Cotton Spinner




This is the last will and testament of me, John Dawson of Dobroyd in Todmorden in the Parish of Rochdale and County of Lancaster, Cotton Spinner, as follows:


Whereas I have a third part, and George Cockcroft hath two thirds parts, of the machinery in the factory at Dobroyd aforesaid, and George Cockcroft hath a lease of the said factory for a term of years not yet expired; and we made a verbal agreement that we should work the said machinery together as one concern and join at all expenses, profits and losses in proportion to our respective shares therein, so long as we should carry on the concern. And it was also agreed that I should have liberty to continue the said concern during the whole of the term of his lease, or draw out at any sooner time, the machinery being valued at a fair price and George Cockcroft to pay me the price so set upon my third part thereof.

Now I do will that my Executors hereinafter named do continue the said business until the first day of May in the year 1811 if they find it convenient so to do.


And I do will that all my just debts, funeral expenses and my Executors' reasonable expenses attending the probate and execution of this my last will be all paid and discharged out of my personal estate, and that all the rest of my personal estate and other property whatsoever and wheresoever the same may be found I give and bequeath unto my friends Robert Dawson, Thomas Dawson and John Helliwell in special trust to be by them applied to the following purposes and no other.


First that all my property be converted into money immediately after the dissolution of the factory concern, or at any other period when my Executors hereinbefore named may think best, and that the money arising thereby be put out to Interest on good security, and the interest arising thereby be applied towards the education and maintenance of my children at the discretion of my said Trustees until the youngest attain to fourteen years of age, and when the youngest of my children shall attain to fourteen years old that the whole of my Estate then remaining shall divide into four equal shares, and that the shares of so many of them as shall then have attained to twenty years old shall be immediately paid to them or their legal representatives, and that the younger part of my children which shall not then have attained to twenty years also shall severally and respectively have the interest of their own shares applied to their own use, but always at the discretion of my said Trustees, and that each of them shall receive their shares as they do attain twenty years old. And also that in case any of them happen to die before they attain twenty years of age having no issue, the share of him or her so dying shall be equally divided amongst all the rest.


And furthermore, in case the interest arising from my property shall prove insufficient for the necessary support of my children until the youngest attain fourteen years old, that then my Trustees do take so much of the principle as will make up such deficiency at their discretion.


And I do nominate, constitute and appoint them, the said Robert Dawson, Thomas Dawson and John Helliwell jointly to be Executors of this my Last Will and Testament. In witness whereof I do put my hand and seal the sixth day of November in the Year of our Lord One Thousand Eight Hundred and Nine.


Signed, Sealed, Published and Declared by the with named John Dawson, the Testator, to be his last will and testament, some small words being first interlined and one erasure first made in the presence of us whose names are herewith subscribed:


John Dawson (testator)

George Cockcroft

James Scholfield


The sixteenth day of April 1810


Robert Dawson, Thomas Dawson and John Helliwell, the executors in this will named were sworn in common form and they further made oath that the personal estate and effects of the testator within the Diocese of Chester were under the value of £600 before me,


Wm. Hodgson



Probate issued dated 16th April 1810

The testator died 20th day of November 1810 (Sic. Should be 1809)