Annapolis Heritage Society | Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia

William Robertson will, 23 October 1812

Here is a transcription of the will of William Robertson of Annapolis dated 23 October 1812, proved 20 November 1812:
In the Name of God Amen I William Robertson originally of the Town of Weem in the County of Perth, in that part of the United Kingdom called Scotland, but now and late of the Town plot of Annapolis Royal in the County of Annapolis and Province of Nova Scotia, Esquire, being infirm of body, but of sound and disposing mind and memory do make and publish this my Last Will and Testament in manner and form following, that is to say,- First, my will is that all my just debts be speedily and punctually paid- In the next place, it having pleased God to bless one with an affectionate and faithful wife, who has proved an useful partner and helpmate to me, as well as a kind and careful mother to my children, I do give & bequeath to my said beloved wife MaryAdelia, instead and in lieu of her Dower or claim of thirds in my estate, a clear annuity or yearly income of sixty Pounds lawful money of Nova Scotia, the said annuity to commence at and from the first day of her widowhood, and thenceforward to continue and become payable yearly, and every year, for and during the Term of her natural life; And I do charge the whole of my real Estate, and the whole of my nett personal Estate and Effects, with the payment of the said annuity; and my will is that, my said Real and personal estate stand charged in the hand of my Executors herein after named with the payment of the said annuity untill a sufficient sum of money, arising from my said Estates, is placed at interest, on good security, and bound and made liable, during the natural life of my said wife, to the sole purpose of paying the said annuity; To this bequest I call the special attention of my Executors;- And I solemnly recommend to my children to honor their mother in her old age, and to see that what I bequeath and devise to her, come fairly and duly to her use, that the same good God who has hitherto made one the Steward of it, may not withhold his blessing from them- Also I give and devise to my said wife Mary Adelia for and during the Term of her natural life, the orchard which I purchased of Mr. Adlam as also the piece of pasture and mowing land behind and adjoining to the same which I purchased and annexed to it;- which orchard and land, is in Annapolis near to the house now occupied by Mr. Johnson; and from and after the decease of my said wife I give and devise the said orchard pasture and mowing land, equally, share and share alike, to and amongst such of my children as shall survive my said wife, their heirs and assigns forever;- But should none of my children survive my said wife, then the remainder of the estate (after the decease of my said wife) in the said orchard and land, I give and devise to the heirs of the longest liver of my said children and their assigns forever.- Also I give and bequeath to my said wife certain articles out of my plate, furniture, ornaments and conveniences, to be her own absolute property; but, as from the mutable state of these things, as well as from the changeable situation of families, specific legacies are apt to occasion perplexity if incorporated into the body of a Last Will- I refer my Executors on this head to such Codicil or Codicils subscribed with my own hand, or with my name by my order, in the presence of one or more witnesses, as Codicils to this, which, is in substance and the main (as before declared) my Last Will and Testament- Also I give and bequeath to each of my four dear grandchildren hereafter named a Legacy as follows towit,- ToWilliam Robertson Ruggles Fifty Pounds- To Henry Dwight Ruggles Ten Pounds- ToMary Anne Fenwick Robertson Twenty five Pounds- To Daniel William RobertsonTwenty five pounds. All the rest and residue of my property, real and personal, excepting such specific legacies as may be found contained in some Codicil or Codicils to this will annexed; and a small legacy to one of my executors, (after deducting the just and reasonable charges attendant upon the Execution of this my Last Will and Testament) I intend for the equal use and benefit, share and share alike, of my six children, towit, Daniel, William, John, James, Margaretand Alexander, or of their legal representatives respectively- By legal representatives here meaning those who represent them by “consanguinity” or proximity of blood. I also mean and intend that this equal distribution under this my will, be made without any reference or retrospect to what has passed in my life time- Nothing that I have heretofore advanced to any particular child is to go to lessen his or her share under this will, but is to be considered as a free paternal gift, not to be accounted for.