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Extracted from Douglas Vs Douglas
On the 4th of August, 1803, William
Douglas, the eldest son of
Robert Douglas, was born in London, while his
parents were on a visit, and during their occupancy of Langham House.
In 1804 William Douglas, 2nd of Brigton, the grandfather, executed a trust deed of Brigton in favour of creditors, with a power of sale, but continued to
reside there till 1810, when he removed to Broughty Ferry, where he died
In 1811 the Brigton estate was sold in lots, and the
mansion house and grounds, with part of the land surrounding it, were
purchased by Robert Douglas, principally with money borrowed from his
wife’s trustees. The remainder of the estate was sold to Lord
In a letter written to his father by Robert Douglas,
and dated the 8th of October, 1811, occurs the following passage:– “In
consequence of my wife’s determination of having a home of her own, she delayed writing until it could be ascertained what you
could do for me to enable us to make Brigton that home; and upon receipt
of your letter of the 22nd of November, containing your promise to
assist me, she wrote to her trustees.”
Shortly after his father’s
death, in 1814, Robert Douglas refurnished Brigton, and resided there,
with his wife and son, till his death on the 8th of August, 1835.
The furniture in the house at the time of his death belonged to Mrs.
William Douglas, the testator, at his father’s death was
thirty-two years of age. From 1815 or 1816 he had always resided with
his father and mother at Brigton as his home, which, after the sale in
1811, consisted of the mansion-house and grounds and the home farm.
After Robert Douglas’s death (in 1835) Mrs. Douglas lived with her son at Brigton,
defraying all the household expenses, and her son, the testator, managed
the farm, which was kept in hand and was his own property. In June,
1846, Mrs. Douglas bought a house at Broughty Ferry called Carbat House,
distant about twelve miles from Brigton, which she occupied as a winter
residence, and Brigton as a summer residence, till her death on the 9th
of September, 1857. Between the death of his father and mother the
testator occasionally paid short visits to England. During these visits
he became acquainted with a Mrs. Rigge, the widow of a perfumer, who,
with her two daughters, who were milliners, lived in New Bond Street. On
the 30th of September, 1857, he wrote to the eldest daughter, announcing
his intention of shortly visiting London, which he soon afterwards
In October 1860, he returned to
England from Brigton, and rented a house, No. 3, Marlborough Terrace,
Old Kent Road, to which, shortly afterwards, he removed and lived with
the Plaintiff, Ellen Douglas, as his wife, till he removed to Sommers
Cottage, Brixton, which they did in September 1861, having taken a lease
for three or seven years.
On 18th June 1862, their eldest son,
William Charles, was born at Sommer’s Cottage; in register father
described as independent gentleman, of Sommers Cottage, Brixton Hill.
In July 1962, a trust disposition of property in Scotland in favour
of nephew, Defendant Colonel Douglas(1), was prepared.
On 13th August 1860, Testator married Ellen Rigge at Folkestone,
and on 19th August, made a will purporting to dispose of his real
property in Scotland in favour of Colonel Douglas. In September 1867, he
made a trust disposition of Brigton in favour of Colonel Douglas.
On 5th January 1865 the Testator’s second child, Robert John, was
On 14th June 1866, a third child, Mary Ellen, was born at
He died on 16th February 1869 at Heathfield,
Streatham, where he had taken a lease in September 1867, and to where he
had moved furniture and pictures from Brigton in June 1868.
By his will, made 21st December 1868, in the English form, dated the
21st of December, 1868, after revoking all other wills, he gave to his
widow his plate and household effects, and his balance in his bankers’
hands. He gave to his nephew, Colonel Douglas and Patrick Webster, whom
he appointed his executors, his leasehold house at Putney on trust, to
allow his widow to reside in it, and after her death to retain it as a
residence for his children till the youngest should attain twenty-one,
or to sell it and to hold the proceeds on the same trust as a legacy of
£10,000, thereinafter given, with a proviso that it might be sold, with
the widow’s consent, in her lifetime, in which case she was to receive
the income of the proceeds during her lifetime, and the capital was to
go in the same way as the £10,000. He directed his executors to set
apart 3 per cent. stock, the equivalent of £7200, and to pay the income
to the widow for life, after which it was to go as the £10,000. He
bequeathed to his executors £10,000 sterling in trust for and to be
equally divided among his children who should attain twenty-one, with
the usual provisions for maintenance, advancement, and accumulation,
with a proviso that if no child of the testator attained twenty-one the
capital should fall into the residue of his estate. The testator
declared that the provisions made by his will for his wife should be
taken by her in lieu of all dower and thirds, and all other rights and
interests at common law or otherwise, to which she might be entitled out
or in respect of any estate or estates which he might die seised or
possessed of or entitled to in Scotland or elsewhere; and he left,
bequeathed, gave, granted, assigned, and disponed to Colonel Douglas all
the residue of his goods, gear, debts, and sums of money, and in general
the whole of the residue of his moveable means, estate, and effects
whatsoever that might pertain to, be vesting in, or owing to him at the
time of his decease. But always with and under the burden of all his
just debts, death-bed, and funeral charges, and legacies, and gifts,
thereinbefore by him given. And he thereby gave, granted, assigned, and
disponed to and in favour of Colonel Douglas, his heirs, executors and
assignees, all and singular the lands and heritages, and in general the
whole heritable and real estate and effects, of what kind or
denomination soever and wheresoever situated, then belonging to him or
that should belong to him at the time of his decease.
1. Nephew Charles William Douglas, son of
Douglas of Brigton