Sunday 19 August 2012

The Will of Charles Tyldesley 1808

The will of Charles Tyldesley is short and contains few family details. 
Charles Tyldesley
Island of Mariegalante 25th May 1808

My dear Mary Ann Tyldesley

I give and bequeath to you all [illegible] property pay and prize money that may belong or may attach to me at the time of or after my death trusting to your disposal of it if any should remain after paying my debts in the manner in which you know I would do if I were alive it is necessary to inform you that my agent is George Kempster Esquire [illegible] 10 half-moon Street Piccadilly and that my life is assured by him for £200 which £200 will belong to you and the sum I have [illegible] with the intention of paying Mr S Wright and every Body else that I owe any thing to in case of my Death so you will [illegible] this sum and pay my debts with it. Capt. Kempster will not only do you justice but assist you in any Claims you may make as my Sister and as [illegible] up to me for future support and protection to Government or to any other fund that professes to provide for the Relations of those who fall in the service of their King and Country I give this as my last Will and Testament being in sound health both of body and mind in a Country where no stamps can be procured [FN1] and considering the precarious state of every man's existence placed in a situation I expect to be attacked by a superior force every day I deem it my duty to provide for any extremity 
C Tyldesley Capt
References to his sister Mary Ann Tyldesley do, however, confirm that the Royal Marine is Charles Tyldesley the younger 1774-1808. It would also seem likely that both his brother Ralph Vernon Tyldesley and his father, Charles Tyldesley the elder, had died prior to 1808, since neither is mentioned.

1. Presumably Charles Tyldesley believed that stamp duty was payable on wills when they were made. As far as I can establish, this was not the case. In 1796 in A familiar explanation of the law of wills and codicils Sir Thomas Edlyne Tomlins wrote: "It may be proper to mention that no stamp duty whatever is imposed on Wills, till after the death of the testator; when the probate or letters of administration are charged with certain duties, in proportion to the value of the deceased's property. But a Will may be written and executed by the Testator on unstamped parchment or paper. This is mentioned as the author knows, from repeated instances in practice, that it is a doubt with many unexperienced people." The law does not appear to have changed in this respect between 1796 and 1808—and, indeed, the will was accepted as valid.