Military Service


Solomon's will (below) says he was "a Lieutenant on the half pay " [i.e. not in active service] "of His Majesty's 76th Regiment of Foot, serving in the English Establishment" [at this time, Ireland was part of the Kingdom of Great Britain] "in the war of 1763, (at which time I was registered with the above Regiment)". This was at the end of the Seven Years War. Solomon was only ~18 years old at this time. His name is indeed listed in a "List of the general and field officers, as they rank in the army (1778)" - online here, and see below:



The Chronicles of Boileau says that Solomon was commissioned as an ensign when he was 13 (in 1758), and that he participated in the capture of Belle Île in 1761 and in the invasion of Martinique in 1762. It says that he was placed on half pay after the war, and then became a cashier "of the Dublin Bank".


Second Marriage


After his first wife Dorothea died in 1789, aged 44, Solomon got remarried three years later, to Lucy Slater, who at ~21 years old was younger than some of Solomon's daughters. In his will (below) Solomon writes "having been married to my present dear and beloved wife on the fourth day of April 1792 (as will appear by the register book of St Ann's Church Liverpool)". However the register in question lists the marriage as taking place of 3 April!
Solomon Boileau and Lucy Slater marriage register 1792.jpg


Move from Dublin to Chester


The 1851 Census declares that his daughter Alicia was born in Dublin, and this was in August 1779, implying that Solomon did not move to England until after that date. However his will (below) was written in Dublin in 1810 (though in it he says he is "formerly of the city of Dublin but now the city of Chester", so he must have moved around a bit.


Will


The will of Soloman Boileau is held in the Chester Public Record Office under reference PROB11/1518. The will is dated 9 July 1810 and the probate 11 January 1811. The following transcript was kindly provided by Charles Baron, along with a much more palatable commentary of his, with key extracts, which is reproduced below it:

"Solomon Boileau. In the name of God Amen.

I Solomon Boileau formerly of the city of Dublin but now the city of Chester, being through the mercy of God, perfect in mind and in good bodily health, make this my last will and testament. Knowingly, I make null and void all other wills heretofore made by me. When it shall please Almighty God to call me ? in my soul into the hands of my creator, hoping a joyful reunion with my beloved saviour and protector Jesus Christ, my corporal affairs I dispose of as follows:

It is my keenest request and desire that on my decease I am not buried till the opinion of some respectable medical person is taken, that there is not any possibility of my again rousing to life. It is my further desire that I may be buried in the closest, consecrated ground to where I die and in the most private and least expensive manner.

I desire that as soon as possible after my decease, all my just debts and official taxings may be discharged. I sincerely hope in the distribution of the remainder of my property, that my dear and beloved wife and all my dear and beloved children will be satisfied with the manner I have disposed of it. All my beloved children are dear to me but as I consider most of my dear children provided for or in the way of being so, the little that I shall leave behind me would not be of the least use to any of them if divided among them all. I have therefore thought it best to share it amongst those who appear to me to stand most in need of it, in the hopes that it may be of use to them. It is my sincerest hope and request that all my dear beloved children and other relations and other friends who have any regard for me in my lifetime will at all times and on all occasions that may occur, pay my own dear beloved wife any support and attention in their power, as they can never pay more grateful tribute to my memory.

I have written this, my last will and testament, with my own hand, to prevent if possible the quirks of the law and as that may be subject to alterations, in the hopes that none of the persons who are named in it, or any other person, will object to or advise against any part of it. They are done by myself and with my own hand, so let it remain in full force as I have shown and proffered my real and undying wish and intention.

Whereas on my marriage with my present dear and beloved wife Lucy I entered a marriage by which I settled on her and whatever infant I fathered by her the sum of £500 with which sum was purchased one thousand pounds stock in the (company?) in the name of my dear wife's mother Mary Slater only as in her name. Whereas it should have been purchased in the name of Mary Slater as trustee for the purposes and to be disposed of as directed by the said marriage settlement, a copy of which will be found with this my will.

I trust and request my executors will pay particular attention as on certain conditions contained in the said marriage article that said thousand pounds stock reverts or returns to me or my representatives, to be disposed of by me or my representatives as if no such settlement had been made and I have herein disposed of it in case it does or should revert to me or my representatives.

