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John Glass changed his Will just before he died, in 1917
Following the news that my father (his Grandson whom he had adopted)
had Escaped from reform school.
This was the final straw in a long line of misdemeanors and his grandmother Margaret Glass Dropped dead at the news
John blaimed my father's misdeeds for his wifes death and immediatly changed his WILL then died only a few weeks later. See WILLS page.
As a result of my father's father Alfred DUNCAN Glass having not been heard of for many years, this share had not been claimed.
My father Alfred George DOUGLAS Glass, who having escaped reform school had been working under an assumed name of Douglas Clarke for 5 years, finally got the courage to return home, and stayed with his Aunt Euphemia Laidlaw (campbell) who had been executor for the WILL.
On her suggestion my father applied to the courts for the remaining share on the grounds of;
(1) It was not absolutly clear as to whom the share was left to.
(2) That Alfred his father had been missing for 20 years.
However the court decided that money was clearly intended for Alfred Duncan, his father if still alive.
If Alfred Duncan Glass, formerly of Hawkes Bay, and last heard of in Palmerston North, in the year 1917, will communicate with the undersigned, he will hear something to his advantage. Anyone who can give any infomation as to the present whereabouts of the above named, if alive or the date and place of death, if he is deceased, is requested to communicate with the undersigned.
Gittos, Uren and Gregory, Solicitors to the estate of John Glass.
31 Shortland Street, Auckland.
Though the missing heir was advertised for in various Dominion papers, his discovery had to be made in the end through "Truth," the paper of Dominion-wide circulation. This is not hot air. It is plain every day fact a romance that is real.
A Supreme Court decision recently in an Auckland case of a dispute over the interpretation of a will left one Alfred Duncan Glass, who had not been heard of for some years, as a beneficiary to the extent of a fourth share. A fortune of several hundred pounds was then held in Auckland awaiting his claim. Though extensively advertised for in daily papers throughout the country no word was heard of the missing man, and it remained for "Truth's" report of the case to lead to his discovery.
It chanced that a gentleman by the name of Henderson, hailing from Wellington, knew the said Alfred Duncan Glass, and also knew that Glass, after he had disappeared from his friends and relatives in the Queen City, had changed his identity to Alfred Campbell, which was the surname of his mother.
Henderson further knew that Glass, alias Campbell, was stationed in the Hastings district. One day, Mr. Henderson was making a train journey from Wellington, and as his travel was to be of some length and he desired something to occupy his mind, could think of nothing better than to procure a copy of The People's Paper. While reading the issue of June 20 he chanced across the report of this will case, and, after a few minutes thought, decided that the beneficiary under the will was none other than his erstwhile friend Glass or Campbell.
Naturally he lost no time m bringing the matter before his acquaintance, and thereupon the pair set out on a motor rush from Hawkes Bay to Auckland. Arrived in the northern capital, the long-lost heir at once took the necessary steps to confirm his identity, and an affidavit was sworn in the Supreme Court, the identity of the claimant being established by an elder brother and an aunt who had been appointed executors under the will. It was found that the fourth share in the years it had been lying untouched had reached the handsome sum of just on £700.
And so it. happened that through "Truth's" huge national circulation, the largest in the country, Alfred duncan Glass was located after the long absence of twenty three years.
Truth is stranger than fiction. Since 1902, Alfred Duncan Glass, a beneficiary under the will of his father, the late John Glass, formerly a resident of Devonport, has not been heard of. Relatives were inclined to think him dead. On Monday he arrived in Auckland, to claim his inreritance.
Had it not been for a report of Supreme Court proceedings, heard in Auckland about a month ago, Mr. Glass might never have learned of his good fortune. A friend brought the newspaper report under his notice only last week, and Mr. Glass immediately set out for Auckland in a motorcar. Since his arrival, Mr. Glass has explained that he left his wife in Auckland, some 23 years ago. Since then his wife has died. Going to Hastings, He assumed the name of Alfred Campbell,
The legacy is worth over £700. The Supreme Court proceedings, which were reported in the newspaper shown to Mr. Glass, concerned an application for the interpretation of the will of the late John Glass, which contained an extraordinary number of mistakes in names. Mr. justice Reed found that Alfred Duncan Glass, and not his son. Alfred George Douglas Glass, was entitled to a share of the estate.
