The Will

WILL of LATE CHARLES DRAX OF TWITTENHAM, ENGLAND

Libro of Wills 16 Folio 15.- dated 7th July, 1721, Executors – William Parrott of London, Merchant & Capt. Robert Toublay:

In the name of God Amen. I recommend my soul to God. It is my desire that I be buryed at the Church of St. Mary’s. I will, order and direct, that the new House which I erected and built on my land in Jamaica, called Shelton, shall from and immediately after my decease be applyed, appropriated and used as a free school or hospital for ever for the support, maintenance and education of eight poor boys and four poor girls belonging to the inhabitants of St. Ann in the island aforesaid and my will is, that they be all taught reading, writing and arithmetick and for that purpose some sober learned and discreet man be nominated and appointed by my Exrs., and the survivors of them in Jamaica so long as they or either of them shall live and by, the majority of the Justices of the said Parish after their decease to whom there shall be yearly paid by four equal quarterly payments £40 current money of Jamaica, for his pains and trouble and also have the full use, and benefit of the said free school or hospital during his continuance of a master thereof – it being my intention that such person and all others appointed for the management said service of the said free school or hospital shall be liable to be turned out by the majority of the said Justices as often as they may see fit. I will also that a sober careful woman be appointed to look after and nurse the said poor boys and girls and to teach the girls to say and to do plain work and other housewifely things and that there be yearly paid to her by quarterly payments £20 per annum current money of Jamaica. I will that there be a Good cherurgeon or apothecary appointed to from time to time visit and administer physics or other helps and assistance and for his care in that affair there be yearly paid to him by half yearly payments the sum or £13 current money of Jamaica at Michaelmas and lady day.

I order that two of my negro women slaves as shall be thought most capable shall from time to time be taken off my plantation in the island aforesaid and kept constantly employed in the said free school or hospital to keep the said hospital, clean and neat and to dress the victuals and otherwise attend on the said boys and girls.

I will that each boy shall upon his admission be supplied with 6 shirts, 4 warm waistcoats, 4 pairs breeches, 6 pairs hose, 4 pair shoes and 2 hats and each boy shall be yearly during his continuance there be provided with the like quantity of clothes and each girl shall he provided for in proportion with the boys. No girl or boy shall be admitted to the school or hospital until he or she shall be 6 years old and each boy attaining the age of 15 years shall be placed out to such manual trade by my Exrs. or the majority of the Justices aforesaid shall think proper and every boy that faithfully serves out his apprenticeship shall be paid at the end of his term £5 of current money of Jamaica to buy him tools, and each girl shall he placed out as aforesaid apprentice upon attaining the age of 14 years, and my will and mind is that if Sarah Murphew of the Parish of St. Mary hath any child fit to be admitted and provided for in the manner aforesaid that such child or children be admitted and that Catherine the daughter of John Lush Esq. deceased be immediately admitted and given £51 at 21. I give Catherine Lush a negro woman slave named Bisstole which is in possession of her mother. I will that Joseph Gibbs a poor boy born and bred in my family, be admitted to the said free school. My will and mind is that my slave Robinson be admitted into the free School or hospital and be brought up and placed out as one of them. All boys and girls admitted to the said free school or hospital stall be instructed in the principles and the doctrines of the Church of England and that the boys and girls be constantly supplied on every vacancy. They shall be supplied with good bedding and sheets two to lye on one bed and that they eat fresh meat every Sunday and Thursday with good bread and wholesome liquor and every Friday with fresh fish if to be had; if not with saltfish on Monday, beef and pudding on Tuesdays, pork and peas and on Saturday with what can can be most easily procured. I make my estate at Shelton liable and chargeable for ever with the several payments expenses and disbursements to be made or laid out in or about the said free school or hospital and desire it may be supported and kept up decently and in good order and that the house now appointed for it may be enlarged if necessary at any time. If at any time there shall prove a deficiency I make my other estates in Jamaica subject to make good such deficiency. I will that £500 be given to build a Church where the old Church stood which was built by Peter Martyr Bishop of the West Indies, £200 to be kept back till the work is complete…. Here follows several bequests of money (e.g. Frances Palmer £20 a year, Susanna £20 a year, Elizabeth Ekin 10, Dorothy Willdon £40) and several slaves made free. To Sarah Murphew £10 per annum during her life and permitted to live at Rio Nova in the Parish of St. Mary.

Witness.-Jno. Twogood, Parl Mansfield and William Pearse.