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Will of Revd Abel EDWARDS (1747-1826)

Minister of Protestant Dissenters Chapel, Pease Lane, Dorchester

Dated 26th July 1822 - Re-published 23rd May 1823 - Proved 3rd Oct 1826

©Transcribed by Michael Russell OPC for Dorchester from original Will January 2012
File last updated January 2016
Ref PROB 11/1717 - Swabey Quire No. 501-550 (1826)


This is the Last Will and Testament of me the Reverend Abel EDWARDS of Dorchester in the County of Dorset made and published the twenty sixth day of July in the year of our Lord One Thousand eight hundred and twenty two in manner following that is to say

First it is my Will that all my debts and funeral expenses may be paid and satisfied and that I may be buried at the discretion of my executors hereinafter named and appointed

And I give and bequeath to Thomas FISHER, John FISHER both of Dorchester grocers and my son Abel EDWARDS the sum of two thousand and five hundred pounds stock three per cent consolidated annuities (part of four thousand and one hundred pound stock standing in my name In Trust and for the purposes hereinafter mentioned that is to say In Trust that they the said Thomas Fisher, John Fisher and Abel Edwards and the survivors and survivor of them and the executors and administrators of such survivor so and shall from time to time receive and take the Interest Dividends and profits thereof and pay the same by monthly payments and proportions into the proper hands of my son Thomas Cox EDWARDS during his life or during such time only as he shall not have assigned or disposed thereof or of any part thereof or attempted so to do or shall not have subjected or attempted to subject the same or any part thereof to the payment of his debts or engagements or to my judgement execution Iercet? Sequestration order distringas? Commission of bankruptcy or to the Insolvent Debtors Act or any assignment in pursuance thereof or for any other purpose than for his maintenance

And from and after any such attempt as aforesaid then In Trust that they my said trustees and the survivors and survivor of them his executors and administrators do and shall receive and take the interest dividends and profits of the said sum of two thousand and five hundred pounds stock and pay the same into the hands of my said son Abel his executors and administrators for his and their own use during the life of my said son Thomas

And from and after the death of my said son Thomas then I give and bequeath one moiety or half part of the said sum of two thousand and five hundred pounds stock to my said son Abel his executors and administrators absolutely and the other moiety or half part thereof I give and bequeath to the said Thomas FISHER, John FISHER and my said son Abel upon trust that they and the survivors and survivor of them his executors and administrators do and shall pay out full seventh part thereof unto my grandson John EDWARDS who hath attained the age of twenty one years and the remainder of such moiety do and shall put out and place the same out at Interest either on real security or securities or continue the same in the present stock or otherwise invest it in any of the public stocks or funds or on Government Security and from time to time to call in alter and vary the Security's for the same when and as often as they in their discretion may think fit

And the Interest dividends and profits thereof do and shall from time to time pay apply and dispose of for and towards the support maintenance and education of my six other grandchildren that is to say Charles, Henry, William, Lloyd, Eliza, and Emily EDWARDS the children of my dear and ever to be lamented son John during their respective minorities and when and as soon as my said six grandchildren shall attain their respective ages of twenty one years then In trust to pay distribute and divide the same amongst all my said six grandchildren share and share alike and if either of any said six grandchildren shall happen to die under the age of twenty one years and without lawful issue then it is my will that the share and part or shares and parts of him or her or them so dying of and in the said moiety of the said sum of two thousand and five hundred pounds stock three percent shall go accrue and be paid and payable to the survivors and survivor of the said six grandchildren on attaining their respective ages of twenty one years share and share alike and the accruing or and surviving share or shares shall again be subject to the same clause of survivorship and accrue as the original share and shares is and are thereby made liable to

