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Summary of

Will of The Right Honorable John Baron Rolle of Stevenstone, Devon

Proved 1 August 1842

© Crown Copyright

PROB 11/1967, Records of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, 12 Quire Numbers: 551-600

Transcribed by Elizabeth Howard

This is the last will and testament of me John Lord Rolle of Stevenstone in the county of Devon.
I give and bequeath my dwelling house situate in Upper Grosvenor Street in the county of Middlesex and all my estate and interest therein to my dear wife Louisa Lady Rolle her heirs administrators and assigns to and for her and their own sole and separate and absolute use and benefit together with the furniture thereof and all wines and liquors which shall be therein at the time of my decease and I direct that a sufficient quantity of plate for her establishment therein in her discretion for her use during her lifetime shall be left therein or in any other mansion house she may inhabit in London in case of her disposing of my said dwelling house I direct that as soon as conveniently may be after my decease the remaining family plate which shall be in my dwelling house in Upper Grosvenor St afsd shall be removed to my house at Bicton in the county of Devon for the use of my said wife in case of her residency there or for such person as shall be entitled to my Devonshire estate under the limitations herin after contained concerning the same I direct that several pictures which shall be in my said house in Upper Grosvenor St at the time of my death shall remain for the use of my said dear wife Louisa Lady Rolle for her lifetime if she shall so long keep the said dwelling house but on her disposing thereof (unless she shall inhabit some other mansion house in London) or on her decease the same pictures shall be removed to Bicton for the like purpose as before directed respecting my plate. I give and bequeath to my said dear wife Louisa Lady Rolle two thousand pounds to be paid to her immediately on my decease and I also give and bequeath to her all such fortune as I shall have received in my life time or in any manner become entitled to in right of my said marriage to her for her own absolute use and benefit. I also give to my said dear wife Louisa Lady Rolle and bequeath to her the clear income or yearly rent charge of six thousand pounds to be paid and payable to her by even and equal half yearly payments for and during ther term of her natural life the first payment thereof to commence and be made from and immediately after the day of my decease and charge the same on my several manors messuages lands tenements and hereditaments in the counties of Devon, Dorset and Somerset together with a proportionate part of such annuity or clear yearly rent charge which shall come from the last half yearly day of payment preceding the day of the decease of the said Louisa Lady Rolle and I do hereby direct and declare my will to be that the trustees hereinafter named of such of my said estates in the said counties of Devon, Dorset and Somerset shall stand seized and possessed of the said manors, messuages, lands, tenements and hereditaments to their and their heirs upon Trust in the first place out of the annual rents and profits arising from the same to pay unto and to the use of my said dear wife Louisa Lady Rolle such clear annuity or rent charge of six thousand pounds at the time and in the manner hereinbefore mentioned and declared ........I direct that the same establishment as is kept up in my life time shall be continued for twelve months after my decease at such of my said dwelling houses of Bicton or in Stevenstone as my said wife shall be desirous of and that she may and remain there at her will and pleasure during that time. I also give and bequeath to my said dear wife Louisa Lady Rolle all her jewels, rings and trinkets and ornaments of the person which were hers at the time of her marriage or which have been or may be presented to her by any other persons or which have been or may be purchased by her use of her own private money. I also give her use of all the family jewels and of such jewels and rings and trinkets as have been purchased with my money during her life time ...........and being desirous of the keeping up the establishment at both such my houses at Bicton and Stevenstone and to promote the comfort of my said wife Louisa Lady Rolle after my decease I do hereby declare my will to be that my said wife shall and may if she shall think fit and be desirous of so doing to continue to enjoy my said mansion house at Bicton together with gardens, shrubberies, rosary slopes and the orchards adjoining the slopes the meadow called the slaughter house meadow and the meadow nearest the Nursery the use of the park with the deer therein to be kept up as in my life time ........and hereby give and bequeath to my said wife Louisa Lady Rolle the further sum of two thousand pounds yearly for the purpose of keeping up such establishment during the time she shall so continue to live in my said mansion house at Bicton .........and by virtue of my right and seizin therein as