Will of John Ward (ca.1726-1791)

In the Name of God Amen I John Ward formerly of Gibraltar but now of Highbury place in the parish of Saint Mary Islington in the County of Middlesex Gentleman make this my last Will and Testament. I resign my Soul to my Creator in humble hope of mercy and future happiness. I hereby Nominate and appoint William Mainwaring and Henshaw Russell Esquires of London Merchants and Doctor William Saunders also of London Executors of this my last Will and Testament. I desire that all my just Debts shall be fully paid and satisfied, that I may be Interred in the most private and frugal manner possible, and that my Sisters Elizabeth Cock Widow and Charity Ward Spinster shall not by any means be molested for any demands which in any shape I may have against either of them. To my daughter Elizabeth Ward I leave and bequeath Three Thousand Pounds Capital Stock in the Four Per Cent Annuities Consolidated in the year 1780 for and during her natural life and after her decease the Reversion thereof to the Children of her brother George Ward and the Children of her Sister Charity now the wife of Doctor William Saunders equally among them. But if my said daughter Elizabeth should marry and leave Issue my will then is that the said Three Thousand Pounds Capital Stock shall descend equally to the Issue of my said daughter Elizabeth their heirs and assigns. To my daughter Charity Saunders I leave and bequeath Three Thousand Pounds Capital Stock also in the Four Per Cent Annuities for during [sic] her natural life And the Reversion thereof after her decease to the Children of my said daughter equally among them but in case of her dying and leaving no children by her present Marriage my will then is that the said Three Thousand Pounds shall revert to Harriot the daughter of the Reverend Mr. William Leake or in case of her decease to the Children of my Son Mr Geo. Ward. I leave the rest and residue of my Capital Stock in the Four P. Cent. Annuities Conditionally to my Son Robert Ward his heirs and assigns also the house I now reside in situate at Highbury place Islington that is to say Provided that his brothers may not be Induced to claim the monies which they have advanced (thro' me) on the Score of promoting his Education and Establishment which Claim if made against my Estate I do hereby direct that it may be discharged and satisfied out of what I have thus conditionally willed to my said Son Robert to whom previous to the incurrment of those Expenses on the sending him to the University of Oxford I very fully explained these Circumstances and the promise I had Engaged in to his brothers John and Geo. Ward. To my Sons John and Geo. Ward I leave Twenty Pounds each and no more as I have conferred already on them many extraordinary and essential advantages in their Establishment at Gibraltar, nay more than I could be well justified in, exposed as the younger branches of my Family were in consequence of the unbounded Confidence which I had placed in my said Sons at the commencement of our Partnership and in the pursuit of which myself and Family by their absurd Conduct and unfair expectations were in the most eminent danger of being forever ruined as my entire Capital was in their possession also a very considerable Sum of Money belonging to the Funds then under my care which to promote their Interest as much as I possibly could I had been induced to Indulge them with the use of and as that money was always liable to a call I could only consider it in that view of light and that therefore I at all times had an undoubted right thereto whenever the Service required it or that I should think fit to demand it of them. They however to my astonishment and great Surprize when I demanded it refused for a considerable time a compliance and thereby plunged me into very considerable difficulties rendering me and my situation the most wretched and unhappy as the Money had been frequently wanted for the Publick Service and had I not as frequently been sustained and supported by the kind and never failing assistance of my most worthy friend the late Mr. John Sweetland I must have indubitably fallen into publick disgrace with the Governor and my Employers and by whose firm & sincere regard it was that I surmounted those extraordinary difficulties until my Sons were pleased to put me in possessions of the publick Monies. Their Conduct therefore on this and a variety of other accounts (which by me must be for ever exploded) is the cause of my announcing these declarations to whomsoever these presents may come. To my Grandson George Saunders I leave my Gold Watch and Chain and to my Grandson George Ward my best Diamond Ring, my other Diamond Ring I leave to my Nephew Wm. Cock and to his brother John my large Silver Cup and Cover. To my daughter in law Mrs. Mary Ward I leave my Silver Tea Kettle and Lamp also my largest Silver Waiter. To Doctor W. Saunders my Silver Bread Basket and all my Silver handled knives and forks. Finally I leave and bequeath all and whatever ready Money I have in the hands of any person or persons at the time of my decease together with the rest and residue of my Plate and Trinkets Goods and Furniture of every kind over and above what I have already given by this my last Will entirely and solely to my daughter Elizabeth Ward her heirs and assigns for ever. I confirm this to be my last Will and In Witness whereof I have written the same with my own hand and Sealed it with my Seal on this Second day of June in the year of our Lord One thousand seven hundred and Eighty six and in the Twenty sixth year of the Reign of His Majesty George the Third by the Grace of God King etc. etc.

J. Ward --- Sealed and declared by the Testator for and as his last Will and Testament in presence of us Wm. Farquhar - Wm. Nairn - John Church

This Will was proved at London the Sixth day of September in the year of our Lord One thousand seven hundred and ninety one before the Worshipful George Harris Dcotor of Laws and Surrogate of the Right Honorable Sir Wiliam Wynne Knight also Doctor of Laws Master keeper or Commissary of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury lawfully constituted by the Oaths of William Mainwaring and Henshaw Russell Esquires and William Saunders Doctor of Physic the Executors named in the said Will to whom Administration was granted of all and singular the Goods Chattles and Credits of the said deceased having been first Sworn duly to Administer.

[Some punctuation added by the transcriber.]

content last revised 24 Dec 2010