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Article from Northampton Mercury dated 3 September 1887

The Hall, Burton Latimer, 1870



Elizabeth Wooldridge, late of Burton Latimer, Northamptonshire, an old maiden lady, about 80 years of age, died on the 5th November, 182l, having first made her will, whereby, after giving legacies to certain persons specially mentioned in her said will, she gave the residue of her property, after payment of debts, funeral and testamentary expenses, to such of the children of her first cousins as should be living at her death. It appears Miss Wooldridge, who was native of the Lye, Stourbridge, many years ago went into service with a family named Harper, at Burton Latimer, and continued in such service up to the time of her death. Messrs Lamb and Stringer of Kettering, who acted for Miss Harper, the executrix of the will, applied to the Court of Chancery to have the estate wound up under its direction, whereon enquiries being made it turned out that the said Miss Wooldridge was illegitimate, and therefore, would have no relations after paying the debts, funeral and testamentary expenses and the legacies specifically bequeathed, there remained in Chancery £393 12. 7d., but in consequence of the illegitimacy of Miss Wooldridge this money was claimed by the Queen. The persons who would have been Miss Wooldridge's second cousins, to this number of 129, and nearly all of whom live in the neighbourhood of the Lye, about twelve months ago consulted Mr Joseph Higgs, Brierley Hill, who drew up a petition to the Lords Commissioners of her Majesty's Treasury setting out all the facts which he got signed by the 129 persons, who would have been the second cousins of Miss Wooldridge if she would have any relations in law and presented the same, praying that their lordships would be prepared to approach her Majesty to refund the said sum of £393 12s 7d; and on Saturday last Mr Higgs received a cheque for £318 15s 10d from the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury, being the amount less £10 per cent., legacies, duties, and the treasury solicitor's expenses for division amongst the 129 petitioners, nearly 100 of whom attended at Mr Higgs' offices at Stourbridge on Friday, and received their shares.

Inscription on gravestone of Elizabeth Wooldridge
in the Church Lower Graveyard against the west wall

Click here to read about the Harpur (Harper) family at The Hall

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