Will of James Morecraft, butcher, 1844 (proved 1845)

Herts RO 281AW3

This is the Last Will and Testament of me James Morecraft of Winslow in the County of Bucks Butcher I give and devise all the real estate to which I shall be entitled at the time of my decease  and I bequeath all the personal estate to which I shall then be entitled to my Brothers in Law George King of Winslow aforesaid Grocer and John Turney of Thornton in the same County Dairyman their Heirs Executors Administrators and Assigns respectively Upon Trust to sell my real estate together or in parcels by Public Auction or private Contract and to convert and get in my personal estate and out of the Monies to arise from such real and personal estates to pay all such incumbrancies as shall at my decease affect my said real estate or any part thereof and all my other  just debts my funeral expenses and the charges of proving and establishing this my Will and invest the residue of the same monies in the names or name of the trustees or trustee for the time being of this my Will in or upon any of the public Stocks funds or securities of the United Kingdom or any real Securities in England with liberty for the said Trustees or Trustee with the consent in writing of my Wife Catherine Morecraft  to vary and transpose the investment from time to time for any other investment of the description aforesaid And upon further Trust to permit and empower my said Wife Catherine Morecraft to receive the Annual income of the said monies or the Stocks funds and Securities whereon the same shall be invested during her life And after her death As to the same monies Stocks funds and Securities and the annual income thenceforth to become due for the same in Trust for all and every my Children namely Alfred Morecraft Ann Morecraft Thomas Morecraft James Morecraft Emma Morecraft Catherine Morecraft  Elizabeth Morecraft  Richard Morecraft George Morecraft and  Henry Alfred Morecraft to be equally divided between them and respective Executors Administrators and Assigns But if any of my said Children shall die in the life time of my said Wife without leaving issue living at his or her decease then in trust as to as well the share originally limited under the preceding trust as the shares eventually limited under this executory trust to any and every child so dying for the others and other of my children in equal shares Nevertheless I declare that no sale of my real Estate or any part thereof shall be made in the life time of my said Wife without her previous consent in writing but the unsold real estate shall be subject to trusts hereinbefore contained concerning the monies Stocks funds and securities  aforesaid and the rents thereof shall be deemed annual income for the purposes of such trusts and such real Estate shall be transmissible as personal Estate under the ultimate trust hereinbefore contained I declare that it shall be lawful for my said trustees notwithstanding any of the trusts hereinbefore contained to raise any money which shall be required to answer the deficiency if any of my personal estate to satisfy my Mortgage and other debts and funeral  and testimentary expences  by selling Mortgaging or charging my real and personal estate or any part or parts thereof or by all or any of those means in such manner as my said trustees shall think expedient And I direct and empower my trustees hereinbefore named after the decease of my said Wife during the minorities of such of my said children as shall be then under Age or of the issue of any of them who may have previously died to receive the Annual income of their respective shares of my real and personal estate and to apply the same or so much thereof as such Trustees shall think expedient in or towards the maintenance and education or otherwise for the benefit of such children and issue respectively and to invest and accumulate the unapplied surplus and add the accumulations to the respective shares whence the same shall have arisen and also to apply in or towards the advancement in the world of such Children or issue respectively any part of the principal or value of their respective shares I empower the Trustees or Trustee for the time being of this my Will to give receipts for all monies 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 I declare that if my said Trustees or any of them or any person to be appointed under this clause shall die or  be unwilling or incompetant to execute the the trusts of my Will it shall be lawful for my said Wife during her life and after her death for the competant Trustees or Trustee for the time being if any whether retiring from the Office of Trustee or not or if none for the Executors or Administrators or either or any of the Executors or Administrators of the last Surviving Trustee to substitute by any writing by under his her or their hand or hands any fit person in whom alone or as the case may be jointly with the surviving or continuing Trustees or Trustee my trust estate shall be vested and I exempt every Trustee of my Will from liability for losses occurring without his own wilful default and authorize him to retain and allow to his Cotrustee or Cotrustees all expenses incidental to the Trusteeship I appoint mysaid Wife Catherine Morecraft and the said George King and John Turney to be Executors of my Will and I appoint my said Wife during her Widowhood and the said George King and John Turney to be Guardians of my minor Children during their respective Minorities Lastly I revoke all other Wills In Witness whereof I the said James Morecraft have to each sheet of this my Will contained on three sheets of paper set my hand this Twenty sixth day of September in the Year of our Lord One thousand eight hundred and forty four

James Morecraft

This sheet and the two sheets of paper hereto annexed were severally Signed by the said James Morecraft the Testator in the joint presence of us who in his presence and in the presence of each other have hereunto subscribed our names as Witnesses thereof
Cha(rle)s Willis attorney
W H Lindsey  his Clerk

Archdeaconry  of St Alban                            The 12th. day of May 1845
Catherine Morecraft George King and John Turney the Executors in this Will named were duly sworn as such And that the personal estate of the Testator doth not amount in the whole to the sum of One hundred pounds to the best of their knowledge and belief
Before me    W.W. McCreight    Surrogate


James was the youngest son of Thomas Morecraft, butcher (d.1807) and Ann Morecraft, nee Gibbs (d.1828). He was baptised in 1800, and died in 1844 aged 43.

He married Catherine, daughter of Richard Walker, butcher (will proved 1833) and Elizabeth Walker, nee Brandon (b.1804), and ran his butcher's business at 12 High Street, which he took over from his father-in-law.

Catherine kept the business until 1851, when she sold it to Thomas Turnham.  She stayed in Winslow until 1857, then moved to Thornborough.  In 1881 she was living there with her daughter and son-in-law Elizabeth and John Brier.  She died in 1883 aged 79. 

The children mentioned in the will (some others had already died) are:

Copyright 10 May, 2021