Richard Montague

Richard MONTAGUE (1614 – 1681) was Alex’s 11th Great Grandfather;  one of 4,096 in this generation of the Miner line.

The Montagues may have been exceptional among our ancestors having a coat of arms at the time of their immigration  or perhaps they were just members of  Buckinghamshire’s yeomanry

Robert Montague writes:

Although the heraldic visitation (census) of 1634, conducted by Richard St. George, Clarenceux Herold, shows the emblazon of a coat of arms for a “Montague Family of Boveney,” I have reservations whether Richard Montague I, or his immediate descendents, in North America, ever used a coat-of-arms, viz: A. 3 lozenges cojoined in pale, G. inter 3 roundles S, or, in modern English, on a field of silver, three red (gules) lozenges cojoined in pale (in a straight line), between three black (sable) roundles (or pellets).

The blazon which you provide above contains certain elements of traditional Montague coats-of-arms, cf., (1) the three lozenges co-joined in a straight line on a silver field and (2) the traditional griffon, a heraldic winged monster with an eagle-like head and the body of a lion.

Many Montagues in the Virginia Line, i.e., descendents of Peter I, Richard I’s elder brother, have over the years advanced the proposition that the American Montague Family is of English noble descent. This is a very large topic indeed and beyond that that I can go into here. It is possible that the Boveney/Warfield Branch of the Family (from the lower Thames River region may be distant cadet descendents of one of the English Earls of Salisbury. But this contention is, in my view, very “iffy”.

Richard Montague was in fact not born in BoveneyBurnham Parish,  Buckinghamshire as has traditionally been assumed, but across the Thames in the hamlet of Warfield in County Berks, England. Credit for this recent discovery goes to Roger Blackman, an English genealogist, who first published this information in the spring 1986 issue of Magazine of the Berkshire Family History Society.

Richard’s date of birth, according to these newly discovered records, is May 29, 1614. The source for Richard’s having been born in Berkshire is newly discovered baptism records (“Bishop’s Transcripts for Warfield Parish”) in the “Wiltshire Records Office, Throwbridge” which provide data for the children of Peter and Ellen Mountague. The reference to the “Wiltshire Records Office, Throwbridge” means, today, the Wiltshire and Swindon History Center, Cocklebury Road, Chippenham, Wiltsire SN153QN, in the United Kingdom

His parents were Peter MONTAGUE and Ellen ALLEN.

Richard Montague in his 20’s — The date when the miniature cameo portrait (on copper plate) was first made has not been established nor is has it been established that the cameo portrait was made in England before Richard I’s departure to New England.  It if could be located today, the cameo would be the oldest survivingMontague Family artefact in the United States.  It is last recorded in Boston in the early 1900s. —  The reproduction of Richard I’s signature is a copy of the signature which appears on his last will and testament, reproduced in HGMFA (History and Genealogy of the Montague Family of America)

Robert Montague adds:

Charles K. Bolton’s The Founders: Portraits of Persons Born Abroad who Came to the Colonies in North American Before 1701, The Boston Athenaeum, Boston, 1919.

According to Bolton’s account in The Founders, (Pages 427-428) the “Richard Miniature” miniature is portrait painted on a copper plate, one and eleven-sixteenths high by one and seven-sixteenths inches wide, owned (as of 1919) by a Henry W. Montague, Esq. of Boston. The frontispiece of the Meeting of the Montague Family (1882), which reproduces the “miniature” is, per Bolton, a copy of the earlier “original pen and ink sketch,” which itself is a copy of the copperplate original, apparently made sometime after 1789 when Major Richard Montague acquired the original copper portrait from the Montague homestead in Hadley. There is a considerable difference between the original miniature reproduced in Bolton’s work and the pen-and-ink sketch which was reproduced in the 1882 work Meeting of the Montague Family.

Richard came to America about 1634, perhaps sailing on the “Speedwell”,  though I haven’t seen proof of this hypothesis, locating first in the Boston.   He married Abigail DOWNING about 1640, probably in Wells, Maine.  Richard died on 14 Dec 1681 at Hadley, Hampshire, Mass.

Richard’s current memorial was erected by George and Charles Montague in 1881.  Richard and Abigail’s oldest son Peter’s stone is the smaller one on the right.

