Deposition – Mark Skelton – 19 Sep 1793

Document Type: Deposition
Date: 19 Sep 1793
Correspondent: Mark Skelton
Archive Source: WYAS BEA C3 B5 10
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Depositions of Witnesses produced sworn and examined the [left blank] day of Sept. in the 33rd Year of the Reign of his Majesty King Geoe. the third and in the Year of our Lord 1793 at the House of Cooke known by the Sign of the <Strafford> Arms in Wakefd. In the Co. of York by Virtue of a Commission issued out of his Majesties High Court in Chancery to Wm Brooke, John Lee, David Calvard and John Carr Gents. 

directed for the examination of Witnesses in a Cause there depending between Thos. Rd. Beaumont & Diana his Wife plts & Diana Bosville Elizabeth Walker & John De Chair & Julia his Wife Defts. on the part & behalf of the plt. We [inserted here: ‘Wm Burke & John Carr’] the sd. Commrs. also the Clk. By us employed for taking & ingrossing the sd. Depositions havg. first taken the Oaths annexed to the sd. Comm[issi]on as thereby required.

3d. Mark Skelton of Birthwaite Hall in the psh of Darton in the Co. of York Gent aged 42 – Years sworn & examined to the first Interrogatory [struck out: ‘deposeth’] this Dept. saith that he knows the parties Complts & Defts and knew Sir Thos Blackett Bart. decd. sevl. Years before his decease and that he died at Bretton Hall in the psh of Silkston in the sd. Co. of York on or about the 10th day of July 1792

To the Second Interrogatory this Dept.  says that the paper Writing produced & shewn to this Deponent at the Time of <exm> (marked with the Lre A) is the original last Will and Test of the sd. Sir Thos. Blackett decd. and that Words in the sd. Second Interrogatory contd. purporting to be a copy and true Copy of the sd. last Will & Test of the sd. Sr Thos Blackett and this Deponent saith that he was p[re]sent at the publishing of the sd. last Will and that the Name Thomas Blackett subscribed to the first & last sheets there is the proper Hand writing of the sd.  Sir Thos. Blackett and the Name M. Skelton thereunto subscribed as a Witness is the proper Hand Writing of this Deponent And he is acquainted with Thos. Hewitson & John Milner the other Witnesses who subscribed their names to this will and they were likewise present at the publishing thereof and the names Tho Hewitson & John Milner are of the proper handwriting of the sd Tho Hewitson & John Milner respectively by them subscribing thereto in the presence of the sd. Sr. Thos Blackett & this dept 

[added in left hand margin:] is the <letter> enabled so to Depose <…> that the sd Sr Thos Blackett in his life time directed this Deft to prepare his will & this deft did according to such directions preparethe <.> original will & the body of the sd original will is all of the proper Hand writing of this deponent

And this dept saith that the same will was published & subscribed on the day of the date thereof and that the sd Sr Thos Blackett was of sound mind & <opinion> at the time <not so> Published his said will & capable of <… …> same

Thomas Hewitson of Belle View in the psh of Sandal Magna in the Co. of York Esqr. aged [blank] years sworn & examined To the first Interrogatory the Dept. saith that he knows the plts Thos R B & D <as> and the Defts. Diana Bosville & Eliz. Walker also that he knew Sir Thos. Blackett Bart decd. for several years before his <dece> and that the sd. Sr T B <died> in his own House at Bretton as the Dept. was informed & verily believes.

[The following paragraph is entirely struck through]

1st. that the paper Writing <so> produced and shewn to him at the time of his examination beginning This is the last Will & Test of me Sir Thos. Blackett formerly called Sir Thos. Wentworth of Bretton Hall in the psh of Silkston in the Co of York Bart. and ending In Wit[nes]s wher[o]f I the sd. Sir Thos Blackett formerly called Sir Thos. Wentworth have executed this my last Will & Test written upon & contd. in 22 Sheets of paper by signing my Name and putting my own <...> Seal to and upon the first &last Sheets th[ere]of this 29th Day in the Yr of our Lord 1792 (Thomas Blackett) The above written Will was signed sealed published & del[ivere]d by the sd. Sir Thos B. the Testor as and for his last Will & Test in the presence of us who in his presence & at his Req[ues]t and in the presence of each o[the]r hath hereunto subscribed our hands as Wit[nesse]s to the <Exon.> th[ere]of by him. Thos. Hewitson John Milner  <M Skelton>

To the 3d.  Interrog. this Dept. saith that the paper writing produced & shewn to him (marked A) is the same which was signed by the sd. Sr Thos Blackett  & by him published as so for his last Will & Test in the presence of this Deponent & of John Milner & Mark Skelton all of whom this Dept. saith  were subscribing Wit[nesse]s thereto & present together with the sd. Sr. TB at the publishing thereof And that the Name Thomas Blackett subscribed to the first & last Sheets of the sd. paper Writing is of the Proper Hand Writing of the sd. Sr. Thos. Blackett And that the Names Tho Hewetson John Milner & M Skelton so set & subscribed thereunto are of the proper Hand Writing of the sd. Thomas H, JM & MS respectively And this Dept. further saith that the sd. Sr TB was at the time of publishing Sir T <was> of sound mind memory & understanding & capable of making the same.

2d. John Milner

3d. Mr S

[on verso:] ‘ Sep 1793  <DrL>  In the proof of the late Sr Thos Blackett’s Will in Chancery – Witness Depons to Interry’s  -’
Dates only to Sept 1793. Letters to Skelton from two of the commissioners, Brooke and Carr, must predate the hearings, and Brooke mentions ‘Thursday next’, which would have been 19th Sept in 1793, so that date is used here. Depositions are from Skelton and hewitson. It is a heavily corrected draft with many crossings out and insertions which in places makes the text difficult to follow, and not entirely clear which sections survived to become the formal submissions

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