Location: Prescot, Lancashire, England, United Kingdom
Will of Elizabeth Atherton of Prescot in the County of Lancaster Widow (summary)
She wished to be interred in the vault in the chancel of Prescot Church where her husband was buried
Her seats or pews in the south Gallery of Prescot Church were to be divided among
- Dame Lucy Park wife of Sir James Allan Park, one of the daughters of the late Richard Atherton Esq.,
- James Allan Park Esquire (son of Sir James and Dame Lucy)
- Miss Mary Atherton (another daughter of Richard Atherton)
- Miss Eleanora Atherton (daughter of the late Henry Atherton Esquire)
Her real estate of 30 acres in Skelmersdale Lancashire in the possession of James Kerfoot and all her other land in Skelmersdale was to go to Elizabeth Ford, daughter of the Rev. Gilbert Ford of North Meols Lancashire Clerk.
Her carriage, carriage horses and harness were to go to Mary Atherton (daughter of Richard)
Her farming stock, husbandry and utensils at Ecclston, her greenhouse, hothouse and plants at Prescot and the moveable glass and glass frames there to go to Eleanora Atherton and her sister Mrs Lucy Willis, divided equally
Her books, including books of prints (unless individually bequeathed) and bookcases to go to Rev. Joseph Brenton Wanton Clerk
Her drawings in the Breakfast Room of her house at Prescot to Miss Lucy Makin, daughter of Thomas Makin of Llwynegrin Esquire
The portraits of herself and her late dear husband in the breakfast room to go to Dame Lucy Park
The other portraits of herself and her husband (kept in a drawer in her bed room) to Mary Anne Atherton, widow of the late John Joseph Atherton Esquire
All her pictures and paintings in her house in Prescot and all her plate anywhere not otherwise disposed of to be divided equally among Dame Lucy Park, James Allan Park (the son), Mary Atherton and Eleanora Atherton.
The silver and other plate, household goods, china and other furniture including the linen and other articles in the oak chest on the stairs by the servants hall door, previously the property of her late father and mother (an inventory was made by Elizabeth and left with the will). The linen and plate in the list were to go to Ellen Taylor (wife of John Taylor of Chorlton Row, daughter of Richard Booth of Manchester). The household goods, linen, china & furniture were to go to Catherine Booth of Ormskirk and her sister Elizabeth Berry, wife of Thomas Berry of Standish (the daughters of Catherine Booth of Kirkham), divided equally.
Each of her servants at the time of her death were to receive the bed bedding and furniture they slept in, two pairs of sheets to each bed, and if there wasn't a servant's bed for each of them then they were to have one from her other household furniture.
Furniture in the kitchen and servants hall and two dozen matching mahogany chairs and any parts of the common earthenware, glass and any other parts of the common furniture her executors saw fit was to be divided among her servants including the gardener William Hurst? if still in her employ.
Her servants Mary Lough and Sarah Clayton (if still in her service) were to have four of her smallest tablecloths and four napkins and two pairs of sheets over and above what each servant got, to be selected by the executors.
Any of the old china in the closet adjoining her drawing room not already disposed of was to go to Lucy Makin and Ellen Makin, divided equally.
Her old colored ? china was to go to Lucy Makin
Her five china jars in her drawing room was to go to Mary Atherton
The rest of her household goods, furniture, linen, china, wines, liquors and other household stock to Mary Atherton and Elizabeth Atherton and Catherine Atherton (three of the daughters of the late Richard Atherton), Joseph Brenton Wanton and Lucy Makin & Ellen Makin, divided equally as the executors saw fit.
She particularly wished no sale of any part of her effects to take place at her house after her death.
The gold snuff box which belonged to her late husband was to go to James Allan Park (the son). The gold repeating watch with the chain seals and trinkets belonging to it which was her husband's was to go to Joseph Brenton Wanton. Her twelve table spoons and nine tea spoons marked S. B.? & the small piece of furniture of bird eyed marble? presented her by his sister she left to Ellen Taylor.
Her ring set with diamonds enclosing her late dear sister's hair and the initials of her name and also her elastic? gold bracelets with her late dear mother's hair in the clasps and her ring set with three small stones and her broach set with small pearls enclosing her [Ellen Taylor's] cousin Charles Woods's hair were to go to Ellen Taylor.