in pursuance and exercise and execution of all powers and authorities thereto in this behalf....give and devise the same unto the Right Honorable Charles Rodolphus Trefusis Baron Clinton Edmund Pollexfen Bastard of Ritley in the county of Devonshire afsd esq Zachary Hammett Drake of Springfield in the said county esq and Harry James of the City of Exeter Attorney at Law and their heirs, to hold the same hundreds, manors, advowsons, reversions, messuages, farms, lands, tenements, tythes, hereditaments and premises unto and to the use of the said (Trustees)......as to all such of my last mentioned manors and other hereditament as are situate in the county of Cornwall upon trust that they the said (Trustees) shall and do as soon as conveniently may be after my decease make sale and dispose of the same either by public auctioni or private contract and shall lay out the money thereby arising in some productive fund and therewith construct and finish a good and sufficient harbour for vessels at Beer and obtain any sanction of Parliament for so doing .........and in default of the heirs of my body for my two sisters Anne Rolle and Lucilla Rolle during their joint natural lifetimes ..........my said trustees shall and thereout keep up the establishment at Hudscott with the fields and lawn there now in the occupation of my said sisters and the establishment at the house and premises now occupied by my sisters in London with the same or the like number of servants and exactly the same manner and defray and discharge all the expenses of housekeeping and otherwise for my said sister Lucilla. And I particularly desire that Miss Ann Cutcliffe and Miss Harriet Cutcliffe will in case of my said sister Lucilla being the survivor of my said two sisters reside with my said sister Lucilla And I desire that the steward for the time being at Stevenstone shall pay into the hands of the said Zachary Hammett Drake .....out of the rents of my manor and lands at Hudscott such sum or sums of money as has or have been usually paid by him in order that the said ZHD may apply the same in the case afsd for the support and comfort of my said sister Lucilla and for the purpose of paying a compliment of one hundred pounds a year to each of them the said Ann and Harriet Cutcliffe so long as they shall respectively reside with my said sister Lucilla ...........(and failing the male heirs of the two sisters) In trust for the honorable Mark George Kerr Trefusis the second son of the sais Charles Rodolph Trefusis Lord Clinton for and during the term of his natural life and after his decease In trust for the first son of the body of the said Mark Trefusis and the heirs male of the said first son and for want thereof In trust for the second third fourth and all and every other the son and sons of the said Mark Trefusis .........and in want or failure of such sons In trust for the third and every subsequently born son of Charles Rodolph Trefusis Lord Clinton who shall be born in my life time ..........and for want or on failure of such issue In Trust for the honorable Vere Paulett second son of the Right Honorable John Earl Poulett for and during the term of his natural life ....and for all and every other son and sons of the said Vere Paulett ....provided always nevertheless and I do hereby express direct and require that every person becoming entitled to the said rents and annual profits of my said last mentioned hundreds, manors, and estates, shall during his or her life take and use the name and Arms of Rolle instead of his family name and that neither of my mansions of Stevenstone and at Bicton unless prevented by Parliamentary duties or the service of the Crown and that an establishment shall be kept and in case of minority by my trustees .....so neglecting or making default shall absolutely cease and ....my trustees shall be siezed of the said hundreds, manors ........and I direct that the annual sum of four thousand pounds from the rents and profits of my said estates shall be paid by half yearly payments to the Guardian or Guardians of such infant during his minority ...for the purpose of keeping up my several mansion houses, parks (the usual number of deer is to be always kept) and pleasure grounds in Devonshire ......and I declare that this power shall extend to the granting of building leases with quantities of ground attached to such intended buildings according to each building one acre but I direct and declare that no lease shall be granted under such powers of any cottages or buildings in the parishes of Bicton or St Giles in the Wood or within one mile of my mansion houses of Bicton or Stevenstone .....I declare it shall be lawful of my trustees ..to fell such timber growing or to grow upon any of my estates afsd as from its age ought to be felled except ornamental timber near or in view of any of my mansion houses .........And I direct my trustees as soon as conveniently may be dispose of and sell all my property in the Bahama Islands ....and to lay out the same in the purchase of lands tenements lying near or contiguous to some one or other of my manors of Bicton Stevenstone or Hudscott .

