This will represents a shift in the way wills were written in the second half of the sixteenth century. Forde does not appeal for intercession to the Blessed Virgin or any saints, but places his salvation in the hands of God alone. This may well indicate the testator's Protestant faith. But according to Eamon Duffy, it might also represent pressure from above to conform to new practices or even a pragmatic strategy of Forde's to protect his legacy. The probate attached to this will, not reproduced in this image, is evidence that the will has been officially authenticated.
For more information, consult Eamon Duffy, The Stripping of the Altars: Traditional Religion in England c. 1400–c. 1580 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1992).
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