Siblings in conflict over John Vogwill’s will

Introduction

Amongst the Chancery Court cases in the National Archives is one between one Thomas King and his wife, formerly Betsey Simons, the plaintiffs, and Betsey’s brother, John Simons. The bill can be found at TNA ref. C 14/1341/K24.

Any answer and / or decree and order that was issued was not with the bill. I have found no evidence of an answer in the Discovery online catalogue, and  I have not yet tried to find a decrree and answer (which means searching at Kew). I hope to look for one soon. These don’t always exist – sometimes those at loggerheads with each other managed to sort things out for themselves out of court. I have also not tried to find any other documentation than the pleadings. Seeking most of this looks a potentially time-consuming process (at SOG and TNA), and I will probably not be doing this soon.

Summary

This concerns a dispute over the way the wishes of John Vogwell, as expressed in his will were or were not being followed. It was less than 3 weeks after Betsey’s uncle, John Vogwill, had died. However, her brother appears to have acted quickly following his uncles death to sell off property that should have been shared by all the grandchildren. It seems a little surprising that Thomas and Betsey should have acted so quickly, they scarcely seem to have had time to try to persuade her brother to treat Betsey and the other grandchildren as was their right. Betsey was her uncle’s sole beneficiary and also sole executrix, and the estate included her uncle’s share in a tenement, so it was not simply money and personal possessions, and presumably involved some paperwork etc., so it would not seem that she would have had time on her hands. Perhaps it was getting legal advice to deal with her uncle’s will that led to this action against her brother.

If you want to know more about these court cases and the documents they produced see the Chancery equity suits after 1558 page on the National Archives website.

Some details regarding the transcription

I can’t guarantee that I have understood or transcribed every word correctly in the summary above or transcription below, and I also need to go through and check for any typos I may have introduced, but so as not to delay those interested in learning more about these documents I am putting my transcripts online before doing this.

/ in the bill indicates a line break
Content in [] is also a comment or clarification by me, or a reference to a footnote.

In Chancery                            1852 K No. 24                       7th May 1852 Muny

The Lord Chancellor
The Vice Chancellor Parker

Between Thomas King and Betsey his Wife .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . Plaintiffs

John Simons and Thomas Vogwill .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . Defendants

 

The Claim of Thomas King of Tavistock Street Stoke in the Borough of Devonport Laborer in Her Majesty’s Dock Yard there and Betsey his Wife (formerly /

Betsey Simons ) the above named Plaintiffs The said Thomas King and Betsey his Wife State That  the said Betsey King is a Legatee under the Will dated the Twenty /

fifth day of April One thousand eight hundred and forty four of John Vogwel late of the Parish of Sampford Spiney in the County of Devon Yeoman deceased who died on the /

thirteenth day of January One thousand eight hundred and forty five That the said John Vogwill by his said Will (amongst other things) gave to his Son John Vogwill a /

third part of the rent of his Leasehold Estate in the Parish of Whitchurch known by the name of Stone after the premises were kept in good repair and the high rent and /

the Land Tax were paid which he was to receive during his life (or so long as the life should live) and after him to belong to his Brother and Sister or either of them that /

should be living after his decease He also gave to the aforesaid John Vogwell a third part of the Interest of Five hundred and fifty pounds then in the Funds or so /

much as should remain in the said Funds at the time of his decease during his life after his decease to belong to his Brother and Sister or either of them that should /

be alive at the time of his decease the aforesaid John Vogwill should not sell or Mortgage any part of the aforesaid interest and if neither of his brother of sister /

be alive at the time of his death then the aforesaid interest to be divided equal[ly] among his Grandchildren that should be living on English Ground he gave and /

bequeathed to his second son William Vogwill during his life or so long as the lives should live his leasehold tenaments known by the name of Dosterbrook in the /

