The will of Bridget Cruwys, spinster of Westminster
Proved on 19 November 1794
© Crown Copyright
National Archives Catalogue Reference PROB 11/1251,
Records of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, Holman Quire Register 520-565
Transcribed by Debbie Kennett
Bridget CRUWYS was the tenth and youngest child of John CRUWYS, Lord of the Manor of Cruwys Morchard, and Sarah FOOTE, the daughter of Samuel FOOTE, the MP for Tiverton. She was baptised on 13th October 1706 in Cruwys Morchard. She lived in Cockspur Street, Charing Cross, London, and then at Spring Gardens, Westminster. Her will was signed on 28th May 1793 and was proved in London on 19th November 1794 by her executors Francis COLMAN of Hillersdon in Cullompton and James MARTIN, a barrister with chambers at Essex Court in the Middle Temple.
This is the last Will and Testament of me Bridget Cruwys of Spring Gardens in the parish of Saint Martin in the Fields in the liberty of Westminster in the County of Middlesex Spinster only Sister of Dorothy Cruwys late of the said parish deceased Whereas my said late Sister by her last Will and Testament bearing date on or about the twenty second day of August in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and fifty seven gave several pecuniary and specific Legacies some of which were directed to be paid soon after her death and which have accordingly been paid and others of such Legacies were directed to be paid after my own death and she directed all her just debts and Funeral expences to be paid in one month after her death and appointed me her only Sister Sole Executrix to every thing she left for my own life and it was her desire expressed in her said Will that I should bequeath at my death to those of my own Family what I had in my power to dispose of that was hers provided they behaved to me with decency and affection And whereas my said Sister died on or about the sixth day of December One thousand seven hundred and fifty seven leaving me her only Sister and also leaving two brothers viz Henry Cruwys Esquire and Matthias Cruwys and also three Nephews namely Henry Shortrudge Cruwys only Son of the said Matthias Cruwys John Cruwys Clerk & Thomas Augustus Cruwys the only children of Samuel Cruwys deceased who was another brother of the said Testatrix and whereas the said Henry Cruwys Matthias Cruwys John Cruwys and Thomas Augustus Cruwys have departed this life since the death of the said Testatrix Dorothy Cruwys Now it is my intention and I hereby declare my Will to be to die intestate as to all the Estate and Effects of my said Sister so bequeathed to me as aforesaid and to make no disposition whatsoever thereof As to my own proper personal Estate and Effects which are wholly separate and apart from what was bequeathed to my by my said Sister and are therefore at my own free will and disposal I give and dispose thereof as follows First I will and direct that my Funeral expences and all my just debts and Legacies shall thereout in the first place be paid and discharged I give and bequeath unto Francis Colman of Hillersdon in the County of Devon Esquire and James Martin of the Middle Temple Gentleman the Sum of Fifty pounds upon Trust and to the Intent that they or either of them do pay the same to the Treasurer or Treasurers for the time being of a Society who call themselves the Governors of the Devon and Exeter Hospital at Exeter which said Sum of Fifty pounds I desire may be applied towards the carrying on the Charitable Designs of the said Hospital I give unto Mrs. Elizabeth Glynn of Bodmin in the County of Cornwall Spinster the sum of Fifty pounds I give unto Miss Ann Isabella Holwell of Exmouth in the County of Devon Spinster Fifty pounds and also my diamond Ring which was given to me in Memory of Mrs. Elizabeth Joye I give to Mrs. Popham and to her Sister Mrs. Hutton both residing in Duke Street Westminster Twenty Guineas each for Rings I give to Mrs. Jane Joye Spinster of Great George Street Hanover Square Twenty Guineas for a Ring I also give to Mrs. Elizabeth Plumptree of Queen Ann Street West Widow Ten Guineas for a Ring I give to Mrs. Amy Huish of Cullompton Devon the like sum of Ten Guineas for a Ring I give unto my late Servant Elizabeth Walter now the wife of George Walter of Trowbridge in the County of Wilts' One Annuity of Four pounds for her life to be paid and payable out of the residue of my personal estate for her own separate use and benefit not to be subject or liable to the debts or controul of her husband and direct that her receipt alone shall be a sufficient discharge to my residuary Legatee for the same I give to my Faithful Servant Joyce Warren Five hundred pounds I give to Elizabeth Fletcher [?] if living with me at my death Fifty pounds to my Servant Ann Brownson I give a years Wages over and above what shall be owing to her for Wages provided she is in my Service at the time of my decease and I direct that all the said Legacies to be paid as soon as conveniently can be done It is my wish and I do direct that I may be buried in the nearest Parish Church to this place where I shall die and with as little expense as decency will admit of and this I leave to the discretion of my Executors And I do hereby constitute and appoint the said Francis Colman and James Martin Executors of this my last Will and Testament to each of whom I give Twenty Guineas and I desire further that they may reimburse themselves for all expenses that may attend the execution of this my Will all the rest residue and remainder of my own personal Estate and Effects over which I have the Sole dominion and power and which are independant [sic] of the personal Estate and Effects which were my late Sisters I give and bequeath to my faithful Servant Joyce Warren as a recompence for her great trouble care and attention to me during a long Course of Illness and confinement (Subject nevertheless to the Annuity of Four pounds above given to the said Elizabeth Walter for her life as aforesaid) In Witness whereof I the said Bridget Cruwys have to this my last Will and Testament and to a duplicate thereof each contained in two sheets of paper set my hand to the first sheet and my hand and seal to the last sheet thereof this twenty eighth day of May in the year of our Lord One thousand seven hundred and ninety three - Bri: Cruwys - Signed Sealed published and declared by the said Testatrix as and for her last Will and Testament in the presence of us who in her presence and at her request and in the presence of each other have subscribed our names as Witnesses - John Birch Robert Luckhurst
The Codicil Reg[istere]d after this Act./- [marginal note]
This Will was proved at London with a Codicil the nineteenth day of November in the year of our Lord One thousand seven hundred and ninety four before The Worshipful John Fisher Doctor of Laws and Surrogate of The Right Honorable Sir William Wynne Knight also Doctor of Laws Master Keeper or Commissary of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury lawfully constituted by the Oaths of Francis Colman and James Martin the Ex[ecut]ors named in the Will to whom Administration was granted of all and singular the Goods Chattels and Credits of the deceased having been first sworn duly to administer.
Whereas in my Will I have given my Servant Ann Brownson one years wages over and above what may be due at my death I now give and bequeath to her two Guineas more than her years Wages that is in all Ten Guineas as a Witness my hand the fourteenth of Feb.y 1794