William’s wills

This page is in development. William left two valid wills: one for his property in England and Ireland, the other for his property in France.

Below are extracts from the will respecting his property in England and Ireland (more extracts will be added later). The main body of this will dates from 3 May 1831, the day on which he became earl of Devon. There are four codicils, dated: 28 June 1831; 7 November 1832; 21 March 1835; 13 May 1835. The final codicil includes both increased legacies for some of the beneficiaries named in the main body of the will and legacies to new beneficiaries.

As this is a long document, there are likely to be several errors in my transcription; I hope they are few and minor.


  1. This is the last Will and Testament of me The Right Honorable William Earl of Devon
  2. Whereas I have by a Will or Testamentary Paper according to the French form bearing date the second day of September One thousand eight hundred and twenty five disposed of my Property in France but not elsewhere Now I do hereby declare that this my present Will is not intended in any wise to affect my said French Will except so far as said French Will may refer to any former Will or Codicil by me at any time previously thereto made respecting my Property in Great Britain or Ireland And I direct that all Debts owing by me in France at the time of my decease shall be paid and discharged by my Executors and Trustees acting under this my Will out of the Funds thereby provided for the payment of my debts in general and shall be included among such general debts and that in case any part of my Property which shall be included in and pass under my said French Will shall be employed in payment of my debts in France the Parties interested under such French Will shall be indemnified to the amount so employed out of the Funds hereby provided as aforesaid and shall be considered as Creditors to that amount upon such Funds
  3. And with respect to my Funeral I desire that I may be buried in my Family Vault at Powderham in the County of Devon in England at an expense if I die out of England not exceeding one thousand Pounds and if in England not exceeding five hundred Pounds
  4. I give to each of my Servants who shall have lived in my service in France or in England one Year before my death one Years Wages in addition to what may be due to them in respect of such Wages and I further give and bequeath to my servant George Woods the sum of one thousand Pounds sterling to be paid to him immediately after my decease and I direct that if the said George Woods shall die in my lifetime the said sum of One thousand Pounds sterling shall be paid to his Wife Hester immediately after my decease and I declare that if at my death there shall not be an immediate Fund sufficient for the payment of the said Pecuniary legacies the same shall carry Interest at the rate of four Pounds per centum per annum to be computed from the time of my decease
  5. And I give and bequeath to Theodore de Saurez son of the Marquis de Saurez the sum of two thousand Pounds sterling and to Charles Henry La Forest the like sum of two thousand Pounds sterling And in case either of them the said Theodore de Saurez and Charles Henry La Forest shall die in my lifetime then I bequeath the further sum of two thousand Pounds sterling to the survivor of them in addition to the said two thousand Pounds hereinbefore given to him I give unto Augustus Louis La Gage the sum of one thousand Pounds sterling and in case both the said Theodore de Saurez and Charles Henry La Forest shall die in my lifetime and the said Augustus Louis La Gage survive me Then I bequeath to the said Augustus Louis La Gage the further sum of three thousand Pounds sterling in addition to the said sum of One thousand Pounds hereinbefore given to him and I give to Hester Woods Jane Frances Woods William George Woods and George Henry Woods the Daughters and Sons of the said George Woods the sum of five thousand Pounds sterling each
  6. And I direct the said legacies to the said Theodore de Saurez Charles Henry La Forest Augustus Louis La Gage Hester Woods the Daughter Jane Frances Woods William George Woods and George Henry Woods to be paid to the several last named Legatees respectively at the end of twelve Calendar Months after my decease with Interest thereon respectively at the rate of four Pounds Per centum Per annum to be computed from the time of my decease But in case any of the said Children of the said George Woods being a son or sons shall be under the age of twenty one years or being a Daughter or Daughters shall be under that age and unmarried at the time of my decease Then I direct my Executors hereinafter named from and after the expiration of twelve Calendar Months after my decease to lay out and invest the legacy of each such Child so being under the age of twenty one or under that age and unmarried as aforesaid in the names of them my said Executors in any of the Government Stocks or Funds of Great Britain or upon Real Securities in England or Wales at Interest and to alter vary and change such Stocks Funds or Securities when and as often as they shall think fit and (from the time of my decease) during the minority or until the marriage (as the case may be) of any such Child as aforesaid to pay the Interest of his or her legacy and the Interest Dividends and Annual Produce of the Stocks Funds or Securities in or upon which the same shall from time to time be invested unto the said George Woods to be applied as he may think proper towards the maintenance and education of such Child And in the event of the death of the said George Woods then to the Guardian or Guardians for the time being of each such Child to be applied in or towards such maintenance and education as aforesaid
