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Robert Steatham's Probate

The Probate records consist of three documents (pages) - Note Italics indicates hand written.

The Oath (page 1)

JAMES THOMAS LAW, Clerk [1], Master of Arts, Vicar General of the Honorable and Right Reverend Father in God HENRY, by Devine permission, Bishop of Lichfield and Coventry, To John Cooke [2] John Darwall [3] and Rann Kennedy [4] Clerks, jointly, and severally Sendeth Greeting, WHEREAS it has alleged, before the Rev. CHARLES BUCKERIDGE, D. D. our Surrogate, that Robert Steatham late of Darlaston in the County of Stafford and the Diocese of Lichfield and Coventry, Gunlock filer deceased, duly made and executed, His last Will and Testament, in writing, and therein named Hannah Steatham Widow Relict and Samuel Williams joint Executors thereof.

We therefore by these presents, Commit and Grant, to you jointly, and severally, full power and authority to administer the Oath under-written, to the said Hannah Steatham one of the Executors and also Swear the Persons whose names are Subscribed to the Affidavit annexed to US our said Surrogate, and subscribe your Name thereto, together with these presents, within three Months from the date hereof.

Provided never-theless that this Commission shall be of no effect, unless so certified and transmitted to US within that time.

Dated at Lichfield, the twenty ninth day of August in the Year of our Lord, 1827.


?.Mott? D. Reg


The Oath.

Your Oath is, that the writing, now shewed unto you, contains the original last Will, and Testament, of Robert Steatham deceased, so far as you know and believe; that you are his Widow relict and one of his Executors and therein, and will faithfully perform your Office, by Paying his Just Debts, and the Legacies therein be-queathed, so far as his Personal Estate will Extend, and the Law require form you; that you will make true, and perfect, Inventory thereo, and exhibit the same into the Registry of the Bishop's Consistory Court of LICHFIELD, and also a just account of your Executorship, when you are thereunto lawfully required, and that the Goods, Chattels and Credits of the said Deceased as they were at his Death without deducting and debts owing by the said deceased therefrom, did not amount in value to the Sum of Twenty Pounds and that the Contents of the Affidavit hereto annexed to which you have sub-scribed your name were and are true,

So help you God, &c.

Qry, When he Died?

In the Thirtieth day of August 1827 this Commission was duly executed and the said Hannah Steatham of the Parish of Darlaston was duly sworn to the above oath before me John Darwall Commissioner.

Probate Extracted 29th September 1827.

This then continues (page 2).


In the Bishops Court of Lichfield

In the Goods of Robert Steatham Deceased.

Appeared Personally Hannah Steatham of Darlaston in the County of Stafford Widow Execut named in the last Will and Testament of the said Robert Steatham late of Darlaston Gun Lock Filer Deceased; and made Oath, that the estate and Effects of the said Deceased, for, or in respect of which, a Probate of the said Will is to be granted, exclusive of what the said Deceased may have possessed of, or entitled to, as a Trustee for any other person, or persons and not benificially, but including the Leasehold Estate or Estates for Years of the Deceased, if any, whether absolute or deteriminable on Lives, and without deducting any thing on account of the Debts, due and owing from the said Deceased are under the value of Twenty Pounds, to the best of this Deponent's Knowledge, information, and belief.

Sworn on the Thirtheen day of August 1827 before me.

John Darwall Comm.

The mark of Hannah Steatham X.

[We next have on the 29th August 1827.]

This then continues (page 3).

On which day Chinn exhibited as Proctor, made himself Party for Hannah Steatham Widow

and alledged, that Robert Steatham late of Darlaston in the County of Stafford Gun Lock Filer deceased

but whilst living made and duly executed his last Will and Testament in Writing, and thereof appointed the said Hannah Steatham and Samuel Williams the Execors Wherefore He prayed Probate of the said Will to be committed and granted to his said party, and also a Commission to issue forth for administering to the said Hannah Steatham one of the Executors the usual Oath of Executor

Directed to John Cooke John Darwin and Rann Kennedy Clerks jointly and severally

Let Administration and probate pass as prayed.


William Gordon Surrogate

This is a complex document to decypher who everyone is and what they role is in the Probate.

Here follows is a little reseach into the persons mention on the Probate document.

[1] James Thomas Law (17901876) was an English cleric, the chancellor of the diocese of Lichfield from 1821. Life. Law supported Lichfield Theological College. He was alos master of St John's Hospital, Lichfield.

Law was a benefactor to the city of Lichfield. In 1838 he gave the statue of Samuel Johnson in the Market Square. Chancellor Law's Fountain in Beacon Park was unveiled in 1871. Law died at Lichfield on ? the 22nd of February 1876. The monument to Law and his wife is in the churchyard of St Michael on Greenhill.

[2] John Cooke (1778 - 1834) BA : Oxford / Merton show details MA Ordination Events show details deacon : 20/12/1778 (Butler, John/Oxford 1777-1788) Appointment Events show details temporary curate : Birmingham St Martin (28/06/1783 ) show details Perpetual Curate : Birmingham St Bartholemew (07/11/1811 ) show details Headmaster : King Edward VI Grammar School, Birmingham (03/04/1817 - 03/09/1834 )

[3] John Darwall M.A. (1782 - 1828) was Curate at St Bartholemew's, Birmingham, Perpetual Curate at St John's Chapel, Deritend, Birmingham and Vicar at St Matthews, Walsall.

He was the son of John Darwall (17311789) who was an English clergyman and hymnodist who at the age of just fourteen entered Brasenose College at Oxford University. He served as the curate, and later vicar of St. Matthew's Parish in Walsall, where he spent the rest of his life. Darwall was an accomplished amateur musician and poet, writing hymns and poetry, some of which he contributed to Gentleman's Magazine. He wrote many of the tunes for the New Version by Nahum Tate and Nicholas Brady, but only his tune for the 148th Psalm, DARWALL'S 148TH, is in common usage today.

[3] Rann Kennedy (1772-1851) St Pauls Birmingahm - A curate from 1797, and later incumbent, was Rann Kennedy (1772-1851), a master at King Edward's School, friend of Coleridge and accomplished poet himself, once famous for such odes as A Poem on the Death of Princess Charlotte of Wales. In 1840 he dedicated his Spencerian epic, Reign of Youth to the Queen on the occasion of her marriage.

[4] Chinn - Another long-lived practice was established by Henry Chinn, who in 1798 was articled as a clerk to William Jackson, a proctor, transferring himself later the same year to George Hand [born 1740 - son of George and Dorothy] of Beacon Place. Hand died childless in 1806, and Chinn continued the practice, admitting his son Thomas in 1816. The Chinns evidently used as their office Langton House in Beacon Street. The practice survived in the family until the death of Alan Chinn in 1919.    All Rights Reserved.