May 2003 Newsletter

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Welcome to the May 2003 edition of the Cloud Glass Newsletter. In this shorter than usual newsletter we have an article on George Davidson's Last Will and Testament. Happy reading

George Davidson's Will

George Davidson's will is interesting for a number of different reasons. It tells us about his family, his wealth and also some insights into the origin and profitability of his Glassworks. George's last will was written on the 17th June 1889, nearly two years before he died (22nd February 1891). The legacies in the will tell us about the surviving members of his family. Although we have not researched in depth the Davidson family we do know that two of his sons died before this will was written. John George Davidson, who we think was the eldest son, died leaving a widow Elizabeth and a daughter Meta. It is possible that he died before the 1881 Census as a brief examination of the census does not turn up any John George Davidson whose entry would fit what little we know about John. He was certainly alive in 1879 as in that year he submitted the first patent of the Davidson glassworks. This suggests he was very active in the family business. George had another son William who was born in 1866 and died between 1881 and 1889.

At the time of the will George also had two surviving daughters, Margaret Davidson and Mary Jane McIntyre. Margaret appears to be unmarried. Mary Jane had three sons - George, Thomas and Allan. We do not currently know who Mary's husband was or what his profession was. We can assume that he would have been a respectable business man.

The value of George Davidson's estate at the time of his death was placed at a gross value of 14,802-7-10. This was revised upwards in October 1895 to 16,188-17-4. At the time of writing his will he owned a large number of properties in and around Gateshead and these are listed in full in the will. The rent from these properties was to be used for the benefit of his surviving daughters. The glass business was sufficiently profitable for him to direct that his wife, Jane, should receive 1,000 per year and his daughter-in-law Elizabeth 50 per year income from the glass works.

At his death George directs that his dearly beloved wife Jane should receive the sum of 200 for her immediate use and all of the 'wines, liquors, fuel, housekeeping provisions and other consumable stores' in his dwelling or dwellings.  Jane also received the use of his 'furniture, plate, plated articles, linen, china, glass, books, prints, pictures, musical instruments and other effects' for as long as she remained his widow and resided in England. Jane was to properly insure the goods and could only dispose or replace them with the permission of the trustees. As well as this she was also to receive an income of 1,000 per year from the glassworks.

To his three grandchildren George, Thomas and Allan McIntyre he gave 1,000. This money to be paid when they reached the age of 21. The interest on the capital at the rate of 3 per centum per annum was to be paid to their guardian to pay for their maintenance and education. Should they die, then the money was to form part of the residual estate of George Davidson.

Thomas inherited the glass works 'the stock in trade fixtures machinery plant utensils and effects employed in my trade or business of a glass manufacturer and also all the goodwill of the said trade or business and also the benefits of all contracts subsisting in respect of the same trade or business and all book and other debts and monies owing  to me in respect of the said trade or business'. Thomas had to indemnify the estate of George Davidson against any debts arising from the glass business as well as pay the income of 1,000 and 50 to Jane and Elizabeth Davidson.

From the will we learn that the glassworks formed part of Lot 1 of the Askew estate. From this we can conclude that  George start the glassworks on a greenfield site. At the time of this will there was also a foundry on that site and was leased to J Sayers & Co.

The annuity of 50 from the glass works paid to Elizabeth was only to last as long as she remained unmarried. To her daughter Meta, George granted the sum of 5,000 pounds, the interest of which was to be used to pay for the education and maintenance of Meta. The capital did not pass to Meta on her 21st Birthday.

The rent from the large number of properties owned by George Davidson was bequeathed to Margaret Davidson and Mary Jane McIntyre (nee Davidson). The residual part of George Davidson's estate was to be converted into shares and debentures, and the will gives a list of the permissible shares and debentures which could be purchased.

Below is the complete will. The original is 9 pages of hand written text with little or no punctuation. It appears to be one long sentence! By today's standard it is extremely wordy and very difficult to read. In reproducing the will we have attempted to introduce some sentence structure and divided it into paragraphs it an attempt to make it more readable. We hope in the process that we have not distorted any of the will's meaning.

