The will of Ann Champain, widow of Abingdon (died 1804)

In the last post I discussed the last will and testament of London wine cooper James Champain, who died in 1785. At the time of his death James had been married to his second wife Ann (formerly Andrews, née Hawkins) for ten years. When he completed his will they were living in Exeter, Devon, having moved there from Weymouth, Dorset. There is evidence that Ann remained in Exeter for a number of years after James’ death, but by the time she began to write her own will in 1802, she had moved back to the town of her birth: Abingdon, then in Berkshire, a place I know well, having lived there for a while some thirty years ago.

Parish church of St Helen's, Abingdon (via rscm-oxford.org.uk)

Parish church of St Helen’s, Abingdon (via rscm-oxford.org.uk)

As with her husband’s will, I believe it’s worth studying Ann Champain’s last will and testament in detail, since it provides us with useful information about various members of the Champain family and can help with the process of exploring the context of their lives in the late-eighteenth and early-nineteenth centuries.

In this post, I’m reproducing my transcription of Ann’s will and I’ll discuss what we can learn from it in the next post. I’ve used the same symbols for illegible and uncertain words as I did for James Champain’s will.

This is the last Will and Testament of me Ann Champain of Abingdon in the County of Berks Widow I give all the Silver plate that was left me by my late husband Mr James Champain unto his son Captain William Burgundy Champain which is as following Silver hand waiter (?) Soup Laddel four Silver Salts four Salt Spoons two Gravy Spoons six Desert Spoons twelve Tea Spoons a small Silver sauce pan a plated Tea pot After the payment of my just debts funeral charges and Legacies all the Rest Residue and Remainder of my Monies in the public funds and all other Monies that I have power to dispose of personal Estate and Effects whatsoever and wheresoever not herein disposed of I give and bequeath unto my dear daughter the wife of James Rose Clealand Esquire of the Kingdom of Ireland and at her disposal and I constitute and appoint my said daughter Sarah Clealand sole Executrix of this my last Will hereby revoking all former wills by me made To my Son in Law James Rose Clealand Esquire To my Brother George Hawkins Esquire to Mrs Mary Hawkins his Wife to William Walker Esquire and to Mrs Sally Walker his Wife To Joseph Fletcher Esquire and to Frances Fletcher his Wife to Richard Clark Esquire to Mrs Clark his Wife and to Mrs Rose to each of these my friends I beg their acceptance of a Mourning Ring the price of each Ring not to exceed twenty one Shillings To Mrs Fletcher I give my Snuff Box which was her Mothers to Mrs Walker I give my Garnett Bracelets with the pictures thereto one is her father my late husband the other that of my daughter Mrs Clealand I also give the Mourning Ring I had for her Mother Mrs Hannah Champain also my diamond pin set round with pearls To Miss ??? Mrs Hawkins sister I give my watch. I desire to be buried in the Church of Saint Helens Abingdon in or near the Grave of my dear Mother according to the directions written by me directions written by myself respecting my funeral but should my daughter Mrs Clealand be in England at the time of my decease she to give the orders my meaning us that Mr Joseph Tombs whose House I now live in ??? ??? the funeral by a separate direction given him To my Servant Ann Goodall should she be living with me at the time of my decease I give her a years wages over what may be owing then to her and ??? Mourning It is my desire that a small Monument be fixed up on the wall oppose my Grave to be like one I have seen at Henley upon Thames The Monument is on the left Hand Side as you enter the principal door of the Church at Henley upon Thames before you come to the pulpit against one of the pillars it is to the Memory of Mrs Ester May to be wrote on my Monument to the Memory of Mrs Ann Champain Widow and Relict of James Champain Esquire with the date of the year the month and age Ann Champain (S) Signed sealed and delivered in the presence of us August 27. 1802 Samuel Robins. Elizabeth Robins. 

Whereas since the executing (?) my within will I have lost my friend Mrs Sally Walter (lately deceased) to whom I had left a few articles as a Mark of my Regard and Mr Joseph Tombs whom I had appointed to serve as my funeral ??? since left off Business I hereby make this codicil to my said last will to explain and amend such parts of it as require alteration Item in the first place I revoke and annul every thing in my said will that relates to the late Mrs Sally Walker and Mr Joseph Tombs Item I direct that my funeral shall be served by the person whom my daughter Mrs. Sarah Clealand shall appoint and in the Manner she shall direct Item I give to Captain William Burgundy Champain my Garnet Bracelets with the pictures thereto the reason of my requesting him to accept an Article so little calculated for a Man is that one of them is the picture of his father which I am sure he will value also for the same (?) reason I leave him the Mourning Ring I had for his Mother Item I give to Mrs Fletcher wife of Joseph Fletcher Esquire my Diamond Pin set round with pearls I do hereby direct that this Codicil shall be considered as part of my within last will In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my Hand and Seal this fourth day of July 1803 at Abingdon in Berkshire Ann Champain (S) Signed sealed and delivered in the presence of Margarett Cleobury. Peggy Napper.

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