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Will of JAMES RUSSELL of Brockton,
The following Will has been contributed by Helen Phillips. Please contact her if you have any comments or questions concerning the Will and/or the family of Russell of Egerton.
Canterbury Cathedral Archives, Canterbury, Kent, England, Will, Canterbury Cathedral Archives, Consistory Court of Canterbury, Registered Wills, PRC32/66/300, 6 April 1782. [Also available via U.S.A., Salt Lake City: Family History Library, 35 North West Temple Street, Salt Lake City, Utah 84150, USA, microfilms #0188886-0188887, vol. 66, fol. 300].
THIS IS THE LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT of me JAMES RUSSELL of Brockton, in the parish of Charing, in the county of Kent, farmer.
First, I hereby revoke and make void all former and other Wills by me at any time heretofore made and I declare this only to be and contain my whole and entire last Will and Testament and as for and concerning all such temporal estate as it hath pleased God to bestow upon me I give and dispose thereof as followeth (that is to say),
In the first place I will and direct that all my just debts the expenses of my funeral and probate of this my Will be fully paid and satisfied and I give devise and bequeath all the rest residue and remainder of my goods, chattels, money and securities for money, stock, corn, seed, hay, household goods and furniture, husbandry tackle, plate, linen and china and all and singular other my goods, chattels and effects whatsoever and wheresoever unto and to the use of my dear and loving wife ELIZABETH RUSSELL for and during the term of her natural life and from and immediately after her decease I give and bequeath the said residue of my said goods, chattels and personal estate equally unto my eight children SARAH, JOHN, JAMES, ELIZABETH, MARY, DAVID, THOMAS and ANN, their Executors and Administrators absolutely.
And I do hereby nominate make constitute and appoint my said dear and loving wife ELIZABETH RUSSELL sole executrix of this my will.
In witness whereof I the said JAMES RUSSELL, the Testator, unto this my last Will and Testament contained in this one sheet of paper have set my hand and seal (to wit), my hand only to the first side thereof and my hand and seal to this the second and last side thereof, this eleventh [11th] day of October in the twenty first year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord George the Third, by Grace of God of Great Britain, France and Ireland King, Defender of the Faith, etc. And in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty one .
James Russell his mark
Signed, sealed, published and declared
by the said JAMES RUSSELL, the Testator,
as and for his last Will and Testament
in the presence of us who, at his request
and in his presence and in the presence
of each other, have subscribed our names
as witnesses thereunto.
The before registered Will of James Russell deceased was proved the 6th day of April 1782 before the Reverend John Gostling, Clerk, Surrogate to the Worshipful Andrew Coltee Ducarel, Doctor of Laws, Commissary General of the City and Diocese of Canterbury, lawfully constituted by the oath of ELIZABETH RUSSELL, the sole Executrix named in the said Will, she being first sworn well and truly to perform the same.
Notes: James Russell was buried in Egerton 17th October 1781 less than a week after he made this will; Elizabeth was buried there 5th January 1805. Their son Richard was buried in Egerton 24th September 1781, which would have necessitated this new will. No tombstone found that could be read, but it is possible that they were buried with earlier generations. According to the MI register in the church, there is a tombstone for their eldest son John (1844) and his wife Susanna (1853), as well as two footstones inscribed I and S (likely to be J and S), but these could not be found in May 2001.