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TCG Letter #474

J.R.R. Tolkien
High Court of Justice
23 July 1973
Typed Letter Signed
I JOHN RONALD REUEL TOLKIEN of Merton College Oxford hereby revoke all wills and testamentary dispositions previously made by me and declare this to be my last will

1. (a) I APPOINT FRANK RICHARD WILLIAMSON of 1 St. Giles Oxford Solicitor my son MICHAEL HILARY REUEL TOLKIEN of 2 Woodfields Stoneyhurst Near Blackburn Lancashire and my son CHRISTOPHER REUEL TOLKIEN of Lydbrook Farm House West Hanney Berkshire (hereinafter called "my Trustees" which expression shall include the Trustee or Trustees for the time being of this my will) to be the Executors and Trustees of this my Will

(b) I APPOINT my said son CHRISTOPHER REUEL TOLKIEN to be my Literary Executor with the powers and duties hereinafter expressed

2. IT is my desire that I shall be buried

3. I make the following gifts of money free of duty in each case:

(1) To the Fathers of the Birmingham Oratory of Hagley Road Birmingham the sum of One Thousand Pounds (£1,000) in memory of Father Francis Xavier Morgan and in recognition of the kindness of the Fathers to me after my mother's death

(ii) To Trinity College Oxford the sum of Five Hundred Pounds (£500) in acknowledgement of the help which I have received from that college and I express the wish without imposing any legal trust or obligation that the said sum shall be used to help an undergraduate (or his parent or guardian) who finds himself in financial difficulties

(iii) To Exeter College Oxford the sum of Three Hundred Pounds (£300) and to Pembroke College Oxford the sum of Two Hundred Pounds (£200) in recognition of the kindness of both Colleges to me over the years and I ask each College to use such gift for the purchase of a piece of furniture silver or some other article required for its Senior Common Room

(iv) The sum of two Hundred Pounds (€200) to my Godson David Havard

(v) The sum of One Thousand Pounds (£1,000) to my grand daughter Joan Anne Reuel Baker

4. I GIVE all my personal chattels (with the exception of my library and my typescripts and manuscripts) to my Trustees upon trust to divide the same at the discretion of my Trustees among members of my family living at my death and the division by my Trustees shall be final and binding upon all the said members of my family

5. I GIVE my library and all my manuscripts typescripts notes and all other articles connected with my work as an author (hereinafter together referred to as "my literary assets) to my Trustees upon the following trusts that is to say:

(a) Upon trust to allow my son Christopher full access to the same in order that he may act as my Literary Executor with full power to publish edit alter rewrite or complete any work of mine which may be unpublished at my death or to destroy the whole or any part or parts of any such unpublished works as he in his absolute discretion may think fit and subject thereto

(b) Upon trust to deliver to my son Christopher such parts of my library as he may select for his own use and benefit within one year of my death and subject thereto

(c) Upon trust to distribute such parts of the remainder of my library as my Trustees shall in their absolute discretion think fit amongst members of my family and subject thereto

(d) Upon trust to hold the balance of my literary assets as part of the Trust Fund hereinafter defined

6. I GIVE all the rest and residue of my property real and personal whatsoever and wheresoever to my Trustees upon trust to sell the same (with full power to postpone the sale thereof without being liable for any loss thereby occasioned) and out of the proceeds of such sale to pay my just debts funeral and testamentary expenses and all duties whether English or foreign payable on or by reason of my death including capital gains tax or any tax replacing the same

7. MY Trustees shall hold the balance of the proceeds of such sale (hereinafter called "the Trust Fund") and the future income thereof in trust for such of my children as shall be living at my death and if more than one in equal shares absolutely and without taking into account any payments made by me to any of my said children during my lifetime Provided that if any child of mine shall have died in my lifetime leaving issue living at my death such issue as and when they attain the age of Eighteen years shall take by substitution and if more than one in equal shares per stirpes the share that such deceased child of mine would have taken had he or she survived me

Ɛ. I GIVE to my Trustees the following special powers and directions:

(i) My Trustees may invest in their absolute discretion and as if they were absolute owners any money which they hold as my Executors or Trustees in the purchase of or at interest upon the security of any kind of property and I SPECIFICALLY EMPOWER my Trustees to retain my interests in my copyright Agreements if such retention is practicable in the administration of this will it being my wish that copyrights in my works should be retained in my family if possible

(ii) My Trustees shall have power to pay to my son Christopher Reuel Tolkien for acting as my Literary Executor in accordance with Clause 5 hereof such reasonable remuneration as the said Frank Richard Williamson and my said son Michael Hilary Reuel Tolkien may in their absolute discretion consider appropriate and I direct the said Frank Richard Williamson and my said son Michael Hilary Reuel Tolkien to consult my publishers George Allen & Unwin Ltd. as to the amount of such remuneration which shall be a charge upon the capital and income of the Trust Fund

(iii) Any Executor or Trustee for the time being a Solicitor or other person engaged in any profession or business shall be entitled to charge and be paid all usual professional or other charges for business done by him or by his firm in connection with the proving hereof or the execution of the trusts hereof whether in the ordinary course of his profession or business or
not and including business which an Executor or Trustee not being engaged in any profession or business could have transacted personally

(iv) The receipt of the Treasurer or other proper officer of a charitable benevolent or philanthropic institution society or body of persons (corporate or incorporate) to which a legacy is given hereunder shall be a complete discharge to my Trustees

(v) My Trustees shall have power to treat as income all the income from any part of my estate whatever the period in respect of which it shall accrue and to disregard the Apportionment Act 1870 and any Act replacing the same and the rules of equity relating to apportionments including those known as the Rules in Howe -v- Dartmouth and Allhusen -v- Whittel and all their branches

IN WITNESS whereof I have set my hand to this my will this twenty third day of July One thousand nine hundred and seventy three

SIGNED by the said TESTATOR JOHN RONALD REUEL TOLKIEN as and for his last Will in the presence of us both present at the same time who at his request in his presence and in the presence of each other have hereunto subscribed our names as witnesses :-

J.R.R. Tolkien

Ms. C. Jones
1 St. Giles

JCH Anelay
1 St. Giles
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