After this I returned to Worcester and found that all the old records of the district had been gathered together and placed for safekeeping in the city hall-of-records which edifice turned out to be an ancient stone church located on picturesque old Fish Street. I stated my purpose for being there and where I had come from to the official in charge and he unlocked a door into a reading room for me and then brought two large boxes tied with ribbon and containing stiff, odd-shaped parchment documents all dated from 1450 to 1700. A note on the box stated that all the transcripts prior to 1700 had been microfilmed by the Church of Jesus Christ Latter Day Saints of Utah, U.S.A. Two index volumes were also brought to me which were very helpful as they listed the documents by a modern numbering system. Two chapters led me to the specific parchments that I was looking for:
Marriage Licenses and Sequestrations
Edited by Edw. Fry - London
The British Record Society Limited 1904
Calendar of Wills and Administrations
In the Consistory Court of the Bishop of Worcester 1451 - 1600
Under Worcester Wills and Administrations for 1596 there appeared the following:
(Mosse, John, husbandman, Cotheridge
(Barrett, Elizabeth, Cotheridge
The actual document, when I found it, was in a perfect state of preservation and I have made a drawing of it below. As I am not a scholar of antique writing I was not able to decipher much of it except the date. I drew an exact copy of the signature of the (official witness?) in the lower right hand corner just as an example of the calligraphy. The brown wax seal impressions were beautifully engraved and preserved. I can only assume that the bow was that of the wife, and the wood-duck was that of the husband.
In volume II (1600 - 1650) of the Calender of Wills and Administrations I found the following:
-- 1611 --
Mosse, John, Yeoman, Cotheridge -- Will
There followed a list of fifty-four items together with what appeared to be the value of the same off to the right.
I could not read any of the items or the value figures.