In die no'i'e. Amen. I Thomas Vyell of Ixworth the yeld', the xj day of the moneth of October, ye yeer of oure lord m'cccclxxij of very sad and hoole mynd and good avysemente, make myn testament in this wyse. Fyrst I beqweth and bytake myn sowle to almyghty god, to yet blessed lady and to all the Seyntes of heven, and myn body to be beryd in the parysh cherche of Ixworth be for sayd befor the auter of Seynt James. Also I beqweth to the heych awter there ijs. Also I beqweth to ye stepyll of the same cherche vj marcs. Also I beqweth to ye pryor of Ixworth ijs, to the Suppryour xxd. Also th Sire Edmund Stowe xxd, to eu'y chanon preste ther xijd and to eche movyse vj. Also 1 beqweth to the newe freers of Thetford to a trentall xs. and to the same hows ijbs of whette and a combe of malte. Also I beqweth to the holde hows of the same town to a trentall sx. Also the sreets of Babwell to a trentall Ns. Also I beqweth myn mass hyngfatte to ye gylde of Seynt Thomas, so that myn wyffe and John my brother have the kepyng thereof ther lyve. Also I beqwethe and assigne to myn beforeseyd wyffe alle the ostylments of myn howssold. Also I beqwethe to Thomas myn sone, myn splytyng saw1 myn brood axe2 a luggyng belte3 a ffellyng belte4 a twybyll5 a sqwer6 a morteys wymbyll 7 a foote wymbyll8 a drawte wymbyll9 a compas10 and hande sawe11 a kytting sawe.12 Also I geve and beqwethe to Thomas myn sone myn place that I dwelle jn wt. all the purtenance and to his heyers wt. owtyn ende, and yeffe he deye wt. owtyn heyers the seyde place to remayne wt. the purtenance to John myn sone, and to his heyers wt. owtyn ende. So that myn beforeseyde wyfe have the seyde place wt. the purtenances outo the tyme myn assyned ever be of age to meynteyne it by him selffe. As I gave and beqwethe to Crystyan myn wyffe by forsey myn place wt. the purtenances that was John Knotts for terme of her lyffe, and aft her decesse to remayn to John myn sone to his heyers and assignes wt. owtyn ende. But yeffe it happe the seyde John to Hereryte myn other above seyd place, thanne I wolde and assigne that place wyche John Knotts hadde be solde and dysposyd for myn and for myn frendes sowly, to execucion for this myn laste wylle and testaments. I make and ordeyn befor seyde wyffe and John Vyell myn brother.
Note. - Bury and West Suffolk Archaeological Institute and Suffolk Institute Archaeology, Vol. I, p. 108.
Examples of woodworkers' tools from the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries are illustrated in Figs. 12 to 19. Those of the earlier date are from the Barend Expedition, the remains of which were discovered in Nova Zembla in 1593. They are, probably, all of Dutch origin, but the relations between England and the Low Countries were so close during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, that there is every reason to suppose that carpenters' and joiners' tools were identical in the two countries. The Nova Zembla implements may be considerably earlier than the date when they were found, as tools were preserved for many years, handed down from father to son, as we have seen. They are, unquestionably sixteenth century, and may date from the earlier decades. The collection of eighteenth-century planes is interesting, and nearly all are carved and dated, an indication of the esteem in which they were held by their owners. They differ very little from those in use at the present day, and as the evolution of tools is very gradual, - especially after they reach an efficient stage, - there is no reason to suppose that the planes of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries differed materially from these examples of the eighteenth.
1 A rip-saw with large teeth.
2 A broad axe.
3 An adze.
4. A felling axe.
5 A pole-axe: a mattock; a pick-axe, an axe with two heads.
6. A square for truing up edges.
7. An auger or a brace for boring holes.
8 A large auger.
9 An auger with a guide for accurate boring. 10 A compass or divider.
11 A hand-saw.
12 A cross-cut saw .
Perfection and accuracy of finish is, however, lacking in these tools as compared with those of the present day, and methods must have been even more primitive, and yet it is with these implements and methods that the carpenters, joiners and carvers-made those marvels of timber construction, such as chancel and rood-screens and hammer-beam roofs, which, in design, decoration and execution (to say nothing of the enormous time involved) are the envy of the cultured worker in wood at the present day. The primitive joiner used glue or other adhesive sparingly, and only when wide panels were imperatively demanded, such as the painted lower panels in decorated chancel screens. As a general rule, if his panels were too wide for his timber he altered his design. He secured his joints with mortise and tenon, pinned with wooden pegs, and so durable and perfect was his construction that his work has withstood the ravages of the centuries, remaining to-day, mellowed with the passage of time, with colours subdued, but still as beautiful as when it left his hands. It has succumbed only to purposed destruction, such as at the hands of the iconoclasts of the Reformation and the Commonwealth.
When we examine such examples as the canopied stalls, the tabernacle work, the traceried and vaulted chancel and rood-screens, the sedilia and the elaborate timber roofs, alike in constructional as well as decorative qualities, whether in stately edifices-such as Beverley Minster, or in small churches such as Ludham, Ranworth, Southwold, Bramfield, Ufford and many other of the East Anglian ecclesiastical buildings, - a choice is, in itself, invidious, - we can dimly apprehend the love for his work and his art which the woodworker of that time must have had, in the golden age of English woodwork in the fifteenth century. To originate and to construct, in as perishable a material as wood, examples of supreme beauty which shall defy the centuries, implies an honesty of method, and a love both of his craft, and of the Church which fostered his art, and directed his efforts, coupled with a care and patience which ignores the passage of time and devotes all efforts to the ultimate goal, the production of woodwork which shall be "fytt and fyne."