Parish of Whitchurch with the Blacksmiths shop and all other outhouses and rights belonging to the same and after his decase to belong to his brother and sister or either of /

them that should be alive at the time of his decease or during the lifetime of either of  them he gave to the aforesaid William Vogwill the sum of Three pounds of lawful English /

money to be paid him by his executrix within twelve Months after his decease and one third part of the rent of his Leasehold Estate in the Parish of Whitchurch known by the /

name of Stone after the premises were kept in good repair and the Land tax and high rent were paid and all other necessary payments made which he was to receive /

during his life or so long as the life should live and after his decease to belong to his Brother and Sister or either of them that should be alive after his decease /

and also one third part of the Interest of Five hundred and fifty pounds then in the funds or so much as should be in the funds at the time of his decease /

which he was to receive during his life and after him to belong to his Brother and Sister or either of them that should be alive at the time of his decease or during the /

lifetime of either of them and after him and them to be shared equal among his Grandchildren that should be alive on English Ground the aforesaid William Vogwill /

or his Brother and Sister should not sell or mortgage any part of the aforesaid premises or interest during their life time or after their decease he gave and bequeathed to his /

only Daughter Johanna Simons a House which he then lived in known by the name of Burgoyns Tenement (the upper part of the same) and the upper part of the Garden

belonging to the same and the third part of the interest of Five hundred and fifty pounds in the Funds (namely in the Consolidated Three per Cent Annuities) and the /

third part of the rent of his Leasehold Estate in the Parish of Whitchurch in the County of Devon known by the name of Stone which she was to receive during her life and after her /

belong to his two Sons John and William Vogwell or either of them that should be alive at the time of her decease and after her and them to belong to his Grand children that /

should be living on English ground at the time of his decease in equal Shares the aforesaid Johanna Simons should not sell or Mortgage any part of the aforesaid premises or interest /

for here life time or after her decease and the residue of his property after paying all his just debts and funeral expences he gave and bequeather to his only Daughter the said /

Johanna Simons and he appointed the aforesaid Johanna Simons executrix of that his will he also thereby nominated his Nephew the said Defendant Thomas Vogwill and /

John Foot Yeoman Trustees of that his Will – That the said Will was duly proved by the said Johanna Simons in the Prerogative Court of the Archbishop of Canterbury /

shortly after the decease of the said Testator And that the funeral and Testamentary expences have been long since paid and Satisfied by the said Joanna Simons /

out of the residuary personal estate and effects of the said Testator – That the said  Testator was at the time of his decease entitled to the sum of Five hundred and fifty pounds /

Three pounds per Cent consolidated Bank Annuities and also to the leasehold Estates so as aforesaid specifically bequeathed by his said will That the said Defendant Thomas /

Vogwill accepted the trust of the said will but John Foot the other trustee named in the said will has not in any manner accepted or acted under the trusts of the said Will That /

the said William Vogwill departed this life in the month of December One thousand eight hundred and forty eight and the said Johanna Simons departed this Life on or about /

the eighth day of January One thousand eight hundred and fifty and the said John Vogwell the surviving Child of the said Testator named in his said Will departed this /

life on the nineteenth day of April now last past That the said Plaintiff Betsey King is one of the Children of the said Johanna Simons one of the said Children of the said /

Testator and the said Plaintiff Betsey King is one of the Grand children of the said Testator who was living in England at the decease of the said Testator and also at the /

time of the decease of the said John Vogwill his son and the said Defendant John Simons is the Child of the said Johanna Simons by John Symons her husband and the /

said Defendant John Simons was as the said Plaintiffs believe living in England at the time of the decease of the said Testator and also at the time of the decease of the said /

John Vogwill his Son and there were other grand children of the said Testator who were living in England at the time of the decease of the said John Vogwill Thus the said /

Defendant Thomas Vogwill received the rents of the household Estates and premises up to the latterend of the year One thousand eight hundred and fifty one and also the dividends of the said Sum /

of Five hundred and fifty pounds Three pounds per Cent Consolidated Bank Annuities from the time of the decease of the said Testator up to the month of January One thousand eight hundred and fifty one And he paid /

such rents and dividends to the said three Children of the said Testator and the survivors and survivor of them up to and until the period last mentioned but the said Defendant Thomas Vogwill did not as he ought to /

have done procure the said Sum of Five hundred and fifty pounds Three per cent consolidated Bank Annuities to be transformed into his name or otherwise properly secured upon the trusts of the said Will /

of the said Testator and such sum remained invested in the name of the said Testator until the sale thereof by the said Defendant John Simons hereinafter mentioned [That on the thirteenth X /

day of December One thousand eight hundred and fifty one letters of Administration of the personal estate and effects of by the said Testator left unadministered by the said Johanna Simons with his said /

