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Draft of the Will of James Smithson

Creator:
Smithson, James 1765-1829
Title:
Draft of the Will of James Smithson
Dates:
1826, 10/23/1826
Notes:
See "Plain Advice to the Public to Facilitate the Making of Their Own Wills," which Smithson used as a reference when writing his will
To view a digital facsimile of the Court's version of the final three-page will of James Smithson that was submitted to the Chancery Court after his death in 1829, visit The National Archives of Great Britain web site at http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/SearchUI/image/Index/D168292?index=0&page=0
Summary:
The last will and testament of James Smithson, which he wrote on 23 October 1826 while living in London. Smithson wrote his own will, apparently without professional legal help, which was very unusual for an individual of his economic stature. This image is of a draft copy and contains the same language as that registered with the Public Record Office in England. Smithson left his estate to his nephew, Henry James Hungerford. If that nephew died without heir, legitimate or illegitimate, then Smithson's estate was to go to the United States to found in the city of Washington, under the name of the Smithsonian Institution, an establishment for the increase and diffusion of knowledge among men. This bequest of c. $515,000 was the basis for the founding of the Smithsonian Institution in 1846
Topics:
Smithson Bequest, SI, Early History, Endowments, Benefactors, Wills--Great Britain, Philanthropists, Holographic wills, Bequest
Subjects:
Smithson, James 1765-1829, Hungerford, Henry James c. 1808-1835
Category:
Smithsonian Legal Documents
Form/Genre:
Will, Document
Physical Description:
Number of pages: 4; Page Numbers: 1-4
Full Record:
http://siris-sihistory.si.edu/ipac20/ipac.jsp?&profile=all&source=~!sichronology&uri=full=3100001~!4589~!0#focus
Draft of the Will of James Smithson, by Smithson, James 1765-1829, 1826, Smithsonian Archives - History Div.

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