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The Inglesant Will

Loughborough Advertiser 1874

In the Court of Probate on Saturday, the case of Inglesant v Inglesant was heard. The plaintiff propounded the will of Mrs Mary Ann Inglesant, late of Quorndon, in Leicestershire, who died on the 27th December 1873. The defendant, the only surviving son of the deceased, contested its validity on the grounds that it was not duly executed, that it was procured by undue influence, and that the deceased did not know and approve the contents. The value of the property was estimated at about 1,500, and by a previous will executed in 1868 the deceased had divided it between her two sons, the defendant, and Joseph, since deceased.

For about five years previous to December, 1872, the defendant and his family had lived in the same house as the testatrix at Quorndon, and according to the plaintiff's case she became dissatisfied with them for not attending to her properly, and especially for not providing her with a nurse, and she then requested Mrs Lee, sister of the widow of her deceased son Joseph, to have another will prepared, leaving all her property to Joseph's daughter, and appointing his widow, the plantiff, executrix. A will to that effect was accordingly prepared by a solicitor in London at the request of Mrs Joseph Inglesant and was sent by her to Mrs Lee, in whose presence it was executed on the 1st December 1872. The attesting witnesses were two neighbours, Mrs and Mrs Greaves, and a question was raised as to the sufficiency of the acknowledgement in their joint presence, for, according to their statement, the deceased signed her name before Mr Greaves came into the room. Mrs Lee asked them to sign their names in the deceased's presence, but the deceased neither did or said anything to indicate assent or dissent, and took no part (INDESCIPHERABLE)???.Quorndon, in which the deceased had a life interest, in consequence of a letter written by a solicitor from the instructions of the deceased, and they removed to London, and did not again see the deceased. On the part of the defendant reliance was placed upon the fact that the making of the will had been kept secret from him, and evidence was produced for the purpose of showing that the deceased had no cause to complain of want of attention while she was living with him, and that between the date of the execution and the death, attempts were made by Mrs Lee to exclude some of the relatives and other person who wished to visit the deceased.

His Lordship was satisfied on the evidence that the deceased was of sound mind, that she knew and approved the contents of the will, and that there was no evidence of undue influence. He, therefore, found those issues in favour of the plaintiff, but took time to consider the question of execution in order to examine the authorities which had been cited on the subject of acknowledgment.


In the Probate Court on Tuesday, Sir Jos. Hannen gave his decision in the Leicestershire cause of Inglesant v Inglesant, which was before him a few days ago, when he reserved the questions as to the due execution of the will. His lordship now stated that the question was whether the deceased was responsible for what was uttered by Mrs Lee. The two attesting witnesses agreed in this that the signature of the deceased was put to the will before the second witness came into the room, and they both agreed that on the second witness coming into the room Mrs Lee, in the presence of the testatrix, requested him to put his name under the name of the deceased. They both also agreed that the deceased did not utter any words or do any act, after the second witness came into the room with reference to the will; and the question, therefore, resolved itself into whether the words used by Mrs Lee could be taken as the words of the deceased herself. In all the cases that had been granted, with one exception, it was shown that there had been an utterance by the person making the will, but that one exception (Fords v Jackson) was almost parallel with the one now under consideration, and acting in that case his lordship would now say that that the will before him was duly executed, and that the deceased being present when Mrs Lee uttered the words attributed to her made them as if they were her own. He should pronounce for the will, but the cost, except those incurred in making the charge of undue influence must come out of the estate.

Messrs Deane and Lickorish (Loughborough and London), were solicitors for the plantiff, and Messrs Woolley and Beardsley (Loughborough) for the defence.

 Submitted on: 2009-07-15
 Submitted by: Kathryn Paterson
 Artefact ID: 264
 Artefact URL: www.quornmuseum.com/display.php?id=264
 Print: View artefact in printer-friendly page

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