Famous Last Will and Testament Percy Bysshe Shelley

About the last will and testament of famous English poet Percy Bysshe Shelley.


PERCY BYSSHE SHELLEY, English poet, died 1822

Last Will: In 1817, after the suicide of his first wife, Harriet, Shelley changed his will. He increased the amount to Harriet's children to pound 6,000 each and added a Pound-6,000 bequest to his illegitimate son, William, whose mother, Mary Godwin, Shelley soon married. Claire Clairmont, another female companion, was also bequeathed Pound 6,000, but actually received double that amount through a lawyer's mistake. Residue of the estate went to Mary Shelley, while friends and literary compatriots Lord Byron, Thomas Love Peacock, and Leigh Hunt received gifts and annuities. But the poet's father and main creditor, Sir Timothy Shelley, prevented execution of the will (which he considered immoral and misdirected), and not even the widow collected a legacy until Sir Timothy's death in 1844.

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