On This Day: 25 September 1697

On this day in 1697, Thomas Wigmore (acting as Robert Masfen’s attorney) wrote to Thomas Bowrey from Fort St George about a difficult probate case – that of John Jackson who died in the East Indies having left a wife in England.

Bowrey had, surprisingly, seen this as an unusual business opportunity. He had come to an agreement with Mrs Ann Cole whose daughter, Mary, was Jackson’s wife. Jackson left a Will in England leaving his estate to his wife. Mary had died. In India he wrote a new Will not knowing about the death of his wife. This Indian Will was proved in Fort St George.

Ann Cole claimed Jackson’s estate as her daughter’s executor. She had proved Jackson’s outdated Will, taken out Letters of Administration and given Bowrey her power of attorney. He was to obtain Jackson’s estate from India on her behalf in return for receiving half of the value of the estate for his trouble, fees paid and other costs.

In today’s letter, Wigmore explained about the later Will which bequeathed £100 to the poor of the parish of Cree Church if Jackson’s wife, Mary, had not gone out to India by a certain time. The Will had made no provision for what should happen if Mary had died. Wigmore washed his hands of the whole affair and wrote that he thought that it would be better resolved in England. Bowrey was going to earn his share of the estate.

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