Will of John Cowley, surgeon and apothecary, 1856

National Archives PROB 11/2239/289

This is the last Will and Testament of me John Cowley of Winslow in the County of Bucks Surgeon and Apothecary I bequeath unto my Grandson Henry Arnold Cowley my silver salver and soup ladle and unto my Grandson Charles Theophilus Kelland the service of plate presented to me soon after the decease of Mainwaring Davies Esquire and request that the same may be kept by the said Henry Arnold Cowley and Charles Theophilus Kelland respectively in the nature of heir looms I bequeath unto my Son in law David Thomas Willis my silver pint tankard and unto my grandson William Harris Bowker my other silver tankard I bequeath unto my daughter Charlotte Eliza Holland and my Son in law Thomas Bowker the legacy or sum of one hundred pounds each and unto my said Grandson Henry Arnold Cowley the legacy or sum of ten pounds to be paid to them respectively within twelve calendar months next after my decease I devise all the real estates if any which shall at the time of my decease be vested in me as trustee or mortagee to my Sons in law Thomas Bowker John Kelland and David Thomas Willis subject to the trusts and equities affecting the same respectively I devise all the real estate if any of which I shall be beneficially seized at the time of my decease And I bequeath the residue of the personal estate to which I shall then be entitled to the said Thomas Bowker John Kelland and David Thomas Willis their heirs executors administrators and assigns respectively upon trust to sell my real estate (if any) together or in parcels by public auction or private contract and to convert and get in my residuary personal estate and to stand possessed of the monies to arise from such real estate and residuary personal estate Upon trust in equal shares and proportions per capita and not per stirpes for all and every the children now living of my Daughters Charlotte Eliza Holland and Maria Willis and of my late Daughter Sarah Eagles Bowker deceased as and when they shall severally and respectively attain the age of twenty one years In case of the decease of either or any of the said children under the age of twenty one years without issue I direct that as well the share originally given as the shares accruing under this present provision to any child so dying shall accrue to the surviving brothers and sisters of such child in equal shares if more than one during the minority of any such child or children I direct my trustees to place out and continue his her or their presumptive share or

[p.2] shares at interest in their own names in the public stocks or funds or on government or real securities in England with liberty to change the investment as often as they shall think fit for any other investment of the kind prescribed And I empower my said trustees to apply for the maintenance and education or otherwise for the benefit of each child during his or her minority the income of such childs presumptive share I empower the trustees or trustee for the time being of this my Will to give receipts for all monies and effects to be paid or delivered to such trustees or trustee by virtue of my Will and declare that such receipts shall exonerate the persons taking the same from liability to see to the application or disposition of the monies or effects therein mentioned I empower the trustees or trustee for the time being of my Will to compound or allow time for the payment of any debt or debts due to my estate and to settle all demands against my estate and all accounts between me and any person or persons on such terms as my said trustees or trustee shall in their or his discretion think expedient and to refer any matters in difference relating to my affairs to arbitration And I exempt every trustee of my Will from liability for losses occurring without his own wilful default and authorise him to retain and allow to his Co-trustee or Co-trustees all expences incidental to the trusteeship I nominate constitute and appoint my said Sons in law Thomas Bowker John Kelland and David Thomas Willis to be Executors and trustees of my Will And lastly I hereby revoke and make void all former and other Wills and Codicils by me at any time heretofore made and declare this only to be my last Will and Testament In witness whereof I the said John Cowley the Testator have hereunto set my hand this fourth day of December in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and fifty five    

Signed sealed & delivered J(oh)n Cowley    

Signed by the said Testator John Cowley in the joint presence of us who in his presence at his request and in the presence of each other have hereunto subscribed our names as witnesses thereof                          Henry Sharp Dispenser                   Elizabeth Simmons Housemaid

Proved 2nd October 1856 by Thomas Bowker Esquire John Kelland and Daniel Thomas Willis executors to whom administration was granted


John Cowley was born at Broughton (now in Milton Keynes) in 1778, son of Hugh Willeat Cowley (d.1820) and his wife Sarah. He came to Winslow in 1793 as apprentice to Dr John Tookey, and married at Aylesbury in 1803 Sarah (bap. 1777), daughter of William Eagles of Aylesbury, wool-stapler (will proved 1810, National Archives PROB 11/1512/145). She was the niece of Sarah, wife of the Winslow surgeon Thomas Prentice. Henrietta Tookey, nee Prentice (d.1847) was her cousin. She died in 1819 aged 42. Children:

Dr Cowley was a partner of Dr Tookey by 1806. He moved to Lawn House in 1819 after Dr Tookey died (he previously lived in the High Street). He also acquired the adjacent land, and in the early 1820s he won prizes for growing poppies for opium there. The Walk was sometimes known as Cowley's Walk in his honour.

Mainwaring Davies of Addington House died in 1835 aged 91.

Memorial to John Cowley in Winslow churchBucks Herald, 8 March 1856
On the 28th ult. at Winslow, where he had resided 63 years, Mr. John Cowley, MRCSE, aged 78, full of honours, in life much respected, in death most sincerely lamented.

Oxford Chronicle, 8 March 1856
His public spirit was ever active in promoting the prosperity and welfare of his fellow-townsmen, who, a few years since, evinced their regard for his services by presenting to him a piece of plate as a testimonial of their esteem.

Oxford Herald, 22 March 1856
A few days since, the remains of the late John Cowley, Esq., were interred in the old church-yard (a spot chosen by himself) amidst universal demonstrations of respect and sympathy for the memory of the lamented gentleman. The funeral arrangements were of an unostentatious character.

Sale advert from the Bucks Herald

Kitchen Requisites, Glass, Earthenware, 75 Ounces of Plate, Plated Goods, Prints, 700 Volumes of Books, handsome Grey Mare, In-pig Sow, Gig, part of a Rick of Hay (about 6 Tons), Saddles and Bridles, Harness, Chaff Machine, Quantity of Manure, 4-inch wheel Cart, Land Roll, Liquid Manure Machine, with Gutta Percha Hose, Working Tools, and Sundry Effects, late the Property of John Cowley, Esq., deceased.

TO BE SOLD BY AUCTION, BY Mr. JAMES KING, On the Premises, WINSLOW, on TUESDAY and WEDNESDAY, 1st and 2nd days of APRIL, 1856, at Eleven each day, by direction of the Executors.

Mr. JAMES KING respectfully announces that he has received instructions to offer for SALE BY AUCTION, in the Month of APRIL next,
THAT very convenient FAMILY MANSION, late the Residence of John Cowley, Edquire, deceased, with Stables, Chaise-houses, and all necessary Outbuildings, and 7 acres of Pasture Land adjoining, well adapted for a sporting gentleman; also, 11 Acres of Accommodation Land, in the town of Winslow; and 27 Acres of Land, at Grandborough.

Hand with finger pointingFurther Particulars will appear. Winslow, 27th March, 1856.

Copyright 25 April, 2018