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John Silvester Hitchcock (b. 1864) - Last Will and Testament

The following is a transcription of the Last Will and Testament of John Silvester Hitchcock (b. 1864), who died 04/Jan/1949, aged 84. He was the uncle of director Alfred Hitchcock.

Since John's wife Sophia had predeceased him by dying in 1945, the executors of the will were:

  1. Rev. Joseph Arthur Scholles
    Born around 1907, he was the son of John Silvester's brother-in-law, Joseph Martin Scholles (b. 1876).
  2. Gordon David Brewster

The will was proven on 09/Apr/1949 and the follow valuations recorded:

  • gross value of estate — £23,231 1s. 2d.
  • net value of personal estate — £22,837 18s. 9d.
  • Estate Duty and tax — £2,242 5s. 8d.


  • John appears to have spelt his middle name as both "Sylvester" and "Silvester" throughout his life. The will initially used "Sylvester" but it is crossed out in one place and "Silvester" written above it. John began writing his signature as "Sylvester" but then amended it to "Silvester".
  • John's sister-in-law, Amelia "Millie" Christina Scholles (b. 1885), married baker Henry Adam Stilz (later spelt "Stiles") in 1911 and she is the Amelia Stiles named in the will and codicil. Henry died 1940 and Amelia likely died in 1966. Their daughter, Winifred Anne Stiles (1920-2009), is also named in the will.
  • Ellen Albert, who receives a sizeable amount of money in the will, is presumably Ellen Albert (b. 1898) née Fitzpatrick, daughter of his sister Ellen Fitzpatrick (b. 1866) née Hitchcock (who likely died 1899). Ellen Albert's husband had died at sea in 1936. It therefore seems possible that John supported Ellen financially after her mother's death and may have paid for her to attend St. Mary's Convent, Battersea Park Road, London, as a child. St. Mary's Convent appears to now be Our Lady of Mount Carmel & St. Joseph Catholic Church.
  • Both the Reverend Arthur P. Flanagan and Amelia Stiles are also mentioned in the will of Alfred Charles Hitchcock (b. 1889).
  • Mary O'Hagan (b. ~1881), named as a cook in the will, had also worked as an assistant in John's fishmongery business and is listed in the 1911 Census as being born in Northumberland.
  • The will has been reformatted to improve readability.

Last Will and Testament

THIS IS THE LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT of me JOHN SYLVESTER HITCHCOCK of 11 Campion Road Putney in the County of Surrey.

I HEREBY REVOKE all former Wills made by me.

I APPOINT my wife Sophia sole Executrix hereof and leave her everything of which I die possessed for her own absolute use. In the event or my said wife predeceasing me then I APPOINT the Reverend J.A. Scholles and Gordon David Brewster of 1 Dr. Johnson’s Buildings Temple in the City of London, solicitor, to be executors and Trustees hereof and I GIVE DEVISE, BEQUEATH AND APPOINT to them the whole or my estate real and personal upon the following Trusts that is to say after payment of my just debts, funeral and testamentary expenses, to pay the following pecuniary legacies all free of duty:-

  • To my niece Winifred Anne Stiles £500
  • To my niece Ellen Albert £1,000
  • To my Cook Mary O'Hagan £250
  • To the Reverend Arthur P. Flanagan formerly of Melior Street S.E., £100 for his own personal use[1]
  • To the Very Reverend F.E. Canon Pritchard of Putney £100 for his own personal use[2]
  • To the Catholic Prisoners' Aid Society, The Southwark Catholic Rescue Society, The Catholic Truth Society, The Converts' Aid Society, The Little Sisters or the Poor, Meadow Road Lambeth, and the Saint Vincent de Paul Society[3]. £50 each

Then to set aside such a sum as will after deduction of legacy duty equal the total or the annual premiums of £31 9s. 4d. remaining to be paid under Policy No. 503110 in the Norwich Union Life Insurance Society to my niece Winifred Anne Stiles and out of this sum to pay to the said Winifred Anne Stiles each year the amount of such premiums as soon as the same has been paid and, if at any time the said policy shall be surrendered and the premiums no longer be payable, then any sum left in the hands of my Trustees shall fall into the residue or my estate

Then on trust to divide the residue into such numbers or parts that such of the following persons as shall be living at my death may share as hereinafter set out:-

  • To William Howe son of my sister Mary Howe deceased one such part
  • To my sister Emma Rhodes of South Africa or if she is then dead to her children who are then living and who shall attain the age of 21 years in equal shares two parts
  • To the children of my brother Charles one part each
  • To the children of my brother William one part each
  • To my niece Ellen Albert or if she shall predecease me then to such of her children as shall attain the age of 21 years in equal shares if more than one two parts
  • To Joseph M. Scholles brother of my wife Sophia or if he predeceases me then to his widow or if she also shall predecease me to their children in equal shares if more than one three parts[4]
  • To the widow of Martin V. Scholles deceased or if she predeceases me to her children in equal shares one part[5]
  • To Amelia Stiles or if she predeceases me to her children in equal shares two parts
  • To the children of my sister Kate deceased one part each

Any Trustee for the time being hereof being a Solicitor or other person engaged in any profession or business shall be entitled to charge retain and be paid in priority to all other bequests made all usual professional and other charges for business done by him or his firm in relation to the administration of my estate and the trusts hereof and also his reasonable charges in addition to disbursements for all other work and business done and all times spent by him or his firm in connection with matters arising in the premises including matters which might or should have been attended to in person but which such Trustee might easily require to be done by a Solicitor or other professional person

IN WITNESS whereof I, the said JOHN SYLVESTER SILVESTER HITCHCOCK, have to this my Will set my hand this sixteenth day of February 1945.

SIGNED by the above-named Testator as his last Will in the presence of us present at the same time who in his presence at his request and in the presence of each other have hereunto subscribed our names as witnesses:-

  • John Sy Silvester Hitchcock
  • [ signature of witnesses ]

  1. This was likely the Our Lady of La Salette and Saint Joseph Catholic Church on Melior Street.
  2. Father Pritchard was linked to several London dioceses and to the Catholic Truth Society, for whom he translated a number of texts for publication.
  3. http://svp.org.uk/
  4. Joseph Martin Scholles (b. 1876) died in 1960. He married Anna Josephine Stilz in 1902 and they had several children.
  5. Martin Valentine Scholles (b. 1881) died in 1941. He married Edith Caroline Bamford in 1912.

A codicil was added to the will on 23/Apr/1947:

I, JOHN SILVESTER HITCHCOCK, declare this to be a Codicil to my Will dated the Sixteenth day of February 1945.

  • I GIVE a legacy of £250 pounds to my sister-in-law Amelia Stiles as a slight recognition of her kindness to me during my long illness.
  • I ALSO GIVE a legacy of £100 to Father Stiles Scholles.

Both the above legacies to be free of Legacy Duty and to be in addition to any benefits which may already be payable under my Will.

In all other respects I confirm my said Will.

IN WITNESS whereof I the said JOHN SILVESTER HITCHCOCK have to this a Codicil to ray Will set my hand this 23rd April day of 1947.

Notes & References