A pioneer of New England
and one of the first settlers of Hadley.
Born about 1614. he married
and emigrated to Wells Maine
from Bourney in parish of Burnham Eng.
In 1646 he removed to Boston and thence in
1651 to settle Wethersfield town. In 1659 or
1660 he settled in Hadley where He died Dec 14 1684
To Perpetuate the memory of the
founder of — a—— Far England. This stone
is erected here by his descendents in Oct 1881

The first three or four generations of “Hadley” Montagues spelled their surname M o u n t a g u e on wills and gravestones. Josiah Montague (1727-1810), the great- grandson of Richard, appears to be the first to use the spelling M o n t a g u e instead of M o u n t a g u e

Abigail Downing was baptized on 5 Oct 1617 at St. Lawrence Church, Ipswich, Suffolk, England.  Her parents were Rev. Joseph DOWNING and Jane ROSE.  Abigail died 8 Nov 1694 in Hadley, Hampshire, Mass.

Children of Richard and Abigail:

Name Born Married Departed
1. Mary MONTAGUE c. 1642
Wells, Maine
25 Nov 1668
Hadley, Hampshire, Mass
2 Jul 1689
Enfield, CT
2. Sarah Montague 15 Jun 1646
Boston, Mass.
19 Jun 1646
Boston, Mass.
3. Martha Monatague 16 Jun 1647
Isaac Harrison
1 Dec 1671 Hadley, Mass.
Henry White
3 Apr 1677
3 Nov 1691 Deerfield, Mass.
4. Peter Montague 8 Jul 1651
Wethersfield, CT
Mary Partridge
Sep 1679
Mary Crow
16 Sep 1680
Mary Smith
22 Apr 1721
27 Mar 1725 Hadley, Mass.
5. John Montague c. 1654/55 Wethersfield, CT Hannah Smith
23 Mar 1680/81 Hadley
c. 1732
6. Abigail Montague 1652 Wethersfield, CT Mark Warner
8 Dec 1671 Hadley
6 Feb 1704/05 Northampton Mass.

Much of the info on this post is based on the work of Robert Montague III, He has just completed a 13 year comprehensive research effort and published a new two-volume, 3200 page, “History and Genealogy of Peter Montague of Jamestowne Virginia (1607-2007), Quadricentennial Edition. The new HGPM will be released by Christmas 2012. Prepaid orders made by 15 Dec get a 10% discount from the retail $295. 312 of 1,000 copies are already reserved. If interested, email him, at

The following story was adapted from an address, “On the Montagues in America,” made by the Rev Richard Montague at a Meeting of the Montague Family held at Hadley, Massachusetts on 2 Aug 1882.  The purpose of the meeting was to honor their first American ancestor Richard Montague of Hadley and to provide an opportunity for family members to gather and become acquainted with each other and their family history in America.

The first thirty years of Richard Montague’s life are clouded in some obscurity.  He came to Wethersfield, Connecticut with his wife and two daughters in 1651, and brought from Emanuel Downing of Salem, Massachusetts, –a relative of his wife, –a letter to Gov Winthrop of Connecticut.  Whether he had ever resided in Salem, cannot be said, though this might seem probable because his wife was a member of the Salem church.  He had certainly lived in Boston, for there two of his daughters were born, and baptized by Rev John Wilson of the First Church, of which Mrs. Montague was a member.  But hardly had the good pastor consecrated the first of these children, little Sarah, when the parents were called to part with their babe, as yet only four days old.  When Richard married, I cannot learn.  Their first child a daughter was said to be born about 1642.  Richard and his wife removed from Wells, Maine to Boston about 1646.  Mrs. Montague was received into the First Church, Boston, by a letter of dismission from Wells, Maine.  The accounts of this are somewhat confusing and contradictory.

