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Adam Smith's will






A sketch of Adam Smith facing to the rightAdam Smith FRSA (16 June [O.S. 5 June] 1723 – 17 July 1790) was a Scottish economist, philosopher and author as well as a moral philosopher, a pioneer of political economy and a key figure during the Scottish Enlightenment, also known as ''The Father of Economics'' or ''The Father of Capitalism''. Smith wrote two classic works, The Theory of Moral Sentiments (1759) and An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (1776). The latter, often abbreviated as The Wealth of Nations, is considered his magnum opus and the first modern work of economics. In his work, Adam Smith introduced his theory of absolute advantage.

Smith was born in Kirkcaldy, in the Kingdom of Fife, Scotland. His father, also Adam Smith, was a Scottish Writer to the Signet (senior solicitor), advocate and prosecutor (judge advocate) and also served as comptroller of the customs in Kirkcaldy. Smith's mother was born Margaret Douglas, daughter of the landed Robert Douglas of Strathendry, also in Fife; she married Smith's father in 1720. Two months before Smith was born, his father died, leaving his mother a widow. The date of Smith's baptism into the Church of Scotland at Kirkcaldy was 5 June 1723 and this has often been treated as if it were also his date of birth, which is unknown.

Testament of Adam Smith, Edinburgh Commissary Court, 1791

CC8/8/128/2, pp. 1109-1116

21 Jan[uar]y 1791
Test[ament] Test[amenta]r Adam Smith

The Testament Testamentar & Inventary of the debt and sum of money which was addebted and resting owing to Umq[uhi]l Adam Smith L.D.D one of the commissioners of his Majesties Customs for Scotland at the time of his decease who died upon the.... day of .... seventeen hundred and ninety years In so far as concerns the Nomination of his sole Executor and now Faithfully made and given up by David Douglas youngest son of Colonel Rob[er]t Douglas of Strathendry In so far as concerns the inventary of the said defunct his debt and sum of money after mentioned which David Douglas he the said Umq[uhi]l Adam Smith did nominate and appoint to be his sole Executor and universal Legator and Intromitter with his moveable estate And that by his Disposition and Settlement bearing date the said sixth day of February one thousand seven hundred and ninety registred in the books of Council & Session (office C. G) the twenty second day of July seventeen hundred and ninety years which is hereafter in grossed

Follows the Inventory
In the first the said Umq[uhi]ll Smith had addebted and resting owing to him the time of his decease foresaid the sum of... being part of six hundred and fifty pounds St[e]r[ling] contained in a Promissory note by Sir William Forbes James Hunter & Co to the defunct dated the first day of April seventeen hundred & ninety years payable on demand Extending the said partial sum herein given up and confirmed in Scots money to Summa of the Inventary Follows the defuncts Disposition and Settlement.

