Last Will and Testament of Hester Booth (1773)

Last Will and Testament of Mrs. Hester Booth (nee Santlow)

In the name of God Amen. I, Hester Booth, of Great Russell Street, in the parish of Saint George Bloomsbury, in the county of Middlesex, widow, do make as my last will and testament in the manner following, (that is to say); my body I desire may be buried near the remains of my late mother and of my late husband Barton Booth Esquire interred in the Church of Cowley in the County of Middlesex.

I give the sum of ten guineas to be distributed by my executors herein, after mass, among such of the poor Widows of Cowley parish not receiving alms of the parish as they, my executors, shall think fit.

I give to Mrs. Elizabeth Lally, the widow of Michael Lally, Esquire, deceased, my diamond ring with two hearts joined together.

I give to Mrs. Frances Perrin my diamond ring set round the hoop with sparks.

I give and bequeath to
Edward Eliot of Port Eliot in the county of Cornwall, Esquire, one of my executors herein after named, all my pictures except the oval portrait of myself and the portrait of my said late husband, both of which hang in the back parlour of my house in Great Russell Street, and which said portrait pictures I give to Charles Cocks, Esquire, who married Elizabeth, the daughter of the Honourable Harriot Hamilton, late of Wigmore Street, Cavendish Square, widow, deceased.

I give to Mrs. Ann Evans, who formerly lived in my service, fifty pounds.

I give to Mrs. Annabella Plukenet, the wife of Mr. Thomas Plukenet, one hundred pounds, to be paid into her own proper hands for her own separate use and benefit, nothwithstanding her Jointure, and I so will and direct that her receipt shall be a full and sufficient discharge to my Executors.

For the same, I give to Margaret Dobson, who formerly lived in my service, ten pounds.

I give to each of my maid servants who now live with me, in case they, respectively, shall be living with me at the time of my decease, five pounds for mourning; and also all my wearing apparel, to be divided among them in such a manner and proportions as Mrs. Bonfoy and Mrs. Neale hereinafter named shall think proper.

I give to my servant Thomas Child, in case he shall continue to live with me until the time of my death, an annuity or yearly sum of twenty pounds for and during his natural life, such annuity to be paid him quarterly, without any deductions, in equal proportions, the first payment to be made to him at the end of the calendar month next after my decease; and I give to the said Thomas Child five pounds for mourning.

I give to the Trustees of the Charity School of the Parish of Saint-George Bloomsbury fifty guineas, to be by them applied for the use and benefit of said School.

I give to Benjamin Victor of Maiden Lane, Covent Garden, Esquire, fifty guineas.

I give to the six Misses Blakes, being sisters and living in Great Russell Street, five pounds a piece for rings.

I give to Mr. Beruda of Southampton Row, who hath acted as my agent, twenty pounds.

I give to Miss Ann Bonfoy, daughter of Mrs. Bonfoy of Wimpole Street, and Mr. John Hamilton, the son of the said Harriot Hamilton, deceased, twenty guineas a piece.

I give to Mrs. Elizabeth Cocks, the wife of the said Charles Cocks, the sum of two hundred pounds; and I give to Mrs. Eliot, the wife of said Edward Eliot, twenty guineas.

And I so constitute and appoint the said Edward Eliot, and Samuel Salt of the Inner Temple, London, Esquire, executors of this my will, and do give to the said Samuel Salt the sum of one hundred pounds for his trouble in the Execution of the same will. And I so give, devise, and bequeath unto the said Edward Eliot and Samuel Salt, their heirs, executors, and administrators all the rest and residue of my near and personal estate wheresoever and of what nature or kind soever, in trust, that they, the said Edward Eliot and Samuel Salt or the survivor of them, his heirs or executors, so and shall call in, sell, and dispose thereof; and, after payment of my debts and funeral expenses and the Legacies herein before bequeathed, and subject to the said annuity to the said Thomas Child, do and shall lay out and invest one fourth of the residue of the moneys to arise by such sales, and of other the moneys to be received by them on account of my personal estate, in Government or Parliamentary Securities, at interest in their names. In trust that they, the said Edward Eliot and Samuel Salt and the survivors of them and the executors and administrators of such survivor, do and shall receive the dividends, interest, and proceeds of the said fourth part, so to be invested, from time to time, as the same shall become due and payable, and shall and do pay the same to Mrs. Harriot Neale, the wife of Pendock Neale, Esquire, and daughter of the said Harriot Hamilton, deceased, for and during the term of her natural life, for her own sole and separate use and benefit, notwithstanding her jointure, and her receipt and receipts, from time to time, shall be a sufficient discharge to my said trustees for the same. And I do devise and bequeath the said fourth part – directed to be invested, as aforesaid, from and immediately after the decease of the said Harriot Neale, in case she shall survive me; and the other three fourths of the said residue of the moneys to arise and be produced by the sale of, or to be received from, or on account of, my real and personal estates, and also the said fourth part thereof (in case the said Harriot Neale shall die in my lifetime), immediately after my decease, unto John Eliot, now Governor of west Florida, the said Ann Bonfoy and Catherine Eliot (son and daughters of the said Harriot Hamilton, deceased) or to such of them as shall be living at the time of my death, to be equally divided among and between them if more than one of them then living, share and share alike. And, if only one of them shall survive me, then the whole to such one of them. And so I will and direct that my said executors and trustees for the time being shall pay, assign, and transfer the sums accordingly.

And though I have given less to the said Edward Eliot and Mrs. Cocks than to their said brother and sisters, I hope and desire they will not impute it to any difference in my affections towards them, since I have an equal regard for all, but to their different situations in life.

And, lastly, I do hereby revoke all former and other wills by me at any time heretofore made and do make this only my last will and testament, by witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this twenty second day of February in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and sixty nine.

Signed, sealed, published and declared by the said testatrix, Hester Booth, as and for her last will and testament, in the presence of us who, in her presence and at her request, subscribe our names as witnesses thereto.

Cha Chambers    John Lamb    William Arthur

Hester Booth

I give to Mrs. Ann Bonfoy my Silver Tea Kettle and also my Silver Tea Table and all the rest of my Silver Tea Equipage that is in my Ebony Tea Box. Hester Booth

The validity of the little codicil was sworn to by witnesses on 03 Feb 1773.

Probate was granted on 03 Mar 1773.