The Diaper Heritage Association
Fisherman, Ferryman, Sailor, Spy - the Diapers of Itchen Ferry
Early Days Itchen Ferry Village The Captain's Table At Sea Genealogy

Hichyn, a smaulle village on the est side: and hereof the trajectus is caullid Hichin-Ferry


c1540 John Leland, antiquarian

The museum contains a permanent display of the town’s maritime history and many of the artefacts have connections with the Diapers. Use this trail to take you around the museum, it will finish at the ‘Fisherman, Ferryman, Sailor, Spy – The Diapers of Itchen Ferry’ exhibit.

Click here to download the Diaper Education Trail
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Supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund



There are several Diaper Wills to be found at the Hampshire Records Office in Winchester.

1690 P/13/1 Will of William Diaper

In the name of God Amen, I William Diaper of Weston in the Parish of St Maries in the Countey of Southton yeoman being sick & weack in bodey but in good sence and memory blesed be the Lord doe mark and ordaine this to be my Last will and testement in manner and forme following First I comitt my Soule into the lande of the Allmightey and I hop that through the meritts of Jesus Christ to Receive the pardon of all my Sinnes and eteranll Life in Glory And my body I Comitt to the Earth to be bueryed in a decent manner as my Executor shall think forutnonite??? And for my Wordly goods whose wish it hath pleased god to indow me with I Give and bequeth as fowleth First I give and bequeath to my Sonn in Law Henrey Newman the Sum of to Pounds to be payd to him twelve months after my deceas I doe give and bequeath to my to grand children Henery Newman and Mary Newman the sum of tenn Pounds a peece to be Payd to them at the agge of one and twenty***********************if they shulld dye befor thay Com to the agge of one and twenty yeres the money shall remaine to my Executor? I do give and bequeath to my godson Richard Kent tenn shillings to be Payd twelve months after my deceas I doe give and bequeath to my god daughter Mary Diaper tenn Shilling & to be payd ase afor saied I doe give and bequeath to my god daughter Mary Cooper tenn Shillings to be Payd ase aforsaid I doe give and bequeath to my god daughter Elizabeth Fox tenn Shillings to be Payd ase aforesaied I do give and bequeath to my maide Mary Cooper tenn Shillings to be payd ase aforesaied All the rest of my goods and Chattells I give and bequeath to my Sonn Thomas Diaper here? I nominat and ordaine to be my Executor of this my last Will and testement and I doe desir Henery Fox and Thom Kent to be overseers to my Executor In Wittness whereof I have here to? Set my hand this 14 day of May in the yere of our Lord 1690


Signed and acknowledged Signed X by

in Presence of Feb 29 1690/91 William Diaper

John Cosones Jurat Executor supranoial?

Tho. Kent Coran **** Tho. Clutterbuck

1690P/13/2 The Inventory of William Diaper

An Inventary tackon and appraysed of all the goood and Chattells of William Diaper of Weston in the Parish of St mares in the Countey of Southton Late deceased taken by us whose names as under written this 25 day of February 1690/91.