There are several traditions concerning Richard and wife.  There were in Boveney, parish of Burnham, Buckinghamshire, England, three brothers, according to the Heralds’ College, viz, William, Peter and Richard Montague.  A romantic mind may well hesitate before choosing between the varying traditions.  Shall we believe that Peter and Richard sailed the same year, 1634, from England, — the one in a vessel that landed him in Virginia, the other in a craft which brought him to New England, that Richard left his sweetheart, fair Abigail, behind, and with her precious miniature which is still preserved, that somewhat later the oldest brother, William, came to America, but, not liking the country returned to England, carrying with him Richard’s message to Abigail, ‘that all things were now ready, her youth was a man, let her come and make with him a home’?  Or shall we give credence to that other more romantic tradition that when Abigail Downing’s father, who was a doctor of divinity, learned or her betrothal to Richard, he was ill-pleased with the match, and to escape his ire the ardent lover, Romeo-like, stole to his lady’s chamber-window, and then in the stillness of the night took his fair prized, and unbeknown to the objecting parents ran away with her to America.  You may take your choice of traditions but bear in mind that it seems well credited that Richard came from Boveney, was brother to William and Peter, and married Abigail Downing, the daughter of the Rev. Dr. Downing or Norwich, England, and the two, so far as records go, are first found in Boston in 1646 having removed from Wells, Maine.

Between 1640 and 1646 Richard Montague was residing at Wells, York County, Maine.

Circa 1646  – Richard Montague was residing in Boston, Mass.  He was a miller and baker there between 1646 and 1660.

In 1651 Richard Montague was residing at Wethersfield, Hartford County, Connecticut.

On 18 April 1659 he was one of 59 citizens of Hartford and Wethersfield who signed an agreement at Goodman Ward’s house in Hartford to go to Hadley, Massachusetts. This move was caused by a division in the church at Hartford and Wethersfield.

Hadley, Hampshire, Massachusetts

Hadley was first settled in 1659 and was officially incorporated in 1661. Its settlers were primarily a discontented group of families from the puritan colonies of Hartford and Wethersfield, Connecticut, who petitioned to start a new colony up north after some controversy over doctrine in the local church. At the time, Hadley encompassed a wide radius of land on both sides of the Connecticut River, but mostly on the eastern shore. In the following century, these were broken off into precincts and eventually the separate towns of HatfieldAmherstSouth Hadley,Granby and Belchertown. The early histories of these towns are, as a result, filed under the history of Hadley.

Edward Whalley and General William Goffe, two Puritan generals hunted for their role in the execution (or “regicide“) of Charles I of England, were hidden in the home of the town’s minister, John Russell. During King Philip’s War, an attack by Native Americans was, by some accounts, thwarted with the aid of General Goffe. This event, compounded by the reluctance of the townsfolk to betray Goffe’s location, developed into the legend of the Angel of Hadley, which came to be included in the historical manuscript “History of Hadley” by Sylvester Judd.

Circa 1660 Richard Montague was residing at Hadley, Hampshire County, Massachusetts. He was a miller, baker and farmer between 1660 and 1681 at Hadley, Hampshire County, Massachusetts.

Richard was granted land in 1661 at Hadley, Mass. The grant was for “that parcell of land in the greate medowe judged about four acres more or less (bounded on the south by Mr. Goodwins moeing lott on the North by Nathaniell Ward ffronting uppon the highway which runneth by the side of Samuell Smith his land) for and in consideration of his allottments in Amphonsett meddowes.”

Hadley Map

The home-lot of eight acres has been assigned to Richard.  It is on the east side of long, wide street.  At first a log cabin met the necessities of the early days, but soon a substantial house, forty by twenty-four feet, of two stories, with a lean-to added at a later date, is needed.  It is built with its end toward the street and has it principal entrance on the south side.  The panes of glass are very small, six by eight inches; the chimney, of course is very large. This house stood for more than one hundred and fifty years, and when it was taken down in 1831  it was found that while the front part was lined with clay mortar, the rear half was lined with brick, the supposition being that was to render the rear bullet-proof in case of Indian attacks.

Richard Montague Home Hadley

In 1661 and 1662, he was chosen hay-ward, or field driver, and 1663 it was voted that “Richard Montague should have four shillings for every grave he makes for a grown person, and two shillings for the grave of a child under ten years.”

Richard was a selectman in 1671 at Hadley, Hampshire County, Massachusetts and again in 1677.   He was a Clerk of the Writs in March 1681 at Hadley, Mass.

Richard’s chief occupation was farming.  By trade he was a baker, but there was little call for this skill except during the French and Indian Wars, when he baked for the soldiers.  And yet that skill is by tradition said to have been so great that “he could stand by the oven door, and throw his loaves, filling the oven neatly and completely.”  In that early period flour was bolted by hand, and in 1680 Richard Montague’s bolting-mill was valued at eighty shillings and Widow Montague sometimes bolted flour for others by the barrel.

