Index

Margaret Geddes' will


This is written by Margaret Geddes to her mother, Marion Geddes (née Faulds). Margaret was the only daughter of Adam Gordon Geddes. This is a copy of a copy so the copyists may have made mistakes. Apologies for any of mine.

This is from the Scottish Record Office reference SC70/4/431 pp 134-145. This is a copy of a copy so the copyists may have made mistakes. Apologies for any of mine. I've added some paragraphs to make it easier to understand.

Mrs Margaret Geddes or Vernor now Legat. Record of Invent. Vol 520 P. 47 2nd November 1911

At Edinburgh the thirty first day of August One thousand nine huindred and eleven the Deed hereinafter engrossed was presented for registration in the Books of the Lords of Council and Session for prservation and is registered in the said books as follows: I Mrs Margaret Geddes or Vernor, or Legat, Wife of John Legat Esquire, Trafalgar Lodge Musselburgh, being desirous to settle the succession to my means and estate after my death do hereby, with the special advice and consent of my said husband who signs these presents in token thereof and in evidence of his renouncing, as he does hereby renounce, his legal rights to share in any part of the Capital of my said means and Estate after my death convery, assign, and make over to the said John Legat, my Brother Colonel John Geddes, presently residing in Chetenham and my nephews John Gordon Geddes eldest son of the said Colonel John Geddes, and Ernest David Eckford Geddes eldest son of my late Brother Colonel Andrew David Geddes as Trustees (hereinafter called my said Trustees) my whole means and estate heritable and moveable for the end uses and purposes after mentioned vizt:

First For Payment of all my just and lawful debts and the expense of executing this Trust.

Second For the distribution within six months of my death of my Dresses and personal belongings (including watches and jewellery) and also of my Silver Plate, Pictures and the like amongst such persons as I may by any formal or informal writing or writings under my hand clearly direct.

Third For the payment of the free income of the residue and remainder of my said means and estate including my share of the Capital of the Estate of my Uncle the late David Geddes Esquire presently liferented by me to my said Husband during all the days of his life and that for his liferent alimentary use allenarly.

Fourth: For payment free of legacy duty at the first Term of Whitsunday or Martinmas which shall occur three months after the death of my husband, before which no vesting shall take place of

(A)the sum of Three hundred pounds sterling to the said John Gordan Geddes
(B)the sum of Two hundred pounds sterling to the said Ernest David Eckford Geddes
(C)my share of the Capital of the Estate of my said Uncle David Geddes before referred to and amongst my neices, the daughters of my Colonel Andrew David Geddes, - the issue of Predeceaserrs taking their parents share, and the shares of Minors (the income meantime being applied for their behoof) being held for them by my said Trustees until they attain majority or are married whichever event shall first happen
(D)the sum of Five hundred pounds sterling to be specially set apart by my trustees and held by them in their own names as such Trustees for the liferent alimentary use allenarly of James Vernor the Youngest surviving son of my former Husband and after his death, before which event the same shall not vest, for division amongst his children whom failing, the children of his Brother Robert Vernor, the issue of Predeceasers taking their Parents share; declaring however that this liferent bequest to James Vernor and the capital thereof to his children whom failing his Brother's children shall only take effect if they or either of them the said James or Robert Vernon do not succeed through the operation of the law to any part of the Capital of the Estate of my said uncle David Geddes Esquire, and

and Fifth: For payment and division at the said first term of Whitsunday or Mrtinmas which shall occur three motnhs after the death of my said Husband, before which event the same shall not vest, of the Residue and remainder of my said means and Estate as follows vizt:- one half to and amongst the whole children of my brother the said Colonel John Geddes, and the other half to and amonst the whole children of my late brother the said Colonel Andrew David Geddes, the issue of Predeceasers taking their Parents share and the shares of Minors (the income being meanwhile applied for their behoof) being held for them by my said Trustees until majority in the case of sons and majority or marriage whichever shall first happen in the case of daughters.

And I hereby appoint the said John Legat, Colonel John Geddes, John Gordon Geddes and Ernest David Eckford Geddes to be my sole Executors: And I give the most full and ample powers of management to my said Trustees including power of public and private sale, and I request and specially authorise them in their discretion to leave my said means and estate in the investments in which they may find the same at my death or to uplift and realise the same and to invest the proceeds upon whatever class of securities they may think proper including the Deposit Receipts, Debentures, Debenture or Preference Stock, of any Banking, Trading or Investment Company, having its Haed Ofice in Great Britain, Ireland the Colonies or abroad, declaring that my said Trustees shal not be liable for depreciation or loss upon Investments nor singuli in solidum but each for his own cash intromissions only.