A series of advertisements failed to disclose "any trace of the beneficiary. Mr. Glass has been identified, and an affidavit, setting out the facts, has been filed in the Supreme Court.
A story with a touch of romance about it was revealed yesterday when a simple, matter of fact document in the form of an Affidavit was filed at the office of the Supreme Court.
This document, properly attested, identified beyond any shadow of doubt a middle aged man, Alfred Duncan Glass, who in the course of the proceedings in the Supreme Court about a month ago, involving the interpretation of the Will of his father, the late John Glass, was stated to have disappeared in 1902 and had not since been heard of.
The point which the court had to determine was whether Alfred Duncan Glass or his son Alfred George Douglas Glass was entitled to a share of the estate of the testator , considerable doubt had arisen owing to the extraordinary mistakes made in the names of several of the descendants of the testator. After going closely into the case Mr. Justice Reed came to the conclusion that the son of the testator Alfred Duncan Glass was entitled to the share in question and ruled accordingly.
It then became necessary to locate the beneficiary, but a series of advertisements failed to disclose any trace of the man, who had not been heard of by his nearest relatives for 23 years. This produces a rather complicated position, but last Monday the missing heir reported his arrival in Auckland.
He explained he had left Auckland 23 about years ago, leaving his wife ,who had since died, in Auckland . He went to reside in Hastings and had since remained there continuously. Going under the name of Alfred Campbell, his mothers maiden name having been Campbell .
An acquaintance who had known him in Devonport and Ngaruawahia as Glass and as Campbell at Hastings drew his attention to a newspaper report of the case. He and his friend lost no time in coming to Auckland, travelling overland by Motor-car.
He was readily identified by his elder brother and by an aunt who had been appointed executrix under the will. These facts were legally set out and lodged with the Supreme Court yesterday in an affidavit. Thus , by a lucky chance reading of a newspaper report by an acquaintance the fortunate beneficiary is place in the position to receive a legacy of over £700.
Alfred Duncan Glass , who disappeared about 23 years ago, never having since being heard of, has been found by the Supreme Court to be entitled to a fourth share in the estate of his deceased father, John Glass. The court was asked for an interpretation of the Will, which was of an extraordinary nature, in that there was a misuse of names " due either to a want of knowledge or forgetfulness." In giving judgement today, Mr Justice Reed stated that the question to be determined was as to which of the two, the plaintiff Alfred George Douglas Glass, the grandson and legally adopted son of the Testator, or his father, Alfred Duncan Glass, son of the testator was entitled to the share of the residuary estate bequeathed to my son , Alfred Douglas Glass. The plaintiffs birth was registered by his mother in the name of Alfred George Douglas Glass , And his fathers name was stated to be Alfred Douglas Glass although his correct name was Alfred Duncan Glass. When ten months old , the plaintiff was adopted by his grandparents under the name of Douglas Glass. The consent to the adoption was correctly signed by the parents of the child, but the body of the document stated the name of the father in 3 different places to be Alfred Duncan Glass. Plaintiffs certificate of birth stated the fathers name to be Alfred Douglas Glass. In the Will there were two mistakes in the names of the other three children. The plaintiff was adopted by the testator and his wife on May the 13 1902, and was brought up by them. His Honor thought the probabilities were that the testator was not aware that the plaintiff had any other christian names other than Douglas. Evidence by relatives left the question in doubt, but the doubt was largely dissipated by a consideration of the following facts:- (1) The order of adoption, which would be in the possession of the testator, gives the name as Douglas only; (2) the plaintiff went to school and the instructions of the education board, which were printed in the school register are that the names in full of the pupil are to be registered. At two separate schools , Stanley Bay and Devonport the testator caused the plaintiffs name to be entered as Douglas; (3) At the age of nine the plaintiff was an inmate of the Auckland hospital and the testator entered his name there as Douglas. Read a Letter and Died The grandparents were very much attached to the plaintiff and referred to him as their son ,and he lived with them until he was about the age of fourteen, when he was convicted of theft , He was not punished for this, but a short time later being again convicted of the same crime he was sent to an industrial school. He escaped from there and wrote to his grandmother informing her of the fact. Upon reading the letter, she fainted and died the same night. That was about April 14th 1917. The testator died on the 21st of May 1917. He made his Will five weeks after the death of his wife. The testator attributed to the plaintiff a large measure of responsibilty for the death