William Tomlinson 1755 to1825

William’s will caught my eye after I had read the one made by my five times great grandfather George Tomlinson ( 1759-1851) who, is one of William’s younger brothers. Their parents were Edward Tomlinson (1726-1790) and Elizabeth Brearey (1731-1797).

In his will William appointed George as his executor and trustee. Although in many of the records I’ve found for William he was described as a labourer it does look like he also owned some land in Riccall, Yorkshire. A land tax record for 1798 shows that a William Tomlinson owned and occupied land on which he paid 5s 4d tax.


St Mary’s Church, Riccall

William was baptised on 2 November 1755 in St Mary’s Church, Riccall and married his first wife Agnes Gelard (1753-1790) in St Mary’s Church, Bishophill Junior, York on 25 April 1780. Together they had at least three children:

George Tomlinson (1782-1797) who died in his early teens.

Agnes Tomlinson (1784-1846) who went on to marry John Hill (died 1822) in 1808.

William Tomlinson (born 1798) who probably married Martha Spence in 1818.

After his first wife died William remarried on 26 March 1816. His second wife was Ann Dove (1752-1829), a widow. It is likely that Ann’s maiden name was Spink; I found a marriage record for an Anne Spink marrying Richard Dove (1740-1812) on 7 December 1763 in Howden, Yorkshire.

William was described in his will, dated 9 July 1816, as a labourer. In it he appointed his brother George, who he described as a shopkeeper rather than tailor, as his executor and trustee. Probate was granted to George on 10 February 1826 before the Reverend Richard Forrest; there is an indication on the outer cover of the document, that William had left effects of less than two hundred pounds. The first bequest in his will was to his wife Ann and he left her “bed, bedstead, bedding and furniture” and “furniture sufficient to furnish a room”. His will then made a specific bequest to his brother George to whom he:

Give and bequeath all the residue and remainder of all and singular my goods, chattels , stock in trade, plate, linen, household furniture, ready monies, securities for money and personal estate and effects.

This bequest was followed by a request that George should “sell and dispose” of these items as well as follow up on any monies owing to William and then pay his debts, funeral expenses etc before placing the money into a trust. George was also asked to make sure any dividends which were paid were added to the trust which should then be used to provide for his William’s wife Ann. This provision came with a proviso though that she should only receive money during her natural life, provided that remained a widow, and did not re-marry.

The will also asked George to ensure that two of William’s children were provided for: his son William Tomlinson (born 1788) and his daughter Agnes Hill (1784-1846), the wife of John Hill of Tadcaster, a labourer. Finally, it included a request that George should pay himself for these services out of the funds which he had set up.

The will was signed by William himself and witnessed by Robert Wilson and Mary Wilson. He was buried on 30 September 1825 in the churchyard of St Mary’s in Riccall.

Finding out more information about William and Edward’s siblings has proved more difficult. The family chart I’ve included is currently incomplete. So if you know anything about any of the people I’ve mentioned in this story then do please contact me.