Jamaican Family Search Genealogy Research Library
WILLS OF WILLIAM FRASER AND WILLIAM McDOWAL
(Biographical Notes written by Bob Moss)
William Fraser was born in Dumfries on 19 February 1819. He was the 7th child of James Fraser - Surgeon and Eliza Fraser nee Hoyle. His elder brothers and sisters were James (probably born in Liverpool in about 1806), Sarah Wilson born 1808 in Dumfries, Margaret born 1810, Robert 1813 and two other children older than himself, William Donald 1815 and Eliza 1816, both of whom died young. Apart from Isabella 1824 the children younger than William (Mary Ann1821 and Thomas Grieve 1825) survived only a few days. William Fraser MD is probably the most interesting person in the Fraser family history.
William attended the Dumfries Academy and in June 1834 the Dumfries and Galloway Courier noted that WF gained prizes in the 3rd Latin Class and in the 2nd Geography and History Class. He left Dumfries Academy about 1836 and studied at St Andrews University for 2 or 3 years and then spent a year in Paris. On 16 April 1840 WF wrote from 15 Clark Street, Edinburgh to the University of St Andrews applying for the degree of MD which was subsequently awarded by examination on 4 August 1840. His further qualification to practice surgery and pharmacy was announced in the Dumfries and Galloway Courier on Tuesday, September 8, 1840 in the copy of a letter from the Royal College of Surgeons in Edinburgh as follows:
In the presence of the Royal College of Surgeon, appeared William Fraser, MD from Dumfries and being examined on his skill in Anatomy Surgery and Pharmacy, was found fully qualified to practice these arts.
(Signed Wm. Scott, Clk)
William Fraser MD's first appearance in the London and Provincial Medical Directory was in 1853 when he is shown as practicing from Upper Stanhope Street, Liverpool. Prior to this the only information available concerns the Cunard shipping line connection and the first surgical use of anaesthetic ether in the old world as described in the monograph 'The Dumfries Ether Diary' by Thomas W Baillie.
In 1839 Samuel Cunard was awarded the contract for the carriage of mail by steamship between Britain and North America. William Fraser became the doctor on the Cunard Royal Mail Steamer 'Acadia' at some time in the 1840's. Given that he was not listed in any of the London and Provincial Medical Directories before 1853 it is perhaps not unreasonable to assume that he joined the Acadia on her first voyage in 1840 immediately after qualifying LRCS by the Royal College of Surgeons. Concerning WF's involvement with the use of anaesthetic ether in surgery Dr Baillie, in his book - The Dumfries Ether Diary - quotes from the Dumfries and Galloway Courier, 25 April 1876 as follows:
"It is remarkable that the first use of Anaesthetics in an operation in Great Britain took place in the Dumfries Infirmary. The discovery was first made in the United States. A Dr Fraser, a native of the town, the surgeon of the Cunard steamer which brought the news to this country, came to Dumfries immediately after his ship arrived and gave information of the discovery to his professional brethren there, who lost no time in making an experiment. On 19 December 1846 Dr Scott in presence of Dr McLoughlin and his other colleagues, administered sulphuric ether to a patient in the Infirmary and afterwards performed upon him a painless operation. The honour of being the first to use Anaesthetics in this island has at various times been claimed by others, but it is now generally admitted that the Dumfries Infirmary was really the scene of its first use in this country."
There has been some conjecture as to how the apparatus for administering sulphuric ether was devised for the Dumfries operation - obviously it could hardly be as simple as holding a soaked handkerchief over the patient nose! It has been suggested that WF was present at the earlier operation in the USA although there is no evidence that he attended the Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, USA to witness the first successful public demonstration of ether anaesthesia by the dentist William Thomas Green Morton on 16 October 1846 or that he knew Morton. One possible explanation was offered in a novel ' The Sleep of Life' by the author Richard Gordon based, it was said, on the journal of a novelist Guy Romilly who died in London in 1905. Romilly's reminiscences of the discovery of anaesthesia and of medicine and medical men during the mid-1840's in London, Edinburgh and Boston were supposedly written in 1900. References to Dr William Fraser's discussion with Guy Romilly during the voyage on the Acadia steamer in December 1846 are on page 121 of the paperback edition as follows:
"I fell to chatting with Dr Fraser, the ship's surgeon, who had read in the Boston papers about 'Letheon'. He became greatly interested on learning I had been present during the operation at the Massachusetts General Hospital. He explained that his father practiced as a surgeon in Dumfries and that he must purchase a specimen of the magic liquid his next voyage so that it might be employed in Scotland before the rest of the United Kingdom, as was befitting.
