The will of Claude Martin

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Last will and testament
by Claude Martin

Last Will and Testament made and written by me, Claude Martin, Major General in the Honourable Company services, Bengal Establishment, having destroyed any former ones, or intended to destroy them in case I have time to do it. This present one I declare being the only good one in which faith is to be put and which I require my executors, Administrators or Assigns will put in execution and adhere to and any other will or testament existing I may have forgotten to destroy, and differing from the substances, or intentions of the several articles of this one, I declare them null and of no force value, but this present one being made and written by me in my sound senses and good health. This first day of January in the year one thousand eight hundred (or the year 1800) witness my hand and seal as under this and at the end of the page.

Claude Martin

"In the name of the Supreme Almighty God, Creator of the Universe and which exists on the Globe and respectful thanks to be admitted at the feet of this sublime unknown, unseen and Incomprehensible Omnipotent. For the happiness I have enjoyed on this Globe during the time his usual Benevolence allowed me, as also for the Inducement and time allowed me in making and writing this my last will and Testament in favour of those concerned in it in hope it will be fulfilled in its extent, wishing them every happiness possible in this and the other world. My most exalted praise and most respectful thanks be received by the Almighty Creator of all who exist for his most kind clemency to me during my life, being merciful to all, I have great hope he will pardon me the sins I have committed"

"All the women, Males and women servants, Eunuchs and others that are belonging to me, and for which I have paid for, to have them as my own property, at my Death or the soul essence of life quitting my Material body, I give them their freedom and they are free except those as hereafter mentioned which I had already disposed in favour of those undernamed having acquired, bought, brought up and educated them to be their servants and attendants during the lives of those with whom I have placed them or given said Males or Women or Eunuchs as servants attending on these Mistresses during their life time and no longer..............Having every reason to be satisfied of their services, for these reasons my sincere wishes are to give them their proper reward in this world. For all these above my only anxiety is the Idea that perhaps nobody would be so interested for their welfare as I am, after having lost me, and for the support and protection they will or may be therein need of."

"I give and bequeath the sum of one hundred and fifty thousand rupees to be placed at Interest in the most secure manner possible in the East India Company or Government papers bearing interest and that interest to be employed for the poor, first having divided this Interest in three portions or parts: one- for the relief of the poor of Lucknow of christian religion, (second)-for the poor of Calcutta- and (third) for the relief of the Poor of Chandernaggur......................

"I give and bequeath the sum of five thousand sicca Rupees to be paid Annually to the Magistrate or Supreme Court of Calcutta -to pay the debt of some poor honest debtor detained in Jail for small sum-and as being a soldier I would wish to prefer liberating any poor officer or other Military men detained for small debt................"

"I give and bequeath the sum of two hundred thousand sicca rupees to the Town of Calcutta to be put at Interest under the protection of Government of the Supreme Court that they may desire an Institution the most necessary for the public good of the Town of Calcutta or establishing a School to educate a certain number of Children of any sex to a certain age, to have them put in apprenticeship to some profession.............and to have them married when at age...........and a medal to be given to the most deserving or virtuous boy or girl............"

"Since the powerful Almighty creator of all the Universe of all that exist gave me the power and wisdom of thinking, I never discontinued contemplating and admiring his wisdom in the creation and Ruling the Universe, as also the several Globes, Planets, Stars and firmament, things incomprehensible to men's feeble understanding. I was born and educated to believe in the existence of God Ruler of all the World and all that exist beneficent to all of any Religion or sects they may be, being Gratefully bound to thank him for his mercifulness on me, I adored him and worshipped him as my Creator Benefactor and all omnipotent, but doubtful of the mode of worshipping Him. I did it as a child of the earth, though educated in the Roman Catholic Religion, but when my bodily feeling made one weak I resumed the prejudices I had imbibed by my education and salvation of my said Immortal Soul; I worshiped him as I had been taught in my infancy.........but, as still many doubts crowded in my mind, I never could cease enquiring of the true path of Religion and worshiping the Omnipotent Creator God and I have endeavoured to learn the religion of other nations and sects that I might be a proper judge for myself and, though I found mostly every other nations and sects as ridiculous in their ceremony as I thought the Religion I was educated in, still I found a similarity in the same principle and the substance of every Religion of Nations and sects (with which) I have been acquainted, of all possession, sound moral, and recommendation, to do all the good possible to other creatures, to worship as only God, creator of all, and to be charitable to all other creatures and to do Penances for sin............"

"When I am dead, which I suppose will happen at Lucknow, unless in the field of honour against an enemy; if at Lucknow or anywhere else, I request that my body may be salted, put in spirit or embalmed, and afterwards deposited in a leaden Coffin made of some sheet lead in my Godown and this coffin be put in another wooden one of sisson wood of thick plank of two inches thick, and this deposited in the cave of my monument or house at Luckperra, called Constantia, in that cave and in the small round room North Easterly to erect a tomb of about two feet, elevated from the floor, and to have the Coffin deposited in it and the tomb to be covered with a marble stone, and an Inscription put on it of my name Major General Claude Martin, Born at Lyons, the 5th January, 1735, arrived in India a common soldier and died at the........month in the year......and he is buried in this Tomb. Pray for his soul."

Written by me in my perfect health and sound senses, the first January, in the year of our Lord, Eighteen hundred.

signed and sealed by me

  • (Cl MARTIN, (L.S.)

Witness of my signature and seal signed and sealed before us, where no stamp paper is to be had.

  • (Sd.) D. LUMSDEN, Captain, in the Hon'ble Company
  • (Sd.) J. REID, Surgeon, in the Hon'ble Company

Done before me,

  • (Sd.) WILLIAM SCOTT,

Resident, Lucknow

This work was published before January 1, 1923, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.