Virgil M. (Virgil McClure) Harris.

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fusions and interpolations, it was disputed by the next of kin,
who endeavoured to establish that the testator was of unsound
mind. But this effort to annihilate its validity failed, the testator
being held to be of sound mind and capable of making a legal
disposition of his estate.

"The trustees and executors thereupon filed a bill in Chancery
on the 25th of April, 1852, praying the court to construe the
will, and enable them to administer the estate. The next of
kin, by their answer, contended that since it was impossible
to place any construction upon the will at all, it was necessarily
void."

The testator's property, we may remark, was sworn under
£140,000.

The documents in this Chancery suit, which extended to four
years, are of several tons weight. The bills of costs alone would
fill a butcher's cart. How Turner would have groaned to see the
lawyers fattening on his hard-earned savings !

A compromise was eventually effected between all parties to
the suit, and on March 19, 1856, a decree was pronounced, with
their consent, to the following effect :

1. The real estate to go to the heir-at-law.

2. The pictures, etc., to the National Gallery.



ANCIENT, CURIOUS, AND FAMOUS WILLS 315

3. £1000 for the erection of the monument in St. Paul's Ca-
thedral.

4. £20,000 to the Royal Academy, free of legacy duty.

5. Remainder to be divided among next of kin.

Will of Vaugelas

Claude Favre de Vaugelas the French Grammarian, one of the
lights of the "Salon Bleu," and honored by the friendship of
Madame de Rambouillet, was born at Bourg en Bresse in 1585,
and after making an illustrious name in the annals of literature,
and being rewarded by several pensions, died in a condition of
abject poverty in Paris, in 1650. It is difficult to account for the
sad circumstances under which he ended his days, unless, like
many of the literary characters found in history, he led a hfe
of reckless expenditure, possibly good-naturedly lending to those
who never repaid him, and generally neglected to keep any kind
of order in his affairs.

Freron, in his "Annee Litteraire," reports a singular clause in
his will, but one which does honor to his sense of rectitude and
his conscientiousness.

"Vaugelas," says he, "died, so to speak, in penury; he was
so deeply in debt that he was obliged to remain all day at home
(a single room), and could only go out at night for fear he should
fall into the hands of his creditors. On this account he was
named the 'Hibou.' His will was remarkable: after having
ordered his little all to be sold for the payment of his debts, he
adds, 'But as, after all has been distributed, there may remain
some creditors whose claims will not be satisfied, my last will is
that my body be sold to the surgeons for the highest price that
can be obtained, and the product applied to the liquidation of the
debts I may still owe, so that, if I have been unable to be of any
use during my life, I may at least serve some purpose after my
death.'"

Will of Voltaire

Among Voltaire's papers was found a note, endorsed "Mon
Testament," which, on being opened, exhibited these lines in his
own hand :

" Je meurs en adorant Dieu,
En aimant mes amis,
En ne haissant point mes ennemis.
En detestant la superstition."



316 ANCIENT, CURIOUS, AND FAMOUS WILLS

Voltaire spent his last days in Paris, dying there in 1778. It
was there Benjamin Franklin took to him his grandson on whom
he asked Voltaire to pronounce a blessing. Voltaire placed his
hand upon the young man's head, uttering at the same time in
Enghsh, "God and hberty."



Will of Izaak Walton

" Simon Peter saith unto them, I go a fishing.
They say unto him, we also go with thee."

Izaak Walton died December 15, 1683, at the age of ninety,
and was buried in the north transept of Winchester Cathedral.
He is best known and loved by his work, "The Compleat Angler,
or Contemplative Man's Recreation ; " for quaintness and pastoral
freshness it has never been excelled and has passed through more
than a hundred editions. Of the book Charles Lamb said: "It
would sweeten a man's temper at any time to read it." The
following verses in praise of tobacco, are taken from a poem of
considerable length, Gosden's edition of the "Journey to Beres-
ford Hall."

"Me thinks I see Charles Cotton, and his friend.
The modest Walton, from Augusta's town.
Enter the Fishing-house an hour to spend,
And by the marble table set them down.

*' 'Boy, bring me in the jug of Derby Ale,
My best tobacco, and my smoking tray ; '
The boy, obedient, brings the rich regale,
And each assumes his pipe of polished clay.

" Now cloud on cloud pervades the fishers' room,
The Moreland Ale rich sparkles to the sight ;
They draw fresh wisdom from the circling gloom,
And deal a converse pregnant with delight.

" Me thinks I see them with the mental eye,
I hear their lessons with attentive ear.
Of early fishing with the summer fly.
And many a pleasing tale to Anglers dear."