There is no evidence that Richard was of gentle birth.  His descent, if it can be traced to a noble line at all, is from the extinct Earls of Salisbury rather than from the Earl of Sandwich.  He was simply a humble man, of good intelligence and fair parts, of deep religion and virtue, but perhaps of less prominence and force of character than his two sons, Peter and John.  Nor does he seem to have been of among the wealthy men of Hadley.  He may have left property in Wethersfield, but, while many of the Hadley settlers were assigned meadow-lands on the basis of two hundred or one hundred pounds valuation, Montague was among the two who were rated at eighty pounds or less; yet at his death his property was inventoried at two hundred and seventy-seven pounds.

Richard Montague left a will on 8 Jul 1681 at Hadley, Mass. He named his wife, Abigail, and son, John, as executors. It was witnessed by Joseph Smith and Pett Sitton.  He died on 14 Dec 1681 at Hadley, Hampshire County, Massachusetts.  The inventory of his estate was taken on 3 Jan 1682 at Hadley, Mass; The total value of the estate was £277 17 00, “Debts due from the estate £22 13 05” and “Debts due to the estate £11 02 02”. The inventory was taken by Lieut. Philip Smith, Samuel Porter, Sr., and Samuel Partridge.

The transcript of the baptism registers shows Abigail as being a daughter of John Downing. However, upon examination of the original records, the father’s name was definitely Joseph.  She was the daughter of Rev. Joseph Downing and Jane Rose.  On 26 April 1646 she was admitted to the First Church at Boston, Mass. The record says she was admitted the 26th day of the 2nd month. Assuming it is the old-style calendar which begins the year in March, the 2nd month would be April (or possibly May). Otherwise it would be February 6.  Abigail Downing was removed from the First Church of Salem to Wethersfield on 31 March 1647.   On 25 May 1651 she was given letters of dismissal from at The First Church, Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, to the church in Wethersfield.   She died on 8 November 1694 at Hadley, Hampshire County, Massachusetts, at age 77.  The inventory of her estate was taken on on 21 Nov 1694 at Hadley, Mass. by Samuel Partridge and Samuel Smith.


1. Mary MONTAGUE (See Joseph WARRINER‘s page)

3. Martha Monatague

Martha’s first husband Isaac Harrison was born about 1646. Isaac was killed 19 May 1676 in Hadley, Hampshire, Mass.

Falls Fight Memorial

Isaac Harrison  served in King Philip’s War and was killed by Indians in the Turner’s Falls Fight (See my posting), while serving under Captain William Turner. After his death his family brought suit in court against John Belcher, a surviving soldier of the fight, claiming that Belcher failed to render aid to Harrison and left him to die. However, the court took no action against Belcher.

History of Hadley : including the early history of Hatfield, South Hadley, Amherst and Granby, Massachusetts pg 165. (1905)

The complaint of Martha Harrison, which was substantiated by testimony before the Commissioners of Hadley, June 22, 1676, exhibits some incidents of this disorderly flight. Martha Harrison of Hadley, widow, makes complaint against John Belcher of Braintree, a soldier in Capt. Turner’s company, for being the culpable occasion of the death of her husband, Isaac Harrison, a wounded man, riding upon his own horse, who fell from his horse, being faint, and this John Belcher, who was behind him, rode from him with Harrison’s horse, though he entreated him not to leave him, but for God’s sake to let him ride with him.

Stephen Belden of Hatfield, testified that he, riding behind Jonathan Wells, saw Isaac Harrison on the ground rising up, and heard him call to the man on his horse, 3 or 4 rods before, to take him up, saying he could ride now; the man rode away, and both Jonathan Wells and I called him to go back, and he would not. This was when we were returning from the fight at the falls.

There is no record of Belcher’s being punished. — Many had lost their horses. — Mather says the soldiers were more numerous than the Indians that pursued them.

Martha’s second husband Henry White was born 1647 in Deefield, Mass.