I, George Davidson of Gateshead in the county of Durham, Glass Manufacturer, hereby revoke all wills codicils and testamentary dispositions heretofore made by me and declare this to be my last and only will. I appoint my son Thomas Davidson and my friend Edward Waugh of Gateshead aforesaid Agent Executors and Trustees of this my will. I bequeath to my dear wife Jane Davidson all the wines, liquors fuel housekeeping provisions and other consumable stores which shall at my death be in about my dwelling house at Bensham Cottage aforesaid or in any house or houses which I shall occupy or reside in at the time of my death. I bequeath to my dear wife Jane the use, so long as she shall continue my widow and shall reside in England, all my household furniture, plate plated articles, linen, china, glass, books, pictures, prints, musical instruments and other effects of the like nature which shall at my decease be in or about my then dwelling house.  I direct that an inventory of the said articles whereof my wife is to have the use shall be taken at the expense of my estate as soon as convenient after my death of which my wife shall keep one copy and my trustees or trustee the other, which trustees or trustees are or is to determine the amount of insurance to be made by my wife and also in case of dispute what articles are included in either the aforesaid gifts to her or for her use and I exonerate my said trustees or trustee from all duty and responsibility in the  respect of the custody of the effects included in the same bequest after delivery to my said wife of the said furniture and effects until they or he shall receive actual notice that my said wife is dead or has married again or is resident out of England and after her death or if when she shall marry again or cease to reside in England. I direct that my wife shall during her life or until she marry again or cease to reside in England keep the said articles in good repair and condition (reasonable wear only accepted) and insure against fire to the full value thereof (such value to be assessed, by my trustees or trustee) in some respectable office in the names or name of my trustees or trustee and  to pay the premium in connection therewith within one week after the same shall become payable in default whereof it shall be lawful for my trustees or trustee to repair or replace such of the said articles as shall be damaged destroyed or lost or (as the case may be) to effect or keep on foot such insurance and reclaim or recover the costs of such repairs purchases or insurance respectively out of or by sale of any income capital or property given to my wife my by my will.  I declare that it shall be lawful for my said wife at anytime with the consent of the trustees  or trustee for the time being of this my will to dispose of such part of the said furniture and effects and out of the proceeds of such sale to replace such of the said articles as shall be sold damaged or destroyed with others of the like kind and after the death of my said wife I direct that my said trustees or trustee for the time being shall sell the furniture and effects aforesaid in such manners as they or he shall think proper and shall stand possessed of the monies to arise by such sale or sales upon trusts hereinafter declared and concerning the monies to arise from the reside of my personal estate and effects hereinafter bequeathed.

I give to my wife Jane 200 (two hundred pounds) to be paid immediately or soon as may be after my death for her immediate use. I bequeath to each of my three grandchildren George Duncan McIntyre, Thomas McIntyre and Allan Cameron McIntyre the sum of 1000 (one thousand pounds) each if and when they shall become of the age of 21 years with interest therein at the rate of 3 per centum per annum from the day of my death and interest to be paid during the minority of each of my said grandchildren to his guardian or guardians for the maintenance and education provided that such legacy shall not rest as a transmissible interest in each of my said grandchildren until they shall attain the age of 21 years and if any or all of my said grandchildren shall die before me or under the age of 21 years the said legacies or legacy shall fall into and form part of my residual personal estate.

I bequeath unto my son Thomas absolutely all of the stock in trade fixtures machinery plant utensils and effects employed in my trade or business of a glass manufacturer and also all the goodwill of the said trade or business and also the benefits of all contracts subsisting in respect of the same trade or business and all book and other debts and monies owing  to me in respect of the said trade or business. Provided always that my said Son shall to the satisfaction of my said executors sufficiently indemnify my general estate from all debts and liabilities owing to or incurred by me in respect of my said trade or business and if they shall so require shall enter into a bond or covenant in that behalf at the cost of my general personal estate. I devise all the land and premises now used by me as glass works at the Teams Gateshead aforesaid and the appurtenances thereto together with all the furnaces now or hereafter to be used in connection with the same together with the Foundry adjoining thereto and now in the occupation of J Sayers & Co and together with the plots of land adjoining thereto together also with the land forming the entrance to my said works the whole of the aforesaid properties being comprised in Lot 1 of the Askew Estate. To the use of my said son Thomas absolutely. To the use that my son Thomas shall pay there out to my dear wife a yearly income of the amount of 1000 (one thousand pounds) and I hereby direct that in the event of the rents and profits arising from the said device and bequest to my son Thomas not producing sufficient to pay the aforesaid annuity to my wife and the annuity of 50 (fifty pounds) per annum to the widow of my son John George as hereinafter provided that the said sums of 1000 and 50 per annum payable to my wife and the widow of my son John George as aforesaid shall be charges upon my residual estate.

