He left his widow, Mary, an annuity for her lifetime of £137 10s., payable in equal quarterly payments, with the first payment three months after his death. The funds to pay for these were to come from two schedules detailed in the will. He also left his widow all his “furniture plate plated goods linen china glass books (except books of account) pictures prints and all other articles of personnel domestic or household use or ornament, wines and consumable stores and provisions and all garden tools and implements”.

Two months after her husband’s death Mary had already left Loughborough and was selling off most of the households goods. The auction held at No. 21, Burton Road was detailed in the Loughborough Monitor, 16th November 1899: –

A Portion of the Valuable DRAWING and DINING-ROOM FURNITURE, Bedroom Appointments, Kitchen Requisites, and other Effects, including 3ft. 6in. Mahogany cheffoneer[1], mahogany framed table, mahogany hair and leather seated chairs, mahogany bookcase with cupboard, large fire-proof safe, mahogany dinner wagon, four-tier mahogany whatnot, massive mahogany dining-room table, large-gilt pier glass[2], mahogany fire-screen, two prime feather beds, set mahogany H.T. bedsteads, with chain spring mattress, full compass Pianoforte in walnut, and numerous other items more particularly detailed in Catalogue,……

Mary Messenger moved down to London to live with her widowed sister-in-law, Sarah Wale and her three nieces, at No. 5, Dartmouth Park Road, North London[3]. Mary died on 25th April 1907, whilst living with her cousins, Caroline and Sarah Wale[4], at No. 57, South Hill Park, Hampstead. Leaving effects valued at £994 18s,.6d., her bachelor brother, Henry, who in 1911[5] was living a short distance away at No. 10, Denning Road, Hampstead Heath, was one of the executors.

Thomas made no provision for his son, Hugh, in his will, stating that “I declare that I make no provision by this my Will for my son Hugh Major Messenger except as in hereinafter by me provided inasmuch as I have made sufficient provision for my said son in my lifetime.

Thomas divided the property portfolio, he held when he drew up his will, into two schedules, both administered by his trustees. The first held in trust, with proceeds benefiting his daughter Agnes for her lifetime and her children (boys up to the age of 21 and girls until they reach the age of 21 or marry). The second again held in trust, this time benefiting his other daughter, Margaret, for her lifetime and any children that Margaret may have in the future (again boys up to the age of 21 and girls until they reach the age of 21 or marry). In the event of Margaret, dying without issue, then Hugh Major would inherit two-thirds of the value of the properties contained in the second schedule and Agnes Rickard and her children, one-third.

According to the terms of the will, the trustees were responsible for ensuring the payment to Mary, Thomas’ widow, of £68 15s., per annum out of the income (rent, etc.) from each Schedule, before considering any payments to either of Thomas’ two daughters. The will allowed Mary to take legal action if the payment was not paid within 28 days of the due date

“I empower the said Mary Messenger to recover payment of the said annuity and the duty thereon and all expenses incident to such recovery in the shares and proportions aforesaid by distress and entry upon and receipt of the profits of the hereditaments so charged therewith as aforesaid or any part thereof when in arrears for twenty eight days”

The total value of the real estate in each of the two schedules (at the time of writing the will) was within a few pounds of each other. The first schedule was valued at £11,232 and the second at £11,198.

The first schedule comprised 77 properties:

  • Seventeen in Loughborough:-
    • Fearon House and Sunnyside with gardens, Park Road.
    • Foxholme, Nos. 41, 42 and 43 Park Road[6].
    • Nos. 19, 20, 21 and 22 Burton Street (this includes Thomas Messenger’s own residence).
    • Five in Rectory Place.
    • Three in Wood Gate.
  • Twenty nine in Leicester:-
    • Five warehouses, including Nos. 50 and 51 Church Gate.
    • Four in Lorraine Road, Aylestone Park.
    • Thirteen in Canning Place and Barston Street.
    • Seven in Bassett Street, South Wigston.
  • Twenty-nine at Ellistown, Leicestershire[7]:-
    • Eleven on Midland Road (Nos. 34-54 inclusive (even numbers)).
    • Five on Kendal Road (Nos. 3-11, inclusive (odd numbers only)).
    • Thirteen on Ibstock Road (nos. 56-80, inclusive (even numbers only)).
  • Two, including a nursery ground at Tranmere, Birkenhead, Cheshire.

The second schedule comprised of 50 properties:

  • Sixteen in Loughborough:-
    • Post Office and Post Masters residence and garden in Baxter Gate.
    • Kent shop, Warehouse and workshops in High Street.
    • Three at the rear of Sparrow Hill (Nos. 1, 2, and 3, Messenger’s Yard[8]).
    • Three at the front of Sparrow Hill, Nos. 7, 8, and 9.
    • No. 10 Sparrow Hill.
    • A meeting room with cottage adjoining in School Street.
    • Six in Paget Street.
  • Thirty four in Leicester:-
    • Twelve in Timber Street, South Wigston.
    • Sixteen in Lancaster Street, North Evington.
    • Six in Knighton Fields Road.


  1. A cheffonier (or chiffonier) is a piece of furniture differentiated from the sideboard by its smaller size and by the enclosure of the whole of the front by doors.
  2. A tall mirror traditionally placed between two windows, very often over a console table to reflect more light into the room.
  3. 1901 Census.
  4. In the 1911 Census, Caroline and Sarah Wale were living at the address, with their aunt, Mary Ann Hardwick, a boarding law student and a servant.
  5. Census
  6. Today (2012) known as Nos. 41, 43 and 45 Park Road).
  7. No detail of the houses was given in the will. The information was obtained from 1920 sale notice.
  8. The Loughborough Echo, 16th January 1920.