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Lord Adam Gifford’s Will

TRUST DISPOSITION and SETTLEMENT of the late Adam Gifford, sometime one of the Senators of the College of Justice, Scotland, dated 21st August 1885.

I ADAM GIFFORD, sometime one of the Senators of the College of Justice, Scotland, now residing at Granton House, near Edinburgh, being desirous to revise, consolidate, alter, and amend my trust-settlements and testamentary writings, and having fully and maturely considered my means and estate, and the circumstances in which I am placed, and the just claims and expectations of my son and relatives, and the modes in which my surplus funds may be most usefully and beneficially expended, and considering myself bound to apply part of my means in advancing the public welfare and the cause of truth, do hereby make my Trust-deed and latter Will and Testament—that is to say, I give my body to the earth as it was before, in order that the enduring blocks and materials thereof may be employed in new combinations; and I give my soul to God, in Whom and with Whom it always was, to be in Him and with Him for ever in closer and more conscious union; and with regard to my earthly means and estate, I do hereby give, grant, dispone, convey, and make over and leave and bequeath All and Whole my whole means and estate, heritable and moveable, real and personal, of every description, now belonging to, or that shall belong to me at the time of my death, with all writs and vouchers thereof, to and in favour of Herbert James Gifford, my son; John Gifford, Esquire, my brother; Walter Alexander Raleigh, my nephew, presently residing in London; Adam West Gifford, W. S., my nephew; Andrew Scott, C. A., in Edinburgh, husband of my niece; and Thomas Raleigh, Esquire, barrister-at-law, London, and the survivors and survivor of them accepting, and the heirs of the last survivor, and to such other person or persons as I may name, or as may be assumed or appointed by competent authority, a majority being always a quorum, as trustees for the ends, uses, and purposes aftermentioned, but in trust only for the purposes following: That is to say, First, For payment of all my just and lawful debts, deathbed and funeral expenses, and the expense of executing this trust. Second, For payment to each trustee who may survive me, and accept and act as trustee, of the sum of £100 sterling, as a mere compliment and acknowledgment for his kindness in acting as trustee, but not as remuneration. Third, My trustees will see that my son, the said Herbert James Gifford, receives from the trustees appointed by the antenuptial contract of marriage between me and my late dear wife, the sum of £7400, or such other sum as may be in the hands of the said marriage contract trustees, as the whole amount of my dear wife's separate fortune, in terms of the said marriage contract in all respects. This sum of £7400 does not form part of my estate, but it is right to keep it in view in relation to the provisions in favour of the said Herbert James Gifford, my son. Fourth, To make payment to the said Herbert James Gifford of the sum of £5000 sterling, which I bound myself by the said marriage contract to pay to the heir of the marriage between me and my said wife, all in exact terms of the said marriage contract. Fifth, To make payment to my brother, the said John Gifford, and to my sister, Mrs Mary Gifford or Raleigh, widow of the late Reverend Doctor Alexander Raleigh, of the sums of £1000 each. I know that they do not need any pecuniary provision, and I make herein separate bequests to their children as aftermentioned, but they will accept of these sums from me as mere testimonies of my esteem and regard. Sixth, To pay, dispose of, invest, and apply the sum of £2500 to and for each of my nephews and nieces, who at present are ten in number, the children of my brother, the said John Gifford, and of my sister, the said Mrs Mary Gifford or Raleigh—that is to say, to each of Margaret Balmer Gifford or Scott, spouse of the said Andrew Scott; James Gifford, now in South Africa; the said Adam West Gifford; and Mary Jane Gifford or Croll, spouse of Andrew Usher Croll, Glasgow, the children o the said John Gifford; Catherine Anne Raleigh, residing in London; Alice Isabella Raleigh, now residing with me at Granton House; Jessie Raleigh, residing in London; the said Walter Alexander Raleigh; Ada Margaret Raleigh, and Agnes Crum Raleigh, both also residing in London, all children of the said Mrs Mary Gifford or Raleigh. Now my will is that my trustees shall hold for each of my said nephews and nieces who may survive me, and for their respective issue equally, the said sum of £2500 each in liferent, for their respective liferent uses allenarly, the issue of each nephew or niece taking the fee, and failing issue of each respective nephew or niece, the disposal of the fee being absolutely with the said respective nephews or nieces themselves; but declaring that if the trustees think proper, they may advance to any of my said nephews or nieces any sum not exceeding £1000; my meaning is that my said trustees shall hold the amount of the said legacies for behoof of my said nephews and nieces, and invest the same in heritable or personal property, or in the purchase of heritage, and pay the free income or produce thereof to my said nephews and nieces as an alimentary fund, exclusive of the jus mariti of husbands and of the diligence of creditors, at such times and in such sums as my trustees may think proper; and in case of the death of any of my said nephews and nieces, their respective children shall take their parent's share of the capital equally, and failing children they shall each