View Full Version : Yet more will questions....

Harrys mum
14-06-08, 01:45
I've been to the library and got every book on wills they had...and still have questions.

This will was written in 1823 by Elizabeth Ariel, wife of Myles Ariel.

This is the last bit...

"On the 1st June 1839 Admon with the will annexed of the Goods Chattels and Credits of Elizabeth Ariel wife of Myles Ariel, late of the city of Bristol deceased was granted to Robert Leonard and Edward Jarrett Ransford the Executors haveing been first sworn by Canon duly to administer. The said Myles Ariel the lawful husband of the said deceased and as such the only person entitled to her personal estate over which she had us disposing power and concerning which she is dead intestate having first consented as by Acts of Courts appear."

In the will, Elizabeth gives quite a bit to her children, some were married at the time.
What does the "intestate" mean in this sense?
Would Myles just have got everything?

I read that prior to 1882 wifes had to have their husband's permission to write a will.
I imagine she had his permission as it is witnessed by solicitors.
Strangely one solicitor was her husband's future second wife's brother.
(Think Agatha, for those who know)

Canadian Cousin
14-06-08, 03:54
What does the "intestate" mean in this sense?
Would Myles just have got everything?

Hi Libby,

I would think intestate means that her will had been ruled null and void by a court, and accordingly an administration (Admon) was granted as though the will had never existed.

It sounds as if Myles was legally entitled to everything, but had consented to appear before the court - what this means, I can only guess.

It could turn out to be an interesting story, if you could get some additional information. Hmmm ... a few possibilities come to mind.

Do you know when Elizabeth died? I'm wondering how long before the administration was granted in 1839 - had Myles & Elizabeth's circumstances changed dramatically since the will was written in 1823? Were some/all of the children named in the will still alive?

Perhaps there was a legal dispute over the will between Myles and some other party, possibly one of the Executors (or one of the children?). If so, perhaps solicitor's records or the court records have survived - do you know what firm Myles' future BIL was associated with? And whether their records have been archived?

What sort of goods, money, or real estate was Elizabeth bequeathing? Perhaps there were items which Myles considered to be his/theirs and that he wasn't prepared to give up while he was still alive.

Could some of Elizabeth's goods, money, etc... have been used as collateral for something (the Admon covers "Goods Chattels and Credits")? Perhaps Messrs. Leonard and Ransford held a lien? Again, there may be records or perhaps legal notices in newspapers.

Do you know whether Myles left a will, or any of his children? Perhaps they may contain a clue as to what might have happened.

That's all I can think of for now - time for me to go to bed.

Good luck -


Harrys mum
14-06-08, 09:26
Hi Tim...

Elizabeth died in Dec 1837, so eighteen months before.

The children were not named in the will. Just that Elizabeth's trusts and credits be divided equally between them.

One child had died after the will was written but before Elizabeth died. The others ranged in age from 20 down to 5.

Her husband, Myles, married the sister of Thomas Clark (the solicitor who witnessed the will) in 1839. One of their daughters, Agatha, married a brother of Thomas (another solicitor) in 1839.
Myles died the following year and the bulk of his property to his new wife. Oddly he is buried with his first wife and mother-in-law.

I can't seem to find any interesting info on google. I'll email Bristol RO and see what they suggest.

Olde Crone Holden
14-06-08, 10:24

Or he could just have been a greedy, grasping man, using his knowledge of the law to get her money. Having her declared intestate would mean that yes, he was entitled to everything.


Harrys mum
14-06-08, 10:41
Puts a completely new slant on this family saga......

14-06-08, 11:12
I don't pretend to understand the legalities but I read the will extract to mean that adinistration WAS granted to these two gents to carry out the terms of the will and that her husband had, far from being "mean and grasping" consented to the grant of administration even though legally he had a right to her personal estate

Harrys mum
14-06-08, 11:16
Actually Judith.......you can read it that way.......much nicer.

Olde Crone Holden
14-06-08, 11:37
But if he was such a lovely man, why contest the will at all, and why not just administer it as she had wished.

Unless of course, someone else contested it and declared it intestate? Are these administrators family members?


Harrys mum
14-06-08, 11:44
OC.......Thomas Ransford married Elizabeth's aunt (also Elizabeth). I haven't looked, but am fairly certain he would be related to Edward Ransford.

I wonder if Thomas Clark (the solicitor) sister, Lucretia talked Myles into contesting it, knowing she would get the bulk then when he married her......

It was Thomas and Lucretia's brother Edward Clark who married Myles and Elizabeth's daughter, Agatha, then divorced her in 1845 just before she went AWOL.

Mary from Italy
14-06-08, 12:16
I don't understand that at all. As far as I know, the only legal meaning of "intestate" is "died without making a will".

