Will of James East, retired outfitter, 1871 (proved 1901)

Oxford Probate Registry

BE IT KNOWN that James East of “Chesham House” Winslow in the County of Buckingham, retired outfitter formerly of High Street Winslow aforesaid, 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 Bucks, died on the 10th day of January 1901, at Swanbourne in the County of Buckingham.

AND BE IT FURTHER KNOWN that at the date hereunder written the last will and Testament of  the said deceased was proved and registered in the District Probate Registry of Her \His/ Majesty’s Court of Justice at Oxford, and that administration of all the estate which by law devolves to and vests in the personal representative of the said deceased was granted by the aforesaid Court to Elizabeth East  of Winslow aforesaid, widow, the relict of the deceased, the Sole Executrix named in the said Will.
Dated the 20th day of April 1901.

Gross Value of Estate £3,386 : 7 : 5
Net value of Personal Estate £959 : 3 : 2
Extracted by Willis & Willis Solicitors, Winslow.

This is the last Will & Testament of me James East, Outfitter &c of High Street, Winslow in the County of Buckingham made on the 29th day December One thousand eight hundred & seventy one as follows that is to say I give and bequeath unto my Wife Elizabeth East all and every my real & personal Estate whatsoever and wheresoever situate & of what value & quality the same may consist at the time of my decease to & for her own absolute use & benefit I appoint my said Wife sole Executrix of this my Will In Witness whereof I the said James East have set my hand the day and year first above written.
James East [signature]
Winslow, Bucks. Dec 29 1871.

Signed by the said James East the Testator as & for his last Will & Testament in the presence of us who in who [sic] his presence & in the presence of each other have hereunto subscribed our names as Witness. Richard John Coxill [signature] George Grace Lees [signature]

On the Twentieth day of April 1901 Probate of this Will was granted at Oxford to Elizabeth East,  Widow, the Relict, the Sole Executrix.
It is hereby certified the above is a correct Copy. Dated this Twenty fifth day of April 1901.


James East (b.1842) was the son of Jonathan and Henrietta East, and followed his parents' business as a tailor. His father died in 1858. Their shop was at 62 High Street. It was in James' name from the late 1860s. He married Elizabeth Harbach from Wychbold, Worcs, in 1871. She came to Winslow as a nurse associated with the Winslow Hall Asylum. In 1873 they bought 9 Station Road. In 1881 Elizabeth's occupation was given as "care of Chancery patients" and she had one "lunatic" boarder. Elizabeth's niece Alice Harbach was living with them by 1891. They moved in about 1898 to 160 High Street, which they named Chesham House. Elizabeth East died in 1906 aged 64, and Alice inherited Chesham House.

James East's sister Louisa married James Yeulett (from the family which ran the Black Horse), and in 1884 Yeulett was sent to prison for threatening to kill James East (read more).

Buckingham Express, 27 Dec 1884
  Mr James East, tailor and outfitter, Winslow, sued Henry Seaton, baker, Grandborough, for 18s. 6d., for a suit of clothes, supplied to a lad in defendant’s employ.
  Defendant pleaded non-indebtedness, saying he was not answerable for clothes supplied to the boy formerly in his employ.
  Plaintiff said he served defendant with these clothes one day when defendant took the boy into his shop.
  Defendant again denied going into plaintiff’s shop except on one occasion, when he bought this boy a suit of clothes and paid for them, and he produced the receipted bill for the same.
 Plaintiff said the bill produced was for the first suit the defendant bought for this boy, the claim was for a second suit.
  Defendant said he was not answerable for these clothes, and another thing this young fellow had been gone from his (defendant’s) service ever so long, and he didn’t know where he was gone to.  Defendant also produced a letter, and tendered it as evidence, written by a person formerly in plaintiff’s employ, and in which the writer stated he didn’t mind anyone knowing where he was gone to, as he should be glad to hear from old friends.
  Plaintiff asked to be allowed to look at the letter, which was granted him, and the judge said plaintiff might also have a copy of the letter, as it had been read out in Court.
  His honour asked if there were no means by which plaintiff and defendant could settle this matter.  They appeared to be two respectable men, probably living side by side with each other in Buckingham.
  Plaintiff: I live at Winslow, your honour.
  His Honour: Oh, at Winslow.  Well you know is a rising place: there seems some little spirit in Winslow.  Buckingham tradesmen don’t come here very much, they seem to have a nack [sic] of settling their affairs without us.  But Winslow is a very different place.  Were it not for Winslow and neighbourhood this Court would have very little indeed to do.  We must therefore give Winslow tradesmen all fair play.  In this case plaintiff has been done out of a suit of clothes for which he naturally wants to be paid, and it is only right he should.  You (to the defendant) did wrong to yourself, and wrong to other tradesmen also, by giving them to understand you were answerable for the goods supplied to this young fellow; and upon the evidence before me I shall order you to pay this money within a month; but in the meantime if you can give me any sufficient reason why I should do so, I will grant you a new trial.
  Defendant thought it a very hard case, as he didn’t owe the money, and he had been brought over to Buckingham three times already on this matter.
  His Honour said Winslow was not very far away, and it did defendant good to come over into the County town on business occasionally.
  Defendant asked to be given his letter which he had tendered as evidence.
  His Honour remarked that letter was his now, and it was possible they might have to punish the writer.
  Defendant left the Court protesting he did not owe the money.