have power to dispose of their shares of the capital at pleasure, and failing their doing so, it shall go to the survivors equally, share and share alike, and the issue of any predeceasing nephew or niece. And I would suggest to my said nephews and nieces, and each of them, that as these liferented legacies form, as it were, a family fund to secure against want, and I have therefore made them alimentary, and as it is intended to secure by means thereof a comfortable maintenance, so I think that if any of my said nephews or nieces are rich or comparatively rich, they may give up part or even the whole of their liferent to those who are poor or comparatively poor, so as to make the fund as useful as possible, but in all cases this is to be left to the pure good will and pleasure of each of my nephews and nieces themselves, arid to their own feeling, without being dictated to by anybody or influenced otherwise than by their own sentiments of love and kindness. Seventh, In order to interest my son, the said Herbert James Gifford, in the said alimentary scheme and legacies, I direct my said trustees to set aside for him the sum of £2500 in addition to his other provisions, and to invest the said sum of £2500 along with and in the same way as the alimentary shares of his cousins, and to apply the interest in exactly the same way for his behoof, and I make the same suggestions in every way just as if he had been one of my nephews, arid I destine his legacy so liferented in the same way. Eighth, I direct and appoint my said trustees to use arid employ the sum of £40,000 as follows for behoof of my son, the said Herbert James Gifford, arid his heirs and those substituted to him as aftermentioned—that is to say, my trustees shall apply the said sum of £40,000 in the purchase of lands and heritages of a permanent value, or of a value likely to increase either in one locality or in several localities within the United Kingdom or its islands, and shall entail the same, that is, they shall convey the lands and properties to purchases by settlement of strict entail in form of law to and in favour of the following series of disponees and heirs, that is to say, to arid in favour of the said Herbert James Gifford, my son, in liferent for his liferent use allenarly during his lifetime, and after his death to the heirs male of his body, whom failing, the heirs female of his body, secluding heirs portioners, the eldest heir female for the time always exclusive of the others, whom failing, to the said Walter Alexander Raleigh, my nephew, for his liferent use allenarly during his lifetime, and after his death to the heirs male of his body, whom failing, the heirs female of his body, secluding heirs portioners, the eldest heir female for the time always exclusive of the others, whom failing, to the said Adam West Gifford, my nephew, in liferent for his liferent use allenarly during his lifetime, and after his death to the heirs male of his body, whom failing, to the heirs female of his body, secluding heirs portioners, the eldest heir female for the time always exclusive of the others, whom all failing, to my seven nieces above named, equally among them, share and share alike, and failing any of them by death, to her issue, each child taking, if more than one, an equal part of the mother's share, and to the survivors of my said nieces, and to their respective heirs, assignees, and successors whomsoever, thus terminating the entail; declaring that my said trustees shall have full discretion to fix when and where the lands shall be bought, or even to decide to keep the money invested oil security for a series of years, if they shall think that preferable, or to buy to a greater extent than £40,000 borrowing the difference on the security of the purchase, and if there be on any of the lands so purchased a mansion house or mansion houses inhabited by the heir in possession for the time, then I suggest (but it is a mere suggestion) that it be made a kind of visiting place for my relatives, in some such manner as Granton House has been, so to promote good feeling among all. Ninth, I leave and bequeath all my household and garden furniture, and all my corporeal moveables, books, and chattels to my son, Herbert James Gifford, only suggesting that my brother, the said John Gifford, should have any article or articles he may choose, and that the said Walter Alexander Raleigh, Adam West Gifford, and Thomas Raleigh should each select say one hundred volumes from my books, not being drawing-room books or books of plates. Tenth, I direct my trustees to pay the following legacies:—To the Reverend William Skae, M.A., classical master, Edinburgh, £100; to the Reverend James Smith, minister of the Free Church, Davidson's Mains, £100; to the Reverend George Philip, Free Church minister, Saint John's, Edinburgh, £100; to the Reverend Walter Chalmers Smith, Free Church minister, Free High Church, Edinburgh, Elm; to the Granton Literary Institute, Granton, the sum of £25 sterling; to Alexander Johnston, my gardener, the sum of £20; to Edward Dillon, my butler, the sum of £20; to each of my servants, including the said Alexander Johnston and Edward Dillon, who shall be in my service at the time of my death, the sum of £10, and also the sum of £1 for every complete year they have been in my service, declaring that the wife of my gardener, and the wife of my lodgekeeper, and my post-boy shall be reckoned in the number of my servants; to Margaret Malcolmson, who was nurse to my son, now a stewardess, the sum of £20, all which legacies shall be paid the first Whitsunday or Martinmas after my death, as also any other legacies which I may leave under my hand, declaring that whatever is