- Now in order to carry this my intention into full effect, it will be necessary that, all my Real Estate, except the orchard and land herein before devised, and all my personal estate and effects, except such articles as I shall hereafter specifically bequeath, shall be sold at reasonable and proper times by my Executors, and the nett proceeds divided accordingly. I therefore give and devise unto the Executors of this my Last Will and Testament herein after named, all my Lands, Tenements and Heriditaments wheresoever and whichsoever the same may be within the Province of Nova Scotia (excepting the orchard & land herein before devised) as also all my personal estate, goods, chattels and effects whatsoever and wheresoever (specific legacies alone excepted) To have and to hold the said Land tenements and Heriditaments, and the said personal estate, goods chattels and effects to them my said Executors the survivors or survivor of them their and his assigns forever. In special trust nevertheless, and to and for the uses intents and purposes herein after mentioned and declared as follows towit, in trust for my said Executors or the major part in number of them, being present in Nova Scotia, and having been sworn to the faithful execution of this will, to let or lease the said Lands Tenements & Heriditaments, or any part of the same, for the best yearly or other rent or rents that can be gotten for the same, untill my said Executors, or the said Major part in number of them, shall deem it prudent or expedient to sell the same, but at some period or periods, within five years after my decease, absolutely to sell, and convey in fee simple together, or in parts and parcels, as to them shall seem most expedient the whole of my said Lands Tenements & Heriditaments to such person or persons as the said Major part in number of my said Executors present in Nova Scotia may choose, for the best money and price that can be gotten for the said Lands Tenements or Heriditaments; in trust also to sell and dispose of, for the best prices that can be gotten, all the said personal estate, goods chattels and effects (Debts due to me on Judgements, Bonds, Mortgages, Notes and Book accounts exacted are to be prudently called in and collected) And the monies arising from such letting and selling of my Real Estate and from such selling of my personal estate and collection of my debts (reasonable charges deducted) to be disposed of as follows towit, In the first place for the discharge & payment of my just debts,- Secondly for paying, or providing a fund for the secure payment of the aforesaid annuity of Sixty Pounds to my wife;- Thirdly for the payment of my particular legacies, and Lastly, for the purpose of dividing, distributing and paying what shall then remain, equally, share and share alike, to and amongst my six dear children before named, towit, Daniel Robertson, William Robertson, John Robertson, James Robertson, Margaret Robertson (the wife of Simeon Dwight Ruggles) and Alexander Robertson, or to the legal representatives (by blood) of each of my said children respectively. These said distributory shares to be payable by my executors from time to time that is, annually, as the residuary interest under this my will comes into their hands, after the time elapsed by Law for the settlement of Estates; excepting the share of my Son Alexander, which is to be placed at interest on good security and made payable to him or his legal representatives; that is, if to himself, not untill he attains the age of Twenty four years, but if he should not attain to the age of twenty four years, then to his legal representatives (by blood) as soon, and in the same way as to my other children or their representatives. And it is to be understood, that if a Fund should be provided for securing the payment of the said annuity of Sixty pounds to my wife, the principal money of such fund is to be considered as the equal property of my said six children, and is to be eventually divided amongst them, share and share alike (agreeably to the mode declared in this clause of my will) accordingly- And I do hereby constitute and appoint my dear sons Daniel Robertson andJohn Robertson (------------------) of them, who only, would in that case be intitled to the reasonable Commission allowed by the proper Judge, but of which Commission my worthy friend would have no share, I give and bequeath to my said worthy friend Thomas Ritchie for his goodness in accepting to be one of my Executors (that he may act in case of need, and oversee and advise when he does not act) the sum of Ten Pounds- In witness whereof I have to this my Last Will and Testament consisting of two sheets, set my name and Seal as follows towit, with my left hand I have written my name on the margin of the first sheet and with the same hand have subscribed my name and set my Seal to this second sheet this twenty Third Day of October in the 52d Year of the Reign of Our Sovereign King George the Third, and in the Year from the Nativity of Our blessed Lord and Saviour One Thousand Eight Hundred and twelve-

William Robertson

Signed, Sealed, published and declared by the above named William Robertson to be his Last Will & Testament. in the (---------------)