Will of Joseph Smithson, 1679


In the Name of God, Amen.

Joseph Smithson, in the psh. of Fewston, co. Yorke, I bequeathe and comend my soule into ye handes of Allmighty God, my maker and Redeemer, hopeing yet by ye merrets of his only Sonne, my onely Saviour Jesus Christ, I shall have free remission and pardon for all my sinnes, and my body to be buried in ye psh. churchyard of Fewston.

Unto Joshua Smithson, my naturall sonne, £60, to be paid by Samuel Smithson, my eldest sonne, when he shall be 22 years of age.

Unto Benjamin Smithson, my youngest son, £60, to be pd by said Samuel when he is 21 years of age – or if his education do require above the value of £6 p Ann. in tableing cloaths and other necessaries, yet then there shall be an abatement of the said overplus of and from ye said £60, with lawful consideracon according to ye time.

Unto Mary Smithson, my only daughter, £50, when she shall attain ye age of 21.

But if default of any of the said filial portions be made, then my estate of ffreehold landes, and also ye Barne upon the Comon thereunto neare adjoyning, shall according to the proportion of their severall porcons be equally divided amongst them, or a proportionable part to any of them to whom default of the said sums or any part thereof shall be made.

But if any of said three children – Joshua, Mary, or Benjamin – shall dy before they shall accomplish the ages aforesaid, their part or porcon shall redound to all the rest of my surviving children.

Unto Anne Smithson, my well-beloved wife, £8 yearely, to be pd out of my Lands, Goods, and Buildings at two halfe yearely payments for her life. She shall have the ordering and disposing of all my goods and buildings and lands towards the education of my children till Samuel, my eldest sonne, shall accomplish the age of 21, if she continue so long unmaryed; and afterwards that Samuel, my said sonne, in consideracon of his owne filial porcon and dischargeing of ye former Sums, as also for the further education of my said younger children, shall have and possess said Lands, Goods, and Buildings to his owne use and behoofe, to him and his heires for ever, excepting one Table and a Feathered bed, both standing in the Low parlour, and all ye bedding thereunto belonging, as also two chaires of the best save one, one safe, two pewter dubleres of ye best save one, which shall be given to Mary, my said daughter.

My beloved wife, Anne Smithson, and my said sonne, Samuel Smithson, to be joynt exors.

Dated 24th August, 1674.
Witnesses: PHILIP CAWDRAY x his marke

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Forrest Smithson – Olympic Champion

Forrest Custer Smithson (September 26, 1884 – November 24, 1962) was an American athlete, winner of 110m hurdles at the 1908 Summer Olympics.

Born in Portland, Oregon, Forrest Smithson, a student of theology from Yale University, was an AAU champion in 1907 and 1909 in 120yd hurdles.

At the 1908 games in London, the main favourites were Smithson’s teammates John Garrels and Arthur Shaw who had earlier equalled to Alvin Kraenzlein’s world record of 15.2. The 110m hurdles weren’t contested on a track as usual, but on a special path on a stadion grass. Only Americans reached the final, which was run on the last day of the London Games. The start was excellent, but Smithson gained slightly over each hurdle in perfect style, and won by five yards ahead of Garrels, running a new world record of 15 seconds precisely.

The results were:

1. Forrest SMITHSON (USA) 15.0 WR
2. John GARRELS (USA) 15.7
3. Arthur SHAW (USA) 15.8
4. William RAND (USA) 16.0

The wide-spread story about Smithson winning his gold by carrying a Bible in his left hand, to protest against the decision to run the 110 m hurdles final on a Sunday is hoax. Firstly, none of the 110m hurdles heats or the final were scheduled or planned to run on a Sunday.

Also this story wasn’t mentioned in the newspapers or the official report. This story is probably based on a picture published in the official report. But this picture is taken after the final and clearly posed. The only true statement of this story is, that Smithson was a highly religious man.

Forrest Smithson died in Contra Costa County, California, aged 78.

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