  7. And Whereas I have for some time past been in the habit of allowing and paying to my sister The Honorable Lady Sophia Foy one Annuity or Yearly sum of two hundred Pounds Now I do hereby give and bequeath unto my said sister Sophia Foy one Annuity or Yearly sum of two hundred Pounds sterling free from Taxes and without any other deduction to be paid and payable by equal quarterly payments vizt. The twenty fifth day of March the twenty fourth day of June the twenty ninth day of September and twenty fifth day of December and the first of such payments to be made on such of the said Days as shall first happen next after my decease
  8. And Whereas under the trusts of a certain Indenture of Release executed by me and bearing date the twelfth day of January one thousand eight hundred and eleven an annuity of two hundred Pounds is payable to my Niece Georgiana Somerset during our joint lives and I am desirous that in case my said Niece survives me she shall continue to receive the like annuity during the remainder of her life Now I do hereby give and bequeath unto my said Niece Georgiana Somerset one Annuity or Yearly sum of two hundred Pounds sterling free from taxes during her life to be paid and payable to her and her assigns half yearly by equal payments on the twenty fourth day of June and the twenty fifth day of December in every Year the first payment thereof to be made on such of the said two days as shall first happen after my decease
  9. And Whereas I have for several Years past been in the habit of allowing to my Relations Elizabeth Clack Charlotte Bridget Clack and Mary Ann Clack an annuity of two hundred and twenty seven Pounds among them and am desirous that in case they or any of them survive me the payment thereof shall be continued to them and to the survivors and survivor of them during the life of the longest liver of them Now I do hereby give and bequeath unto the said Elizabeth Clack Charlotte Bridget Clack and Mary Anne Clack as joint tenants during their joint lives and the life of the survivor of them one annuity or clear yearly sum of two hundred and twenty seven Pounds sterling free from taxes to be paid to them or the survivors or survivor of them by equal quarterly payments on the twenty fifth day of March the twenty fourth day of June the twenty ninth day of September and twenty fifth of December in every Year the first payment thereof to be made on such of the said last mentioned days as shall first happen after my decease
  10. And Whereas I have by a bond or obligation in writing under my hand and seal bearing date on or about the twenty fourth day of June one thousand eight hundred and fifteen granted an annuity or yearly sum of one hundred Pounds to the said George Woods for the lives of himself his said Wife Hester and their said Daughter Hester Woods Now I do hereby ratify and confirm the same as well as all other grants or gifts of Annuities or sums of Money by me heretofore given or secured by any Instruments or Instrument executed by me
  11. And I do also give and bequeath unto Anne Bush my Housekeeper at Powderham Castle in the County of Devon one annuity or yearly sum of one hundred Pounds sterling free from taxes and without any other deduction to be paid and payable to her by the like quarterly Payments and the first payment thereof to commence at the same time as is mentioned and provided for with regard to the Annuity heretofore given to my said sister Sophia Foy
  12. And I do hereby give and devise unto my brother in law The Right Honorable George Lord Carteret and my Nephew Sir John Courtenay Honywood of Evington in the County of Kent Baronet and their heirs all my Castles Manors Lands Advowsons and Hereditaments in England and in Ireland and all remainders reversions and expectancies of and in the same and all other the Real Estates in England and Ireland of or to which I am seized or entitled at law or in Equity in possession reversion or remainder or over or in respect of which I have any Power of disposition or appointment To have and to hold the same to the said George Lord Carteret and Sir John Courtenay Honywood and their heirs To for and upon the uses trusts intents and purposes and subject to the powers provisoes and declarations in and by this my will limited expressed and declared concerning the same that is to say To the use of the said George Lord Carteret and Sir John Courtenay their executors and administrators during the term of five hundred years to commence from the time of my decease Upon the trusts hereinafter declared concerning the same
  13. And from and after the end expiration or other soever determination of the said term of five hundred Years and in the meantime subject thereto and to the trusts thereof To the use of my first son lawfully to be begotten and his assigns during his life without impeachment of waste And after the determination of that Estate by any means in his lifetime To the use of my brothers in law The Right Honorable Lord Robert Edward Somerset and Major General John Locke and their heirs during the life of my said first son Upon trust to preserve the contingent remainders hereinafter limited or devised from being destroyed And for that purpose to make entries or bring actions as occasion may require But nevertheless in trust for my said first son and his assigns And after the decease of such first son To the use of the first and every other son of such first son lawfully to be begotten successively according to priority of birth in tail male so that the elder of the sons of my said first son and the