Monday, March 16, 2009

The will of Jane Hughan Dalzell, 1826

Jane Hughan started life as 'Jean' Hughan, the two names being very interchangeable in Scotland. She was born in Kirkmabreck in the late 1760s, the only surviving daughter of seven children born to Creetown merchant Alexander Hughan and Margaret Gerran.She was very young when her father died in 1771, and grew up in Creetown with her mother and two brothers, Thomas and Alexander.
Jane lost her younger brother Alexander and her mother Margaret within months of each other in 1810. The following year she must have surprised every one when she married James Dalzell...the 'Gentleman's Magazine' of February 1811 reported two Hughan weddings:
"Feb 1: Thomas Hughan Esq, M.P., of Devonshire Place, to the eldest daughter of the late Robert Milligan Esq of Hampstead.
Lately, at Malling, james Dalzell, Esq, of Armagh, to Miss Hughan, sister of Thomas Hughan Esq, M.P. of Devonshire Place."
Jane was well and truly into her forties by 1811, and not surprisingly there were no children born from this union.Jane doted on her young nephew, however...fatherless Thomas Hughan had been born just months after Jane's marriage, arriving two days after the sudden death of his father.
When Jane wrote her will in 1826, 15 year old Thomas was the major beneficiary. His aunt didn't pass away for another ten years or so, during which time she had made minor changes to her will with the addition of a codicil.
The bequests in her original will were as follows:
"I, Jane Dalzell, formerly Hughan, wife of James Dalzell Esq, late Staff Surgeon on the Irish establishment, now residing at Dumfries;;
...For the love and affection which I have for Thomas Hughan Esq now of Airds, my nephew, only son of the deceased Thomas Hughan Esq of Airds, my brother German, and for the respect and gratitude which I owe to the memory of my said brother and for the regard to the other persons afternamed....
....I convey to the said Thomas Hughan, my nephew, all lands, tenements and other estates now belonging and owing and which shall belong or be owing to me at the time of my death to said Thomas Hughan...
...the sum of six thousand pounds belonging to me which by the settlements executed by my said husband and me previous to and in contemplation of our marriage bearing date March 1st, 1811, was vested in trustees to pay the interest thereof unto my said husband during his life for his own use and benefit.
The sum of six thousand pounds was some time ago vested in the purchase of £7,476-15-0 three per cent consolidated Government stock in the name of Patrick Campbell Esq and Robert Milligan Dalzell Esq, merchant, in London...
...Thomas Hughan, my nephew, sole executor.
Legacies...£200 to Catherine Campbell, daughter of the deceased Matthew Campbell Esq for whom I entertained a sincere regard. The like sum of £200 to Mary Campbell, also the daughter of the said Matthew Campbell and wife of the Reverend Doctor Gow(??)
...£100 to Mrs Catherine Ferguson now ___son, widow, residing in Dover Street, London
...£100 to the poor of Kirkmabreck,being my native parish.
..the burden of paying an annuity of £100 sterling yearly to Miss Elizabeth Stirling, Miss Magdalen Stirling and Miss Jean Stirling, my cousins...
...and in case of the death of one or any two of them then to the survivor or survivors or failing all of them to John Stirling, accountant in the Royal Bank of Scotland, their brother...
Signed: June 1, 1826.
Added September 5, 1831.
My considering the circumstances of my nephew, I have resolved to alter some of the particulars of the legacies...
...£50 to Mary Campbell
...£150 to Catherine Campbell
...I revoke the legacy to Mrs Catherine Ferguson
...I revoke the substitution of John Stirling to his sisters in the annuity bequeathed to them.
Will proved: London, October 4, 1836.

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