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Wills, Letters & Legends

The will of Jno. (John) Leland was probated on April 11th, 1778, and is to be found in Record Book 10, page 285, Northumberland County, Virginia. The will reads as follows:

In the name of God Amen I John Leland of the County of Northumberland and parish of Wicco. being very weak in body but of perfect mind and memory thanks be given unto God, Calling unto mind the mortality of my body and knowing that it is appointed for all men to Die, do make and ordain this my last Will and Testament, That is to say Principally & first of all, I Give & Renounce my soul into the Hand of Almighty God that gave it and my body I Recommend to the Earth to be buried in decent Christian burial, at the Descretion of my Executors, nothing Doubting but at the General Ressurrection I shall receive the same again, by the mighty power of God, And as Touching such wordly Estate wherewith it has pleased God to bless me in this life, I Give, Demise and Dispose of the same in the following manner and form - -

Imprimis I Give and bequeath to my Loving wife Lucy Leland my Riding Chair and Harniss also Burkett on the New Testament.

Item I Give & bequeath to my Daughter Sarah Leland Eighteen pounds Current money of Virginia.

Item I give and bequeath to my Daughter Martha Nutt, my Daughter Mary Haynie & and my son John Leland Thirty pounds Each Current money of Virginia.

  *Note; these are his four children by Elizabeth Lombard, according to J.A.C. Leland.

Item I Give and bequeath to my Son Charles Leland all my Lands & his heirs forever, on condition that he pay his four sisters, Susannah, Anne Henrietta, Lucy and Sarah Leland the sum of Fifty pounds Virginia Currency Each at the Time he arrives to the age of Twenty one years, but should my son Charles die before he arrives to the age of Twenty one years Then my will and desire is that my aforesaid Land be sold and the money arising therefrom be Equally Divided betwixt my four Daughters Susannah, Anne Henrietta, Lucy and Sarah Leland.

Item All the rest & residue of my Goods, Chattels & personal Estate whatever I give & bequeath to my aforesaid wife, my four Daughters Susannah, Anne Henrietta, Lucy & Sarah Leland & my Son Charles Leland to be equally divided betwixt them.

Item  If in case my aforesaid wife should not stand to this my Last Will and Testament but fly to the Law, Then my will and desire is that at her death her part of my Estate be equally divided betwixt my aforesaid Daughters Susannah, Anne Herietta, Lucy & Sarah and my son Charles Leland.

Item  I do hereby Constitute & appoint my son John Leland & William Nutt Executors of this my last will and Testament.  In Witness whereof I the sd John Leland have hereto set my hand and Seal this first day of February 1778.

                                                                        John Leland

Signed, Sealed, Published, pronounced and
Declared by the sd John Leland as his last
will and Testament in the prsence of us &
in the presence of Each other have hereto
subscribed our names.

At a Court Contd & held for Northumberland County the 11th day of April 1778.  This last Will and Testament of John Leland, Clerk, Dec'd was presented in Court by William Nutt Gent one of the Executors therein named who made oath thereto according to Law & same being proved by the Oath of said William Nutt & by Consent of John Leland heir at Law to the said Dec'd, John Haynie  & the said Nutt the same was admitted to Record, & on the motion of the said Executor giving security a Certificate is granted him for obtaining a probate  thereof in due form.
                                                                     Teste:  Thos.  Jones  Ct. Cur

*Notes from J.A.C. Leland:
Some have wondered why John Leland Sr. was spoken of as a "clerk" In the 18th Century a minister was so designated and we still use the related words clergyman and cleric.

The "Chair" mentioned in the will was a Riding Chair, something like a modern dining chair fastened to a platform on a two-wheeled cart.  There was a seat below and at the back for the negro boy who went along to open gates and care for the horse.  This vehicle was much used in Tidewater Virginia.

Miss Lucy Leland (S.A.M.Leland & Eliza M. Campbell) Richmond, Virginia.  related the story of the dainty kerchief, blood stained from the prick of a sword at the time one of the family, perhaps one of the Lombards, had escaped the St. Bartholomews Day massacre.

Miss Lucy had seen the kerchief.  The owner of the kerchief had hidden in the hold of the vessel which was inspected before sailing.  The inspector went through with his sword, stabbing into bales of goods and corners where some refugees might be hiding.  The sword point struck her and she was quick witted enough to wipe it with the kerchief as it was being withdrawn.  This story was known to the Ohio Lelands also.

*Notes from R.M.Leland III
Although the manuscript places Sarah as #3, and the oldest child, I believe she was actually the youngest of Jno. Leland & Elisabeth Lombard's children. I feel she was a minor, under 21, when the will was written and that is why she is included with the other minor children in regards to the property.  That is also why of the four older children she received the least money.

I think J.A.C. is missing some part of the will, hence the mention in his notes of the "kerchief".  Was this left to somebody?  If someone can get a photocopy of this will it would be appreciated, don't know when I'll get to Virginia.

Looking for a picture of a Riding Chair, will post when found.  Also copy of Burkett on the New Testament.

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