heirs male of such elder son may be always preferred to and take before the younger of such sons and his and their heirs male And in default of such Issue To the use of each of my other sons lawfully to be begotten during the term of his life without impeachment of waste and after his decease To the use of his first and every other son lawfully to be begotten successively according to priority of birth in tail male so that the elder of my said other sons and his first and other sons successively in tail male may be preferred to and take before the younger of my said other sons and his and their first and other sons successively in tail male And after the determination of the Estate for life of each of my said other sons by any means in his lifetime To the use of the said Lord Robert Edward Somerset and John Locke and their heirs during his life In trust by the ways and means aforesaid to support and preserve the contingent remainders expectant upon his life estate from being defeated or destroyed But nevertheless In trust for such son and his assigns
  14. And in default of such Issue male as aforesaid of my body To the use of William Reginald Courtenay (the eldest son of my Relation William Courtenay Esquire Clerk Assistant of the United Parliament of Great Britain and Ireland) during the term of the life of the said William Reginald Courtenay without impeachment of waste And from and after the determination of that Estate by any means in the lifetime of the said William Reginald Courtenay To the use of the said Lord Robert Edward Somerset and John Locke and their heirs during the life of the said William Reginald Courtenay Upon trust by the ways and means aforesaid to support and preserve the contingent uses and estates hereinafter limited or devised from being defeated or destroyed But nevertheless In trust for the said William Reginald Courtenay and his assigns
  15. And from and after the decease of the said William Reginald Courtenay To the use of each of the sons of the said William Reginald Courtenay born or to be born in my lifetime successively during the term of the life of each such son without impeachment of waste and after the decease of each such son To the use of the first and every other son of each such son successively according to priority of birth in tail male in such manner that the elder of the said sons of the said William Reginald Courtenay and the first and every other son successively in tail male of such elder son may be preferred to and take before the younger of the said sons of the said William Reginald Courtenay and his and their first and other sons successively in tail male And after the determination of the estate for life of each of the said sons of the said William Reginald Courtenay in the life time of such son To the use of the said Lord Robert Edward Somerset and John Locke and their heirs during the life of such son Upon trust to support and preserve the contingent remainders expectant upon his life estate from being defeated or destroyed But nevertheless In trust for such son and his assigns and in default of such Issue Male as aforesaid of the said William Reginald Courtenay To the use of the son and sons of the said William Reginald Courtenay who shall be born after my decease successively in tail male so that the elder of such sons and the heirs male of his body shall be preferred and take before the younger of such sons and the heirs male of his and their body and bodies
  16. And in default of such Issue to the use of each of the others sons of the said William Courtenay born or to be born in my lifetime successively during the life of each such son without impeachment of waste And after the decease of each such son To the use of his first son and every other son successively according to priority of birth in tail male in such manner that the elder of the said other sons of the said William Courtenay and the first and other sons successively in tail male of the said elder son may be preferred to and take before the younger of the said other sons of the said William Courtenay and his and their other sons successively in tail male and after the determination of the life estate of each of the said other sons of the said William Courtenay by any means in the lifetime of such son To the use of the said Lord Robert Edward Somerset and John Locke and their heirs during the life of each such son In trust to support and preserve the contingent remainders expectant upon his life estate from being defeated or destroyed But nevertheless In trust for such son and his assigns And in default of such issue male as aforesaid of the said William Courtenay To the use of the said Lord Robert Edward Somerset and John Locke and their heirs during the life of the said William Courtenay In trust to support and preserve the contingent remainders hereinafter limited or devised from being defeated or destroyed But nevertheless to permit the Person or Persons who for the time being and from time to time during the life of the said William Courtenay shall be seized of or entitled to my said Hereditaments in remainder immediately expectant upon the decease of the said William Courtenay to receive the Rents Issues and Profits of the said Hereditaments in the same manner as if the said William Courtenay were actually dead And from and after the decease of the said William Courtenay To the use of the son and sons of the said William Courtenay who shall be born after my decease successively in tail male so that the elder of such sons and the heirs male of his body shall be preferred to and take before the younger of such sons and the heirs male of his and their body and bodies [continues]

