I’ve seen a copy of the will of John Young, second husband of Penelope Thomson (her first husband being George Robb): see these posts. The document, dated 1827, is described as ‘the inventory of the personal estate of the deceased John Young Esquire of Meadow Park near Glasgow who died at Meadow Park on the 16 day of January last’. The executors are ‘Mrs Penelope Thomson or Young his widow’ and a number of City of London merchants, all bearing the surname Mitchell. The total of Young’s assets seems to have been £175 2s 11d – the equivalent of around £140,000, I believe.
This helps to explain why both his wife and his daughter (Penelope Young nee Thomson, and Penelope Thomson nee Young – just to add to the confusion!) are said to be of ‘independent means’ in the 1841 census.
In my first post about the Thomson/Robb connection, I referred to my main source for details of the complex relationships between the families: the records of the two court cases in 1851 over the disputed will of Elizabeth Thomson, half-sister of Penelope Thomson (they were both daughters of John Thomson senior).
I’ve now seen a copy of Elizabeth Thomson’s will, and it confirms some of my tentative conclusions about the tangled connections between the Robbs, Thomsons and Youngs. According to the will, before her death in 1847 Elizabeth (who apparently was unmarried) appointed as executors George Robb and Archibald Graham Lang. George, born in 1806, was the son of Penelope Thomson and her first husband George Robb, born in 1769, while Lang was the husband of another Robb-Thomson child, Jean.
Lang is described as a merchant, while George Robb is said to be ‘sometime writer, now veterinary surgeon’. This clears up any lingering doubts that George Robb, son of Penelope Thomson, and George Robb, husband of her niece Jane Thomson (daughter of her half (?) brother Henry) may not have been the same person. Thus the ‘writer’ mentioned in the court proceedings is identical with the ‘veterinary surgeon’ in later census records (of which more in another post).
Elizabeth Thomson left an estate valued at between £1,000 and £1,500 – as much as £700,000 in today’s values.