The Fishing-house of Charles Cotton, where Walton visited
and where Piscator and Viator communed, stood "in a kind of



ANCIENT, CURIOUS, AND FAMOUS WILLS 317

peninsula," as Cotton describes it, "wdth a delicate clear river
about it;" this "little house" was on the river Dove in Stafford-
shire: over the arched door were the words " Piscatoribus Sa-
crum" and on the Key-stone the Cypher of Cotton and Walton.
In 1835 this venerable and historic building was restored to
nearly the same state as when originally built, by its owner, the
Marquis of Beresford.

The will of Walton is deposited in the great registry of Eng-
lish wills at Somerset House, London, and may there be seen by
the visitor. An exact copy recently taken from the original is
here given, word for word :

"In the name of God, Amen : I, Izaak Walton, the elder, of Win-
chester, being the present day in the ninetyeth yeare of my age
and in perfect memory, for which praysed be God, but consider-
ing how suddainly I may be deprived of both, doe therefore make
this my last will and testament as foUoweth; and first, I doe
declare my beleife to be that their is only one God who hath made
the whole world and mee and all mankind, to whome I shall give
an account of all my actions which are not to be justified but I
hope pardoned for all the merrets of my saviour Jesus, and because
the profession of Christianity does at this time seeme to be sub-
divided into papist and protestant I take it at least to be con-
venient to declare my beleife to be in all points of ffaith as the
Church of England now professeth and this I doe, the rather
because of a very long and a very true friendship with some of
the Roman Church and for my worldly estate (which I have
neither got by falsehood or flattery or the extreame Cruelty of
the law of this nation) I doe hereby give and bequeath it as fol-
loweth : first I give my sonne in law Doc* Hawkins and to his wife
to them I give all my title and right of or in a part of a house and
shop in Pater noster rowe in London which I hold by lease from
the Lord Bishop of London for about fiifty years to come, and I
doe alsoe give to them all my right and title of or to a house in
Chansery Lane London wherein M' Greinwood now dwelleth in
which is now about sixteene yeares to come I give these two
leases to them they saving my Executor from all damage con-
cerning the same ; and I give to my sonne Izaak all my right and
title to a lease of Norington Farme which I hold from the Lord
Bishop of Winton and I doe also give him all my right and title
to a Farme or land neare to Stafford which I bought of Mr. Walter
Noell ; I say I give it to him and his heires for ever but upon the



318 ANCIENT, CURIOUS, AND FAMOUS WILLS

condicon following namely; if my sonne shall not marry before
lie shall be of the age of forty and one yeare, or being married
shall dye before the said age and leave noe sonne to inlierit the
said Farme or Land, or if his sonne or sonns shall not live ta
obtaine the age of twenty and one yeares, to dispose otherwayes
of it then I give the said Farme or land to the Towne or Corpora-
tion of Stafford (in which I was borne) for the good and benefit
of some of the said towne as I shall direct and as foUoweth, but
first note that it is at this present time rented for twenty one
pounds tenn shillings a yeare (and is like to hold the said rent if
care be taken to keepe the barne and houseing in repaire) and I
wood have and doe give ten pound of the said rent to bind out
yearly two boyes, the sonns of honest and poore parents, to be
aprentizes to some Tradesmen or handycraft men to the intent
the said boyes may the better afterward get their owne liveing;
and I doe alsoe give five pound yearly out of the said rent to be
given to some maide Servant that hath attained the age of twenty
and one yeare (not lesse) and dwelt long in one service or to some
honest poore mans daughter that hath attained to that age, to
be paid her at or on the day of her marriage and this being done
my will is that what rent shall remaine of the said Farme or land
shall be disposed of as Followeth : first I doe give twenty shillings
yearly to be spent by the Mayor of Stafford and those that shall
collect the said rent and dispose of it as I have and shall here-
after direct, and that what mony or rent shall remaine undisposed
off shall be imployed to buy Coales for some poore people that
shall most need them in the said towne, the said Coales to be
delivered the first weeke in January or in every first weeke in
February ; I say then because I take that time to be the hardest
and most pinching times with poore people and God reward those
that shall doe this without partialitie and with honestie and a
good conscience ; and if the said Mayor and others of the said
towne of Stafford shall prove so negligent or dishonest as not to
imploy the rent by mee given as intended and exprest in this my
will (which God forbid) then I give the said rents and profitts of
the said Farme or land to the Towne and cheife magastraits or
governers of Ecles-hall to be disposed by them in such manner
as I have ordered the disposall of it by the towne of Stafford, the
said Farme or land being near the Towne of Ecles-hall ; and I
give to my sonne in Law Doctor Hawkins (whome I love as my
owne sonn) and to my daughter, his wife, and my sonne Izaak