 

 

 

 

 


AN01442823_001_l

 

 

‘If it was not for the entail I should not mind it.’

‘What should not you mind?’

‘I should not mind any thing at all.’

Jane Austen: Pride and Prejudice

 

 

 


And lastly I nominate and appoint the said George Lord Carteret and Sir John Courtenay Honywood Executors of this my Will And I give to each of them a legacy of five hundred Pounds on condition of their respectively accepting the said Office and acting in the trusts of the said term of five hundred years And revoking all former wills by me at any time made of and concerning my Estates and Property in England and Ireland I declare this to be my last Will and Testament respecting the same In Witness whereof I the said William Earl of Devon the Testator have to this my last Will and Testament as to my Estates and Property in England and in Ireland written and contained in thirty four sheets of Paper set my hand and seal in manner following that is to say my hand to the first thirty three sheets thereof and my hand and seal to this thirty fourth and last sheet the third day of May in the year of our Lord One thousand eight hundred and thirty one


THE FOUR CODICILS

Codicil 1: dated 28 June 1831

  • This is a Codicil to the last Will and Testament of me The Right Honorable William Earl of Devon relating to Property in England and Ireland which I have lately made and which bears date the third day of May now last Whereas I have in and by my said Will directed a Lease to be granted to my Servant George Woods of a certain Messuage at South Town within my Manor of Kenton in the County of Devon and of a Portion of Land contiguous thereto upon the terms and in the manner in my said Will mentioned in order to provide a Residence in England for him after my death And Whereas I am of opinion that I shall better consult his comfort by directing a residence to be purchased for him either in Great Britain Ireland or France as he may choose and to be settled upon him and his Family in manner hereinafter mentioned Now I do hereby revoke so much of my said Will as relates to the said Lease thereby directed to be granted to the said George Woods and in lieu thereof (but in addition and without prejudice to the several other legacies annuities and benefits given and bequeathed or confirmed to him and his Family by my said Will) I hereby direct that The Right Honorable George Lord Carteret and Sir John Courtenay Honywood Baronet (the Trustees named in my said Will) or the survivor of them or the executors or administrators of such survivor shall as soon as conveniently may be after my decease lay out the sum of three thousand Pounds sterling in the purchase of a Dwellinghouse and of land adjacent or near thereto situate in any part of Great Britain or Ireland or in the Kingdom of France at the option and according to the direction of the said George Woods or if he shall die in my lifetime at the discretion of my said trustees or trustee And I declare and direct that the said Dwelling-House and Land if purchased in England Wales or Ireland shall and may be either Freehold or Copyhold or Customary or all or both intermixed but the Freehold shall be of an absolute Estate in fee simple and the Copyhold or Customary of a customary Estate of Inheritance and if the said Dwellinghouse and Land shall be purchased in France the Estate or Interest purchased shall be as large and absolute as the nature of Real Property and the Laws relating thereto in that Country will permit And I direct that the said Dwellinghouse and Land when so purchased shall be conveyed and settled according to the forms of the Country in which they shall be so purchased in such manner as to give the said George Woods an Estate for his own life in the said Premises with remainder to Hester the Wife of the said George Woods during the term of her life with remainder to William George Woods (the eldest son of the said George Woods) in tail general with remainder to George Henry Woods (the second son of the said George Woods) in tail general with remainder to Hester Woods (the eldest daughter of the said George Woods) in tail general with remainder to Jane Frances Woods the youngest daughter of the said George Woods) in tail general with remainder to the said George Woods in fee or as near thereto as the deaths of any of the said devisees in my lifetime and the Laws of the Country in which the purchase shall be made will allow And in the event of the death of any of the said Devisees in tail in my lifetime leaving Issue who shall survive me I will and direct that such Issue shall in every such case be substituted in the place of their Parent or Ancestor in the Settlement to be made as aforesaid so as to give them as nearly as possible the same estate or interest as they would have taken if their Parent or Ancestor had survived me and they had succeeded to him or her by inheritance And I direct my said Trustees to raise the said sum of three thousand Pounds in the manner directed by my said Will with respect to the legacies thereby bequeathed and to pay Interest for the same at the rate of four Pounds per centum per annum from the time of my death until the said Principal sum shall be laid out in such purchase as aforesaid And I direct the expences attending the said Settlement be defrayed out of my Estate in England and Ireland And in case it shall be found impossible or inconvenient to lay out the exact sum of three thousand Pounds in such purchase as aforesaid and there shall be any surplus of such sum remaining after the completion of the said Purchase I hereby empower my said Trustees or Trustee to pay such surplus to the Person who shall take the first or immediate estate or interest in the hereditaments which shall be so purchased for his or her own absolute use and benefit Provided always that the said surplus shall in nowise exceed the sum of one hundred Pounds sterling
  • And in all other respects I hereby ratify and confirm my said will In Witness whereof I the said Earl have hereunto set my name of Title and affixed my seal this twenty eighth day of June in the Year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty one _______ Devon (Ld) ______ Signed sealed published and declared by the said Earl of Devon as and for a Codicil to his last Will and Testament relating to his Property in England and Ireland in the presence of us who at his request in his presence and in the presence of each other have subscribed our names as Witnesses thereto Charles C Locke Nephew to the Earl of Devon __________ Henry Corbyn__ Tenant to the Earl of Devon _____ Richard Pethybridge Butler to the Earl of Devon