And touching the Advowson of the parish and parish church of Bicton afsd I direct and enjoin my said trustees that if any vacancy shall occur in the Rectory of Bicton by the death of the present or any future incumbent during the life of my said dear wife Louisa Lady Rolle my said trustees shall present such person to such Rectory as the incumbent thereof as the said Louisa Lady Rolle shall nominate from time to time and I also direct that the ordering and disposal of the appointment of the Officiating Clergyman of my Chapel at Budleigh Salterton and also the displacing of such clergyman shall be in the person who shall for the time being be entitled under this my will to the possession of my said Mansion of Bicton .

And I do hereby direct that the household goods and furniture linen china glass books prints and pictures in my houses at Bicton and Stevenstone and Hudscott and such pictures as are directed to be removed to Bicton and all fixtures in the said houses and books and fixtures in the Library Room at Stevenstone detached from that house and all my plate except as hereinbefore bequeathed shall remain in my said houses and Library Room .

I give the following annuities to commence from the time of my decease and be payable half yearly. To my own servant John Cornish if living with me at the time of my death £60 a year. and also one year`s wages to be paid immediately on my decease To my late dear late wife`s footman Henry Hamly if living with me £60 a year also one year`s wages To Miss Elizabeth Fisher dau of the late Rector of Little Torrington £5 a year. To Henry Overton my groom £30 a year and his cottage rent free during his natural life, To William Beavis my coachman if living with me at my decease £30 a year and his cottage rent free during his natural life. To William Palmer my present under coachman £30 a year. To John Beavis son of the said William Beavis £20 a year. To Richard Perry of Bicton £20 a year and after his decease to his wife if she survives him for her life and their cottage rent free during their lives. To James Hill my dear wife`s footman £20 a year. To William Clements £20 a year. To Anna Plimsoll now living at Bicton £100 a year for her separate and peculiar use and disposal so that no husband with whom she may hereafter marry shall have any controlling power over the same ...........To Charles Mountjoy if living with me at my decease £5 a year. To James Dunn if living with me £5 a year. I give to each of my dear sisters servants following Mary Waring, Mary Farrar, and Henry Knottley, £20 a year during their natural lives if they shall be living with my said sisters at my decease. And if my said sister Lucilla shall survive my said sister Anne, and if the said Ann Cutcliffe and Harriet Cutcliffe or either of them shall have continued to live with my said sister Lucilla to the time of her decease and they shall in the judgement of my said trustees have conducted themselves or herself towards my said sister Lucilla with proper kindness and attention then I give to them or each of them a clear annuity of £200 each. I give to the Governors of the North Devon Dispensary at Barnstaple, £100. I give £500 to the treasurer of the Devon and Exeter Hospital towards carrying on the Charitable designs of that institution And I earnestly desire that the annual proceeds of £100 may be applied as they shall arise for providing Trusses for Ruptured persons residing more than 20 miles from the City of Exeter upon the production in each case of a certificate from two medical practitioners. I give £100 to the Governors of the Somerset and Taunton Hospital in consequence of the great attention and skill shewn there in the perfect cure of Eliza Cock of Bicton who had been previously discharged as not cured from the Devon and Exeter Hospital. I give £100 to the Eye Infirmary at Exeter. The sum of £50 to the Governors for the establishment at Exeter for restoring drowned persons the same for the benefit of the Asylum for Lunatics at Exeter and the sum of £100 to the Governors of the Exeter Dispensary. I give £600 to my said Trustees In Trust to pay and apply the annual proceeds of one moiey or half part thereof to the Arch Deacon to be by him applied for the benefit of the widows and children of deceased clergymen who shall have resided within the Archdeaconry of Exeter and within the Archdeaconry of Barnstaple afsd. I desire that rings be given in the discretion of my said dear wife Louisa Lady Rolle to my Trustees my relations and any