Robert Jillett His Will d 1832
The Will of Robert Jillett

PROBATE OFFICE      [NOTE:  Although this will was dated in 1832, it was not presented or granted probate until 1844,  see supplementary depositions, following.]            Note at the time of the probate, both Robert and Elizabeth had died.

  WILL OF ROBERT JILLETT [1844: BK 2, p.162, No. 262]                  "In the Name of God Almighty, I, Robert Gillett of the back River New Norfolk  Stockkeeper and Farmer of Van Diemen's Land being at this day of sound and disposing mind and memory  Thanks be to the Almighty God for the same But  Weak in bodily Health,  Do Make this my last Will and Testament  Hereby revoking All former Will or Wills if any made by me.    In the first place I recommend my soul to the Almighty God from whom I received it resting and trusting in my Salvation thro our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ        

              I Hereby give and bequeath to my Son Robert Gillett Thirty Acres of Land lying and being at the Back River Near New Norfolk Joining Thomas Shones side line, and Ten Acres more of Grant Lands bounding on the South Side by James Walsh, Grant at my decease to him and His Heirs, Executors or assigns for Ever

.   I Hereby Give at my Decease in shares to my deare Wife Elizabeth Gillett and all my Sons and Daughters and all my Grand Children Male and Female Seven Hundred and Eighty Acres of grant Lands as is hereafter described to them Each and Severally during Each of their Lives and there Successors for there Severally lifes and Enjoyment to be divided Equally at all times hereafter - Three Hundred Acres of the above Named Land Situate lying and being at York Plains bounded by William Bradshaw and James Lucas and Eighty more Joining the same bounded by Wells Grant- and the other four Hundred Acres is bounded by Wm O'conner and Haskin Morrisson the same making together Seven Hundred And Eighty Acres of Land Grants and it is my desire and determination that no part of the said Seven Hundred and Eighty Acres of Grant Lands Shall be ever made use of for any other purpose-what-ever-than-for-a general-feeding ground for all-herein named, and it is lastly more fully to be understood that the said herein described Land hereby by me bequeathed to same nor no part thereof is Ever to be Sold bartered or Mortagaged on any pretence  Whatsoever and I do hereby at my decease give and bequeath All the Horned Cattle and Sheep I may the be possessed of to my dear Wife, Robert Gillett, Charlotte Gillett, Thomas Gillett and John Gillett, and it is hereby further to be understood that as soon after my decease as it may convenients the said Cattle and Sheep are to be Equally divided amongst them  - But it is Hereby to be fully understood that I Hereby mean and direct that my Wife shall hold in her possession all such Cattle and Sheep until my said Children shall severally  Come-of-Age, But it is to be fully understood that my Wife shall be fully at liberty to sell any of the said Cattle or Sheep Hereby bequeathed by me to the said Robert Gillett, Charlotte Gillett, Thomas Gillett and John Gillett or any of there increase for the  brining them up and Support and Maintenance until they shall Severally arrive of Age but my Wife shall be fully at liberty for make use of her share of Cattle or Sheep any time or in any manner she may think proper

   I further give and bequeath all the Bearing Mares and Horses I may be possessed of to be shared as follows- one part to my deare Wife-Charlotte Gillett-Thomas Gillett and John Gillett-Share and Share Equal-the said Mares and Horses with there increase are to remain in the Charge and possession of my Wife until my herin named Children shall arrive at Age  - And I further give and Bequeath to my deare Wife The Farm where we know live containing forty three Acres of Lands to her sole Life and Benefit-during her Life time - and at her decease I give and bequeath the said Farm containing the aforesaid forty three acres of Land with all the appartenances there to now belonging to Thomas Gillett and John Gillett as also forty acres more grant Lands joing the above and last described Land to them the said Thomas and John Gillett to them and there Heirs and assigns for Ever

  - I hereby give and bequeath to my two Grand Children- Matthew and Susannah Bowden my mare Kitty to become there Joint property and to be taken in Charge for them by William Bradshaw and kept by Him until the said Matthew and Susannah Bowden shall arrive at age  and all excepting the next fole is to be considered the property of the said Matthew and Susannah Bowden   I further give and bequeath to James Bradshaw and William Bradshaw Ten Acres of Land Each bounded by James Walsh's farm at the Back River New Norfolk- to them and there Heirs for Ever and I do Hereby at my decease give to my Wife Two Dwelling Houses, one Brick House and one Wether Boarded situated lying and being in Collins Street Hobart Town- during her Life and at her decease the said described Dwelling Houses to my Two Sons Thomas and John Gillett-To them and there Heirs for Ever- but the same Houses are to be held in Charge of my Wife for there Several benefits until they shall Each arrive at Age for the purpose of my Wife's Maintenance of them

