RECORD: 1881-1882. Last will and testament of Charles Robert Darwin. YorkProbateSubRegistry (Darwin Online, http://darwin-online.org.uk/)

REVISION HISTORY: Transcribed by Kees Rookmaaker, corrections by John van Wyhe 2.2009. RN1

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[page 1]

On the 6th day of June 1882 the Will with Codicil thereto of
Charles Robert Darwin
formerly of
but
late of Down near Beckenham in the County of Kent Esquire
deceased, who died on the 19th day of April 1882 at Down aforesaid
was proved in the Principal Registry of the Probate Division of the High Court of Justice, by the Oaths of William Erasmus Darwin of Southampton in the County of Southampton Banker and George Howard Darwin of Trinity College Cambridge in the County of Cambridge Esquire the Sons
the sole one of the Executors named in the said Will they having been first duly sworn to administer, power being reserved of granting Probate of the said Will and
to
the other Execut named in the
the other Executor having
renounced the Probate and Execution of the said Will

Gross value of the Personal Estate of £146,911-7-10
Net value ................ £

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This is the Last Will and Testament of me Charles Robert Darwin of Down near Beckenham in the County of Kent Esquire I direct all my final debts and my funeral and testamentary expenses to be paid and satisfied as soon as conveniently can be after my death out of my personal estate not thereinafter specifically bequeathed or disposed of and I appoint my two eldest sons William Erasmus Darwin and George Howard Darwin or my two eldest surviving sons at the time of my decease Executors and Trustees of this my will. I give and bequeath to my eldest son William Erasmus Darwin or in the event of his dying in my lifetime to my eldest surviving son at the time of my decease All my family portraits and family papers and all my medals and the silver candle sticks with an inscription presented to me by the Royal Society. Also all my Diplomas and the manuscript of the Voyage of the Beagle and the manuscript of my Autobiography.1 And I give and bequeath to my son Francis Darwin my Scientific library that is all books relating to Science. And I declare that in case any doubt shall arise as to what articles are included in either of the said bequests the decision in writing of my executors or acting executor respecting such doubt shall be conclusive. I give and bequeath to each of my friends Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker and Thomas Henry Huxley Esquire the legacy or sum of one thousand pounds sterling free of legacy duty as a slight memorial of my life long affection and respect for them. I give and devise and by virtue and in exercise and execution of every power and authority in anywise enabling me in this behalf appoint all the messuages land and heriditaments and real estate and part or share and parts or shares of messuages lands heriditaments and real estate now belonging or which shall belong to me at the time of my decease either in possession reversion remainder or expectancy or in or over which I have or shall have any desirable interest or power of appointment unto and to the use of the said William Erasmus Darwin and George Howard Darwin or my two eldest surviving sons at the time of my decease their heirs and assigns for ever. Upon the trusts hereinafter declared that is to say Upon trust as to the freehold messuage dwellinghouse estate or tenement outbuildings lands and hereditaments situate at Down aforesaid now in my occupation with the rights inscribers and apportenaries thereto belonging to permit and suffer my wife Emma Darwin to occupy the same during her natural life without paying any rent for the same she keeping the messuage and buildings in repair and insured from loss or damage by fire to such extent or amount as the same shall be so insured by me at my death. And upon trust that they the said William Erasmus Darwin and George Howard Darwin or my two eldest surviving sons at the time of my decease and the survivor of them their and his heirs and assigns do and shall immediately or at such time or times after my death as they or he at their or his discretion shall think proper or expedient make sale and absolutely dispose of or concur in selling and disposing of all my messuages lands hereditaments and real estate (nevertheless as to my said messuage and land at Down aforesaid and now in my occupation with the consent in writing of my said wife during her life) either by public auction or private contract and generally in all respects in such manner and under and subject to such conditions and stipulations as to the title conveyance or otherwise as they or he or their or his Counsel shall deem necessary or proper and with power to bring in at any auction and so received or vary the terms

1 It has sometimes been claimed that Darwin never referred to the manuscript (DAR26) titled 'Recollections of the Development of my mind & character' as his autobiography.