In primis in his Lodginn Chamber his

waking Apparell of all Sortes 4 0 0


Item in the same Chamber one fether Bead

& Beadstead and theire onto belonging 19 10 0

Item of womens Apparell & waskot one

gouns & Cootes one hat & a box of Linen 2 10 0


Item in one Chest 5 Paire of shoess 2 paire

of Patons 3 napkins one table Cleoth one

holand Sheet fower Chamges? 3 12 0


Item in the Sam Chest 3 gold Rings and

six silver spoones 3 12 6


Item in the other Chests 3 whit waskots 5

sheets 1 5 0


Item one cubard to Chests to Cofors one box 2 0 0


In the Chamber over the hall


Item one fether Bead & Beadstead and

belonging to him? & one flock bead & all 4? 2? 6


In the millkhows


Item large? fuches? of Backon 6 pots

of Lard ten Cheeses & other meat 10 13 4


Item for the milk vessell and a Salting

trough & other wooden vessell 4 0 0


Item 40 Cuples of yewes & Lambes 14 0 0


Item for 153 of dry sheep 35 0 0


For Carne **** the Barnes


Item for Barley 8 8 0


Item for oates 6 6 6


Item for Pease 3 12 0


Item for wheat 11 0 0


Item for Rye 0? 12 0


Item for 8 Eackers of wheat upon the ground 16 0 0


Item 5 horses **** & fower Coltes 18 0 0


Item for 8 Cowes & seven other Beasts 32 0 0


Item for five Shirts? 4 0 0

Item for one wagon & to *********

belonging to him


Item the same Chamber one Chest to

Cofers one Chair 0 12 6


In the Chamber over the milkhows


item for fower Bushells of Appells 0 6 0


In the Littell Chamber


Item one fether Bead & Bead steade all

belonging to him 2 12 6


Item to Cofers 0 2 0


In the Hall


Item one table & frame & 5 Joyne? stooles &

to Litell tables fower Chares 1 0 0


Item one Paier of Amgors? a Pair tongs

a Paire of Billes to pair of fotesells? one

spit one smoothing Ioren to pair of

Sheep sheeres & a Spaid one bill? 1 0 6


Item to Kittells to Skillets to bras panes

to Pots a warming pan & 10 peeres of

Pewter one Cheesepres & tubes & barells 4 1 6


Item for 20 Pound of cloath yarne 0 10 0


Item for one wagon & to ***** ******


Paire of Cartwheeles one Plow & 4 harows 9 10


Item for hay & harnes 4 0


Item of money in the howse at his death 2 5


Item for all Lumber within dore and

withowt unpraysed 2 10


vuied & Appraysed by The Toatell sum 212 13 1


Tho Osland?

Tho H marrk of

Henery Fox

Tho Kent

HRO 1576 B 20/1 and /2 The Will of Robert Diaper

In the year of owr Lord god 1576 And in the Eigtenth year of the Raygne of owr Soveraigne Lady Qyene Elizabeth by the power of god Quene of England, Fraunce & Ireland defender of the fayth Etc I Robert dyper of the parish of Sayntmaryes in the countye? of South ? husbandman being sycke in body but whol in mynd & of good & present Rememrance thankes be to god do make & ordayne this my present testament containyng herein my last will in manner & forme? as foloweth? fyrst I bequath my Soul into the hand of almighty god & my body to be burayed in the church yard of Saynt mayres Item first I bequayth to the trinity? church of winchester? ii? Item I bequayth iiis iiijd to be distributed to the poore within this parish Item I bequayth xxs to my god sonne Robart diper Item I bequyth to my god sonne Robart dare? xs to be paid within one hafh yeare after my desasse? Item I bequayth to the reasadue of my iiij god children iiij s twenty a pene? a peece? Item I bequayth to my Sister annas? hedach? too bushells of whet? & to bushels of barli? I bequayth too my duaughter cristan xx li to be payd out of my goodes if she fasten to marry witout the consent of my over? sayes? then to forfet x li of it to my sunne? willyam Item my will? is that my dawter cristian shal have half of the said sum? of ix li at her? day of maragde? & the residue of it within one whol yere afters? if my overseeres? had? wel of it if god? shold visit here with sycnes? in the meantime then? to have of her? legussy to comfort her with?


Robert ‘Dyper’ appears in Admiralty Court books as a Juror for Weston in 1575


Below are edited highlights from other Diaper Wills held at the Hampshire Records Office


1553B/14 Will of William Diaper (Dyper) of Kimpton, Hampshire

(earliest Diaper will held)

Children Jane, Edith, Anne, William, Edward, Edmund (also executor)


1666P/11 Will of Richard Diaper of Weston, St Mary, Southampton, yeoman

asks specifically to be buried at Jesus Chapel, left £30 to his daughter Ann on her marriage or on attaining age 21. Should she not the money to be divided between her two brothers Richard and Benjamin. The residue of the estate to his wife Elizabeth. Also left 10s to his cousin Mary Diaper and 5s to his cousin William Diaper. Executers his friends William Diaper and Edward Austine