To the use nevertheless that Elizabeth Davidson the widow of my son John George Davidson may receive there out an annuity of 50 (fifty pounds) per year so long as she remains the widow of my said son John George to commence from the day of my death and to be paid to her quarterly or as such other periods as my trustees may think fit. To the use also that a sum of 5000 (five thousand pounds) shall be raised there out and invested by trustees for the  benefit of my granddaughter Meta Davidson in manner hereafter provided an the interest to be paid during the minority of my granddaughter Meta Davidson to her guardian or guardians for her maintenance and education Provided that of the said Meta Davidson shall die under the age of 21 years such legacy shall lapse and form part of my residual estate and I hereby direct that the said annuities and legacies hereinafter bequeathed to the said Meta Davidson and Elizabeth Davidson respectively shall be without power of anticipation during any covertures Provided always that in case the said Elizabeth Davidson or Meta Davidson shall at any time  whilst discovered assign or dispose of the said income as aforesaid or any part thereof or interest therein whereby the same shall become vested in or payable to any other person whatsoever then and in such case the trusts declared in favour of the said Meta Davidson and Elizabeth Davidson shall immediately thereupon cease and the said income shall during the remainder of each of their lives be applied by the said trustees or trustee for the benefit of the issue (if any) of such one alienating as aforesaid.

I desire all my freehold dwelling houses and premises No 16 to 38 Askew Road West Gateshead inclusive No 7 to 23 inclusive Askew Road West Gateshead No 60 to102 inclusive in Cuthbert street Gateshead No 2 to 68 inclusive in Frankfurt street Gateshead Nos 8 to No 58 inclusive in Berlin Street Gateshead No 3 Berlin Street Gateshead No 24 Frankfurt street Gateshead Nos 1 to 19 inclusive Tyne Road East  Gateshead Nos 25 to 41 inclusive Tyne Road East  Gateshead Nos 5 to 35 inclusive Berlin Street  Gateshead No 1 to 16 Park Road Gateshead Nos 113 to 115 Brussel Street  Gateshead Nos 71 to 95 inclusive Tyne Road East Gateshead the small self contained house at the bottom of Cuthbert Street Gateshead containing 3 rooms and the house in Cuthbert Street Gateshead now belonging me containing 2 rooms upstairs and 2 rooms downstairs Nos 374 to 376 Askew Road  Gateshead my 5 unfinished houses on the South side of Askew Road in Cuthbert street aforesaid to my said trustees upon trust that they shall hold the said dwelling houses and premises to the use and benefit of my two daughters Margaret Davidson and Mary Jane McIntyre share and share alike and that they shall pay to my said daughters the rents and profits arising thereupon.

I direct and bequeath all the residue of my real estate including chattels real and of my personal estate and effects unto and to the use of my said trustees their heirs executors administrators and assign upon trust that the said trustees or the survivor of them or other the trustees or trustee for the time being of this my will shall sell call in and convert into money the said real and personal estate and premises and shall out of the net proceeds of such sale calling in and commission pay my funeral and testamentary expenses and debts and shall hold the residue of the proceeds of such sale and conversion unto my son Thomas and my said daughters Margaret Davidson and Mary Jane Macintyre share and share alike. I direct that all the annuities and legacies given by my will or any codicil thereto be paid free of legacy duty and succession duty. Provided always that is shall be lawful for my trustees or trustee to sell or convert in selling all or any part of the real an personal estate and premises hereinbefore devised and bequeathed in trust for sale either subject to any prior charges affecting the same or not and either together or in parcels by public auction or private contract subject to any special stipulations as to title evidence of title biddings compensation indemnity postponed of payment of purchase money or security for the same or otherwise with power to buy in at any auction or to rescind or vary any contract for sale and to resell without being answerable for loss and for the purposes aforesaid to execute and do all such assurances and things as my trustees or trustee shall think proper. And i declare that my son Thomas notwithstanding that he is or may be a trustee of this my will and acting in the trusts thereof shall be competent to purchase any part of my trust estate either at any public auction or from his co trustee or co trustees by private contract any rule of equity to the contrary notwithstanding. provided always that my said trustees or trustee may in their or his absolute and uncontrolled discretion postpone the sale calling in or conversion of my residuary real and personal estate or any part thereof including leaseholds and other property of a terminable or wasting nature for such time as they or he shall think fit without being answerable for the loss and  I declare that until such sale or conversion thereunto profits and income arising from such parts of my residual real and personal estate as shall for the time being remain unsold and unconverted shall be paid or applied by my trustees or trustee upon the trusts to the persons or person for the purpose and in manner to whom and for and in which the dividends interest and proceeds arising from the investment of the proceeds of sale of my residual real and personal estate would have been payable or applicable under the trusts declared concerning the same.