'Though it is nothing but ordinary sulphuric ether, I understand', Dr Fraser added. 'Such as we have been using freely for years to alleviate complaints of the lungs.'
'Yes, it is ether.' I agreed, thinking it stupid to persist in exuding an atmosphere of mystery around 'Letheon'. 'Though I fear, doctor, no one may use it in Scotland or anywhere else without paying the prescribed fee. It is patented in Washington and I am traveling with the specific purpose of establishing Dr Morton's rights equally firmly in London.'
'You may take out as many patents as you like, sir,' Dr Fraser told me bluntly. 'But no medical man would let such a detail stand between himself and the relief of human suffering.' 'That trick has been tried time and again with various medical processes in Britain.'
'The United States Patent Office - '
'Oh, nobody gives a tinker's damn for that, sir.'
Though Dr Fraser practised only on sea-sickness and sailor's broken limbs, this rediscovery of stale arguments I found discouraging."
Correspondence with Richard Gordon (real name Gordon Ostlere) sadly confirmed that this account was fictitious - Romilly was evidently a figment of Ostlere's imagination - he thought it more likely that Dr Fraser learned of Morton from Boston medical gossip. Morton would have been secretive about his apparatus but Dr Fraser would know that an inhaler was necessary and therefore Dumfries could adapt a medicinal one (for inhaling herb solutions) or alternatively (Ostlere suggested) a hookah would do!
The Acadia was transferred from the transatlantic route in 1849 to the Liverpool-Bremen service. On her first trip to Bremen she ran aground on the Dutch island of Terschelling and subsequently became part of the German Confederation Navy as Erzherzog Johann. In 1853 Acadia began the Bremen-New York service as Germania. Acadia subsequently served as a military transport in the Crimean War before being scrapped in 1858. It was in 1853 that WF first appears in the London and Provincial Medical Directory so it is possible that WF stayed with the Acadia or Cunard until the early 1850's.
Dr. E. Ashworth Underwood - formerly Director of the Wellcome Historical Medical Museum and Library - published a paper in Annals of Science in 1967 with the title "Dumfries and the Early History of Surgical Anaesthesia" that also provides some background to WF's career. Underwood noted that WF settled in Upper Stanhope Street, Liverpool in 1852 and was still recorded as practicing from there in the London and Provincial Medical Directory in 1855. The marriage of William Fraser of 16 Upper Stanhope Street to Mary Miller Cummins of Grinfield Terrace took place at St Mary's church, Edge Hill on 22 June 1853. (This is the same church where Gordon Fraser and Harriet Evans were married in 1927.) William and Mary Miller Fraser subsequently moved to 71 Mount Pleasant where their first child, William Harold Fraser was born. Ethel Mary Fraser was born in 1859 probably at 5 Grinfield Terrace.
Although William Harold was born at 71 Mount Pleasant on 4 August 1857 his birth was only registered on 15 January 1858 from Mary Miller's parent's home in Grinfield Terrace. In the 1861 Census Mary Miller Fraser (described as Fund Holder) and the children, William Harold and Ethel Mary, are found still living with her parents at Grinfield Terrace, however, there is no mention of William Fraser MD there, in Mount Pleasant, Upper Stanhope Street or anywhere else in Liverpool. It subsequently transpired that William MD moved to Jamaica (probably in the latter part of 1857) to help with the management of the family sugar estates. The first indication of his whereabouts came initially from a book - Memorials of St. Michael's - in the library of the Dumfries and Galloway Family History Society. This book referred to the gravestone of James Fraser - Surgeon, the date and age at death of James, his wife Eliza and their children, several of whom died in the West Indies. It records that William Fraser MD died at Spanish Town, Jamaica on 26 June 1863. Dr Baillie's book added significantly to this basic information and he has since provided a great deal of additional information regarding the Frasers.