of my particular friends. To my sisters Anne and Lucilla Rolle £1,000 each. To Margaret Walrond of Bradfield £100. To Sophia Stevens and Louisa Anne Stevens the two daughters of the late Thomas Stevens of Winscott, esq, £1,000 a piece and to Ann Eleanor Moore Stevens and Louisa Julia Moore Stevens the two daughters of the Ven John Stevens Archdeacon of Exeter £1,000 a piece To Miss Mary Maria Chichester £300 and to her father Arthur Chichester, esq of Stokelave near Chudleigh £100. To the Rev John John Horndon son of the Rev David Horndon of Bicton and to each of the two daughters of the said David Horndon 19 guineas a piece. To Captain Cole formerly of the South Devon Militia £100. To Thomas Lanpeer my late agent in the Bahamas £20. To Mrs Stapleton the wife of the Rev Ambrose Stapleton Vicar of East Budleigh £100 for her great attention to my late wife. To the said Zachary Hammett Drake, £100. To the said Harry James £100. To Mr John Daw my Steward as a mark of my approbation of his honor and integrity £200. To Elizabeth Durant, spinster, my housekeeper at Bicton £40. To Elizabeth Denslow widow my housekeeper at Stevenstone £40 To Richard Braginton my Steward at Stevenstone £200. To William Braginton one of his sons £40 To William Lane my gamekeeper £50 and further as long as he continues in the service under my dear wife Louisa Lady Rolle the house he lives in rent free. To Sergeant Watkins my gamekeeper 19 guineas. To Ann Ellison spinster my servant at my house in London £40. To John Cush joiner at Bicton 19 guineas. To Hannah Coxe and Grace Jarman my sisters servants 19 guineas each. I give to every other male and female servant one year`s wages I also give to every labourer employed by me except the before mentioned who have been in my service for tweny years and under thirty years £5. To the poor of Bicton £20. and among the like of the parish of St Giles in the Wood near Great Torrington. I also give the sum of £50 to the poor of Chettlehampton, and the sum of £30 to the poor of my Tithing of Beer. I direct my executors to lay out £1,000 in the purchase of useful plate for the use of the occupiers of my Mansion House at Stevenstone in lieu of the family plate to be removed to Bicton on my decease for my wife. I desire to be buried in the same vault and in the same private manner with my late dear wife and that the same sum may be given to the fourteen labourers who shall carry me to my grave. I direct my executors to in this my will named to continue my subscriptions annually as at present to the different parochial schools to which I now so and I direct that the Patronage of the Livery Dole in Heavitree and the four almshouses and two schools in Otterton shall be in the owner of my Mansion House at Bicton and that these almshouses and schools be kept up in their present state at the expense of my trust estate...and so with regard to the Almshouses in the parishes of Great Torrington and St Giles in the Wood the patronage shall be in the owner of my Mansion House in Stevenstone ....

[There follows paragraphs concerning the deaths, resignations and appointments of the Trustees]

Signed sealed published and declared by me the said John Lord Rolle 3nd Nov 1837. Witnesses Thos Tucker, Chas Coldridge, Edmund ? of Exeter.

This is a codicil to my last will and testament of the 2nd Nov 1837. And although Henry Overington my late groom has now left my service I declare that he shall have the same annuity of £30 payable in the same manner and his cottage rent free during his natural life and if he had continued to live with me. And I direct that the legacy of £100 which I have given to the said Zachary Hammett Drake shall be increased to £300 and the said annuity give to Anna Plimsol shall be increased to £200. Signed 9th April 1838. Witnesses John Hallett John Pyne.

This is another codicil to the will of me John Lord Rolle, I give unto my dear wife Louisa Lady Rolle £5,000 instead of £2,000 to be paid immediately on my decease and to Miss Mary Maria Chichester £500 instead of £300 a year, to the widow of the late Richard Perry and as to the cottage is is upon condition that she shall not let it. I revoke the annuity of £20 a year to James Hill footman to Lady Rolle. I also revoke the annuity of £20 to Henry Knottley my sisters servant and give him an annuity of £10 a year for his in lieu thereof if he shall be living with my said sisters or either of them at the time of their decease. Signed 27th Dec 1838. Witnesses Henry Hill, John Copplestone.

