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Not Brentford

Will of Dr Alexander Corson, 1804

Transcript of will

...this is the last will and testament of me Alexander Corson of Brentford Butts ... surgeon being in sound mind, memory & understanding...

...Imprimis I devise I may be buried at the Burial Ground of the protestant dissenters in the Brentford Butts and that in as plain and decent a manner as possible without any unnecessary pomp...

... I give devise and bequeath unto my dear wife Charlotte CORSON ... my household furniture plate silver and china...

... after her decease I give devise and bequeath all my said Estate and Effects ... amongst all such child or children ...

... to Doctor Robert Wallace JOHNSON [and to ? JOHNSON his wife (crossed out)] the sum of twenty five pounds to buy mourning as a grateful remembrance of the long friendship which has existed between us and I do hereby appoint [James GIBSON of Boston Lane Esquire Mr BOLTON? of no. 16 Carlisle Street So? (crossed out) ] and my said wife Executors


Written 6th October 1800 signed Alexr CORSON

Thos JULLION Atty Brentford
John WARD New Brentford

The above erasements and the insertions of Joseph STEVENS Esqr of Kew I witness to have been done by Mr CORSON. Mr COOKE 5th October 1804

Proved by Thomas JULLION of Brentford .. gentleman ...

... departed this life in the month of March last and that on a day or two previous to his death ... attended the said deceased in his bed chamber where he was confined by illness ... attended by his partner William COOKE ... obliterated the appointment of James GIBSON Esq and ? as Executors and had inserted the name of Joseph STEVENS Esq .... Mrs Susanna JOHNSON, formerly wife of Dr RObert Wallace JOHNSON to whom the deceased had left a legacy of 25 ... died in the lifetime of the said Testator. Thomas JULLION

Proved at London On the 8th day of October 1804 ... by oaths of Joseph STEVENS Esq & Christiana Charlotte CORSON (in the will Charlotte CORSON), widow, the Relict ... and Executors

The testator

Whilst researching Dr Robert Wallace Johnson I came across references to his contemporary, Dr Alexander Corson. Both were doctors who ran businesses in Brentford: Johnson a starch mill, Corson a turpentine works (following an unsuccessful venture into soap making).

"Alexander Corson, surgeon, leased a turpentine works, laboratory, and warehouse in Catherine Wheel Yard in 1792. He had occupied the laboratory before 1791, when he was granted more land on the west of the Ham, and a counting house, mill house, and distillery stood on the site in 1792. On the failure of his soap making concern, the Ham premises were sold in 1797 and thereafter often changed hands. Turpentine was still made in 1813."

From: 'Ealing and Brentford: Economic history', A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 7: Acton, Chiswick, Ealing and Brentford, West Twyford, Willesden (1982), pp. 131-144. URL:

The Middlesex parish register web site (see links) provided a marriage of Alexander CORSEN to Christina JULLION at New Brentford, by licence, in 1778. Searches of the Access to Archives (A2A) web site confirm Alexander CORSON was living in Brentford by 1782.

Pallot's Marriage Index includes two further Alexander CORSON marriages: a bachelor Alexander CORSON to spinster Maria 'Esth' GOSS in 1794 and a widowed Alexander CORSON to Mary HEDGES in 1798. These may be another Alexander CORSON. The IGI includes a baptism of a one year old Alexander CORSON, son of Alexander & MAry CORSON at St Mary Rotherhithe in 1802. Although Alexander CORSON sounds a distinctive name it seems likely there were (at least) two of them.

The witnesses & executor

William COOKE: there is an entry for William Cooke, surgeon, New Brentford in Holden's 1811 directory; Peter Selley sent some further details of William Cooke, February 2015.

Christina or Christiana CORSON: Mrs Corson was living in the Butts Brentford in 1826 (listed in the nobility, gentry and clergy section of Pigot's directory)

Thomas JULLION: likely to be a relative of the testator; he was a local solicitor who was also the vestry clerk for Ealing between 1796 and 1834 (British History online web site).

How to see this will in full

A copy of the original will can be downloaded from The National Archives Documents Online service, or it can be viewed free of charge by visiting TNA at Kew.


Published December 2011; updated February 2015