Social history - Transcription of the Will of Major General William Henry Beckwith
Here is a transcription of the Will of Major General William Henry Beckwith (1766 - 1844) which we transcribed for the Guarlford History Group.
As far as we know William had no connection with Malvern, but three of his daughters are buried in the churchyard of St Mary Guarlford, and two of his grand-daughters, children of his eldest daughter Charlotte Maingy otherwise Mainguy, are buried in the churchyard of Great Malvern Priory.
Despite the handwriting being written in a regular style, many of the words were difficult to interpret, and in that case we have made our best guess. In a few cases we have left a blank where the word has been impossible to transcribe.
Source of manuscript: The National Archives CAT REF PROB 11/2003
Historians will find other documents about the fanily in The National Archives, including the Wills of two of William's more famous brothers:-
List of people named in the Will
On the right hand side of page: "William Henry otherwise William George Philip Henry Beckwith Esq.
I, Major General William Henry Beckwith of the city of Chester do hereby revoke all wills and codicils made by me heretofore and declare this to be my last will and testament.
First I direct that all my just debts, funeral expenses and the charges of proving this my will shall be paid as soon as conveniently may be after my death.
I give, devise and bequeath the messuage or dwellinghouse and other hereditaments which I now occupy in Abbey Square, Chester, for all my Estate in term and interest thereon (subject to the ground rent thereof) and also all my household goods and furniture, plate, silver, wine and all other effects in and about my said dwellinghouse at my decease except for money into and to the use of my wife Sophia Beckwith, with her heirs, executors, administrators, and assigns (according to the nature of the said property) absolutely.
I also give and bequeath to my said wife the sum of two hundred pounds stock (part of four hundred pounds stock standing in my name in the three and a half per centum Bank annuities to be paid or transferred to her within one calendar month next after my decease.
I give and bequeath the sum of one hundred pounds life stock to my dear nephew Lieutenant Colonel Charles Beckwith and the sum of fifty pounds life stock to Mr Philip Graves, now or late of Little New Street, Shoe Lane, London, and the fifty pounds life stock (residue of the said four hundred pounds) to Mr Edward Foss solicitor, now or late of Essex Street, Strand, London, and I direct that the said last mentioned legacies of one hundred pounds, fifty pounds and fifty pounds stock shall be paid to or retained by the said Charles Beckwith, Philip Graves and Edward Foss clear of all legacy duty, stamp duty or other tax or charge whatsoever and that such duty or charge shall be paid out of the residue of my personal estate.
I give and bequeath the sum of eleven thousand, nine hundred and ninety-nine pounds, twelve shillings stock now standing in my name in the three and a half per centum annuities of 1818 to my said nephew Charles Beckwith and the said Philip Graves their executors, administrators and assigns upon trust that they the said Charles Beckwith and Philip Graves and the survivor of them and the executors, administrators and assigns of said survivor so and shall pay the dividend and annual produce thereof to my said wife Sophia Beckwith during her life (who paying thereout or authorizing my said Trustees to pay thereout the sum of thirtytwo pounds, six shillings and eightpence annually in discharge of my proportion of an annuity at present paid to David Davis or Davies (formerly servant to my brother General Sir George Beckwith) for his life and which I hereby charge upon the said dividends and from and after the decease of my said wife (subject to the said proportion of an annuity if it shall be then payable)
I direct my said Trustee or Trustees for the time being to stand possessor of the said sum of eleven thousand, nine hundred and ninetynine pounds and twelve shillings last named stock and the dividends and annual produce thereof in trust for such persons or person as shall then be entitled to the residue of my personal Estate herein after disposed of and as to the sum of nine thousand pounds stock now standing in my name in the three per centum Consolidated Bank annuities and all residue of my Stock monies and Personal Estate whatsoever and wheresoever of herein before bequeathed or disposed of (subject to the payment of my debts funeral and testamentary expenses and the legacy duty before mentioned)
I give and bequeath the same and every part thereof to the persons and in .(?) hereinafter mentioned that is to say (as to one fifth or share thereof I give the same to my daughter Elizabeth Beckwith absolutely and as to another fifth part thereof to my daughter Jessie Henrietta Beckwith absolutely and as to another fifth part thereof to my daughter Sophia Beckwith absolutely and as to another fifth part thereof to my son John Ferdinand Beckwith absolutely in case he shall have attained the age of twentyone years at the time of my decease but otherwise direct my Trustees and Executors to retain the same until that period and in the meantime to apply the dividends and annual produce of the said last mentioned fifth share at their direction in the maintenance and education of my said son or to accumulate the same for his benefit as they may think best and when he shall attain the said age then to pay and transfer the said last mentioned fifth share and the accumulated share to my said son absolutely and as to the remaining fifth part or share of the said residue of my personal estate, I give and bequeath the same to the said Charles Beckwith and Philip Graves their executors, administrators and assigns upon Trust to continue or invest the same in the public funds and to pay the dividend and annual produce thereof to my daughter Charlotte Maingy (wife of the Reverend Maingy) for her life for her separate use independently of her present or any future husband and not to be subject to his debts control or interference but without power of anticipation and the ..cipts of the said Charlotte Maingy alone (notwithstanding her coverture shall be sufficient discharges for the same and from and after the decease of my said daughter Charlotte Maingy. I direct that my said Trustees and the survivor of them and the executors, administrators and assigns of such survivor so and shall stand possessed of the said last mentioned fifth share and the dividends and annual produce thereof in trust for all and every the children and child of the said Charlotte Maingy who shall attain the age of twentyone years, to be divided between or among them if more than one in equal shares and if there shall be but one such child the whole to be in trust for that one child provided always and I declare my will to be that in case any one or more of my said children Elizabeth Beckwith, Jessie Henrietta Beckwith, Sophia Beckwith and John Ferdinand Beckwith shall die in my lifetime or before the vesting of their respective portion or portions under this my will leaving a child or children living at their respective decease, such child or children shall take their respective deceased parent's share in equal shares if more than one and I hereby appoint my said nephew Lieutenant Charles Beckwith and the said Philip Graves, Executors of this my will and I recommend my son John Ferdinand to their watchful care and attention and of his cousin Charles and his cousin Henry Ferdinand (of whom I hear well) look after him and above all I leave him to the mercy and protection of our great and kind Lord and master Jesus Christ, for then he will never want a friend and lastly I declare that my said Trustees and Executors shall not be answerable or accountable the one for the other of them not for any involuntary losses and that it shall be lawful for them respectively to reimburse themselves their costs and expenses in discharging their trusts out of the monies which shall come to their hands by virtue of this my will.