Above annexed[?][1] were granted by the Prerogative Court of the Archbishop of Canterbury to the said Defendant John Simons and the said Defendant John Simons thereby became and is now the legal personal representative /

of the said Testator John Vogwill – That the said Defendant John Simons has since the decease of the said John Vogwill the son of the said Testator sold out the whole of the said sum  of Five /

hundred and fifty pounds Three Pounds per cent consolidated Bank Annuities and he the said last named Defendant has deposited about Two hundred pounds or some other sum unknown to the said /

Plaintiffs part of the proceeds of such Sale to the Credit of his Private Account with Messrs. Harry and Company of Plymouth in Devonshire his bankers And the said Defendant John Simons has applied the /

residue of such proceeds of Sale for his own benefit That the said John Simons is a Labouring HMS bandman and in indigent circumstances  The said Plaintiffs therefore claim to have the Sum of Five /

hundred and fiftypounds Three Pounds per Cent consolidated Bank Annuities with the dividends accrued thereon from the fifth day of January last up to the time when such sum of stock was so as aforesaid sold by the /

said Defendant John Simons with interest upon the proceeds of such sum of Five hundred and fifty pounds Three pounds per Cent consolidate Bank Annuties from the time of the said Sale thereof by the said /

Defendant John Simons with interest thereon after the rate of Five pounds per Cent per Annum Or the dividends which accrued due upon such sum of stock after the decease of the said John Vogwill the son up to the /

time of the aforesaid Sale of the said sum of Stock by the said Defendant John Simons and the amount of the proceeds of such sum of Stock with interest thereon after the rate aforesaid from the time of the sale of the same Sum of Stock by the /

said Defendant John Simons and also the rent which has accrued due in respect of the said House known by the name of Burgoynes tenement and the upper part of the Garden belonging to the same and one third part of the rent of the leasehold /

Estate in the Parish of Whitchurch in the County of Devon known by the name of Stone given by the Will of the said Testator to his said Daughter Johanna Simons for her life accruded due since  the decease of the said John Vogwell the son of the said  Testator /

and also the same last mentioned Leasehold premises and one third share of freehold premises divided between the said Plaintiffs in right of the said Plaintiff Betsey Kind and the other Grandchildren of the said Testator and having entitled thereto /

and his said Will and if necessary to have some proper person appointed by this Honourable Court as receiver of the proceeds of the said Sum of Five hundred and fifty pounds Threepounds per cent consolidated Bank Annuities and the rents and profits of the said /

house and part of garden and one third part of the rent of the said leasehold estate given by the said will of the said Testator to his said Daughter Johanna Simons for her life and if necessary the said Plaintiffs claim to have the personal Estate /

of the said John Vogwill administered in this Court on behalf of themselves and all other the legatees of the said Testator John Vogwill and for the purposes aforesaid that all proper directions may be given and account taken /

 

J. P. L. Hallett

 

On the reverse:

In Chancery

King
v
Simons
Claim

Let this be filed

Cecil Mornoy?

Nichols & Clark
9 Cooks Court
Lincoln’s Inn
Middlesex
Agents for Chapman & Son
Plaintiffs Solicitors
Devonport

 

1852 K No 24 King  -v- Simons

[1] Crease in paper distorting this word in my photograph; seems likely to be ‘annexed’


This document is Crown copyright, and the content is shared here according to the permission given for sharing such documents.

The transcription is © me, Teresa Goatham. If you want to associate this with your family tree please do so by linking to this page and don’t just copy it en bloc. If for some reason this is not practical please contact me.

I hope to make an image available, restricted access to other relations of those involved in this case or with other particular (e.g. local history) interest. However, this particular document was more than usually creased, involving the use of a lot of weights before I could photograph sections of it, so producing a suitable image will take time.


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