One of the valuable pieces of information provided by Dr Baillie was a letter dated 30 October 1964 from the Archive Section of the Jamaica Island Record Office. It refers to their response to a query by the Director of the Wellcome Historical Medical Museum in 1940 concerning William Fraser MD. The important parts are recorded here verbatim:
----- At the time a search was made of newspapers, gazettes, almanacks, etc. with no resultant information about his medical career in Jamaica. He was apparently born in Dumfries and graduated in St Andrews in 1840. His will showed he was married to a Mary Cummins and that he had two children William and Mary. The entry of his burial gives the following information "William Fraser Medical Doctor proprietor of Two Mile Wood aged 44 abode Two Mile Wood Pen St Catherine Buried 1863 June 27th at Private Ground Two Mile Wood by G J Handfield." No cause of death is given as certification of death did not become legally obligatory till 1877. The burial of his brother nor of his sister are registered in St Catherine.
The will of his brother-in-law "William McDowal deceased dated 3 August 1839 Extracted by Sladen Gladen Farquhar and Sladen Proctors Doctors Commons" shows it to have been made 13 October 1836. It was enrolled in Jamaica on May 13, 1840. He is described as at present of Liverpool in the County of Lancashire gentleman. He was the owner of Two Mile Wood in St Catherine and Cockpits in Clarendon. He mentions his wife Sarah Wilson McDowal, James Fraser of Dumfries, surgeon and Robert Adamson banker, but does not appear to have had any children. It is not stated if James was his brother-in-law or father. ------
The wills of William Fraser MD and William McDowal (copies of which have been transcribed below) were obtained from the Island Record Office and provide some additional interesting information. For example, after a token bequest of £50 to Harriet Nairne, the wife of Alexander Nairne, in whose house WF was residing at the time of making the will (14 January 1863) he left the remainder of his estate to:
-----------my much beloved wife Mary Fraser for and during the term of her natural life for her sole and separate use and benefit and so that the same be not subject to the debts control or interference of any husband with whom she may intermarry after my death and ------ after the death of my said wife then I direct that such the residue of my real personal and mixed estate be held by my said trustees in trust to lay and expend so much of the annual and other rents issues and profits as may be necessary for the education and maintenance and support of my son William and my daughter Ethel Mary until the youngest shall attain the age of 21 years --------- . The executors were named as Alexander Nairne and his brother-in-law Charles Cummins.
William McDowal died on 2 December 1838. His will states -------- I give and devise all that my plantation or estate called or known by the name of Two Mile Wood situated in the parish of St Catherine in the said island of Jamaica and all that piece of land called the Cock Pits situated in the parish of Clarendon in the said island and all and singular other the plantation Pensis and real estates etc etc whatever in the said island or elsewhere belonging to me or which I have a power of disposition with the respective rights and appurtenances unto and to the use of my dear wife Sarah Wilson McDowal James Fraser of Dumfries in Scotland and to Robert Adamson of the same place banker and their heirs for ever upon trust and from time to time to enter into order manage and cultivate the said estates and plantations in the said island and to receive and take the rents and produce thereof and the same to shife(?) and remit to Great Britain or otherwise dispose of as they or the survivors or survivor of them shall from time to time direct ---------
in case I shall not have any child or children or having such all of them shall die under the age of 21 years and without leaving lawful issue living at their respective deaths then upon trust for all and every the said child or children of the said James Fraser who shall be living at my decease except such of the daughters of the said James Fraser as shall be then married ------------ and I give and bequeath all the residue and remainder of my personal estate and effects whatever and whenever unto my said wife Sarah Wilson McDowal James Fraser and Robert Adamson their executors administrators and assigns upon trust as soon a conveniently may be after my decease to collect get in and convert into money my residuary personal estate ------------
Sadly, Sarah Wilson McDowal also died in December 1838 just 4 weeks after her husband so that the estates and other assets would have passed to the children of James Fraser. It seems likely that James - the son of James Fraser - took over the management of the estates in Jamaica until his death on 5 March 1845. It is also notable that James Fraser's youngest daughter married her first husband, William Rankine on 9 July 1845 and subsequently moved to Jamaica - possibly for Rankine to take over management of the estates. She subsequently married a James McKay - this is evident from the Deed of Conveyance executed in December 1861which transferred land at Two Mile Wood from Alexander Nairne et al. to William Fraser. James McKay bequeathed to Isabella in fee simple a share of land at Two Mile Wood pen and also a small lot in or near Birmingham, England. He also left her 'large sums of money in England invested partly in shares in the Bank of Birmingham and the Midland Waggon Co'. After McKay's death a marriage settlement was executed between Isabella McKay and her intended third husband, Andrew Haliday Hall, Lieutenant in HM 2nd West India Regiment of Foot. By the Deed Isabella Hall transferred to her brother William Fraser and to Alexander Nairne all her land in England and her share of Two Mile Wood pen.
