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I give and bequeath to my reputed Sons Thomas Addison Holmes, George Wood Holmes and Samuel Benjamin Holmes the sum of one hundred Pounds Sterling each. I give and bequeath to my reputed daughter Susan Frances Holmes the sum of five hundred Pounds Currency with my wearing apparel Horses Chaises Harness and Saddles liquors and provisions together with my property called Twickenham with the plate furniture Linen and Stock with the apprenticeship of twenty one negroes named as follows, George Wood Holmes, William Holmes, Samuel Benjamin Holmes, Alexander Chambers, Thomas Reid, Thomas Sill, Henry Collins, William Thompson, Thomas Addison Holmes, Richard Henry Ford, Jane Williams, Ann Bonner, Mary Lewis, Bessy Holmes, Mary Ann Brown, Fanny Brown, Diana Williams, Elizabeth Good, Sarah Collins, Susan Booth and Sarah Smith and to her Issue for ever. But in case of the death of the said Susan Frances Holmes without issue, then to revert to my reputed Son Thomas Addison Holmes and his heirs forever. I give and bequeath to my reputed Son Thomas Addison Holmes my Gold Watch Chain and seals. And the residue of monies remaining after the Legacies and other expenses are also settled and paid to be equally divided between my three reputed Sons Thomas Addison Holmes, George Wood Holmes, and Samuel Benjamin Holmes. And as I do not consider my reputed Daughter Susan Frances Holmes sufficiently steady to remain in possession of the property after my death, I must request my friend Mr. Stirk to take her and put her under the care of Miss Smith for six months and if she is not considered sufficiently steady then for six months longer before she is put in possession of her Legacy. And I do hereby nominate and appoint William Lewis and John Stirk Esquires of the Parish of Vere to be my Executors of this my last Will and Testament hereby revoking all other Wills heretofore by me made. In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand & Seal the twenty first day of March one thousand eight hundred and thirty six.
Signed sealed Published and declared by the said Testator to be his last Will and Testament in the presence of us who in his presence at his request and in the presence of each of us hath hereunto subscribed our names as Witnesses.
5/- 5/- Jamaica SS. In obedience to the Dedimus Potestatem hereunto annexed I have administered an oath unto Frederick Watson who being duly sworn on the Holy Evangalists disposeth and saith that he was present and did see John Holmes the Testator in the annexed Instrument of Writing named being at that time of sound and disposing mind memory and understanding sign seal Publish and declare the same as and for his last Will and Testament and at the same time Henry Donald & Robert Anderson were also present and together with him subscribed their names as Witnesses to the same in the presence of the said Testator and further that he Knows nothing of any Will since made by the said Testator that can lend to the disadvantage of the Will hereunto annexed. Given under my hand and seal this second day of June 1836.
5/- 5/- Jamaica SS. William the 4th by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland King and of Jamaica Lord Defender of the Faith. To our Trusty and well beloved Malcolm MacLeod and William Dowell. Know ye that we have constituted authorized and appointed and by these presents do constitute authorize and appoint ye or either of ye to administer an oath unto Frederick Watson or any other that are witnesses and can make oath of the signing sealing publishing and declaring of the last Will and Testament of John Holmes late of the Parish of Vere Esquire deceased and thereof you or either of you are to make a due Return under your or either of your hands and seals unto our Captain General and Governor in Chief of our said Island or to the Governor in Chief of the same for the time being with this power annexed so that such proceedings may be ordered therein as may be according to Law. Witness His Excellency the most noble Howe, Peter Marquess of Sligo Captn Genl & Govr in Chief of our said Island at St Iago de la Vega the first day of June annoq Domini 1836 and in the sixth Year of our Reign
Passed the Secretary's office.
W.G. Stewart, Secretary
Jamaica SS. The execution of the within Dedimus Potestatem appears by the Will and probate thereof hereunto annexed. Given under my hand and seal this second day of June annoque Domini 1836.
