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This is the last Will and Testament of me John Harris of Middlecroft in the Parish of Ashwater in the County of Devon being of sound mind memory and understanding do make as follows (that is to say) I nominate and appoint Samuel Bassett of Holsworthy auctioneer Executor in Trust of this my Will and Guardian of my several children during their respective minorities and I first direct that all my just debts Funeral and Testamentary expenses be fully paid and discharged with all convenient speed after my decease by my Executor in Trust and in the first place I subject my personal Estate and if the same should be insufficient my Real Estate with payment thereof after the mortgage money and Interest due thereon be fully paid and discharged.
I also give, devise, and bequeath all the fee simple and Inheritance of and in all that Freehold Estate called Middlecroft with Appurtenances situate in the Parish of Ashwater aforesaid unto the same Samuel Bassett after discharging my Mortgage money and Interest due thereon Upon Trust nevertheless with full liberty to sell assign let at Rack Rent Transfer or otherwise dispose of the same as he shall deem most beneficial for my beloved Wife and Children after my decease and also upon the said Trust I give and bequeath unto Ann Harris my beloved wife the yearly sum of Five Pounds of good and lawful money current in England free of any deduction whatsoever during her natural life or so long as she lives chaste or remains a Widow to be paid out of the said Estate called Middlecroft as long as it remains in the tenor and possesion of my Executor, but if the said Esate is sold, my Will and meaning is that my Executor in Trust herin before mentioned shall reserve the lawful interest of one Hundred Pound for the sole use and benefit of my wife so long as she remains a Widow lives chaste or during her natural life to be paid to her by my Executor in Trust hereby appointed by her half yearly payments, the first to commence six months after my decease.
All the rest residue and remainder of my goods chattles money securities for money Personal Estate and Effects whatsoever and wheresoever not herein before disposed of I give unto the said Samuel Bassett upon Trust for my beloved children Jane, Samuel, Priscilla and James and my will and meaning is that my sons shall have a double portion to that of my daughters and in the like manner should any be born lawfully begotton by me hereafter and upon further Trust that he the said Samuel Bassett shall expend the sum or sums of money towards the care support and apparel education of my said children as he shall think necessary until they arrive in ? on to the age of twenty one years or day of marriage and should either of my said children happen to die before he or they arrive at the age of Twenty one years his/her or their portion shall be divided respectively amongst the amongst the survivors as herein before described and further I declare that the receipts of my said Executor in Trust shall effectively discharge any purchaser or other person paying any money under this my will or the Trust thereof and that my Trustee shall have the full power to submit matters to arbitration take securities Bonds or notes or give time for payment of any debts and that the said Samuel Bassett whom I have appointed whole and sole Executor of this my Will may reimburse himself of all costs and expenses incurred in or in relation to my Will or the Trust thereof –and lastly revoking all former Wills I declare this to be my last Will and Testament –In witness whereof I have to this my last Will and Testament written on one sheet of paper set my hand and seal this sixteenth day of November one Thousand eight hundred and forty two –John Harris-
Signed by the said John Harris the testator as his last Will and Testament in the presence of us being present at the same time who at his request in his presence and in the presence of each other subscribe our names as Witnesses-----------------------------John Batten
The mark of James X Perkin----------------The mark of Anne X Crocker
Proved 1st March 1849 in the Principal Registry of the Lord Bishop of Exeter by Samuel Bassett the sole Executor ----------------------Testator died 3rd July 1846---------------Effects sworn under £50.
Source: Devon Record Office Estate Duty Office Wills [1078/IRW/H]
John Harris of Ashwater, Devon
Sylvia has been researching her Harris family for many years and kindly sent her gt-grandfather's will. If you can offer any information abt her lineage, she would be delighted to hear from you