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I.

The Allegation propounding the Will, on which Allegation

the Witnesses be eraminede. Negotium Testamentarium, sive probacionis Testamenti nuncupativi, sive ultimæ Voluntatis, Johannis Milton, nuper dum vixit parochiæ S. Egidii Cripplegate London generosi, defuncti, habent, &c. promotum per Elizabetham Milton' Relictam, et Legatariam principalem nominatam in Testamento nuncupativo, sive ultima Voluntate, dicti defuncti, contra Mariam, Annam, et Deboram MILTON, filias dicti defuncti.

THOMPSON. CLEMENTS.

Secundo Andreæ, A. D. 1674. Quo die .... Thompson, nomine, procuratione, ac ultimus procurator legitimus, dictæ Elizabethæ Milton, omnibus melioribus et effectualioribus

Deborah, and Anne Milton, Viz. Christopher Milton, and daughters of the poet's first wife John Milton's two servant-maids Mary, daughter of Mr. Richard Elizabeth and Mary Fisher. WitPowell, of Forresthill in Oxford nesses on the part of the widow. shire. The cause came to a re | This was his third wife, Eli. gular sentence, which was given zabeth Minshull, of a gentleman's against the Will; and the widow, . family in Cheshire. The elder Elizabeth, was ordered to take Richardson insinuates, that this Administration instead of a Pro- lady, being no poet or philosobate. I must add here, that this pher like her husband, used frecause, the subject of which needed quently to teaze him for his no additional lustre from great carelessness or ignorance about names, was tried by that upright money-matters, and that she was and able statesman, Sir Leoline a termagant. From these papers, Jenkins, Judge of the Preroga- however, it appears, that she tive Court, and Secretary of consulted her husband's huState; and that the depositions mours, and treated his infirmities were taken in part before Dr. with tenderness. After his death Trumbull, afterwards Sir William in 1674, she retired to Namptwich Trumbull, Secretary of State, and in Cheshire, where she died about the celebrated friend of Pope. 1729. Mr. Penant says, her faAs a circumstantial and authentic ther, Mr. Minshull, lived at Stoke history of this process, the fol- in that neighbourhood. W. Tour, lowing instruments, which were and Gough's Camden, Cheshire, otherwise thought too curious to p. 436. be suppressed, are subjoined.

{efficacioribus) via, modo, et meliori forma, necnon ad omnem juris effectum, exhibuit Testamentum nuncupativum dicti JOHANNIS Milton defuncti, sic incipiens, “ MEMORANDUM, ~ that John Milton, late of the parish of S. Giles, Cripple

gate, &c." Which words, or words to the same effect, were spoken in the presence of Christopher Milton, and Elizabeth Fisher; et allegavit consimiliter, et dicens prout sequitur. I. Quod præfatus JOHANNES Milton, dum vixit, mentis compos, ac in sua sana memoria existens, Testamentum suum nuncupativum modo in hoc negotio exhibitum ... tenoris schedulæ .... testamentariæ condidit, nuncupavit, et declaravit; cæteraque omnia et singula dedit, donavit, reliquit, et disposuit, in omnibus, et per omnia, vel similiter in effectum, prout in dicto Testamento nuncupativo continetur, ac postea mortem obiit: ac Principalis Pars ista proponit conjunctim, divisim, et de quolibet. II. Item, quod tempore conditionis, declarationis, nuncupationis Testamenti, in hoc negotio exhibiti, præfatus Johannes Milton perfecta fruebatur memoria; ac proponit ut supra".

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II.
Interrogatories addressed to the Witnesses examined upon

the Allegation.
Decemb. 5, 1674. Interrogatoria ministrata et ministranda
ex parte Annæ Mariæ et Deboræ Milton, testibus ex parte
Elizabethæ Milton productis sive producendis sequuntur.

Imprimis, Aske each witnesse, what relation to, or depend ance on, the producent, they, or either of them, have; and to which of the parties they would give the victory were it in their power? Et interrogatur quilibit testis conjunctim, et divisim, et de quolibet.

2. Item, Aske each witnesse, what day, and what time of the day, the Will nuncupative was declared; what positive : Registr. Cur. Prærog. Cant. ut supr.

words did the Deceased use in the declaring thereof? Can you positively sweare, that the deceased did declare that he did leave the residue of his estate to the disposall of his wife, or did hee not say, “ I will leave the residue of my estate to my " wife?” Et fiat ut supra.

3. Item, Upon what occasion did the Deceased declare the said Will? Was not the Deceased in perfect health at the same time? Doe you not think, that the Deceased, if he declared any such Will, declared it in a present passion, or some angry humour against some or one of his children by his former (first) wife? Et fiat ut supra.

4.' Item, Aşke each witnesse, whether the parties ministrant were not and are not greate frequenters of the Church", and good livers; and what cause of displeasure had the Deceased against them? Et fiat ut supra.

