Episcopal Wills 1835 Malew #2, of Martha Bennett [als Ratcliffe]

(from MM / LDS 0106435 - thanks to Theresa Simpson)

Know all Men by these Presents, that we, Frederick Lamothe Gelling of Castletown in the Parish of Malew and Henry Wilson Burn of Peel in the Parish of German are held and firmly bound to William Lord Bishop of Sodor and Mann, and his Successors, in the sum of fifteen hundred pounds British; to the payment whereof well and truly to be made, we bind ourselves, our Heirs, Executors, Administrators and Assigns, jointly and severally, by these presents, to the said LORD BISHOP and his successors

Witness our subscriptions, this 26th day of September 1835

Whereas the Ecclesiastical Court of this Island hath this day granted Probate of the Will of Mrs. Martha Bennett deceased, to John George Bennett, Esq. of Ballasalla House.

Now the condition of the above obligation is such that if the said John George Bennett shall well and truly administer the Estate and Effects of the said Mrs. Martha Bennett deceased; and shall be in all things relating thereto conform to the laws of this Isle, the orders of the Ecclesiastical Courts, thereof, and the Oath he has this day taken, then the foregoing obligation to be void, otherway to be and remain in full force and virtue in Law

signed in the presence of Fredk. L. Gelling
Thomas Underwood H.W. Burn


Will of Martha Bennett, dated 20 August 1835

I Martha Bennett at present residing at Ballasalla House in the Isle of Man, widow, being of sound mind memory and understanding at the making hereof and considering the great uncertainty of this life do make publish and declare this to be my last will and testament

That is to say I leave and bequeath to my daughter Elizabeth Lyons wife of Captain Humphrey Lyons and Matilda Roe wife of John Septimus Roe Esq. and to my grand-daughters Elinor Sophia Roe and Matilda Roe daughters of my late daughter Elinor Roe deceased the sum of five shillings each as a legacy and I leave devise and bequeath all and singular the whole of the rest and remainder of my property both real and personal Lands Hereditaments Houses and premises to me belonging and wheresoever situate together with all my goods cash plate furniture and effects to my son John George Bennett Esquire and nominate constitute and appoint the said John George Bennett my whole and sole executor and Residuary Legatee of this my last will and testament. In witness whereof I the said Martha Bennett have hereunto subscribed my name this the 20th day of August in the year of Our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty-five

Signed Published and declared as and for
the last Will and Testament by the said M. Bennett [very shakily]

Mrs Martha Bennett in our presence who
in her presence and in presence of each
other have signed our names as Witnesses

Thomas Roe
Thos. Underwood
Fredk. L. Gelling Advocate Castletown


Rushen Abbey September 26th 1835

At a Court holden at Rushen Abbey this day John George Bennett Esq. was duly sworn fully to execute the last will and testament of Mrs. Martha Bennett deceased to which he has given as pledges Frederick Lamothe Gelling Esq. of Castletown and Henry Wilson Burn Esq. of Peel in the sum of fifteen hundred pounds British

Probatum Est

F.B. Hartwell

[will of daughter in law Sarah Ann Bennett]

Martha Bennett buried Malew 28 Aug 1835 age 63 - she was the widow of Henry Le[a]y Bennett; it would appear from the Burial Register of St. Mary's, Walton, Liverpool, that Martha's father was Thomas Ratcliff[e]as recorded in the burials of two of her children but no obvious baptism has been found.

Following Henry's death, Martha and some of her family went to live in the Isle of Man - : Henry Le[a]y Bennett of Liverpool, was a tobacco and snuff manufacturer/merchant. and came from a long-established family of Cheshire landowners, Chester Wine Merchants and civic worthies. Henry was a 4th son. He died in January 1823. Shortly afterwards, their oldest child Eleanor married Thomas Roe in Liverpool and on the 3 May 1823 Thomas and Eleanor together with Eleanor's sister, Elizabeth, sailed for Bombay, where Thomas was an officer in the Regiment of the East India Company. On the same voyage was a Lieutenant Humphrey Lyons, also in the service of the E.I.C., whom Elizabeth married in 1824. After her widowhood, followed rapidly by the departure abroad of two of her surviving 5 children, Martha, her remaining daughter, Matilda, and two sons, Henry and John George removed to the Isle of Man.

Matilda married John Septimus Roe, the younger brother of her sister's husband Thomas, in 1829. Shortly afterwards, the couple departed on the "Parmelia" for the foundation of the Swan River Colony, the first on the west coast of Australia - where John Septimus was the first Surveyor-General. Sometime later, Martha and family settled at Ballasalla House, Malew. Following the death of their mother, Eleanor, in India in 1827, Martha's grand-daughters Eleanor and Matilda were sent home and came to live with her where they stayed until her death in 1835.As her son-in-law, Thomas Roe, was a witness to the will, he must by then have retired from service in India and from then on had care of his daughters - marrying in November the same year his cousin Lucy Roe as his second wife. Following Martha's death, her younger son John George (1809-1880) married 1839 Sarah Anne Woodward 1814-1886) in Liverpool (newspaper account had 24 Sept 1839 Married at Walton J C Bennett of Ramsey To Sarah Ann daughter of the late Thomas Woodward.. The family resided at Ballacosnahan, Patrick, c. 1842-47. In 1847 they appear to have built a substantial house called Willaston (The Old Hall, Willaston, Wirral, was the 'ancestral' home of the Bennett family) in Onchan. John George and Sarah had three daughters: Annie b. 1840 at Andreas, eventually married Thomas Poole 1887 following the death of her mother in 1886; Sarah Georgina (1842-1913), born Patrick, never married but left an informative Will, and Eleanor Matilda (1844-1892), born Patrick, who married David Fenwick Steavenson, a barrister and eventually County Court judge and left two daughters, Ella and Isoline, who married, respectively, Ernest Harvey and Wilfrid Lewis. John George Bennett was a member of the House of Keys from 1851. He died in 1880, his burial is recorded at Malew on 2 August that year.

There is recorded in the newspapers: 2nd June 1829 died at his house in Athol St George Bennett esq aged 53, followed 23 Feb 1830 to be sold on the premises the furniture and effects etc - Henry had a younger brother, George, who was, in business with him - and was also mentioned in father John's invaluable Will - thus it is possible that Martha moved in with him after Henry's death and then onto Ballasalla house when the Athol Street property was disposed on.

Ballasalla House was noted 2 July 1829 - to be let Ballasalla House, Malew, the property of Mr George Drinkwater - apply W Leece Douglas or Mrs Drinkwater Rodney St Liverpool

There was another Bennet Marriage noted - Manx Advertiser 17 Aug 1835 James Bennett of Broughton Lane (Liverpoool) to Mrs Shimmin widow of Ratcliffe Shimmin Esq but not clear who this was.



Any comments, errors or omissions gratefully received The Editor
HTML Transcription © F.Coakley , 2006