Personal property sworn to not exceeding £100
831/2000 Recorded in L.O.S. 129 Folio 179
Jamaica SS. Victoria by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom of
Great Britain and Ireland Queen and of Jamaica Lady Defender of the Faith &c To our trusty and well beloved James Philip Clarke, William Thomas March and Andrew Henry Lewis respectively of the parish of Saint Catherine Esquires Know ye that we have constituted authorized and appointed ye or either of ye to administer an oath unto William George Macfarlane or any other that are witnesses and can make oath on the signing sealing and publishing and declaring of the last Will and testament of William Fraser late of the parish of Saint Catherine 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 Lieutenant Governor of our said Island so that such proceedings may be ordered therein as may be according to Law. Witness His Excellency Edward John Eyre Esquire Lieut. Governor of our said Island at St. Jago de la Vega the 5th day of August 1863 in the 27th 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 6th day of August 1863. J. P. Clarke J.P.
Estate of William Fraser deceased.
Dedimus Will and Probate dated 5th August 1863
Entered 8 August 1863
Jamaica SS. This is the last will and Testament of me William Fraser of the parish of Saint Catherine Doctor of Medicine.
In the first place I revoke and make void all wills or other testamentary disposition of property whatsoever which I have at any time heretofore made and I declare this to be and contain my last will and testament. I subject and make liable all my estate both real and personal to the payment of all my just and lawful debts and of my funeral and testamentary expences.
I give and bequeath unto Mrs. Harriet Nairne the wife of Alexander Nairne hereinafter named in who house I am at the time of executing this will sojourning the sum of £50 sterling as a token of my respect to be paid to her out of the first and readiest of my real and personal estate which may come to the hands of my executors and free of all legacy or other stamp duty.
As to all the rest residue and remainder of my estate real personal or mixed wherever the same may be situate or over which I may have any disposing power by appointment or otherwise I give devise and bequeath the same and every part thereof unto my brother in law Charles Cummins and my friend Alexander Nairne and the survivor of them their heirs executors and assigns upon trust to stand and be possessed thereof and until any sale or sales shall be made of all or any part of my real estate to manage cultivate and carry on the same and to receive and take the annual and other rents issues and profits thereon and from time to time when and as the same shall be received to pay the same after deducting all expences and charges of management or other expences incident to this trust or other the directions of this my will into the proper hand of my much beloved wife Mary Fraser for an during the term of her natural life for her sole and separate use and benefit and so that the same be not subject to the debts control or interference of any husband with whom she may intermarry after my death and I declare that the receipt or receipts of my said wife alone notwithstanding coverture shall be sufficient discharge or discharges for all or any money to be paid to her in pursuance of this direction and devise and from and after the death of my said wife then I direct that such the residue of my real personal or mixed estate be held by my said trustees in trust to lay out and expend so much of the annual and other rents issues and profits as may be necessary for the education maintenance and support of my son William and my daughter Ethel Mary until the youngest child shall attain the age of 21 years and from and immediately thereafter (but subject always to the life interest hereinbefore given to my wife) then as to one moiety or equal half part of all my said residuary estate to my said son his heirs executors and assigns for ever. And as to the other moiety or equal half part to the use of my said daughter for and during the term of her natural life for her sole and separate use and benefit and so that the same be not subject to the debts control or interference of any husband with whom she may intermarry and I declare that the receipt or receipts of my said daughter alone notwithstanding coverture shall be sufficient discharge or discharges for all or any money to be paid to her in pursuance of this direction and devise and from and immediately after the death of my said daughter then to all and every the children whom she may leave her surviving his and her heirs executors and assigns for ever in equal portions as tenants in common and if only one child then to such only child his or her heirs executors and assigns for ever. I give full power and authority to my executors and trustees to sell and dispose of all or any part of my real estate and to invest the money to arise from any such sale in the Government Securities of Great Britain or of this Island to be held upon the trusts hereinbefore declared.