And I authorise my said Trustees to appoint any one of their number or any other person whom they may think fit to be Factor or Agent under them for the purpose of carrying these premises into effect and managing the Trust and to pay him a reasonable remuneration of the usual professional charges for his trouble, any law or practice to the contrary notwithstanding:

And I revoke all former Settlements made by me: And while reserving generally power to alter innovate or revoke these presents with the consent of my husband, I reserve special power and to which he consents to bequeath by any formal or informal writing under my hand and whether probative or not the sum of Five hundred pounds sterling to any friend or relative the same however not to be payable during my said husband's life:

And I the said John Legat hereby accept of the liferent Provision before conferred upton me as in full satisfaction of all I can claim or demand from my Wife's estate in any manner of way in the event of her death:

And we the said Mrs Margaret Geddes or Vernor now Legat and John Legat consent to the registration hereof for preservation. In witness whereof these presents written on this and the procedng page by JOhn McMurray, Clerk to Messieurs Horne and Lyell, Writers to the Signet, Edinburgh, are subscribed by us to the said Mrs Margeret Geddes or Vernor now Legat and John Legat both at EDkinburgh upon the twenty sixth day of April in the year Eighteen hundrede and ninety four before these witnesses George Mitchell also Clerk to te said Messieurs Horne and Lyell and the said John McMurray:

(signed) Margaret Legat, John Legat, Geo. Mitchell Witness, John McMurray Witness

We the Trustees and Executors named in the foregoing Trust Disposition and Settlement hereby accept of the office of Trustee & Executor conferred on us:

(signed) John Legat, John Geddes, J.G. Geddes Lt. Col. R.F.A., E.D.E Geddes Major R.M.A.

Extracted from the Register of Deeds &c. in the Books of Council and Sessions on this and the nine proceeding pages by me, Assistant Keeper of said Register. (signed) Robert D. Gray.

Edinburgh, 27th October 1911: Referred to in my Deposition of this date to the Inventory of the Personal Estate of Mrs Margaret Geddes or Vernor now Legat. (signed John Legat, Thos. F.s., Donaldson, J.P.

This will was written a few months before Margaret Geddes died. I am not sure when her second husband, John Legat, died - presumably after Margaret. Margaret Geddes had no surving children, since her son Alexander Vernor had died in 1888. So the children of her first husband would have been her step-sons. Part of the complexity of this will seems to be sorting out the aftermath of David Geddes' will.

It seems shocking to modern sensibilities that Margaret had to get consent from her husband to leave her own money as she chose, as late as 1911, but that seemed to be the law in Scotland at the time.


The following is part of the same document. It is presumably part of the "formal or informal writing or writings under my hand" mentioned above.

A

At Edinburgh the twentieth day of October One thousand nine hundred and eleven the Deed hereinafter engrossed was presented for registration in the Books of the Lords of Council and Session for preservation and is registered in the said Books as follows:

May 3rd 1911 [year over-typed and unclear] Trafalgar Lodge Musselburgh

I should like my dear Vi, that is, of course, after my dewar husband's death, when any money that belongs to me comes to be divided, to have any Edinburgh & Leith Gas Shares & some other money to enable her to have altogether a sum of £150 or £100 per year so that she may feel a little independent. She has been a good deal with us & always kind & considerate both to her Uncle and myself. My dear little name child Margaret Gordon in addition to my Musselburgh Gas Shares I would like to have £1000 put in her own name where ever her father thinks proper. These two dear neices should they survive me I hope will get their money first then the remainder divided as said in my will.

(Signed) Margaret Legat

My dear husband will perhaps be willing to give a small sum yearly as long as he lives to Vi say perhaps £30 to eke out the allowance she has for dress &c. &c. from her brother.

(Signed) Margaret Legat

Edinburgh 20th October 1911. This is the Memorandum marked with the Letter A referred to in our Deposition of this date

(Signed) D. Lyell, H.Monteath, Thos. F.S. Donaldson, J.P.

"Vi" is Violet Alice Geddes. She lived with Margaret Legat (née Geddes)and her husband while Violet's father Andrew David Geddes followed his career in Malta and Hong Kong, and her mother went out there with him. Violet Geddes had a daughter called Margaret, but "My dear little name child Margaret Gordon" is, I think, the daughter of John Gordon Geddes, and grand daughter of John Geddes (V), Margaret Legat's brother - in other words, Margaret's great niece (not niece). That would mean this bequest covers the children of both Margaret's brothers.


The following is part of the same document. More of the "formal or informal writing or writings under my hand" mentioned above.

B

15th May 1909. Trafalgar Lodge, Musselburgh. (signed) Margeret Legat.

When my time cmes & and God calls me away I wd. like to say unless my husband wd. like to have them as long as he lives that