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Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0074 ACC/1419
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
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Date(s): 1783-1853
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 0.01 linear metres
Name of creator(s): Martin, Mason and Company | solicitors


Administrative/Biographical history:

Probate (also called proving a will) is the process of establishing the validity of a will, which was recorded in the grant of probate.

If a person died intestate (without a valid will) their money, goods and possessions passed to their next of kin through an administration (or letters of administration) which had the same form in law as a will.

William Harrison Ainsworth (1805-1882), novelist, was born on 4 February 1805 at 21 King Street, Manchester, the elder of two sons of Thomas Ainsworth (1778-1824), a solicitor, and his wife, Ann (1778-1842), daughter of the Revd Ralph Harrison (1748-1810), a nonconformist minister and tutor of languages and literature at the Manchester Academy. His parents both belonged to old Lancashire families, on his mother's side including prosperous merchants and members of the peerage; and his paternal grandfather was the noted mathematician Jeremiah Ainsworth.


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers, 1783-1853, collected by the solicitors in the course of their work, comprising wills and administrations: probate of will of Susannah Dawson of Bath, Somerset, widow; made 2 Nov 1781; letters of administration of estate of Susanna Dobson, formerly of Kensington, afterwards of Leicester Square and late of St. Paul, Covent Garden, widow, 1795; probate of will of Felton Smith of Westmoreland Street, Saint Marylebone, gentleman; made 2 Jul 1806, proved 1820; copy of will of Ann Ainsworth late of Prestwich near Manchester and now of Kensal Green, Willesden, widow and mother of novelist William Harrison Ainsworth, 1842; copy of will [? for probate] of John Ellerbeck of Winchester Street, City of London, tailor, 1845 and duplicate appointment of trustees, 1853.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:


Conditions governing access:

Available for general access.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright rests with the depositor.

Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Received in 1978.

Allied Materials

Related material:

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
July to October 2009

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