It is my warmest desire that as soon as possible after my death and that as so much can be promised of my property (or be obtained) that the sum of £1000 British be immediately paid to my dear beloved wife Lucy for herself for her sole and separate use and that the sum of £50 British be paid to her for the use of our dear daughter Dorothy if she is of minor age. But if my dear daughter Dorothy should be of age having obtained her one and twentieth year, then and in that case it is my will that the above sum of £50 British shall be paid to our dear daughter Dorothy herself for her sole and separate use. That (?) alone shall be a sufficient discharge.

Any ready money in cash or notes that may be found in my house at the time of my decease, it is my will and desire that it shall be paid to my dear beloved wife for her sole and separate use. My dear and beloved daughter Mrs Francis Franco, widow , having lent me £50 British, for which I never could prevail on her to receive either principal interest or security, I desire after the above sums are paid to my dear beloved wife of £1000 and the sum of £50 is paid to my dear daughter Dorothy, that the sum of £100 British is to be paid to my said dear beloved daughter, Mrs Francis Franco, widow, or under whatever mantle or situation, whether married or window at the time of my decease.

I also desire that the sum of £100 British be paid to my dear beloved son Simeon Peter and that the sum of £50 British be paid to my dear beloved son Lestock Francis.

All the above sums or surgains to be paid to my beloved and dear wife and children without any deduction whatever, as whatever deduction they may be liable to by law, I desire it may be deducted out of the rest and remainder of my property.

Whereas I am possessed of a security for £1200 Irish from the Commissioner of the wide streets of the city of Dublin, having an interest of 6% per annum also what the government Irish security for £100 having an interest of 4% per annum. Also a security for £100 from the Pliauix Fire Insurance company of Dublin on which an annual dividend has been paid out of the profits of the said company. I hereby give and bequeath in trust to my executors hereinafter mentioned the above securities of £1200 and the two above securities of £100 each. The interest of each and all of these should be paid half yearly or as they are paid by the persons appointed to pay them to my dearly beloved wife, as long as she shall remain my widow and unmarried, without any deduction except such as they may legally be subject to by the exchange between the two kingdoms.

Should my dear and beloved wife marry again, then and in that case, the interest which I have left to my executors in trust on the security for £1200 and the interest on the two securities for £100 each, is to be paid to our dear daughter Dorothy if she arrives at the age of 21 years and if she outlives her dear and beloved mother.

If my dear and beloved wife remains my widow and unmarried, she is to have the whole of the above interest during her natural life, after which it is to be paid to our dear daughter Dorothy for her life and then to her issue.

On the decease of my dear beloved wife and our dear daughter, should our dear daughter Dorothy die without issue, then it is my will and desire that the above security of £1200 and the two securities of £100 each, shall become the property of my dear son Simeon Peter. I request my executors will give him the above securities should the above circumstances arise, which I have specified and that he outlives my dear and beloved wife and our dear daughter Dorothy.

Being a member of the Liberal Annuity Company of Dublin, for making of provision for their widows, I give and bequeath to my dear and beloved wife, for her sole and separate use, all the income from the provision which may arise to my widow fro the said Annuity Company.

Being a Lieutenant on the half pay of His Majesty's 76th Regiment of Foot, serving in the English Establishment in the war of 1763, (at which time I was registered with the above Regiment), and having been married to my present dear and beloved wife on the fourth day of April 1792 (as will appear by the register book of St Ann's Church Liverpool), by which marriage my dear and beloved wife, on my death, is entitled to a provision of £30 per annum as a Lieutenant's widow. I request my executors will be so kind as to assist my dear and beloved wife in obtaining the above provision.

My executors will please take notice that any bequest or security which I have left to my wife is in addition to and exclusive of the £1000 stock, the interest of which she is to receive under her marriage settlement.

I give and bequeath to my dear and beloved wife, all my household furniture, plate glass, linen sheets, sauce silver, table silver and any other articles belonging to my house at the time of my death, save and except such articles as are hereinafter mentioned to be disposed of and given to other persons by the instructions in this will and I have that confidence in the goodness and justice of my dear and beloved wife and her natural affection for our dear daughter Dorothy, that on her demise she will leave whatever property she may possess, also to our dear daughter Dorothy (P4L4)