And I give devise and bequeath limit and appoint unto my said grandson John EDWARDS all those closes lands and hereditaments with the appurtenances situate in the Parish of Sopen in the County of Somerset in the occupation of Charles RICHARDS and Thomas MUSGRAVE as tenants thereof to hold the same unto him my said grandson John EDWARDS his heirs and assigns And I give him the sum of one thousand and one hundred pounds sterling to the said Thomas FISHER, John FISHER and Abel EDWARDS to be paid to them in three months after my decease upon trust that they and the survivors and survivor of them his executors and administrators do and shall put and place the same out at interest on such security and securities as aforesaid and do and shall from time to time pay apply and dispose of the interest dividends and profits thereof and towards the support maintenance and education of my said six grandchildren the said Charles, Henry, William, Lloyd, Eliza, and Emily EDWARDS during their respective minorities and when and as soon as they my said four grandsons Charles, Henry, William and Lloyd shall attain their respective ages of twenty one years then in trust to pay the sum of one hundred and fifty pounds to each and every of them (making together six hundred pounds) and as to the sum of five hundred pounds (being the residue of the said sum of one thousand one hundred pounds) In trust for my said grandchildren Eliza and Emily equally to be divided between them share and share alike on attaining their respective ages of twenty one years and if any or either of my said six grandchildren shall happen to die under the age of twenty one years and without lawful issue then the share and part or shares and parts of him her or them so dying of and in the said sum of one thousand and one hundred pounds shall go accrue and be paid and payable to the survivors and survivor of them on attaining the age of twenty one years share and share alike and the accruing or surviving share or shares shall again be subject to the same clause of survivorship and accrue as the original share of shares in the said sum of one thousand and one hundred pounds is and are hereby made liable to provided and I do hereby will and direct that /// in case and diminution of my property shall take place at the time of my death by the fall of the funds below the present price at which they are now selling then and in such case the said sum of one thousand and one hundred pounds given to my said trustees for the purposes aforesaid shall abate in proportion to such diminution or reduction whatever it may be

And it is also my Will that if it shall happen that I shall not have the sum of two thousand and five hundred pounds three percent stock standing in my name at the time of my death to pay and satisfy the bequest of that sum for the purposes aforesaid then the same shall be purchased either in the whole or in part by my trustees and executors out of my personal estate and the same shall be vested in them upon the trusts hereinbefore declared of and concerning the said sum of two thousand and five hundred pounds stock bequeathed to them as aforesaid

And I do hereby authorize and empower my said trustees and the survivors and survivor of them his executors and administrators to pay and apply and dispose of any part of the said respective sums of six hundred pounds and five hundred pounds (making together one thousand and one hundred pounds) during the respective minorities of my said grandchildren for whom the same is intended in apprenticing them or placing them out respectively to any trade or profession as my said trustees shall in their discretion think fit and in providing necessaries for them respectively during their respective minorities deducting however out of the share of each of any my grandchildren in the said respective sums of six hundred pounds and five hundred pounds on his her or their attaining the age of twenty one years the sum or sums of money which may have been paid or advanced in apprenticing or placing him or her out to any trade or profession as aforesaid

Provided and it is also my will that in case Dr Christopher COOPER and the said Thomas FISHER the trustees of the estate and effects of my said son John for the benefit of his family shall have paid applied or disposed of a greater part or proportion of his estate and effects for the maintenance and education of any or either of my said six grandchildren during their respective minorities than they may be authorized by Law to do or shall have paid more for one child than another it is my will before any or either of my said grandchildren shall be paid or receive any part of any money given to them or for their benefit by this Will that they respectively notwithstanding such unequal distribution or application shall give and execute to the said Christopher COOPER and Thomas FISHER a proper release and discharge of all claims and demands whatsoever of in or to my said son John's effects on being paid what the said Christopher COOPER and Thomas FISHER may think is justly due and in case any or either of my said grandchildren shall neglect or refuse (upon request for that purpose) to give and execute such release and discharge for the in space of three months next after he or she shall attain his or her or their respective ages of twenty one years then and in that case it is my will that the legacy or lagacies given and payable to him her or them or for their benefit under and by virtue of this my will shall not be paid or payable to the party or parties refusing or neglecting to give and execute such release and discharge to the said Christopher COOPER and Thomas FISHER and in that case I give and bequeath all and every such lapsed or forfeited legacy and lagacies sum and sums of money unto the other or others of my said six grandchildren who shall execute such release or releases and discharge and the party or parties refusing or neglecting to give and execute or release or releases and discharge his her or their executors and administrators shall be debarred and /// excluded there from as fully and effectively to all intents and purposes as tho he she or they had died under age and without issue

All the rest and remainder of my monies and securities for money household goods and furniture and all other my estate and effects whatsoever and wheresoever (both real and personal) I give devise and bequeath the same and every part thereof to my said son Abel EDWARDS his heirs and executors administrators and assigns for his and their own use and benefit

