The will of Mary Catherine Gibson, died 1826

Bowes John Gibson, East India Company broker, ‘gentleman’ of Mile End Old Town, and younger brother of my 5 x great grandmother Elizabeth Holdsworth, nee Gibson, was married twice. He married his second wife, Mary Catherine Bretman, in 1799, and they had at least eight children together (to add to the ten or so children from Bowes John’s first marriage to Elizabeth Hendly). Bowes John Gibson died in 1817 at the age of 73: he was buried in the family vault at St Dunstan and All Saints, Stepney, on 28 August, only a month after the christening of his and Mary’s youngest child, Bowes Charles Gibson.

Old St Pancras church

I’ve now found both the burial record and last will and testament of Mary Catherine Gibson, nee Bretman. She died in June 1826 at Claremont Place, St Pancras (which was just to the south of Euston Road, in an area that had only been developed a decade or so earlier) and was buried on the 18th of that month at St Pancras Parish Chapel. The parish register notes that she was only 45 years old, though no cause of death is given. This means that Mary Catherine Bretman was born in about 1781, and would have been a mere 18-year-old when she married 54-year-old widower Bowes John Gibson in 1799, making her younger than some of the children from his first marriage.

The last will and testament of Mary Catherine Gibson contains some useful information about the family of Bowes John Gibson, which I’ll say more about in another post. For now, here is my transcription of Mary’s will (with the usual omissions – marked by ‘xxx’ – where I’ve completely failed to understand a particular word):

In the name of God Amen. I Mary Catherine Gibson of Claremont Place St Pancras in the County of Middlesex being of sound and disposing mind memory and understanding God be praised for it do make this my last Will and Testament in manner following that is to say first I commend my soul to the Almighty God who gave it and my body to be buried in the family vault at Stepney and I also nominate constitute and appoint my daughter Emily Gibson Executrix and Mr Richard Aldridge of Clay Hill Tottenham Executor of all my worldly estates both real and personal whether in the funds or mortgage xxx or otherwise and having purchased my son William Henry’s (?) and my daughter Elizabeth’s (?) shares in the freehold premises in Distaff Lane I direct that the rent of the said premises be for the use and benefit of my daughters Emily Gibson and Matilda Henrietta Gibson and of my son Bowes Charles Gibson and that the freehold be sold on the youngest child’s attaining his or her twenty first year and the product of such sale to be divided equally between my daughters Emily Gibson and Matilda Henrietta and my son Bowes Charles Gibson save and except thirty pounds to my oldest son Edward Gibson thirty pounds to my son William Henry Gibson and the like sum of thirty pounds to my daughter Elizabeth Gibson my best diamond ring I bequeath to my executor Mr Richard Aldridge my Amethyst Brooch and ring to my daughter Elizabeth Gibson my Chest upon Chest of Drawers xxx Glass Tortoiseshell tea Caddy Gold chain and xxx glass miniatures of myself and husband with the Diamond brooch the mourning (?) and sapphire rings to my daughter Emily Gibson the piano forte Gold watch chain and xxx xxx brooch Diamond earrings pearl looping (?) xxx hearts and chain with the best coral beads and xxx to my daughter Matilda Henrietta Gibson the book case (?) and drawers best gold xxx chain xxx two gold rings topaz pebble seal Diamond hoop ring and the china with the family arms to my son Bowes Charles Gibson the remainder of my valuable trinkets all the plate china looking glasses table linen portraits wearing apparel household furniture and the residue of my effects to my daughters Emily Gibson and Matilda Henrietta Gibson and revoking all other Wills I do declare this to be my last Will and Testament In witness whereof I the said Mary Catherine Gibson the Testatrix have hereunto set my hand and seal the third day of June one thousand eight hundred and twenty six M. C. Gibson (S) Signed sealed published and delivered in the presence of Wm Parfitt , John Eason, Thomas Hyas (?)

Proved at London the 12th July 1826 before the Worshipful Sept (?) Addam Dr of Laws & Surrogate by the Oaths of Emily Gibson Spr. the daughter and Richard Aldridge the Exrs. to whom Admon (?) was granted having been having first sworn duly to Admr.

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