Amanuensis Monday is a blog theme started by John Newmark on his blog Transylvanian Dutch, in which he is transcribing letters, newspaper articles, audio tapes, and a war diary etc., concerning his family.
John explains Amanuensis as “a person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another”.
This week I am showing the Will of Stephen Read who is the 20th (and youngest) child of my 6 x great grandfather Cozens Read. Stephen died in 1842 and is the only one of Cozens Read’s children to appear in the Censuses (well one at least in 1841)!! It is not such a lengthy Will as some and he does not mention too many people by name, but I am very intrigued about a couple of things to do with the Will and the reasons can be seen in my Notes added at the end of the Transcription.
Stephen Read’s Will
Transcription of the Will of Stephen Read
Will of Stephen Read
This is the last Will and Testament of me Stephen Read of Cuddington in the County of Bucks Yeoman I give and bequeath all my ready money which shall be in my dwelling house or in my possession at my decease and all my household goods and furniture linen and wearing apparel to my dear Wife Ann Read for her own use and benefit And as to all my other Monies and securities for money and all other my personal Estate whatsoever and whosesoever and of what nature or kind soever not hereinbefore disposed of I give and bequeath the same and every part thereof respectively unto my Nephews William Read and Richard Read the Sons of my dear brother Robert Read deceased their Executors Administrators and Assigns respectively nevertheless upon trust as soon as conveniently may be after my decease or at such other time or times as they shall think proper to collect get in and receive all my said personal estate so bequeathed to them and after payment thereout of all my debts funeral testamentary and Executorship(?) expenses to invest the clear residue thereof in coal or Government securities in England or otherwise to continue(?) the same at Interest on the securities in which the same shall be invested at my decease with full power and authority to call in the same and to vary alter and transpose all or any of such securities when and as often as they shall think proper And upon trust to pay unto or permit and suffer my said dear Wife to receive all the interest dividends and annual …..(?) thereof for and during the term of her natural life for her own use and benefit and from and immediately after her decease upon Trust to call in and collect the whole residue of my said personal estate into money and divide the same into nine equal parts or shareout which shall be paid to each of my eight dear Sons and daughters for his or her own use and benefit and the remaining ninth share unto and between all the children of my late dear Son Stephen Read deceased equally share and share alike when and as they shall severally attain the age of twenty one years or be married and in case of the death of either of the children of my said Son Stephen under the age of twenty one years and unmarried I direct that the share of such one so dying shall go and be paid to the survivors of them if more than one or to the survivor if only one and I direct that the share of each of my said children shall be a vested interest immediately on my decease and be transferable(?) to his or her personal representatives accordingly and in case of the death of any or either of my said children in my lifetime leaving lawful issue then I direct that such issue who shall be living at my decease shall be entitled to the share or shares of his or her parent or parents respectively to be equally divided between them share and share alike if more than one and if only one then to be paid to such only one and I do hereby declare and order that it shall and may be lawful for them the said William Read and Richard Read their Executors and Administrators and each of them by and out of the trust monies property or effects hereinbefore bequeathed or the interest and produce(?) thereof or any part thereof to secure retain to and reimburse themselves himself and each other respectively all such loss …..(?) charges damages and expenses as they or either of them shall or may bear pay sustain expend or be put into in or about or by reason or means or on account of the performance and execution of all and every or any of the Trusts hereby in them …..(?) in any respect whatsoever and also that they or either of them shall not be charged or chargeable with or answerable or accountable for any more of the said trust monies and property than shall actually come to their hands or custody respectively by virtue of this my Will nor with or for any loss or damage …..(?) which may happen to the same or any part thereof so as it happen not through their own wilful default or neglect respectively nor shall the one of them be answerable or accountable for the other but each for himself and his own acts deeds receipts defaults and neglects only And I nominate and appoint the said William Read and Richard Read joint Executors of this my last Will and Testament on Testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this sixteenth day of June in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and twenty seven - Stephen Read - Signed Sealed published and declared by the above named Stephen Read the Testator as and for his last Will and Testament in the presence of us who in his presence at his request and in the presence of each other have hereunto subscribed our names as Witnesses Joseph Rose John Parrott
On the 9th March 1842 Admon/with the Will annexed of the goods chattels and credits of Stephen Read formerly of Cuddington in the County of Buckingham but late of Thame in the County of Oxford deceased was granted to Thomas Read and Michael Read two of the natural and lawful children of the said deceased and as such two of the Residuary Legatees substituted in the said Will they having been first sworn by common duty to administer. William Read and Richard Read the Nephews of the said deceased the Executors and Residuary Legatees in Trust named in the said Will having died in his lifetime, and Ann Read widow the Relict of the said deceased the Residuary Legatee for life named in the said Will having renounced the Letters of Administration with the said Will annexed of the …..(?) of the said deceased (as by Arts …..(?) Court appears).
NOTES: It intrigues me very much that at the time of Probate, Stephen’s wife Ann has “renounced the Letters of Administration with the said Will …”. I have not come across this before and wonder what it actually means and I also wonder why Ann would renounce this aspect of her late husband’s Will?
What intrigues me more is that in the Will, Stephen makes his nephews William Read and Richard Read (both sons of his late brother Robert Read) his Executors. But at the time of Probate we learn that both William and Richard died in Stephen’s lifetime and instead two of Stephen’s sons are acting as the Executors.
The reason this intrigues me so much is that while Richard Read died in 1830 (certainly within Stephen’s lifetime), William Read actually died in 1845 which was three years after Stephen died!!!
I have researched this family thoroughly and have both Stephen Read and William Read’s Death Certificates. Stephen dies of Decay of Nature aged 76 and his nephew William dies of Old Age aged 74 on the 9th November 1845.
So why did Stephen’s family inform the Probate people that William had died before 1842?