signed by me shall be held as under my hand, whether holograph or not, declaring that while legacies payable under this tenth purpose are to be payable at the first Whitsunday or Martinmas after my death, all the other purposes of my trust settlements shall be prestable at the first Whitsunday or Martinmas that shall happen six months after my death. And I give to my trustees all the powers and privileges conferred on trustees by law and statute, including a power to name factors and law agents, either of their own number or of strangers, and in both cases with suitable remuneration, and for whom they shall not be answerable further than that they were habit and repute solvent at the time of appointment. And I declare the preceding ten purposes of this trust to be preferable, and I direct that these tell purposes be fulfilled in the first place before any others and before any residue of my estate, or any part thereof, is disposed of, and before any residue is ascertained or struck, declaring that it is only what may remain of my means and estate after the said tell purposes are fulfilled that I call herein the ‘residue’ of my estate, and out of which I direct the lectureships aftermentioned to be founded and endowed. And in regard that, in so far as I can at present see or anticipate, there will be a large ‘residue’ of my means and estate in the sense in which I have above explained the word, being that which remains after fulfilling the above tell purposes, and being of opinion that I am bound if there is a ‘residue’ as so explained, to employ it, or part of it, for the good of my fellow-men, and having considered how I may best do so, I direct the ‘residue’ to be disposed of as follows:—I having been for many years deeply and firmly convinced that the true knowledge of God, that is, of the Being, Nature, and Attributes of the Infinite, of the All, of the First and the Only Cause, that is, the One and Only Substance and Being, and the true and felt knowledge (not mere nominal knowledge) of the relations of man and of the universe to Him, and of the true foundations of all ethics and morals, being, I say, convinced that this knowledge, when really felt and acted on, is the means of man's highest well-being, and the security of his upward progress, I have resolved, from the ‘residue’ of my estate as aforesaid, to institute and found, in connection, if possible, with the Scottish Universities, lectureships or classes for the promotion of the study of said subjects, and for the teaching and diffusion of sound views regarding them, among the whole population of Scotland, Therefore, I direct and appoint my said trustees from the ‘residue’ of my said estate, after fulfilling the said ten preferable purposes, to pay the following sums, or to assign and make over property of that value to the following bodies in trust:—First, to the Senatus Academicus of the University of Edinburgh, and failing them, by declinature or otherwise, to the Dean and Faculty of Advocates of the College of Justice of Scotland, the sum of 125,000.Second, To the Senatus Academicus of the University of Glasgow, and failing them, by declinature or otherwise, to the Faculty of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow, the sum of £20,000. Third, To the Senatus Academicus of the University of Aberdeen, whom failing, by declinature or otherwise, to the Faculty of Advocates of Aberdeen, the sum of £20,000. AndFourth, To the Senatus Academicus of the University of St Andrews, whom failing, by declinature or otherwise, to the Physicians and Surgeons of St Andrews, and of the district twelve miles round it, the sum of £15,000 sterling, amounting the said four sums in all to the sum of £80,000 sterling; but said bequests are made, and said sums are to be paid in trust only for the following purpose, that is to say, for the purpose of establishing in each of the four cities of Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen, and St Andrews, a Lectureship or Popular Chair for ‘Promoting, Advancing, Teaching, and Diffusing the study of Natural Theology,’ in the widest sense of that term, in other words, ‘The Knowledge of God, the Infinite, the All, the First and Only Cause, the One and the Sole Substance, the Sole Being, the Sole Reality, and the Sole Existence, the Knowledge of His Nature and Attributes, the Knowledge of the Relations which men and the whole universe bear to Him, the Knowledge of the Nature and Foundation of Ethics or Morals, and of all Obligations and Duties thence arising’. The Senatus Academicus in each of the four Universities, or the bodies substituted to them respectively, shall be the patrons of the several lectureships, and the administrators of the said respective endowments, and of the affairs of each lectureship in each city. I call them for shortness simply the ‘patrons’. Now I leave all the details and arrangements of each lectureship in the hands and in the discretion of the ‘patrons’ respectively, who shall have full power from time to time to adjust and regulate the same in conformity as closely as possible to the following brief principles and directions which shall be binding on each and all of the ‘patrons’ as far as practicable and possible. I only indicate leading principles. First, The endowment or capital fund of each lectureship shall be preserved entire, and be invested securely upon or in the purchase of lands or heritages which are likely to continue of the same value, or increase in value, or in such other way as Statute may permit, merely the annual proceeds or interest shall be expended in maintaining the respective lectureships.Second, The ‘patrons’ may delay the institution of the lectureships, and may from