Mrs Elizabeth Goldsmith and the saltmarsh known as Lady’s Tippett, 1870

The title deed to the parcel of marshland in the Higham Salts, County of Kent (UK), known as “Lady’s Tippett” which Captain Edward Goldsmith asumed to be legally his according to his last will and testament prepared in 1865 and proved July 1869 on his death, was not found among his conveyancing documents when his entire estate was prepared for auction in June 1870. Yet he had received “rents and profits” from its tenants since 1857, income which his executors continued to accrue up to the planned date of sale. “Lady’s Tippett” could only be sold legitimately if Captain Goldsmith’s widow, Mrs Elizabeth Goldsmith, set forth in Chancery a declaration (oath) that this piece of land’s provenance in her husband’s estate was the result of an informal arrangement with wine merchant James Saxton in 1857. Up until a week before the date of auction set for the 14th June 1870 at the Bull Hotel Rochester where purchaser Robert Lake would bring to light the property’s “fee simple” status, Elizabeth Goldsmith, as one of three executors to her husband’s estate along with silk merchants Alfred Bentley and William Bell Bentley, was still receiving rent from the tenant Mrs Mary Youens. To absolve the executors of any suspicion they had knowledge of the anomaly, Elizabeth Goldsmith’s sworn declaration was made in Chancery just days prior to the auction, on Thursday 9th June 1870 under an Act of Parliament which was incepted at the time of William IV’s reign and later amended to abolish unnecessary oaths and suppress voluntary, extrajudicial affadavits. … More Mrs Elizabeth Goldsmith and the saltmarsh known as Lady’s Tippett, 1870