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Q: Sir James Watt's Will (1878). ( No Answer,   2 Comments )
Subject: Sir James Watt's Will (1878).
Category: Business and Money > Accounting
Asked by: wythenshawe-ga
List Price: $25.00
Posted: 19 Aug 2004 05:20 PDT
Expires: 05 Sep 2004 12:40 PDT
Question ID: 389867
How far does a Will reflect a person's total wealth in the 19C. I'm
looking specifically at the Will of Sir James Watts of Abney Hall who
died in 1878. The Will lists the beneficiaries and then says the total
for the Will is 'Under 20,000 (no leaseholds)'.

Sir James Watts was of Abney Hall (Cheadle, Cheshire)which according
to information on the web was built for 100,000 in 1848 and the
founder of J & S Watts of Manchester which was also built for 100,000
in the 1850s.

These are vast sums. Why aren't they relected in Sir James Watts' Will?

Request for Question Clarification by pafalafa-ga on 19 Aug 2004 06:51 PDT
It is not unusual in 19th century wills in the UK for property to go
unmentioned in the will, as the disposition of the estate may have
been settled earlier, most commonly, in a marriage settlement

Does this information help, or are you looking for specific info about Sir James?


Clarification of Question by wythenshawe-ga on 19 Aug 2004 10:10 PDT
I'm aware that property is seldom mentioned or dealt with in 19C
Wills. So I suppose I'm looking for specific information about the
estate of Sir James Watts.

It just seems strange that such an apparently fabulously wealthy
figure who was knighted and entertained royalty and very famous people
at Abney Hall (See Stockport's Abney Hall Website) left so little (in
relative terms) to his daughters and as a total (and no mention about
his business S & J Watts). He was 74 when he died and his son (another
James) was 28. The younger James Watts considerably extendend Abney
Hall after his father's death.
There is no answer at this time.

Subject: Re: Sir James Watt's Will (1878).
From: probonopublico-ga on 19 Aug 2004 05:42 PDT
Were there any death duties in those days?

And how old was he when he died?

Maybe he gifted some away.

Or maybe he was a beneficiary himself under some trust.

Rich folk always have had smart ways of looking after their brass.
Subject: Re: Sir James Watt's Will (1878).
From: omnivorous-ga on 19 Aug 2004 10:38 PDT
Wythenshawe --

Al Capone is by no means comparable, but you may find it interesting
to see what happened to his wealth late in life, and how he managed to
distribute it in order to reduce the taxable estate before he died:

Best regards,


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