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Lachlan Cumming's will

SC26/38/3 Lachlan Cuming, will, 1830 with codicils up to 1836

Lachlan Cuming formerly of Chateau Margo in the colony of Demerary and now of Blackhills in the County of Elgin

Executors include James Fraser Esq sometime of Belladrum now residing at Red Castle in the County of Ross

Directions to executors:

First: directions on sale of estate

Second: directions about funeral and memorial

Third:  Sister Mrs Helen Cuming, residing on the farm of Newton, Blackhills,  £1000 [rescinded – and annuity of £30]

Fourth: Provision for a young woman named Jean Anne Brown presently residing in Elgin, a native of Demerary, and daughter of a woman named Margo Cuming there, £600. Interest and then principal on age of 25. If she dies with issues then sum to them; if not then to be divided among her nearest five relations in Demerary: grandmother Violet, mother Margo, uncle William, and cousins germane Lucius and Betsy
Codicil her right name is Anne Brown, now in Demerary, additional £600 and the £600 to be invested to secure annual income not subject to ius mariti should she marry. Also to her:
My gold repeating watch
The bedstead with appurtenances in the bedroom adjoining my own bedroom in the House of Blackhills
The mahogany chest and chest of drawers in my bedroom
Small organ
Silver spoons

Later codicil describes her as living in Elgin: £1200 to be invested and to allow for payment to her grandmother, mother and cousin

Fifth: annuity to housekeeper Margaret Walker

Sixth: £50 to Lachlan Jeans, son of his principal farm servant James Jeans

Seventh: Five following coloured persons in Demerary (to be contacted through minister of the presbyterian church, St Andrews)
William Cuming, a mason, born of a woman named Violet £1000
His sister Margo £500
Her two grandchildren Lucius and Betsy £300 [Lucius died and legacy rescinded]
Legacies to Violet, Margo and Betsy Cuming later revoked in the knowledge that they are well provided for and that at the death of Margo Cuming there may be expected a remittance from her daughter in this country

Eighth: £300 each to his cousins german Ann Cumming widow of the late George Watson and Isabella Cuming (Sluie House, Forres), both of the Sluie family


Ninth: Payment to cousin german Rev William Leslie of Balnageith £100 and £5 in testimony of my high regard for him [codicils increase this and leave money, guns etc to his son Archibald Leslie of London]

Tenth: £310 to Mrs Anne Leslie a Black daughter of the said Reverend William Leslie and widow of [blank] Black [blank] – then, in codicil, £300 to Margaret Black grand-daughter of Rev William Leslie
[Margaret Black, 20, was a boarder at a school in Elgin in 1841]

Eleventh: £1000 to Lucius van Baerle, son of his first wife by her first marriage, together with portrait of his mother

Twelfth: £150 each to his kinswoman Jessy Duncan and her sister Jean Duncan

Thirteenth: to Lachlan Cuming, comptroller of customs at Inverness, a descendant by the mother’s side of the Craigmiln family, £500 with the interest to his sisters Helen, Janet and Elizabeth now or lately residing at Hoy in Olrig parish, Caithness

Fourteenth: £100 to kinswoman Mrs Elizabeth Donaldson or Innes, wife of James Innes Esq residing in Elgin

Fifteenth: £150 to his godson Lucius Cuming van Baerle son of the deceased Charles van Baerle of Estate New Bee-hive in the Colony of Demerary

Sixteenth: £150 to James Duncan brother of the said Jessy and Jean, who if alive is said to be residing in the colony of Demerary, also to be relieved of his considerable debt of Lachlan Cuming

Seventeenth: My Negro servant, Welcome, £50, and also to pay his passage money from the county to Demerara by way of Greenock provided that he agrees to proceed thither immediately after my decease; and if he shall refuse to do so I forbid my said trustees to pay such passage money for him thereafter; and I particularly direct that he shall not be permitted to remain one day on the Estate of Blackhills after my funeral, seeing that although he was once faithful and attached he is now no longer entitled to that character and has entracted evil habits which render me desirous of removing him from the county to Demerary where he has a wife and large family; he was my slave and is now free and I refer for particulars of his manumission to my Repository of Notations; and I strictly forbid my said trustees from giving him any part of my wearing apparel. [Rescinded: my late Negro servant whose bad and ungrateful conduct induces me to forbid my trustees from affording him the least portion of my means]

Eighteenth: To cause all my wearing apparel (flannels excepted) to be packed up in a strong tight box or trunk and to be addressed and forwarded to the said William Cuming coloured man and mason in Demerary [rescinded – now dead]

Nineteenth: £50 to the poor of the parish of Rothes and ditto Dallas

Twentieth: mourning clothes to his servants

Twenty-first: gift to executors

Residue of estate to sister Helen


In process of selling Chateau Margo to Messrs Thomas Daniel & Sons of Bristol; Colin Macrae as representative of Messrs Alexander & James Campbell of London assisting with this
Various references to Thomas Mewburn, Cumings Lodge, Demerary

In codicils further bequests:

£100 to Elizabeth Watson daughter of Ann Cuming and George Watson
£100 to Helen Grant d of the late Rev Francis Grant, formerly of Knockando
£100 to Lachlan Cuming Young son of my kinsman James Vass of Franksburgh, North America
£150 each to Jean Gilly and Mary Gilly sisters of my kinsman George Gilly, residing at Old Town of Carnousie near Turiff
£300 to my relation Mrs Isobella Imlach or Leslie residing in Banff
£300 to Margaret Black grand-daughter of Rev William Leslie
£20 to my relation Mrs Major Dunbar of Montcoffer
£50 to the poor of Elgin
£105 to Thomas Mewburn
£100 to my friend Partick Cameron (helped in dispute over marches with Earl of Fife)
£200 to Miss Margaret van Baerle daughter of Thomas van Baerle by his first wife Elizabeth Leslie now residing in Upper Canada