Codicil 2: dated 7 November 1832

  • This is a second Codicil to the last Will and Testament of me The Right Honorable  William Earl of Devon relating to my Property in England and Ireland bearing date the third day of May one thousand eight hundred and thirty one and to which I have already made and published a first Codicil bearing date the twenty eighth day of June one thousand eight hundred and thirty one Whereas since the date and execution of my said Will my nephew Sir John Courtenay Honywood Baronet therein named as Executor and Trustee jointly with my brother in law The Right Honorable George Lord Carteret has departed this life and I am desirous of substituting John Wilkinson of Lincolns Inn in the County of Middlesex Gentleman to be an Executor and Trustee in his place and stead Now I do hereby nominate and appoint the said John Wilkinson to be an Executor of my said Will jointly with the said George Lord Carteret
  • And I do hereby give and devise unto the said George Lord Carteret and John Wilkinson and their heirs All my Castles Manors Lands Advowsons and Hereditaments in England and in Ireland and all remainders reversions and expectancies of and in the same And all other the Real Estates in England and Ireland of or to which I am now seized or entitled at Law or in Equity in possession reversion or remainder or over or in respect of which I have any power of disposition or appointment To have and to hold the same unto the said George Lord Carteret and John Wilkinson and their heirs To such uses upon and for such trusts intents and purposes and with under and subject to such powers provisions directions and limitations as are in and by my said Will and my said first Codicil thereto limited expressed declared and contained of and concerning the Real Estates thereby devised to the said George Lord Carteret and Sir John Courtenay Honywood and their heirs save and except as the same are hereinafter altered or varied by this my Codicil And save and except that every every [sic] use estate trust power and direction which in and by my said Will and the said first Codicil thereto or either of them is given or limited to the said George Lord Carteret and Sir John Courtenay Honywood their heirs executors or administrators shall be and is hereby given and limited to the said George Lord Carteret and John Wilkinson their heirs exors or administrators in the same manner to all intents and purposes as if the name of the said John Wilkinson had been originally substituted for the name of the said Sir John Courtenay Honywood wherever such latter name occurs in the said Will and in the said first Codicil thereto And I do hereby give and bequeath unto the said George Lord Carteret and John Wilkinson their executors and administrators All hereditaments in the County of Devon of or [sic] which I now am or at the time of my decease shall be possessed or entitled for any term or terms of years or other Chattel Interest To have and to hold the same unto the said George Lord Carteret and John Wilkinson their executors administrators and assigns for all such estate and interest as I have or shall or may have therein respectively But nevertheless upon and for such trusts intents and purposes as will best correspond with the uses trusts powers provisions and limitations in and by my said Will and first Codicil thereto and and in and by this my present Codicil expressed declared and contained of and concerning my Real Estate and so that no Person becoming Tenant in tail by Purchase of such Real Estate shall be absolutely entitled to my said leasehold hereditaments unless and until he shall attain the age of twenty one years And I hereby give and bequeath unto the said George Lord Carteret and John Wilkinson their executors and administrators All such household Goods Jewels Plate and Furniture Pictures Prints Drawings Books and Libraries in or belonging to my Castle at Powderham in the County of Devon as I have by my said Will given and bequeathed unto the said George Lord Carteret and Sir John Courtenay Honywood for the purpose of making the same heir looms To have and to hold the same household Goods Jewels Plate and Furniture Pictures Prints Drawings Books and Libraries unto the said George Lord Carteret and John Wilkinson their executors admors and assigns Upon and for such trusts intents and purposes and with under and subject to such powers provisions and directions as are in and by my said Will expressed declared and contained of and concerning the same And as to all the Residue of my Personal Estate in England and Ireland of what nature or kind soever not hereby or by my said first Codicil thereto otherwise disposed of I give and bequeath the same unto the said George Lord Carteret and John Wilkinson their executors administrators and assigns Upon and for such trusts interests and purposes and with under and subject to such powers provisions and directions as in my said Will or in my first Codicil thereto are expressed declared and contained of and concerning the residuary Personal Estate by my said Will bequeathed to the said George Lord Carteret and Sir John Courtenay Honywood except so far as the same are in any wise altered by this present Codicil And (subject to the alterations and new dispositions made by this present Codicil) I hereby declare my wish and intention to be that the said John Wilkinson shall take and enjoy the same estate and