I have started the new year by going through my various documents and transcribe the handwritten ones. The first in the list is the will of John Cutler of Eton, my great-great-great grandfather. I am descended from him through his daughter Mary. Ah poor Mary, treated quite unfairly in this will compared to her other siblings.
This is a most interesting will, he leaves only what he is obliged to leave to his wife, and it appears that they were not living together at the time of his death. The 1841 census corroborates this stating that he lived with his elder daughters and son William, but not Mary. He states in the will that if any of his three elder children choose to live near or with their mother they will not inherit. I cannot find Louisa and her daughter in that census so it is unclear where they were. Mary does inherit some money, but her sisters get a generous annuity and the household goods. When John died Mary was only about 7 years old.

All sorts of questions bombarded me as I transcribed this. Did he not believe Mary was really his? Did he want to punish his wife? Did he just not like Mary? I have a picture of his father, the Rev John Cutler, and Mary really really looks like him- same long face, dark colouring- ah questions that cannot be answered.

National Archives, Prob 11/1979

Transcription:
This is the last will and testament of me John Cutler of Eton in the county Berks Esquire I overt that all just debts and funeral and testamentary expenses be duly paid or satisfied as soon as conveniently may be after my decease I give to my sister Elizabeth Bennison wife of William Bennison of Regent Square in the County of Middlesex [illegible] man the picture of my mother by Grant for her own absolute [illegible] I give all the rest of my pictures and my two clocks and barometer and ll myplate unto my two daughters Elizabeth and Louisa on their respectively attained the age of twenty one years or marrying whatever shall first happen in equal shares and proportions and in case of the death of either of them under that age attained or having married then the whole to the other of them so attaining with age or as marrying And I direct that the said Elizabeth Bennison shall have the use and enjoyment of the said pictures clocks barometer and plate until any said daughters shall respectively acquire vested interests and that when and so soon as my daughters shall acquire such vested interest [illegible] said Elizabeth Bennison shall notwithstanding the absolute gift [illegible] before obtained to my said daughters apportion and divide the same pictures clocks barometer and plate between them in sure manner all respects as she, the said Elizabeth Bennison shall in her uncontrolled discretion their best I give all the household goods, furniture plate linen and other articles and other things belonging to me in the house at Notting Hill in which my wife Louisa Cutler now resides or which shall at the time of my decease be in any on house in which she may then reside unto her the said Louisa Cutler for her use and enjoyment during her life and after her decease I give the same a unto my said two daughters Elizabeth and Louisa in the same manner in all respects and with the like power to the said Elizabeth Bennison of using and enjoying apporportioning and dividing the same as herein before directed with respect to the said pictures clocks barometer and plate. And whereas I am entitled for my life to retain water works and flour mills at Windsor and Eton aforesaid to [illegible] my son William Henry will be entitled at my decease but I am absolutely possessed of various pipes engines machinery articles and things used and a being in or about the same water works and mills now I do hereby give and devise and bequeath all and singular the same pipes engines machinery and last mentioned articles and things and also all my coal estate whatsoever and wheresoever unto and to the use of the said Elizabeth Bennison and James Pratt of Wootton Bassett in the County of Wilts, gentleman, their heirs executors and administrators and assigns according to the nature and quality thereof respectively upon the trusts thereinafter declared of and concerning the same that is to say upon that the said Elizabeth Bennison and James Pratt or the survivor of them their his or her assigns or the heirs executors or administrators of the survivor of the other the trustees for the time being of this my will so and shall until my said son William Henry shall attain the age of twenty one years by letting or otherwise employing in such manner in all respects as such trustees or trustee shall in their his or her own absolute discretion then fit the said pipes engines machinery and last mentioned articles and things or any of them or by and out of the cents and profits of my real estate raise and pay or apply unto for the benefit of each of my said daughters Elizabeth and Louisa during her life one annuity or near yearly sum of eighty pounds or so and with of such respective annuities as the annual income to be derived from my such last mentioned trust premises will from time to time extend to raise such annuities to be respectively payable by equal quarterly payments and the first of such payments to be considered due at the expiration of three calendar moths from my death. And subject without prejudice to the raising of such [illegible] annuities. I do hereby declare that such trustees or trustee shall stand seized and possessed of the said real estate pipes engines manchiner and last mentioned articles and things in trust for my said son his heirs executors administrators and in
