The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 1/Dr. Swift's Will
Dr. SWIFT'S WILL.
In the name of GOD, Amen. I Jonathan Swift, doctor in divinity, and dean of the cathedral church of St. Patrick, Dublin, being at this present of sound mind, although weak in body, do here make my last will and testament, hereby revoking all my former wills.
Imprimis. I bequeath my soul to God, (in humble hopes of his mercy through Jesus Christ) and my body to the earth. And I desire that my body may be buried in the great aisle of the said cathedral, on the south side, under the pillar next to the monument of primate Narcissus Marsh, three days after my decease, as privately as possible, and at twelve o'clock at night: and, that a black marble of feet square, and seven feet from the ground, fixed to the wall, may be erected, with the following inscription in large letters, deeply cut, and strongly gilded. HIC DEPOSITUM EST CORPUS JONATHAN SWIFT, S.T.D. HUJUS ECCLESIÆ CATHEDRALIS DECANI, UBI SÆVA INDIGNATIO ULTERIUS COR LACERARE NEQUIT. ABI VIATOR, ET IMITARE, SI POTERIS, STRENUUM PRO VIRILI LIBERTATIS VINDICATOREM. OBIIT ANNO (1745) MENSIS (OCTOBRIS) DIE (19) ÆTATIS ANNO(78).
Item: I give and bequeath to my executors, all my worldly substance, of what nature or kind soever (except such part thereof as is herein after particularly devised) for the following uses and purposes, that is to say, to the intent that they, or the survivors or survivor of them, his executors, or administrators, as soon as conveniently may be after my death, shall turn it all into ready money, and lay out the same in purchasing lands of inheritance in fee simple, situate in any province in Ireland, except Connaught, but as near to the city of Dublin, as conveniently can be found, and not incumbered with, or subject to any leases for lives renewable, or any terms for years longer than thirty-one: and I desire that a yearly annuity of twenty pounds sterling, out of the annual profits of such lands, when purchased, and out of the yearly income of my said fortune, devised to my executors, as aforesaid, until such purchase shall be made, shall be paid to Rebecca Dingley of the city of Dublin, spinster, during her life, by two equal half-yearly payments, on the feasts of All Saints, and St. Philip and St. , the first payment to be made on such of the said feasts as shall happen next after my death. And that the residue of the yearly profits of the said lands, when purchased, and until such purchase be made, the residue of the yearly income and interest of my said fortune devised as aforefaid, to my executors, shall be laid out in purchasing a piece of land situate near Dr. Steevens's hospital, or if it cannot be there had, somewhere in or near the city of Dublin, large enough for the purposes herein after mentioned, and in building thereon an hospital large enough for the reception of as many idiots and lunaticks as the annual income of the said lands and worldly substance shall be sufficient to maintain: and, I desire that the said hospital may be called St. Patrick's Hospital, and may be built in such a manner, that another building may be added unto it, in case the endowment thereof shall be enlarged; so that the additional building may make the whole edifice regular and complete. And my farther will and desire is, that when the said hospital shall be built, the whole yearly income of the said lands and estate, shall, for ever after, be laid out in providing victuals, clothing, medicines, attendance, and all other necessaries for such idiots and lunaticks, as shall be received into the same; and in repairing and enlarging the building from time to time, as there may be occasion. And, if a sufficient number of idiots and lunaticks cannot readily be found, I desire that incurables may be taken into the said hospital to supply such deficiency: but, that no person shall be admitted into it, that labours under any infectious disease: and that all such idiots, lunaticks, and incurables, as shall be received into the said hospital, shall constantly live and reside therein, as well in the night as in the day; and that the salaries of agents, receivers, officers, servants, and attendants, to be employed in the business of the said hospital, shall not in the whole exceed one-fifth part of the clear yearly income, or revenue thereof. And, I farther desire that my executors, the survivors or survivor of them, or the heirs of such, shall not have power to demise any part of the said lands so to be purchased as aforesaid, but with consent of the lord primate, the lord high chancellor, the lord archbishop of Dublin, the dean of Christchurch, the dean of St. Patrick's, the physician to the state, and the surgeon general, all for the time being, or the greater part of them, under their hands in writing; and that no leases of any part of the said lands shall ever be made other than leases for years not exceeding thirty one, in possession, and not in reversion or remainder, and not dispunishable of waste, whereon shall be reserved the best and most improved rents, that can reasonably and moderately, without racking the tenants, be gotten for the same, without fine. Provided always, and it is my will and earnest desire, that no lease of any part of the said lands, so to be purchased as aforesaid, shall ever be made to, or in trust for any person any way concerned in the execution of this trust, or to, or in trust for any person any way related or allied, either by consanguinity or affinity, to any of the persons who shall at that time be concerned in the execution of this trust: and, that if any leases shall happen to be made contrary to my intention above expressed, the same shall be utterly void and of no effect. And, I farther desire until the charter herein after mentioned be obtained, my executors, or the survivors or survivor of them, his