Her pearl bracelets with diamond clasps, her small diamond drop earrings, and her broach set round with large pearls were to go to Elizabeth Ford.
Her ring set in diamonds with blue enamel and her two volumes of Crozats? Prints and five volumes of Irelands Rivers were to go to Mary Atherton.
Her pearl drops and necklace not made up, her pearl sprig and two pearl broaches were to go to Lucy Makin and Ellen Makin, divided equally.
The watch and Steel Chain which were her late sister's, her nine framed prints of Achilles and the eight prints of heads with black frames in her bed room were to go to Catherine Booth of Ormskirk.
Her own enamelled gold watch with its chain, seals and trinkets were to go to Ellen Taylor.
A miniature picture of testator recently painted by Hargreaves, and her smallest silver teapot marked E A and all her clothes and wearing apparel and any small trinkets not otherwise disposed of and her two volumes of Boysells River Thames and the prints of Lancaster and the late Princess Charlotte and the other loose prints kept in the drawer of the table standing in the centre of her drawing room were to go to her servant Mary Lough if still in her service.
One large volume of the Imitations of Holbein's Drawings, one volume of the Orleans collection of prints, two volumes of Irelands Tour through Holland and part of France were to go to Lucy Willis.
Her large book of Hogarth's prints, three volumes of Hogarth illustrated and one volume of Theobald and Abbot on Architecture were to go to William Henry Atherton (son of the late John Joseph Atherton Esquire deceased).
Proper and decent mourning was to be given to all the servants in her employ when she died.
Monetary bequests to friends, relatives, acquaintances:
- £1000 to Dame Lucy Park
- £1500 each to Mary Atherton, Elizabeth Atherton and Catherine Atherton, daughters of Richard Atherton deceased
- £1000 to Eleanora Atherton
- £1000 to Lucy Willis
- £1000 each to Lucy Makin and Ellen Makin
- £3000 to Joseph Brenton Wanton
- £2000 to Catherine Booth of Ormskirk
- £1000 to Ellen Taylor
- £2000 to the children of her late cousin Jane Mawdesley (daughter of Charles Woods of Liverpool)
living at the time of her decease, divided equally among them but the share of Charles Mawdesley the eldest to be paid to his brother John to be used for Charles' benefit as John thinks fit.
- £200 to each of her executors Gilbert Ford and William Shawe and another £300 to William Shawe
- £500 to each of the six children of Dame Lucy Park
- £200 each to Fanny Plumb and Anne Atherton (sisters of John Joseph Atherton)
- £200 each to William Henry Atherton, Bertram Atherton, Robert Atherton, Edward Atherton and Mary Anne Atherton (children of John Joseph Atherton)
- £1000 to be divided equally among the sons of Thomas Makin of Llwynegrin living at the time of her death
- £200 to be divided equally among the daughters of Elizabeth Howard (widow, late of Liverpool, deceased) living at her decease
- 100 guineas each to Ann, wife of Thomas Molyneux of Newsham House Esquire and to Miss Sarah Watson of Ormskirk and to Miss Catherine Gildart of Chester and to Miss Ann Grace Shawe of Preston and to her sister Mrs Jane Harriet Austen and to Mrs Sally Knowles late of Preston and to Townley Rigby Knowles (eldest son of Sally Knowles)
- £200 to Rachael Bibby (daughter of Elizabeth Berry of Standish)
- £100 each to John Myers of Prescot Surgeon and to Mr William Rowson of Prescot
- £30 to Mrs Anne Woods of Ormskirk
- 20 guineas each as a remembrance of them to Miss Mary Richardson and Miss Ann Richardson both of Prescot
- £2000 to be invested and the interest paid to Richard Booth of Manchester (son of Catherine Booth of Kirkham) and after his death the capital to go to his daughter Ellen Taylor
- £3000 to be invested and the interest to go to Elizabeth Berry, daughter of Catherine Booth of Kirkham and on her death the capital to be divided among her children or grandchildren, but kept in trust during their minorities.
- £600 to be invested and the interest paid to Mary Anne Atherton, widow of John Joseph Atherton during her lifetime and on her death the capital to go to Mary Anne Atherton, daughter of John Joseph Atherton.
- £200 to be invested and the interest paid to Henry Blundell Atherton during his lifetime and on his death the capital to go to Mary Anne Atherton, daughter of John Joseph Atherton.