The last Will and Testament of John Holmes late of the Parish of Vere
Entd 8th June 1836
Jamaica SS. I John Holmes of the Parish of Vere County of Middlesex and Island aforesaid Planter declare this to be my last Will and Testament
Mandeville Post Office
26 Decr 1874
My Dear Uncle,
Your Kind letter I have duly received and notice the contents and in reply will give you all the information that is in my power.
My dear Mother was married twice first husbands name was, James Madden a native of Ireland and after his Death she married again to a Mr O'Harragh" and same, native of Ireland, all the property was sold off by his Executors, and I received nothing whatever, and was turned out of doors.
Respecting John Stirk, he is dead, and Lewis, and Fredc Watson are all dead, many years past.
I have been ascertaining about them and cannot, at the present time, give you, any better information respecting them.
My own Mother, had three children, myself being named "Thomas Addison Holmes, my eldest Brother being named John Holmes, and my Sister was named Rachel Madden"
All these One Brother and One Sister are all dead, and gone, many years, past, and I am the only one remaining alive, in the family above mentioned.
I am now twenty three years of age, and at present I am employed in a respectable Dispensers Shop at Mandeville in the parish of Manchester and whenever you wish to write me please direct your letter to Mandeville Post Office Manchester Jamaica
You will please to desire my Kindest Regards to my other Uncles, and to yourself.
Trusting soon to hear from you.
Mr Gibbs, desires his Kindest Regards to yourself and family and is still in Vere, and doing a good business.
Awaiting Your Reply with Kind Regards.
I remain, Yours truly
Thomas Addison Holmes
P.S. I enclose herewith my Photograph for your inspection, and will feel much pleasure, in receiving yours, in return
The photographer is identified on the back of the photograph as "J. S. Thompson, 3 Church Street, Kingston, Jamaica."
Please find attached the transcript of the copy of the 1836 will of John Holmes, the transcript of the letter written in 1874 by a Thomas Addison Holmes to his uncle and a scan of the photograph of Thomas Addison Holmes which was sent with this letter.
I believe that Thomas Addison Holmes (the son mentioned in the will, not the author of the letter), George Wood Holmes and Samuel Benjamin Holmes left Jamaica and went to live in England.
Thomas Addison Holmes was born in Vere in about 1805 and died in Hackney, London, in 1874. Thomas married Eliza Monk in 1828 and had eight children - Elizabeth, Ann, Eliza, William Monk, Thomas W, Ebenezer W, James and Emma.
George Wood Holmes was born in about 1809 and died in Marylebone, London, in 1855. George married Ann Abbs in 1834 and they had one son Henry George Holmes who was born in about 1837.
I have not been able to trace any more descendents of either Thomas or George.
Samuel Benjamin Holmes was born in Vere between 1810 and 1817 and died in Strand, London, in 1890. I believe the letter was written to this Samuel Benjamin Holmes - who was my great great great grandfather. Family folklore has it that he went to London to become a surgeon but could not stomach it (general anaesthesia was not developed until the mid 1800s), and became a tailor instead. He married Maria Eagle in 1832 and they had one son - also called Samuel Benjamin Holmes who was born in about 1833.
In the letter written by Thomas Addison Holmes he explains that he had an older brother called John Holmes and a sister called Rachel Madden. He states "My dear Mother was married twice first husbands name was, James Madden a native of Ireland and after his Death she married again to a Mr O'Harragh". As John and Thomas do not have the surname of either of their mother's husbands and the letter is addressed to "My Dear Uncle", I wonder whether they were the illegitimate children of Susan Frances Holmes. Thomas also states "I am now twenty three years of age, and at present I am employed in a respectable Dispensers Shop at Mandeville in the parish of Manchester". If he was 23 in 1874 he must have been born in about 1851. I have found reference to his will on your website - Holmes, Thomas Addison, Mandeville, Manchester, druggist, #34 Item 5, 1917.
If you post any of this information on your website please would you be able to include my contact details ? - my e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Liz Watson (nee Holmes)
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