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or conditions of any contract and to resell at their or his discretion without any liability to answer for any loss which shall be the consequence of [be] doing And do and shall make and execute all such acts deeds and assurances as shall be necessary for carrying such sale or sales as aforesaid into effect. And I declare that the hereditaments and real estate herein before devised and directed to be sold shall be considered as absolutely converted into and as personal estate from the time of my death. But subject nevertheless as to my said freehold messuage dwellinghouse estate and hereditaments at Down aforesaid now in my own occupation to my wifes life interest therein under the trusts aforesaid and that the moneys to arise from such sale or sales as aforesaid shall fall into and be considered as part of the produce of my personal estate and that the rents and profits of the said hereditaments in the meantime and until the sale of the same shall be considered as part of the income of or arising from the produce of my personal estate and be held and applied accordingly. Provided always and I declare that it shall be lawful for the trustees or trustee for the time being of this my will to postpone the sale of my said messuage or any part thereof for such period as they or he shall in their or his discretion think fit without being responsible for any loss which may be occasioned thereby. And I direct that in the meantime until such sale it shall be lawful for my said trustees or trustee for the time being to demise or let all or any part of my said real estate for such term or terms and by such rents and subject to such conditions in all respects as they or he shall think proper. I give and bequeath unto my said wife Emma Darwin all my watches jewels ornaments of the person and wearing apparel and all and singular my household furniture implements of household use or ornamental plate linen books wine china glass carriages horses garden and farm utensils and other articles of a like nature that shall belong to me at the time of my decease (house fixtures and also all other articles herein otherwise disposed of excepted) to and for her absolute use and benefit. I also give and bequeath unto my said wife Emma Darwin the sum of five hundred pounds to be paid to her as soon as conveniently may be after my decease to meet and provide for her immediate occasions. And whereas under and by virtue of the settlement executed previously to my marriage with my said wife Emma Darwin and which Settlement bear date on or about the thirty first day of December one thousand eight hundred and thirty eight [1838] I have the right of appointment and disposition of the sum of ten thousand pounds therein expressed to be secured by the bond of my late father Robert Waring Darwin and to the interest of which I am entitled for my life and my said wife is also entitled for her life in case she shall survive me. Now in pursuance and execution of the power and authority so given and prescribed to me by the said Indenture of Settlement and of every other power or authority enabling me in this behalf I do hereby direct and appoint that from and after the decease of the survivor of myself and my said wife Emma Darwin the said sum of ten thousand pounds or the stocks funds or securities in or upon which the same may be invested shall be paid shared and divided unto and between all my children by my said wife now living in such manner as that each of my five sons shall have or be entitled to seven seventy fourth parts or shares thereof. Provided always and I hereby declare that it is not my intention to exercise or execute and that nothing in this my will contained shall be deemed or construed as an exercise or execution by me of a certain other power or authority in the said Indenture of Settlement given or reserved to me of appointing any part of the said sum of ten thousand pounds in the event of my surviving my said wife Emma Darwin and of my having or having only three children by her (or a less number as in the said Settlement expressed. And I give and bequeath and by virtue and in exercise and execution of any power or authority in any power in enabling me in their behalf (except as hereinbefore

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mentioned) appoint all my moneys securities for money money in the funds Railway shares and generally all my personal estate and effects of every character and description which I am enabled to entitled to bequeath or appoint or dispose of except what I otherwise dispose of by this my will or any codicil hereto to the said William Erasmus Darwin and George Howard Darwin or my two eldest surviving sons at the time of my decease their executors administrators and assigns. Upon trust that they my said trustees or the survivor of them their of his executors administrators or assigns do and shall (but subject and without prejudice to the directions hereinafter contained) so soon as conveniently can be after my decease collect get in and receive all such money as shall be due and owing to me from any person or persons and do and shall well dispose of and convert into money all such parts of my personal estate as shall not consist of money. And do and shall with and out of the moneys to arise from such sale or sales or to be collected and received as aforesaid and the money if any to arise from the sale of the hereditaments and real estate hereinbefore devised and appointed and the ready money belonging to me at my death pay and discharge all my just debts and funeral and testamentary expenses and the legacies (other than specific legacies) bequeathed by this my will or any codicil hereto and do and shall lay out and invest the then residue of the said several trust moneys in or upon any of the public stocks or funds of Great Britain or of the Government of any of the Colonies or possessions of Great Britain or at interest upon government securities or the securities of any such Colonial Government or real securities in Great Britain but not in Ireland or in or upon any of the stocks funds debentures bonds or other securities of any Railway Dock or other incorporated Company (not being a joint stock or discount bank or trading Company) or any board body or trustees authorized by Act of Parliament to borrow money for the construction conservancy or maintenance of any public works and do and shall from time to time (nevertheless during the life of my said wife Emma D arwin with her consent in writing) alter vary and change the securities in or upon which the said trust moneys shall be invested either as occasion shall require or as shall be thought proper or expedient and do and shall stand and be possessed of the said trust moneys stocks funds and securities (hereinafter called the said trust premises) and the dividends interest and income thereof upon the trusts hereinafter mentioned (that is to say) Upon trust that they the said trustees or the survivor of them their of his executors administrators or assigns do and shall from time to time yearly and every year during the life of my said wife Emma Darwin pay the dividends interest and income of the said trust premises unto my said wife Emma Darwin and her assigns for her life for her and their absolute use and benefit with a proportionate part thereof up to the day of her decease and from and after the decease of my said wife Upon trust that they the said William Erasmus Darwin and George Howard Darwin or my two eldest surviving sons at the time of my decease or the survivor of them their or his executors administrators and assigns do and shall stand and be possessed of the said trust premises. Upon trust for all and every of my children by my said wife Emma Darwin now living in such manner as that each of my five sons shall have or be entitled to twelve seventy fourth parts or shares and that each of my two daughters shall have or be entitled to seven seventy fourth parts or shares thereof. And whereas I some time since advanced and gave to my eldest son the said William Erasmus Darwin the sum of four thousand five hundred pounds in order to enable him into partnership as a Banker with George Atherley of the County of the Town of Southampton Banker And whereas the said William Erasmus Darwin was lately under the will of my sister Susan Elizabeth Darwin become absolutely entitled to a certain freehold estate at Claythorpe in the Parish of Baleam cum Claythorpe or elsewhere in the Division of Caterworth in the County

