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The Will of Joseph Chapman

The 1843 Will of Joseph Chapman, Gentleman of Reckleford


Nothing is known of Joseph Chapman other than the 1841 census listed him living on his own as a 70-year-old (bearing in mind the rounding of ages of adults to five years) in Reckleford. He was listed as of independent means and was not born in Somerset. His likely place of birth, judging by the location of his family recorded in his will, was Gravesend, Kent.

The Poll Books of 1832 and 1834 record that Joseph lived in Reckleford and was eligible to vote since he owned freehold houses in South Street.

He wrote his will in January 1843, shortly before he died.




This is the last Will and Testament of me Joseph Chapman of Yeovil in the County of Somerset Gentleman I give and bequeath unto my nephew Josiah Chapman the sum of fifty pounds unto my niece Selina Rigget the sum of fifty pounds unto my niece Mary Chapman of Gravesend the like sum of fifty pounds unto my niece Elizabeth Chapman of Gravesend the like sum of fifty pounds and unto my nephew John Chapman also of Gravesend my lever watch And the residue of my Property whatsoever and wheresoever which I have in any way power to dispose of by will after the payment of my just debts and the above named legacies and also my funeral and testamentary expences I give and bequeath freely and absolutely unto my said nephew John Chapman of Gravesend in the County of Kent And I hereby nominate constitute and appoint my said nephew John Chapman sole Executor of this my will In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand this twenty first day of January in the year of our Lord 1843
Joseph Chapman
Signed by the above named testator as and for his last will and testament in the presence of us who in his presence and in the presence of each other have subscribed our names as witnesses
Witness our hands - John Wright      William King

Proved at London 27th March 1843 before the worshipful Frederick Thomas Pratt Doctor of Laws and Surrogate by the oath of John Chapman the nephew the sole Executor to whom Administration was granted having been first sworn duly to administer


Transcribed by Bob Osborn