The Past and Present of Croydon's London Road

Last Will and Testament of Ellen Barrett of London Road, Croydon (National Probate Calendar: 8 January 1881, folio number 9)


The will of Ellen Barrett of London Road, Croydon, was made on 20 June 1879 and proved on 8 January 1881. The executors named in the will were her nephews Henry Barrett and Richard Barrett, and administration was granted to Richard as the only surviving executor.

According to the probate register copy, Ellen left:

  • Various household items to specific people (all listed in detail).
  • Her life insurance policy for £1000 to her executors on trust to pay half of the proceeds to each of her sisters, Maria Keen and Caroline Amelia Susannah Pole; but if either or both of them had died, their share was to go to Ellen’s brother-in-law John Pole.
  • Various monetary legacies.
  • Everything else to her executors for their own use and benefit, shared equally between them.

Below is my transcription of the probate register copy of the will. Bold and italic formatting reflect the different writing styles used in the document, and I have added one paragraph break toward the end to make it easier to read.


This is the last Will of me Ellen Barrett of No. 54 London Road Croydon in the County of Surrey Widow.

1. I appoint my nephews Henry Barrett and Richard Barrett to be my Executors with a legacy of fifty pounds apiece for the trouble they will have in carrying my Will into effect.

2. I bequeath to the several under named persons (those whose Surname is “Barrett” being relatives either of my late husband or of myself) the several articles and things undermentioned part of which belong to me and other part of which I hereby dispose of under and in exercise of the power contained in my late husband’s Will (namely)

[Transcriber’s note: the table below is drawn out as an actual table in the register copy.]

Name of Legatee Description of things bequeathed
Mary Anna Barrett 12 Silver Table Forks marked JEB
8 Silver Table Spoons marked JMB and MS
1 Silver Cream Jug marked FJJ
1 Silver Gravy Spoon marked MS
My Enamel Brooch with View of Lake of Geneva
Rachel Barrett 18 Silver Pie Forks marked JMB
12 Silver Pie Spoons marked JEB
1 Silver Cream Jug marked JMB
1 Silver Gravy Spoon marked (J. Field)
My Mourning Brooch with my husband’s hair and name at back
Mary Anne Barrett 2 Silver Pepper Boxes
1 Silver Toast Rack
12 Silver Tea Spoons marked B
1 Silver Butter Knife marked MS
Jeremiah Barrett 12 Silver Dessert Knives
12 Silver Dessert Forks with pearl handles (in Box)
6 Silver Salt Spoons
2 pair silver sugar tongs marked JAB and JMB
Henry Barrett My late dear husband’s worked Arm Chair and my Silver Coffee Pot and Stand
Richard Barrett My large Elbow Worked Chair and my Silver Teapot
Charles Dymond Barrett My large musical box
Thomas Squire Barrett My Chiming Clock now in the Hall
Louisa Barrett My Cheval Screen and my best China Dessert Service
James Salter Barrett My Stereoscope in Box and all the Slides
Caroline Barrett The Figure (with Glass Shade) representing the Hawker
Mary Emma Barrett My Corals (with Glass Shade over it)
William Henry Barrett My Microscope
Alfred Hancock My French Clock with Glass Fountain
Mary Hancock My Moss Agate Brooch with small Gold chain and fastener attached
Eleanor Palmer My best Gold watch Gold chain Seal key pencil case and the locket attached to the Chain or Watch
Mary Anna Barrett and Rachel Barrett equally My polished Stones and Fossils
Edith Caroline Wise My “Spencer Group” (under Glass Shade)
Mary Catharine Crowley My “Turkish Tomb” (under Glass Shade)
Sarah Maria Garrod My inlaid Satinwood Workbox and its contents
Emma Jane Morgan My Tunbridge Inlaid Workbox and its contents
Mary Agnes Hutchison My Tunbridge Inlaid Netting box and its contents
Jane Firth My Stuffed Birds under Glass Shade
Mary Field (My Housemaid) All the Furniture which shall be in the top Attic Room at my decease and also all the Furniture Carpets and Summer and Winter Curtains in my Breakfast parlour but not the Pictures and Escretoire therein
Mary Field and William Henry Cooper My Common Dinner Service (which is to be [sic] my Executors equally divided between them)
William Henry Cooper All the Furniture and Ornaments in the Summerhouse except the Case of Fossils and Shells
Sarah Maria Barrett 2 Pictures, “Cows Feeding” in my Breakfast parlour
Anne Todd My Pianoforte my Dressing Table with 6 Drawers and my Stuffed Canaries (with Glass Shade over) also Strickland’s Lives of the Queens of England in 6 Volumes
Mary Ann Clark of Sidcot My large Vases (with Convolvulus Painting) in the Drawing room at my said residence

3. I bequeath to my sister Maria Keen my green and gold tea service and my gold geneva watch and to my sister Caroline Amelia Susannah Pole my fish knives in box with lock.

4. I bequeath to my same two sisters in equal shares all my wearing apparel and jewellery and my household linen table linen and towels and all books with my name written in them.

5. In case of any question or difference arising with reference either to the division of the said wearing apparel jewellery linen and towels or with reference to the division of any other articles hereinbefore directed to be divided between two or more legatees the decision of my Executors as to any and every such division shall be conclusive and binding upon all parties.

6. I bequeath to Sarah Hutchison all the Carpets Summer and Winter Curtains Ornaments and other Furniture that shall be in my dining room at the time of my decease (except the Glasses and pictures and except the Bookcase and its contents) and also all the curtains glasses earthenware and furniture that shall be in my spare bedroom at the time of my decease.

7. I bequeath my life policy for One thousand pounds to my Executors and trustees Upon trust to receive the same and the bonuses thereon and to divide the same in manner following (videlicet) I give one half to my said sister Maria Keen or if she should not survive me to my brother in law John Pole And I give the other half to my said Sister Caroline Amelia Susannah Pole or if she should not survive me to my said brother in law John Pole.

8. I bequeath a legacy of fifty pounds to my cousin Elizabeth Keen and a legacy of ten pounds apiece to Alfred Hancock John Hancock William Hancock and Mary Hancock.

9. I bequeath a legacy of One hundred pounds apiece to the said Anne Todd the said Mary Field and the said William Henry Cooper A legacy of fifty pounds to my Cook Mary Ann Bailey A legacy of nineteen guineas to Ann Moore and a legacy of five guineas apiece to my friend Mary Ann Gotch of Kettering and my said brother in law John Pole.

10. I direct that all the legacies hereby bequeathed both pecuniary and specific shall be paid free of legacy duty and that the legacies to females who are or shall be married shall be delivered or paid to them for their separate use on their own receipts only which notwithstanding coverture shall be good discharges to my Executors.

11. As to the remainder of my household furniture plate glass china linen books and effects and all other the residue of my personal estate and effects whatsoever and wheresoever situate and also as to all real estate and personal estate over which I have or shall have any disposing power I give devise and bequeath the same to my said Executors Henry Barrett and Richard Barrett for their own use and benefit in equal shares

In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand this twentieth day of June one thousand eight hundred and seventy nine Ellen Barrett Signed by the Testatrix Ellen Barrett in the presence of us who were present at the same time and who in her presence and in the presence of each other have hereunto subscribed our names as witnesses
Eliza Baddeley 56 London Road Croydon wife of Henry Baddeley.
Eliza Baddeley same place Spinster.

Proved at London 8th January 1881 by the Affirmation of Richard Barrett the nephew the surviving Executor to whom Admon was granted.