Or, rather, ‘A‘ will of the Baron, since he was known to draft versions of his “Last Will and Testament” quite often. One might almost consider it a hobby of his, really. The following example of his whimsy does not particularly stand out among the surviving editions. Like the others, it lacks his signature, seal, or any indications of it being a complete and official record and, therefore, has no standing in the eyes of the law. As it bears all signs of being his writing, on his stationery, found in his desk, and appears to have been written closest to the point of his untimely demise, the executors of his estate have determined that it should stand as the de facto final will, at least insomuch as it names the individuals to be awarded the chance to inherit his worldly goods and wealth.
I, Andrew Redmayne, after due deliberation and having given these matters sincere reflection, do declare the following to be my last Will and Testament with respect to all such property as may be left by me upon my death. Any and all prior wills, codicils, covenants and contracts are hereby declared expired, expunged, revoked and remitted.
Having neither wife nor recognized issue, I leave the whole of my property and estate, real, personal and mixed, to my sole heir, who shall be determined by their own efforts from within the coterie of people I herein name:
- Gertrude Comfort-Smith, for her friendship to dear Marguerite and numerous services I shall not put to pen.
- Iskender Mustafa Yiğit Kesici, for his bravery and service to our mutual cause in his homeland of Turkey.
- Anthony Maurice Rositter, that he may find it resolves far fewer matters than he might wish, and carries obligations of which he has yet to dream.
- Martin Amis Hederich, because I do like a good chutney.
- Theodora Katerina Basilia Pavo-Kristatos, for no one will squander my fortunes more fabulously than she.
- Sarah Elizabeth Morgan, for the moments of sweet delight, and in hopes that it brings her satisfaction.
Each of the aforementioned I hereby grant the opportunity to compete for my estate. All who chose to participate are to assemble within the walls of my home at Grisleigh End, at which point they shall receive further instruction.
(The following is to be read once the potential heirs are gathered.)
Having assembled, let those present know that I have in my personal writings associated each with a particular epithet and symbol. Furthermore, let them know that I have rendered into shreds all documents the public exposure of which might cause them discomfort. Those shreds remain within the house in which they now stand, awaiting discovery. From this point until the tolling of the final bell, twelve hours hence, they are free to search this structure and gather up as many of these fragments as they prove able, paying particular note to those bearing their own title and seal. Only these shall be considered by my solicitors in determining the disposition of my holdings. The person who has accommodated themselves most thoroughly, as evidenced by providing the chief solicitor with the greatest collection of evidence, shall receive every red cent I leave behind. The others shall receive nothing. In the case of two claimants presenting equally strong collections, my solicitors have further instructions on how to resolve the matter.