And I declare that my said trustees shall hold and invest in their own names the said sum of 5000 (five thousand pounds) bequeathed to my granddaughter Meta Davidson the said sums of 1000 (one thousand pounds) bequeathed to each of my 3 grandchildren as aforesaid and the share to which my said daughter Margaret Davidson and Mary Jane McIntyre are entitled out of the conversion of my residue of my real and personal estate in the purchase of any parliamentary or government stock or funds of the United kingdom or of any stock secured upon revenues of British India or any Colony or Dependency of the United Kingdom or any stock of the Bank of England or Ireland or of the stock of the Metropolitan board of Works or of debenture stock of any County municipal or local authority in  Great Britain and not in Ireland or in the purchase of the debenture stock of preference stock or preference shares of any Railway or other company on the United Kingdom or established by Charter or Act of Parliament in actual work and paying a dividend upon its ordinary stocks or shares or of the stock or shares of any Railway Company in the United Kingdom or India which a fixed premium rate of dividend is guaranteed by the same or any other Company or the Government of British India or any Colony or Dependency of the United Kingdom or guaranteed by means of a fixed rental payable by any other Company or as interest upon securities of the Government of the United Kingdom or upon freehold or copy hold securities in England or Wales but not in Ireland or in or upon the bonds or securities of any of the British Colonies or Dependencies including bonds or debentures secured upon or guaranteed by the revenues of British India or any Bonds or securities which or the interest upon which is or are guaranteed by Parliament or at interest upon the debentures or mortgages of any railway of other company in the United Kingdom incorporated by Charter or Act of Parliament and paying a dividend as aforesaid but not being a Company having the liability of its members limited by the companies act 1862 or any other act relating to joint common stock companies or upon the bonds debentures or securities of or issued by any such Count municipal or local Authority as aforesaid or on the security of rates or tolls made or levied by such authorities and may from time to time vary alter and transfer all or any of the stocks funds shares and securities into for other stocks funds shares or securities of the same or a like nature upon trust to pay the income and profits arising from each of the said investments to the respective parties entitled thereto upon the terms and conditions as provided by this my will.

Provided always that my said daughter Margaret Davidson and Mary Jane Macintyre shall have no power to anticipate any estate or interest or the rents or profits in connection therewith given under this my will during any covertures and from and after the decease of either of my said daughters her share together with the annual income thereof shall be held by my said trustees upon trust for all or any one or more of the issue of such deceased daughter in such proportions and for such interests and with such powers restrictions limitations and in such manner in all respects as such daughter shall by will whether covert or sole appoint and in default of such appointment upon trust for all the children of such deceased daughter who being a son shall attain the age of 21 years or being a daughter or daughters shall attain that are or marry in equal shares and if there shall not be any child as such daughter or daughters who being a son shall attain the age of 21 years or being a daughter shall attain that age or be married then in trusts for such interests and generally in such manner in all respects as such daughter whether covert or sole shall by will appoint.

Provided always and I hereby declare that the statutory power of appointing new trustees of this my will shall from time to time be exercisable with the consent in writing of the person or persons being of full age and not under any disability for the time being entitled to the income of the said trust premises and if and so long as there shall be no such person at the discretion of the person in whom such statuary power shall for the time being be vested Provided always and I further declare that it shall be lawful for the trustees of this my will other than the said Edward Waugh to employ the said Edward Waugh as rent collector in connection with my said estate and that he shall be entitled to and be paid all usual or proper charged for so doing notwithstanding his being one of the trustees of this my will. In witness whereof I have set my hand this 17th day of June 1889.




Signed by the said George Davidson as his last will in the presence of us present and the same time who at his request in his presence and in the presence of each other have hereunto subscribed our own names as witness

Tho Lambert Sol Gateshead
J G Atkinson his clerk

 


Copyright (c) Chris and Val Stewart 2003