I give and bequeath to my executor in trust the sum of £50 per annum arising out of a (?) held in (?) stock of (?) quay Dublin, by my friend Edward Acton Gibbon and which pays me £50 a year. That the above £50 per annum be paid half yearly by my executors to my dear daughter Dorothy during the life of my dear beloved wife if she so long remains my widow and unmarried. On the marriage or death of my dear and beloved wife, then and in that case, the said £50 will become the property of my dear son Simeon Peter. The interest on the £1000 stock and the interest on the security for £1200 and the interest on the two securities for one hundred pounds each shall become and be paid to our dear daughter Dorothy for her own use and her issue. But on the death of my dear and beloved wife and our dear daughter Dorothy and should our dear daughter Dorothy die without issue, then and in that case, the security for £1200 and the two securities for £100 each, I give and bequeath to my dear son Simeon Peter if he outlives my dear and beloved wife and our dear daughter Dorothy. {page 4 line 21}

I give and bequeath to my dear daughter Mrs Frances Franco my solid silver bread basket, my large silver salver and my silver ? ? . I give to my dear son Simeon Peter my silver ?ceaubaw with the cover and the small silver salver which belonged to my dear father. I also give to my dear sone Simeon Peter my two silver cups with two handles each and my silver ?tindish and the silver plate belonging to it. I also give to my dear son Lestock my silver half pint ?tan with a handle. I give to my dear son Simeon Peter my emerald ring set round with diamond sparks. I also give and bequeath to my dear son Simeon Peter my complete set of mahogany Northumberland dining tables and the twelve mahogany chairs ? seats {page 4 line 32}. Also the two arm chairs to match. Also my mahogany writing desk with drawers which used to stand in my small parlour. Also one of my mahogany wardrobes, my dear beloved wife making the first choice.

I also give and bequeath to my dear son Simeon Peter a bedstead with two curtains belonging and also our feather bed and two feather bolsters and an hair matras {?mattress} and a hair matras with a pair of blankets and an under blanket, my dear beloved wife making first choice of a bedstead, curtains, bed, bolsters and hair matras and a hair matras with blankets and an under blanket. After this my dear son Simeon is to have the next choice of the next best of worth of the above articles of bed or bedding as above specified. I also leave to my dear son Simeon Peter, all my body clothes, body ? coloured ? and ? with my shoes, boots and stockings as they may be of use to his sons. All the articles I have disposed of above are to be ? or disposed of by the persons to whom they belong five or six months at farthest after my death and as it is my most anxious wish and desire that my dear and beloved wife shall not be disturbed or ? By seeking a place to deposit the above articles till ? for it is my desire and I empower my executor to pay the rent and ? of whatever house I may die in for one year after my death for my dear and beloved wife that she may have time to look about her if she wishes to remain. And it is my desire that in {end page 4} case my dear daughter Dorothy should die without issue that on her death and the death of my dear and beloved wife the £1000 stock which is in the name of my mother in law Mrs Mary Slater, and which was settled on my dear beloved wife and our joint issue, shall become the property of my dear and beloved daughter Mrs Frances Franco.

I give and bequeath to my dear and beloved wife, for and during her life, my gold watch and also my gold watch chain with a French couplet and my ?Comelian seal, set in gold with an ??. And on the decease of my dear and beloved wife, the said gold watch, chain and seal will become the property of our dear daughter Dorothy. I give and bequeath to my dear and beloved wife, all her rings, jewels, ornaments, ?s and every article belonging to her dress and wearing apparel which she is in possession of at my death, for her sole and own use and at her disposal. I give and bequeath to my dear son Solomon my ?Comelian seal with my arms set in gold and my grey pebble seal with my crest and ? set in gold. I give and bequeath to my dear son John Peter my black ring with the ? head set in gold and my ?Comelian seal with the head of our beloved ? set in gold. I give and bequeath to my dear nephew Simeon Boileau of Bride Street Dublin, my gold headed walking cane.

Being in the possession of six hundred pounds ? ? ? in my own name, I hereby empower my executors to ?sell out the said six hundred pounds or such part of it as may be necessary if there is not enough of money of mine in either or both of the banks of ?Pybus and Co of London or Williams, Jones, Hughes and Co of Chester, to pay off the above sums of money and legacies bequeathed by me.

I give to my dear daughter Dorothy all my books except my large prayer book in two volumes given me by my beloved daughter Mrs Maria Goad which I give to my dear some Simeon Peter. I hereby appoint my dear son Simeon Peter as sole Residuary Legatee after all my just debts are paid and all my gifts, legacies and bequests are discharged which I have instructed to be paid off under this my last will and testament.

I hereby name, constitute and appoint my dear and esteemed nephew Simeon Boileau of Bride Street Dublin and my dear esteemed nephew Lestock Wilson Junior of Barley Street London, and my much esteemed friend John George Esq of York Street Dublin to be my executors for executing and carrying into effect this my last will and testament in witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal in the city of Dublin, this third day of July in the year of our Lord Eighteen Hundred and Ten.

