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John Kidd vs. Elizabeth Kidd: Chancery Cause, Prince Edward County

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(2) exceptions &c for answer saith, that he knows nothing of any fraud or deception and undue influence exercised, in obtaining the execution of the will of Moses Kidd dec'd mentioned in the complainants bill, or of any fraud or improper practice used in keeping the said Will up after it was executed by the said Kidd in his lifetime. That as far as this defendant knows or has reason to believe, that same will was duly executed at the mere option of the said Moses Kidd at the day it bears date, and remained subject to alteration or revocation at the pleasure of the said Moses at any time before his death. That this Defen't and the other defendant John Toney and the said Moses Kidd in his life time were Very near, and intimate neighbours and relations, that he never heard the said Moses in his life time make any inquiry of the said John Toney in whose custody the will was, what had become of the same, or express any desire to the said John Toney that the same should be altered except once a few years before his death at the house of John Williams a near neighbour also, when the said Moses Kidd called to John Toney several times in a loud voice and asked him if he had not his will, and where was it, the said Toney answered that he had it at home, the said Moses Kidd then said, that he intended to make an alteration in the said will, John Toney replied, "your property is your own, you may dispose of it as you please". This defendant denies all fraud &c &c. William Wilkinson Buckingham County to wit, This 1st Jany 1803, William Wilkinson made oath before me a justice of the peace for the county aforesaid according to law, to the truth of the foregoing answer. Daniel Bagby

The Separate answer of Elizabeth Kidd widow of Moses Kidd deceased to a bill complaint exhibited against this defendant, and John Toney, and William Wilkinson executors of the last will and testament of Moses Kidd deceased, in the honorable the high court of chancery for the Richmond district by John Kidd, William Kidd, Benjamin Boatright and others. This defendant saving and reserving to himself all benefit of excepting &c for answer saith, that the allegations of the complainants that the will of Moses Kidd decd in their bill mentioned was made by means of an undue influence of this defendant, exercised over the said Moses in his life time, and that the said Moses in his life time was from time to time prevented from making another will are entirely false. That the will in the bill mentioned was made at the time it bears date as far as the defendant knows. This defendant takes the liberty here to state, altho the recollection is painful to her, that in consequence of a disposition which her late husband Moses Kidd, had to an immoderate use of ardent spirits, she had many unnecessary and unhappy hours caused by courses of life to which intemperance lead him, but when reason and soberness returned, the said Moses Kidd often repeated to this defendant the contents of the will in the bill mentioned, and would from thence infer that this deft ought to be satisfied and content. That at Sundry times, and especially not long before the death of the said Moses Kidd, as this defendant had heard that he had been making some other wills, which she also understood he had destroyed, at a sober hour this defendant observed to the said Moses that he had better make a will that would be satisfactory to himself, and the said Moses replied "Betty we have worked together for the estate which we have got and after my death, should I die first, it is my wish that you should have it, according to the will which I have made, and which is in the hands of John Toney". That this defen't knows of no fraud, or improper practice, nor does she believe there was any, by which the will in the bill mentioned was kept up till after the death of the said Moses Kidd decd. This defendant denies all fraud &c, &c, &c. Elizabeth Kidd X her mark Buckingham County Sct. This 1st Jany 1803 Elizabeth Kidd made oath before me a Justice of the Peace for the county aforesaid according to law to the truth of the foregoing Answer. Daniel Bagby The