If a will had been declared invalid by a court, it wouldn't have been annexed to the admon.

Libby, can you scan and post the exerpt from the probate that you posted above?

Harrys mum
14-06-08, 12:25
I can when I get the scanner to scan, Mary. Daughter says she'll sort it out tomorrow.

But I have typed it word for word above.

Seems strange that Elizabeth died March 1837......her husband Myles remarried Feb 1839...and this will was sttled June 1839. i don't suppose it metters that Myles had remarried by then.

It's not like he needed Elizabeth's money. He owned half of Bristol.

Mary.......by the way.....this will is the daughter of George Naylor whose will you did for me the other day.

Olde Crone Holden
14-06-08, 12:34
Sorry, but it still sounds like a dirty job to me! He did his own children out of their inheritance.


I think intestate means dying without leaving a VALID will. All he had to do was to say he did not give his permission for her to make a will.


14-06-08, 14:09
Administration with the will annexed is fairly common, I think, as I have seen it a lot in the indexes but have never ordered a copy of one myself so I don't know exactly what the reason for it is.

(I have some wills from pre-1858 where they weren't witnessed properly and people had to appear to give evidence that it was the handwriting and signature of the testator etc before probate was granted but I haven't got a post-1858 example in my collection!)

Olde Crone Holden
14-06-08, 14:14

When my mum died, we discovered with horror that she had not actually signed her will, although it had been properly witnessed.

We had no problems getting probate, although her solicitor (in whose presence she "signed" the will, lol) said he would be happy to make a statement of her intent, in the event of any problems.


Night Owl
14-06-08, 17:14
I have a 1854 will with admon where there were "several interlineations and erasures" and as a result the court decided to appoint administrators (who weren't the original executors) to administer the estate. Basically the will is a mess!

In addition to the will there are 5 other pages of documents where various other people had to make sworn statements.

According to Family History Online will with admon is usually where the executors have died or they have refused to execute the will.

Are there no other documents with the will that explain why it was not executed?


Olde Crone Holden
14-06-08, 19:10
Oh yes, Jackie has a point - who were the executors on the invalid will?


Harrys mum
14-06-08, 21:42
The executors were Robert Leonard and Edward Jarrett Ransford.
Witnessed by solicitors......Samuel Goodhand, Thomas Clark and Wm Edward Collingwood,
Messrs Stephens and Goodhand, Sol Bristol.

Her husband's will is dated 15th April 1839 (just after he remarried) and Proved 7th May 1840.

Same executors and same solicitors.

Robert Leonard was also executor for Myles' father William Ariel.....proved 16th January 1836.

Olde Crone Holden
14-06-08, 21:52
It seems VERY fishy to me that the original executors became the administrators and I am very surprised the court allowed this, on the grounds of conflict of interests.

The sister may have contested the will, but all the widower had to say, to leave the will valid, is that he had given his wife permission to make a will.

the solicitors who drew up the will would have known very well indeed that she needed her husband's permission - unless they were just humouring her, in which case, THAT's fishy too!


Harrys mum
14-06-08, 21:56
I've just found Elizabeth's mother's will at TNA For some reason I hadn't thought to look at that.

As Elizabeth (this will writer) was an only child, and her mother had moved from Yorkshire to live in Bristol, it might shed some light.

Wonder if they'll download wills in the middle of the night on a weekend????

Here's trying..........

Harrys mum
15-06-08, 12:29
I've just downloaded Elizabeth Naylor's will of 1830.

She is the mother of the Elizabeth Ariel who is the writer of the above will.

She leaves 19 pounds and 19 shillings to her servant Ann Virgo. Sounds like there was a 20 pound limit??

She then leaves 40 pounds to a London Missionary Society.
She leaves 200 pounds to (surprise, surprise) Robert Leonard and Edward Ransford for administration costs.

She leaves her several properties in Cleckheaton and (I think) Coalfield, Yorkshire to her daughter Elizabeth Ariel.
Then she leaves all her bonds, securities and stocks, plus 2,000 pounds to the daughters of her daughter, "that they not be liable to the debts or control of any husband they may have"
There's also odds bits of securities for the sons of her daughter and the husband of her daughter.

So the Elizabeth Ariel who wrote the contested will would have had a fair whack of private property. She got 1500 pounds from her father's will in 1806 when she was a child, plus all her mother's loot.
Her mother (the above Elizabeth Naylor) was Elizabeth Eyre before her marriage and the daughter of a merchant, so looks like a line of money.

Olde Crone Holden
15-06-08, 13:14

If this will was properly probated, then Elizabeth Ariel's children already had a good whack of inheritance when their mother died and it looks to me as if their father resented that.

I may be very wrong, but I think there was a big fiddle going on here.