time to time intermit the appointment of lecturers and the delivery of lectures for one or more years for the purpose of accumulating the income or enlarging capital. Third, The lecturers shall be appointed from time to time each for a period of only two years and no longer, but the same lecturer may be reappointed for other two periods of two years each, provided that no one person shall hold the office of lecturer in the same city for more than six years in all, it being desirable that the subject be promoted and illustrated by different minds. Fourth, The lecturers appointed shall be subjected to no test of any kind, and shall not be required to take any oath, or to emit or subscribe any declaration of belief, or to make any promise of any kind; they may be of any denomination whatever, or of no denomination at all (and many earnest and high-minded men prefer to belong to no ecclesiastical denomination); they may be of any religion or way of thinking, or as is sometimes said, they may be of no religion, or they may be so-called sceptics or agnostics or freethinkers, provided only that the ‘patrons’ will use diligence to secure that they be able, reverent men, true thinkers, sincere lovers of and earnest inquirers after truth. Fifth, I wish the lecturers to treat their subject as a strictly natural science, the greatest of all possible sciences, indeed, in one sense, the only science, that of Infinite Being, without reference to or reliance upon any supposed special exceptional or so-called miraculous revelation. I wish it considered just as astronomy or chemistry is. I have intentionally indicated, in describing the subject of the lectures, the general aspect which personally I would expect the lectures to bear, but the lecturers shall be under no restraint whatever in their treatment of their theme; for example, they may freely discuss (and it may be well to do so) all questions about man's conceptions of God or the Infinite, their origin, nature, and truth, whether he can have any such conceptions, whether God is under any or what limitations, and so on, as I am persuaded that nothing but good can result from free discussion. Sixth, The lectures shall be public and popular, that is, open not only to students of the Universities, but to the whole community without matriculation, as I think that the subject should be studied and known by all, whether receiving University instruction or not. I think such knowledge, if real, lies at the root of all well-being. I suggest that the fee should be as small as is consistent with the due management of the lectureships, and the due appreciation of the lectures. Besides a general and popular audience, I advise that the lecturers also have a special class of students conducted in the usual way, and instructed by examination and thesis, written and oral. Seventh, as to the number of the lectures, much must be left to the discretion of the lecturer, I should think the subject cannot be treated even in abstract in less than twenty lectures, and they may be many times that number. Eighth, The ‘patrons’ if and when they see fit may make grants from the free income of the endowments for or towards the publication in a cheap form of any of the lectures, or any part thereof, or abstracts thereof, which they may think likely to be useful. Ninth, The ‘patrons’ respectively shall all annually submit their accounts to some one chartered accountant in Edinburgh, to be named from time to time by the Lord Ordinary on the Bills, whom failing, to the Accountant of the Court of Session, who shall prepare and certify a short abstract of the accounts and investments, to be recorded in the Books of Council and Session, or elsewhere, for preservation. And my desire and hope is that these lectureships and lectures may promote and advance among all classes of the community the true knowledge of Him Who is, and there is none and nothing besides Him, in Whom we live and move and have our being, and in Whom all things consist, and of man's real relationship to Him Whom truly to know is life everlasting. If the residue of my estate, in the sense before defined, should turn out insufficient to pay the whole sums above provided for the four lectureships (of which shortcoming, however, I trust there is no danger), then each lectureship shall suffer a proportional diminution; and if, on the other hand, there is any surplus over and above the said sum of £80,000 sterling, it shall belong one-half to my son, the said Herbert James Gifford, in liferent, and to his issue other than the heirs of entail in fee, whom failing, to my unmarried nieces equally in fee; and the other half shall belong equally among my unmarried nieces. And I revoke all settlements and codicils previous to the date hereof if this receives effect, providing that any payments made to legatees during my life, shall be accounted as part payment of their provisions. And I consent to registration hereof for preservation, and I dispense with delivery hereof.—In witness whereof, these presents, written on this and the six preceding pages by the said Adam West Gifford, in so far as not written and filled in by my own hand, are, with the marginal notes on pages four and five (and the word ‘secluding’ on the eleventh line from top of page third, being written on an erasure), subscribed by me at Granton House, Edinburgh, this twenty-first day of August Eighteen hundred and eighty-five years, before these witnesses, James Foulis, Doctor of Medicine, residing in Heriot Row, Edinburgh, and John Campbell, cab driver, residing at No. 5 Mackenzie Place, Edinburgh.


James Foulis, M.D., Heriot Row,
Edinburgh, witness.

John Campbell, cab driver,
5, Mackenzie Place, witness.