John CLIFTON was born at Hartford, Huntingdonshire, on the 16th of December 1792, the eldest son of Thomas CLIFTON, a publican, and his wife, Elizabeth. He was baptised at All Saints' Church, Hartford, on the 13th of March 1793. John married Sarah LIMMAGE, daughter of John LIMMAGE and his wife, Mary (nee MARSHALL), at St. Mary's Church, Godmanchester, Huntingdonshire, on the 23rd of February 1819. By 1841, he had become an innkeeper himself, and was living at Causeway, Godmanchester, with his wife, Sarah, aged 40, and some of his children: Mary, aged 20, Elizabeth, aged 15, John, aged 15, Henry, aged 14, Frederick, aged 8, all born in Huntingdonshire, along with Martha Stevens, aged 20, a female servant. In 1851, John CLIFTON was a 'proprietor of houses and land', and he lived at Cambridge Street, Godmanchester, with his wife, Sarah, and just the one son, Frederick, aged 18, who then had a job as a 'writing clerk to solicitor'. John himself seems to have changed or added to his career and to have moved again by 1854 when he was listed as a farmer at East Street, Godmanchester, in James Hatfield's Directory of Huntingdonshire of that year. He had also been elected as a Councillor of the Borough of Godmanchester. It is assumed that John CLIFTON had retired from being a publican and/or a farmer by 1862 as he was listed as 'Esq.' at Godmanchester, Huntingdonshire, in Cassey's Directory of Huntingdonshire of that year. He and Sarah had a family of nine, six of whom lived to adulthood and five of whom married and had children of their own. John CLIFTON died on the 11th of May 1863 and the funeral was at St. Mary's Church, Godmanchester, on the 15th of May. His widow, Sarah, lived on until the 26th of May 1871, and her funeral was also at St. Mary's Church, on the 28th of May.
John CLIFTON's Will reflects his family, standing and interests when it was made in February 1848:
This is the last Will and Testament of me John Clifton of Godmanchester in the County of Huntingdon Farmer - I give and bequeath all the monies securities for money and all other the personal estate of which I shall be possessed at the time of my decease (except my horses and dead farming stock) unto my dear wife Sarah Clifton for her own absolute use and benefit - I give and bequeath all my horses and dead farming stock unto my Son John Clifton for his own absolute use and benefit - I give and devise all those my Fifteen acres three roods and twenty five perches of arable land abutting upon the London Turnpike Road (which with the Nine acres of land hereinafter devised to my Son Frederick Clifton) I purchased of the trustees and Executors of James Bleckley deceased unto my said Son John Clifton in fee and which Fifteen acres three roods and twenty five perches of land so devised to my said Son John Clifton are bounded on the north by land belonging to John Lancaster and Messieurs Dexter respectively, east by land late of Miss Jackson, south by the said Nine acres of land hereinafter devised to my said Son Frederick and land belonging to Frederick Kisby and on part of the west by the said land so devised to my said Son Frederick and the London Turnpike Road And I direct my said Son John to make and maintain at his own expense a Division Fence between the said land so devised to him as aforesaid and the nine acres of land hereinafter devised to my said Son Frederick - I give and devise all those my Nine acres of arable land being the remaining part of the said Twenty four acres three roods and twenty four perches of land I purchased of the trustees and Executors of the said James Bleckley deceased as aforesaid unto my said Son Frederick Clifton in fee and which said Nine acres of land so devised by me to my said Son Frederick Clifton are bounded on the north and east by the land hereinbefore devised to my said Son John Clifton south by land of the said Frederick Kisby and west by the London Turnpike Road - I also give and devise all that my close of arable land adjoining the Gravely Road which I purchased of Charles Samworth unto my said Son Frederick Clifton in fee but in case my said Son Frederick Clifton shall die in my lifetime or after my decease before he shall have attained the age of twenty one years and without leaving lawful issue then I give and devise the said lands so devised to him as aforesaid unto my said Son John Clifton in fee And I hereby direct and declare my mind and will to be that my said Son John shall have the privilege of occupying the land devised to my said Son Frederick until my said Son Frederick shall attain the age of twenty one years my said Son John paying to my said Son Frederick the yearly rent of Thirty pounds for the same by equal quarterly payments such quarterly payments to commence from the first quarter day next after my decease - I give and devise all the rest residue and remainder of my real estate whatsoever and wheresoever (except estates vested in me as trustee or mortgagee) unto my said Son John and my friend Edward Maile of Godmanchester aforesaid Farmer and their heirs Upon trust that they the said trustees and the survivor of them and the heirs or assigns of such survivor do and shall as soon as conveniently can be after my decease of my said wife absolutely sell and dispose of my said residuary real estate either entirely and altogether or in parcels and either by public auction or private contract and for the best price or prices than be reasonably got for the same with liberty to buy in all or any part of my said residuary real estate at any such auction and resell the same so bought in at any future auction or by private contract with being answerable for any loss consequent thereupon and do and shall convey and assure the same when sold to the purchaser or purchasers thereof his her or their heirs or assigns And I direct that the money which shall arise from all and every such aforesaid sale or sales shall be held by my said trustees or trustee for the time being upon and for the trusts intents and purposes hereinafter mentioned and that the rents and profits if any of the said residuary real estate in the meantime and until the same respectively shall be sold shall be applied upon the same trusts as the monies to arise from the sale thereof would for the time being be applicable to under this my Will if the same were actually sold And I do hereby declare my mind and will to be that my said trustees or trustee for the time being shall stand and be possessed of and interested in the monies to arise from the sale or sales hereinbefore by me directed to be made of my said residuary real estate upon the trusts and for the purposes hereinafter declared (that is to say) Upon trust to pay one equal