Publication Date



Robert Yaxley, physicians


On the 22nd day of the month of October, 1540, Robert Yaxley, doctor of Physic of the city of London, dwelling in the parish of St. Michael in Cornhill, made his last will and testament. (Although a recent statute allowed for transfer of real property by will, any land owned by Dr. Yaxley would almost certainly have been held in trust and not subject to the terms of his will.) After bequeathing his soul to Almighty God, his blessed mother, Saint Mary, and all the company of heaven, and his body to be buried in the churchyard of St. Michael’s, he made provision for the church. Moneys were allotted for torches, an alter cloth and vestment, and masses with “no other wyne but redd wyne of the best that may be hadde,” and a “continuall taper to be borne at the tyme of celebracon upon saynt Kateryns aulter, and to paye yerely for the said taper.” Seven years before Parliament legislated the restoration of the cup to the laity, he also provided that the best red wine be used to give communion, a healing sacrament, to the sick and to women with child. “I will that all women with child and syke people reseevyng the blessed Sacrament to be houstled5 with the same wyne as farr as it will extend in case they will them selffs.” He concluded his gifts to the parish by bestowing on St. Kathryn’s alter his own large silver and gilt with beryl reliquary, a pax, and a communion-cloth case.