The Will of Mary Hays

I Mary Hays being of sound mind and memory do will and bequeath whatsoever property I may [be] dispossessed of as follows after my just debts and funeral expenses are paid I leave to Mrs George Wedd fifty pounds to Mrs Peter Wedd1 ten pounds to Mrs Winifred Brown ten pounds to Elizabeth Bennet Hays, to Susanna Hays, to Matilda Hays, to Albert Hays and to Mary Hays2 ten pounds and to Mrs George Wedd I leave my books bookcase and papers with reversion to her daughter Ellen Wedd The remainder of my property I leave to my Brothers John and Thomas Hays whom I hereby appoint my Executors as witness my hand and seal this eighteenth of October 1840. 

                    Mary Hays    Witnesses Anne Wakefield   Emma Farrell3



Clapton Feb. 13th 1843


Mrs George Wedd having proved to me so useful so affectionate and an incomparable friend in no respect differing from that of a daughter towards a Mother in the same circumstances having undergone a great deal of trouble on my account I request the favor of my Executors to raise the sum I have left to her as a legacy to a hundred pounds.   

                    Mary Hays     Mary Bryceson     Ann Wilcox4


Mary Hays's Will can be found in the Public Record Office, Kew, PROB 11/1976.


1 George (1785-1854) and Peter Wedd (1782-1817) were two brothers (and nephews of John Towill Rutt) who married two sisters, Sarah (1793-1875) and Mary Dunkin (1786-1855), both nieces of Mary Hays. See Hays's Genealogy and the Biographical Index for more on these individuals.

2 The first four names are the children of Hays's brother, John, and his deceased wife, Elizabeth Breese Hays (d. 1832). The last name, Mary Hays (b. 1806), is most likely the daughter of Thomas Hays and appears to have never married, like her aunt.

3 Miss Farrell was one of the proprietors of the boarding house in Clapton in which Mary Hays was living when she died. 

4 For the witness statements, see Walker, Idea of Being Free 305-06.