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Sunday, April 17, 2016
bequeathed to a monkey
I found a fascinating older book about wills that had an entire chapter on things left to pets. (Finds like that make me squeal out loud.) Here's an excerpt.
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. . . In 1828 a testator named Garland bequeathed "to my monkey, my dear and amusing Jacko, the sum of £10 sterling per annum, to be employed for his sole and exclusive use and benefit; to my faithful dog Shock, and my well-beloved cat Tibb, a pension of £5 sterling; and I desire that, in case of the death of either of the three, the lapsed pension shall pass to the other two, between whom it is to be equally divided. On the death of all three the sum appropriated to this purposeshall become the property of my daughter Gertrude, to whom I give this preference among my children, because of the large family she has and the difficulty she finds in bringing them up."
Similar provisions are very common to-day. Gustav Saleman Oppert, professor of Indian tongues, left 150 Pfennige a day for the maintenance of his cats Lottie and Peter. Dr. Bell Taylor, a Nottingham oculist, directed his animals to be kept in comfort. They included four horses, two of which were named Soldier Boy and Dancing Doll, an Aberdeen terrier named Billie, a Persian cat called Fluff, and some fowls. In the sixteenth century names were given to cattle as now they are given to horses or household pets, and such names may profitably be compared with modern equivalents. Richard Bayden, of Kent (1539), left cattle called Ros, Thurst, Coppe, Pryme, Mowse, Calver, Skulle, Gentyll, Bren, and Swallowe; surely a quaint and sweet decade of names.
-- from: Hall, E. Vine. (1912). The romance of wills and testaments. London: T. Fisher Unwin.- 179-80. Are those cows' names not excellent?