Author Topic: JM Barrie’s will  (Read 798 times)

mb0521

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JM Barrie’s will
« on: August 10, 2019, 08:32:32 PM »
How much (and to whom) did Barrie leave in his will? I know that the surviving boys each received a legacy but what did this consist of? Did Asquith, his secretary act inappropriately in changing his original will?

Andrew

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Re: JM Barrie’s will
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2019, 02:09:46 PM »
If you search the database, you'll find Barrie's Will in full (dated 14 June 1937, courtesy of GOSH).  As to whether Cynthia behaved inappropriately, that all depends on your point of view. From Peter's POV, decidedly yes; from her own, absolutely not. The truth? Somewhere between the two. If you search for "Barrie's Will" in the database, you will also find Nico's opinion, as expressed to me in a letter ...

mb0521

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Re: JM Barrie’s will
« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2019, 04:38:18 PM »
After reading Barrie’s will I feel rather sorry for the Davie’s boys. They do seem to have been left high and dry!

mb0521

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Re: JM Barrie’s will
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2019, 03:16:28 PM »
Davies’

Brutus

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Re: JM Barrie’s will
« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2019, 03:35:38 PM »
I wouldn't say they were left entirely high and dry - the legacies were quite substantial sums in those days. Don't forget that Peter had previously been set up as a publisher by Barrie, which was not altogether insignificant; Jack wasn't particularly interested and nor was Nico, to an extent. Having said that, it does look as though Cynthia had behaved quite inappropriately with the will but then she had become used to Barrie bailing her out as she and her husband were constantly living above their means. She was desperate to maintain the lifestyle she felt was befitting her status. However, at the same time, she was also very good to Barrie and helped him enormously in his work and correspondence as well as supporting him emotionally. It worked both ways.

Nico's letter to Andrew of 5 December 1975 is quite revealing (and damning). Nicola Beauman's biography of Cynthia is also an eye opener.

mb0521

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Re: JM Barrie’s will
« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2019, 08:33:51 PM »
I see that it says that Barrie left £30,000 to Asquith but I also read somewhere recently that Barrie earned approximately £45,000 in one year alone. So what happened to the rest of his money?

Brutus

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Re: JM Barrie’s will
« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2019, 09:10:51 AM »
The £30,000 legacy to Cynthia Asquith and all the other many legacies to various people would have come out of Barrie's estate after probate and after death duties have been paid (and legal fees), so there probably wasn't much left after that.  Any residue would have gone back into the estate and it would have been allocated to the main beneficiaries at the discretion of the trustees and executors.

Cynthia also inherited all rights to JMB's works (except for Peter Pan)(Clause 7), so that set her up for life as royalties were quite significant and provided her and her husband with a steady income (after her death, her children would continue to enjoy the benefit of these royalties).

Additionally, she and Peter LD were bequeathed all Barrie's furniture, manuscripts, papers, pictures, books etc (Clause 8 ) which were sold off and raised a considerable sum of money.
« Last Edit: August 13, 2019, 08:53:26 PM by Brutus »

mb0521

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Re: JM Barrie’s will
« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2019, 07:43:09 PM »
Why to Peter and not shared between the three boys? I also think that the rights should have gone to the boys? Who got the Adelphi Terrace flat and the Camden Square flat? What did Mary get?

Brutus

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Re: JM Barrie’s will
« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2019, 09:17:15 PM »
I don't think anyone would know the answer to your first question, except Cynthia Asquith who most likely helped draft the will. Same with the question of the rights - yes, they probably  should have gone to the boys, but they didn't. Did you read Nico's letter to Andrew? Peter and Nico were thinking of challenging the will but in the end, decided not to.

The Adelphi Terrace flat was most probably leased, and the executors would have sold it off for the remaining years. Or it might have been rented and in that case, no-one got anything.

Do you mean the Campden Hill Square house where the Llewelyn Davies lived? The lease was sold in 1918 after Jack got married. If the house had been in Sylvia's name, the money would have gone to the boys. If it was still in Barrie's name, we don't know where the money went but it's likely it was put towards the boys' education.

Which Mary do you mean? Mary Ansell or Mary Hodgson? The former received £1000 and an annuity of £600 from Barrie's will (he had previously bought a house for her in Biarritz where she lived comfortably until her death). The latter received a legacy of £500.

Brutus

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Re: JM Barrie’s will
« Reply #9 on: September 19, 2019, 10:15:30 AM »
According to the probate entry, JMB left an estate valued at £173,467 9s. 5d. A tidy sum for the times.

mb0521

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Re: JM Barrie’s will
« Reply #10 on: September 22, 2019, 07:52:12 AM »
I know this is the Barrie section, but did Michael leave a will? Being so young I suppose not.

Brutus

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Re: JM Barrie’s will
« Reply #11 on: September 23, 2019, 06:21:19 PM »
I doubt very much that at his age, like you say, he left a will - or had any assets for that matter. Anything that he had would have gone to his next of kin, i.e. his surviving brothers.

Nicholas

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Re: JM Barrie’s will
« Reply #12 on: September 25, 2019, 02:21:11 PM »
Michael left £5083 2s 3d to his brother John.  Rupert left £21,696 12s 2d to his brother Sir Thomas F. Buxton.
Source: Principle Probate Register

mb0521

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Re: JM Barrie’s will
« Reply #13 on: October 26, 2019, 07:47:44 AM »
So Michael left his entire savings to Jack? That’s odd! What about Nico and Peter? I thought he was very close to all of his brothers. Or was it simply because Jack was the eldest at the time of his death.

Nicholas

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Re: JM Barrie’s will
« Reply #14 on: October 31, 2019, 04:39:20 PM »
Michael probably died intestate so the money went to the head of Michael's branch of the Llewelyn-Davies family, John.