This is the Last Will and Testament of me James Sproule of Mellmount in the parish of Urney and County of Tyrone Ireland being of sound mind memory and understanding blessed by God for the same First I direct all my just debts and funeral expenses to be fully paid and satisfied to the payment whereof and of my legacies and bequests hereafter mentioned and contained I subject and make liable all my estate real and personal (viz.) Legacies and bequests, to my Brother Andrew Fifty pounds sterling or in case of his death to his wife Rebecca and if he or his son James are not able to pay their Bond and acceptance to me conveniently I direct that as steps will be taken against them for payment of the same To my late Brother William’s wife Mary Sproule and my niece Matilda Gwynne fifty pounds sterling cash or in case of Matilda’s death to her son James To my reputed Daughter Eleanor Sproule three hundred pounds sterling or fifteen pounds annually as interest until paid as my executors and executrix may think proper and at their convenience to pay the legacy or should she wish to remain with the family to get her board gratis and five pounds annually for nothing in lieu of interest and should my estate turn out well she is to get something more as my executors may decide To my reputed Daughter Jane Sproule of Bath Jamaica I bequeath the remaining part of my freehold of land in Jamaica named Rose Mount now partly occupied by my late negroes for her sole use & her son James Sproule Wilson but in case both dying without lawful issue then it is to fall into my wife and children and to be sold on their account that they get the proceeds thereof To my beloved wife Charlotte and my children by her named Margaret Madden William Taylor Matilda Ann Ellen Madden Robt. Saml. Jane Nugent and Sarah Charlotte I leave my property named Mellmount with the house rented from Colonel Bernard for their support & education with the Residue of my estate whatsoever and wheresoever share and share alike to hold unto them my said wife and children their heirs executors admors. and assigns for ever according to the nature & quality hereof And I do desire that the said children whose education have not been completed before my demise that it will be done at a moderate rate at the expense of my estate as my exors. And their mother may deem proper and that Robert Saml. may be brought up to some profession as his abilities may suit or I would prefer his going out to India in the Honourable East India Service if it can be accomplished the expense of fitting out and passage to be deducted out of his share and as William Taylor education is completed in employment of course he will require nothing for his support but when division of my estate takes place he will come in for his share My Daughter Margaret Madden having been married at which time she got about five hundred pounds sterling for fitting her out for India passage & which of course is to be deducted of her share (this includes three hundred pounds which her husband has past his Bond for) and lately he has got near to four hundred pounds for fitting her out again for India passage other expenses which is to be repaid to my estate and which if done the amount of the Bond is not to be demanded at present as they may remain over as in part payment of Margaret’s share With regards to my Jamaican property say Spring Bank Plantation with the stock thereon I wish to be disposed of as soon as convenient And I do hereby authorise my executors with my wife to send me out a special power of attorney to some friend or friends there to sell the same or they to sign a deed of conveyance as may answer best or at least expense the proceeds of which with all monies due me in that Island after paying my legacies to be placed in some sure way either an landed property or otherwise as my executors & my wife may deem proper the interest of which with that placed in 3 per cent consols and also that in the hands of James Johnston Esquire (say ₤2000 stg.) with all other monies due me are to be applied for the maintenance and education of my wife and her said children but should that not be sufficient for their education my executors and my wife should they see it actually necessary bit not otherwise they may use their discretion in taking a little from the principal to assist and in case of the interest amounting to more than required of course that is to be added to the principal for the benefit of my said children And the money now in the hands of Mr William Gwynne on a speculation of Corran Linen (the profits on halves) I wish as soon as convenient to be put out on interest in a sure way and if that in the 3 per cents could be placed to advantage on landed security I authorise my executors to draw out the same and place it accordingly I do not wish a division of my estate to take place until the youngest of my children attains at the age of twenty one years and then if their mother if living and she and my executors think it advisable it may be postponed until they think proper but should any of them marry to the satisfaction of their mother and my executors I authorise them in using their own discretion in giving part of their fortune or what money may be convenient and should any of them die without lawful issue his or her share or shares will fall into the surviving ones share and share alike or failing them to my grandchildren share and share alike and failing them to my nephews and nieces in like manner and their lawful children With regard to my gold cup I wish it to remain at Mellmount as long as any of my family remains there and after that to the oldest lawful male heir of my said children and so on for ever and as to my gold watch I leave it to my wife during her lifetime and afterwards to any of her children by me as she may think proper And lastly I do hereby nominate and appoint my friends Thomas Sproule of Bridge Hill Moses Sproule of Incheny William Gwynne of Strabane Esquires to be my Executors with my beloved wife Charlotte as Executrix and Trustees of this my last Will & Guardians of my Residuary devisees until my children arrive at the age of twenty one years respectively And I authorise my said Excts. And Executrix to settle any dispute that may arise amongst my heirs should any unfortunately take place and which must be binding on all And I do hereby revoke and make void all former wills and declare this only to be and contain my last will and testament In witness whereof I have set my hand affixed my seal the second day of April in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and forty = James Sproule (Seal) Signed sealed published and declared by the before named testator James Sproule as for his last Will and Testament in the presence of us who at his request and in his presence subscribed our names as witnesses hereof – Joseph Henderson - James Henderson - John Stevenson
London the 22nd Dec 1840before the Judge by the oath of Charlotte Sproule widow the relict one of the executors to whom Admon was granted having been first sworn by Commission duly to Admr. power reserved of making the like grant to Thomas Sproule Moses Sproule & William Gwynne the other executors when they shall apply for the same.
Source – PUBLIC RECORDS OFFICE. THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES
Catalogue Reference: Prob 11/1938