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Help reading Will

Wed Oct 02, 2019 4:17 pm


Good evening,

Here is my x6 great grandfathers Will, I was wondering if anybody could help me read what it says. I can decipher bits such as his children’s names and some place names.

Thank you in advance to anybody who can help!

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Re: Help reading Will

Fri Oct 04, 2019 11:40 am

I'd have a go but I can only see the side of it.
Ok I think I've found it elsewhere-James Leaver of Berkshire PCCWill?
Hope it's the right one.
This is the Last Will and Testament of James Leaver of Brightswell in the county of Berkshire.
I give devise or appoint the message or tenement wherein I now
dwell with the orchard close and appoints to the same belonging
being copyhold of Inheritance held of the Manor of Brightswell
aforesaid and by me duly surrendered to the ? of my Will unto
my daughter Elizabeth Leaver for and during so long time as she
shall remain singleand from and immediately after the decease
or marriage or my said daughter then I give devise and appont
the said premises to and onto the use of my only son William Leaver
his heirs and assigns for ever.I give bequeath onto each of my
four daughters Mary the wife of John Alliatt Lydia the wife
of Jonathan Bailey Elizabeth Leaver and Sarah Leaver the legacy
or sum of one hundred and fifty pounds of lawful money currency
of Great Britain to be paid unto them respectively within six
calendar months after my decease and the legacy to my said same
Lydia to be paid into her own hands to and for her own use and
benefit exclusive and without being subject or liable to the debts
consent or engagements of her said husband and her receipt alone to
sufficient discharge for the same.I give all my household goods
and furniture whatsoever unto my said daughters Elizabeth ,Sarah
equally to be divided between them share and share alike and as
to my ready money securities for money personnel estate and
effects whatsoever or whosoever of what nature or kind so ever
after payment of my just debts,legacies funeral and testamentary
expenses I give and bequeath the same and every part thereof unto
my said son William to and for his own use and benefit and so
hereby constitute and appoint him my sole Executor of this my Will and
hereby revoking and making void all former older Wills by me made
I do declare this my only last Will and Testament in witness
whereof I have hereonto put my hand and seal this twentieth
day of October in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred
and fifteen.James Leaver signed sealed published and declared
by the above named James Leaver the Testator as and for his last Will
and Testament in the presence of us who at his request in his presence
the presence of each other have subscribed and named as Witnesses
thereto John Hedges John A Hedges ? of Wallingford Charles
Bennett their clerk
Proved at London 10 May 1816 before the Judge by the Oath of William Leaver
the son and sole Executor to whom admin was granted being sworn by ? Duly to admin.

So daughter Elizabeth gets the house until she marries or dies and then it goes to son William.
The daughters all get £150 and the furniture is split between Sarah and Elizabeth.
Lydia's husband must be in debt or a bit of a wastrel.James doesn't want his son i law getting his hands on the money.
Anything left over goes to son William.

Is that ok?


Re: Help reading Will

Fri Oct 04, 2019 12:49 pm

Well done. I hate those PCC wills. I apologise for even thinking of commenting but just a couple of comments.

Close to the start, it will be

I give, devise & appoint the messuage....

You may of course intended to write messuage, which is a property term but been sunk by predictive text.

All the stuff about Lydia's husband is absolutely standard text for a bequest to a daughter - remember that married women couldn't own property in their own right. These sort of conditions are there simply to ensure that the daughter gets the benefit of the bequest and not her husband. Of course, he might indeed have been a spendthrift, rake, wastrel, etc, but the text doesn't tell us that.

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Re: Help reading Will

Fri Oct 04, 2019 1:12 pm

It made me chuckle Adrian, he never said married daughter Mary had any special mention, but reading it, I reckon Lydias husband was a right waster..

I bet he couldn't stand the bloke..

Re: Help reading Will

Fri Oct 04, 2019 2:06 pm

Thank you for spending time deciphering the Will for me, it was interesting to read

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Re: Help reading Will

Sat Oct 05, 2019 9:16 am

Yes I mentioned Lydia's husband because he didn't say the same about Mary's husband.
You can tell which man he preferred as a son in law.

Re: Help reading Will

Sat Oct 05, 2019 11:15 am

ciderdrinker wrote:... he didn't say the same about Mary's husband. ...

Oh that's true - I missed that. In which case, I suspect you're right, he probably did have concerns.

As a general rule, though, phrasing like that is standard and shouldn't be interpreted as casting doubt on the husband. In this case, the two husbands are treated differently so the general rule doesn't seem to apply.
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