-    I do hereby Lastly wish it to be understood that I have taken into my consideration to hereby revoke my gift of the Whether Boarded House as above described to my Wife-Thomas Gillett-and John Gillett to Have and to Hold the same for any time Longer than my Son Robert Gillett shall arrive at the Age of Twenty One Years- then It shall be Lawful for the said Robert Gillett to the go and take Possession of the same which I have this day given and bequeathed to my Son Robert Gillett His Heirs and assigns for Ever and the said Robert Gillett shall have with the said House the proportion of Land as does belong to it  - I do hereby wish it to be fully understood- the Cattle and Sheep which will at my decease be committed to my Wife's Trust and Charge for my Children

- I do hereby fully recall that part Entered herein- allowing my Wife to sell any of the original Cattle or Sheep or  Sold only the increase of the same from time to time as may be necessary-   and Lastly I hereby forbid and positive say that my Wife Elizabeth Gillett shall never after my decease marry or live or cohabit with any man whatever- If she shall be so do I hereby revoke all my bequeaths and Legacys given and bequeathed to my Wife in this Will and all her part and share herein named shall become the right and property of my Two Sons Thomas Gillett and John Gillett and for the full performance of this my last Will and Testament I do Hereby nominate and appoint my son William Bradshaw and my Wife Executor and Executrix, to this my will so do and perform with the Joint consent of All and Every part of this my  will as near as possible as herein directed by me-

In witness whereof to this my last Will I have Set my Hand and Seal- this Second day of October Eighteen Hundred and Thirty Two in the Presence of Us 
                R Officer                 )  Witnesses                 Thomas Shone     )                 Charles Houran    )                                                                                                        Robert Jillet(t?)  

{Notes: 1.  Charles Houran's signature appears on the original but is cropped off some copies of the will.           

     2. R. Officer, subsequently held land in the vicinity of Lagoon of Islands and Woods Lake, in the same vicinity as Thomas Jillett's run(s).
He later became  Sir Robert Officer and was a salmon fisheries commissioner.

His portrait is displayed at Salmon Ponds, Plenty, New Norfolk.        

3. Thomas Shones' daughter married Thomas Jillett and one of his sons married a Shone (George Jillett and Laura Lavinia Shone - first cousins). 

CODICIL TO THE WILL OF ROBERT JILLETT                                                                                         New Norfolk Oct 23 1832                

      I Robert Jillett of New Norfolk, Settler, in addition to my last will and Testament, doth give and bequeath unto my Son Robert Jillett, four working bullocks, a plough and a foal from out of the mare called Kitty, and to have part of the dwelling house situate at New Norfolk, and the use of the Barn and a Cart, for the space of four years, the same at the  rest of the family after my decease  

                                                                                   (Signed) Robt Jillet(?) Witness           J Bowden       William Bradshaw (Son-in-law and son respectively)

Also sworn affidavits regarding the validity  of the Will, presented more than 11 years after the death of Robert Jillett:               

  (1) Thomas Shone dated 20JUN1844 (cites R. Officer, Thomas Shone and Edward Houran, as witnesses), as follows:  "In the Supreme Court of Van Diemen's Land                                   

In the will of Robert Jillett of the Back River  near New Norfolk in Van Diemen's Land         Farmer deceased-     

           Thomas Shone of the Back River aforesaid Farmer maketh oath and saith that he was present at the Back River aforesaid on the second day of October one thousand eight hundred and thirty two and did  see the above named Robert Jillett sign seal publish pronounce and declare the paper writing herewith annexed to be his last will and Testament and that the signature "Robert Jillett" subscribed thereto is the proper signature and in the handwriting of the said Robert Jillett And this Deponent further saith that the signatures R Officer Thomas Shone and Edward Houran set and subscribed to the said paper Writing as the attesting witnesses to the due execution thereof are respectively the signatures and in the hand writing of the said R Officer Edward Houran and this Deponent And this Deponent further saith that the said R Officer Edward Houran and this Deponent subscribed there several and respective signatures to the same in the presence of the said Robert Jillett at his request and in the presence of each other

And lastly this Deponent further saith that Elizabeth Jillett the wife of the Testator Robert Jillett named in the said Will as Executrix thereto departed this life on the ninth day of March one thousand eight hundred and forty two.