Gifts to servants (if still in Elizabeth's employ) over and above any wages due:
- £1600 to Mary Lough
- £800 to Sarah Clayton
- £300 to Hannah Nelson
- £300 to John Pownall
- £150 to John Holden
- £150 to William Hurst
- £50 to George Arnold
- £10 to his wife Ann Arnold
- £50 to Sarah Corns?
- £50 to Isabella Longworth
- £40 to her footman George Critchley, her executors to have discretion to use it for his benefit (for instance binding him apprentice) instead of paying it to him
- £200 to Mary wife of John Fairhurst
- £30 to her late coachman Joseph Eaton
- £50 to Ellen Pink? of Ormskirk, a servant of her late mother
- 20 guineas each to her tenants James Kerfoot of Skelmersdale, Thomas Prescott of Bickerstaff,
John Meadows of Scarisbrick and his eldest son _ Meadows
- £500 to the vicar of the parish and the steward and four men of the town of Prescot in trust to be invested and the interest used to help poor old men and widows who are decayed housekeepers in the township of Prescot, giving them sums of between 5 shillings and twenty shillings as needed, priority to be given to poor people not regularly chargeable to the Township.
- Another £500 to be invested and the interest to go to the church organist.
- £500 to the Trustees of Prescot Grammar School, and the interest divided as follows: one moiety to the Master to support an increased number of scholars, the other part for cloathing for the children who attend the Protestant Sunday School in Prescot
- £1000 to the trustees of the Almshouses near Hillock Street in Prescot to be spent on the poor people occupying the Almshouses as they see fit
- £1000 to the public Infirmary at Liverpool
- £500 to the School or Asylum for the Blind in Liverpool
- £500 to the Blue Coat Hospital in Liverpool
- £500 to the Warrington Meeting or Society for the Relief of Clergymens Widows and Orphans
- £500 to the Society for promoting Christian knowledge established in about 1698
- £100 to the Society for the Medical and Surgical relief of the poor at Ormskirk known as the Dispensary
- £10 to the Overseers of the poor of Ormskirk
- £10 to the overseers of the poor of Scarisbrick
- £10 to the overseers of the poor of Skelmersdale
- £10 to the overseers of the poor of Bickerstaff
The last 4 listed to be used for the benefit of the poor, with priority given to poor persons not regularly chargeable to the Township.
Any inheritance-related tax was to be paid by the estate, not deducted from individual bequests.
Joseph Brenton Wanton was appointed as the residuary legatee.
Will dated 27 Feb 1828, witnessed by John Ashworth and Edward Bradshaw and Hy Jennings
Inventory of plate china &c of Elizabeth's late parents referred to in the will
Plate (for Ellen Taylor)
- One silver coffee pot and stand marked Js.M
- one silver tea pot and stand marked Js.M
- one silver tankard marked Js.M
- one silver pint cup marked C? S
- one silver cream jug marked Js.M
- six silver table spoons marked Js.M
- six silver table spoons not marked
- one silver table spoon marked M S
- one silver marrow spoon
- four silver salt and spoons to them marked Js.M
- eight silver tea spoons marked P? M
- one silver pair sugar tongs marked Js.M
- one silver desert spoon marked C? M
- one silver tea cady spoon
- six silver (two broken) very small tea spoons marked T
- four plated short candlesticks
The coffee pot and stand, the tea pot and stand and the cream jug are kept in the Butlers Pantry with the other plate and all the remainder are in Elizabeth's bed room in a cupboard in a piece of furniture.