In witness whereof I the said William Henry Beckwith the Testator have hereunto set my hand and seal the nineteenth day of January one thousand eight hundred and thirty eight
(Signature) Signed sealed published and declared by the said Testator William Henry Beckwith and for his last will and testament in the presence of us in who in his presence and in the presence of each other have subscribed our names as witnesses thereto.
John Price Solicitor
R Roberts and John Jones Clerks to Messrs Williams & Co Bankers Chester
I Major General William Henry Beckwith of the City of Chester do declare this to be a codicil to my last will and Testament bearing date the nineteenth day of February one thousand, eight hundred and thirtyeight. I hereby revoke the following legacies given by my said will that is to say the sum of two hundred pounds three and a half per centum Bank Annuities to my wife Sophia Beckwith, the sum of one hundred pounds life stock to my nephew Lieutenant Coloner (now Colonel) Charles Beckwith, the sum of fifty pounds life stock to Mr Edwards Foss having carried into effect my intentions in reference thereto during my life.
I hereby authorize and empower the Trustees and Executors for the time being of my said will or other the persons having the execution of it not only to apply the dividends and annual produce of the fifth share of the residue of my personal Estate which I have by my said will bequeathed to and for the benefit of my son, John Ferdinand Beckwith, in his maintenance and education but also to sell out and apply to the whole or any part of the fifth share of the sum of nine thousand pounds three pounds per cent Consolidated Bank Annuities in my said will bequeathed to and for the benefit of my said son on the direction of my said Trustees and Executors or such other person or persons as aforesaid for the purpose of purchasing a commission or commissions for my said son or otherwise for his preferment and advancement in the world during his minority and I hereby ratify and confirm my said will in all other respects In witness whereof I have here unto set my hand and seal this sixth day of August one thousand eight hundred and fortyone.
(W H Beckwith signed)
Sealed, published and declared by the above named William Henry Beckwith the testator as and for a codicil to his last will and Testament dated the nineteenth day of February one thousand and eight hundred and thirtyeight in the presence of the both of us who have subscribed our names as witnesses thereto in his presence at his request and in the presence of each other.
James Henderson - Major (... ?), Parkgate
J W Hilton Parkgate
I Major William Henry Beckwith of the City of Chester do declare this to be a further codicil to my last will and testament, bearing date the nineteenth day of February one thousand eight hundred and thirtyeight whereas by my will I have given the sum of nine thousand pounds, three pounds per cent Consolidated Bank annuities equally among my five children Charlotte Beckwith, Elizabeth Beckwith, Jessie Henrietta Beckwith, Sophia Beckwith, John Ferdinand Beckwith and whereas the said sum is or is about to be now reduced to the sum of eight thousand pounds life Annuities stock. I hereby in case the said reduction shall take place previous to my death revoke the said disposition and in lieu thereof give and bequeath the said sum of eight thousand pounds three pounds per cent Consolidated Bank Annuities in manner following that is to say to each of my said four daughters the sum of one thousand eight hundred pounds part thereof and the sum of eight hundred pounds remaining part thereof to my said son John Ferdinand Beckwith and in all other respects I confirm my said will and the codicil thereto bearing date the sixth day of August one thousand eight hundred and fortyone In witness whereof I the said William Henry Beckwith the testator have hereunto set my hand and seal this fourteenth day of August one thousand eight hundred and fortythree.
(W H Beckwith signed)
Sealed and published and declared by the above named William Henry Beckwith the Testator as and for a codicil to his last will and testament dated the nineteenth day of February one thousand eight hundred and thirtyeight in the presence of both of us who have subscribed our names as witness thereto in his presence at his request and in the presence of each other. William Clark, Clerk, Abbey Square, Chester
John Harrison, Surgeon, Foregate Street, Chester
Proved at London with two codicils the 13th of August 1844 before the Worshipful John Daubenny Doctor of Laws and Surrogate by the oath of John Charles (in the will written Charles) Beckwith Esquire, the nephew, and Philip Graves Esquire, the Executors named in the will and to whom ad? was granted having been first sworn duly to admin?
List of people named in the Will
Charlotte Maingy wife of Revd Maingy
Jessie Henrietta Beckwith
John Ferdinand Beckwith
Sir George Beckwith (General)
John Charles Beckwith (Colonel and an executor)
Henry Ferdinand Beckwith
Edward Foss (solicitor of Essex Street, Strand, London)
Philip Graves (executor of Little New street, Shoe Lane, London))
David Davis or Davies (servant of General Sir George Beckwith)
The (manuscript) Will of Major General William Henry Beckwith, purchased from the on-line catalogue of National Archives.
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Last updated 24th August 2013