[GARRICK, David], letters, autographs, documents, manuscripts

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David Garrick's widow disputes his will

[GARRICK, David] (1717-1779). Actor.
Autograph Statement by Garrick's widow, Eva Maria [Veigel], 5½ pages 4to, Adelphi, 16 November 1798. Claiming that 70 pounds was set aside for her at the time of her marriage, and asking Mr Wallis, the executor of her husband's will, to account for the sum.
A document describing in some detail the financial arrangements made at the time of her marriage to David Garrick in 1749 and thereafter, and questioning why she cannot now claim the sum of 70 pounds set aside for her.
'... Lady Burlington whose motherly affection towards me, was one of the trustees, and insisted that I should have a triffle [sic]to call my own; and named the sum of 70:pound to be inserted ... what I spent upon myself, did not cost him fifty pounds a year; However the 70:pound lay forgoten ... When Mr Wallis framed the will, why did he not inform himself of Mr Patterson who made the marriage articles ... what those 70:pound ment? ...'
'... I pointed it out and told him what they were intended for; for me, to do what I pleased with but that I never thought of them: his answer was, that the will was silent about; and therefore I could not demand it. ...'
'... I am told that I should have availed myself when the advertisement appeared in the newspapers under the decrees for the creditors - I can give my word of honor, that this is the first time I heard of such an advertisement ... all I have to say is; let justice decide the course if in my favour, I shall only be repaid for what I was obliged to pay for the alteration and repair of the outside of Hampton House; if I lose the cause, Mr Wallis's conscience will get one load more to carry with him to his grave!'
Eva Maria Veigel, daughter of a Viennese citizen, had come to London in 1746, and was a popular dancer at the Haymarket under her stage name 'Violette'. She became the guest of the Earl and Countess of Burlington, who on her marriage to Garrick are reputed to have settled on her £6,000. Garrick also settled £10,000 on his wife, and 70 pounds a year in pin money. They had no children during their long and happy marriage. Garrick made generous bequests to his relatives. However, his executors mentioned in Mrs Garrick's letter, John Paterson and Albany Wallis, did not have an easy time, partly because of the Drury Lane management under the extravagant Sheridan. Garrick's funeral expenses remained unpaid a year later. Garrick had made a stipulation in his will that his wife could only benefit from an annuity, if she remained living in England using the houses at Hampton and the Adelphi as her chief residences, and that the annuity was to be for her sole use without the 'intermeddling of any Husband she shall or may marry.'
 In the event, Mrs Garrick remained in almost total seclusion for two years after her husband's death, and turned down an offer of marriage from Lord Monboddo, an eccentric Scottish judge, in 1782.
 On the advice of her legal advisers in 1807, she initiated proceedings over a clause in Garrick's will stipulating that after all bequests had been met, any surplus should be divided among the next of kin, claiming that she would fall within that category and suing for an equal portion. The application was refused.
[No: 20776]

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