The will of Thomas Ellis, gentleman, of Richmond Street, Soho

Further to my recent update on the Ellis family of Richmond Street, Soho: I’ve now tracked down the will of Thomas Ellis (1780 – 1838). He was the father of Richard Ellis, whose life and the lives of whose children, overlap (in ways, and for reasons, that I don’t yet fully understand) with those of my Blanch and Roe ancestors. Thomas’ will contains significant new information about his family, which I’ll write about in the next post. For now, here is my transcription of the will (which is much more legible than most others that I’ve come across from the same period). As with other wills, I’ve kept the original (lack of) punctuation and used question marks where the original is unclear or uncertain:

This is the last will and testament of Thomas Ellis of Richmond Street in the parish of St James Westminster in the county of Middlesex gentleman I desire that all my just debts funeral and testamentary expenses expected be paid and satisfied as soon as convenient after my decease and I give and bequeath unto John Jones of Denmark Street Saint Giles in the county of Middlesex carpenter and my sons Charles Ellis and Richard Ellis (executors herein after named) their executors ?? and assigns all those my leasehold messuages and premises situate in Richmond Street aforesaid and Nos. respectively 2 & 3 in the said street and my leasehold premises No. 36 Princes Street Soho in the said county of Middlesex now in the occupation of William de Courcy upholsterer for all my estate term and interest therein And all my other estate and effects whatsoever and whereseover upon trust nevertheless to sell and dispose of all the aforesaid property (save and except my leasehold house No. 36 Princes Street aforesaid) either by public sale or by private contract and stand possessed of the monies to arise by any such sale in trust as to one equal seventh part or share for each of my sons Charles Ellis Edward Ellis and Richard Ellis and my daughters Sarah Ellis and Mary Ellis their executors ?? and assigns the shares of my said daughters to be for their sole and separate use independent of any husband or husbands with whom they may intermarry and their receipts alone to be a sufficient discharge to my executors and one other equal seventh part or share of my said property in trust for the children of my eldest son Thomas Ellis equally to be divided between them on their attaining the age of twenty one with benefit of survivorship between and amongst them in the meantime and the remaining equal seventh part or share for my housekeeper Sarah Jennings her executors ?? and assigns and whereas I have invested in the savings bank at Saint Martins Lane in the city of Westminster in the joint names of myself and children retain sums of money Now it is my desire and I do hereby declare my will to be that my said children shall be entitled absolutely to the respective sums of money standing in the joint names as aforesaid at my decease and as to all that my leasehold messuage No 36 Princes Street aforesaid my will is that the rents and profits of the same may be invested in the names of my executors until the expiration of five years from my decease to form a fund and be applicable to pay the expenses incident (?) to and of obtaining a renewal of that lease from the ground landlords and at the expiration of the said five years that the rents and profits of the same may be invested as aforesaid from time to time until the expiration of the lease under which the same are now holden such profits and accumulations to be divided every fourth year from the expiration of the said fifth year from my decease equally between all my children living at my death their respective executors ?? and assigns and in the event of the lease of my said house in Princes Street being renewed then I give and bequeath the same to my executors in trust to sell and dispose of the same and (as also in case of its not being renewed then the said fund and accumulations) to divide the monies arising therefrom unto and amongst all and every my children as mentioned and expressed with respect to the division of the profits of the said house after providing for the said reserved fund and I appoint the said John Jones and my sons Charles Ellis and Richard Ellis executors of this my will and I desire that my said executors shall be allowed and may retain all reasonable costs and charges which they or either of them incur in the execution of the trusts of this my will or in anywise relating thereto. In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand to the first sheet of this my will and my hand and seal to this second and last sheet this nineteenth day of July 1836 Thomas Ellis (SS) signed sealed published and declared by the testator Thomas Ellis as and for his last will and testament in the presence of Jas. Dixon 12 Denmark Street St Giles Chas. Fancutt 35 Long Acre.

Proved at London 1st February 1839 before the worshipful ?? doctor of laws by the oaths of Charles Ellis and Richard Ellis the sons two of the executors to whom ?? was granted having been first sworn duly to administer John Jones the other executor and one of the universal legatees in trust named in the will having renounced as well the probation and execution thereof as the letters of ?? with the said will annexed of the goods of the said deceased (as by acts of court appears).

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