Will of Lewis Clarke, currier and leather cutter, 1882 (proved 1889)

Oxford Probate Registry

BE IT KNOWN that at the date hereunder written the last Will and Testament of Lewis Clarke late of Winslow in the County of Buckingham, Currier and Leather Cutter, deceased, who died on the 7th day of October 1889, at Winslow aforesaid, and who at the time of his death had a fixed place of abode at Winslow aforesaid, within the District of the Counties of Oxford, Berks and Buckingham, was proved and registered in the District Probate Registry of Her Majesty’s High Court of Justice at Oxford, and that administration of the personal estate of the said deceased was granted at the aforesaid Court to Fanny Eliza Clarke of Winslow aforesaid, Spinster, Daughter of the deceased, the sole Executrix, named in the said Will, she having been first sworn to well and faithfully administer the same.
Dated the 5th day of November 1889.
Gross value of Personal Estate £152-11-10
Extracted by Willis & Willis, Solicitors, Winslow.
Under 33rd Section.

This is the last Will and Testament of me Lewis Clarke of Winslow in the County of Bucks, Currier and Leather Cutter. I hereby give devise and bequeath unto my only Daughter Fanny Eliza Clarke my House and premises situated in High Street, Winslow in the County of Bucks, also all and every my household furniture, linen, wearing apparel, books, plate, pictures, horses, carriages and also all and every sum and sums of money which may be in my house or about my person, or which may be due to me at the time of my decease and also all other monies invested in stocks, funds and securities for money, book debts, money on Bonds, Bills, Notes or other securities, and all and every other my estate and effects whatsoever and wheresoever both real and personal, whether in possession reversion remainder or expectancy for her sole and separate use. And I hereby appoint my said  Daughter Fanny Eliza Clarke to be sole Executrix of this my last Will and Testament. In Witness whereof I the said Lewis Clarke have to this my last Will and Testament set my hand this Sixteenth day of August in the year of our Lord One thousand eight hundred and eighty two.

Signed by the Testator Lewis Clarke in the presence of us present at the same time who have hereunto subscribed our names as Witnesses in the presence of the Testator and of each other.
Lewis Clarke
William Gaudern, Farncombe, Surrey.
Edward Peld, Farncombe, Surrey.
(3 folios)

Proved at Oxford the Fifth day of November 1889, by the Oath of Fanny Eliza Clarke, Spinster, the Daughter, the sole Executrix, to whom Administration was granted.
The Testator Lewis Clarke was late of Winslow in the County of Buckingham, Currier and Leather Cutter, and died on the Seventh day of October 1889, at Winslow aforesaid.
Gross value of Personal Estate £152-11-10

Willis & Willis, Solicitors, Winslow.
It is hereby certified that the foregoing is a correct Copy. Dated this Fourteenth day of November 1889.


Lewis or Louis Clarke was 72 when he died on 7 Oct 1889. He was born at Eggington, Beds, and was in Winslow by 1851 when he is recorded as a currier's labourer living with his wife Mary and father-in-law James Ablethorpe. Their daughter Fanny was born later in 1851. Mary died in 1866 (see below). He was later a currier in his own right, and by 1871 was established in premises on the west side of the High Street near the gasworks. In the 1870s he became district secretary for the National Agricultural Labourers Union, and then became general secretary of the breakaway National Land & Labour Union: read more. He was also local agent for emigration to Queensland (e.g. Buckingham Advertiser, 3 March 1877). Soon after the NL&LU was formed, the Bicester Herald (15 Aug 1879) published an endorsement of him by a neighbour:

... [He] thoroughly understands the nature of the work to be done, and ... despite the strenuous efforts of a powerful and unscrupulous faction will, with the fidelity of the men, gloriously defeat the designing objects of power and place seekers. As a politician, both nationally and locally, Mr. Clarke will be found doing his utmost on the side of liberty and right; in parochial matters, he sides with the weaker in their efforts for justice, and retains a genuine sympathy for the oppressed ...

After he died, his daughter Fanny, a dressmaker, moved to Richmond, Surrey. She got married in about 1899 to James Sear, twice a widower also from Winslow and a former neighbour (from the Sear family of coachbuilders), and they were living at Fleet, Hants, in 1911. They returned to North Bucks and he died at Weedon in 1932. Fanny went to live in Aylesbury with her stepson George Sear and died there in 1938 after being knocked down by a car in Tring Road (Bucks Herald, 28 Jan).

1866: Buckingham Express, 27 Oct
  An Inquest was held on Tuesday, October 23, at the Windmill Inn, Winslow, before D. P. King, Esq., coroner, on view of the body of Mary Clark, the wife of Louis Clark, aged 52 years.
  Louis Clark sworn; my wife was washing yesterday about 12 o’clock, she took a wet sheet with her up the ladder that leads from the workshop to the loft above; I was in the workshop at the time, and saw her ascend the ladder from the bottom round; and almost immediately after heard a noise, as of a fall, and then saw her lying on her back at the bottom of the ladder the sheet was left on the top; I went to her and lifted her up in a chair, and found she was very much hurt; she said once only “Oh let me lie down, let me sleep,” she was not sensible after this, and she died about two hours after the accident.
  James Foster [Forster], sworn: I was in the loft at Mr. Clark’s yesterday sorting potatoes, when about 12 o’clock deceased was at the top of the ladder; when she asked me how I got on; no sooner had she said this to me than I heard a fall, and I went to the top of the ladder and saw her husband lifting her up from the ground.
  Mary Birduy [Birdseye?], corroborated the above evidence.
  Mr. John St. Thomas Wynter, surgeon, sworn: I was called on to see the deceased about 12 yesterday; I found her down stairs, and had her carried up stairs; she was suffering from severe injuries of the brain, bleeding at the nose, and a bruise on the left side of the head, her collar bone was fractured on the left side; and she was partially conscious; the injuries undoubtedly were the result of a fall some twelve feet, coming in contact with an uneven floor; she must have fallen backwards, I am of the opinion the cause of death was pressure on the brain.
  Verdict—“Accidental Death.”

Copyright 14 October, 2022