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of Lincoln Stow I hereby declare and direct that the said sum of four thousand five hundred pounds and the said estate at Claythorpe which for the purposes of this present clause I direct to be estimated as of the value of eight thousand five hundred pounds) shall be deemed and taken as part of the share to which my son the said William Erasmus Darwin shall or may become entitled under the trusts and provisions of this my will and that in estimating the share payable to him under such trusts and provisions the said sum of four thousand five hundred pounds so advanced by me as aforesaid and the said sum of eight thousand five hundred pounds the estimated value of the said estate making together the sum of thirteen thousand pounds shall be deducted and allowed accordingly. And I declare that the provision or declaration hereinbefore contained substituting the issue of a child of mine who shall die in my lifetime leaving issue in the place of such child shall be applicable and shall extend to the reduced share hereby provided for my son the said William Erasmus Darwin. And whereas in contemplation of the marriage of my daughter Henrietta Emma Darwin with Richard Buckley Litchfield Esquire in or about the month of August one thousand eight hundred and seventy one [1871] which marriage was duly solemnized I transferred to the trustees of the Settlement executed on such marriage the sum of five thousand pounds four pounds per cent debenture stock of the North Eastern Railway Company to be held upon the trusts by the Settlement declared. And whereas in contemplation of the marriage of my son Francis Darwin with Amy Richenda Ruck Spinster in or about the month of July one thousand eight hundred and seventy fourm [1874] (which marriage was duly solemnized) I transferred to the trustees of the Settlement executed on such marriage the sum of five thousand pounds four pounds per cent debenture stock of the said North Eastern Railway Company to be held upon the trusts by that Settlement declared. And whereas in contemplation of the marriage of my son Horace Darwin with Emma Cecilia Farrer in or about the month of January one thousand eight hundred and eighty [1880] (which marriage was duly solemnized) I transferred to the trustees of the Settlement executed on such marriage the sum of five thousand pounds four pounds per cent debenture stock of the said North Eastern Railway Company to be held upon the trusts by that Settlement declared. And in and by the last mentioned Settlement I covenanted with the trustees thereof that I my heirs executors or administrators would during the lives of myself and my present wife or the life of the survivor or within six calendar months after the death of such survivor pay to the trustees the sum of five thousand pounds and would until the five thousand pounds should have been so paid pay interest thereon at the rate of three pounds ten shillings per centum per annum half yearly. And whereas I have not as yet paid the said principal sum of five thousand pounds so as aforesaid covenanted to be paid by me my heirs executors or administrators or any part of such principal sum to the trustees of the said Settlement executed on the said marriage of my said son Horace Darwin. And whereas I am desirous that the said several sums of debenture stock so as aforesaid transferred by me to the respective trustees of the said three several Settlements respectively executed on the aforesaid respective marriages of my said daughter Henrietta Emma Litchfield and my said two sons Francis Darwin and Horace Darwin respectively and also the principal sum or sums to be hereafter paid by me my heirs executors or administrators to the trustees of the aforesaid Settlement executed on the marriage of my said son Horace Darwin pursuant to the said recited covenant in such Settlement contained and also all other sums of money or stock or other advances which may be made by me to or for the benefit of any of my children on his her or their marriage or respective marriages shall be brought into account as hereinafter directed. Now therefore I do hereby declare and direct that the said three several sums of five thousand pounds four pound per cent debenture stock of the North Eastern Railway Company so as aforesaid respectively transferred by me as aforesaid (which for the purposes of this provision I