ANCIENT, CURIOUS, AND FAMOUS WILLS 319

to each of them a ring with these words or motto — "love my
memory I : W. obiet ; " to the Lord Bishop of Winton a ring with
this motto "a mitt for a miUion I: W. obiet;" and to the
friends hereafter named I give to each of them a ring with this
motto "A friend's farewell I: W. obiet;" and my will is the said
rings be delivered within forty dayes after my death, and that
the price or value of all the said rings shall be thirteen shillings
and four pence a peece. I give to Doctor Hawkins Doctor Donn's
Sermons, which I have heard preacht and read with much con-
tent; to my sonn Izaak I give Doctor Sibbs his Soules conflict,
and to my daughter his brused reed desireing them to read them
for as to be well acquainted with them ; and I alsoe give unto
her all my bookes at Winchester and Droxford and whatever in
those two places are or I can call mine except a Trunck of Linnen
which I give to my sonne Izaak ; but if he doe not live to Marry
or make use of it then I give the same to my Granddaughter,
Anne Hawkins, and I give my daughter Doctor Halls works which
be now at Farnham : to my sonn Izaak I give all ray bookes
(not yet given) at Farnham Castell and a deske of prints and
pictures, alsoe a Cabinet nere my bedshead in which are some
little things that he will value, tho of noe great worth, and my
will and desire is that he will be kind to his Aunt Beachame and
his Aunt Rose Ken by allowing the first about fifty shillings a
yeare in or for Bacon and Cheese (not more) and paying four
pound a yeare toward the boarding of her sonnes dyet to MT
John Whiitehead; for his Aunt Ken I desire him to be kind to
her according to her necessity and his own abilitie and I com-
mend one of her children to breed up (as I have said I intend to
do) if he shall be able to doe it, as I know he will, for they be
good folke. I give — to M^ John Darbishire the Sermons of M^
Anthony Faringdon or of Do^ : Sunderson, which my Executor
thinks fitt : to my servant, Thomas Edghill, I give five pound
in mony and all my Clothes linnen and wollen (except one sute of
Clothes which I give to M^ Holinshed and forty shillings) if the
said Thomas be my servant at my death, if not my Clothes only ;
and I give my old friend, M^ Richard Marriot, tenn pound, in
mony to be paid him within three Months after my death, and I
desire my sonne to shew kindness to him if he shall neede and
my son can spare it ; and I doe hereby will and declare my sonn
Izaak to be my sole Executor of of this my last will and testament
and doctor Hawkins to see that he performes it, which I doubt



320 ANCIENT, CURIOUS, AND FAMOUS WILLS

not but he will. I desire my burial may be neare the place of my
death and free from any ostentation or charge but privately :
this I make to be my last will (to which I shall only add the Cod-
icell for rings) this sixteenth day of August, One Thousand Six
hundred eighty three. Izaak Walton. Witnesse to this will

"The Rings I give are as on the other side.

" To my brother, Jon Ken ; to my sister, his wife ; to my brother.
Doctor Ken ; to my Sister Pye ; to M- Francis Morley ; to M-
George Vernon ; to his wife ; to his three daughter ; to Mristris
Nelson; to IVF Richard Walton; to M- Palmer; to W_ Taylor;
to M' Tho Garrard ; to the Lord Bp of Sarum ; to W Rede, his
servant; to my cozen Dorothy Kenrick; to my Cozen Lewin;
to M' Walter Higgs ; to M' Charles Cotton ; to IVI^ Rich : Marryot
22 ; to my brother Beacham ; to my Sister, his wife ; to the Lady
Anne How; to M" King Doctor Philips wife: to M^ Valentine
Harecourt ; to M"' Eliza : Johnson ; to M" Mary Rogers ; to M"-'
Eliza: Milward; to M'" Dorothy Wallop; to M^ Will Milward
of Christ church, Oxford ; to M- John Darbesheire ; to M"? Une-
dvill ; to M'? Rock ; to M' Peter White ; to MT John Lloyde ; to
my Cozen Greinsells widdow, M'-^ Dalbin, must not be forgotten
16 ; Izaak Walton note that severall lines are blotted out of this
will for they were twice repeated and that this will is now Signed
and Sealed this twenty and fourth day of October, One thousand
Six hundred eighty three, in the presence of us Witnesse Abra:
Markland, Jos : Taylor, Thomas Crawley. "

Will of Duke of Wellington

Arthur Wellesley, first Duke of Wellington, died September
14, 1852 : he was probably born in Dublin, though both the
place and date of birth are uncertain. He is buried in St. Paul's
Cathedral, London.