Lastly I appoint the before named Charles Cummins and Alexander Nairne Executors of this my will.
In witness whereof I have . . . set my hand and seal this fourteenth day of January 1863.
Signed sealed and published and declared by the Testator William Fraser as and for his last will and testament in our presence who in his presence and in the presence of each other have hereunto set our names as witnesses thereto.
William G. Macfarlane James Cecil Phillippo
Jamaica SS. In obedience to the dedimus potestatem hereunto annexed I have administered an oath unto William George Macfarlane who being duly sworn on the Holy Evangelists deposeth and saith that he was present and did see William Fraser the Testator in the annexed instrument of writing named, being at that time of sound and disposing mind memory and understanding sign and seal publish and declare the same as and for his last will and testament and at the same time James Cecil Phillippo was also present and together with him subscribed their names as witnesses to the same in the presence of the said Testator and farther that he knows nothing of any disadvantage of the will hereunto annexed.
Given under my hand and seal this 6th day of August 1863.
James P. Clarke J.P.
The above contains 6 sheets and 68 words. Alfred J. James
Declared to 7th August 1863 before R. Osborn J.P.
This is the last will and testament of me William McDowal at present residing in Liverpool in the county of Lancaster but about to proceed to the Island of Jamaica. I give and devise all that my plantation or estate called or known by the name of Two Mile wood situated in the parish of St Catherine in the said island of Jamaica and all that piece of land called the Cock Pits situated in the parish of Clarendon in the said island and all and singular other the plantation Pensis and real estates etc etc whatever in the said island or elsewhere belonging to me or which I have a power of disposition with the respective rights and appurtenances unto and to the use of my dear wife Sarah Wilson McDowal James Fraser of Dumfries in Scotland and to Robert Adamson of the same place banker and their heirs for ever upon trust and from time to time to enter into order manage and cultivate the said estates and plantations in the said island and to receive and take the rents and produce thereof and the same to shife(?) and remit to Great Britain or otherwise dispose of as they or the survivors or survivor of them shall from time to time direct with power to appoint Attorneys Agents or Bailiffs in the End of page 1
said island or elsewhere for the purpose of carrying into execution the trusts hereby in them reposed as they or the survivors of them or the heirs of such survivors or their assignees shall in their discretion think proper to pay the rents profits arising from my said plantations and estates and of all other my said real estates unto my said wife or permit(?) or empower her to receive the same during her natural life to be applied by my said wife for the support and maintenance of herself and the support and maintenance and education of my children in such manner as she may think proper and from and after the decease of my said wife upon trust that my said trustees and trustee for the time being shall stand possessed of all singular the said estate plantations hereditaments and premises for such of my children as shall attain the age or respective ages of 21 years or shall die under that age leaving any lawful issues living at his her or their decease or respectively deceases and his her or their heirs and assigns for ever if more than one as tenants in common but so nevertheless that the respective child or children of each of my children shall have his her or their parents share or respective parents share only and if any or either of my children shall die without leaving any child who shall survive me(?) and shall attain the age of 21 years or die under that age leaving lawful issue living at his or her death then as to the share or respective shares as well original or accruing of such child or children respectively in trust for the others of my said children and if more than one to be in equal shares as aforesaid and if but one then in trust for such only child (something inserted?) in case I shall not have any child or children or having such all of them shall die under the age of 21 years and without leaving lawful issue living at their respective deaths then upon trust for all and every the said child or children of the said James Fraser who shall be living at my decease except such of the daughters of the said James Fraser as shall be then married and I empower and direct my trustees for the time being from and after the decease of my said wife to apply the rents and produce arising from the respective shares or properties or expectant shares or properties to which any children of mine shall be actually or presumptively entitled in possession of which they would if of full age be entitled under the trusts aforesaid to and for the maintenance and education of such children respectively and I declare that the unapplied part of the said rents and annual produce if any shall be from time to time accumulated and follow the destination of the shares or properties from whence the same respectively shall have arisen provided always and I hereby declare that it shall be lawful for my trustees for the time being with the consent in writing of the persons for the time being entitled to the rents and profits of the said estates plantations and hereditaments or such of the persons so entitled shall be of the age of 21 years and if there shall be no such person then of the proper authority of the said trustees to dispose of and convey either by way of absolute sale or in exchange for or in lien of other hereditaments with all or any part of the said estates plantations and hereditaments herein before devised and the inheritance thereof End of page 2
