Hodson’s Yard: The Will of John Corner 1869


John Corner (d.1870) Septimus Corner (1876)
John Corner (d.1870) Septimus Corner (1876)
  • Will dated 25th August 1869
  • Probate is proved on John Corner’s estate on the 14th January 1871 (following his death in November of 1870)
  • His brother Septimus Corner and his friend John Henry Bell (both farmers of Hickling) are named as his residual beneficiaries, trustees and executors.
  • All his debts, funeral costs and legal fees are ordered to be paid from his estate.
  • His property in ‘the Horsefair in Doncaster’ is bequeathed to his nephew John Corner (son of Septimus), his heirs etc.
  • £360 to his brother Daniel Corner, absolutely.
  • £150 to his nephew Daniel Corner (son of Daniel), absolutely.
  • £400 to his niece Ann Corner (daughter of Septimus) absolutely.
  • His brother Septimus Corner and friend John Henry Bell (& their respective heirs etc) are appointed trustees to manage the capital sum of £600 at their own discretion. The income (etc):
    • In the first instance, goes to his brother, Septimus Corner.
    • If he pre-deceases his wife Mary, it then goes to her.
    • After their deaths, the income (etc) passes to his nephew John Corner (son of Septimus and Mary) to be used for the education and support of his nephew John Corner’s five children until the youngest attains the age of 21.
    • The children are named as; Mary Jane Corner, Fanny Corner, Elizabeth Ann Corner, John Corner and William Corner.
    • When all the children have reached the age of 21, the will directs that the legacy should be divided equally amongst the 5 great nephews and great nieces and held in trust on their behalf.
  • The residue of John Corner’s estate is to be divided equally between his brother Septimus Corner and his friend John Henry Bell.


There are a number of John Corners through the generations of the family; this John Corner is:

  • 19th February 1792: John Corner (son of John and Elizabeth Corner) baptised Hickling 19th February 1792.
  • He is the brother of Joseph, Daniel and Septimus Corner; the only four of eight children to survive beyond 1817. John was the second-oldest.
  • He doesn’t appear to have lived in Hickling during his adult life; he is recorded in the 1861 census in Princes, Doncaster (unmarried boarder, age 65, retired servant, born Hickling).
  • 25th August 1869: date of John Corner’s Will (he is ‘of Hickling’ and ‘yeoman’); he appears to have returned to Hickling in his later years (his property in Doncaster is cited as being occupied by John Farrar at the time the will is written).
  • 9th November 1870: John Corner (brother of Joseph, Daniel and Septimus) dies (age 78).
  • 1st April 1876: Septimus Corner is buried at St. Luke’s, Hickling in the same grave as his elder brother (John Corner) who died in 9th Nov 1870 aged 78yrs).

John Corner dies not having married and with no children; his wealth is significantly out of proportion to that of his parents and siblings. He bequeaths considerable legacies to his brothers Daniel and Septimus and their families.

  • However, Joseph Corner died in 1862 and his family do not receive any legacies under John Corner’s Will.
    • Joseph had seven children (see family history document; census 1841).
    • It is possible that the £100 Robert Corner (eldest son of Joseph) used to buy the Corner’s Yard property in 1853 came from his uncle, John; it would have been a large amount of money for Robert (or any members of Joseph’s family) to have been able to access at that time.
    • A copy of John Corner’s Will has been kept with the Deeds and documents associated with the property which implies some relevance.
  • Daniel Corner had 3 children;
    • a direct legacy goes to his eldest son, Daniel.
    • His other 2 children (Harriett and John) are likely to have benefited indirectly through the will of Daniel (snr).
    • for example, he is living with his daughter, Harriett, at the time of his death and her husband, George Pilcher is executor of her father’s will.
    • No records found for John Corner (son of Daniel snr).
  • The main beneficiary from John Corner’s will is his brother, Septimus Corner; both of his children (John and Ann) receive direct legacies and their families would also have benefitted from the eventual dispersal of their father’s estate.
    • Note: John Corner (son of Septimus) died at the age of 42 in August 1870. This is after the will of his uncle was written but shortly before his uncle’s death.
    • John’s wife, Jane, predeceased both her husband and the writing of John Corner’s Will (July 21st 1865, age 34); John (jnr) and Jane Corner are buried together in Hickling churchyard.
    • John and Jane Corner had a 6th child, George; died 22nd Dec 1852 aged 10 weeks and buried in Hickling churchyard.
    • Jane appears to have died in childbirth; her twin sons, John and William Corner were baptised in Hickling 25th July 1865.
    • John remarried – Mary (either Reek or Ward) in either 1869 or 1870; they had one daughter, Emily; Mary and Emily Corner remain in the village until their respective deaths in 1912 and 1953 (see family connections document).
    • The terms of the will allow the legacies to pass to his wife (he was survived by his second wife, Mary) and children (although partly through trusts under the control of Septimus Corner and John Henry Bell).
    • The youngest child, William, is recorded in the care of his grandparents and aunt in Hickling in 1871 and his twin brother, John, is in the household of John’s widow (see family connections document).

There is no record of the source of John Corner’s wealth; he was a servant by profession and he may either have received a legacy himself or have saved over a lifetime in service with relatively little outlay.



