Elizabeth Hart, the reputed wife of Robert Nanney Wynn died in the East Indies on the 9th April 1801 leaving four children (there were five born and christened named Martha, Sarah, Harriet or Harrott, Robert Hart and Simon Hart) and having died intestate and her husband, Robert Nanney-Wynn being at that time a hopeless lunatic, The Honourable United Company of Merchants of England trading to the East Indies petitioned the Supreme Court of Judicature at Madras to administer her Estate (which was valued at 8936 pagodas, 26 fantams and 72 cash) and appoint Trustees for the children of the marriage. Of these children, only three survived to reach England, viz: Simon Hart Wynn, Sarah Wynn (afterwards Sarah Kirkby) and Harriet Wynn (who died unmarried). These children had all been christened and entered into the register at Vepery near Madras as the children of Robert Nanney Wynn and Elizabeth as their legitimate children but later certain erasures were made and the children entered as being illegitimate. Such erasures were made by a native writer named John Christian Pillow whose affidavit is given below:
“John Christian Pillow, Schoolmaster at Vepery and Writer to the Reverend Mr Christian William Gericke maketh oath and saith that he has kept the Register of the Christenings at the Church of Vepery near Madras for the last thirteen or fourteen years and that the register of the christenings of Martha, Sarah, Harrott, Robert Hart and Simon Hart, the five children of Robert Nanney Wynn and Elizabeth Hart were written by this deponent and this deponent further saith that the erasures that appear in the above mentioned Registers were made in consequence of a mistake of this deponent and that the said children ought at first (as they now appear) to have been entered as the illegitimate children of the said Robert Nanney Wynn and Elizabeth Hart. And this deponent futher saith that being acquainted with the family of the said Robert Nanney Wynn he has often subsequent to the birth of all the said five children heard the said Elizabeth Hart urge the said Robert Nanney Wyn to marry her and that the said Robert Nanney Wynn always declined doing so. And this deponent further saith that the Reverend William Christian Gericke the protestant Missionary is now absent (as this deponent has heard and believes) at Seringapatam. And this deponent futher saith that the said Robert Nanney Wynn was present at the Christenings of all the said five children and that the said Robert Nanney Wynn did then in the presence of this deponent declare to the said Reverend Christian William Gericke that the said five children were all illegitimate.
John Christian Pillow
Sworn before me at Fort George in the East Indies 30th Sept 1802
Walter Grant Justice of the Peace
Now the above document shews itself clearly to be a fraud and was doubtless engineered by Sir William Wynn when he visited India, and it is well known a native of India is so corrupt as a rule that he will do anything for money. If the children were declared to be illegitimate by Robert Nanney Wynn at the time of their christenings, why were they entered as legitimate by the Missionary? What made the subsequent erasures necessary? The moral evidence of this affidavit and of the Deed of Separation between John Nanney and his wife are sufficient proof of the great fraud by John Nanney and Sir William Wynn on their brother Robert Nanney Wynn
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