Will of John Cherry, Dissenting Minister of Bampton, Devon

Proved 10 August 1843

© Crown Copyright

National Archives Catalogue Reference: PROB 11/1729

Records of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, Hober Quire Numbers: 451 - 500

Transcribed by Russ Davies, checked by Tom McManamon and Barbara Keene.

I John Cherry, Dissenting Minister, and now residing in the town of Bampton in the County of Devon do make this my Last Will and Testament, that is to say, As my two daughters have devoted themselves so entirely by all the source within their power to the personal benefit and accommodation of their father and in a manner which ought not to be taken as a thing of course have also to their utmost accommodated their brothers and by their endeavours to do this have deprived themselves of the opportunities and advantages for pursuing exclusively their own personal activities which their important years at the beginning of active life would have afforded them. I do give and bequeath unto my said two daughters Maria and Charlotte Cherry in for and into their own personal right all and every thing of my small property which I am possessed of or entitled to at the time of my decease whether said property be in funds, houses, furniture, goods, notes, monies or leaving it to them by this testament to give to each of their brothers whatsoever articles of the aforesaid little property they may see right in their father's name whatsoever therefore said property consists of I give the whole use to my said two daughters to be equally divided between each daughter to share and share alike in the value thereof after paying my debts. I do also appoint my said daughters Maria and Charlotte Cherry to be the sole and joint Executors of this my Last Will and Testament. Their brothers should not look on this disposal of the little divine providence has put under my direction as inequitable their father conceives with an arrangement to be necessary and has a right both from God and Man to make that disposition of his little temporal all which will most conduce[?] to his final satisfaction. Their father has already done for his sons so much as will justify a man of his circumstance, and with no more opportunity than he has had, in leaving them now to their own exertions and in the hands of that divine providence which has supplied their father through so many years. He has educated each of them himself instead of making instruments of his friends to relieve himself by taking them as servants. He has, at an expense very heavy to him, given them the most respectable trades he could select. They have had their father's name and influence to attend them whereby they have had the use of more property than their father ever possessed and, by his instructions, they are in possession of the important knowledge of the method whereby they may secure the divine blessing on all their labours and circumstances. My sons are now therefore more able than defenceless single women, their sisters, to struggle with a world in which the unfeeling[?] excluding[?] voracious passions of self love fills and rules almost every mind around them. It is greatly desirable for my sons themselves that their sisters, if they live, should not be an encumbrance on them, on their families or on others, especially when the imbecilities, the querulousness, the impassible restrictions of age surround them. My sons have not now to learn the affectionate, fervent sympathy of their sisters with their welfare and their honour, nor the imprudent generosity of their natural feelings, particularly of the eldest. They have rather to bear in mind the hideous cruelty as well as the savage selfishness there would be in imposing on such dispositions to draw from an affectionate and defenceless female, and that female a sister in any desperatness[?] of circumstances whatever the means essential to her own support and to her own protection hideous cruelty savage selfishness whatever personal accommodation may be proposed by it, whatever seeming advantage may at the present time be acquired. Such excessive unrighteousness shall not prosper. God in his over ruling providence has given a specimen of this truth in my family already, which in its miserable moral as well as temporal effects ought to be remembered as an effectual admonition. My children hearken to your father speaking to you solemnly from the grave. Love each other with Godly sincerity. You are not only brothers and sisters by the blood of your parents, but professedly are so by blood divine. Bear in mind then that you are under the greatest obligations your infinite Creator, the Redeemer, can lay on you to love each other. There is one way to exercise this love toward each other, which should inspire you with a disposition to exercise it in every other. The one shall not see or hear of sin on the brother without timely affectionate, unremitting expostulation. Keep each other from sin and you will preserve each other from the only evil you are exposed to. There is no way of a corrupt creature being preserved from the damnation of such an evil but by a daily actual communion and intimacy with Jesus Christ. There is no mode of holding communion with Him but by his own ordinances the profit and the enjoyment of all the others arises according to the plan of God from an ever evolving uniform self diligently reading the word of God and of prayer in the closet. It is ignorant and useless to expect to be preserved from the anxious things to feel the real life of God in the Soul to grow in heart religion to hate[?] the spiritual enjoyment of divine and eternal objects without delusion to feel Christ precious but by a persevering uniform self denying reading of the word of God and of prayer in the closet. If you read that there, you will pray there. If you do not read that there, your prayer there will have some delusion joined to it. Let your reading of the Scriptures be directed to the purpose of mooting[?] fitting answering the purpose of the Holy Spirit in His inspiration of them his purpose universally is the Revelation of Jesus Christ. Sigh then like the apostle Paul. 'That you may know him' the only saving process of personal religion is the learning experimentally more and more of the need, the love, the sufficiency of this only Mediator between God and Man. The aim in the legitimate method I have recommended to improve in an experimental knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall, you assuredly shall, improve personally in every temper that is amiable, in every affection that is pure, in every sentiment that is noble, in every faculty that is useful, in every action that is honourable and in every feeling that is happy. My sons let your sisters have the precious privilege of being always able to look to their brothers for shelter with affectionate confidence. Far be it from you my sons that they should look on your circumstances, your conduct, your dispositions, your principles with suspicion and with dread. May all your stops through life tend to the good of everyone. May God indulge you with every temporal benefit that he can reconcile to your eternal welfare. May he bless each of you with eyes to see and a heart to feel all the goodness he will show you. May he make and keep you believing, weeping penitents at the foot of the cross of his dear Son. May you join me at his right hand in the great day. I have shown you the way thither. To this my Last Will and Testament written with my own hand I put my name and seal this twenty seventh day of September in the year eighteen hundred and twenty five. John Cherry. Witnesses //

In the Prerogative Court of Canterbury
             In the Goods of John Cherry.
Appeared personally William Day Horsey of Wellington in the County of Somerset, mercer and John Kingdon of the same place, Sadler, and made oath they know and were well acquainted with John Cherry, late of Bampton in the County of Devon, deceased, and have several times seen him write and subscribe his name and thereby became well to know and be acquainted with his manner and character of handwriting and subscription and those deponents having now with care and attention viewed and perused the paper writing hereunto annexed purporting to be the Last Will and Testament of the said deceased beginning thus 'I John Cherry, dissenting minister, and now residing in the Town of Bampton in the County of Devon', ending thus 'this twenty seventh day of September in the year eighteen hundred and twenty five' and thus subscribed 'John Cherry' they say that they do verily and in their consciences believe the whole body sense and contents of the said Will and the subscription thereto to be of the proper handwriting and subscription of him the said John Cherry, deceased.
    W. D. Horsey                John Kingdon
On the twenty sixth day of June 1827 the said William Day Horsey and John Kingdon were duly sworn to the truth of this affidavit by virtue of the [.....] Commission.
Before me, Robt. Jarratt, Commissioner.

On the 28th of August 1827 Admon with the Will annexed of all and singular the Goods, Chattels and Credits of John Cherry, late of Bampton in the County of Devon, Widower, deceased, was committed and granted to John Lane Cherry, one of the natural and lawful children of the deceased having been first sworn by Commission duly to administer; Maria Cherry and Charlotte Cherry, Spinsters, the daughters of the said Deceased, the Executrixes and Universal Legatees having renounced as well the probate and execution thereof as also the Letter Of Admon (with the same annexed) of the Goods of the said deceased and the said Maria Cherry, Spinster, William Cherry, the said Charlotte Cherry, Spinster, George Cherry and Charles Cherry together with the said John Lane Cherry, the natural, lawful and only children of the said deceased and only persons entitled in distribution of his personal estate and effects in case he had died Intestate having first consented as by Acts of Court appears.