Last Will and Testament of Mrs. Harriot Neale (nee Eliot)
I, Harriot Neale, of Henrietta Street, Cavendish Square, widow, do make this, my last Will and Testament, in manner and form following:
Whereas, I have purchased in the third class of life annuities established in Ireland by Act of Parliamentary Session 1773, three several Annuities of six pounds each for the several and respective lives of Susanna Neale, Elizabeth Neale, and Harriot Neale, daughters of the Honourable Thomas Neale of Tollerton in the county of Nottingham, clerk, by Susanna his wife.
Now, I do hereby give and bequeath the said several Annuities and all increase and benefit accruing thereon, unto my Executrix hereinafter named, in trust, that she do and shall assign to the said Susanna Neale, the daughter, the said annuity purchased in her name and all benefit and increase accruing thereon, when she shall have attained the age of twenty one years, for her own proper use.
And do also assign unto the said Elizabeth Neale the annuity purchased in her name and all increase and benefit accruing thereon, when she shall have attained the age of twenty-one years, for her own proper use.
And in the meantime, and until the said Susanna Neale, the daughter, Elizabeth Neale and Harriot Neale, respectively, shall attain their several respective ages, I do will and direct that my said Executrix shall receive the said annuities respectively and shall pay the same to Susanna Neale the Mother, or to whom she shall direct, for the purpose of contributing towards the maintenance and education of them, the said Susanna Neale, the daughter, Elizabeth Neale and Harriot, respectively.
And, whereas, I have also purchased in the same third class of life annuities and other annuity of six pounds for or upon the life of John Wyatt, the natural son of Mary Wyatt of Plymouth or the neighbourhood of Plymouth, I do hereby will and direct that my said Executrix do and shall receive the annuity last mentioned and the increase and benefit accruing thereon, and pay the same unto whom my brother, Edward Eliot, Esquire, shall direct for the purpose of contributing towards the maintenance and education of the said John Wyatt, until he shall attain his age of twenty-one years. And when he shall have attained that age, then, in trust, that the said Francis Biddulph, James Cocks and Thomas Somers Cocks do and shall assign the same annuity and all increase and benefit which shall have accrued thereon unto the said John Wyatt for his own proper use. I give and bequeath unto my sister, Catherine Eliot, spinster, one hundred pounds Bank Stock, the sum was his supposed father's, in trust, that if the above named John Wyatt do live to be established in any trade or profession, she will pay and apply the said hundred pound Bank Stock and all the interest which shall have accrued thereon, in such manner as she shall deem most for his advantage and benefit.
I give and bequeath unto Lieutenant George Bruere the sum of one hundred pounds lawful money of Great Britain.
I give and bequeath unto Lieutenant John Bruere the sum of one hundred pounds lawful money of Great Britain.
I request my sister Bonfoy to accept the small bequest of one hundred pounds Bank Stock in token of affection.
I give and bequeath unto my sister Catherine Eliot, spinster, whatever other monies I may die disposed of (in acknowledgement of and gratitude for a society of some years which, while it lasted, made both mine and Mr. Neale's happiness), subject, nevertheless, to the expenses of my funeral, which I will shall not exceed forty pounds, and to some small bequests which, if time permit, I shall mention in a paper of memorandum or codicil , if it may deserve that name, wherein I shall dispose of many little things in fond remembrances, direct what shall be done with my clothes, and give some whimsical directions as to my funeral.
I do appoint my said sister, Catherine Eliot, my whole and sole Executrix and residuary legatee. And now, not knowing how or how soon my present illness may end, most heartily thankful if forever, yet most willing to resign my spirit unto God who gave it, I sign this my last will and testament in haste, revoking all other wills, at any time heretofore made by me, and do make this only my last will.
In witness, whereof, I have to this, my said will, being all of my own handwriting, set my hand this fourth day of July in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy-five.
The erasements are made with my own hand, this 8th day of October, in the year of our Lord 1775. H.N. Bath.
Having given up the expectation of recovering my health, and entertaining a strong hope in the mercies of my God, that my sufferings shall not be of much longer duration, I take up pen to write the little codicil mentioned in my will.
If I die in or near London, I desire to be buried at North Mims, near my sister, Mrs. Cocks. If at Bath or elsewhere, in any neighbouring country churchyard.
I desire to be buried in woolen only. I desire that woolen may be blue and that my coffin may likewise be covered with blue woolen.
I am at a loss for tokens of remembrance to those I love. They must be very small.
Will Mrs Eliot accept my Petersburgh Ear Rings and Lady Cathcart's pencil.
I have delayed finishing this too long and believe I have not time, as the most pressing demand upon me, then I give to Betty Field ten guineas over and above her wages. To Sarah Evans five guineas. To Sarah Pike two guineas.
My brother Eliot has kindly accepted my dressing plate lot, the silver and filligram.
Of my writing box be double gilt and given to my brother, Mr. Hamilton.
John Somers Cocks, his mother's hoop and wedding ring.
In my India cabinet is an antique seal. Mr. Blanglois will value it, because it was Mr. Trevanion's.
Mr. Salt gave me my best diamond ring as a premature legacy; I return it, pleased not to have worn it in such remembrance.
On the book of Miss Neale's accounts are two small notes which want only her indorsement.
I have told my sister what I would have written more and spare myself therefore the trouble.
6th February 1776
On which day appeared personally Catherine Eliot of the parish of St. Martin in the Fields, in the county of Middlesex, spinster, Samuel Salt of the Inner Temples, London, Esquire, and John Lamb of the same place, gentleman, and by virtue of their corporal oaths, jointly and severally, deposed as follows; to wit, first, the said Samuel Salt and John Lamb for themselves say that they knew and were well acquainted with Harriot Neale, late of the parish of St. Mary le Bone in the County of Middlesex, widow, deceased, and have seen her write and subscribe her name, whereby they and each of them became well acquainted with her manner and character of handwriting and subscription and having now carefully viewed and perused the paper writings hereunto annexed, the one purporting to be the last will and testament of the said deceased, beginning thus . . . ending thus . . . And the said Catherine Eliot for herself saith that the said Harriot Neale departed this life the twenty-second day of January last, and that a few days after her death, she, this deponent, found the wil land codicil of the said deceased in a box which the said Harriot Neale had in her lifetime delivered to her, this deponent, and at the time she found the same, the said will appeared to be obliterated in the ninth and tenth, the twenty-second, the thirty-first and thirty-second lines of the first side, and the list line but one of the second side, and the Codicil appears to be cut at the bottom and they then appeared to be in the same plight and condition they now are in.
Same day the said Catherine Eliot, Samuel Salt, Esquire, and John Lamb were sworn to the truth of this affidavit before me . . .
This will was proved at London with a codicil the ninth day of February in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy six . . . Catherine Eliot, spinster, the sister of the deceased and sole executrix named in the said will, to whom Admon was granted of all and singular the goods chattels and credits of the said deceased . . .