HC Deb 20 April 1885 vol 297 cc146-7

asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, If anything has been done in the direction indicated in his reply to a Question on the 3rd November, with regard to the bequest of Catherine Eaton, who, as stated in the last Report of the Commissioners of Charitable Donations and Bequests, left the residue of her property, by will made in 1793,"for the foundation and support of a Wool-ling Manufactory in the parish of Wick- low;" and, whether, as the Commissioners state the fund has remained so long in Court unused and unclaimed, some steps will be forthwith taken to fulfil the intentions of the testatrix for the benefit of her native town?


The subject referred to in this Question has been before the Law Officers. The sum consists of a legacy left by the will to the Gardner family, of Seathly, in Cheshire, and which was not claimed by them, and has consequently accumulated. If any one of that family survived the deceased it would seem the residuary clause did not come into operation. In 1805 the Attorney General of that day advised that the residuary gift mentioned in the Question was not a valid charitable one. If this view be correct—and I think it will be difficult to dispute it—the persons probably entitled in default of the Gardner family would be either the next-of-kin of deceased, or the Crown if next-of-kin could not be traced. Inquiries and proceedings have been directed with the view to having ascertained and decided the questions of law and fact I have referred to, including the validity of the supposed charitable gift.