12
- One Spitt Is 6d & baggs 2s .. . 3 . 6
- one mortising axe . . . 1 . .
- marking Iron a Case of trenchers with other things . . . . 7 .
- hamen and winch exse . . . 2 . 6
- by one goume and a bitt of linnin Cloth . . . 7 . .
- by one horse bridle and Saddle liberary and Cash and weareing Clothes 18 .9
- by other old lumber . 5Included in the final statements of settlement, was this charming statement by John Alden’s son Jonathan:
Before Nathaniel Thomas Esqr Judge of the Inferior Court of Common
Pleas the 8th day of November 1687 Leiut Jonathan Alden made oath that
this is a true Inventory of the Estate of his father Mr John “Alden deceased
soe farr as he knoweth & when he knoweth more he will discover the same”.