However, as EA's will was intestate then the stuff her children inherited from their grandmother would still be theirs!

Does anyone know where the admon accounts are filed? I know they have to be offered up with the probate papers, to close the admon, but I have never seen any final accounts. I'd love to see these!!!!!


Harrys mum
15-06-08, 21:56
OC....is that on the will somwhere???

No can't see it.

The bottom of Elizabeth Naylor's will..

" Proved at London 15th January 1830 before the Judge by the oath of Elizabeth Ariel wife of Myles Ariel the daughter the sole Executrix to whom admon was granted having been first sworn duly to administer."

Don't know if that helps.

Olde Crone Holden
15-06-08, 22:23
No, as I say, I have never seen any final accounts.

An executor is SUPPOSED to file final accounts when the will has been completely administered, but there doesn't seem to be any official follow up to ensure that final accounts have been rendered.

And of course, in some cases, it could take 40 years to finally close an estate, depending on the terms of the will.


Harrys mum
15-06-08, 23:07
Well OC.....all I know is that after this, the family sort of imploded.

Children of Elziabeth Naylor and Myles Ariel

Elizabeth Naylor Ariel(1817) married Henry Farr and died in Wales 1867.

David kikrby Ariel (1818) died in Barbados 1838.

Myles Kirkby Ariel (1819) married Emily Weaver in 1848, came to Australia in 1853 and promptly disappeared leaving Emily and three children here.

Agatha Ariel (1822) married Edward Clark in 1839 (brother of her father's secong wife), divorced 1845 and never seen again.

Mary Eyre Ariel (1834) was baptised 1835 and lived with her stepmother,Lucretia Clark Ariel, after the death of her father, Myles in 1840.
Mary was "rebaptised" at St Andrews Clifton in 1851.

Olde Crone Holden
15-06-08, 23:17

I don't want to cast aspersions on the Ariels, but you can see how easy it would be to fiddle a will if you had the mind to do it (and had a few solicitors on your side, too)

"Papa, did Mama leave me anything in her will?"

"No, daughter dear, I am afraid she did not, as she did not leave a will. Never mind, my dear daughter, does not Papa provide you with everything you need?"


15-06-08, 23:34

When my mum died, we discovered with horror that she had not actually signed her will, although it had been properly witnessed.

We had no problems getting probate, although her solicitor (in whose presence she "signed" the will, lol) said he would be happy to make a statement of her intent, in the event of any problems.


I don't understand.
Do you mean she made a mark of some sort on the paper or she did not write anything on the will?

The witnesses are supposed to witness the signature so I assume she must have made some mark.

Harrys mum
15-06-08, 23:45
Yes, OC.....except that Papa also popped off the perch soon after marrying Lucretia Clark....so little Mary was the only one left at home.

She lived with Lucretia until Lucretia died...

Wonder if Lucretia left a will???

Back soon.........

Olde Crone Holden
16-06-08, 00:17

No, she made no mark on the paper at all!

The solicitor recalled that she had picked up the pen to sign and had then started chatting to him and put the pen down.

He "thought" she had signed, and pushed it to the witnesses, (clerks) who duly signed and left the office.

He was very red-faced about it all, as was my father, who had received a copy of the unsigned will and filed it carefully away after checking all was correct.

I have to say my mum could talk the hind leg off a donkey - perhaps the solicitor had gone into a coma!


16-06-08, 07:18
So in other words she did not actually leave a valid will and died intestate.

If anyone had contested the will it would not have stood up as it could have been argued that she had changed her mind or had second thoughts at the last minute.

A will must be signed in front of witnesses
The witnesses must sign to say they have seen the testator sign their name on the will.


Olde Crone Holden
16-06-08, 10:07

The solicitor and the probate office both said that her intent was very clear and therefore the will was allowed to proceed. It was a very straightforward will - a mirror will to that of my father.

Perhaps if it had been more complicated the probate office would have been a bit more awkward about things. As it stood, there was very little point in anyone challenging it.

In fact I have heard of cases where someone has instructed a solicitor to draw up a will, but died before they were able to sign it. The will was valid as there was a clear intent at the time of instructing the solicitor.


16-06-08, 17:49
Unfortunately intent does not make a will valid, unless the testator dies before being able to sign.

The law is very clear on the subject and I am afraid your mum's will failed on two grounds.
First it was not signed
Second the testators signature was not witnessed.

There have been many cases which create the precedent in law
Mathews v. Warner, 4 Ves. jun. 186; and 5 Ves. jun. 23.
Coles v Trecothick, 9 Ves. jun. 249
Walker V. Walker, 1 meri. Rep. 503.

The situation where a will is drawn up but the testator dies before being able to sign is completely different and this too has been tested in court.
Baillie v. Mitchell, in Prerog. Court 1805.