Elizabeth Harris Pitts

Elizabeth Harris Pitts was born in 1836 and privately baptised on 13th March of that year at South Allington. She was formally baptised on 29th April 1836 in Chivelstone (presumably at St. Sylvester's church). She never married and her death was registered in Plymouth in the fourth quarter of 1926.

Census data has provided the following information:

6 June 1841 - she was recorded at South Allington House with her parents - 5 years old. By 30 March 1851 Elizabeth was at school at Larkbeare House Walk in St Leonards, then outside the Exeter Registration District. By 7 April 1861 she has returned to South Allington and is recorded as unmarried. When her father's will was drafted in 1862 she was still resident at South Allington.

 

When her father's will was executed upon his death in 1870, she was, together with her two sisters, provided with a legacy in the form of an annuity; but a provision was included with the charging of this annuity to the estate that she could, together with her surviving sisters, require payment of the principal amount after the age of majority. One of those sisters pre-deceased her father and thus the amount of £10,000 was directed to be divided among the surviving brothers and sisters. The extract from the will is couched in the following terms:

".......the sum of ten thousand pounds the aggregate amount of the legacies hereby given to my said daughters shall not be paid off without the wish or consent of my said daughters or daughter respectively it being my wish that the said lands shall remain charged with the said legacies and that the interest thereon shall be paid regularly to my said daughters respectively until from marriage or other circumstances they shall respectively desire payment of the principal."

"........And in case either of my said daughters should happen to die under the age of twenty one years and without leaving any lawful issue, then I direct that her original legacies and resulting income therefrom as well as any share or interest in any other legacy which shall have accrued to the one so dying shall pass and belong unto and be divided between and among all my then surviving sons and daughters......" - See the Will of Nicholas Pitts.

 

At some point after the death of her father in 1870, presumably when her brother Thomas Harris Pitts established his household at South Allington House, Elizabeth moved away from Chivelstone and she was next reported at the 3 April 1881 Census. By that time she was the head of the household, living in Fore St, Lower Knole, in the Kingsbridge registration district. She was living with her sister Anne Eliza Pitts. They reported that they were living off the income from interest of money, i.e. the annuity resulting from her father's settlement. By the time of the 5 April 1891 Census, her other sister, Louisa Prettejohn Pitts had joined Elizabeth and Anne Eliza at the Fore St. house in Lower Knole. They also had a resident cook and a housemaid. Finally, at the 31 March 1901 Census she is reported together with her sisters, but now living in Plymouth. Until there is some evidence to the contrary, it must be assumed that she remained in Plymouth until her death in 1926.

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