  1. Dated 25th August 1869
  2. Office copy
  3. Will of Mr John Corner
  4. Deceased

Page 1:

  1. Extracted from the District Registry attached
  2. to Her Majesty’s Court of Probate at Nottingham
  3. [stamped Nottingham 14-1-71]
  4. This is the last Will and Testament
  5. of me John Corner of Hickling in the County
  6. of Nottingham Yeoman First I direct all my just
  7. debts funeral and testamentary expenses to be fully
  8. paid I devise all that my messuage or tenement
  9. with the stable outbuidings and appurtenances thereto
  10. belonging situate in the Horsefair in Doncaster in the
  11. County of York and now occupied by John Farrar
  12. unto John Corner the son of my brother Septimus
  13. Corner his heirs and assigns for ever. I bequeath
  14. the following pecuniary legacies namely to my brother
  15. Daniel Corner of [Somers] Street Nottingham Railway
  16. Assistant the sum of three hundred and sixty pounds
  17. absolutely. To Daniel Corner the son of my said brother
  18. Daniel Corner the sum of one hundred and fifty pounds
  19. absolutely and to Ann Corner the daughter of my
  20. Brother Septimus Corner the sum of four hundred
  21. Pounds absolutely I bequeath to my said brother

Page 2:

  1. Septimus Corner of Hickling aforesaid farmer and to
  2. my friend John Henry Bell of the same place farmer
  3. the sum of six hundred pounds upon trust that
  4. they the said Septimus Corner and John Henry Bell
  5. their executors administrators and assigns (hereinafter
  6. called my Trustee or Trustees) shall invest the said
  7. sum of six hundred pounds in their names or in the
  8. name of the survivor of them or of their executors […]
  9. administrators or assigns of such survivor in any of
  10. the public stocks or funds or Government securities of
  11. the United Kingdom or upon real security in England
  12. (with power from time to time to vary or [transprove]
  13. such stocks funds or securities into or for others of any
  14. nature hereby authorised at discretion and shall pay
  15. the interest dividends and income of the said sum of
  16. six hundred pounds or of the stocks funds and securities
  17. in or upon which the same may be invested unto my
  18. brother the said Septimus Corner for and during the
  19. term of his natural life and after his decease upon
  20. trust to pay the same interest dividends and income
  21. of the said sum of six hundred pounds unto his wife

Page 3:

  1. Mary Corner for and during the term of her natural
  2. life in case she should survive her said husband
  3. And from and after the decease of the survivor of them
  4. the said Septimus Corner and Mary Corner upon
  5. trust to pay the interest dividends and income of the
  6. said six hundred pounds unto my above
  7. mentioned nephew John Corner until the youngest of the
  8. following five children of him by Jane Corner his first
  9. wife namely Mary Jane Corner Fanny Corner Elizabeth
  10. Ann Corner John Corner and William Corner shall attain
  11. the age of twenty one years such interest dividends and
  12. income to be applied by the said John Corner my said
  13. nephew in the maintenance education and preferment in
  14. life of each of his said five children as shall be under
  15. the age of twenty one years but without liability to account
  16. so long as he shall duly and adequately maintain and
  17. educate such children And after the youngest of such
  18. children shall have attained to his or her age of twenty
  19. one years I direct the trustee or trustees for the time

Page 4:

  1. being of this my will to stand possessed of the said
  2. sum of six hundred pounds and the stocks funds and
  3. securities in or upon which the same may be invested
  4. in trust for the said Mary Jane Corner Fanny Corner
  5. Elizabeth Ann Corner John Corner and William Corner
  6. (the before mentioned children of my said nephew John
  7. Corner) to whom I bequeath the same to be equally
  8. divided between them share and share alike as tenants
  9. in common I devise all the residue of my real estate
  10. (except estates vested in use as trustee or mortgagee)
  11. And I bequeath all my residuary personal estate
  12. unto my said brother Septimus Corner I devise all
  13. estates vested in me as trustee or mortgagee with the
  14. appurtenances unto the said Septimus Corner and
  15. John Henry Bell their heirs executors and administrators
  16. according to the nature of the said premises subject
  17. to the equity of redemption […] therein respectively
  18. but the money secured on such mortgage to be ~
  19. considered as part of my personal estate I appoint

Page 5:

  1. the said Septimus Corner and John Henry Bell
  2. to be trustees and executors of this my will And
  3. hereby revoking all former wills I declare this only to
  4. be my last will and testament In witness whereof
  5. I the said John corner the testator have to this my
  6. last will contained in this and the preceeding sheet of
  7. paper at my hand this twenty fifth day of august
  8. one thousand eight hundred and sixty nine
  9. John Corner
  10. Signed published and declared by the said John
  11. Corner the testator [as] and for his last will and
  12. Testament in the presence of us present at the same
  13. time who in his presence at his request and in the
  14. presence of each other have hereunto subscribed our names
  15. as witnesses the interlineation between the twentieth and
  16. twenty first line on the second sheet being first duly made
  17. Edwin Woolley Farmer Hickling
  18. […] Butterfield Clerk to Mr EHM Clarke
  19. Solicitor Melton Mowbray
  20. Proved at Nottingham on the eighteenth

Page 6:

  1. day of February 1871 by the oathes of
  2. Septimus Corner brother of the deceased and
  3. John Henry Bell the executor named in
  4. the will to whom administration was granted
  5. Testator died 9th November 1870
  6. Effects under £2000. No leaseholds.
  7. Office Copy Court of Probate
  8. Nottingham District Registry