corset friday 10.9.2010

Published in: on September 10, 2010 at 8:14 am  Comments (43)  
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regarding my pussies

Miss Charlotte Rosa Raine died in 1894, leaving behind a very interesting will. She left her lands and hereditaments to Lord Randolph Churchill in recognition of his commanding political genius and bequeathed her books to found a public  library.


She also left £500 to the Society for Promoting Christianity Among the Jews and then she turned to more important matters…. “And as regards my pussies…”

The Rabbi’s Cat found here

“her dear old white puss Titiens and her pussies Tabby Rolla, Tabby Jennefee, and black-and-white Ursula were left to Ann Elizabeth Matthews, who was to receive £12 a year for the upkeep of each cat so long as it lived. Louise and Dr Clausman (both cats) were to go to Elizabeth Willoughby (her maid); her Black Ebony and White Oscar were to become the property of Miss Lavinia Sophia Beck. Both these beneficiaries were also to receive £12 a year per cat.

artist’s impression of Dr Clausman

All the remainder of her pussies were additionally bequeathed to Ann Elizabeth Matthews, and the executors were ordered to pay her £150 a year out of the dividends of shares towards their support, but this was not to extend to kittens afterwards born.

Charlotte is by no means alone in writing a will stipulating how her animals are to be looked after. Mr William Joseph Haines also expressed a wish in his will that his two cats should be provided for after his death. Counsel for the executors explained that as the cats were not separately represented in court, he would have to argue on their behalf. The following exchange about whether they should live at home or be boarded out was recorded…..


His Lordship: “It depends on the appetite of the cats”

Counsel: “Or whether they are good mousers”

His Lordship: “Can I take judicial notice of the fact that 16 years is a long life for a cat?”

Counsel: “Yes, my Lord, I think you can.”


Published in: on July 6, 2010 at 8:13 am  Comments (33)  
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