in fee simple or for other my estates or interest therin to any person or persons whosoever for such price or prices in money or such equivalent in lands or hereditaments as the said trustees or trustee shall seem meet and also in the discretion and of the absolute authority of the said trustees or trustee for the time being of this my will to join and concur with the person or persons for the time being entitled to the said hereditaments in making a partition or division of the same hereditaments and premises or any of them or any exchange or partition as aforesaid to pay any sums or sum of money for equality of exchange or partition out of the trust or to charge and secure the sum or sums of money so said or for the expenses of making such exchange or partition with the interest thereon upon the hereditaments to be received or allotted as aforesaid or to accept any sum or sums of money for equality of exchange or partition or any similar securities or other real securities for the payment thereof with interest and that for the purpose of affecting every or any such sale disposition exchange or partition and conveyance as aforesaid it shall be lawful for the trustees or trustee for the time being of this my will with such consent or in such discretion as aforesaid by any deed or deeds or instrument or instruments in writing sealed and delivered by them or him in the presence of and attested by such more witness or witnesses absolutely to revoke determine and make void all and every or any of the uses trusts powers and provisions herein before limited and expressed concerning the whole or any part or parts parcel or parcels of the hereditaments herein before devised and by the same or any other deed or deeds instrument or instruments in writing to limit declare direct and appoint any use or uses estate or estates trust or trusts of the said premises or any part or parts parcel or parcels thereof for which it shall be though necessary or expedient to limit declare direct or appoint in order to effectuate such sale disposition exchange partition or conveyance as aforesaid and I hereby declare that when all or any part of the said hereditaments herein before devised shall be sold for a pecuniary consideration or any money shall be so received for equality of exchange or partition as aforesaid of the said trustees or trustee shall with all convenient speed lay out and invest such sum or sums of money at interest either in the parliamentary stocks or public funds of Great Britain and Ireland or on government or real securities in England Wales in the name or names of such trustees or trustee for the time being and to alter or vary the said stocks funds and securities as occasion shall require and I hereby direct and declare that this interest dividend and annual produce arising from such stocks funds and securities shall go and be paid to such person or persons and be applied to and for such uses intents and purposes and in such manner as the rents and profits of the said estates plantations and hereditaments herein before devised would go or be applicable in case such sales dispositions exchanges or partitions as aforesaid had not (?) been made I give and bequeath to my said wife all my household furniture plate linen china glass books trinkets coals wines liquors and housekeeping provisions of which I shall be possessed at the time of my decease for her absolute use and benefit End of page 3
and I give and bequeath all the residue and remainder of my personal estate and effects whatever and whenever unto my said wife Sarah Wilson McDowal James Fraser and Robert Adamson their executors administrators and assigns upon trust as soon a conveniently may be after my decease to collect get in and convert into money my residuary personal estate or such part thereof as shall not consist of money or such securities for money as are herein before directed to be purchased and by and with the monies arising thereby and by money of which I shall be possessed at my decease do paying my debts and funeral and testamentary expenses and to lay out and invest the surplus or residue of the said moneys respectively in their or his name or names in the parliamentary stocks or public funds of Great Britain and Ireland or at interest upon government or real securities in England or Wales and which stocks funds and securities and also any such which I shall be possessed at the time of my decease the said trustees and trustee are and is empowered from time to time to alter vary and transpose as occasion shall require and to stand and be possessed