Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Will of a Tailor



Samuel John Allery of 196 Commercial Road, Peckham SE, Tailor retired, died on 28 June 1922 and left to his widow Jemima Mary Ann and his son Dave Bertie, the princely sum of 9, 826 pounds, 13 shillings and 3 pence.


That was quite a substantial legacy for the times and one that would have provided well for Jemima and the boys. Dave Bertie was the eldest of the sons born to Jemima Mary Ann, second wife of Samuel John, and in this photo you can see Samuel John and Dave Bertie visiting Samuel's daughter, RosinaTerry (Allery) and her family. No doubt the photo was taken by George Terry, Selina's husband. Notice that the eldest of Rosina's boys was named after his grandfather.


Tailoring goes back a long way in the Allery family - Samuel's own father William was a Master Tailor and employed several people in his day. According to the 1871 census these employees were also accommodated at 19 Berwick Street, Westminster along with several other lodgers. I now imagine that life for his wife Mary was a busy one but assisted by rentals from boarders and service from domestic servants. I wondered what sort of legacy was left by an affluent tailor such as William Allery - but it seems that by the time of his death on 7th July 1887 there was just 41 pounds to distribute. I have no doubt though, that the tailoring business was inherited by his eldest sons William Adrian and Samuel John.

I have not discovered any will for William Adrian but seeing that there was a will for Samuel John I was interested to know the extent of wealth he had accumulated. I wondered why there was no mention in Samuel's will of his first born son, Walter Frederick, from his first marriage. Then I realised that Walter had died in 1915, before his own father's death - a sad fact! Of course I'm sure that Jemima would have shared this inheritance with Samuel's remaining children and that is helped her to live on for another 20 years - on easy street as they say. Perhaps she chose to contribute some monies to the tailoring business of Walter Frederick Allery.

It is interesting to note that Walter Frederick went on to make a decent living in Tailoring and upon his death in 1915, left to his own widow, Harriett Priscilla, another princely sum of 2,932 pounds, 15 shillings and 9 pence.



At the time of his death my father, Cecil Henry was only 15 years old so he would not have been mentioned in the will as a benefactor.  He was then to become the eldest male provider in this household. Cecil did not follow in the ancestor's occupation of tailoring and there the tailor's links ends. Instead Cecil entered the world of work as a mechanic and a profession in the RAF.

Unfortunately there was no great wealth to distribute from my father's estate but a legacy of another kind - but that's another story.

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