Jean Bonamy's will, 1746
Will of Mr Jean Bonamy, proved 1746. From the French in the Notebook of Peter Mollet, his relative. Jean Bonamy came from a wealthy family. He was the son of Samuel Bonamy and the brother of another Samuel Bonamy, who became Bailiff of Guernsey. Jean was born in 1710 and died in 1746 in Gibraltar; he was a Lieutenant in an English Regiment of Fusiliers at the time.
In the name of the Father, the Son, and God the Holy Spirit: Amen:
Since it is decreed that one must die in order to be judged before the Supreme Being, I must do my duty so far as concerns the affairs of this life, so as to have nothing to concern myself with in those final moments that often decide our eternal wellbeing, or otherwise, and make my final wishes clear in this my last will and testament.
Utter sinner that I am, but trusting in the goodness of my Saviour, I throw myself at the foot of the throne of Grace and entrust my soul to the arms of God's mercy, begging Him to find for it a place of rest and happiness.
As concerns my body, which is dedicated to the service of my homeland, I leave the care of that to those of my friends that may be present at my death.
As to my wordly affairs, I appoint my brother and Messrs Nicolas Dobrée Senior1 and Jacques Bonamy.
To the poor of the Town Hospital I give two quarters of wheat rent in addition to the eight I have already given. The said two quarters to pay for an annual Sermon to be given on the 23rd February, upon the [ ] verse of Chapter [ ] of the Gospel according to St [ ], 'come, good and loyal servant &c.'
I give £30 sterling to be used to put up a monument in marble dedicated to the memory of my dear and loyal friend, Mr Jean Fiott. I give to my uncle, Monsieur Jacques Bonamy, everything he may owe me at my death, both as a private individual and as heir of my late father, and uncle the Reverend Jean Bonamy. I also give him £200 sterling, or 10 shillings a week for the rest of his life, at the choice of my heirs.
1 The Library has in the Bonamy family files a copy of a document signed by Nicholas Dobrée in which he sets out the various legal problems that had resulted from this will. He does not seem too impressed with the behaviour of the other executors and signs that he is 'Solus: et solus manebit'—'sole [executor], and will remain so'. The document (No 6 in the Bonamy file), is dated 6 February 1747/8 and is entitled: Propositions au sujet du Testament de mon Frère, and begins: 'Since certain difficulties have arisen in the execution of the last will and testament of the late Mr Jean Bonamy son of Samuel, we the undersigned, Samuel Bonamy, brother of the late Jean, Jacques Bonamy and Nicolas Dobrée Senior, the executors, have agreed the following &c.' The Library has documentation from the founding of the Town Hospital which lists the original subscribers to the foundation and the amount of money they donated, whether in cash or, as here, in its equivalent, 'wheat rent.'