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direct to be estimated as of the value of five thousand pounds sterling each) and also the principal sum or sums to be hereafter paid by me my heirs executors or administrators of the trustees of the aforesaid Settlement executed on the marriage of my said son Horace Darwin pursuant to the said recited covenant in such Settlement contained and also all other sums of money or stocks or other advances which may be made by me to or for the benefit of any other or others of my children on his her or their marriage or respective marriages shall respectively be taken as part of the share or respective shares to which under the trusts and provisions of this my will my daughter the said Henrietta Emma Litchfield and my sons Francis Darwin and Horace Darwin and such other or others of my children as last aforesaid shall or may respectively become entitled and that in estimating the amount of the share under such trusts and provisions of each of them the said Henrietta Emma Litchfield and Francis Darwin and Horace Darwin and any other child to whom or for whose benefit I may have made any advance as aforesaid the sum of five thousand pounds and also as to the said Horace Darwin the principal sum and sums to be hereafter paid by me my heirs executors or administrators to the trustees of the aforesaid marriage Settlement executed on the marriage of my said son Horace Darwin pursuant to the said recited covenant in such Settlement contained or as the case may be the value at the time of the same being made of any such advance as may be made by me to or for the benefit of any of my other children on his or her marriage shall be deducted and allowed out of the same share. And I declare that the reduced share of my daughter the said Henrietta Emma Litchfield and the reduced share of my other daughter if I shall make any such advances as aforesaid to her or for her benefit upon her marriage shall be held upon the trusts hereinafter declared of the share hereby provided for such daughter. And it is my wish and intention and I direct that the share of my said daughter Henrietta Emma Litchfield of and in the said trust premises shall be paid assigned transferred and made over to the trustees or trustee for the time being of the aforesaid Settlement executed on her marriage with Richard Buckley Litchfield Esquire to be received by them or him the said trustees or trustee upon and for the trusts interest and purposes and with under and subject to the powers provisions declarations and agreements by such Settlement expressed and declared of an concerning the property of or to which my said daughter Henrietta Emma Litchfield then was or of or to which she or the said Richard Buckley Litchfield in her right should or might during the mere intended coverture become seized possessed or entitled. And it is my wish and intention that the share of my other daughter now unmarried of and in the said trust premises shall (subject to the life interest of my said wife therein) remain or be vested in my said trustees or trustee and that the interest dividends and proceeds arising from the share of my said last mentioned daughter in the said trust premises shall be paid to her or applied to and for her use and benefit during her natural life. And after the decease of my said last mentioned daughter in the said trust premises shall be paid to her or applied to and for her use and benefit during her natural life. And after the decease of my said last mentioned daughter without having been married her said share shall be in trust for such person or persons and shall go in such manner as she my last mentioned daughter shall appoint to direct by her last will or any codicil thereto under her hand attested by two or more credible witnesses. And in default of any such direction or appointment and so far as any such if made shall not extend such share shall be in trust for and go and be applied for the benefit of such person or persons as shall be the next of kin in blood to such daughter at the time of her death such persons if more than one to take according to the rules of the statutes for the distribution of intestates estates but if my said last mentioned daughter shall marry her share shall be settled before such marriage as my said trustees or trustee for the time being shall approve and think proper but if no such settlement shall be made before such marriage then I direct and it is my will that the yearly income