- one complete set of colored and gilt tea china with two deep plates
- one dozen cups and saucers fluted and sprigged
- half a dozen cups and saucers painted with roses
- dozen do ..age China with a Bowl the same
- six cups and saucers of thin Image? china
- two large saucers
- four cups and six saucers very small
- six cups and saucers a little larger
- six coffee cups with gilt birds? upon them
- one piece of old china in form of a small coffee pot
- five sugar basins
- two slop bowls
- one tea pot
- two small flat plates
- two large do white ground with a colored flower
- blue and white china two large punch bowls and ladle
- six breakfast cups and saucers
- fourteen small cups & saucers
- six do flutes
- six small thin cups and four saucers
- one tea pot
- two cream jugs
- six coffee cups
- three coffee cans? very old
- four slop bowls
- three sugar basins
- one large Japan tea tray
- one waiter
- one round India waiter
Rooms over the Servants Hall:
- one four post Bedstead with Calico Hangings lined with green stuff
- window Hangings of the same
- Bed and Bedding complete
- six Mahogany chairs with flowered silk bottoms
- two Stools with do
- two Mahogany Chairs with crimson Bottoms
- a Walnut Chest of Drawers
- a Swing Glass
- a Wash Stand
On the Stairs:
- an oak Chest with all its contents
- one Clock and case in the passage
In my Dressing Room:
- one small chest of Mahogany Drawers
- one small Stand
- one Tea Chest
In the opposite Dressing Room:
- one four post Bedstead with Calico Hangings lined with yellow window curtains
- the same Bed and Bedding complete
- one Swing Glass with Drawer at the bottom
- one Sofa
- Calico covers the same as the last Bed
- one Mahogany Table with carved Rim
- one set of Fire Irons and fender
- three small copper Pans
- one Brass Mortar
- two pair of Steel Snuffers and Stands
- four Decanter Stands
- one Tea Caddy
dated 27 Feb 1828
First Codicil dated 27 Apr 1829
Witnessed by Edward Bradshaw and John Ashworth
- An additional £500 each to go to Mary Atherton, Elizabeth Atherton and Catherine Atherton (three of the daughters of the late Richard Atherton Esq deceased)
- £300 more to William Henry Atherton (son of the late John joseph Atherton Esquire deceased)
Additional legacies to servants, if still in her employ:
- £200 to Sarah Clayton
- £100 to Hannah Nelson
- £200 to John Pownall
- £50 to Margaret Longworth (replacing the £50 for Isabella Longworth, now deceased)
- Elizabeth's sedan chair which belonged to Lucy's grandmother Atherton to Mrs Lucy Willis
The two dozen mahogany chairs (previously to go the servants) and the household furniture in the breakfast room, dining room and study (not including the bookcases, desks and sideboard which go to Joseph Brenton Wanton, and not including any books paintings drawings or similar) to be divided among any of her servants Mary Lough, Sarah Clayton and John Pownall still in her service at her death, divided as her executors see fit.
To the same three servants any of her china and glass her executors see fit to give them
To Mary Lough (if still in her service) the easy chair Elizabeth usually sits in, which generally stands in the Breakfast Room, also the Kitchen Clock
Second Codicil dated 6 Aug 1830
- £200 each to Mary Atherton, Elizabeth Atherton and Catherine Atherton
- £500 to Miss Eleanora Atherton and Mrs Lucy Willis in lieu of all sums potentially due from Elizabeth for repairs of the farm buildings at Eccleston
- £200 to her god daughter Catherine Eliza Park daughter of the Rev James Allan Park
- £500 to Miss Mary Wanton
- £100 to each of the other five children of the Rev Joseph Brenton Wanton
- £300 to Rachael Bibby of Ormskirk
- £200 to Ann Bibby (daughter of Rachael Bibby)
- £200 to Elizabeth Taylor (daughter of John Taylor and Ellen his wife)
- £400 to Mrs Atherton, widow of the late John Joseph Atherton
- £100 each to the two Miss Havards (daughters of the late Mrs Elizabeth Havard)
- £100 each to George Clayton and Mary Clayton (children of her late housekeeper Sarah Clayton deceased)
- £400 and the silver stand belonging to the small silver tea pot marked E A to her servant Mary Lough (if still in her employ)
- the furniture given them in the previous codicil still to be given to Mary Lough and John Pownall (if still in her employ)
Legacies to any married women and also to her late servant Mary Fairhurst to be for their own use independent of their husbands
Witnessed by Edwd Bradshaw & John Ashworth
A note dated 11 Feb 1831, signed but not witnessed, stated that instead of being residuary legatee, Rev Joseph Brenton Wanton was only to receive any of the residue of the estate not exceeding £3000, and anything over that was to be divided among the three Miss Athertons (Mary, Elizabeth & Catherine), the daughters of the late Richard Atherton of Preston.
On 25 Jul 1831, John Ashworth of Prescot (draper) and Edward Bradshaw of Prescot (gentleman) testified to the revocation being in Elizabeth's handwriting.
The will was proved on 16 Aug 1831.
National Archives Catalogue
Reference: PROB 11/1788/307
Description: Will of Elizabeth Atherton, Widow of Prescot , Lancashire
Date: 16 August 1831
Accessed on https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/D245034
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