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ing that this respondent well remembreth that the deceased declared the words last by her deposed to the articles of the allegation to this respondent once on a Sunday in the afternoone, but on what day of the month or in what month the said Sunday then happened this respondent doth not remember.

“ Ad tertium Interr. respondet, that the occasion of the deceased's speaking of the words deposed by this respondent in her answer to the next precedent interrogatory was upon the producent's provideing the deceased such victuals for his dinner as hee liked, and that he was then indifferent well in health, saving that some time he was troubled with the paine of the gout, and that hee was at that time very merry and not in any passion or angry humour, neither at that time spoke any thing against any of his children that this respondent heard of, et aliter nescit.

.“ Ad quartum Interr. respondet, that this respondent hath heard the deceased declare his displeasure against the parties ministrant his children, and particularly the deceased declared to this respondent that, a little before hee was marryed to Elizabeth Milton his now relict, a former maid servant of his told Mary one of the deceased's daughters and one of the ministrants, that shee heard the deceased was to be marryed, to which the said Mary replyed to the said maid servant, that that was noe news to heare of his wedding, but if shee could heare of his

death that was something : and further told this respondent, that all his said children did combine together and counsel his maid servant to cheat him the deceased in her markettings, and that his said children had made away some of his bookes and would have sold the rest of his bookes to the dunghill women; or hee the said deceased spoke words to this respondent to the selfe same effect and purpose: that this respondent knoweth not what frequenters of the church, or what good livers, the parties ministrant or either of them are, et aliter nescit.

“ Ad quintum Interr. respondet, that this respondent doth not know that the deceased's wife was to have 10001. and the interrogative children of Christopher Milton the residue, nor doth this respondent know that the said Elizabeth, the deceased's wife, hath promised the interrogative Christopher Milton or his children any such thing in case shee should prevaile in this cause; that the said Mrs. Milton never confessed soe much in this respondent's hearing, or to any body else that this respondent knoweth of, et aliter nescit.

“ Ad sextum Interr. respondet, that this respondent believeth that what is left the deceased's children in the Will nuncupative in this cause executed

+ See, however, what is told in my concluding note on the present document. Topd.

and mencioned therein to be due from Mr. Powell, 'is a good debt; for that the said Mr. Powell is reputed a rich man, et aliter nescit.

« Ad septimum Interr. respondet, that this respondent did voluntarily tell the interrogative Mrs. Milton, what shee heard the deceased say, which was to the effect by her pre-deposed, et aliter nescit.

“ Ad octavum Interr. respondet, that this respondent knoweth not what the deceased did in his life time bestow on the ministrants his children, and that the interrogative Anne Milton is lame, but hath a trade and can live by the same, which is the making of gold and silver lace and which the deceased bred her up to, et aliter nescit.

“ Ad nonum Interr. respondet, that this respondent knoweth not the deceased's estate, or the value thereof, et aliter nescit.

“ Eodem die repetit. coram Doctore Trumbull, Surrog. &c. Tho. Welham, N. Po

“ Signum ELIZABETHÆ FISHER.

· Cur. Prærog. Cant. ut supra. Warton.

IV.

" Grant of Letters of Administration to the widow

Elizabeth

“ Die 25to. Februarii 1675.
« JOHANNES MILTON. Vicesimo?

quinto Die Februarii ema-
navit Commissio Elizabethæ
MILTON Relictæ JOHANNIS
MILTON nuper Parochiæ ult. Julii.
Sancti Egidii Cripplegate in
Com. Mid. Defuncti hēntis,
&c. ad Administrand. bona.
jura, et credita dicti defuncti,
de bene &c. jurat. Testa-
mento Nuncupativo dict. de-
functi: aliter per antedictam ult. Dec.
Elizabetham MILTON Alle-
gato, nondum Probato.” j

* The reader will compare these evidences with the printed accounts of Milton's biographers on this subject; who say, that he sold his library before his death, and left his family fifteen hundred pounds, which his widow Elizabeth seized, and only gave one hundred pounds to each of his three daughters. Of this widow, Phillips relates, rather harshly, that she persecuted his children in his life time, and cheated them at his death. Milton had children, who survived him, only by his first wife, the three daughters so after named. Of these, Anne, the first, deformed in stature, but with a handsome face, married a master builder, and died of her first childbirth, with the infant. Mary, the second, died single, Deborah, the third, and the greatest favourite of the three, went over to Ireland as companion to a lady in her father's life-time; and afterwards married Abraham Clarke, a weaver in Spital-fields, and died, aged seventy-six, in August 1727. This is the daughter that used to read to her father; and was well known to Richardson, and Professor Ward : a woman of a very cultivated understanding, and not inelegant of manners. She was generously patronised by Addison ; and by Queen Caroline, who sent her a present of fifty guineas. She had seven sons and three daughters, of whom only Caleb and Elizabeth are re, membered. Caleb migrated to Fort Saint George, where perhaps he died. Elizabeth, the youngest daughter, married Thomas Foster a weaver in Spital-fields, and had seven children, who all died. She is said to have been a plain sensible woman; and kept a petty grocer's or chandler's shop, first at lower Holloway, and afterwards in Cock-lane near Shoreditch church. In April, 1750, Comus was acted for her benefit : Doctor Johnson, who wrote the Prologue, says, “ she had so little acquaintance with diversion or gaiety, that she did not know what was intended when a benefit was offered her.” The profits of the performance were only one hundred and thirty pounds ; although Doctor Newton contributed largely, and twenty pounds were given by Jacob Tonson the bookseller. On this trifling augmentation to their small stock, she and her husband removed to Islington, where they both soon died. So much greater is our taste, our charity, and general national liberality, at the distance of forty years, that I will venture to pronounce, that, in the present day, a benefit at one of our theatres for the relief of a poor and an infirm grand-daughter of the author of Comus and Paradise Lost, would have been much more amply and worthily supported.

THESE seem to have been the grounds, upon which Milton's Nuncupative Will was pronounced invalid. First, there was wanting what the Civil Law terms a rogatio testium, or a solemn bidding of the persons present, to take notice that the words he was going to deliver were to be his Will. The Civil Law requires the form, to make men’s verbal declarations operate as Wills ; otherwise, they are presumed to be words of common calling or loose conversation. And the Statute of the twentyninth of Charles the Second [c. iii.] has adopted this rule; as may be seen in the 19th clause of that Statute, usually called the

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