heirs, executors, or administrators, shall not act in the execution of this trust, but with the consent and approbation of the said seven additional trustees, or the greater part of them, under their hands in writing, and shall, with such consent and approbation as aforesaid, have power from time to time, to make rules, orders, and regulations, for the government and direction of the said hospital. And, I make it my request to my said executors, that they may in convenient time, apply to his majesty for a charter to incorporate them, or such of them as shall be then living, and the said additional trustees, for the better management and conduct of this charity, with a power to purchase lands; and to supply by election, such vacancies happening in the corporation, as shall not be supplied by succession, and such other powers as may be thought expedient for the due execution of this trust, according to my intention herein before expressed. And, when such charter shall be obtained, I desire that my executors, or the survivors or survivor of them, or the heirs of such survivor, may convey, to the use of such corporation, in fee simple, for the purposes aforesaid, all such lands and tenements, as shall be purchased in manner abovementioned. Provided always, and it is my will and intention, that my executors, until the said charter, and afterward the corporation, to be hereby incorporated, shall out of the yearly profits of the said lands when purchased, and out of the yearly income of my said fortune devised to my executors as aforesaid, until such purchase be made, have power to reimburse themselves for all such sums of their own money, as they shall necessarily expend in the execution of this trust. And that, until the said charter be obtained, all acts which shall at any time be done in the execution of this trust by the greater part of my executors then living, with the consent of the greater part of the said additional trustees under their hands in writing, shall be as valid and effectual, as if all my executors had concurred in the same.
Item: Whereas I purchased the inheritance of the tithes of the parish of Effernock, near Trim, in the county of Meath, for two hundred and sixty pounds sterling: I bequeath the said tithes to the vicars of Laracor, for the time being, that is to say, so long as the present episcopal religion shall continue to be the national established faith and profession in this kingdom: but, whenever any other form of Christian religion shall become the established faith in this kingdom, I leave the said tithes of Effernock to be bestowed, as the profits come in, to the poor of the said parish of Laracor, by a weekly proportion, and by such other officers as may then have the power of distributing charities to the poor of the said parish, while Christianity under any shape shall be tolerated among us, still excepting professed jews, atheists, and infidels.
Item: Whereas I have some leases of certain houses in Kevin's-street, near the deanery-house, built upon the dean's ground, and one other house now inhabited by Henry Land, in Deanery lane, alias Mitre alley, some of which leases are let for forty-one years, or forty at least, and not yet half expired, I bequeath to Mrs. Martha Whiteway, my lease or leases of the said houses; I also bequeath to the said Martha, my lease of forty years, of Goodman's Holding, for which I receive ten pounds per annum; which are two houses, or more lately built; I bequeath also to the said Martha, the sum of three hundred pounds sterling, to be paid her by my executors out of my ready money, or bank bills, immediately after my death, as soon as the executors meet. I leave, moreover, to the said Martha, my repeating gold watch, my yellow tortoiseshell snuffbox, and her choice of four gold rings, out of seven which I now possess.
Item: I bequeath to Mrs. Mary Swift, alias Harrison, daughter of the said Martha, my plain gold watch made by Quare, to whom also I give my Japan writing desk, bestowed to me by my lady Worseley, my square tortoiseshell snuffbox, richly lined and inlaid with gold, given to me by the right honourable Henrietta, now countess of Oxford, and the seal with a Pegasus, given to me by the countess of Granville.
Item: I bequeath to Mr. Ffolliot Whiteway, eldest son of the aforesaid Martha, who is bred to be an attorney, the sum of sixty pounds, as also five pounds to be laid out in the purchase of such law books as the honourable Mr. Justice Lyndsay, Mr. Stannard, or Mr. McAulay shall judge proper for him.
Item: I bequeath to Mr. John Whiteway, youngest son of the said Martha, who is to be brought up a surgeon, the sum of one hundred pounds, in order to qualify him for a surgeon, but under the direction of his mother: which said sum of one hundred pounds is to be paid to Mrs. Whiteway, in behalf of her said son John, out of the arrears which shall be due to me from my church livings (except those of the deanery tithes, which are now let to the rev. doctor Wilson) as soon as the said arrears can be paid to my executors. I also leave the said John five pounds to be laid out in buying such physical or chirurgical books, as doctor Grattan and Mr. Nichols shall think fit for him.
Item: I bequeath to Mrs. Ann Ridgeway, now in my family, the profits of the lease of two houses let to John Cownly, for forty years, of which only eight or nine are expired, for which the said Cownly payeth me nine pounds sterling for rent, yearly. I also bequeath to the said Anne, the sum of one hundred pounds sterling, to be paid her by my executors in six weeks after my decease, out of whatever money or bank bills I may possess when I die: as also three gold rings, the remainder of the seven above-mentioned, after Mrs. Whiteway hath made her choice of four: and all my small pieces of plate not exceeding in weight one ounce and one third part of an ounce.