And I make nominate and appoint the said Thomas FISHER John FISHER and Abel EDWARDS to be joint executors of this my Will in trust and for the purposes aforesaid and I revoke and make void all former and other Wills by [me] made provided and it is my will I I do hereby authorise and empower my said trustees in the first place from time to time to retain and deduct and to reimburse themselves and one another out of the interest dividends and profits of the said trust money and premises all such costs charges damages and expenses whatsoever as they shall or may pay bear or be put to in the execution of the trusts hereby in them reposed or relating thereto

And also that one of them shall not be answerable or accountable for the others or other of them or for the acts deeds receipts defaults or misconduct of the others or other of them but each of them for himself and for his acts deeds receipts defaults and misconduct only nor shall my said trustees any either of them be answerable or accountable for any loss pr losses which may happen of the said trust money and premises or any part thereof so as such loss or losses happen with their respective willful default misconduct or mismanagement

In Witness whereof I the said Abel EDWARDS the testator have to the first five sheets of this my will (which is written on six sheets of paper) set my hand and to this sixth and last sheet set my hand and seal the day and year first above written

A EDWARDS

Signed sealed published and declared by the said Abel Edwards the testator as and for his last will and testament in the presence of us who have hereunto at his request and in his presence subscribed our names as witnesses the bequest of one full seventh part of a moiety of two thousand five hundred pounds stock to his grandson John EDWARDS and the interlineations opposite to the initials of our names and the obliteration in the second sheet and also the interlineations in the third and fourth sheets being first made Maria Ann LEWIS -- Lewis LEWIS -- Isaac SPARKS to obviate all doubt the above named Abel EDWARDS the testator republished his last will and testament this twenty third day of May one thousand eight hundred and twenty three in the presence of us Maria LEWIS -- L LEWIS -- Isaac SPARKS.


Codicil 18 Sep 1822:- In my hurry just now being between ten and eleven in the forenoon of the eighteenth day of September 1822 through mistake I tour off the above seal supposing at the moment that the will was made some years back and not on the twenty sixth of last July but in less than a minute with no small regret i perceived my error and without loss of time I replaced it with my own hand and I hereby expressly declare the present will dated the twenty sixth day of July 1822 notwithstanding the unfortunate mistake I have already mentioned to be my last will and testament in witness whereof I subscribe my name A EDWARDS

Codicil 25th Aug 1823:-I particularly desire that a mourning ring as a small memorial of respect and gratitude may be given to Mr COOPER Messrs F & J FISHER Mr M OWEN and Mr I SPARKS of Crewkerne Aug 25th 1823 ---- A EDWARDS

Codicil 17th Jan 1825:-Whereas in my Will contained in the foregoing sheets and bearing date twenty sixth day of July 1822 I have appointed Messrs Thomas & John FISHER Trustees in conjunction with my son Abel EDWARDS for fulfilling my intentions therein and Whereas my grandson John EDWARDS has now attained the age of twenty four years I hereby appoint him the said John EDWARDS to act as a trustee with the aforesaid Able EDWARDS who are to be trustees and executors of my said will instead of Messrs Thomas and John FISHER Witness my hand this seventeenth day of January 1825 ---- A EDWARDS

Codicil 25th Mar 1825: I Desire that Anne THORNE may have ten pounds at my decease as an acknowledgement of her great attention during my illness March 25th 1825 ---A EDWARDS

Codicil 21st Sep 1825: To my Will Whereas I have advanced thirty seven pounds towards apprenticing my grandson Henry EDWARDS to whom in my Will I have left a legacy of one hundred and fifty pounds I hereby direct that the said thirty seven pounds be deducted from the said legacy and that only one hundred and thirteen pounds be paid to him the said Henry EDWARDS Witness my hand this twenty first day of September 1825 ---- A EDWARDS

Codicil 5th Sep 1826: This is a Codicil to the last Will and Testament of me the Reverend Abel EDWARDS of Dorchester in the County of Dorset which I direct to be taken as part thereof I give and bequeath to my female servant Ann THORNE the feather bed Bedstead and furniture the chest of drawers the old chest the chairs and other articles belonging to me except the pictures in her sleeping room and now used by her as the furniture of such room In Witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand this 5th day of September 1826 ---- A EDWARDS Signed in the presence of Joseph STONE

