CARLISLE, THURSDAY, AUGUST 11.
Before Mr. Baron HULLOCK.
DOE, ON THE DEMISE OF HACKETT, V. MARTIN.
William Bateman BAMFIELD. - I am an attorney at Whitehaven. I prepared a will
for John HACKETT, from the instructions which Mr. Isaac NICHOLSON brought to me.
I went with that will to Dissington to get it executed. Before I went to John
HACKETT's house, I went to HOLMES's, where I met NICHOLSON by appointment. I
told him that as the will conveyed away freehold property, it would require
three persons to witness it, and that NICHOLSON could not be one, because he was
a legatee. HOLMES was then asked, and consented to be a witness. NICHOLSON went
and fetched Esther CHRISTIE to be another. After this was settled, I went to the
house of John HACKETT, whom I found in bed. I told him that I had brought his
will to be executed. He appeared very eager to sign it. I can't say that I read
over the whole of it. When I mentioned to him the amount of the legacies, and
how the bulk of his property was left, after the legacies were paid off, he said
that the will was perfectly correct. NICHOLSON, Esther CHRISTIE, HOLMES, and
myself were in the room within hearing of the testator and of each other. The
testator told me that he could not write. I desired him to make a mark. He did
so. He then touched the seal, declared the will to be his act and deed, and
published it as his last will and testament. HOLMES, Esther CHRISTIE, and myself
witnessed it in the presence of the testator and of each other. I received
instructions from NICHOLSON to prepare a codicil to this will, but they were not
in writing. I sent the codicil to the testator by NICHOLSON, and did not go with
it myself. When I saw the testator, he appeared to be rational, and in full
possession of his senses. NICHOLSON made no objection to his signing the will.
Cross-examined by Mr. BROUGHAM. - I have sometimes spoken with the last witness
on this subject. I had some conversation with him regarding it this morning, and
also about a fortnight ago. I prepared the will according to certain
instructions contained in a former will of the testator. I said, on looking at
that will, that there were too many words in it, and that I would make it
shorter. I did so. That is the will which served me as instructions. I swear
that I read over several parts of his last will to the testator, and gave him a
general summary of the whole of it.
The will was then put in and read. It devised to the defendant MARTIN, after
payment of certain legacies which were charged on his personal property, all his
real estates, &c.
Mr. BROUGHAM at this stage of the cause put in the will which had been sent to
Mr. BAMFIELD as instructions upon which to draw up another. This will did not
contain any devise of real estates to MARTIN, and charged all the legacies on
the real estate.
Mr. Baron HULLOCK asked Mr. SCARLETT what he had to say upon this fact. For his
own part, he thought there was an end to the case; for the mere collation of the
will, with the instructions sent to the attorney, proved that the testator had
not made any devise to MARTIN.
Mr. SCARLETT was unprepared with an answer.
Mr. BROUGHAM stated, that every body who knew the testator had been surprised at
the manner in which this will disposed of his property. The testator had a
favourite nephew and niece, who were married to each other, to whom nothing was
left by it, whilst the defendant, who was a stranger to him in blood, was left
the whole of his real estate.
Mr. SCARLETT said, that if the will on which he rested his case were abandoned,
the former will must be set up, and he trusted that notice of that fact would be
given to all whom it concerned.
Mr. Baron HULLOCK joined in that recommendation, and Mr. BROUGHAM promised that
it should be attended to.
A verdict was then recorded for the plaintiff - Damages 1s. Costs 1s.
Mr. Baron HULLOCK, alluding to the part of the evidence of Mr. BAMFIELD, took
occasion to condemn the practice of merely giving a summary of a will to a man
who was ill a-bed, and could not write.
The assizes finished very unexpectedly this day, at one o'clock, in consequence
of the records in two special jury cases which were expected to occupy a day
each having been withdrawn. They were actions of ejectment, brought by Major
TOULSON (late of the Life Guards) to recover estates of considerable value in
this county, and had excited no small share of public interest
APPLEBY, THURSDAY EVENING.
The Judges dined with Lord LONSDALE, at Lowther Castle, on their way to this
place. They arrived here about eight o'clock, and immediately opened the
commission with the usual ceremonies.
End of Carlisle Summer Assizes for 1825.