Item: I leave to Edward now earl of Oxford, my seal of Julius Cæsar, as also another seal, supposed to be a young Hercules, both very choice antiques, and set in gold; both which I choose to bestow to the said earl, because they belonged to her late most excellent majesty queen Anne, of ever glorious, immortal, and truly pious memory, the real nursing mother of her kingdoms.
Item: I leave to the reverend Mr. James Stopford, vicar of Finglass, my picture of king Charles the First, drawn by Vandyke, which was given to me by the said James; also, my large picture of birds, which was given to me by Thomas earl of Pembroke.
Item: I bequeath to the reverend Mr. Robert Grattan, prebendary of St. Audoen's, my gold bottlescrew, which he gave me, and my strong box, on condition of his giving the sole use of the said box to his brother Dr. James Grattan, during the life of the said doctor, who hath more occasion for it, and the second best beaver hat I shall die possessed of.
Item: I bequeath to Mr. John Grattan, prebendary of Clonmethan, my silver box in which the freedom of the city of Corke was presented to me; in which I desire the said John to keep the tobacco he usually cheweth, called pigtail.
Item: I bequeath all my horses and mares to the reverend Mr. John Jackson, vicar of Santry, together with all my horse furniture: lamenting that I had not credit enough with any chief governor (since the change of times) to get some additional church preferment for so virtuous and worthy a gentleman. I also leave him my third best beaver hat.
Item: I bequeath to the reverend doctor Francis Wilson, the works of Plato in three folio volumes, the earl of Clarendon's History in three folio volumes, and my best Bible; together with thirteen small Persian pictures in the drawing-room, and the small silver tankard given to me by the contribution of some friends, whose names are engraved at the bottom of the said tankard.
Item: I bequeath to the earl of Orrery the enamelled silver plates to distinguish bottles of wine by, given to me by his excellent lady, and the half-length picture of the late countess of Orkney in the drawings room.
Item: I bequeath to Alexander McAulay, esq., the gold box in which the freedom of the city of Dublin was presented to me, as a testimony of the esteem and love I have for him, on account of his great learning, fine natural parts, unaffected piety and benevolence, and his truly honourable zeal in defence of the legal rights of the clergy, in opposition to all their unprovoked oppressors.
Item: I bequeath to Deane Swift, esq., my large silver standish, consisting of a large silver plate, an ink-pot, a sand-box and bell of the same metal.
Item: I bequeath to the reverend Mr. James King, prebendary of Tipper, my large gilded medal of king Charles the First, and on the reverse a crown of martyrdom with other devices. My will, nevertheless, is, that if any of the abovenamed legatees should die before me, that then, and in that case, the respective legacies to them bequeathed, shall revert to myself, and become again subject to my disposal.
Item: Whereas I have the lease of a field in trust for me, commonly called the Vineyard, let to the reverend doctor Francis Corbet, and the trust declared by the said doctor; the said field, with some land on this side of the road, making in all about three acres, for which I pay yearly to the dean and chapter of St. Patrick's ****.
Whereas I have built a strong wall round the said piece of ground, eight or nine feet high, faced on the south aspect with brick, which cost me above six hundred pounds sterling: and, likewise, another piece of ground as aforesaid, of half an acre, adjoining the burial-place called the Cabbage-garden, now tenanted by William White, gardener: my will is, that the ground enclosed by the great wall, may be sold for the remainder of the lease, at the highest price my executors can get for it, in belief and hopes, that the said price will exceed three hundred pounds at the lowest value: for which my successor in the deanery shall have the first refusal; and, it is my earnest desire, that the succeeding deans and chapters may preserve the said vineyard and piece of land adjoining, where the said White now liveth, so as to be always in the hands of the succeeding deans during their office, by each dean lessening one-fourth of the purchase money to each succeeding dean, and for no more than the present rent.
And I appoint the honourable Robert Lindsay, one of the judges of the court of Common Pleas; Henry Singleton, esq., prime serjeant to his majesty; the reverend doctor Patrick Delany, chancellor of St. Patrick's; the reverend doctor Francis Wilson, prebendary of Kilmacktolway; Eaton Stannard, esq., recorder of the city of Dublin; the reverend Mr. Robert Grattan, prebendary of St. Audoen's; the reverend Mr. John Grattan, prebendary of Clonmethan; the reverend Mr. James Stopford, vicar of Finglass; the reverend Mr. James King, prebendary of Tipper; and, Alexander McAullay, esq; my executors.
In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and seal, and published and declared this as my last Will and Testament, this third day of May, thousand seven hundred and forty.