of and interested in all the said trust monies stocks funds and securities and the interest dividends and annual produce thereof upon such and the same trusts and for the same ends and intents and purposes and with and under subject to the same powers provisions and declarations as are herein before expressed and contained concerning my real estate herein before devised or such of the same as shall be applicable and as near hereto as the different natures of the estates will allow and I empower my said trustees and executors to ask demand recover and receive from all and every person and persons whom it doth or shall or may concern all and every sum and sums of money debts claims and demands whatsoever in the said Island of Jamaica which shall be due or owing or belonging for or in respect of or on account of the rents profits and produce of the said estates and to give and execute receipts releases or other discharges for the same and to sue and prosecute for the same and to take use and prosecute all such legal and proper executions suits means modes and expedients for recovery thereof as shall or may be necessary in any court or courts of law or equity in the said Island of Jamaica and there to sue and prosecute or answer and defend any action or actions suit or suits be brought or to be brought by or against them or any of them and also to compound for any claims or demands which they may have upon or against any person or persons whomsoever in the said island or elsewhere and also to pay any sum or sums of money which shall be claimed to be owing from my estate upon such evidence though not strictly legal as they shall deem sufficient and satisfactory and also to refer any dispute with any debtor or creditor of my estate to arbitration and to give full and ample discharge to any person or persons with whom I in my lifetime or the said executors after my decease shall have had any dealings accounts or transactions whatsoever and declare that when and so often as any vacancy shall occur in the office of trustee under this my will by reason of the death whether in my lifetime or after my decease renunciation incapacity or resignation of any trustee for the End of page 4
time being it shall when lawful for the surviving or continuing trustee or trustees for the time being or if there be no such trustee then for the executor or administrator of the last surviving trustee or if there be no trustee such last mentioned person then for the ?????? or retiring trustee or trustees to nominate a new trustee or trustees to supply such vacancy or vacancies respectively and I hereby declare that any said trustees for the time being and my executors and executrix shall not be answerable for each other or for involuntary losses and that they shall be allowed and may retain all their costs and expenses to be incurred in the execution of the trusts hereby in them reposed and that every person paying money to such executors and trustee for the time being shall be exonerated from all responsibility in respect of the application thereof and I hereby nominate and appoint the said James Fraser and Robert Adamson executors and my said wife executrix of this my will and I hereby revoke all the former wills in witness whereof I the said William McDowal the testator have to this my last will and testament contained in the six sheets of paper set my hand and seal as follows that is to say my hand to and at the foot of each of the five preceding sheets and my hand and seal to this sixth and last sheet thereof this 13th day of October 1936 W McDowal (LS) signed sealed published and declared by the said testator William McDowal as and for his last will and testament in the presence of us who at his request in his presence and in the presence of each other have hereto subscribed our names as witnesses -- Chas Love Henry Bell Will Barlow of No. 2 Exchange Street Liverpool
In the prerogative court of Canterbury in the goods of William McDowal deceased. Appearing personally Henry Bell of Liverpool in the county of Lancaster Gentleman and made oath that he is one of the subscribed witnesses to the last will and testament of the said William McDowal formerly of Two Mile Wood in the Island of Jamaica but late of Liverpool in the county of Lancaster Gentleman deceased which said will is now hereunto annexed beginning 'This is the last will and testament of me William McDowal ending thus this 13th day of October 1836 and thus subscribed W McDowal ' 'that he was present with the said deceased at the office of Messieurs Radcliffe and Duncan in Liverpool aforesaid solicitors and the 13th day of October aforesaid being the day of the date of the said will when he the said deceased in the presence of this deponent and of the other subscribed witnesses to the said will duly made and executed his said last will and testament by subscribing his name W McDowal; at the foot of each of the first five sheets and also by subscribing his name opposite the wafer impression of a seal on the 6th and last sheet of the said will in manner and form as thereon now appears and he the said deceased did then seal publish and declare the said will as and for his last will and testament in the presence of this deponent and of the other subscribed witnesses thereto whereupon this deponent and the End of page 5
