Whitfields of Southern Africa
  Legal letters re estate W.H.L. Whitfield
 
Over the years various people have contacted me about a small fortune left to Charlotte in Chancery. Here is the all the information I have dug up on it. Her younger step-brother William Henry Lancaster Whitfield had gone to Jamaica and made quite a bit of money as a sugar plantation owner. He left his money to Charlotte and her sister Belinda both of whom had died and it took some time to locate the surviving heirs to the money. Some of the correspondence and articles concerning this are shown below.

An interesting article appeared in an Australian newspaper at the time The West Australian in Perth on Thursday 29th December 1898 in an article entitled "Windfalls for Colonists" in which Charlotte Whitfield and Charlotte Turkington are mentioned. This article can be read at newspapers.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/3205060

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Klerksdorp - Transvaal
26 Feb 1909
The Master of the Supreme Court 6096
Pretoria
[Date stamp reads]
[MASTERS OFFICE]
[1 MAR 1909]
[?? 9/3]

re Est W.H.L Whitfield Dist. Lydenburg
B.269

Sir,
In 1899 I had some correspondence with the late Orphan Master and sent him amongst other things an Affidavit by Josiah Sussens, Baptismal and Marriage Certificates of the heirs of the late Whitfield. Beyond a small sum of money which was then paid out to the widow and the children there was no Estate in this country.
I am now credibly informed that there is a sum of something over £4000 in Chancery. In order to obtain payment of that sum or of so much as may be due to above Estate, it will be necessary to have an Executor appointed to sign the necessary papers in this country. The widow who is now very aged, and her children wish me to accept the appointment. Will you be prepared to issue an appointment of Executor Dative to me if the widow and her children sign consent papers to that effect without any advertising. There are no Creditors nor anybody else interested in the Estate than the widow and the children and there are no funds in hand only the bare chance of getting a share in the Chancery Funds above alluded to.
I have the honor to be,
Sir, Your obedient Servant,

signed [unable to decipher signature]

Klerksdorp - Transvaal
8th Jan 1910
Master Supreme Court
Pretoria
[Date stamp reads]
[MASTERS OFFICE]
[10 JAN 1910]
[No 694]

re Est W.H.L Whitfield Dist. Lydenburg
[can't read]

Sir,
Your letter of the 6th inst., to hand for which I thank you.
I think it appears from the papers which I sent you that Charlotte Turkington (born Whitfield) resided and died at Debieneck near Kingwilliamstown, Cape Colony, and as the law of Inheritance "ab intestato" is, so far as I know, the same all over South Africa, I hope that you will be able to give me the desired assistance. The point I wish to make is this : That we desire the money to be paid to David Reuben Whitfield, Executor Dative under appointment granted by you. to the Estate of W.H.L. Whitfield but according to previous correspondence and copy of the letter from Messrs Forbes Hatten & McClean which I sent you yesterday it would appear that the authorities in England will not pay to the Executor but to the widow of the late W.H.L. Whitfield and to his children.
The question is who is beneficially entitled to the moneys accruing from the Estate of W.L. Whitfield? Is it the Executor in the Estate of W.H.L. Whitfield or is it the widow and heirs of W.H.L. Whitfield? If the Executor could receive money in England we would save a lot of trouble and expense. kindly return to me the papers I forwarded to you on 23rd december last.
I have the honor to be,
Sir, Your obedient Servant,

signed [unable to decipher signature]


[Date stamp reads]
[MASTERS OFFICE]
[23 DEC 1909]
[No 29253]

re Est W.H.L Whitfield Dist. Lydenburg
[can't read]

Sir,
I enclose herein copy of a recent letter received from my Solicitors in London from which you will see that the Master of the Chancery Court requires proof as to the state of the Law in this country with regard to the payment of money out of an Estate. I enclose also the pedigree furnished me in this Estate for your information from which you will observe that William Lancaster Whitfield - from whose Estate the money originally comes - died on the 17th October 1828. I understand that he by his Will left his Estate to his sisters Belinda Whitfield who died unmarried and childless in October 1827 and Charlotte Whitfield who first co-habited with John Brown and afterwards married William Henry Turkington and died on the 21st July 1875 leaving five children namely Leo Africanus Whitfield, Mary Margaret Whitfield, Charlotte Belinda Whitfield, John Whitfield and William Henry Lancaster Whitfield who died on the 13th May 1877 leaving five children namely Charles James Whitfield, Jessie Ellen Whitfield (married to Octavius Ablord Penny), Amy Katherine Whitfield (married to Henry John O'Neil) without Community of property, David Reuben Whitfield and Alfred Leo Whitfield who died on the 22nd February 1901 leaving three children namely Iva Lilian Whitfield, Cecil Alfred Whitfield and Lionel Redvers Whitfield.
    I think it is clear that according to our Law the whole of the Estate of William Henry Lancaster Whitfield is to be divided is to be divided between the five children of Charlotte Whitfield and that the 1/5th share of W.H.L. Whitfield - in whose Estate D.R. Whitfield is Executor Dative and for whom I am acting - is to go to the surviving spouse Mary Ellen Whitfield (born Cawood) who is still living, the four surviving children above-mentioned and the three descendants of Alfred Leo Whitfield. Now as the Master of the Chancery Court requires proof of the  state of the Law here it occurs to me that no better proof can be afforded than by a certificate or Affidavit from yourself.  I was first of all advised that all that was now needed to secure payment was the appointment of an Executive Dative in England but you will observe from the correspondence enclosed that the Master in Chancery holds that payment should be made to the heirs, being the persons beneficially entitled thereto. It would of course be much more convenient to us if the money could be paid to the Executor Dative but if that is not the correct position I shall be extremely obliged if you would grant the Certificate of Affidavit above-mentioned or perhaps an official letter from you to the Master of the Chancery Court  would be all that is required. If you do write him a letter I shall be obliged if you will send me a copy thereof. Upon advice from you as to what stamps and fees are needed for your intervention herein I shall remit the amount to cover same. You might kindly return to me the copy of the pedigree enclosed.
I have the honor to be,
Sir, Your obedient Servant,

signed [unable to decipher signature]
 
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