Will of Right Reverend Doctor Michael Anthony Fleming
from Newfoundland will books volume 1 pages 594 to 597 probate year 1850.
Rt. Rev. Dr. M.A. Fleming deceased.
In the name of God Amen. I Michael Anthony Fleming Roman Catholic Bishop of Newfoundland do hereby make this my last will and testament in manner following that is to say,
First I direct that all my just debts and funeral and testamentary expenses may be paid by my executors hereinafter named with all convenient speed after my decease and I do hereby subject charge and make liable all and every my real and personal estate and effects whatsoever and wheresoever to and with the payment of the same and of the legacies hereinafter bequeathed accordingly.
Secondly, I hereby bequeath all my real estate in Newfoundland as well as all my lands and real chattels of whatsoever kind (save as hereinafter excepted) unto the Right Reverend John Mullock Coadjutor Bishop of Newfoundland my successors in the office of Roman Catholic Bishop of Newfoundland in perpetuity and the Reverend Kyran Walsh of Saint John's Roman Catholic Clergyman, Laurence O'Brien of the same place Merchant and Philip F. Little of the same place Barrister at law their heirs executors and administrators or Trustees upon the trusts and for the purposes following that is to say:
First to apply the annual rents thereof from time to time and at all times hereafter to the maintenance and support of the religious order of Nuns called the Sisters of Mercy established by me in Saint John's and Secondly towards the erection and support of an Orphan Asylum in Connexion with the said order of the Convent of Mercy for the reception, maintenance education and clothing of destitute female orphan children. But in the event of the said Trustees finding the erection of the said Asylum impracticable then it is my further will and desire that such funds as may remain out of the said rents above what may be required for the support of the said convent of Mercy in perpetuity shall be distributed by the Sisters of the said Order of Mercy among such of the Poor of Saint John's as in their Visitations they may see in need of the same hereby bequeathing the Convent house and the ground belonging thereto and adjoining the Cathedral for the use of the said Order of Mercy and reserving out of the rents issues and profits of the rest of the said land and premises the following sums, namely the sum of twenty pounds currency a year payable on the last day of October annually unto my servant Margaret Dellahunty during her natural life, the sum of twenty pounds currency a year payable on the last day of October annually unto my other servant Elizabeth Walsh during her natural life, the sum of ten pounds sterling a year to my sister Mary payable on the last day of October annually during her natural life and at the decease of the said three last named legatees the respective sums bequeathed to them shall cease and revert to the uses trusts and purposes hereinbefore named.
Item, I bequeath to my successors in this Bishopric all my right title and interest in that property willed to me by the late John Dellahunty of Waterford Bridge and now held by said Dellahunty's brother and Mary Curran his niece, my successors however paying the sum of two hundred pounds to the Presentation convent in consideration of that being the amount of money paid by me subsequently to the death of the above named John Dellahunty in maintaining a lawsuit entered upon by the surviving friends of the said John Dellahunty to deprive the mission of this bequest the profits arising from the above farm after the payment of the two hundred pounds to the Presentation Covent to be applied to the interests of the mission as my successors may judge prudent.
Item, I further bequeath out of the debentures I now hold to my said Trustees to be laid out and applied the following sums, that is to say, to invest such portion thereof in the English funds as will yield the annual interest of seven pounds for ever to be paid for the celebration of an annual High Mass for the repose of the soul of the late Mary Bulger a benefactress of the Church in Newfoundland. The sum of seven hundred pounds sterling towards the completion of the Roman Cathedral of saint John's the sum of three hundred pounds sterling towards the erection of the Presentation Convent in Saint John's.
Item, I further bequeath the Cathedral ground to the Right Reverend Doctor Mullock as Roman Catholic Bishop of this Diocese and my successors for ever, for the uses and trusts expressed in the original grant thereof from the Government to me.
Item, I further bequeath the sum of six hundred pounds sterling to my said Trustees for the purchase of a Dead Christ to be made by Hogan the Irish Artist for the front of the Altar of the Roman Catholic Cathedral of Saint John's and a further sum of two hundred pounds sterling to procure a monument to be erected to the memory of the late Dr. Scallon in Saint John's.