Appeared : personally the Reverend Lewis LEWIS of Dorchester in the County of Dorset Dissenting Minister Mary Frances EDWARDS wife of Abel EDWARDS of the same place Esquire and Joseph STONE of Dorchester aforesaid Gentleman and jointly and severally made oath And first the said lewis lewis for himself made oath that he is an attesting Witness of the paper writings hereto annexed which purport to be and contain the last Will and Testament of the said persons which is contained on six sheets of paper and which begins thus "This is the last will and Testament of me the Reverend Abel EDWARDS of Dorchester in the County of Dorset Clerk" ends thus " and to this sixth and last sheet set may hand and seal the day and year above written and is thus subscribed "A EDWARDS" and the deponent having now inspected the said Will and having particularly noticed and observed the several erasures obliterations and alterations therein hereinafter specified namely the addition of the words "pay one full several part thereof unto my grandson John EDWARDS who hath attained the age of twenty one years and under the original bottom or last line of the first sheet of the said will the addition of the words " the remainder of such moiety do and shall put and appearing to have been written above the original first or top line of the second sheet of the said will the interlineations of the word "other" of the words " said six grandchildren" and of the word "said" appearing in the said second sheet of the said will the obliteration of the words "and in consideration that he is to have these lands I do not intend that he shall have any part of my money estate and effects" appearing struck through with a pen in the seventh ---etc etc (lost the will to live)

Proved 3rd Oct 1826: at London with six Codicils 3rd October 1826 before the Judge by the oaths of Abel EDWARDS the son and John Edwards the Grandson the executors named in the third Codicil to whom administration was granted having been first sworn by commission duly to Administer


Genealogical Notes:-

(1) The Rev Abel EDWARDS was buried at St Peters Church in Dorchester on 11th September 1826.

 

Rev Abel EDWARDS (1747-1826) was an assistant to the Rev Timothy Lamb Minister for the Protestant Dissenters Meeting House in Dorchester from 1769 and took over from him as Pastor when he died in 1772 a position he retained until 1813 when he retired.

The marriage register for Holy Trinity Church Dorchester shows that he married there twice: 1st by licence to Mary BOWDITCH (d.1797) on 30th September 1772. Mary was the daughter of John BOWDITCH Gentleman of Dorchester who was buried at St Peters 10th Feb 1792. Mary left her fathers estate un-administered and died intestate being buried at St Peters on 27th June 1797. Abel was granted Letters of Administration for John Bowditch's estate after his wife's death and was a wealthy man leaving over £4,000 when he died in 1826.

    They had 5 children all baptised in The Presbyterian Chapel which catered for protestant dissenters, situated in Pease Lane, Dorchester. They were;-
    (1) John Bowdith Edwards (1776-1819) bap 1st Aug 1776; he married in Bridport to Hannah HOUNSELL on 8th Oct 1799 and they lived in West St, Holy Trinity Parish in Dorchester. They had the children listed below and baptised by his father before John died intestate and was buried at St Peters Church in Dorchester on 10 Aug 1819; age 43 years;