   Sworn ant Hobart Town this   ) twentieth day of June 1844       )                                       Thomas Shone                     Before me                  )"                   (2) William Bradshaw states that Robert Jillett departed this life on the third day of November 1832.    Dated 20JUN1844.              

    (3) William Bradshaw undertakes that he will account for the estate of Robert Jillett within six months (by 21DEC1844) and states his belief that the amount involved did not exceed 500 pounds at the time of death             

   (4) William Bradshaw swears on oath that the papers deposited are the will with codicil of Robert Jillett, Land Stockkeeper and Farmer Deceased, and that the papers came into his possession from Elizabeth wife of the said Robert Jillett.   

  A mystery regarding the contents of the Will       Why did it take 12 years for the will to be make public?  Under the terms of the will the lands were never to be sold or mortgaged.  At the time of Robert's death Robert, Thomas and John were all under the age of 21, and the contents of their inheritance would have to be held in trust for them.  What was Elizabeth doing during those years? Three years after Robert Jillett snr died, the sheriff’s office places a notice in the paper advising they are selling 30 acres of his lands in New Norfolk. The owner has to be Robert Jillett jnr, as this matches the contents of the will.  

He then seems to sell the property to William Morgan Orr who holds it in trust for John Beamont.  Just who were these people?  Well John Beamont was the sheriff, and as for William Morgan Orr the following information sheds some light on his character.  Who was William Morgan Orr?   It would seem he was a scrupulous business man who lived in Hobart and seemed to spend his time gaining the goods and chattels of many people to whom he must have either lent money or been very friendly.

Orr, William Morgan ( - 1843) Birth: Death:           
ORR, WILLIAM MORGAN (d.1843), merchant and landowner, sailed from London in the Cyprus and arrived at Hobart Town via Sydney and Launceston in August 1825. With recommendations from the Colonial Office and assets of more than £3000 in goods, he was granted 2000 acres (809 ha) in the Hamilton district. His main business, however, was commerce and he rapidly accumulated great wealth.

Although he was seriously disturbed by Lieutenant-Governor
(Sir) George Arthur <>'s administration and Press Licensing Act, he generally managed to keep out of colonial politics. As a merchant and shipping agent he had a store on the old wharf at Hobart. With small ships like the Richmond Packet and William IV he organized much sealing and bay whaling, and by 1831 he was shipping large quantities of whale-oil to London. By 1837 he had whaling stations at Recherche and Storm Bays and became prominent as an investor in large ships for the deep-sea fisheries.

In 1838 his 289-ton Maria Orr was launched, the first full-rigged ship built in Hobart; the government presented a suit of sails and Orr's enterprise was applauded as a benefit to the colony. On 3 June 1835 at St David's Church of England he married Maria, the daughter of Michael Lackey of O'Brien's Bridge. They had a well-appointed home at Humphrey Rivulet near New Town.

Most of Orr's profits from trade and whaling were invested in land. His holdings increased by purchase and lease to some 80,000 acres (32,375 ha) in various parts of the island. When depression struck in 1841 he was one of the biggest and wealthiest merchants in Hobart. Caught with many bad debts, he had to solicit aid from friends to meet his commitments.

When he was riding home one afternoon his horse was frightened by a gang of boys and bolted. It stumbled outside the Waggon and Horses Inn; Orr had a violent fall and fractured his skull. He was unconscious for three days and died on 2 November 1843. His death spread a gloom over Hobart that was rarely equalled, for he was highly respected by all classes for his sincerity.

Although his probate was sworn at £26,000, his death financially embarrassed some of his friends, but by 1846 all his creditors were fully paid after part of his land was sold by the sheriff for £20,000. His home at New Town was sold for £2400.

Orr was survived by two children and by his widow, who married Charles D'A. Lempriere on 13 May 1847. His brother, Alexander, who arrived in Hobart in November 1828, also became a merchant of wealth and high character; in 1846 he was nominated briefly to a vacancy in the Legislative Council. At St John's Church of England, Launceston, on 7 May 1839 he married Harriet Byron. In December 1855 Alexander Orr sailed for England in the Heather Bell with his wife and family.

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