1680 AD031 Inventory of John Diaper of Corhampton, worth £58 6s 2d


1717P/14 Will of Thomas Diaper of Weston, St Mary, husband man

Asked to be buried at St Mary’s. No direct heirs named, left his property to his nephew Henry Newman except for £50 to niece Mary Newman. Small bequest of silver spoons to Mary Blendan of Weston and 16s to Elizabeth Tibbary of Weston (son of William Diaper will of 1690)


1760AD/22 Administration of John Diaper, goods left to wife Amy


1778 Elizabeth Diaper of Barton Stacey

left £20 to brother Stephen & sister (probably s-in-law) Jane Diaper. Rest of estate left in care of 2 friends who were to give her natural son William Diaper what they saw fit and to look after his natural daughter Ann Clark


1779 B Frances Diaper of Portsmouth left goods to daughter Elizabeth


1796A/24 Will of Thomas Diaper of Hamble, Innkeeper

goods included the fishing smack, Kitty

wife Catherine

Children listed by age Elizabeth, Thomas, James, Catherine, Mary, Rofello/Rosella?, William


1814B/16 Will of Mark Diaper of Itchen Ferry, St Mary, gent

Left son Mark £1000 (see Mark Diaper, snr will 1820)

Daughter Jane Smith, wife of John Smith of Itchen Ferry, Builder was left 13 copyhold messauges and tenements in Itchen Ferry now occupied by Robert Jurd, Isaac Blandford, William Jurd, William Diaper, William Cooper, Thomas Diaper, John Gibbons, William Cantell, John Payne, John Leburn, John Diaper and Richard Diaper.

Robert Jurd and his son Mark Diaper were also given £1000 to invest on behalf of his daughter Ann Cantell, wife of John Cantell mariner. No wife mentioned so probably a widower.


21M65/C9/27 Cause papers Frances Diaper v Mark Diaper a minor

1820B/16 Will, administration, guardianship,& other of Mark Diaper of St Mary Extra, Southampton, mariner

Mark Diaper Snr had drafted a will whilst dangerously ill but before it could be finalised and signed he suffered fits and died leaving a widow Frances and one child the ten year old Mark junior. The estate was valued at no more than £1500. The dispute was over the guardianship of Mark junior. In the event this was given (and the documents infer at Mark junior request) to his aunt Sarah Forder.


1848A/034 Will of Frances Diaper of Albion Place, Southampton (wife of Mark snr)

residing in the home of her son Mark in Albion Place, left all her goods valued at no more than £100 to her daughter in law Rhoda Diaper, and her alone and not to be used by her current or any future husband against any debts etc. Frances had to make her mark as she was too ill to sign her signature


1848B/026 Will, administration of Mark Diaper of St Mary Extra, Southampton, mariner

These documents refer to the unsigned will of Mark Diaper Snr who died Jan 27 1820. The draft will had named John Smith of Itchen, Carpenter and William Forder of Southampton, Grocer as trustees. The will had left money, liquer, provisions to Mark’s wife Frances, along with furniture, plate, linen and china, for the period of her life when it would revert to her son. All revenue was in the hands of the trustees who were to pay interest to Frances for the maintenance and education of herself and her child, Mark’s son, until that child attained 21. On reaching 21, Mark jnr was to receive £500 and a further £500 at age 25. The trustees were also to pay interest from age 21 and interest on residue to Frances. If the child were to die without issue the estate to be divided between Mark snr’s two sisters Ann Cantell (wife of John) and Jane Smith. The will was subject of a court case as it had not been signed but was granted in Nov 1820. On 21 Oct 1847 the widow Frances died but had not left instructions in regard to the administration of the original will, there were goods valued at no more than £1000 due to come to Mark that this document affirmed. There was also another note which declared Mark jnr along with John Lisle and two others made an agreement to gift £2000 to the Bishop of Winchester.