Edward Berry's Will


We acquired a copy Edward Berry’s will from the National Archive. In it we found the correct names of his children, Louisa and Jane and from their birth records we have since discovered the name of Edward Berry’s wife, Elizabeth. The discovery of the will revealed so much about Edward Berry, his family, his friends and provided an insight into the running of Llancayo House in the 1800’s.

A small extract from Edward Berry's handwritten will

He is a benevolent and kind man, where his first priority having dealt with the practicalities of his funeral, is to give to the poor folk living in his vicinity:

‘I give and bequeath the sum of two hundred pounds to my Executors herein after named to be by them distributed amongst the poor of the hamlet of Gwihilog and of the town of Usk both in the said county of Monmouth at their discretion…’

He was a generous and considerate man. We see he regards his live-in companions very highly and rewards them appropriately giving them his most treasured and sentimental possessions:

‘…I give and bequeath to Joseph Bowmar now residing with me the sum of four thousand pounds and the Mare that he usually rides with the Saddle and Bridle belonging to it and my gold repeating watch and wearing apparel I give and bequeath unto Hannah Bowmar his sister now also residing with me the sum of one thousand pounds and my watch made by Grant and also the little Mare with her Saddle and best bridle…’

He also rewards his business partner with a donation to Guy’s Hospital (and the Foundling’s Hospital) which in turn provides him with the prestigious position of Governor. He also passes him a gold watch and his valuable book collection:

‘…I give and bequeath to the Treasurer for the time being of the Guy’s Hospital in the County of Middlesex the sum of one thousand pounds for the use of the said hospital on condition that the said Robert Vaux be appointed one of the Governors thereof I give and bequeath all my printed books to the said Robert Vaux and also three thousand pounds and my French Gold watch…’

He also repays his staff for all their diligent work:

‘(I give and bequeath the following legacies to)…Maria the dairy Maid twenty pounds to John Lewis my Mason forty pounds to William Morgan my Carpenter forty pounds to Isaac Dix my Shepherd forty pounds to Gareth Jones fifty pounds to Jenkin Davies twenty pounds to William Edwards thirty pounds to Paul Morgan twenty pounds to Abraham Phillips twenty pounds to John Thomas twenty pounds and to Johnny my driving Boy twenty pounds…’

Also, the will mentions his first son-in-law Arthur Young, the younger. Arthur Young was the son of the famous agriculturalist and writer of the same name. He married Jane Berry we believe in 1799. Here are some portraits of Jane Young’s famous father-in-law, Arthur Young and some of his writings. This is a whole new development and we hope to find more fascinating and exciting details in the near future, especially something in Arthur Young’s writing on France just before the Revolution to substantiate the sad story of Jane’s mother,
’s execution.