I Adam Smith L.L.D one of the commissioners of his Majesties Customs for Scotland for the love and favour which I have and bear to my friends and relations after mentioned & for the better settlement of my affairs in the event of my decease do hereby with and under the burdens after specified dispone assign & transfer to David Douglas youngest son of Colonel Robert Douglas of Strathendry and his heirs and assignees whomsoever all and sundry lands tenements and other heritages & also all debts and sums of money principal interest and penalty whether due by Bonds heritable or moveable promissory notes Decreits or any other way whatever, arrears of salary house hold furniture; silver plate, gold and silver coined & uncoined, books, pictures, lying money, bank notes goods gear and generally all and whatever total means and effects whether heritable or moveable real and personal be longing & owing or which shall belong or be owing to me at the time of my death togither with all Dispositions Adjudications Bonds heritable and moveable Obligations Assignations, Decreets, Bills, notes and other writts rights evidents, securities and conveyances whatever made granted and conceived or any wise interpreted at the time of my death in my favour with all action and execution competent or that may be competent thereupon and with all that shall have followed or may follow on the same dispensing hereby with the generality hereof and admitting these presents to be as valid and effectual as if every particular generally before disponed were specially enumerated herein. And also Declaring that in case I shall hereafter make any Inventary of my moveable means & estate hereby disponed or of any part thereof the same shall be understood as a part of this present Disposition and shall exclude all necessity of Confirmation with this provision alwise that it is hereby specially Provided & Declared that these presents are granted by me and shall be accepted of by the said David Douglas with & under the burden of the payment of my funeral charges and all my just and lawful debts that shall be owing by me at my decease and also with and under the burden of the payment not only of such legacies or annuities which I may hereafter bequeath or grant to any person or persons whatever, but also with and under the burden of the payment of the Annuity & legacy after mentioned which I hereby Legate and bequeath to the persons after named viz I hereby grant and bequeath to Mrs Janet Douglas daughter of the deceased John Douglas of Strathendry an Annuity of twenty pounds sterling free of all burdens and deductions whatever during all the days of her life at two terms in the year Whitsunday and Mar tinmas by equal portions begin ing the first terms payment there of at the first of the said two terms next after my decease, and so forth yearly termly daily and proportionally thereafter during her life, with Two Pounds Sterling of penalty for each terms failure & the legal Interest of the said Annuity from the respective terms of payment thereof during the not payment of the same. And also thereby Legate and Bequeath to Mr Hugh Cleghorn Professor of Civil History in the University of Saint Andrews and to Mrs Rachael McGill his wife and the survivor of them in liferent for their liferent use only and to the child or children procreated or to be procreated of the marriage between them the sum of four hundred pounds Sterling to be paid at the first term of Martinmas or Whitsunday next after the decease of the said Mrs Janet Douglas and me or the survivor of us, with eighty Pounds Sterling of penalty in case of failure and the legal Interest of the said sum of Four hundred Pounds from the said term of payment during the not payment of the same; declaring alwise that the said Hugh Cleghorn shall have power by any deed under his hand to divide the said sum of Four hundred Pounds among his said children or their issue by such shares and proportions as he shall think proper. And failing such division by him then the said Mrs Rachel McGill his wife shall have power to divide the same among her said children or their issue as she shall think proper and failing any division thereof by either of them then the same shall be equally divided among all the children procreated between them existing at the death of the longest liver of them two, and the issue of such of the said children as are dead, share and share alike, such issue drawing per Stirpes not per Capita and for the more effectual conveyance of my Moveable Estate and effect before disponed I hereby Nominate and Appoint the said David Douglas to be my sole executor and universal legator and Intromitter with my said move able estate and effects under the burdens before mentioned and with power to my said executor to give up Inventories thereof and Confirm the same if necessary. And I hereby declare that my whole manuscripts and writing which I shall leave behind me at my death shall be disposed of by the said David Douglas by and with the advice of Dr Joseph Black Professor of Chemistry in theUniversity of Edinburgh and Dr James Hutton residing in St Johns Hill near Edinburgh and the survivors of them agreeable to such verbal or written instructions as I have already given or may hereafter have occasion to give to them the said DoctorJoseph Black and Dr James Hutton; and in case the said David Douglas shall predecease me or shall die before disposing of my said Manuscripts then I hereby Legate and bequeath the same to the said Doctor Joseph Black and Doctor James Hutton and the survivors of them to be disposed of by them as aforesaid and I reserve full power and Liberty at any time of my life to revoke or alter these presents in whole or in part. And I declare that if the same shall not be revoked it shall be a sufficient evident though not delivered at my death with the not delivery whereof I hereby dispense. And I consent to the registration hereof in the books of Council and Session or any other proper court therein to remain for preservation & constitute my Procurators for that purpose in witness whereof I subscribe this and the three preceding pages of stamped paper written by James Dundas Clerk to David Erskine Clerk to the Signet, and likewise another duplicate here of at Canongate of Edinburgh the sixth day of February one thousand seven hundred and ninety years Before these witnesses James Baird my servant and the said James Dundas (signed) Adam Smith, James Dundas witness, James Baird witness Martin Andrew Balfour & Cautioner James McGhie writer in Edinb[u]r[gh], dated the twenty first day of January Seventeen hundred and ninety one years.
adam smith Statue of Adam Smith (1723-1790), Scottish philosopher and economist and author of "The Wealth of Nations", outside St Giles Cathedral on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh. Sculptor Alexander Stoddart

To eight bottles of ale £0 12 0
To butter and eggs to the seed cake 1 4 0
To four bottles of ale 0 6 0
To three pounds fresh butter for bread 0 14 0
To one pound small candles 0 4 0
To two pounds bisquet 1 4 0
To sixteen bottles of ale 1 4 0
To money sent to Edinr, for bisquet, stockings, and necessars 25 4 0
To three expresses to Edinburgh 2 14 0
To a pair of murning shous to Hugh 1 10 0
To horse hyre with the wine from Kingdom 0 15 0
To the poor 3 6 0
To six bottles and eight pints of ale to the beadels, etc. 1 10 4
To pipes and tobacco 0 4 0
To four pints of ale to the workmen 0 12 8
To the postage of three letters 0 6 0
To making the grave 3 0 0
To caring the mourning letters thro' the town and country 1 10 0
To the mort cloth 3 12 0
To Robert Martin for his service 1 4 0
To Deacon Lessels for the coffin and ironwork 28 4 0
To Deacon Sloan for lifting the stone 1 11 0

Summa is £80 16 6

On the back is the docquet, "Account of funeral charges, Mr. Adam Smith, 1723," and the formal receipt as follows: "Kirkaldie, Apl. 24, 1723. Received from Mr. James of Dunekier eighty pound sexteen shilling six penes Scots in full of the within account depussd by me.


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