His will, taken from the original on file at Somerset House,
London, is as follows :

"An attempt having been made to assassinate me on the night
of the 10th instant, which may be repeated with success, and
being desirous of settling my worldly affairs and there being no
professional person at Paris to whom I can entrust the task of
drawing my Will, I now draw it in my own hand writing, hereby
revoking all former Wills particularly one likewise in my own
hand writing made in the year 1807 previous to the Expedition
to Copenhagen.



ANCIENT, CURIOUS, AND FAMOUS WILLS 321

"I hereby leave to the trustees appointed by Act of Par* to
carry into execution the objects of the various Grants to me, my
house in Piccadilly London with its furniture and all I possess in
money and other valuables in the funds in Exchequer Bills and
elsewhere according to the schedule annexed in trust for the fol-
lowing purposes :

" First : To carry into execution my Marriage Settlement with
the Duchess of Wellington,

" Secondly : To pay to all my servants one year's wages beyond
what may be due to each on the day of my death.

" Thirdly: To pay all my just debts.

"Fourthly : To pay to my second son. Lord Charles Wellesley,
the sum of one thousand pounds per annum for his life, besides
what he will be entitled to under my Marriage Settlement and
by the operation of the Acts conveying the Parliamentary Grants
to my family. In case he should marry or when he will be thirty
years of age, he is to have the option of continuing to receive this
annuity or the sum of twenty thousand pounds sterling which is
to be paid to him out of the funds aforesaid.

"Fifthly: To purchase a freehold estate in England with the
whole money aforesaid or such part thereof as they the said
trustees may think proper, charging it with the provisions
above specified for the Duchess of Wellington and Lord Charles
Wellesley.

"Sixthly: To give to my eldest son Arthur, Marquis of Douro,
and the heirs male of his body the use of the House in Picca-
dilly, of the furniture thereto belonging, and to pay him and the
heirs male of his body the annual interest which may be received
for such money in the funds in Exchequer Bills or wherever it
may be and the rent arising from any estate which the trustees
may think proper to purchase with the said money. In case of
the death without heirs male of my eldest son Arthur, Marquis of
Douro,

"Seventhly: I give to my second, The Lord Charles Wellesley,
and the heirs male of his body the use of the said house in Picca-
dilly and of the furniture thereunto belonging, and to pay him
The Lord Charles Wellesley and the heirs male of his body the
annual interest which may be received for such money in the
funds in Exchequer Bills or wherever it may be and the rent aris-
ing from any estate which the trustees may think proper to pur-
chase with the said money. In case of the death without heirs



322 ANCIENT, CURIOUS, AND FAMOUS WILLS

male of my sons, Arthur, Marquis of Douro and Lord Charles
Wellesley,

" Eighthly: To give my nephew, Arthur Wellesley, the eldest son
of my brother The Hble. and Revd. Gerald Wellesley, by Lady
Emily his wife, and the heirs male of his body, the use of my
house in Piccadilly and the furniture thereunto belonging, and to
pay him the said Arthur Wellesley and the heirs male of his body
the annual interest which may be received for such money in the
funds in Exchequer Bills or wherever it may be and the rent aris-
ing from any estate which may be purchased by the trustees with
the said money. In case of the death of both my sons Arthur,
Marquis of Douro, and Lord Charles Wellesley and of my nephew,
Arthur Wellesley, aforesaid all without heirs male,

^'Ninthly: To give to my nephew, Gerald Wellesley, the third
son of my brother. The Honble. Henry Wellesley, by Lady Char-
lotte his wife, and the heirs male of his body, the use of my house
in Piccadilly and the furniture thereunto belonging, and to pay
him the said Gerald Wellesley and the heirs male of his body the
annual interest which may be received for such money in the
funds in Exchequer Bills or wherever it may be and the rent
arising from any estate which may be purchased by the trustees
with the said money. In case of the death without heirs male of
both my sons and both my nephews aforesaid Arthur Wellesley
and Gerald Wellesley,