4. Peter Montague

Peter’s first wife Mary Partridge was born 1638 in Hadley, Hampshire, Mass. Her parents were William Partridge and Mary Smith. She first married John Smith (b. 1638 in Wethersfield, Hartford, CT; d. 30 May 1676 in Wethersfield, Hartford, CT.)  Mary died 20 May 1683 in Hadley, Hampshire, Mass.

Peter’s second wife Mary Crow was born 27 Dec 1656 in Hadley, Hampshire, Mass. Her parents were John Crow and Elizabeth Goodwin.  She first married Noah Coleman.  Mary died 12 Oct 1720 in Hadley, Hampshire, Mass.

Peter’s third wife Mary Smith was born 16 Aug 1681, Hadley, Hampshire, Mass. Mary Smith’s sister, Hannah Smith, married Peter Mountague’s younger brother, John Mountague. Their parents were Chileab Smith and Hannah Hitchcock .  The gravestones of her parents are of interest.  They read:  “Ens. Chileab Smith died 7 Mar 1731, aged 96 years, and Hannah his wife died 31 Aug 1733, aged 88 years.  It is a worthy memorial that they lived in marriage state for 70 years.”  She first married 15 Dec 1697 to  Preserved Smith.

Although, Peter married three times, he no children by any of these three marriages.

Peter became one of the three wealthiest men of the village. He was one of the committee for building the new meeting-house. He was elected a selectman; and for four years he was deemed by his fellow-citizens their worthy representative to the General Court at Boston. He died without issue, in 1725.

Peter Mountague  Communion Cup

Peter Mountague Communion Cup – given to the Church of Christ in Hadley, Massachusetts in 1723 by Peter Mountague. This piece of Colonial period silver hollowware, the work of John Dixwell, an early Boston-based silversmith, in now on permanent loan to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Photograph by Richard W. Montague, May 30, 2012.

About two years before his death in March 1725, Peter donated this impressive silver hollowware communion cup to the Hadley Church (now the First Congregational Church). The cup is the work of John Dixwell (1680-1725), an early English silver smith working in Colonial Boston. It is probably that Peter Mountague dealt directly with Dixwell as a result of Peter’s frequent visits to Boston to serve on the General Court. It is likely that Peter furnished the silver required, in the form of English silver coins, for Dixwell to fashion the cup. The melting down of specie was the customary Colonial practice to provide metal for the manufacture of silver items, as there were no silver mines, at the time, in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Since 1939, the cup has been on permanent loan to the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

Peter Montague Headstone — Old Hadley Cemetery Hadley Hampshire County Mass.

5. John Montague

John’s wife Hannah Smith was born 7 Jul 1662 in Hadley, Hampshire, Mass. Her parents were Chileab Smith and Hannah Hitchcock. The gravestones of her parents are of interest.  They read:  “Ens. Chileab Smith died 7 Mar 1731, aged 96 years, and Hannah his wife died 31 Aug 1733, aged 88 years.  It is a worthy memorial that they lived in marriage state for 70 years.” Hannah died 1719 in Hadley, Hampshire, Mass

John was less active in town affairs than his brother. He had married but a few months before his father’s death, and it was with him that his widowed mother found a home on the old homestead till her death. She was soon permitted to rejoice in grandchildren. Six were born before she followed her husband and fell on sleep, and within the ten years subsequent to her death four more were added. Three of these ten children were daughters. Each was named Hannah for her mother; but, as the first two died in infancy.

Meanwhile the Montagues had not forgotten their Wethersfield origin. John’s son Richard had returned to his grandfather Richard’s Connecticut home; and from him are descended the Montagues who have ever since been found in Wethersfield.

And there too Hannah went as Josiah Williard’s bride. A surviving tradition concerning her brings vividly to mind that delusion which so disgraced some parts of Massachusetts, but from which Hadley was so largely free. It was sometimes thought that Hannah was “possessed,” that she was indeed a witch. Perhaps she feigned her action in sport, or it may be she was the subject of some nervous disorder. But the story goes that when afflicted she would call on her brother Samuel for help. He would at once arm himself with a great broadsword, enter the room where Hannah was, and when his sister had pointed out the locality of the tormenting spirits, — to him invisible, — would cut and slash for very life. And then Hannah, — the wicked tease, — noting her brother’s troubled air, would say, “No, not there, but there! there! ah, there they are in that corner, grinning and chattering at your blunder!

