Thanks, Hannah, Edward Wheeler’s will is fascinating because his personality is so clearly expressed in it, and because he’s so outspoken about the decisions he’s made. He was obviously really hoping for a son and heir, even for one born after his death. There’s a changed world between his time and that of James Unwin’s oldest son who died in 1818, who also had a “dear friend” and did have an illegitimate son, and that of James Unwin’s other surviving son, Edward, who lived into Queen Victoria’s reign and devoted his life to the church of which he was vicar, and to his wife and children.

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English barrister & mediator — specialising in disputed succession & decision-making for people who lack mental capacity

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