Sol. Boileau (signature)

Signed sealed and delivered in the presence of us who have seen the testator sign his name and set his seal and have each of us signed our names in the presence of each other the day and year above written.

Walter Nugent
JW Mayne
JC Hegaity

The three gentlemen who have witnessed this my last will and testament are old friends of mine who were many years with me in the Bank of Finlay and Co. Esquires in the city if Dublin. In case it should at any time be necessary or be advantageous, I hereby empower my executors with the consent of my beloved wife, or of my beloved daughter Dorothy after her mother's decease, to sell or otherwise dispose of the security from the commissioner for making wide and ? streets in the city of Dublin bearing an interest of six percent and the two securities of one hundred pounds each being part of my property settled on my dear and beloved wife and our issue and to place the money arising from the sale or transfer of the securities into such other ?? as to them shall appear to be most eligible. Sol. Boileau."



[The following commentary is written by Charles Baron and published with his permission]:

The end of the life of Solomon Boileau


Solomon made his last will and testament in Dublin in July 1810 at the age of 65. He went missing on 21st December 1810 when walking home at night from a friend's house in Chester. There was a storm and he was presumed drowned. The Chester Courant 1st January 1811 reported as follows:

"The family and friends of Solomon Boileau Esq, of this city, have been thrown into the deepest affliction by his loss. On Friday 21st inst. (21/12/1810) he passed the evening at the house of a friend, which he left at about eleven o'clock, and has not since been heard of; but from the circumstance of his hat being found next morning near the bottom of Crane Street, it is supposed that in the dreadful storm and darkness of that night, he missed his way and fell into the river (River Dee). Every search has been made for his body but in vain. The loss of this gentleman is greatly regretted, not only by his family and closest friends, but by all ranks of people in this city who had any knowledge of him."

His will was proved in London on 11th January 1811, before his body had been discovered. In fact he was discovered in the Dee on 7th February 1811 and the discovery was reported in the Chester Courant of 12th February as follows:

"Thursday morning, the body of Solomon Boileau Esq. was taken out of the river near the sluice-house. He had been missing many weeks. Under the cape of his coat his name and place of residence were found written on a scrap of paper, not in the least obliterated."

He was buried on 8th February 1811 and the register records his age as 66 (he was actually 65 when he died) and cause as "Accidental death".

His will is very difficult to read in the handwriting of the scribe who recorded it in the register of wills proved. I have made a full transcription (with some omissions where illegible to me), but features that I believe throw some light on his character are summarised here:

The second paragraph of the transcription indicate that today he would have been described as suffering from Taphophobia or the irrational fear of being buried alive.

"It is my keenest request and desire that on my decease I am not buried till the opinion of some respectable medical person is taken, that there is not any possibility of my again rousing to life."

In fact this was a common fear in the 17th, 18th and early 19th centuries and not entirely irrational. Some commentators estimate that misdiagnosis of death and consequent premature burial could have occurred in as many as 2% of all burials. Ironically it seems unlikely that any mistake could have been made in Solomon's case since he had been dead for 6 weeks before he was buried.

He obviously held his family dear to him and was very keen that his will should not cause any rift nor be subject to challenge. He appears constantly concerned for the welfare, after his death, of his second wife Lucy (who was 25 years younger than him) and their young daughter Dorothy who was then 16 years old.

"I sincerely hope in the distribution of the remainder of my property, that my dear and beloved wife and all my dear and beloved children will be satisfied with the manner I have disposed of it. All my beloved children are dear to me but as I consider most of my dear children provided for or in the way of being so, the little that I shall leave behind me would not be of the least use to any of them if divided among them all. I have therefore thought it best to share it amongst those who appear to me to stand most in need of it, in the hopes that it may be of use to them. It is my sincerest hope and request that all my dear beloved children and other relations and other friends who have any regard for me in my lifetime will at all times and on all occasions that may occur, pay my own dear beloved wife any support and attention in their power, as they can never pay more grateful tribute to my memory."

"I have written this, my last will and testament, with my own hand, to prevent if possible the quirks of the law and as that may be subject to alterations, in the hopes that none of the persons who are named in it, or any other person, will object to or advise against any part of it. They are done by myself and with my own hand, so let it remain in full force as I have shown and proffered my real and undying wish and intention."