interest and the same power authority and discretion in all respects in over and concerning my said Real and Personal Estate as he would have taken if his name had been originally substituted for that of the said Sir John Courtenay Honywood would have taken under the same Will and first Codicil in case he had survived me And Whereas in any exchanges or purchases which may be made by my said Trustees under the several powers for that purpose given to them by my said Will it may be found expedient to comprise such Leasehold Hereditaments as may happen to be intermixed with or adjacent or near to the Freehold or Copyhold Hereditaments which shall be the subject of such exchange or Purchase Now I do hereby will and declare that in every case in which any exchange shall be made under the authority of my said Will or in which Money arising from any sale or received for equality of exchange or derived from the the [sic] accumulations by my said Will directed to be made shall be laid out in the purchase of hereditaments it shall be lawful for the trustees or trustee for the time being by and with such consent and direction and so testified as in and by my said Will required for such exchange or purchase or if under the circumstances no consent or direction is required by my said Will then at the uncontrolled discretion of such Trustees or Trustee to accept and receive in such exchange or purchase Leasehold Hereditaments intermixed with or adjacent or situate near to and convenient to be held with the Freehold or Copyhold Hereditaments which shall be so purchased or taken in exchange so that the value of such Leasehold Hereditaments do not exceed one half of the whole value of the Estate so purchased or taken in exchange at any one time and such Leasehold Hereditaments shall be settled and assured in such manner as will most nearly correspond with the Settlement which shall be made of the Freehold or Copyhold Hereditaments in conjunction with which they shall be so purchased or received in exchange And in order to facilitate the granting of Leases for Lives of Messuages in the County of Devon under the power for that purpose given by my said Will I hereby declare my will to be that it shall be lawful for the Persons or Person granting any lease under such power at their or his option to include therein all or any Stables Barns or other Outbuildings belonging to the messuage or messuages comprised in such lease or usually held or occupied or convenient to be held or occupied therewith and also any quantity of land lying adjacent or near to and convenient to be held with such Messuage or Messuages besides and in addition to the Gardens Orchards and Shrubberies by my said Will authorized to be let therewith so that in no case the quantity of Land so let with each Messuage shall exceed five Acres exclusively of and not reckoning such Gardens Orchards and Shrubberies as aforesaid or the Site of such Messuage and of its Offices and Outbuildings And I do hereby give and devise all such hereditaments of which I am seized or possessed as a trustee for other Persons or to which I am so entitled whether they be of Freehold Copyhold Customary or Leasehold Tenure and all my estate and interest therein respectively unto and to the use of the said George Lord Carteret and John Wilkinson & their heirs executors administrators and assigns according to the nature and tenure of such Property respectively to be held by them to the same uses and upon and for the same trusts intents and purposes which at the time of my death shall be subsisting concerning the same hereditaments respectively
  • And I declare my will and intention to be that no beneficial Interest by my said Will given to William Courtenay therein named or to Lady Harriett his Wife nor any direction therein contained respectively my Castle and Domains at Powderham during the life of the said William Courtenay shall take effect unless in case of and from and after the failure or determination of the limitations in my said Will contained for the benefit of the Issue Male of my body
  • And I also declare that the Annuities given by my said Will to my sister Lady Sophia Foy and my Housekeeper Anne Bush are given to them respectively during their respective lives And I do hereby ratify and confirm my said Will and my said first Codicil thereto in all respects except so far as they or either of them are or is altered by this present Codicil and except so far as my said Will is altered by my said first Codicil
  • And I publish and declare this to be a second and further Codicil to my said Will In Witness whereof I have hereunto subscribed my Title of Honor and affixed my Seal this seventh day of November in the Year of our Lord One thousand eight hundred and thirty two _______ Devon (Ld) ______ Signed sealed published and declared by the above named Earl of Devon the Testator as and for a second and further Codicil to his last Will and Testament of his Property in England and Ireland and bearing date the third day of May One thousand eight hundred and thirty one in the presence of us who at his request in his presence and in the presence of each other have subscribed our names as Witnesses thereto Wm Stride Clerk to Messrs Ferrere Laffitte et Cie Bankers at Paris _______ Richd Ware Clerk to Messrs Ferrere Laffitte et Cie Bankers Paris _______ J Favrin Clerk to Messrs Ferrere Laffitte et Cie Bankers at Paris

