27th March 1846
The validity of the Codicil of course depends upon the fact whether the same was duly signed by the Testatrix in the present of 2 witnesses who were present at the same time & attested the same in the presence of the Testatrix – If the attestation does not prove this then an affidavit will be required from the witnesses – the Will and Codicil must be placed in the hands of a Proctor for proof who prepares the necessary documents – If you prove alone you can do so when you come up – but if Miss Feilding joins in the proof as she will have to be sworn the Proctor will have to send down a commission to the Clergyman of the Parish and you can both be sworn in the <Country?> – but the Will & Codicil must first come up – you can bring them or if you wish the matter hastened send them to me in a letter which for safety you can register at the post office –
You may employ any <appraisor?> to value the effects for the Probate – you can take one in the Country for the effects there – and the Person Miss Feilding named as having been employed to value the house would do for the London effects – any valuation will suffice for the present purpose
will which will satisfy your conscience to swear to – you must swear that the whole value of the Property is under £–
There is a very serious question however whether you must not include the whole of the Admirals Estate in the value for the present Probate – my opinion is that you must and the Codicil
proves goes to establish the fact – because unless the Effect of the Admiral’s will was to place the whole Property at the absolute disposal of Lady Elisabeth & so render it liable to Probate duty she had no power to dispose of the Estate at all except in favor of his 2 daughters.
If you do not send me up the will and codicil please send me a copy of the latter as the question of Probate duty is serious & will make a difference of perhaps 300l and I have prepared a case for the opinion of Counsel and must state the Codicil in it.
It is necessary to have the death of Lady Elisabeth proved on the accounts of the Bank of England and <South Sea?> House so as to enable you where funds stand in the name of yourself & the deceased to act <in?> the same manner for Miss Feilding where she is the
Survivor Survivor –
Please to obtain 2 copies of the Certificate of Burial & get some one who is competent to make an affidavit (not yourself) to examine the copies with the parish Registry & mark the Certificates that he may know them again – & send them to Messrs Stilwell to do what is necessary – I name them because I apprehend they send to the Bank daily and would not put you to expence – of course I can have it done if desired but I should be compelled to put you to the expence of my Clerks time.
I am dear Sir yrs truly
Wm Chas King.
W H Fox Talbot Esq