Item, I further bequeath to each of my curates residing in Saint John's at the time of my decease and also to the Reverends Father Troy, FATHER O'Connor and Father Cleary the sum of twenty pounds currency each for the celebration of Masses for the eternal repose of my soul if such sums should remain after paying my debts and satisfying the aforesaid bequests And also the sum of fifty pounds currency to the Society of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Saint John's if such sum can be spared out of my estate as aforesaid.
Item, I further bequeath all my household furniture in the "Palace" to the Right Reverend Doctor Mullock for the use of the establishment.
Item, I further bequeath all my paintings to be equally divided between the Monastery and the two convents of Mercy and Presentation before named.
Item, I further bequeath all my English books to the said Monastery and all my other books for the use of the Roman Catholic Curates of Saint John's for the time being and in time to come.
Item, I further bequeath my gold watch, chain and appendages and my set of silver mounted harness to the Right Reverend Doctor Mullock for his own use and benefit.
Item, I further bequeath the Chalice sent to me by His Holiness the present Pope Pius the Ninth and a suit of vestments of the various colours of the Church, a cope(?) remonstrance and Ciborium to my successors for the use of the Altar of the Blessed Virgin in the Roman Catholic Cathedral of Saint John's.
Item, I further desire that the Right Reverend Doctor Mullock shall divide in such manner as he may see proper the remainder of my vestments between the said Presentation Covent and the Reverend Father O'Connor, Father Troy and Father Cleary.
Item, I further bequeath my principal crosses and rings to the Right Reverend Doctor Mullock for the use of the Mission.
Item, It is my further will and desire that my furniture in the Monastery shall be disposed of by the Right Reverend Doctor Mullock among the Priests of Newfoundland and the proceeds of the sale distributed among the poor of Saint John's.
Item, It is my further will and desire that in the event of a failure of the trusts and uses mentioned in a certain deed of trust executed by me to the Very Rev. Dennis Mackin, the very Rev. Charles Dalton and others of and concerning the Monastery erected by me at Belvidere and the ground attached there to and the use thereof by a certain Order of Franciscan Monks as stated in the said deed the said Monastery and ground shall be applied to the support of such religious order of Brothers as may be established in Saint John's under the direction of the Roman Catholic Bishop of Newfoundland for the time being and so longly as such Order or religious community shall remain subject and obedient in all respects to the said Roman Catholic bishop for the time being and in the further event of a failure taking place in establishing and continuing any of the said Orders in Saint John's as aforesaid then it is my further will and desire that the said property shall be let or leased for the support of the said Orphan Asylum so to be established as aforesaid and the rents issues and profits shall be applied to that object.
Item, I further bequeath all the rest residue and remainder of my estate and effects of all kinds whatsoever to my said Trustees their executors and administrators for the support of the said convent of Mercy and the erection and support of the Orphan Asylum to be established in connexion therewith, and I hereby solemnly enjoin my said trustees not to sell, mortgage or encumber any of the lands hereby devised, but to lease such portion thereof for years or in perpetuity as may be proper to carry out my aforesaid intentions.
I regret that I cannot in justice to the Church leave any portion of my property to my sister Johanna as I feel myself in conscience bound to bequeath the same for charitable and religious purposes.
Lastly It is my further will and desire that the annual interest of the sum of two hundred pounds invested by the Right Reverend Doctor Mullock and Father Forristall for me in the English funds shall be applied for the celebration of a High Mass for the eternal repose of my soul and the souls of my deceased parents and that my mortal remains shall be consigned to the grave in my habit and episcopal robes in a plain coffin without any ornament whatever.
And I do nominate constitute and appoint the said Right Reverend Doctor Mullock, the Reverend Kyran Walsh, Mr. Laurence O'Brien and Philip F. Little executors of this my last will and testament hereby revoking and making void all and every other will or wills at any time heretofore by me made and do declare this to be my last will and testament.
In witness whereof I the said Michael Anthony Fleming have hereunto set my hand and seal this eleventh day of June in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and fifty (A.D. 1850)
Michl Anthony Fleming (LS)
Signed sealed and declared and published by the above named Michael Antony Fleming as and for his last will and testament in the presence of us who at his request and in his presence have subscribed our names as witnesses thereto, Thos. Waldren, Thomas Woods. P.F. Little.
D. M. Browning