Codicil 3: dated 21 March 1835

  • This is a third and further Codicil to the last Will and Testament of me The Right Honorable William Earl of Devon made of my Estates and Property in England and Ireland and bearing date the third day of May one thousand eight hundred and thirty one Whereas by a Codicil to my said Will which Codicil bears date the twenty eighth day of June one thousand eight hundred and thirty one I directed the Trustees named in my said Will to lay out the sum of three thousand pounds sterling in the purchase of a Dwelling House and of land adjacent thereto situate in Great Britain or Ireland or in the Kingdom of France according to the direction of my Servant George Woods And I directed that the said Dwellinghouse and Land should be conveyed and settled in the manner in the said Codicil mentioned And Whereas since the date of the said Codicil I have granted to the said George Woods a lease of a Messuage and Farm within my Manor of Kenton in the County of Devon for ninety years at a Conventionary Rent and to take effect in possession from the date thereof Now I do hereby declare that such Lease is meant and intended by me as a substitution for or in satisfaction of the provision intended to have been made for him and his Family by the said Codicil And accordingly I do hereby revoke cancel and make void the direction in the same Codicil contained to the said sum of three thousand pounds and the trust or Settlement and provision thereby directed & to be made thereof and of the Hereditaments to be purchased therewith in favor of the said George Woods and his Wife and Family
  • And I do also by this Codicil give and devise unto the Right Honorable Lord George Carteret and John Wilkinson (the Trustees of my said Will appointed by my second Codicil thereto and which second Codicil bears date the seventh day of November one thousand eight hundred and thirty two) and their heirs All such Lands and Real Estate in the said County of Devon in or over which by virtue of any exchange or otherwise I have since the publishing of my second Codicil acquired any Interest or disposing power To hold the same to such and the same uses and in such and the same manner in every respect as they would have done if I had been seized of such Lands and Real Estate at the time of publishing my said Will and as if the same had passed & thereby And I further declare it to be my will and I direct that notwithstanding any rule of Law or Equity it shall be lawful for the said John Wilkinson and I fully authorize and empower him to retain and receive from and to be allowed out of my trust Estates Funds and Premises to be created and to arise under or by virtue of my said Will or any Codicil thereto all such Professional Fees Costs and Charges in any transaction matter or business arising in the performance of the trusts of my said Will or of any Codicil thereto as he would have been entitled to have received in case he had not been appointed one of my Trustees and Executors and had acted therein as Solicitor or Agent And I do hereby ratify and confirm my said Will and my first and second Codicils thereto in all respects except so far as my said Will is altered or varied by this or by my said first and second Codicils and except also so far as my said first or second Codicils or either of them are or is altered by such second Codicil or by this my third Codicil
  • And I publish and declare this to be a third and further Codicil to my said Will In Witness whereof I the said Earl have hereunto set my name & Title and affixed my Seal this twenty first day of March in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty five _______ Devon (Ld) ______ Signed sealed published and declared by the said Earl of Devon as and for a third and further Codicil to his last Will and Testament made of his Estates and Property in England and Ireland in the presence of us who at his request in his presence and in the presence of each other have subscribed our names as witnesses thereto William Stride ______ John Gatliff _______ Richd Ware All Clerks to Messrs Ferrere Laffitte & Cie Bankers at Paris