other subscribed witnesses did in the presence of the said deceased and of each other severally set and subscribed their names as witnesses to the said will in manner and form as thereon now appears and having now viewed the said will so hereto annexed as aforesaid the name 'Henry Bell' set and subscribed thereto as a witness he saith that the said names of his own proper hand writing and subscription and that the said will is the very one he so saw the said deceased execute as aforesaid and he lastly made oath that the said deceased at the time he so as aforesaid executed the said will appeared to ?????? was as this deponent verify and in his conscience believes of sound mind necessary and understanding and was fully capable of making and ????? his last will and testament or of doing any other serious or rational act requiring thought judgement and reflection and he further made oath that previous to the execution of the said will he observed the following alterations interlineations and erazures therein to wit an erazure at the end of the name McDowal in the second line of the first sheet of the said will the word 'parents' written on an erazure in the third line of the second sheet of the said will an erazure between the tenth and eleventh and the eleventh and twelfth line of the said sheet the word 'their' written at the end of the eleventh line and the words ' his or her heirs and assigns for ever' written on part of the aforesaid erazure between the said eleventh and twelfth lines and also the word 'shall' written between the twenty sixth and twenty seventh lines of the said sheet the words aforesaid 'the' between the last and last but one line of the third sheet and the words 'debts and' written between the twenty fifth and twenty sixth lines of the fourth sheet of the said will and an erazure between the words 'and' and 'the' in the last line of the said sheet and also the words ' have had any dealings accounts or transactions whatsoever' written between the twenty eighth and twenty ninth lines of the fifth sheet of the said will and having now viewed and inspected the said will and also the aforesaid alterations interlineations and erazures appearing therein this deponent saith that he verily and in his conscience believes the whole of the said alterations interlineations and erazures were made previous to the execution of the said will and that the said will is now in the very same light and condition as when executed as aforesaid except being marked with the letter "A" and the words "will referred to be the annexed requisition D Armstrong Provost and Chief Magistrate of Dumfries" at the top of the first sheet thereof written Henry Bell on the twenty sixth day of July 1839 the said Henry Bell was sworn to the truth of this affidavit in virtue of the annex requisition before me I Jones Surrogate Commissioner
Extracted by Sladen Glennie Farquhar
F Sladen Proctors Doctors Commons
William by divine providence arch bishop of Canterbury Primate of all England and metropolitan do by these present make known to all men that on the third day of August in the year of our Lord 1839 since at London before the Right Honourable Sir Herbert Isinner Knight Doctor of Laws Master Keeper of commissary or our prerogative Court of Canterbury
(INSERTED: Sworn under twenty po????? with the provis(?) of Canterbury and that the testator died 2 December 1838 JC) End of page 6
Lawfully constituted the last will and testament of William McDowal formerly of Two Mile Wood in the Island of Jamaica but late of Liverpool in the county of Lancaster deceased unto annexed was proved approved and registered the said deceased having whilst living and at the time of his death goods and chattels or credits in divers dioceses or jurisdictions by reason whereof the proving and registering the said will and the granting administration of all and singular the said goods chattels and credits and also the auditing allowing and final discharging the account thereof are well known to appertain only and wholly to us and not to any inferior judge and that administration of all and singular the goods chattels and credits of the said deceased and any way concerning his will was granted to James Fraser one of the surviving executors named in the said will he having been already sworn by commission well and faithfully to administer the same and to make a true and perfect inventory of all the singular the said goods chattels and credits and to exhibit the same into the registry of our said court on or before the last day of February next ensuring and also to render a justified true account thereof making the like grant to Robert Adamson as the other surviving executor named in the said will when he shall apply for the same given at about the time and place above written and in the eleventh year of our translation
John Iggulden Deputy Registers
W F Gostling Jamaica
I do swear that I have carefully counted the annexed probate of will and find the same to contain twenty five legal sheets and one hundred and fifty words over the best of my reckoning and belief John McAniss
Sworn before me this 12th day of May 1840 A Lopez
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