6. Abigail Montague

Abigail’s husband Mark Warner was born 25 Sep 1646 in Ipswich, Essex, Mass.  His parents were John Warner and Priscilla Symonds.  His grandparents were William WARNER and Abigail BAKER.  Mark died 3 May 1738 in Northampton, Hampshire, Mass


HGMFA  – History and genealogy of the Montague family of America, descended from Richard Montague of Hadley, Mass., and Peter Montague of Lancaster Co., Va. with genealogical notes of other families by name of Montague (1886) By Montague, George Wm. (George William), b. 1836; Montague, W. L. (William Lewis), 1831-1908, ed

History of Hadley : including the early history of Hatfield, South Hadley, Amherst and Granby, Massachusetts (1905) By Judd, Sylvester, 1789-1860; Boltwood, Lucius M. (Lucius Manlius), 1825-1905 —    [“Montague” appears in the book 175 times]

Montague Family Association has just published the first issue of a new series of newsletters.   The contact is:

Montague Family Association
P. O. Box 243
Hill City, KS 67642

This entry was posted in 13th Generation, Artistic Representation, Immigrant - England, Immigrant Coat of Arms, Line - Miner, Public Office and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to Richard Montague

  1. Pingback: Joseph Warriner | Miner Descent

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  5. Richard W. Montague says:

    Another member of the Montague family (Curt Montague) called my attention to this website this morning. As a result, I am offering the following comment:

    I am Richard W. Montague, a nineth generation lineal descendant of Richard I, the pioneer English settler in New England who died in Hadley, Massachusetts in December 1681. I would very much like to get in touch with the individuals who prepared the information for the above website. Some of the genealogical informtion presented does not dovetail with the history of the “Hadley” Montague family as I have been able to reconstruct it.

    Please contact me at your leisure. My address is: Richard W. Montague, Rosenstrase 4, D-82067 Ebenhausen/Bavaria, GERMANY. My e-mail address is:

    I look forward to your response.

    Posted April 30, 2012

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  8. steve hissem says:


    Excellent website. My wife is a descendent of Richard through Zenas Montague of Westhampton, who moved west.
    I’m interested in your map of Hadley. It looks to be of a later date than the maps usually seen of the town, i.e. there is only one road and Richard Montague is shown vice Mrs (a widow?) Montague.

  9. Rob Zucca says:

    Dear Montague family,
    As a side note to your family story, I have recently purchased a Montague family relic. It is a c 1700-1710 bannister back side chair with a small tag on the rear of the crest that reads “Montague Farm 1719 South Hadley Mass”. I would be happy to send photos if you like.
    Rob Zucca

  10. Karen Joy says:

    Mark ~ (I commented on your page for Peter Montague, as well.) Richard Montague is my 10th Great Grandfather, so I very much appreciate the information. I am descended through John Montague and Hannah Smith, so our relationship is very distant.

  11. Lorraine Huffaker says:

    I would like to know the source for the old Hadley map or a scan of it. I am doing research for my church’s 300th anniversary. Our first Pastor, Joseph Smith was from Hadley. Thanks.
    Lorraine Huffaker

    • markeminer says:

      Hi Lorraine,

      I think I found the Hadley map on, but I didn’t maintain careful records. It is also on this page —

      What is your church?

      Kind Regards, mark

      • Lorraine Huffaker says:

        First Congregational Church, Cromwell, CT. We are turning 300 this year and are looking up info on our past pastors. Rev. Joseph Smith was our first Pastor. His grandfather Samuel came from Ipswich England, through Watertown, MA to Wethersfield with Pastor Smith’s 1 year old father Phillip. Samuel and Phillip “removed” (I love that term) to Hadley, or actually participated in forming the town from what I’ve read – I think Samuel was from Hadliegh, England. Joseph graduated from Harvard and eventually made his way to Cromwell and became our first “settled” Pastor in 1715. Thanks for the info on the map. My husband is making a DVD of the church history and there are not a lot of photos of Joseph Smith so a map is good.

  12. Lori Bush says:

    Thank you for this great information. Richard Montague is my 10th Great Grandfather through is daughter Abigail Montague.

  13. Steve Hissem says:

    Robert: Have you ever seen a copy of Richard Montague’s will, the one where Abigail and John are made the executors?

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