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Assigned according to the nature and quality thereof respectively and when and so soon as my said son shall attain the age of twenty one years then upon in a further trust that such trustees or trustee shall permit him my said son his heirs executors administrators or assigned to have the use and enjoyment and also the receipt of the rents and profits of all and singular such last mentioned a trust premises for his and their own absolute benefit the understanding to the satisfaction of such trustees or trustee to pay or make good the said respective annuities of eighty pounds each to my said daughters Elizabeth and Louisa owing their respective lives as aforesaid and every future quarterly payment thereof respectively or such the same annuities as shall be then subsisting But in case my said son shall die under the age of twenty one years or in case he shall attain that age and his heirs executors administrators or assigns shall not within six calendar months thereafter to the satisfaction of such trustees or trustee undertake to pay or make good the same respective annuities in manner aforesaid or in case the [illegible] they shall so undertake and the same at annuities or either of them shall at any time thereafter be in arrear or unpaid for the space of sixty days next over or after any quarterly day for payment there of them and in any or either of the said cases all and singular the trusts therein a before declared of and recurring the said pipes engines machinery and last a mentioned articles and things and real estate shall theretofore cease and determine And I do hereby overt that the said trustees or trustee shall forthwith or as soon as conveniently may be thereafter sell and disposed of all and singular the same last mentioned trust premises and every or any part thereof in such manner in all respects as such trustees or trustee shall think fit with a full power to buy and resell the same and to make any contracts and assurances for carrying into effect any such sale or disposition and after, it paying all expenses of or attending any such sale or disposition shall stand in possessed of the monies to arise thereby upon and for the trusts interests and a purposes thereinafter expressed and declared of and concerning the same in . And as to my lease hold house no 5 in Grosvenor Place Camberwell New Road in the County of Surrey with the appurtenaures and all the rest and residue of my household goods trinkets books linen [illegible] wines and other liquors and other my personal estate and effects whatsoever and wheresoever not herintofore disposed of I do hereby give and bequeath the same unto the said Elizabeth Bennison and James Pratt their executors administrators and assigns upon trust that they or the survivor of them their his or her assigns or the executors or administrators of such survivor or other the trustees or trustee for the time being of this my will shall and do as soon as conveniently may be after my decease make sale and absolutely dispose of my said leasehold house and premises in such manner in all respects as such trustees or trustee shall think fit with power to assign the same accordingly and also convert money so much of my personal estate as shall not consist of such securities as herinafter mentioned And as for and concerning as well the monies which shall arise from such said or disposition of my said leasehold house and premises after paying thereout the expenses of or attending such sale or disposition and the monies which shall arise from such conversion of my personal estate as also the rear monies which shall arise from any such sale or disposition of the said pipes engines machinery articles and things and real estate therein before directed to be sold disposed of as aforesaid in case any such last mentioned sale or disposition shall take places I do hereby direct that such trustee or trustees shall forthwith or as soon as conveniently may be after the receipt of any such monies lay out and invest the same in their this or her monies or name in some or one of the public stocks or funds of Great Britain or at interest upon government or real or long leaseholds securities in England or Wales with power for them him or her from time to time as often as he she or they shall think proper to vary or transport
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For or into other securities of the same or the life nature as well all or any of the said last mentioned securities as also all or any of the securities upon which any part of the residue of my personal estate shall consist at my decease etub I so hereby direct that such trustees or trustee shall and do stand possessed of and interested in the residue of my personal estate and the monies to arise there from and also the year monies to arise from sale or disposition of the said machinery and other articles and real estate as aforesaid and the securities in or upon word the same respectively shall be from time to time invested and the interest dividends and annual product thereof upon and for the trusts interests and purposes and with and subject to the powers provisions and directions hereafter express and declared of amd concerning the same that is to say in trust for my said two daughters Elizabeth and Louisa on their respectively attaining the age of twenty one years or marrying whichever shall first happen in equal shares or proportions and in case of the death of either of them in my lifetime or having survived me then under the said age of twenty one years and without having married then In trust for the other of them so attaining such age or marrying and to be transferred and assigned to them respectively at such ages or times as last aforesaid for their own respective absolute benefit. But in case both my said daughters shall die in my lifetime or having survived me then under the age of twenty one years and without having married then In trust for my said son William Henry on his attaining his age of twenty one years and to be transferred and assigned to him on his attaining that age for his own absolute benefit But in case my said son shall die in my lifetime or having survived me then under the said age of twenty one years for the said Elizabeth Bennison ^and James Pratt their executors administrators
