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The Wills & Testament of

Captain Edward Riou

Amazon 21 June 1800 at Sea


Being in perfect good Health and trusting to the Care of Almighty God to preserve me from day to day, yet considering that the morrow may never come and that it may be ordered by his Divine power I should depart this life suddenly, I think it a duty I owe to those Friends I may leave in this world to make this my Will and Testament as I possess a little Money that may be useful to them. My dear Cousin Joseph Berens Esquire of Kivington in the County of Kent holds of mine some small matter of stock in the 3 Pr Cents reduced in his name, I believe it amounts now to two thousand Pounds 3 Pr Cents

Mr. Sykes is my Navy Agent, whatever therefore may be mine to leave, I bequeath as follows -

-one Third of it to my dear Brother, Major Philip Riou of the Royal Regiment of Artillery,

- one third of it to my dear Sister Dorothy, the Wife of Lieutenant Colonel Lyde Brown to be for her use during her life and at her own disposal at her death as she may think fit and for that purpose received into the Trust of James Palmer Hobbs Esquire, Banker of New Bond Street and of Henry Berens Esquire, of Lincolns Inn,

-the last third, I bequeath to my Dearest and most esteemed friend Mrs Charlotte Hartwell, Wife of Commissioner Hartwell of the Navy, resident now at Chatham, in Testimony of the recurring friendship and pure affection which has subsisted between us from the earliest days of our acquaintance, and of the gratitude I feel for her unremitting and disinterested attentions and attachment to myself and to my dear Mother and Sister in all times of our sickness and distress, praying that God will preserve her in Mind and Body. The last mentioned Third I leave also in Trust of James Palmer Hobbs Esquire Banker of New Bond Street and of Henry Berens Esquire of Lincolns Inn, for the use of during her life and at the entire disposal at her death of my said dearest friend Charlotte Hartwell.

But previous to the above Division of my Property into thirds, I bequeath a tenth part of the whole I may possess at the time of my death to the said James Palmer Hobbs Esquire and Henry Berens Esquire, to be by them equally divided for their own use and at their own disposal.

Nevertheless not one of the above bequests are to take place during the life time of my dear Mother whilst she lives, all that I die possessed of is to be placed in the Trust of the said James Palmer Hobbs Esquire and Henry Berens Esqr. and the Interest of it to be paid by them to her for her use. But at her death then the above mentioned bequests in favour of my Brother, and Sister and dear friend Charlotte Hartwell with those in favour of James Palmer Hobbs Esquire and Henry Berens Esqr. are to be executed.

It is my particular request also that my small painted writing box containing a few private papers be delivered unopened to my said friend Charlotte Hartwell.

Should I therefore be so fortunate by Capturing Prizes or by any other means as to become possessed of any Sum or Money more than I now have either considerable or over so little, this is my last Will and Testament trusting in the Almighty to enable me whilst I live to be virtuously serviceable in the Cause of my King and Country, and that when I die, wretched sinner as I am, His Divine Justice will not treat me as I deserve, but that I may dare to hope that I may not be Cast away from his heavenly Mercy and this alone through the Mediation of Jesus Christ.

To my dear Cousin Joseph Berens Esquire of Kivington in the County of Kent, To his Son Henry Berens Esquire of Lincolns Inn and to my worthy and dear Friend James Palmer Hobbs Esquire of New Bond Street Banker, I commit the Execution of this my last Will and Testament trusting they will not think it too much trouble to see it executed and with the warmest Remembrance of these three Friends as well as of those three to whom I have bequeathed my property by thirds with the within mentioned Provisees I place my Seal and Sign my name - E Riou.

Witnesses John Gold -Purser of His Majesty's Ship Amazon, Joseph Rose Clerk of His Majesty's Ship Amazon.

Jan.. 1801 Having Closed accounts and withdrawn my Naval Agency from Mr Sykes, Mr Dayel of the Navy Office does now that Business for me E. Riou.

Should (at my death) either of my friends James Palmer Hobbs or my Cousin Henry Berens be dead, the Survivor is to take the tenth mentioned in this Will to himself, and should either of the three persons to whom I have bequeathed my property by thirds be dead then the surviving two are to share it equally, and should two be dead then the one surviving is to take the whole with this exception, that should Mrs Hartwell be the Survivor of my Brother and Sister, and thereby become possessed of the whole, at the death of Mrs Hartwell it is to be the new property of the Child or Children of my Sister and of the Legitimate Child or Children of my Brother should he marry and have any, to be equally divided amongst them.    E Riou 23d. Jan. 1801.

23d April 1801

On which Day Appeared Personally Thomas Smallwood of Bond Street in the County of Middlesex Gentleman and made Oath that they knew and were well acquainted with Edward Riou late of Berwick Street in the Parish of Saint Mary le Bone in the County of Middlesex and Captain of His Majesty's Ship Amazon who died at sea off Copenhagen, for some time before and to the time of his death which happened on the second Instant as they have been informed and verily believe, and that during such their knowledge of and acquaintance with him, the said deceased, they have seen him write and subscribed his name to writings and more and are thereby become well acquainted with his manner and character of handwriting and subscription and having now carefully viewed and perused the paper writings hereunto annexed purporting to be the last Will and Testament and two Codicils of the said deceased, the said Will beginning thus "Amazon 21st June 1800, At Sea, being in a perfect good Health" ending thus "I place my Seal and Sign my name" and thus subscribed "E Riou", the first Codicil beginning thus "N.B. 15 Jan. 1801" ending thus "that Business for me" and thus subscribed "E. Riou", The second of the said Codicils beginning thus "Explanation and Codicil - should at my death" ending thus "to be equally divided amongst them" and thus subscribed "E.Riou 23 Jan. 1801" They these Deponents do Jointly and severally depose that they do verily and in their Consciences believe the whole of the said Will and the different interlineations appearing therein, particularly the words "during her life" appearing in two parts of the said Will, the words "at her death" appearing in two parts also in the said Will, the words "nor one of" and the words "unopened" appearing in the said Will, and the whole of the said Codicils beginning, ending and subscribed as aforesaid to be all of the proper hand writing and subscription of the said Edward Riou Esquire the Testator deceased ñ Thos. Smallwood. ñ The same day the said Thomas Smallwood was duly sworn to the truth of this Affidavit before me J Parson Surr. Pot. - Thos Farrar Not. Pub..

R Parrott - On the twenty fourth day of April 1801, the said Robert Parrott was duly sworn to the truth of this Affidavit: - before me J Sewell Surr. - Pot. hos. Farrer Notary Public

This Will was proved at London with two Concils the twenty seventh day of April in the Year of our Lord One thousand eight hundred and one before the Worshipful Samuel Pearce Parson, Doctor of Laws, Surrogate of the Right Honourable Sir William Wynn, Knight, also Doctor of Laws, Master Keeper or Commissary of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury lawfully constituted by the Oath of Joseph Berens Esquire, Henry Berens Esquire and James Palmer Hobbs Esquire, the Executors named in the said Will, to whom Administration of all and singular the Goods, Chattels and Credits of the said deceased was granted having been first sworn duly to Administer.