That's great that you've been able to confirm your hunch about Robert the curate. Unless a testator spells out the reasons for their bequests, it is difficult to interpret what may seem like unfairness. Thomas may have been the main beneficiary of his grandmother's will just because he was older than his brother Robert. Most of the value of the estate may have been tied up in property, and the property would have to be sold if the money was to be divided equally. It was common for the eldest son (or grandson in this case) to get everything; not fair to the younger ones, but it was a way of keeping the estate intact. It's also important to bear in mind that testators may be using their wills to 'even up' their financial gifts . . . so some children might already have been given cash when setting up in business, or getting married. Thus though they seem to be neglected in their parents' wills, it is because they have already had their fair share. That may be why your Robert left just a token amount, a shilling each, to the children from his first marriage: he may well have felt that he'd already given them their share, whether in cash or in the general expenses of feeding, clothing and educating them, or whatever, and that the younger ones were more in need of his money. You do occasionally see wills where the testator explains why a wayward child has fallen out of favour and is not going to get a thing, but all too often we're left wondering about the whys and wherefores.