      (1) John Bowditch Edwards (1800-?) bap in the Dissenting Chapel in Pease Lane on 13th Sep 1800. May have died as not listed in his grandfathers will.
      (2) Charles Lloyd Edwards (1803-1803) bap in the Dissenting Chapel in Pease Lane on 11th July 1803, buried as an infant at St Marys Church in Bridport on 31st July 1803.
      (3) Charles Lloyd Edwards (1805-1872) he was born on 14 Oct 1805 and baptised in the Dissenting Chapel in Pease Lane on 5 Mar 1806. In 1826 he joined the Bengal Army as a cadet and served until her retired in 1850 attaining the rank of Major. He married twice. Firstly in Dingapore in 1841 and was a beneficiary under his grandfathers will and that of his uncle Abel in 1846. His second marriage wa sin Herne Kent in 1854 where he died in February 1872. His first son, Charles William Abel Edwards was born in 1842, Lucknow and followed him into the military by joining the Indian Navy aged 15 years. He died at Swansea in 1904. The majority of these records are available online in the India office family history section of the British Library. The military papers make interesting reading [I am grateful to Mike Metcalf for information on him]
      (4) Henry Edwards (1807-1808) born 19 Sept 1807, bap in the Dissenting Chapel in Pease Lane on 24 Jan 1808, buried as an infant from Dorchester at St Marys Church Bridport on 14th March 1808
      (5) Henry Edwards (1809- aft 1846) born 10 Aug 1809, bap in the Dissenting Chapel in Pease Lane on 25 Dec 1809, beneficiary under his grandfathers will. He married and died pre 1846 when his widow is a beneficiary under his uncle Abel's will
      (6) William Edwards (1811- aft 1846) born 29 June 1811 baptized in the Dissenting Chapel in Pease Lane on the 30th Sep 1811, beneficiary under his grandfathers will in 1826 and his uncle Abel's will in 1846.
      (7) Lloyd Edwards ( 1813- aft 1846) born 21 April 1813, baptised in the Dissenting Chapel in Pease Lane on 1st July 1813, beneficiary under his grandfathers will in 1826 and his uncle Abel's will in 1846.
      (8) Eliza Edwards (1814-1815) born in Sept 1814, baptised in the Dissenting Chapel in Pease Lane on 20 Feb 1815 and buried St Peters Church Dorchester on 29th Jun 1815 aged 9 months.
      (9) Eliza Edwards (1817- aft 1846) born in April 1817 baptised later that year by her grandfather in the Chapel, beneficiary under his grandfathers will. She married by Licence to William SIM in Dublin in 1844 (ML/110) and is a beneficiary under her uncle Abel's will in 1846.
      (10) Emily Edwards (c1819 - aft 1846), no trace of a baptism, beneficiary under his grandfathers will in 1826 and her uncle Abel's will in 1846.

    (2) Richard Edwards (b.1778-?) bap 10 Apr 1778; May have died as not mentioned in his fathers will of 1826
    (3) William Edwards (1782-1782) bap 12 Mar 1782, who was buried on 2nd Aug 1782 at St Peters church as the Presbyterian Chapel did not have its own burial ground
    (4) Thomas Cox Edwards (1785-aft 1826) bap 28 July 1785 beneficiary under his fathers will; alive in 1851 census unmarried annuitant living at 12 Pleasant Row St Finsbury, James Clerkenwell.
    (5) Abel Edwards (1788-1846)
    bap 3rd Sep 1788. He married Mary Frances PRIDELLE at Holy Trinity Church in Dorchester on 19th Oct 1820 but they had no children. After his fathers death he moved to London living at Rufford Row, St Marys Islington with his wife Mary in 1841. They then moved to run a business at 10 Halford Place Richmond Surrey. Executor of his fathers will and left an extensive will himself naming his wife, brother Thomas Cox and nephews and neices as beneficiaries (See wills index 1846).

His second marriage, also at Holy Trinity church Dorchester, was to a 58 year old spinster Ann CHANNING on 21-Sep 1798, again by license. Ann lived until she was 77 years old being buried at St Peters on 5th Sep 1817.

There is an article in The Salisbury & Winchester Journal dated 23 Nov 1812 about his 2nd wife:- "TO be SOLD by AUCTION, by Mr. BAKER, at the Antelope Inn, in Dorchester, on Monday the 30th day of November, 1812, precisely at four o'clock in the afternoon, subject to such conditions as shall be then and there produced. - The Fee-Simple and Inheritance of all that MESSUAGE, Burgage, or Tenement, situate in the High West-street, in Dorchester; - consisting of two good parlors, a drawing-room, dressing-room, four good bed chambers, two garrets, kitchen, brew house, cellar, and a large room over the kitchen, which may be used as a laundry; together with a walled garden behind the same, in the occupation of Mr. Thomas Gould Read, subject to a lease of 99 years, now determinable on the death of William Channing, aged 72 years, and Ann the wife of the Rev. Abel Edwards, aged 70 years, or thereabouts.

The Rev Abel EDWARDS was buried at St Peters Church in Dorchester on 11th September 1826.

Note Sources: Listed in the Charles Surman card index database of dissenting Ministers; MRD or University alumni for Oxford or Cambridge; Sources: Parish Registers for St Peters and the Presbyterian Chapel & Dorset Archdeaconry Court.

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