Codicil 4: dated 13 May 1835; no signatures of witnesses

  • I William Earl of Devon bequeath the following Legacies to the different Persons whose names are written herein To Charles Henry Laforet I give five thousand Francs a Year to be paid to him Monthly by Installments or in any other way he may wish To Theodore de Suarez I give two thousand Pounds in addition to the two thousand Pounds left him in my English Will To my Coachman George Smith I leave all my Carriages and Harness et c etc except my little Phaeton & little Garden Carriage To the son of my Coachman George Smith who has been brought upin my Family with his Cousins I leave four thousand Pounds To my servant John Victor Perot six thousand Francs To John Linter who has acted as Tutor to the young Children of Mr George Woods I leave fifty Pounds a Year Now these legacies are only valid to those who may survive me except in regard to George Smith the son of George Smith my Coachman Should the above named George Smith son of my Coachman George Smith not survive then the four thousand Pounds shall be given to his Father George Smith taking the Interest of it for his life and at his death to be divided among his other Children who may survive him And I declare this to be a Codicil to my English Will as Witness my hand and seal this thirteenth day of May in the year one thousand eight hundred and thirty five —— Devon (Ld)

WILLIAM’S FRENCH WILL OF 27 JUNE 1833 | LA GAZETTE DES TRIBUNAUX 19 AUGUST 1857

William’s English will refers to a French will of 2 September 1825 but the French will proved after his death apparently dated from 27 June 1833. This was a few weeks after the death of Hester Woods, eldest daughter of les époux Woods.

Au mois de mai 1835, un noble Anglais, lord William Courtenay, comte Devon, vicomte de Courtenay, mourut à Paris, dans la maison qu’il habitait place Vendôme, n° 22. L’acte de décès qui fut dressé indiqua que lord Courtenay était mort célibataire. Par un testament olographe, daté du 27 juin 1833, le défunt avait légué tous ses biens meubles et immeubles situés en France pour l’usufruit aux époux Woods ; pour la nue-propriété à leurs enfants nés et à naître qui existeraient au jour de son décès. Un acte de notoriété reçu par M” Gondouin et son collègue, notaires à Paris, constata que le testateur ne laissait pas d’héritiers à réserve, selon la loi française. En outre, il résulte d’un certificat de coutume, reçu par Me Casimir Noël, que les lois anglaises ne reconnaissent pas d’héritiers réservataires. Les légataires, cependant, se crurent obligés de former contre les héritiers du sang une demande en délivrance que le Tribunal accueillit par un jugement rendu le 5 mars 1836. Ce jugement fut confirmé le 27 février suivant par la première chambre de la Cour de Paris. Les légataires universels furent envoyés en possession d’un mobilier riche en inutilités luxueuses, d’une valeur de 200,000 fr., et d’un immeuble considérable, la terre et le château de Draveil, situés dans le département de Seine et-Oise. Le 3 juin 1837, un jugement de l’audience des criées adjugea aux sieur et dame Dalloz partie de la terre de Dreveil et le château de ce nom. Plus tard, les sieur et dame Dalloz se rendirent acquéreurs du surplus de l’immeuble. En 1854, ils ont vendu la terre et le château à M. Charles Séguin, pour qui je plaide.


Image

David Wilkie: Reading the Will, 1819

http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/wilkie-reading-the-will-a01184

George Cruikshank: Y Yawning from Comic Alphabet, 1836. British Museum.