Nicholas William Prettejohn Pitts
- Born: 30 Apr 1834, Chivelstone, Devon
- Christened: 28 May 1834, Chivelstone
- Marriage: Mary Jane Pearce 1857 - Second Quarter in Kingsbridge, Devon
- Died: 24 Jan 1915, Kingsbridge, Devon at age 80
Nicholas William was born at South Allington House. At the time of the 1841 Census, he was 7 years of age.
In 1851 Nicholas William was at school in Lee, Kent.
In the United Service Magazine, of January-April 1854 it was reported that Nicholas William Prettijohn Pitts was to be an Ensign.
By 1871 he was a local magistrate and was farming 260 acres with 6 men and 3 boys at Whympston in Modbury.
By 1881, he was described in the Census returns as a farmer (356 acres, 9 men 2 boys) at Whympston.
According to the 1891 Census collection Nicholas was living at Wympston House but his wife was not mentioned as she had died in the preceding February. Also present on census day was a visitor, Francis Tanner, and three servants.
Nicholas was mentioned as Mr N.W.P. Pitts of Modbury in the South Hams Gazette's account of the Queen's Jubilee celebrations, on 24 June 1887. Reference was also made to the Misses Pitts of Kingsbridge - which ones?
Nicholas bequeathed most of his property to his nephew Charles Hugh Harris Pitts, his brother Thomas's son, and some to his nephew Arthur Edward Seaton, his sister's son. His son Nicholas William Harris Pitts was bequeathed his great uncle's organ.
According to his great nephew Peter Pitts of Totnes in Devon, Nicholas lost a great deal of money due to investment in Germany before the first world war. By the time the estate was sold and death duty paid there was little left.
Below is an extract of the Will of Nicholas Pitts drawn in 1862 and executed in 1870 after his death:
And I give devise and bequeath unto my eldest son Nicholas William Prettejohn Pitts all those my messuages farms and lands called Stubston situate in the parish of Modbury in the said county and Great Gate Vitlidge and Reveton and parcels of Blackdown situate in the parish of Loddiswell in the said county with all manorial rights privileges and appurtenances to the said premises respectively belonging. And all other lands tenements and hereditaments of which I am seized or possessed situate in the said parishes of Modbury and Loddiswell or either of them to hold the same with the appurtenances, subject nevertheless and charged with the payment of the clear yearly rent charge or annual sum of seventy five pounds to my said wife during her life on or towards part payment of her jointure as hereinafter mentioned and also subject to and charged with the payment of the sum of two thousand seven hundred and fifty pounds in part payment of the legacies hereinafter given to my daughters and to be raised and paid at the times and in the manner hereinafter mentioned unto and to the use of my said son Nicholas William Prettejohn Pitts his heirs executors administrators and assigns according to the nature and quality thereof respectively for ever or for and during all my estate and interest therein respectively.
And for the purpose of securing to my said wife the payment of an amount equal to the said annuity of one hundred and fifty pounds to which she is entitled by virtue of my said settlement. I hereby expressly charge all and singular the lands and hereditaments hereby given and devised unto and to the use of my said son Nicholas William Prettejohn Pitts with the payment of the annuity or yearly rent charge of seventy five pounds per annum to be paid to my said wife and her assigns for her life as hereinafter mentioned.
And I hereby give devise and bequeath unto my two sons Nicholas William Prettejohn Pitts and Thomas Harris Pitts all the residue and remainder of my messuages lands tenements and hereditaments and all other my real estate, and all my monies and securities for money, and all the residue and remainder of my personal estate of every description whatsoever to hold the same with their respective appurtenances unto and to and for the absolute use and benefit of my said sons Nicholas William Prettejohn Pitts and Thomas Harris Pitts and their respective heirs executors administrators and assigns in equal shares as tenants in common and not as joint tenants. And I hereby nominate and appoint the said Nicholas William Prettejohn Pitts and Thomas Harris Pitts to be the joint executors of this my last will and testament and I hereby revoke all former wills.
Nicholas married Mary Jane Pearce, daughter of John Pearce and Unknown, 1857 - Second Quarter in Kingsbridge, Devon. (Mary Jane Pearce was born in 1832 in Stokenham, Devon and died on 18 Feb 1891.)