Buckingham Advertiser, 7 Nov 1885
  ROBBING A DUMMY.- At the Petty Sessions, November 4th (before G. R. Greaves, Esq., and W. S. Lowndes, Esq., jun.,) George Wright and Henry Rhodes, alias Wright, were charged with stealing  a coat, the property of Mr. James East, clothier, etc., Winslow.  From the evidence of the prosecutor it appeared that on Friday, the 30th October, he had a man’s overcoat buttoned on a dummy standing at his shop door.  He saw it safe a little after 5, and missed it about a quarter to 6.  He identified the coat produced as the one he missed, which he valued at 32/6.- Police-Sergeant Bowden gave evidence to the effect that on the evening in question he met the two prisoners in High-street, George Wright was carrying a brown paper parcel packed and tied tightly with string.  Witness stopped them and asked what the parcel contained.  Prisoner said some felt he was sending home to his brother.  The other prisoner said the same.  Witness took the parcel away from Wright, who ran away, but was stopped.  Witness then charged prisoners with stealing the coat from Mr. East’s shop, when Rhodes said he stood at the next shop window, and his brother took the coat.- The Bench sentenced the prisoners to six weeks’ hard labour.

Buckingham Advertiser, 19 Jan 1901
All our readers in the Winslow district, we feel sure, will regret to hear of the death of Mr. James East, who was so well known and respected in the town of Winslow and the neighbourhood.  His sad and sudden death caused a great shock to his many friends and acquaintances and the greatest sympathy has been shown for his surviving relations.  The evidence given at the Coroner’s inquiry appears on our seventh page and there seems little reason to doubt that when near Swanbourne Station he failed to notice the aproach [sic] of a train until too late, and thus came to his end by misadventure.  By his death Winslow has lost a public man whom it will be hard to replace.  Since his retirement from business much of his time had been devoted to the work of the various public offices he filled, and in none his services were more highly appreciated than as vice-chairman of the Board of Guardians.  Occasionally when it fell to his lot to preside over the Board’s deliberations, he displayed a quick and ready grasp of the business in hand, and his kindly genial disposition helped to qualify him for an admirable chairman.  His useful work at the relief tables was also most noticeable, and his sympathetic treatment of those, who by stress of circumstances, found it necessary to appeal for relief, must have endeared him to many of the poorer classes.  Mr. East was a native of Winslow, succeeding to his father’s business of a tailor, to which he added that of a draper and outfittter [sic], and by his industry he was enabled to retire from business at a comparatively early age.   In his earlier days he was an active teacher in the Congregational Sunday School, and for a number of years took the harmonium in the Congregational Chapel.  Although not quite so active as years rolled on, he still maintained a great interest in the work of that cause, and was present at the service on the Sunday evening previous to his death.  Of the Winslow Board of Guardians he was one of the most punctual and business-like members, and his opinions always carried much weight.  He was also a most active member of the Flower Show Committee, showing great zeal in his position as one of the collectors.  At the Bowling Green on a fine evening he loved to be present, and his company was much esteemed by the other members.  In educational and charitable matters he always took a very prominent part, and in fact, anything for the good of the town was sure of both his personal and financial support.


The funeral ceremony took place on Wednesday afternoon at the Congregational Church, conducted by the Rev. J. G. Evans, pastor, and the Rev. H. Kirby Byard (Baptist).  A large congregation of townspeople and villagers attended to show their respect to his memory……The mourners were Mrs. East (widow), Mr.Geo. East (brother), Mr. Harbach (brother-in-law), Mrs. Martin (sister), Mrs. Yewlett (sister) [sic], Mrs. W. Yeulett (niece),  Miss Yeulett (niece), Miss Harbach (niece), Mr. Jas. Yeulett (brother-in-law), and Mr. W. Yeulett (nephew).

The hymns sung during the service were “Rock of Ages” and “Why do we mourn departing friends.”  The undertakers were Messrs. Matthews Bros. and Mr. A. G. Stevens.  There were some handsome wreaths sent by the Union officials.

MRS. EAST and Niece wish to return their grateful thanks to all who have sympathised with them in their deep sorrow.- Chesham House, Winslow, January 16th.­

Copyright 14 March, 2021