John Middlehurst (Abt. 1740 – 1803) is one of my 6 times great grandfathers, via his daughter, Elizabeth Middlehurst (Abt. 1770 – 1832)
Elizabeth was one of 8 children of John, the others being Thomas, William, Alice, Mary, Ann, John and Martha. The family were Catholic.
John was a farmer who lived in the Windle area of what is now known as St. Helens, Lancashire, England.
He died on the 18th August 1803, and was buried at Windleshaw Chantry.
Unusually for wills of this time that i’ve seen so far, there are paragraphs, commas and full stops.
I John Middlehurst Senior of Windle in the County of Lancaster, Farmer, being of perfect Mind, and Memory, make this my last Will, and Testament.
I order, and direct, that all just Debts due from me, together with my Funeral Expenses, and the Probate of this, my last Will and Testament, shall be first discharged and paid out of whatever Estate and Effects I may happen to die possessed of.
The Rest, Residue, and Remainder of whatever Estate and Effects I may happen to die possessed of, I give and bequeath to my Wife Mary Middlehurst, to enjoy the same during the Term of her natural Life, provided she keep herself unmarried, but not otherwise.
And, at the Death of my said Wife, or if she marry again, then at the Time of such Marriage, I give and bequeath the Rest, Residue and Remainder of whatever Estate and Effects I may happen to die possessed of, to my Son Thomas Middlehurst, of Windle aforesaid, Delf Man, my Grandaughter Mary Middlehurst, of Windle aforesaid (who is the Daughter of my Son William Middlehurst of Manchester, in the said County, Blacksmith), my Daughter Mary Boardman, Wife of Thomas Boardman, of Windle aforesaid, Farmer, my DaughterElizabeth Molsdale, of Parr in the said County, Widow, my Daughter Anne Birchall, Wife of William Birchall, of Sutton in the said County, Farmer, my Son John Middlehurst, of Windle aforesaid, Delf Man, my Daughter Alice Middlehurst, of Windle aforesaid, and my Daughter Martha Middlehurst, of Windle aforesaid to be divided amongst them the said Thomas Middlehurst, Mary Middlehurst, Mary Boardman, Elizabeth Molsdale, Anne Birchall, John Middlehurst, Alice Middlehurst, and Martha Middlehurst, equally, Share and Share alike, but with this Distinction, whereas my said Son Thomas Middlehurst, my said Son William Middlehurst (Father of the within mentioned Mary Middlehurst) my said Daughter Elizabeth Molsdale, and my said Daughter Anne Birchall have severally had certain Sums of Money from me, I order and direct that the said Sums of Money shall be deemed as a Part of my Estate, and Effects, and whatevermy said Son Thomas Middlehurst, my said Daughter Elizabeth Molsdale, and my said Daughter Anne Birchall have had from me shall be stopped out of whatever their Shares may amount to, by such Division as aforesaid, and whatever my said Son William Middlehurst has had from me shall be stopped out of whatever the Share arising to my said Grandaughter Mary Middlehurst may amount to by such Division, as aforesaid.
If at my Decease, my said Son John Middlehurst wish to have my Watch, I order that he have it, provided he leave his own Watch in the Place thereof.
And I do hereby nominate, constitute, and appoint Hugh Ainscough, of Ormskirk, in the said County, Liquor Merchant, William Young, of Windle aforesaid, Farmer, and my said Wife Mary Middlehurst, to be the Executors, and Executrix of this my last Will, and Testament, into whose Hands I commit whatever Estate, and Effects I may happen to die possessed of, for the within mentioned Purposes, and no other, in any wise; and I do hereby utterly revoke, disallow, and disannul all former Bequests, Wills, and Legacies by me heretofore in any wise left, or made, declaring, ratifying, and confirming this, and no other, to be my last Will, and Testament. In Witness whereof, I have hereunto set my Hand, and Seal, this twenty first Day of June, in the Year of our Lord one Thousand, eight Hundred, and two.
[John Middlehurst signature] [Seal]