The Bednall Archive

Last updated 19/10/2008


In his will dated 30 Nov 1825, James makes bequests to his brother William Badnall of St. Giles Parish, Oxford; to his sister Elizabeth who lived in London with him and to his sister Phoeby who was then in the Lunatic Asylum, Bethnal Green.  Other bequests were made to his aunt Hannah Mayfield of Foley Street, St. Mary-le-Bone. The remainder of his estate was to be shared by his four children William Hawkes Bednall, Mary Ann Dickenson, Emma Badnall and Sarah Jane Badnall as tenants in common.

His money, securities, stock in trade, book debts, household goods, furniture, plate, linen and china and all his personal estate were left to his executors in trust to pay his funeral and probate expenses and debts and then to divide the residue between the testatorís four children.  His son William Hawkes Badnall was to be allowed to carry on James Badnallís business without paying anything for the goodwill subject to his allowing his sisters Emma and Sarah to live with him while they remained unmarried. William was to provide his sisters with good and sufficient board, washing and lodging.  If the sisters decided to live somewhere else, then William was to pay them 10/- a week while they remained unmarried.

The testator appointed his friends Thomas Hope of the Haymarket, carpenter and Robert Massey of North Audley Street, Charlotte Street, Fitxroy Square, farmer as his executors.  

On 8th December 1825, Richard Gale of 47 Greek Street, St. Annís Parish, Westminster, baker, and John Gale of 2 Ratcliffe Terrace, Cornwall Road, Middlesex, baker stated on oath that the signature on the will was that of James Badnall deceased. 

A lawyer, Henry Brayley Weslake of Kings Bench Walk, Temple, London appeared with Emma Badnall, spinster, of Cleveland Street, Fitzroy Square, before the Court and said he had gone visited James Badnall in Cleveland Street the previous March to receive instructions about the preparation of a will. The deceased gave him a document dated 8th October 1824, headed James Badnall of 3 Cleveland Street ---Middlesex Hospital, taylor, containing details of a will and then gave him further verbal instructions. Weslake forwarded a revised will to James Badnall and heard nothing further. Emma Badnall said that in about September last, the deceased being confined to his bed dangerously ill of which illness he afterwards died, she being in the bedroom attending the deceased, the deceased without any previous conversation on the subject desired her to open a certain draw in a chest of drawers in the bedroom and take out his will. She found the will and gave it to him. He then signed the will but no other person was present. Emma was about to remove the pen and ink but the deceased stopped her and said that he must write his name out in full, which he did and laid the will on his pillow. Later she found the will in a drawer put there by the deceased, the drawers being near the bed and within his reach.  The deceased went to Margate in September on the advice of his physician, stayed there about a month, and appeared to have benefited from this when he returned. Shortly afterwards, however, he grew worse and died on 17th November. The following day one of the executors came round, went upstairs, picked up the will and made a diligent search for others. Weslake and Emma Badnall swore on oath that the will presented for probate was the one in question and probate was granted to the executors in London on 13th December 1825.

PRO Probate 11/1706