The will confirms facts from other sources including names of family members (and friends). Included family are: Lucy Slater (Boileau) (1771); Dorothy Boileau (1794); Frances Boileau (Franco) (1771); Simeon Peter Boileau (1772); Lestock Francis Boileau (1785); Mrs Mary Slater (Lucy's mother); Solomon Hugh Richard Boileau (1781) {note SHRB died in April 1810 in India - since Solomon senior made his will in July 1810, it seems likely that he was unaware of his son's death at the time}; Simeon Boileau (nephew); Maria Boileau (Goad) (1783); Lestock Wilson (nephew).

The will also confirms date and place of marriage to Lucy Slater:

"and having been married to my present dear and beloved wife on the fourth day of April 1792 (as will appear by the register book of St Ann's Church Liverpool)"

The will also confirms two occupational details:

"Being a Lieutenant on the half pay of His Majesty's 76th Regiment of Foot, serving in the English Establishment in the war of 1763, (at which time I was registered with the above Regiment)"

"The three gentlemen who have witnessed this my last will and testament are old friends of mine who were many years with me in the Bank of Finlay and Co. Esquires in the city of Dublin."

Wealth


Solomon left cash, securities and pensions to the value of about £3000 which equates to about £125,000 in terms of purchasing power from tables relating to 1998. Some of the wealth was gifted to specific individuals as cash. The gifting of about half the total of his wealth was somewhat complex but it appears that it would be kept in trust and the interest (about £80 per annum which is about £3350 per annum purchasing power in 1998) given to Lucy and or Dorothy during their lifetimes (assuming they continued unmarried) and thereafter to Dorothy's issue, unless she died without issue in which case the investment of this part would revert to Solomon's oldest son Simeon after that, assuming he outlived both Lucy and Dorothy.

The will is very verbose and in parts quite confused. There is for instance a sum of £1000 in stock that was allegedly a marriage settlement for Lucy but made out in her mother's name. Solomon appears unsure as to whether this settlement can be included in his will (to be settled on Lucy) or indeed whether it actually belongs to Mary her mother. The will is very repetitive with regards to this sum and other securities suggesting some degree of confusion on his part.

Possessions


He left various items of silverware to named individuals. There were also Lucy's jewels which he bequeathed to her. Other items left to named individuals (mainly Lucy, Dorothy, Simeon) included: An emerald ring with diamond sparks, a gold watch and chain, three ring seals set in gold; a gold headed walking cane; a set of mahogany dining tables with 12 mahogany chairs and 4 armchairs to match; a mahogany writing table; 2 mahogany wardrobes; two bedsteads with bedding; his clothes; his books.

Loans


Although Solomon appears to have been relatively well-to-do there is one item in his will that suggests he may have had a cash flow problem at some stage that caused him to borrow from his daughter.

"My dear and beloved daughter Mrs Francis Franco, widow , having lent me £50 British, for which I never could prevail on her to receive either principal interest or security, I desire after the above sums are paid to my dear beloved wife of £1000 and the sum of £50 is paid to my dear daughter Dorothy, that the sum of £100 British is to be paid to my said dear beloved daughter, Mrs Francis Franco, widow, or under whatever mantle or situation, whether married or widow at the time of my decease."

House and property


There is no mention of ownership of a house in the will. However it does appear that Solomon and Lucy (as well as Dorothy) lived in a rented accommodation:

"for it is my desire and I empower my executor to pay the rent and ? of whatever house I may die in for one year after my death for my dear and beloved wife that she may have time to look about her if she wishes to remain."




Children


With Dorothea Gladwell (1745-1789):
  1. Magdalene Boileau (1767-1777)
  2. Dorothea Boileau (1768-1770)
  3. Anne Boileau (1769-1854)
  4. Frances Boileau (1771-1852)
  5. Simeon Peter Boileau (1772-1842)
  6. Henrietta Boileau (1773-1853)
  7. Charles John Boileau (1775-1776)
  8. Dorothea Boileau (1776-1777)
  9. Lucy Boileau (1777-1778)
  10. Charlotte Boileau (1778-1778)
  11. Jasper Desbrisay Boileau (1780-1781)
  12. Solomon Hugh Richard Boileau (1781-1810)
  13. Alicia Boileau (1779-1851)
  14. Maria Jane Boileau (1783-1817)
  15. Lestock Francis Boileau (1785-1849)
  16. John Peter Boileau (1787-1838)
With Lucy Slater (b.1771):
  1. Dorothea Boileau (1793-1865)