This week the theme for Amy Johnson Crow’s challenge 52 Ancestors – 52 Weeks is “Where there’s a Will”.
I immediately thought about the will of my maternal 4x great grandfather, Robert Heap. I had discovered the document back in March of 2000 on Cheshire (England) Records office online. I was able to order a copy through their offices and it was very exciting to have a document that was written back in 1818. Robert Heap was probably born around 1765 in Cheshire county England. He was the husband of Mally Lees and they were the parents of at least 7 children. It was disappointing that the children were not named, except the youngest , Edward.
While transcribing the document I discovered a word I had never come across before, Messauges.
noun, Law.1.a dwelling house with its adjacent buildings and the lands appropriated to the use of the household.
The following is a transcript of those documents.
Mr. Robert Heaps Will
The twenty sixth Day of June 1819
Mally Heap the Executira and William Hasledine & Samuel Lees the Executors in this Will with codicil named were sworn in common Form, and they further made oath that the personal effects & Estate of the Testator within the Diocese of Chester were under the value of six hundred pounds,
Jos. Brooker Suvrogate
The Testator died Jan. 20 1819
MB Stamp Duty remitted eleven pounds
Duty paid 11:W.W.
This is the Last Will and Testament of me Robert Heap
Of Stayley in the County of Chester Clothier made and published the thirtieth day of May in the year of our Lord One thousand eight hundred and eighteen in manner following that is to say, I order all my just Debts Funeral and Testamentary Charges to be paid out of my Estates and Effects and subject there to. My Will and desire is that my beloved Wife, Mally and my children shall continue together and employ my Stock in Trade for the purpose of carrying on my business of a Clothier to the best advantage until my youngest child Edward shall attain the age of twenty one years for their comfortable support and maintenance and for the increase of my property, And when my said youngest child shall attain the age of twenty one years I order and direct that the said stock in Trade and the increase and profits thereof with my other Estate and Effects not herein after otherwise disposed of shall be divided among my said children equally and the child or children of such of them as maybe then dead leaving a child or children (if more than one) to take only among them the share or shares that the deceased parent or parents would have been Entitled to if living Provided nevertheless that in case my said wife or children shall agree to carry on my said Business after the time aforesaid Then they shall be at Liberty so to do until such time as they shall see proper to make a division of the property in manner aforesaid and if any of them shall think proper during the time or hence aforesaid to go to himself or herself then the rest shall and may continue to carry on my said Business in manner aforesaid And it is my Will and wish that my Elder Children shall be paid a fair compensation for their Labour Care and pains in and about carrying on my said Business according to their desert which shall be at the discretion of my Executors and payable at the time such division shall be made as aforesaid over and above their respective shares of such said property And Whereas I am Entitled to several Messuages or Dwelling houses in Hurst in the Parish of Ashtonunderline And Whereas I have contracted with Francis Dunkinfield Astley Esquire for a piece of Building Land in Dunkinfield but no conveyances have yet been executed to me therefor Now I direct that the Rents of the said Messuages in Hurst being about Thirty pounds a year shall be applied for the purpose of making Erections or Buildings upon said plot of Land in Dunkinfield yearly until such division of my other property shall be made as aforesaid And when such division shall be made as aforesaid or in the mean in Case any unforeseen circumstance shall happen so that my said Family shall not keep together and carry on my said business in manner aforesaid I give my said Messuages or Dwelling houses in Hurst aforesaid with the appurtenances to my said wife for all my Estate and interest therein to be at her disposal And as to the said plot of Land in Dunkinfield and the intended Buildings thereon I give the same equally among my Children as Tenants in Common and not as Joint Tenants their respective heirs and assigns when the youngest attains twenty one and the Child or Children of such Child or Children only taking the parents share in manner a foresaid And I nominate nd appoint my said wife Mally, William Hasledine of StayleyBridge, Machinemaker and my bother in Law Samuel Lees Executors of this my will and here by revoking all former wills by me made I declare this to be my last And I direct my Executors to satisfy themselves from and out of my Estate and Effects all Charges and Expenses which they maybe put to and for their trouble in and about the execution here of and that they shall not be answerable for each others acts neglects or default but each for his own only In Witness where of I the said Robert Heap the Testator have hereto set my hand and seal the day and year first above written.
Signed Sealed published and declared by Robert Heap
said Robert Heap the Testator as and for
his last will and Testament in the presence
of us who have here into subscribed our
Names as witnesses thereto in his presence
and at his request and in the presence of each other.
Wm Cheethain Wagstaff
By way of a Codicil to the Will of me the above named Robert Heap and which I desire may be taken as a part there of I direct that my wife is not to have the disposal of my messuages or Dwelling houses in Hurst aforesaid but the same shall on her death in Case my youngest Child shall then have attained the age of twenty one years be equally divided amongst my Children and the Child or children of such of them dead leaving a child or children such child or children only taking the parents share in manner intended in my said Will as to my other property But my wife is to have the rents and Profits thereof during her life on the event mentioned in my Will of my business not being carried on and such Division as aforesaid is to be postponed till her death if my youngest child attains Twenty one before that time And in case any of my Children shall act imprudently and contrary to the inclination of my other children and waste any of my property by so doing he she or they shall have so much less of my property on the division aforesaid as shall have been so wasted by his her or their default in manner aforesaid and the same shall be applied to and for the benefit of the others of my said children who shall act with prudence In witness where of I have to this codicil set my hand and seal the fourteenth day of December in the year of our Lord One thousand eight hundred and eighteen
Signed sealed published and
declared as a codicil to the Will of the Robert Heap
said Robert Heap in the presence of
us who at his request and in his
presence and in the presence of each
other have here unto set our hands
John Adam his mark X
The following are the copies received. Click on image to enlarge.
4 thoughts on “52 Ancestors- Robert Heap’s Will”
Dear Ada, This is really a small world. The Booths and Bambers are Ross’s family. My family are the Taylors of Hurst. We are married into the Lees family(my gr great grandmother was a Lees). I will look up Robert Heap and see what I can find. On my trip to England I stood on the land the Taylors rented and farmed on the edge of Hurst. Very interesting experience. Do you know what church they might have attended? I also enjoyed your piece on Joseph Booth, Jr and understanding who the other names were on his tombstone. And you have a photo of him-how lucky! I continue to enjoy your history pieces. DonnaLee Pettit
Wow! To be related to both you and Ross, how neat. The Heaps and Lees’ mostly attended the parish church Saint Michaels and All Angeles in Ashton-under lyne. Madeleine and I visited there in 2000 and were able to look at the original parish records, it was quite thrilling. Thank you for your kind words and I hope you continue to follow my blog. There are a lot of Lees in the area of Ashton-under lyne and Stayleybridge. I believe Mally’s father was a Samuel Lees as was her brother.