Will of George Godfree ~ proved January 1851
I George Godfree the Elder of Great Rissington in the County of Gloucestershire Farmer do hereby revoke all Wills and Testamentary dispositions by me before made and make this only for my last Will. I give and devise unto my Wife Mary Ann Godfree during her life all that freehold messuages with the garden close outbuildings and appurtenances thereto belonging situate at Great Rissington aforesaid in the occupation of my mother Mary Godfree to hold the same unto the said Mary Ann Godfree and her afsigns during her life and after her decease I give and devise the said messuages garden close and premises unto my eldest son John Baylis Godfree his heirs and afsigns for ever I give and bequeath unto my sons George Godfree and William Godfree and unto my daughters Roseanna Godfree Emma Godfree Alice Godfree Ann Maria Godfree and Catherine Godfree the sum of two hundred pounds apiece and I direct that the several pecuniary legacies hereby bequeathed shall be paid to such of the legatees who at my decease have attained the age of twenty one years at the expiration of twelve months from my death and to the other of the said legatees when and as they shall respectively attain that age in each case without interest and in case either of the said legatees shall die under the age of twenty one years this legacy shall sink into and form part of the residue hereinafter bequeathed for the benefit of my son John Baylis Godfree I give and devise unto my said wife Mary Ann Godfree my three freehold messuages or cottages with the gardens outbuildings and appurtenances thereto situate at Great Rissington aforesaid and in the occupation of William Preston, William [Junior?] and Edward [Swxxx?] to hold the same unto my said wife and her afsigns until my youngest child shall attain the age of twenty one years and when and as soon as that event shall happen I give and devise the said messuages or cottages gardens and outbuildings and appurtenances unto my said son John Baylis Godfree his heirs and afsigns for ever I give and bequeath unto my said wife all my furniture plate linen china stores crops monies and securities for money and all the residue of my estate and effects to be freely used and enjoyed by her until my youngest child for the time being shall attain the age of twenty one years and I expressly direct that in the use and enjoyment thereof she shall not be subject to the [coudroi?] or intermission of any other person or persons and that she shall not at any time thereafter be answerable for or liable to be called upon or to render any account to my eldest son of any interest or diminution in the said furniture and other effects stores crops and monies or the gains or losses in carrying on the farming business if she be minded to carry on the same and when my youngest child for the time being shall attain the age of twenty one years I give and bequeath the said furniture plate linen china stores crops monies and securities or so with thereof as shall remain and the gains profits and interest which may have been made by my wife therein and all other my residuary estate and effects unto my said son John Baylis Godfree his executors and administrators subject nevertheless to and charged with and I do hereby charge as well the said cottages or tenements with their appurtenances as my said residuary personal estate with the payment unto my said wife during her life of an annuity or clear yearly sum of thirty pounds payable by equal quarterly payments to renumerate and be computed from that day on which my youngest child shall attain the age of twenty one years and I appoint my said wife and son John Baylis Godfree Executrix and executor of this my will in virtue whereof I have to this my will set my hand the twelfth day of March in the year one thousand eight hundred and fifty ~ George Godfree ~ signed by the testator George Godfree as and for this last will in the presence of each other have hereto set our names as witnesses William Wells Surgeon Bourton on the Water ~ W. Kendall Sol. Bourton on the Water.
Proved at London 9th January 1851
before the judge by the oaths of Mary Ann Godfree Widow the relict and John Baylis Godfree the son the executors to whom Admon was granted having been first sworn by Commission oath to administer.
Transcription: Caroline O’Neill ~ August 2007
Summary: 4 freehold buildings, with gardens and outbuildings, in Great Rissington and £1900 plus other money and household effects. One of the cottages was lived in by his mother, Mary and the other three had tenants. It is not clear from the will where the family lived – although the farming business is specifically mentioned. Mary Godfree Senior was living in a different household than her daughter-in-law in 1851.
George left the freehold of the place in which his mother Mary was living in (in Great Rissington) to his wife Mary Ann. After her death this was to go to their oldest son, John Baylis Godfree, his heirs and assigns. Mary died in 1853. She and George are buried in the churchyard of St John the Baptist, Great Rissington.
He left £200 to each of his three sons John, George and William and £200 to each of his 5 youngest daughters. All of them were under 21 years of age at the time he wrote his will. They were to receive their legacy when they reached the age of 21, 12 months following his death and if they were to die before they reached this age, the money would revert to the residue of the estate which was to go to John as the oldest son. There were 4 other daughters, all older than John, and who were already 21 years old at the time he wrote his will, who are not mentioned in the will.
He left his three freehold cottages in Great Rissington, along with their gardens and outbuildings, to Mary Ann. These were tenanted by William Preston, William [Junior?] and Edward [Smith?] Once his youngest child (Katherine) reached the age of 21, these would then pass to John and his heirs.
He left the residue of his estate to his wife Mary until the youngest child reached the age of twenty one. He expressly directed that she could use this as she wished and not be answerable to anyone about how she used it or ran the farming business if she was minded to carry on with this. When the youngest child reached the age of twenty one this was to pass to John. Mary was then to receive an annuity of £30 yearly payable in quarterly instalments and starting from the date the youngest child attained twenty one years.
Katherine (Kate) the youngest child, turned 21 in 1865. in 1851 Mary Ann is described as a farmer of 400 employing 6 men and in 1861, a farmer of 480 acres employing 10 men and 7 boys. Mary Ann and her son John were both living at Farm House, Great Rissington in 1871. Mary Ann is described as retired and John is described as a farmer of 400 acres employing 12 men and three boys. Mary Ann died in 1873 and John in 1880, he never married. Mary Ann is buried with George in the churchyard of St John the Baptist, Great Rissington.
SUMMARY Mary Ann had the free use of everything until Kate reached her majority when it all passed to John, apart from the annuity of £30 and the cottage lived in by Mary Godfree senior.