[insert on left margin] John Cutler Martha Bennison John Grave
[insert on right margin] original so original so original so
And assigns ^in equal shares and proportions for the said their own absolute benefit and to transfer and assign etll and singular the same trust premises to the said them accordingly And where as by indenture bearing the date of the thirteenth day of March one thousand eight hundred and thirty seven and made between myself on the first part the said Louisa Cutler my wife of the second part and the said James Pratt of the third part It was amongst other things agreed and declared that if Thomas Freak and Elizabeth Freak therein mentioned or either of them should die during the joint lives of myself and my said wife and such separation was then agreed upon between us and the said Louisa Cutler or I in our right should thereupon on in consequence thereof become entitled to any part proportion or share of the personal estate of the said Thomas Freak or Elizabeth Freak then and in such a case and so soon after ^such the decease of the said Thomas Freak and Elizabeth Freak or either of them do conveniently might be sure personal estate should be well and effectually vested in the said James Pratt and William Warren Hastings of Harper Street Red Lion Square in the County of Middlesex Gentlemen their executors administrators and assigns upon trust to invest the same in their o his own names or name as therein mentioned and to pay the annual product thereof for the separate use of the said Louisa Cutler during her life but subject to the proviso thereinafter mentioned for assuring sure life interest and accumulating such annual product by way of capital And from and after her deceased upon trust to pay the same to me during my life and from and after the decease of the survivor of myself and my said wife upon trust for all or any one or more of the children of the said Louisa Cutler by me (other than and except an oldest or only son for the time being as I should by deed will or codicil or any writing in the nature thereof appoint now I do hereby in exercise of the power so reserved or given to me in by the said last indenture or to be reserved and given to me in and by the settlement thereby directed to be made as aforesaid and by virtue of such power and of every other power enabling me in this behalf appoint that the trustees or trustee for the time being of such settlement shall from and after the decease of the survivor of my said wife and myself stand possessed of and interested in All and singular the trust premises for the
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Time being subject to such settlement In trust to raise thereeon or out of the annual income thereof and pay and apply to or for the benefit of my youngest daughter Mary during her life one annuity or near yearly sum of thirty pounds by equal quarterly payments and the first such payments to be considered due at the expiration of three calendar months from the decease of the survivor of my said wife and myself and subject and without prejudice to the raising of such last mentioned annuity as to all and singular the trust promises hereby appointed as aforesaid In trust for my said two daughters Elizabeth and Louisa on their respective attaining the age of twenty one years or marrying whichever shall first happen in equal shares or proportions and in case of the death of either of them under that age and without having married then in trust for the other of them so attaining such age or marrying and to be transferred and assigned to them respectively at such ages or times as last aforesaid for their own respective absolute benefit provided nevertheless and I do hereby expressly declare that notwithstanding any of the absolute gifts to my said daughters Elizabeth and Louisa or either of them or other the provisions herein before contained if they my said daughters Elizabeth and Louisa or either of them shall at any time during the life of my said wife take up their abode or become residents in the same house wit or in the immediate neighbourhood of my said wife but this restriction not to extend to any occasional visit bona fide made to my said wife in the house where she may be residing then and in any such case all and every the trusts hereintofore contained for the benefit of or relating to such daughters or daughter who shall so take up their or her abode or become resident as last aforesaid shall thenceforth cease and determine in the same manner as if and for the benefit of the same person or persons as would be entitled under or by virtue of this my will in case such daughters or daughter having survived me had died under the age of a twenty one years and without having married provided always and I do hereby direct and by virtue of every authority enabling me in this behalf appoint that it shall be lawful for the trustees or trustee of the aforesaid trust premises for the time being to receive and pay or apply the annual income of any property or any annuity to which for the time being any child or children of mine shall be either presumptively or actually entitled under or by virtue of this will as aforesaid or so much of such annual income or annuity as such trustees or trustee shall in their her or his discretion think proper