Tuesday, March 2, 2010

MR. WESLEY'S LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT

[Today, 2 March is the anniversary of John Wesley's death. Thanks to Kaye Hammett Evans for reminding me.]
MR. WESLEY'S LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT
In the name of God, Amen.
I, JOHN WESLEY, Clerk, some time Fellow of Lincoln College, Oxford, revoking all others, appoint this to be my last Will and Testament.
I give all my books, now on sale, and the copies of them, (only subject to a rent-charge of eighty-five pounds a year, to the widow and children of my brother,) to my faithful friends, John Horton, Merchant; George Wolff, Merchant; and William Marriott, Stock-Broker, all of London, in trust, for the general Fund of the Methodist Conference, in carrying on the work of God, by Itinerant Preachers; on condition that they permit the following Committee, Thomas Coke, James Creighton, Peard Dickenson, Thomas Rankin, George Whitfield, and the London Assistant, for the time being, still to superintend the printing-press, and to employ Hannah Paramore and George Paramore, as heretofore; unless four of the Committee judge a change to be needful.
I give the books, furniture, and whatever else belongs to me in the three houses at Kingswood, in trust, to Thomas Coke, Alexander Mather, and Henry Moore, to be still employed in teaching and maintaining the children of poor Travelling Preachers.
I give to Thomas Coke, Doctor John Whitehead, and Henry Moore, all the books which are in my study and bedchamber at London, and in my studies elsewhere, in trust, for the use of the Preachers who shall labour there from time to time.
I give the coins, and whatever else is found in the drawer of my bureau at London, to my dear grand-daughters, Mary and Jane Smith.
I give all my manuscripts to Thomas Coke, Doctor Whitehead, and Henry Moore, to be burned or published as they see good. I give whatever money remains in my bureau and pockets, at my decease, to be equally divided between Thomas Briscoe, William Collins, John Easton, and Isaac Brown.
I desire my gowns, cassocks, sashes, and bands, may remain in the chapel for the use of the Clergymen attending there.
I desire the London Assistant, for the time being, to divide the rest of my wearing apparel between those four of the Travelling Preachers that want it most; only my pelisse I give to the Rev. Mr. Creighton; my watch to my friend Joseph Bradford; my gold seal to Elizabeth Ritchie.
I give my chaise and horses to James Ward and Charles Wheeler, in trust, to be sold, and the money to be divided, one half to Hannah Abbott, and the other to the members of the select society.
Out of the first money which arises from the sale of books, I bequeath to my dear sister, Martha Hall, (if alive,) forty pounds; to Mr. Creighton aforesaid, forty pounds; and to the Rev. Mr. Heath, sixty pounds.
And whereas I am empowered, by a late Deed, to name the persons who are to preach in the new chapel, at London, (the Clergymen for a continuance,) and by another Deed, to name a Committee for appointing Preachers, in the new chapel, at Bath, I do hereby appoint John Richardson, Thomas Coke, James Creighton, Peard Dickenson, Clerks; Alexander Mather, William Thompson, Henry Moore, Andrew Blair, John Valton, Joseph Bradford, James Rogers, and William Myles, to preach in the new chapel at London, and to be the Committee for appointing Preachers in the new chapel at Bath.
I likewise appoint Henry Brooke, Painter; Arthur Keene, Gent.; and William Whitestone, Stationer, all of Dublin, to receive the annuity of five pounds, (English,) left to Kingswood School, by the late Roger Shiel, Esq.
I give six pounds to be divided among the six poor men, named by the Assistant, who shall carry my body to the grave; for I particularly desire there may be no hearse, no coach, no escutcheon, no pomp, except the tears of them that loved me, and are following me to Abraham’s bosom. I solemnly adjure my Executors, in the name of God, punctually to observe this.
Lastly, I give to each of those Travelling Preachers who shall remain in the Connexion six months after my decease, as a little token of my love, the eight volumes of sermons.
I appoint John Horton, George Wolff, and William Marriott, aforesaid, to be Executors of this my last Will and Testament; for which trouble they will receive no recompence till the resurrection of the just.
Witness my hand and seal, the 20th day of February, 1789.18
JOHN WESLEY. (Seal.)

Signed, sealed, and delivered, by the said Testator, as and for his last Will and Testament, in the presence of us,
WILLIAM CLULOW,
ELIZABETH CLULOW.
Should there be any part of my personal estate undisposed of by this my last Will, I give the same unto my two nieces, E. Ellison, and S. Collet, equally.
JOHN WESLEY.
WILLIAM CLULOW,
ELIZABETH CLULOW.

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