Where There’s a Will, There’s a Way ….

Way back in October/November last year the UK probate office reduced the price for its Wills (1858-1996) from £10 to £1.50 – a huge saving. Not surprisingly it was overwhelmed with requests for Wills, so I held off applying for the ones I was after for a few months. I eventually requested seven in total, all direct ancestors, and they arrived pretty quickly.

Charles Bateman (1852-1919)

My 2x Great Grandfather Charles Bateman’s (1852-1919) Will caught my eye. Charles was born in Headington, Oxfordshire to parents Charles and Elizabeth (nee Robins). He began work with the Electric & International Telegraph Company as a messenger in 1867 and by 1869 had been promoted to the role of clerk. In 1870 he began work as a telegraphist for the Post Office in Burton-on-Trent, Staffordshire, after a year moving to Nottingham, continuing in his role as a telegraphist. Charles’ career saw him promoted to First Class Telegraphist, Clerk and finally in October 1900 Assistant Postal Telegraph Superintendent 2nd class.

St Nicholas Nottingham

On the 17th of October 1874, he married Louisa Baker at St. Nicholas’ church in Nottingham and they went on to have seven children; Louisa, Charles, Bertie, Marguerite, Winifred, Florence and Dorothy. The family lived in and around Hyson Green for much of this time.

Sadly, Louisa died in January 1905 and in 1906 Charles retired from the Post Office due to ill health.
Charles died on the 29th of December 1919 and was buried with Louisa in Nottingham’s General Cemetery along with their daughter Dorothy who had died in infancy.

His Will is quite detailed, appointing his son Charles Nelson Bateman and son-in-law Arthur Bools as executors. He makes specific bequests to his children;

I give and bequeath my vioncello to my eldest son Charles Nelson Bateman, my gold watch to my youngest son Bertie Fawcett Bateman, my antique tea set to my daughter Louisa Rose, my gold chain to my daughter Marguerite Elizabeth, my gold keeper ring to my daughter Florence May.
My household furniture and other effects in and upon my dwelling house at 45 Osbourne Grove Sherwood to my daughter Winifred Jane Bateman if she is single or if married in equal shares of the proceeds of the sale of the above-mentioned household furniture and effects at 45 Osbourne Grove Sherwood Insurance policies.
Ten pounds to my eldest son Charles Nelson,
ten pounds to my youngest son Bertie Fawcett,
ten pounds each to my daughters Louisa Rose, Marguerite Elizabeth & Florence Mary to my daughter Winifred Jane Bateman the remainder after all just debts testamentary and funeral expenses have been paid.

So from this I’ve learnt that Charles played the cello and had a few pieces of valuable gold. At the time of the writing of the Will, all except Bertie and Winifred were married. I haven’t yet been able to find a marriage for Bertie, but I know Winifred married Alfred Peace in 1923, so I imagine that she inherited the house and lived in it until her marriage.

That’s about all for Charles Bateman at the moment. I have also ordered the Will of William Oldham (1814-1899) my possible 4x Great Grandfather and that may have opened up a new branch, so that’s my next step.

Post Office Employment information from The Post Office Archives. Now available on Ancestry.

© Caroline Cox and Caroline’s Chronicles. 2011 – current year

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