I John Lord Rolle make and declare this to be a fourth codicil to my will. I hereby give and bequeath to my dear wife Louisa Lady Rolle a further annuity or clear yearly sum of £2,000 during her natural life in addition to the provisions made for her by my said will to be charged and chargeable on my said estates in like manner as the annuities or yearly rent charges of £6,000 and £2,000 are serviced by my said will. And I give and bequeath to Mrs Drake present wife of my trustee Zachary Hammett Drake £200 for her separate use and to my faithful servant John Cornish an annuity of £200 a year during his life if he shall be living with me at the time of my decease instead of £60 a year. Signed 6th Dec 1839 Witness Henry Hill, John Copplestone.

This is another codicil of the will of me John Lord Rolle I give an annuity of £40 a year to my servant John Moore during his life if he shall conduct himself during the life of my dear wife to her satisfaction but not otherwise And I direct that the field which is now in lease to Mrs Simcoe near the Preventive House at Budleigh Salterton and is now occupied by Mr Hunter shall not be sold or leased or the lease thereof ? to Mr Simcoe or any of her family by my Trustees. Signed 1st Dec 1840 .Witnesses John Hallett, John Pyne.

This is another codicil to my will Whereas I have thereby devised my property in Cornwall upon Trust for sale and invested the purchase monies to be applied in and about certain works at Beer in the county of Devon It is now my will that such purchase monies shall not be applied but that if my said property in Cornwall shall not be sold in my lifetime the purchase monies to arise from the sale thereof shall in the first place be applied tin payment of any sums which I may leave undischarged and to which I may be liable in and about the construction of the Sea Wall and works now contracted for by me to be formed at Exmouth in the said county and subject thereto I direct that such purchase monies shall be set apart by my said Trustees in the public funds to accumulate to to be from time to time laid out by themin the purchase of freehold lands or of leasehold lands held for any long terms which ...shall be in contiguous or in some or one of the parishes adjacent to my lands of Bicton. Signed 18th August 1841. Witnesses Francis Tilke, John Pyne.

This is a codicil to the will of me John Lord Rolle of Stevenstone in the county of Devon Whereas John Cornish therein named hath left my service now instead of the provision made for him by my said will or any codicils thereto I hereby give him an annuity of £60 a year during his lifetime although he has left my service. Signed 15th Sept 1841. Witnesses Robt Murch, John Murch.

This is another codicil to the will of me John Lord Rolle I revoke the legacy given by my said will to Mrs Stapleton the wife of the Rev Ambrose Stapleton vicar of East Budleigh Signed 26th Nov 1841. Witnesses Wilmot H Palk, Rector of Ashcombe, Charles Tucker, Harpford, gentleman.

This is a codicil to my will. I give and bequeath unto my housekeeper Maria Vickers an annuity of £30 a year during her life and to Lavinia Hawkins formerly in my service £20 a year during her life and to John Morris enough to make up £50 a year in consideration of their attention and services to me. Signed 26th March 1842. Witnesses G H Kempe, Wm Dyer.

In the Goods of the Rt Hon John Lord Rolle Baron Rolle deceased Appeared personally John Copplestone of Otterton, Malster and made oath that he is one of the subscribed witnesses to a codicil to the last will and testament of the Rt Hon John Lord Rolle late of Stevenstone and Bicton deceased .....thereupon attested and subscribed the said codicil in the presence of the said testator. John Copplestone. 14th July 1842 before John Moore Stevens M A Vicar of Otterton, commissioner.

Proved at London with 9 codicils 1st Aug 1842 before the Judge by the oaths of the Rt Hon Charles Rodolph Trefusis Lord Clinton, Zachary Hammett Drake, esq, Harry James, esq, the surviving executors to whom administration was granted.

Last updated - Brian Randell, 7 Jun 2011

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