Arthur Hinckley’s Last Will and Testament
Arthur Hinckley died while living at Netherstowe house. In his will he left some valuable artefacts. Edmunde Burke gave Dr Samuel Johnson a full feather quill silver pen on the completion of his dictionary. Edmunde Burke 1729 – 1797 was an Irish statesman, author, orator, political theorist and philosopher who served in the House of Commons for many years as a member of the Whig party.
Extracts from Arthur Hinckley’s Will:-
“Last Will and Testament of Frederick Hinckley of Netherstowe Lichfield in the County and City of Lichfield Gentleman. I appoint my partner Christopher James Brown and my nephew Richard Arthur Hinckley executors and trustees of this my Will but in the event of the said Christopher James brown refusing or becoming incapable also my partner to be executor and a trustee in place of his father…”
“…I give to my executors and trustees the sum of fifty pounds duty fee. To John Hines and John Powles if in my service at the time of my decease the sum of forty pounds each duty fee and to Eliza Cave and Minnie Cutton if in my service at the time of my decease the sum of two hundred pounds or at option of them both but only if I die possessed of each share, I give to them each or either of them seven shares in Lloyds Banking Company…”
“I give and bequeath to my niece Harriet Mary Hinckley all my plate and plated articles, pictures and ornamental china and miscellaneous ornaments except often mentioned I give and bequeath to the Trustees of this my Will upon trust to place either in the Lichfield Free Library and Museum or any other institution in Lichfield then existing, the selection of such instruction to be their uncontrolled discretion the walking stick to David Garrick and the Crayon Portrait by Daudridge of the same David Garrick in the character of King Richard the third of which were bequeathed to me by my late uncle The Reverend John Hinckley and the snuff box which belonged to the same David Garrick and which contains a portrait of his brother Peter and the silver pen in the form of a full quill which was given by Edmund Burke(i) to Doctor Samuel Johnson on the completion of his dictionary which the last two mentioned articles were given to me by Ellen Jane the wife of my late uncle Richard Hinckley were purchased at the sale of Mr Greene’s Museum(ii) in Lichfield in the year 1821 all the said articles except the Crayon portrait of Garrick(iii) are at present at The Doctor Johnson’s House on loan. My uncle John Hinckley gave to me his books without making any condition but I think with the expectation that I should sell them I give these with all the other books belonging to me to my nephew Richard Arthur Hinckley. (14th August 1902. 2 codicils.)”
Today the quill pen is in the safe keeping of Lichfield Council.
(i) Edmund Burke -1729 – 1797 – 18th Century Philosopher
He was an Irish Statesman, author, orator, political theorist and philosopher who served for many years in the House of Commons as a member of the Whig party.
(ii) Mr Green’s Museum
Richard Greene was an apothecary in a house in Market Street. Mr Greene had a collection on natural and historical artefacts from the 1740’s. The museum became a big attraction in the city. His collection was sold in parts after his death in 1793. According to Aris’s Birmingham Gazette, the museum was still in existence at number 20 The Close until 1806 where Richard Wright used it to display items from the museum of his grandfather, Richard Greene. The house was demolished in 1819 and it’s contents sold.
(iii) David Garrick – 18th century actor and playwright
David Garrick, known as the famous son of Lichfield was actually born in Hereford 1717. Died on the 20th January 1779 and was buried in Westminster Abbey in Poets’ Corner. His tomb bears the well-known epitaph from Johnson’s “Lives of the Poets”. Garrick staged his first play Farquhar’s The Recruiting Agent in the Bishops Palace drawing room in Lichfield.