"Tenthly: To give to my nephew Henry Wellesley, the eldest
son of my brother, the Honble. Henry Wellesley, by Lady Char-
lotte his first wife, and the heirs male of his body, the use of my
house in Piccadilly and the furniture thereunto belonging, and to
pay him the said Henry Wellesley and the heirs male of his body
the annual interest which may be received for such money in the
funds in Exchequer Bills or wherever it may be and the rent aris-
ing from any estate which may be purchased by the trustees with
the said money. My son Arthur, Marquis of Douro, will have
all that has been granted to me by Pari-, the Estate granted to
me by the Cortes and King of Spain, the Pension granted to me
by the King of Portugal and the Estate granted to me by the
King of the Netherlands, and in case of his death without heirs
male, my second son. Lord Charles Wellesley, will succeed to the
same. In case of the death without heirs male of my two sons
above mentioned, I leave and bequeath to my nephew Arthur
Wellesley, the eldest son of my brother Gerald Wellesley, by



ANCIENT, CURIOUS, AND FAMOUS WILLS 323

Lady Emily his wife, and the heirs male of his body all the money
which has been granted to me by Pari- and the estates purchased
with the said money. In case of the death without heirs male
of my sons aforesaid and of my nephew, the said Arthur Welles-
ley, I leave and bequeath to my nephew Gerald Wellesley, the
third son of my brother Henry Wellesley, by Lady Charlotte his
first wife, and the heirs male of his body all the money which has
been granted to me by Pari- and the estates purchased with the
said money. In case of the death without heirs male of both my
sons and nephews aforesaid, I leave and bequeath to my nephew,
Henry Wellesley the eldest son of my brother Henry Wellesley,
by Lady Charlotte his wife, and the heirs male of his body all
the money which has been granted to me by Pari- and the estates
purchased with the said money.

" I request the trustees appointed by Pari* to carry into execu-
tion the objects of the different Grants made to me, to be the
Guardians of my sons. I wish them both, as well as my nephews
above mentioned, to serve the King in his Army and that they
should receive the best education which can be given to them in
order to qualify them to do so with advantage to the King and
honour to themselves. They should therefore finish their studies
at Eton and at one of the Universities, besides obtaining a knowl-
edge of the Sciences necessary for those who enter the Military
Profession.

"I wish my Secretary, Col. Hervey, to take charge of my Private
papers at Paris and to burn such as he may think proper.

"Wellington (LS).

"Signed and Sealed at Paris on the 17th of February, 1818, in
the presence of — C. Campbell, Col. and Capt. Ad Guards —
Geo. Cathcart 6th D.G. — Arthur HiU Capt. 2nd Drag""'."



CHAPTER VII

WILLS OF FAMOUS AMERICANS

"... The past is all holy to us ;
Sad and soft in the moonlight of memory."

Will of John Quincy Adams

John Quincy Adams died February 23, 1848. His will is in
part as follows :

"Know all men by these presents,
"that I, John Quincy Adams, of Quincy in the County of Norfolk
and Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Doctor of Laws, do make,
ordain, publish and declare this to be my last will and testament
hereby revoking all wills by me heretofore made and particularly
one made on or about the 30th day of October, 1832, the last will
made by me preceding the present, which has become mislaid
among my papers so that I cannot find it; I therefore revoke
and annul the same in all and every particular of the same; of
which said will, as far as my memory retains it, Joseph Hall,
Edward Cruft and James H. Foster were subscribing witnesses.

"1st. I do hereby constitute and appoint my only surviving
son Charles Francis Adams of Boston Esquire, my sole Executor
for all my property in this Commonwealth or in the District of
Columbia or elsewhere ; and I direct him hereby to take out
Letters of Administration as well in the County of Norfolk in
this Commonwealth as in the County of Washington in the Dis-
trict of Columbia, and if necessary in the State of Pennsylvania,
so that he may administer upon any property, real, personal or
mixed pertaining to me in any part of the United States at the
time of my decease, and I hereby constitute my said son residuary
Legatee of all property, real, personal and mixed belonging to me,
not otherwise disposed of by this will.

" 2nd. But in the event of the decease of my said Son, which God
forbid, my beloved wife still surviving, I do hereby constitute her
the Sole Executrix of all my goods, estate and property not pre-
viously administered, with such assistants as she may name and

324



ANCIENT, CURIOUS, AND FAMOUS WILLS 325

as may be assented to by the Judge of Probate of the County
wherein my said will may be proved and approved."

He gives and bequeaths to his beloved wife Louisa Catherine
Adams, his dwelhng house and lot in the city of Washington, and
the dwelling house and farm at Quincy "including the lots of Salt
Marsh heretofore leased in Connexion therewith."

He also gives to his wife the dwelhng-house and land situated
on F. Street in the city of Washington, being his residence in the
capital.

He gives to his said wife the furniture in the dwelling-house at
Quincy, with the exception of such articles as are specifically other-