Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Waratah - Starke codicil dispute.

The Argus (Melbourne) Thursday 20 February, 1913.



                             London February 13

In the Probate Court today application was made by Mr. Hayden Erskine Starke, barrister of Melbourne, claiming revocation of the codicil of a will made by Miss. Maria Mattingley of Kensington London, whose relatives chiefly reside in Australia. By this codicil, Miss. Mattingley bequeathed 7,500 pounds to Dr. Frederick Bryan, an Australian and her grandnephew, and also 7,500 pounds to Mrs. Starke, mother of the plaintiff, who was lost with the SS Waratah.

The plaintiff alleges that Dr. Bryan unduly influenced the testatrix whilst she was of weak mind. She died on the day the Waratah was supposed to have foundered, and a secondary question arises whether the codicil was executed before the day of the foundering.

The codicil also left the residue of the estate, amounting to 10,000 pounds, equally between Dr. Bryan and Mrs. Starke, with the condition that if either predeceased Miss. Mattingley, the whole residue was to go to the survivor.

It was stated that Dr. Bryan found Miss. Mattingley neglected and suffering from cancer. He cleared out her servants, arranged the house, and cleaned it. The bequest to him was due to Miss. Mattingley's gratitude. Testatrix afterwards suffered from delusions, and became insane shortly before death.

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