William Upshur et al etc vs Edmund Downing's Guardian - 1798 - Transcribed by Gail M. Walczyk
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Wm. & Sally Upshur
vs . . . Bill & Answr Chy
Edmd. Downing

1798 August 14th Interlocutory Decree

To the worshipful the Justices of Northampton County in Chancery Humbly Complaining sheweth unto your worships your Orator & Oratrix William Upshur & Sarah Upshur infants by Jno. Upshur Senr their next friend, That a certain Arthur Downing Senr formerly of this County now decd; was in his lifetime, to wit, on the 10 day of June 1789 possessed in his own right of an absolute Interest in a Number of slaves & being so thereof possessed as afsd, upon the day & year afrd, duly made and published his last will and Testament in writing, Which since his death has been proved & recorded in this Court as the law requires & thereby bequeathed unto his daughter Sarah Bagwell Downing & the child of which his wife was then pregnant the said Slaves of which he was then possessed as afsd equally between them, provided they should attain the age of 21 years, or have issue; but in Case of their deaths or the death of either of them, under the age of 21 years, or without issue, them the share of such on dying as afsd, in the sd slaves, to go to Edmd Downing son of Arthur Downing Jr. & tho your Orator and Oratrix, to wit, one half thereof to the sd Edmd. Downing & one fourth each to your Orator & Oratrix, as by an [-----] copy of sd will hereto annexed & prayed to be taken as part of the bill may more fully appear.--- Your Orator & Oratrix also shew that the sd Arthur Downing Senr did the __ day of _____ 1790 and the child of which his wife was then pregnant was born upon the __ day of _____ 1790 and was called Elizabeth.--- That afterward, to wit, upon the __ day of _____ 179_ the sd Elizabeth departed this life under the age of 21 years & without issue; and upon the __ day of _____ 1797 the sd Sarah Bagwell Downing also departed this life under the age of 21 years and without issue; by reason whereof your Orator & Oratrix have become entitled, under the provision in the will afsd to one fourth part each of the slaves so disposed of by the will of sd Arthur Downing Senr & the sd Edmd. Downing to one half thereof. --- That these are of the slaves which were of the sd Arthur Downing Senr. as afsd at present in possession of his widow, now the wife of Dr. Jno. Tankard & which have been assigned as her dower the following, to wit, Jacob, Lewis, Appy, Isaac, Teackle, Comfort, Levin, Airs, Lettuce, besides, three children which have been since born, to wit, Mary, Edy & Dick. --- That there are the following slaves now remaining, which are of the slaves of sd Arthur Downing Senr. and their Increase which belonged to his two children afsd, to wit, Bet, Rachel, Pris, Mary, & two children Viz: Lucy & Shephard, Dick Moses, Ben, James, Caleb, Mark, Hanover, Daniel, Luke & 3 children, viz: James Comfort & Mary. --- Your Orator & Oratrix show unto your Worships that it would be beneficial to them as well as to the sd Edmd. Downing to have a division of the Slaves afsd to wit, as well those which they are now entitled to the immediate possession of as those in which they have a reversionary Interest expectant upon the life estate of the said Mrs. Tankard made among them according to their respective rights as aforestated. --- But so it is may it pleas your worships that the sd Edmd. Downing being, as well as your Orator & Oratrix, under the age of 21 years is incapable to consent to any division thereof, or tho do any thing effectual in the premises without the aid of your in chancery. --- In tender consideration whereof & to the end that a fair division of the sd slaves may be made among your Orator & Oratrix and the sd Edmd. Downing according to their several rights, may it please your worships to grant to your Orator the Com: Wealth Wt of Spoe to the sd Edmd. Downing to be directed commanding him &c.


Northampton County VA Chancery Causes, 1721-1816. William Upshur et al etc. vs Edmund Downing's Guardian, 1798-006. Local Government Records Collection, Northampton County Records. The Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia. Accessed 18 July, 2009. <http://www.lva.virginia.gov/whatwehave/local/chancery/index.htm>

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