More about the Will

The Lewis Legacy-Issue 78, Autumn 1998 The C.S. Lewis Foundation for Truth in Publishing

from James O’Fee

David Gaston, Solicitor, who originally found the copy of C. S. Lewis’s Will in Belfast writes:

I am surprised at the interest which has been generated in the copy of the Will which I unearthed. As a document of public record I had assumed it was already in the public domain. I am not sure if I can be of much help but will try my best. I would reply to your queries as follows;

a. Alas, my copy of the Will is no clearer. I think that the figures you give are correct.

b. The net value of an Estate is the value of the assets (gross value) less the liabilities. In this case I assume that there were liabilities other than Estate Duty, such as funeral costs and outstanding Bills.

c. It is clear from the Probate that there was a Codicil to the Will. Unfortunately I do not have a copy of it.

d. It was some years ago that I came across the Will amongst a bundle of title deeds. I have since forgotten the address of the property concerned but it was a small house in East Belfast. I assume that it was one of the properties referred to in Clause 6 of the Will

e. I do not understand George Sayer’s reference to a legacy of 100.00 to Paxford. There are four such beneficiaries named in the Will. Paxford is not one of them. Perhaps he was mentioned in the missing Codicil. You should be able to obtain a copy of the Probate, Will and Codicil from either the Principal Probate Registry or from the Public Records Office. This will be easier now that the date of the Probate is known, i.e. 1st April 1964.