Money and Annuities left to Servants in the Wills of the Earls of Portarlington


The 3rd Earl’s Will, 1889

In his will, the 3rd Earl of Portarlington left generous annuities and sums of money to many of his servants:

To his valet Godfrey Müller  

● he left all his wardrobe except his sables, furs and robes as a Peer

₤50 per annum for the duration of his life

and a sum of ₤200 free of duty

To his “excellent agent and friend” Alexander Kirkpatrick

he left the choice of any object on or in  his writing table in his study at Emo Park
and a sum of ₤500

To Mrs Bailey, wife of his late butler  ₤25 per annum during her life
To his late house steward/butler, Edwin Bailey: ● a sum of ₤100
To John Smith, his former coachman: •₤20 per annum during his life
To Anne Conway, his housemaid:     ● ₤20 per annum during her life
To his head keeper, James Lane: ● ₤20 per annum, to commence  whenever after the Earl’s death he  should resign or lose his job
To Edward Ennis, his gardener and bailiff: ● a sum of ₤100 free of duty


Interestingly, in a codicil to his will, the Earl had increased the lump sum given to his valet from ₤100 to ₤200. Tax returns which survive for the years 1909-22 show that the annuities to James Lane and Godfrey Müller were paid until their deaths in 1912 and 1918 respectively; in the case of Godfrey Müller the annuity was thus paid for 29 years!

The 5th Earl’s Will, 1900

The 5th Earl of Portarlington was also generous to his servants in his will. He left the following sums, free of duty, to members of his staff, on condition that each was still in his employment upon his death and not under notice to leave:


To his resident agent, Mr Bertie Fitzherbert ● ₤100
To his butler, George Bennett     ● ₤50
To his keeper, John Dempster     ● ₤50
To his head gardener, William Begby    ● ₤50
To his head coachman, Robert Scott    ● ₤50
To his valet, William Penny    ● ₤50