more questions than answers: John Heaton alias Bridge

Just transcribed the will of William Heaton, d 1654, who left a number of small monetary bequests to local people without stating where they lived, and a number of bequests to people of the same surname without stating the relationship. Frustrating, but pretty standard stuff.

This bit is fascinating though...

‘Item I give and bequeath unto John Heaton alias Bridge twenty shillings a year for the time of four years after my death and forty shillings more to bind him prentice to learn some trade if any man will undertake to do it for him’.

This is the only bequest of its type and begs a number of questions:

was John Heaton alias Bridge an illegitimate child of William? Or an illegitimate child of one of William’s sisters/other relative by one of the Bridge family?
William had plenty of land and could have set John up if he had wished. Something must have triggered a desire for John to earn his way - wonder what happened?
Why wait until his death to enable John to be apprenticed? If it was in John’s best interests to learn a trade then why not get on with it?
Why the doubt that a master could be found?
Was a master ever found, and if so who and in what trade?

Study of the court rolls shows that the Bridge family had a bit of a dodgy reputation a century earlier (‘J is for...’ below). Had this continued?

What we do know:
John Heaton fil Wm Heaton of Deadwenclough bap Newchurch St Nicholas 28 Sept 1640.
Wilimi Heaton fil Johnis Heaton of Deadwenclough bap Newchurch St Nicholas ? Oct 1616
Jo. Bridge fil Tho Bridge of Deadwenclough gap Newchurch St Nicholas 10 Oct 1635

John Bridge m Ann Haworth 14 Nov 1668 Newchurch St Nicholas
John Heaton of Newchurch m Margaret Aspen of Burnley, widow of Richard Aspden deceased by Banns read on 26 May 1656, 1 Jun 1656 and 8 Jun 1656 at Newchurch St Nicholas

William Heaton bur 21 Dec 1654 Newchurch St Nicholas

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