Will of Ann Elizabeth Cunningham, 1856

Will of Ann Elizabeth Cunningham, 1856
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Ann Elizabeth Cunningham of Bassett Down House, Lydiard Tregoze made her will on 5 April 1852. From her will it is obvious that she was a woman of some means, but we learn little about her own family. The main beneficiaries of her will are the family of her 'dear friend' Margaret Story Maskelyne with whom she had been living.

The 1851 census shows she was a visitor, unmarried and born in 1788. It seems that Bassett Down became her home as she was still resident there when she died 6 May 1856. A short notice of her death states she was the eldest daughter of Rear-Admiral Sir Charles Cunningham.

This explains some of the bequests she made to her friend's family - four model ships, a compass, and three drawings of the Commissioners house at Woolwich. Her father's sword she left to Edmund Story Maskelyne. Items of jewellery were bequeathed to her friend's daughters, her books to be divided amongst all the children.

Her will was constrained partly by a trust established for her mother's marriage settlement. Her sister's were entitled to a share from this trust and Ann considered that sufficient for their needs and they were not left any personal items.

There are bequests to other female friends, one at least living in London, while one of the witnesses to her will lived in St Leonards on Sea. This hints at an earlier part of her life when she lived elsewhere. Do some of her bequests suggest she travelled abroad, or were these items she inherited? For the moment we can only guess.

Project Archive
Project Archive
TNA PROB 11/2239/413
Friends of Lydiard Park
Last updated on:
Friday 12th April 2024

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