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Mary Fletcher's Last Will and Testament

The will here is transcribed from the copy at GCAH, which is in the hand of Mary Tooth, and was made by Mary Fletcher's own desire, attested by her handwritten and signed statement at the end of the mansuscript. This copy matches that entered and proved, to be found at PRO: 11/1577. There are several interesting aspects to this will. First of all, it  is noteworthy that her largest legacy of 2,000 pounds was left to Mary Tooth, her friend and presumptive successor to Mary Fletcher's minsitry at Madeley. Amongst those to receive her attention was the Rev. John Eyton, incumbent of Wellington, who had been one of those Church of England men to sit gladly under her preaching in the converted tithe barn at Madeley. John Francis De la Flechere, it may be assumed, was her husband's nephew who came to live with her after her husband's death, and with whom she carried on a correspondence once he returned to Switzerland.

The Transcript:


This is the last will of me Mary Fletcher or De la Flechere, of Madeley in the County of Salop widow.


My Will is that all my just Debts & Funeral expenses be paid, & I desire that my Body may be buried in as plain a manner as that of my dear Husband, & in the same grave with him in token of my firm beleif [sic] that thro’ the mercy of God in Christ Jesus we shall together receive a blessed resurrection.


As to my worldly property I dispose of it as follows, to my Nephew Samuel Bosanquet Esqr fifty pounds, to my Newphew Charles Bosanquet Esqr fifty pounds, to my Nephew John Barnard Bosanquet Esqr fifty pounds, to my Neice [sic] Franks Daughter to my sister Gaussen fifty pounds, to my Neice [sic] Whittingham Daughter to my above mentioned sister (in consideration of her great losses & my sisters Legacy to me) I give to her Eleven hundred pounds as her own property, notwithstanding her marriage & her own receipt to be sufficient


I give to my Nephew John Francis De la Flechere of Nyon in Switzerland the sum of two hundred pounds & hereby acknowledge that the [illeg. word] Being canceled by my own hand I have no claim of any sort in them or theirs & I am glad of this occasion to express my sinsibility [sic] of the regard & friendship I have ever experienced from the family of my dearly beloved Husband.


to Mary Tooth who hath lived with me fifteen years & is a tender friend & useful right hand, I give the sum of two thousand pounds as her own right & property, also all the Goods, clothes, money or whatever else may be my property in Madeley at the time of my death, also my papers to be left in her hands as I know she will faithfully take care of them.


to Ann Tripp of Leeds (if alife) the sum of fifty pounds


to my much esteemed friend the Revd Mr Eyton 20 pounds as a token of friendship.


to Rosamond Tooth sister to my dear friend Mary Tooth 20 pounds.


to Mr. David Davis Junr for kindness shewn to me 10 pounds


to his sister Miss Davis ten pounds.


Miriam Perks Daughter to George Perks five pounds & the Desk made use of by her Godmother.


to Mary Fennel (now Colly[1]) five pounds.


to Francess Dyas Daughter to Edward Dyas five pounds.


and whatever may be of the Fixtures in the vicarage of Madeley either paid for by my Husband on his enterance [sic] or added by him or me according to a schedule [illeg. word] to this will, I leave for the benefit of this house because it was the desire of my dear Husband Mr Fletcher that the House he had so long enjoyed by favour of the Patrons shou’d not be the worse but the better for his possession.


and now feeling nothing in my soul but love to all the world, & rejoicing that my treasure is on the other side the Grave I lastly revoke all other wills & nominate my three Nephews Samuel Bosanquet Esqr Charles Bosanquet Esqr John Barnard Bosanquet Esqr as Executors of this my last will written with my own hand[2] this Fourth day of May 1815 & declare this to be my last will in the presence of the under signed witnesses. the names of the witnesses are George Mortimer & William Purton.


This is an exact coppy of my Last will wh I wrote with my own hand[3] on the fourth day of May 1815 wh coppy has been taken by my order this third day of october [sic] 1815 therefore should the other be Lost this is my Last will witness my hand

                        Mary Fletcher




        William Purton

        Etty Hurd


[1] i.e. Colley. Mary Fennel married Richard Colley, of Brosely, Shropshire, 11 Oct. 1812. Saint Leonard, Broseley Marriage Register, SRO.

[2] The will is actually not in the hand of Mary Fletcher, but rather that of Mary Tooth, who often served as her amanuensis when Mrs Fletcher was unable to write clearly due to ill health.

[3] This section of the will is in the hand of MF.

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