Testaments Tutorial - 18th Century: The Confirmation Clause
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The Confirmation Clause

The confirmation clause is the part of the testament which has the most legal jargon and the least historical information, but nevertheless it might tell you some things about the family or business associates of the deceased or executor, most importantly the identity of the cautioner. The confirmation clause may include a bond of caution. The precise form of words this took, and whether the bond of caution was recorded in the confirmation clause itself or in a separate clause, varied from court to court.

You should be able to identify the following words and phrases and know what they mean:

Term Definition Tick box
as effeirs as concerns
by the tenor hereof in the manner, or exact wording, repeated here
cautioner person who stands surety
committ give control
decerned decreed by court
defunct deceased
executor dative executor appointed by the court
for his/her interest for his/her legal concern
given up presented in court
in so far as because or on condition that
leilly and truly legally and honestly
power of intromission power to handle property and financial matters
qua creditor who is creditor of the deceased
qua nearest in kin who is nearest in kin to the deceased
ratify confirm
same/samen the person/matter/document already mentioned
these presents/this present this document
subscribed/subscrived signed

Exercise 3
In the example used here, this part of the testament is affected by bleed-through from ink in the page overleaf – you can see how heavy strokes of the pen on the testament overleaf make some words in the confirmation clause difficult to read.

confirmation clause, NAS ref. CC12/3/616-17
(National Archives of Scotland, CC12/3/6/16-17)

In the transcription below fill in the missing common phrases by typing in the appropriate blank spaces. The text will be red as you type and will turn black when you have transcribed the word correctly. The answers are case- sensistive, so make sure you have used capital letters where appropriate. Use the tick box to mark off the phrases as you use them.

I John Blain Commissary of the Commissariot and
Dioceis of the Isles after due warning
made by public form of Edict openly , Approve
and Confirm Testament Dative and Inventary in
so far as the is made and
and Give and full with
the sums of money abovewritten to the said Mary Murphie
lawfull sister Germain of the said and spouse to
Archibald Robertson in Easter Benan and
Decerned to her said Brother and also to the
said Archibald Robertson her husband And if
need be to call charge and pursue therefore as accords of the Law
Because Alexander Robertson officer of Excise in Rothesay has
become for making the said sums furthcoming to all having
interest as the Law directs In witness whereof are
by me and my Clerk of Court at Rothesay the Twenty
seventh day of May one thousand seven hundred and sixty three
John Blain

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