third part or share thereof (the whole being considered as if divided into three equal parts or shares) unto my Daughter Mary the wife of John Fisher of Godmanchester aforesaid Innkeeper for her own absolute use and benefit One other of such equal third parts or shares unto my Daughter Eliza the wife of David Allen the younger of the Town of Huntingdon Plumber and Glazier for her own absolute use and benefit and the remaining third part or share unto my Daughter Elizabeth the wife of Charles Josiah Clarke of Godmanchester aforesaid Baker for her own absolute use and benefit And I hereby direct and declare that the receipt of each of them the said Mary Fisher Eliza Allen and Elizabeth Clarke shall alone notwithstanding their coverture be a good discharge to my said trustees or trustee for their respective shares of the said trust monies Provided always and I hereby declare that in case any or either of them the said Mary Fisher Eliza Allen and Elizabeth Clarke shall die in my lifetime or in the lifetime of my said wife leaving any child or children who shall be then living and who shall live to attain the age of twenty one years then and in such case it is my will that the child or children attaining the said age of each of them the said Mary Fisher Eliza Allen and Elizabeth Clarke so dying in my lifetime or in the lifetime of my said wife shall represent and stand in the place of his her or their deceased parent or respective parents and shall be entitled to the same share in the said trust monies which his her or their deceased parent or parents would have been entitled to if living at the time of the decease of my said wife and such share and shares to be divided between or among such children if more than one in equal shares and proportions and if there shall be only one such Child then to go to such only child Provided also and I do hereby declare that in case any one or more of them the said Mary Fisher Eliza Allen and Elizabeth Clarke shall depart this life in my lifetime or in the lifetime of my said wife without leaving any lawful issue living at my decease or at the decease of my said wife then the part of each of them so dying of and in the trust monies shall be equally divided amongst all my surviving Children who shall be then living and the issue of such of them as shall be then dead and who shall live to attain the age of twenty one years as aforesaid to and for her and their own absolute use and benefit but so that such issue shall only take the part or share or parts or shares which his her or their deceased parent or parents would have been entitled to if then living in equal shares and proportions - I empower the trustees or trustee for the time being of my Will to apply all or any part of the yearly income to which under any of the bequests and dispositions hereinbefore contained each or any infant legatee shall be entitled towards the maintenance or education or otherwise for the benefit of such legatee during his or her minority or at the option of my said trustees or trustee to pay the same into the hands of the parent or guardian of such legatee to be so applied but for the application whereof by such parent or guardian my said trustees or trustee shall not be responsible And I also empower my said trustees or trustee for the time being in their or his discretion to advance or apply any part of the capital to which under any of the said bequests or dispositions each or any infant legatee shall be entitled or presumptively entitled towards his or her advancement or preferment in the world - I devise all estates vested in me as trustee or mortgagee to my said trustees or trustee for the time being to give receipts for all monies subject to the equities affecting the same respectively I empower my said trustees or trustee for the time being to give receipts for all monies and effects to be paid or delivered to such trustees or trustee by virtue of my Will and declare that such receipts shall exonerate the persons taking the same from all liability to see to the application or disposition of the monies or effects therein mentioned I also empower my said trustees or trustee for the time being to compound or allow time for the payment of any debt or debts due to my estate and satisfy all demands against my estate whether supported by strictly legal evidence or not and to settle all accounts between me and any person or persons on such terms as my said trustees or trustee shall in their or his discretion think expedient and to refer any matters in difference relating to my affairs to arbitration - I declare that if my said trustees or either of them or any person or persons to be appointed under this clause shall die or be unwilling or incompetent to execute the trusts of this my Will it shall be lawful for my said wife during her life and after her death for the competent trustees or trustee for the time being (if any) whether retiring from the office of trustee or not or if none for the executors or administrators of the last surviving trustee to substitute by any writing under her his or their hand or hands any fit person or persons in whom alone or as the case may be jointly with the surviving or continuing trustees or trustee my trust estate shall be vested And I exempt every trustee of my Will from liability for losses occurring without his own wilful default and authorize him to retain and allow to his co-trustee all expences incidental to the trusteeship - I appoint the said John Clifton and Edward Maile Trustees and Executors of this my Will - Lastly I revoke all other Wills In Witness whereof I the said John Clifton the Testator have to this my last Will and Testament contained in five sheets of paper set my hand this twelfth day of February in the year of our Lord One thousand eight hundred and forty eight - John Clifton -
Signed by the said Testator as and for his last Will and Testament in the presence of us present at the same time who in his presence and in the presence of each other have hereunto subscribed our names as attesting Witnesses - Martin Hunnybun, Solicitor, Huntingdon - Edward Laundy Flint, his Clerk
On the Eleventh day of July 1863, the Will of John Clifton late of Godmanchester in the County of Huntingdon, Farmer deceased, who died on the Eleventh day of May 1863 at Godmanchester aforesaid was proved in the District Registry attached to Her Majesty's Court of Probate at Peterborough by the Oath of John Clifton of Houghton Hill in the County of Huntingdon Farmer the son and surviving Executor therein named he having been first sworn to administer. Edward Maile the other Executor having died in the lifetime of the Testator.
Effects under £800.
Extracted by M. Hunnybun