View Full Version : Has anyone come across a Latter Will (Scotland)?

Uncle John
01-04-12, 15:59
As current custodian of the family archives I've just received a small leather-bound lined note-book which my g-g-grandfather gave to my g-grandmother (his youngest child). The cover is gold-decorated like a standard printed book, with her first name in a cartouche.

He has titled it "Latter Will and Family Documents dedicated to ..... by your Loving Father ...... 1877". This was about 5 years before he died in his mid-70s.

[It's worth pointing out that he was absolutely loaded! He seems to have owned most of the property in Rothesay that wasn't owned by the Marquess of Bute. The probate Inventory ran to nearly 40 pages, most of which was details of property rents.]

On each page he has ruled red lines as though it were printed and has numbered the pages by hand as though they were done with a numbering machine.

It consists of a Preface, a Latter Will and Codicils, followed by details of his and his wife's births and marriage and the births, marriages and deaths of their children. The final part is a page (or more) of Accounts for each child (and in one case an insurance policy for a spouse) showing how much he has given each of them during his life.

The preface starts:

The making of a Latter Will for the arranging of temporal affairs, was always felt by my Beloved Spouse and me, to be an imperative duty, which none were at liberty to neglect, accordingly as our circumstances changed, this was repeatedly attended to.

[He goes on to say that this was started six years after they married, when they bought their first house.]

Has anyone ever come across anything similar? It really is a work of art as well as a record of his family.

Olde Crone
01-04-12, 16:38
No, I haven't UJ, but what a wonderful thing to have!

My late father did keep a notebook which showed his current financial position to the penny, but I think that was more to do with OCD than anything else!


Uncle John
01-04-12, 20:48
Elder daughter came round this evening and was reading out loud from the Preface. It really is a potted history of his working and married life. He owned a big engineering works but decided to retire at the age of 52 because he needed to expand and his only surviving son had gone into the ministry. He also saw his fellow engineers grinding themselves into an early grave. So he sold the business and moved to Rothesay. He did one of these books for each of his 5 surviving children. Having had lawyers rewrite his and his wife's wills a couple of times (at enormous expense!), his wife died and he was prompted to get a will that did things the way he wanted.

So each survivor got a copied-out text of his latest will and codicils, an account of how much he had given them already, and a pen-picture of who had done what in the marital stakes. It must have taken him months and months to do. I've barely scratched the surface.

Buried in it is a fascinating account of the early development of heavy engineering in the Clyde valley.

01-04-12, 21:24
How amazing - I've never heard of such a thing before. No one ever sends me such fascinating material!!

Uncle John
01-04-12, 22:11
Nor me, usually. This was the repository that my late uncle (d. 1990) built up over many years. It helped (family history, not family harmony) that his widowed father lived with them.

01-04-12, 22:39
No, I haven't UJ, but what a wonderful thing to have!

My late father did keep a notebook which showed his current financial position to the penny, but I think that was more to do with OCD than anything else!


I can undersatnd that OC. My dad is currently in hospital with the future of going into a nursing home. He bought his current house in 1964 and has the receipts for every single thing he has ever bought (toasters, kettles, mowers, etc) Not only does he have the receipts but they are then written into account books and filed. My siblings are inclined to ditch the lot however, I really think there could be that one little thing there that I will regret throwing......lol. It's obviously going to be my job to sort.

UJ.......what a wonderful thing to have..

02-04-12, 11:03
UJ that sounds like a wonderful find. I wish my family did such a thing, and that someone sent it to me.