Richard Buckner is one of the earliest known Buckners in Berkshire, and apparently the ancestor of many if not most of the later ones. Because this family held the farm at Whitley for several generations, the history of the family can be constructed fairly confidently over that period. Of Richard's three sons, the eldest Thomas definitely left a will (prob. 1587, BRO Wills H.120) and his eldest son Thomas Jr. son inherited the Whitley freehold from him. William and John may have left wills, but the transcriptions of William and John's wills quoted in W.A. Crozier et al. the Buckners of Virginia have turned out to be fabricated.

It is possible that William Buckner of Cumnor parish (probably the village of Botley) who died in 1558 was Richard's son William, but this is still uncertain due to the lack of corroborating evidence in the real will. There is a very remote possibility that William Buckner of Abbots Langley in Hertfordshire who died in 1607 was in fact Richard's son, but there are no obvious connections other than the name. The only good clue about William in the will is his inheritance of the house in Lechlade, but so far I have been unable to find any other Buckners connected to Lechlade in this period. If the third son, John, left a will, it has not emerged. It's quite certain though that the 1599 will of John Buckner of Chawley is not his but rather that of the eldest son of William Buckner of Chawley.

Richard himself appears in a few other records. A 1538 rental survey for Whitley indicates a "20s 4d freely held messuage and adjoining croft and parcels c. 1 virgate in tenure of Richard Buckner" as well as a "demense in les 10 acres 10s in tenure of Richard Bucknor". He is however not listed in the 1524 lay subsidy for Whitley, although a William Buckner is listed in Botley. I tend to think that this William Buckner of Botley was Richard's father who purchased the Whitley freehold (obviously between 1524 and 1538 and probably from William Dudson), and that the subsequent William Buckner of Botley was Richard's brother.

I've tried to preserve the line arrangement so anyone who wants can compare this to the original image. This is in the PRO Catalogue under "Rychard Burken of Berkshire", PROB 11/32/371 - it's not particularly easy to read. It's folio 27 in the Populwell register if you prefer the old reference system. The copy I used has been circulating among Buckner researchers for years, though I have actually seen the original with my own eyes in Kew.

I don't claim perfection, and there are some things that can be interpreted different ways. The notation {ER} and such indicates a superscript abbreviation. These are common in period documents, though sometimes they can be a little idiosyncratic.

This will was also transcribed in the The Berks, Bucks and Oxon Archaeological Journal (1898).

Date of will: 4 Sep 1548

Probate: 1 Mar 1548/9

People named in the will:

in the name of god amen The iiijth daie of September in the yeare of o{R} Lorde
god a Thousande fyve hundreth fourtie and eight And in the seconde yeare of the Regne
of Edward the Sixte by the grace of god of England ffrance and Ireland King defender
of the faith and in the earth of the church of England and Ireland supreme hedd -I-
Rychard Bucken{ER} of the p{ER}ishe of cumn{OR} in the countie of Berk. sycke yn Boddy but
sound in mynde makyng testament and last will in fourum and manner following/ ffirst
I betake my soule to god, my body to the erthe And I bequeth to Thomas my eldest sonne
Sixe oxen of my plough Sixe kyne and he to keepe the oldeman Thomas and
Elizabeth his syster/ And I bequeth to the saide Thomas my sonn my carte with the
tynne[?] plough and plough gerr/ Item I bequeth to Thomas and John my sonnes the
estate of Raccote for my years answering the lorde his rent/ Item I will that John, my
sonn do occupie the third p{AR}te of Whitley in the parish of Cumnor as I do nowe of hit
for two years yielding the third parte of the rent and Charges therto belonging Item I
bequeth all my sh[ep?]e to my four Children John William Mary and Agnes/Item I will
my household stuf to be devyded to my children that ys to meane Thomas John Will~m Mary 
and Agnes/ Item I bequeth xvij kyne and vij weanlings to bedvyded among my abovenamed 
children and also my wole to the same my children/Item I bequeth all my Corne to Thomas
my sonne for the mayntenance of my house Item I bequeth to M{R} Bery my greate bay horse
Item to Johan my doughter my great mare/Item I bequeth Johans two doughters a [cloltes?]
apiece at the discretion of my Executors Item I bequeth to eche of my godchildren iiijd/Item I
bequeth to my doughter Marye her mothers Apparell she to consider her sister[e?]
Elizabeth/ Item I bequeth to my sonne William my house of Lechlade/Item I bequeth

- next page- 

to eche of my servants xxd I give from of my goods unbequethed my debits paid by equall po{R}tyons
to my Childern Thomas John William Mary and Agnes and my buriall to be discharged of
the hole stok the whiche childern I ordeyn and make myne Executors of this my last will
And I make Overseers of the same M{R} Lawrence Berry M{R} Richard Ruffyn and William
Secole?/they to have ev{R}y of them for their pains foure nobles witnes of this my last will
Thomas Wood Robert Long and William Buckn wits other

Probatum fuit hoc? testamentum coram d? curia archepo. apud londin. primo die 
Martij Anno dm millesimo quinquecentesimo xlviijo [1 Mar 1548/9] testamento Thome Bukener

Notes to the Text

  1. "4th" in Roman numerals
  2. Not clear if "his sister" means Thomas Buckner's sister or "oldeman" Thomas's sister.
  3. I think "Raccote" is either Rycote or Radcot in Oxfordshire.
  4. Again, is this Mary Buckner's sister or her mother's sister? If the former, it would seem likely that Elizabeth was disabled.