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of the share of my said last mentioned daughter so marrying shall be in trust for such daughter for her separate and inalienable use during her life and after her death in trust for her husband if living for his life if she my said daughter shall so direct or appoint by will or codicil under her hand and attested as aforesaid but not otherwise. And subject thereto such share shall be in trust for the child and children (if any) of such daughter in such manner shares and proportions as she shall direct or appoint by will or codicil signed and attested as aforesaid. And in default of or subject to any such direction or appointment as last mentioned in trust for all and every her child and children (if any) who being a sons or sons shall live to attain that age or marry under that age equally to be divided between or amongst such children if more than one share and share alike. And in case of there not being any child of such daughter who shall live to attain a vested interest under this my will the share of such daughter shall upon such failure of children be in trust for such person or persons and shall go in such manner as such daughter shall appoint and direct by will or codicil signed and attested as aforesaid. And in default of any such appointment or direction as so far as any such if made shall not extend In trust for such person or person of the blood and kindred of such daughter living at her death as by virtue of the said Statutes of distribution would have been entitled to her personal estate in case she had died unmarried and intestate and in such proportions as such persons if more than one would have so become entitled to the same. And I declare and direct that my said trustees or trustee for the time being or the trustees to be named in any such Settlement upon the marriage of my said daughter shall have and be invested with full powers and authority to sell and dispose of call in and convert into money the share of my said daughter in my said trust estate and to lay out and invest in their or his names or name the moneys therefrom arising in or upon any of the stocks funds or securities in or upon which my residuary estate or the produce thereof is hereinbefore authorized to be invested or in the purchase of freehold or copyhold heriditaments to be nevertheless considered as personal estate and from time to time to vary alter and transpose or resell the same or any part or parts thereof and that the annual income of the expectant share of each or any child of my said daughter shall or may after the determination of the preceding life interests therein be paid or applied for the maintenance and education of such child during minority and moreover any part or portion of such expectant share shall or may (but during the continuance of any preceding life interest or interests only with the consent in writing of the person or persons entitled to such interest or interests) be advanced by the said trustees for any such childs benefit preferment or advancement in the world and that all such other powers and authorities as are usual and proper in such or the like settlements or as Counsel shall advise shall be inserted and contained in such Settlement (if any) as shall be made before the marriage of my said daughter and if no such Settlement shall be made shall be possessed by my trustees or trustee for the time being with respect to my said last mentioned daughters share in the said trust premises. And I declare and direct that the receipt or receipts of my said executors and trustees hereinbefore named or the survivor of them their or his heirs executors administrators or assigns for any purchase or other money payable to them or him under or by virtue of this my will shall to all interests effects and purposes discharge the purchaser or purchasers or other person or persons paying the money therein acknowledged or expressed to have been received from all liability of seeing to the application and all responsibility for or on accounts of the misapplication or nonapplication of the said money or any part thereof. And I devise all such real estates as shall be vested in me as a trustee or mortgagee unto the said William Erasmus Darwin and George Howard Darwin or my two eldest surviving sons at the time of my decease their heirs and assigns subject to the equities affecting the same respectively but so that the money reserved on such

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mortgages be taken as part of my personal estate. Upon the trusts and for the purposes hereinbefore declared. Provided always and I hereby further declare and direct that if my said trustees hereby appointed or the trustees to be appointed by virtue of this provision or any or either of them shall depart from life or desire to be discharged of or from or decline or become incapable to act in the trusts of this my will before the same shall be fully performed and satisfied there and too often a new trustee shall or may be appointed in his or her place or places by my said wife if living but if not then by the trustee or trustees surviving or continuing to act or by the last acting trustee (and for this purpose a refusing or retiring trustee shall if willing to act in the execution of this power be considered a continuing trustee) or by the executors or administrators of the last surviving or continuing trustee and the said trust estates and premises shall from time to time be conveyed and transferred so as to be vested in the acting trustees or trustee for the time being and every such new trustee shall or may act in the management and execution of the trusts of this my will and shall and may exercise the same powers and discretion in all respects as if he had been originally appointed a trustee of this my will. Provided also and I hereby further declare that the trustees or trustee and executors for the time being acting under this my will shall not be charged or chargeable with any more money than they respectively shall actually receive under the trusts hereby declared and that none of them shall be answerable or accountable for any other or others of them but each of them for his own acts receipts neglects and defaults only nor for any misfortune loss or damage incident to the execution of the said trusts unless the same shall be occasioned by or through the wilful default of such trustees or trustee respectively and also that it shall and may be lawful to and for the said trustees respectively out of the moneys which shall come to their respective hands by virtue of this my will in the first place to deduct and retain for and reimburse themselves respectively all costs charges and expenses to be sustained and expended on or about the execution of the trusts hereby created or declared or in anywise relating thereto. And hereby revoking all my former wills and other testamentary dispositions I declare this only to be my last will and testament. In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand this twenty seventh day of September in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and eighty one [21 September 1881] — Charles Robert Darwin — Signed by the testator Charles Robert Darwin as and for his last will and testament in the presence at the same time and at his request in his presence and in the presence of each other we have hereunto subscribed our names as witnesses — George Morris Clerk to Mr Bacon 18 Fenchurch Street London — William Jackson Butler to Charles Robert Darwin Esqr of Down Kent.
Proved at London 4th June 1882 by the hands of William Erasmus Darwin and George Howard Darwin Esquire the Sons the Executors to whom Admon was granted.


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