Box 14-130a ISAAC BALDWIN MCQUESTEN: Last Will and Testament, 1875.
Dec 8 1875
Valid 8th Dec. 1875
Last Will and Testament of
This is the last will and testament of me Isaac Baldwin McQuesten of the City of Hamilton in the County of Wentworth, Barrister-at-law.
I hereby declare that, though there are various free-hold properties, monies and chattel standing in my own name and in my possession, and legally so standing, still they have been to a great extent gifts to me at various times from my honored and indulgent Father, Calvin McQuesten M.D. and such being the case, I direct my executors hereinafter named to convey all such property as may be real, and deliver up possession of all such as may be personal, save as hereinafter named, to my said Father for his own behoof absolutely, or to such person or persons as he may appoint.1
I direct my executors to deliver possession to my darling wife of all the furniture, books, silver and plated ware, pictures, and chattels contained in my house on Bold St. for her own benefit absolutely I direct my executors to deliver to my respected partner John Williamson Jones Esquire all my office furniture in the office occupied by me on Main Street, together with all books that may be in said office at the time of my decease.
And I thus leave my wife and infant child2 almost entirely unprovided for, by directing as aforesaid the conveyance and delivering up of my said property, save as aforesaid, to my said Father. And I do so entirely without fear as to their temporal comfort, confiding implicitly in the affection towards them of my said Father, who has always been to me as near a type of that Heavenly Father, as it is possible for an earth-born being to resemble a Heavenly.
And feeling assured that my said Father would be better pleased to have me point out a method for the support and maintenance of my said wife and child, then for me not to do so; and knowing too that my said father could without inconvenience to himself set aside a portion of his estate for such purpose; bearing in mind too that there are those living who would gladly see my said wife and child reduced to poverty;3 at the same time feeling that my said wife and child will have no more real happiness by possessing a superfluously large income; I would request my said Father, in his generosity, as soon as may be after my decease, to invest in the name or names or such person or persons as he may have the more confidence in, and with such power as to changing investments, as to him may seem proper, the sum of Forty-thousand dollars, half the income of which sum is to be paid to my said wife during her natural life, and the other half to be paid to my said wife for the maintenance and education of our said child until she shall attain the age of twenty-one years or marry, whichever shall first happen, and from once after the happening of the first of the above events to be paid to my said daughter for her own use absolutely during her natural life; my said wife and daughter each to have unfettered power of disposing of her half of the corpus of my will. The trustees of the said fund are to be at liberty to make any advance out of the said corpus to my said wife or child during their or either of their lives that to the said trustees may seem necessary owing to any severe or protracted illness, requiring such careful medical attendance or change of residence as would more than exhaust the income of their or either of their said shares.
And I hereby declare that the proviso, herewith made for the investment of the said money by taxes and for restraining my said wife and daughter from dealing with the principal other then by testamentary reviso, is in no way actuated for want of confidence or trust in my said wife, or from fear of the future conduct of my said daughter, now of very tender years; but lest or either of these may be inveigled into marrying with those who may to all appearance be worthy persons, and yet whose object may be to possess themselves by ill-treatment or undue pressure of the said money. And I desire that my said wife should not feel from anything herein contained that I have any desire that she should remain unmarried, the contrary, it is my earnest wish she should again marry should she be so inclined.
I appoint my said wife guardian of my sole child.
I appoint my said wife and the said John Williamson Jones executrix and executor of this my will. In witness whereof I have hereunder set my hand this eighth day of December one thousand eight hundred and seventy-five.
Signed by the said testator Isaac Baldwin McQuesten as and for his last will and testament, in the presence of us, present at the same, who, at his request, in this sight and presence, and in the presence of each other, have subscribed our names as attesting witnesses
H.P. Coburn, of the City of Hamilton, Manufacturer
A.W. Brown, of the City of Hamilton, Student-at-law
[Written in Isaac's hand on the cover of the will]
I find that within will having been made subsequent to birth of eldest child alone, leaves the others unprovided for.
I propose especially to make another, so as to prevent long & troublesome administration. But to save that trouble (administration) should I die at once, I let this will stand, desiring that my father will at once provide reasonably for my wife & children, giving no child any preference.
18/1/81 I.B. McQuesten
This subsequent will I have made & duly signed the 20/1/81, I.B. McQ4
1 It is curious that despite Isaac's concern for Mary and their first daughter, he leaves his estate to his father Dr. Calvin. Given that Isaac was frequently in disagreement with Dr. Calvin's third wife, Elizabeth Fuller, it seems odd that he would leave his estate in the hands of his stepmother should his father die also.
2 The child Isaac is referring to is Mary Baldwin, born March 20 1874. His wife Mary was pregnant with their second child, [Rev.] Calvin (born May 1, 1876) when this will was written.
3 This comment was likely made in reference to Isaac's stepmother, Elizabeth Fuller McQuesten. It appears that she was intent on spending all of Dr. Calvin McQuesten's fortune, to the detriment of her stepchildren.
4 This is the will of January 20, 1881 that appears at Box 14-130.
Isaac died suddenly and unexpectedly on March 7, 1888 of an overdose of sleeping medication and alcohol and othjer stimulants, likely opium. He was also bankrupt, see W2511.
He left liabilities of approximately $900,000 and assets of $10,000. See Calendar, p. 7, and Minnes p.2.