Dorothy Willys

Dorothy Willys (Wyllys) was the daughter of Thomas Willys of London. She was one of six sisters who, on the death of their unmarried brother Sir William Willys M P of Fen Ditton in Cambridge, inherited his Estate between them.
She married Samuel Enys (1681–1744) in June 1707. She had ten children including twin daughters named Grace and Elizabeth, who lived for only two months. She was widowed after 37 years of marriage and spent the remaining 8 years of her life living in Conduit Street, Hanover Square London, where she died in 1752. She was buried at St Martins in the Fields in London

In 1732 Sir William Wyllys died. In his Will he left the sum of £20,000 in the hands of Trustees to be shared between four of his sisters and their Husbands; Dorothy received £5,000. The Will stipulated that this money was to be invested in Securities approved of by Dorothy only and not her Husband and that the annuities from the investments must not be used to pay off any of her Husbands’ debt’s or for him to have any of it. If Dorothy was to die before her Husband then he was still not allowed any of the money; it had to go to whoever Dorothy bequeathed it to. Sir William also requested that all his Lands, Manors, Leases, Hereditaments and Messuages in Cambridge, Kent, Sussex and Suffolk were to be sold for the best possible price, and this was to be put in Securities held in Trust for all of his sisters. Dorothy’s daughters Katherine and Jane received £500 each while their brother John got £200. Samuel, Dorothy’s husband tried his best to share Dorothy’s inheritance but did not succeed. She gave it to her son Samuel and daughter Katherine.

Document EN/951 William Wyllys Will
Articles before Marriage Document – Dated 23rd June 1707 EN/812
This was what both parties will bring to the Marriage. Dorothy had £2,000, this was her marriage portion.  Samuel had £4,000 in money and estate, these monies were then given to Trustees to invest and look after. The Trustees were Thomas Wyllys, who was Dorothy’s brother and John Morton who were both London Merchants.  The Trustees invested this money in Annuities and property so Samuel and Dorothy could live on what profits were made from the investments.  Also allowances were made to support any children of the forthcoming marriage.  Arrangements were put in place if Samuel were to die before Dorothy, this was called a Jointure. It specified how Dorothy would be financially supported as Samuel’s widow

Karen Tuplin

Source Documents.

Articles before marriage (EN 812)

Articles before marriage extra piece (EN 812)

Samuel Enys and Willis marriage settlement (EN 816)

Letter to John Enys from his mother Dorothy (EN878)

Will of Dorothy Enys (EN 880)

Opinion on Sir William Willys (EN 952-2)




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