Pithy Wills

Anyone who spends any time with eighteenth-century probate soon becomes familiar with the lengthy, repetitive, legalistic phraseology that permeates the typical will and which, along with the difficult handwriting, makes reading them a painful and tedious experience. It was rather refreshing, then, to come across the will of William Oram‘s grandson, another William Oram, who died in 1824. The will reads, in its entirety, as follows:

        March the 4th 1820

This is to certify to every body who may be concerned and to prevent trouble amongst relations that I will and bequeath to my wife Sarah Oram all my effects of whatever sort or property whatsoever I may be possessed at her disposal after my decease. Witness my hand William Oram.

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