Famous Last Will and Testament William Douglas

About the last will and testament of famous English rake William Douglas.

WHERE THERE'S A WILL

WILLIAM DOUGLAS, 4TH DUKE OF QUEENSBERRY, English rake, died 1810

Last Will: Popularly known as "Old Q," this remarkable eccentric was one of the richest men in England. When he was 84, his solicitors begged him to write his will. Instead he retired to his bed for several weeks to recover from such a horrible suggestion. At last persuaded, he began to write his will on Jan. 16, 1809, and found it such a pleasant experience that he continued adding, deleting, amending, and altering it until just a few days before his death on Dec. 23, 1810. He reveled in the delight of promising friends bequests, then a few days later cutting their names out of the will. Sleepless nights made him particularly fussy and he would alter pages, but in the morning he would cross out his corrections and keep his old bequests. At the end there were 34 codicils, and nearly everybody he ever met or knew was a beneficiary--including the Chevalier d'Eon and Emma Hamilton. The total legacy amounted to pounds 1,400,000. The one person he left out was his apothecary. Queensberry said that for every day he lived, he would pay the man well--but would not leave him an added penny in his will. The apothecary stayed by Old Q's bedside 1,215 nights and was indeed paid extremely well, but he secretly believed Old Q would also leave him something in his will. When he learned the rascally duke was faithful to his word, the irate apothecary sued--and was awarded Pound 7,500 "compensation."

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