Cotton Spinner and Manufacturer



Robert's story can be read HERE

This is the last Will and Testament of me Robert Law of Ramsden Wood in Walsden in the parish of Rochdale in the county of Lancaster, Cotton Spinner and Manufacturer. Whereby I give and bequeath seven eighths undivided equal parts (the whole into 8 equal parts to be divided) of and in my share and interest in the cotton mill called Ramsden Mill and ten several cottages situate near thereto, as the same are now in the occupation of myself and brothers, and John Schofield, Henry Sutcliffe, James Hurst, Samuel Newall, John Law, James Eastwood, William Crabtree, Matthias Law, Samuel Law and Samuel Craven. And the machinery, steam engines, gearing apparatus, goods and chattels in the said mill, and the stock in trade, and debts in and owing to the Partnership, Business and Concern carried on by me and my said brothers as Cotton Spinners and Manufacturers. And also all those freehold cottages situate at Smales in Walsden aforesaid, occupied by James Greenwood, William Butterworth, James Pickup and John Woodhead. And also of the dwelling house in my own occupation with the respective hereditaments and buildings, yards, gardens, rights, privileges and appurtanances to the said several premises belonging. And also of and in all my real and personal Whatsoever and Whensoever unto and equally amongst my dear wife Betty, my sons John and Robert and my daughters Sarah Priestley, Mally Marland, Betty Hudson and Martha Fielden, their heirs, administrators and assigns according to the nature and quality thereof, share and share alike as tenants in common and not joint tenants.

And it is my will and mind that my said children shall unite and shall cooperate in carrying on the said business for which purpose I particularly and earnestly recommend them to appoint two persons to manage and attend to the concern on their behalf. But if it should be found impracticable for my said children to unite in carrying on the said business and if any one or more of them should be desirous of disposing of his or her share and interest in all or any part of the hereditaments, premises, estate and effects hereinbefore mentioned and bequeathed, then I direct that he or she or they shall make the first offer of the same to my other children or such of them as may be desirous of purchasing. And if they cannot agree on the price or value of the premises, the same shall be fixed and determined by two competent persons, one to be chosen by each party or their umpire, but if none of my said children shall be willing to purchase then the premises may be sold to any other person or persons.


I give devise and bequeath the remaining undivided eighth part or share of and in all and singular the hereditaments, premises, estate and effects herebefore mentioned unto my son John and son-in-law John Marland, my son Robert and son-in-law Eli Hudson, their heirs executors administrators and assignees according to the nature thereof on Trust if they think fit to unite with my said wife and other children in carrying on the said business so long as it may be found practicable. And to receive the rents of such part thereof as may not be required for that purpose or on Trust to let and receive the rents of the whole of the said undivided eighth part of and in the said premises and to sell and dispose of such last mentioned share of such part thereof as shall not consist of buildings. And on Trust to receive and pay the profits, rents and interest arising from the said last mentioned share of my said hereditaments, premises and effects unto my daughter Susan, the wife of John Dawson, during her life for her own separate use, by two equal half yearly payments, the first payment to be made in half a year from my decease, and I direct that the same shall be free from the control, debts and engagements of her said husband, that she shall not have power to dispose of the same by way of anticipation. And that her receipts notwithstanding her covature shall be effectual discharges to my said Trustees.

And I further direct that my said Trustees shall stand seized and ______of the said last mentioned one eighth part of my said hereditaments, premises and effects on Trust (notwithstanding anything hereinbefore contained) in case my said children shall not be able to unite in carrying on the said business, or in letting the said premises, to sell and absolutely dispose of the same either altogether or in parcels and by public auction or by private contract, and to sign and execute all necessary contracts and conveyances thereof.

And I direct that the receipts of my said Trustees or the survivors or survivor of them shall be effectual discharges for the purchase money thereof. And in further Trust to invest the monies arising from such sale or sales on eligible mortgage security, and to receive and pay the interest arising therefrom by two equal half yearly payments as aforesaid to my said daughter Susan, subject to the powers and restrictions above mentioned. And in the decease of my said daughter Susan I give, devise and bequeath the said one eighth part of the said premises and effects or the monies arising therefrom as aforesaid to and amongst all her present or future children who shall attain the age of twenty one or die under that age of twenty one or die since that age leaving lawful issue in equal shares and as tenants in common, and their respective heirs, executors, administrators and assigns according to the nature thereof.


I also direct that my sons and daughters may reimburse themselves all costs and expenses they may incur in and about this the execution of my will. And lastly I nominate and appoint my said sons John and Robert and sons-in-law John Marland and Eli Hudson executors of this my will and revoke all wills by me herebefore made. In witness whereof I the said Robert Law the said Testator have hereunto set my hand this twenty fifth day of January 1842.



Proved on 28th. May 1842 in the presence of all 4 executors. The value of the personal estate and effects were under the value of £4,000.