C. S. Lewis’s Codicil

The Lewis Legacy-Issue 81, Summer 1999 The C.S. Lewis Foundation for Truth in Publishing

Five weeks after Lewis signed his will, he added the following afterthought.

THIS IS THE FIRST CODICIL made the tenth day of December One thousand nine hundred and sixty-one to the will of me CLIVE STAPLES LEWIS of the Kilns Headington Quarry in the County of Oxford Professor of the University of Cambridge made the Second day of November One thousand nine hundred and sixty-one

I GIVE the following legacies whether or not the persons named are in my employment at the date of my death:-

To F. PAXFORD of the Kilns Headington quarry in the County of Oxford ONE HUNDRED POUNDS


IN all other respects I confirm my said will

IN WITNESS wereof I have hereunto set my hand the day and year first written above

SIGNED by the said CLIVE STAPLES LEWIS as the FIRST CODICIL to his will in the presence of us both who jointly in his presence and at his request have hereunto subscribed our names as witnesses

Signed by C. S. Lewis, Maud Miller, and another witness whose name is not clear.

Is there any significance to this codicil? First, Lewis was obviously not well organized when he wrote his will, and Owen Barfield must not have suggested his remembering the household help. The modesty of Lewis’s token bequests in the codicil might reflect his anxiety about providing generously enough for Warren and the Gresham boys. Inclusion of Mrs. Miller along with Fred Paxford seems to contradict Doug Gresham’s claim that she was maliciously cruel to Lewis after Joy’s death. (That claim also seems to be contradicted by Warren’s 1965 decision to leave Mrs. Miller 100 times as much money as his brother had left her: 5,000.)