of his wife's death, and stated that he would have nothing more to do with him. According to the un-contridicted evidence of the Eldest son William Campbell Glass, who could not said Mr Justice Reed , be affected by the result of the case. This communication took place When William Campbell Glass was in Auckland attending his mothers funeral. The same witness gave evidence of his fathers statements at that time with regard to his intentions as to the disposal of his property. Disagreement with Testator The conduct of Alfred Duncan Glass (father of the plaintiff) in respect of drunkenness as well as in connection with the birth of the plaintiff, which took place about four month after his marriage , caused a disagreement with the testator. The statement sworn by the testator as to his reason for desiring to adopt the plaintiff , contained the following:-
" The father of the child is not able to keep it, the mother does not know how to bring it up. This is the third time we have had to take it from her, and bring it back to health." Some short time after the adoption , Alfred Duncan Glass disappeared and had not been heard of since. The evidence said his Honor did not show the disagreement with the testator was really serious. More over it was clear he use to visit the house of the testator after the adoption and up to the time he finally left Auckland. After referring the evidence regarding the relations existing between the two, his Honor said the facts might be summarised as follows
(1) That due to either imperfect memory of the testator or a misunderstanding of his instructions by the draughtsman at least four of his children are incorrectly named in the WILL.
(2) The plaintiff was always known to the testator as Douglas, and the probabilities are that it was not know to the testator that the plaintiff had any other christian name.
(3) That the plaintiff was treated with affection by the testator but was wayward and difficult to control.
(4) The testator always retain his affection for his son Alfred Duncan, and in his last days turned against his grandson, to whose misbehaviour he attributed in great measure the sudden death of his wife. Other aspects of the case were reviewed at some length, and his Honor said on the whole he found it impossible to resist the conclusion that the son Alfred Duncan Glass was entitled to the fourth share of the testator residuary estate.
There was some difficulty regard to costs, and the question was deferred for argument. The WILL was proved on July 11th 1917 and the estate was distributed with the exception of a share for the other beneficiaries and the share now in question.
The executrix before distributing the estate should of had the present question decided. It was her fault therefore that the corpus of the estate was not available to answer the costs. Mr. Cooker representing plaintiff at the hearing and Mr. Northcroft and Mr. Gregory represented the other parties interested.
Decision in a case involving the interpretation of the will of John Glass was given in the Supreme Court yesterday by Mr. Justice Reed.
The plaintive was the deceased gentleman's grandson, Alfred George Douglas Glass (Mr. Cocker);
The question to be determined was whether the plaintiff who was the legally adopted son of the Testator , was entitled to the share of the estate bequeathed in the Will to "my son, Alfred Douglas Glass." Plaintiff's father Alfred Duncan Glass, disappeared in 1902 and had not been heard of since, Shortly before his fathers disappearance plaintiff was adopted by his grandfather the Testator.
His honour said the grandparents were very much attached to the plaintiff, who however , got into trouble when 14 years old and was sent to an industrial school. He escaped and wrote to his grandmother informing her of the fact. Upon reading the letter she fainted and died the same night. The Will was made about five weeks later, and uncontradicted evidence showed that the Testator attributed to the plaintiff a large measure of responsibility for his wife's death, and state that he would have nothing more to do with him.
His Honour said that at least two of the four children were incorrectly named in the will. In view of the extraordinary mistakes in the name very little weight could be attached to the name Douglas when the question was whether it was intended for Duncan.
The Testator was not aware that the plaintiff had any other name but Douglas , While he was quite familiar with his son's name ,and always spoke of him as Arthur.
Although the legal status of the plaintiff was that of son , and the Testator was in the habit of speaking of him as a son, his Honour thought that in dictation of the Will the collocation showed he was referring to the true and natural relationship of the beneficiaries.
Plaintiff was the Testators grandson, and he would have been so described had the Testator intended to refer to him.
His Honour was fortified in the opinion by the fact that the children were mentioned in their order of seniority. Alfred Duncan Glass being the third child. He found it impossible to resist the conclusion that the son Alfred Duncan Glass was entitled to the share in question and he ruled accordingly.
His Honour will hear arguments on the question of costs to-day.
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© JCC Glass
Updated 11 august 2008