for or towards the maintenance and education of such child or children in such property or shall have attained his her or their majority or respective majorities or he she or they respectively shall previously die and that if any year or years such trustees or trustee shall pay or apply for the maintenance and education of any such child or children less than the amount of the annual income of the property or of such annuity to which he she or they shall be respectively so entitled under or by virtue of this my will as aforesaid then and insuch case and so often as the same shall happen the surplus of such annual income or annuity shall be invested by such trustees or trustee in manner aforesaid and articulated and go in augmentation of and be held upon and subject to the same trust powers and provisos as are in and by this my will declared and contained of and concerning the property from or in respect of which such surplus shall have arisen or as to any such annuity for the benefit of the person or persons entitled thereto yet so nevertheless that it shall be lawful for such trustees or trustee to pay or apply the surplus of such annual income or annuity in any preceding year or years for or towards and in increase of such maintenance and duration in any subsequent year or years provided also and I do hereby further direct and appoint that it shall be lawful for such last mentioned trustees or trustee at their
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Her or his discretion at any time or times to apply and dispose of any part or parts not exceeding one [illegible] of the value of the property to which for the time being any child or children of mine shall be entitled either presumptively or actually under or by virtue of this my will in or for the benefit or advancement in the world of such child or children but without prejudice nevertheless to any of the trusts or powers aforesaid provided also and I do hereby further declare that the receipt or receipts of the trustees or trustee for the time being of this my will shall be a good discharge for all monies which shall come to their her or his hands by virtue of or under this will or for so much of such monies as in such receipt or receipts shall ^be acknowledged to have been received and that the person or persons paying any such monies and taking any such receipt or receipts as aforesaid shall not afterwards be obliged to see to the application or be in any wise answerable for the misapplication or nonapplication thereof or of any part thereof provided also and I do hereby declare and direct that in any case the trustees hereby appointed or either of them or any succeeding or other trustees or trustee to be appointed as herinafter mentioned shall die either in my lifetime or after my decease or be desirous to be discharged from or refuse neglect or become incapable or unfit to cut in the trusts or powers treated and given by this my will or shall go to reside abroad before the same trusts shall be fully performed or satisfied then and so often as the same shall happen it shall be lawful for the surviving or continuing trustees or trustee of this my will or the legal personal representative or representatives of the last surviving trustee of their her or his authority by deed to nominate and appoint any other person or persons to be a trustee or trustees in the place of the trustee of their her or his authority by deed to nominate and appoint any other person or persons to be a trustee or trustees in the place of the trustee or trustees so being desiring to be discharged or refusing neglecting or becoming incapable or unfit to act or going to reside abroad as aforesaid and that when and so often as any new trustee or trustees shall be appointed as aforesaid all the trust estate and premises for the time being shall thereupon with all convenient speed be conveyed transferred and assured in such manner as that the same may be loyally and effectually vested in such new trustee or trustees jointly with the continuing trustees or trustee of this my will if any or in case there shall be no such continuing trustees or trustee then in such new trustees or trustee only upong and for the trusts and intents and purposes in and by this my will expressed and declared if and continuing the same or such of them as shall be then undertermined and capable of taking effect and that all and every such new trustees or trustee shall and may in all respects act and assist in the execution of the trusts to which he or they shall be so appointed as fully and effectually and with all the same powers and authorities as if he or they had been originally hereby appointed to be such trustees or trustee for the time being of this my will shall be chargeable only for so much money as they she or he shall actually receive by virtue of or under this my will notwithstanding such trustees joining in receipts or other acts for conformity and that they shall be answerable for their own respective acts receipts and defaults only and that they respectively shall not be answerable for any loss or damage which may happen in the execution of any of the trusts of this my will or in relation thereto unless the same shall happen by or through their wilful default respectively and also that such trustees respectively shall and may by and out of any monies which shall come to their respective hands under or by virtue of this my will retain to and reimburse themselves respectively and allow to their respective cotrustee and cotrustees all costs damages and expenses which they respectively shall suffer or be put into or which shall be due to them or any of them or amount or in consequence of the trusts hereby in them [illegible] or
