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Will of Arthur Dobbs

Contributed by Nola Duffy
Source: NC Wills & Inventories - Grimes
Written: 1765

IN THE NAME OF THE ALMIGHTY GOD AMEN. I, Arthur Dobbs, of Brunswick, in New Hanover, Governor and Captain General of the Province of North Carolina, in America, injoying a moderate state of health and having by the blessing of the infinitely perfect and good God the Father Almighty, a perfect and sound mind and memory, do make this my last Will and Testament in manner following:

First, I recommend my soul to the Almighty Triune God, Jehovah Elohim and his only Begotten son, Jesus Christ my God and only Saviour and Redeemer and to his Holy Spirit Blessed forever; and my Body to the Earth to be decently and privately interred, in an assured and full hope of a Glorious and happy Resurection with the Just, at the first Resurection and a Blessed immortality in the Heavenly Kingdom of Christ the Messiah, untill he shall deliver up his Mediatorial Kingdom to God his Father when he shall be all in all his Creatures; and instead of immoderate Funeral Expenses, I desire that one hundred pounds, Sterling Money, maybe paid and distributed proportionally among the Housekeepers of the Parrishes of Ballynure and Kilroot in the County of Antrim, and Kingdom of Ireland, and one other Hundred pounds like Money among the Poore Freemen House keepers who reside within the County of the town of Carrick Fergus, in the said Kingdom, to be paid out of my Personal Estate which I may be intitled to at the time or my Decease out of my Demesnes at Castle Dobbs, or out of the arrears of Rents I reserved out of a Moiety of my Lands in that Kingdom during my Life, at the Discretion of my Executors hereinafter to he named; desiring that my Body may be Buried in the parish or place where it pleases God that I shall die:

And as to the Disposition of the Worldly Estate which I may die possessed of, my funeral Espences and Debts being first paid, I give, devise and bequeath as followeth, that is to say:

First, I do confirm in the most ample manner the Settlement made on my son, Conway Richard Dobbs, on his Marriage in July, 1749, in which is included the several remainders and Fortunes to my Younger Children and to his and their Issue.

Item. I confirm unto my Younger Son, Edward Brice Dobbs, (over and above his fortune secured in that Marriage settlement, which I hereby limit and Ascertain to be One thousand pounds, Lawful Money of Ireland, is mentioned in my Marriage settlement upon my intermarriage with my first Wife) all the Lands in America, which are Specified in a Deed or Deeds which I made to him and his Heirs since my Setling at Brunswick; together with all the Slaves, goods & Chattles, therein mentioned.

Itim. I give, devise and bequeath unto my beloved Wife, Justina Dobbs, and her Issue, by me Begotten, in case she shall have any or be pregnant at the time of my Decease, all the Slaves and other Chattels which was or shall be hereafter given her by her Father.

Item. I give, devise and bequeath unto my said beloved Wife, all my Slaves, goods and Chattles, Plate, Money and other Effects of what Nature of kind soever in America (not already settled by deed upon my son, Edward Brice Dobbs), Which I now have or hereafter shall have at the time of my Decease, in which is included the money and Interest due, or which shall be due to me by the General assembly for theLands Called Tower hill, in Johnston County, purchased from me by the public.

Item. I give, devise and bequeath unto my said beloved Wife, Justina Dobbs, after the payment of my Debts, Funeral Charges, and Legacies, all arrears of Sallery which now are, or shall be due to me at the time of my Decease, by Virtue of my appointment by his Majesty to the Government of North Carolina.

Item. Whereas, I have a right to the Moiety of Two hundred thousand acres of Land, Granted to me by the Crown, in Sixteen Patents of Twelve thousand, Five hundred acres each, in Mecklenburgh (late Anson) County, as one of the associates of Huey and Crymble, the other Moiety having been settled by me upon my eldest son, Conway Rirchard Dobbs, upon his Marriage, I do hereby impower and direct my Executors, or Either of them, as soon as convenient may be after my Decease, to sell in parcells (to the present Occupants or to such others as shall incline to become purchasers), the said moiety of Lands, and that the Money arising therefrom (except so much thereof as shall, together with the Money hereinbefore bequeathed to my said wife, make up the sum of Two Thousand pounds, Sterling Money of Great Britain) shall be laid out by my Executors in Negroes for the sole use and benefit of such Issue by me as my said Wife shall have living, or be pregnant with at the time of my Decease, and their heirs forever; And in case my said Wife shall have no Issue by me alive, or be pregnant at the time of my Decease, then, and in that case, I will and devise the said undivided Moiety of Land shall be and remain to my son, Edward Brice Dobbs, and his heirs, upon this special provisor, that he makes up and pays so much Money to my said Wife, Justina Dobbs, as together with the sums herein before bequeathed to her, shall amount to the sum of Two thousand Pounds, sterling Money of Great Britain, which I Will and Desire that my said beloved Wife may have and receive out of the Estate I shall die possessed of.

Item. I bequeath to each of my Children who shall be alive at the time of my Decease, fifty pounds Sterling.

Item. I bequeath to my beloved Brother, the Reverend Doctor Richard Dobbs, Twenty pounds Sterling, which two last Mentioned bequest is to buy them Mourning and Rings.

Item. Whereas, I am intitled to a Moiety of Twelve Thousand Acres of Land by a purchase from Mr. Patrick Smith, of Waterford, Merchant, (for which) for which a Patent was Granted to him as an associate of Huey and Crymble, Subdivided from the Great Tract Number 4, the heirs or assigns of Mr. James Benning, of Lisburn, In Ireland, being intitled in equity, to the other Moiety of the said Patent. Whatever part of the same as may remain unsold at the time of my Decease, I devise to my Executors, to be sold for the payment of my Debts and Legacies herein bequeathed.

Item. I give and Bequeath unto my son, Conway Richard Dobbs, after his Discharging my Debts, Funeral Charges, and Legacies which shall be due in Europe at the time of my Decease, all my Plate, Goods, Household Furniture, arrears Rents, and other Chattles whatsoever which are now belonging or hereafter may belong to me, at my Decease, which now are or hereafter may be at Castle Dobbs, in the County of Antrim, and Kingdom of Ireland.

Lastly, I do appoint my Beloved Wife, Justina Dobbs, and my Sons, Conway Richard Dobbs and Edward Brice Dobbs, my Residuary Legatees and Executors of this my last Will and Testament; hereby revoking all former wills by me heretofore made.

In Witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal, this 31st. day of August, in the Year of our Lord, 1763.


Sign'd, Seal'd, Publish'd and declar'd to be the last will and Testament of the Testator in presence of:

Wilmington, 24th April 1765

Then personally appeared Before me James Hasell & Lewis DeRosset, two of the subscribing Witnesses to the foregoing Will and made oath on the Holy Evangelists of Almighty God, that they saw Arthur Dobbs, sign, seal and publish the foregoing as and for his last Will and Testament; and that the said Arthur Dobbs was at the same time (to the best of their Knowledge and Belief) of a sound and disposing mind and Memory, and that they, the said James Hasell & Lewis DeRossett, together with John Sampson, subscribed their Names as Witnesses thereto, in the Presence of the Testator.

At the same time, Justina Dobbs, Executrix before mentioned, took the Oaths by Law appointed for Her Qualification. Let Letters Testamentary issue thereon accordingly.


Recorded in Book 8, page 290, Office of Secretary of State