5. Item, Aske Mr. (Christopher) Milton, and each other witnesse, whether the Deceased's Will, if any such was made, was not, that the Deceased's wife should have £1000, and the children of the said Christopher Milton the residue; and whether she hath not promised him that they should have it, if shee prevailed in this Cause? Whether the said Mr. MilTON hath not since the Deceased's death confessed soe much, or some part thereof? Et fiat ut supra.

6. Item, Aske each witnesse, whether what is left to the Ministrants by the said Will, is not reputed a very bad or altogether desperate debt'? Et fiat ut supra.

" Here seems to be an insinu. is not to be understood in its ation, that our poet's displeasure general and proper sense, which against those three daughters, could not have offended Milton; arose partly froin their adherence but as arising from what went to those principles, which, in before, and meaning much the preference to his own, they had same thing, that is, regular in received, or rather inherited, from their attendance on the established their mother's family, who were worship. noted and active royalists. After i That is, the marriage portion, wards, the description good livers promised, but never paid, to

7. Aske the said Mr. Milton, whether he did not gett the said Will drawn upp, and inform the writer to what effect he should draw it? And did he not enquire of the other witnesses, what they would or could depose? And whether he hath not solicited this Cause, and payd fees to the Proctour about it? Et fiat ut supra.

8. Item, Aske each witnesse, what fortune the Deceased did in his life-time bestow on the Ministrants? And whether the said Anne Milton is not lame, and almost helplesse"? Et fiat ut supra.

9. Item, Aske each witnesse, what value is the Deceased's estate of, as neare as they can guess? Et fiat ut supra'.

John Milton, by Mr. Richard his spare diet and hard study, Powell, the father of his first “after having been used at home wife; and which the said John to a great house, and much bequeathed to the daughters of “company and joviality, &c." that match, the ministrants, Anne, I have also seen in Mr. Powell's Mary, and Deborah.

house at Forresthill many papers, They were married in 1643. which shew the active part he I have now before me an original' took in favour of the Royalists. “ Inventorie of the goods of Mr. With some others relating to the " Richard Powell of Forresthill, Rangership of the Shotover for "in the county of Oxon, taken rest, bearing his signature. " the 10th of Jane, A. D. 1646." Mr. Mickle, the ingenious This seems to have been taken translator of the Lusiad, searched in consequence of a seizure of in vain for any of Milton's letters Mr. Powell's house by the rebels. or papers' at Forresthill.' The His distresses in the royal cause Powells were sharers of Abbeyprobably prevented the payment land in Oxfordshire. They were of his daughter's marriage por- seated in the dissolved monastery tion. By the number, order, of Sandford near Oxford; and and furniture of the rooms, he one of them, in the reign of appears to have lived as a country Elizabeth, built the gothic manegentleman, in a very extensive * rial stone-house, now standing and liberal style of house-keep-at that village. ing. This I niention to confirm She was deformed, and had what is said by Philips, that Mr. an impediment in her speech. Powell's daughter abruptly left Registr. Cur. Prærog. Cant. her husband within a month after ut supr. their marriage, disgusted with

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CXX

III. Depositions and cross-examinations of the said witnesses.

Elizabetha Milton, Relicta et Legataria principalis JoHANNIS Milton defuncti, contra Annam, Mariam, et Deboram Milton, filias ejusdem defuncti. Super Allegatione articulata et Testamento nuncupativo JOHANNIS MILTON defuncti, ex parte Elizabethæ Milton predictæ, in hoc negotio, secundo Andreæ, 1674, dato" et exhibitis.

Quinto Decembris 1674. Christopherus Milton, villæ Gipwici in com. Suffolciæ ortus infra parochiam Omnium Sanctorum Bredstreete, London, ætat. 58 annor. aut eo circiter, testis, &c. Ad omnes articulos dictæ Allegationis, et ad Testamentum nuncupativum JOHANNIS Milton, generosi, defuncti, in hoc negotio dat. et exhibit. deponit et dicit, That on or about the twentieth day of July, 1674, the day certaine he now remembreth not, this Deponent being a practicer in the Law, and a Bencher in the Inner Temple, but living in vacations at Ipswich, did usually at the end of the Terme visit John Milton, his this Deponent's brother the Testator articulate, deceased, before his going home; and soe at the end of Midsummer Terme last past, he this deponent went to visit his said brother, and then found him in his chamber within his owne house, scituate on Bunhill" within the parish of S. Giles, Crepelgate, London: And at that tyme, he the said Testator, being not well, (and this Deponent being then goeing into the country,) in a serious manner, with an intent, (as he believes,) that what he then spoke should be his WILL, if he dyed before his this Deponent's comeing the next time to London, declared his Will in these very words as neare as this Deponent cann now call to mynd. Viz. “ Brother, the

porcion due to me from Mr. Powell, my former (first) wife's “ father, I leave to the unkind children I had by her: but I

Sic, ut et in infra, pro Millon. fields. This was his last settled " Sometimes calied the Ar- place of abode, and where he tillery-walk, leading to Bunhill- lived longest.

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