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Her reposed or the management or execution thereof or otherwise howsoever relating thereto and particularly that the said James Pratt or any surviving trustee of this my will who shall be a Solicitor shall be entitled to transact all professional business [illegible] with such trust and to retain or receive all professional charges as such Solicitor notwithstanding his being such trustee And I do hereby appoint the said Elizabeth Bennison and James Pratt Executrix and Executor of this my will And I do hereby also appoint them and the survivor of them Guardians and Guardian of all my children ^except my daughter Mary who shall be under age at my decease In witness whereof I the said John Cutler the testator have this my last will and testament contained
[right margin] John Cutler Martha Bennison John Grave
In eleven sheets of paper set my hand and seal that is to say my hand to the first ten sheets thereof and my hand and seal to this eleventh and last sheet this eleventh day of June in the year of our Lord One Thousand eight hundred and thirty nine John Cutler Signed sealed published and declared by the said John Cutler the testator as and for this last will and testament in the presence of us present at the same time who in his presence at his request and in the presence of each other have hereinto subscribed our names as witnesses- Martha Bennison Leigh Street Burton Crescent John Cleaver 11 York Place Windsor
This is a Codicil of the last will and testament of me John Cutler of Eton in the County of Burks Esquire which will is dated the eleventh day of June one thousand eight hundred and thirty nine whereas in exercise of the power reserved or given to me in and by a certain incentive bearing date their thirteenth day of March one thousand eight hundred and thirty seven and made between myself of the first part my wife Louisa Cutler of the second part and James Pratt of the third part or to be reserved and given to me in and by the settlement thereby directed to be made and by virtue of such power and of every other power enabling me in this behalf appoint that the trustee or trustees for the time being of such settlement on all from and after the decease of the survivor of my said wife and myself stand possessed of and interests in the trust premises mentioned in the said indenture subject to such settlement In trust to raise thereout or out of the annual income thereof and pay and apply to or for the benefit of my youngest daughter Mary during her life one annuity or near yearly sum of thirty pounds by equal quarterly payments Now I do hereby revoke such appointment or bequest of the said annuity of thirty pounds to my said daughter Mary for her life and instead thereof and in exercise of the power reserved to me in and by the said indenture or to be reserved or given to me in and by the said settlement thereby directed to be made and by virtue of such power and every other power enabling me in this behalf appoint that the trustees or trustee for the time being of such settlement shall from and after the decease of the survivor of my said wife and myself stand possessed of and interested in the trust premises mentioned in the said indenture subject to such settlement In trust to raise thereout the sum of fifty pounds and pay the same to my youngest daughter Mary on her attaining the age of twenty one years or day of marriage or in their discretion to apply the same towards her maintenance or education In witness whereof the said John Cutler have hereunto set my hand and seal the fifth day of August one thousand eight hundred and forty two- John Cutler Signed sealed and published and declared by the said John Cutler as and for a codicil to his last will and testament in the presence of us who at his request in his presence and in the presence of each other have subscribed our names as witnesses hereto Henry Drye Miller Eton Bucks John Cleare Collector of Water Rates, 11 York Place Windsor
This is a codicil to the last will and testament of John Cutler of Eton in the County of Buckingham Esquire whereas by my last will
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And testament bearing date the eleventh day of June one thousand eight hundred and thirty nine I have appointed Elizabeth Bennison the wife of William Bennison of Regent Square in the County of Middlesex Esquire and James Pratt of Wootten Bassett in the county of Wilts Gentleman trustees Executrix and Executor of my said last will and testament Now I do hereby revoke the appointment of the said Elizabeth Bennison as one of such trustees and as such executrix and I do appoint the said William Bennison jointly with the said James Pratt an executor and trustee of my said last will and testament in the place of the said Elizabeth Bennison And I do hereby confirm the appointment of the said Elizabeth Bennison as one of the guardians of my children except my daughter Mary In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this seventh day of February in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and forty three – John Cutler signed sealed published and declared by the said John Cutler as and for a codicil to his last will and testament in the presence of us who at his request in his presence and in the presence of each other have hereto subscribed our names as witnesses Martha Bennison, Sarah Foard
Proved at London with two codicils the 12th May 1843 before the Worshipful John Dandbury Doctor of Laws and Surrogate by the oaths of James Pratt Esquire the Executor named in the will and William Bennison Esquire the Executor named in the second codicil to whom Administration was granted having been first sworn to administer.

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