The Last Will and Testament of Jane Mary Jauncey Thorn

I have copied this from The American Register newspaper article that published Jane Mary Thorn’s last will and testament. I am most curious about the missing art she mentions, but I also believe her tiara was quite famous. I wonder whose collection it now sits in? The most important find from reading this, is the knowledge that one of the small engravings is James Jauncey Thorn.

In the name of God, Amen—I, Jane Mary Thorn, of the city of New York, being of found and disposing, mind, memory, and understanding, do hereby make, publish, and declare this my Last Will and Testament :—

Item— I direct that my executors shall, with all convenient despatch, pay all my just debts.

Item—I give-and bequeath absolutely onto my four children—Angelina, Alice, Ellen, and Eugene— share and share alike, all my household furniture, beds and bedding, of which I may die possessed, excepting them, eat that portion hereafter bequeathed; and in case there are many articles incapable of division or distribution, I direct my executors to sell the same and divide the proceeds as aforesaid.

Jane Mary Thorn

Item—I give and bequeath absolutely unto my son, Eugene Thorn, all the furniture, beds, and bedding in the bedroom occupied by me.

Item—I give and bequeath absolutely unto my daughter, Alice de Ferussac, the diamond knobs worn by me.

Item—I give and bequeath absolutely unto my daughters—-Angelina, Ellen, and Alice, each—one of the three diamond brooches worn by me, and in case of disagreement between them the distribution thereof, my executors are directed to allot them.

Item—I give and bequeath absolutely unto my daughter Alice, the chatelaine, with the Thorn Arms embossed or engraved thereupon.

Item—I give and bequeath absolutely to my daughter, Ellen Kirkland, my diamond necklace, containing single stones.

Item- I give and bequeath absolutely unto my daughter Alice de Ferussac, my sapphire bracelet.

Item—I give and bequeath unto Mary Thorn, wife at Eugene Thorn, the two diamond eardrops belonging to the knobs worn by me, heretofore bequeathed to Alice de Ferussac.

Item—I direct my executors to cause my diamond tiara to be appraised and valued, and to offer the same to either of my aforesaid children-Alice, Angelina, Ellen, and Eugene—for purchase at the said appraised value.

Item—I give and bequeath absolutely onto my son, Eugene, the two small portraits of myself and my deceased husband; also the three miniatures and Herman, James, and Alfred ; also the portrait of his (Eugene’s) grandmother and his uncle.

Herman Thorn engraving

Item—I give and bequeath absolutely unto my granddaughter, Mary de Variagne, the portrait of Mrs de Varaigne and child.

Item—I direct and empower my executors to make such arrangements as to them may seem meet with the National Academy of Design for the deposit with them of the full length portraits of my deceased husband and children, as also the full length portait of Mrs de Pierres and Mrs de Ferussac for such time and os such conditions as my executor may seem proper. And in the event of either of my said four children going to housekeeping, having facilities or accommodation for the hanging of said portraits, or either of them, then I direct and empower my said executors to deliver the name to each child, to whom I absolutely bequeath the same. In the event of my said executors not being able to satisfactorily arrange with the National Academy of Design, then I empower them to arrange as aforesaid with any other gallery of art, either public or private.

Item—I give and bequeath absolutely unto my daughter Alice de Ferussac the sum of $8,000. I give and bequeath to my daughter Jane de Pierre absolutely the sum of $4,000. I hereby give to my granddaugbter Silvie Dalton the sum of $2,500.

Item—I give and bequeath absolutely onto my granddaughter Jane de Pierre the sum of $2,000.

Item—I give and beqaeath abeolately onto my daughter Ellen Kirkland the sum of $500.

Item – In case my head-waiter, Timothy Doyle, be in my employ at my decease, I give and bequeath to him the sum of $800. If Kate OBrien is in my employ at my decease, I give and bequeath absolutely the sum of $300. Item—If Jolla Flannery is in my employ at my decease, I give and beqneath absolutely onto her the sum of $300.

Alice (Thorn) de Ferussac


Item—I hereby give and bequeath absolutely onto Saint Lake’s Hospital the sum of $2,000, to be appropriated as directed by my executors.

Item—I give and devise unto my son Eugene, and unto my daughter Angelina Depaw, absolutely, share and share alike, the rest and residue of all the estate, real and personal, of which I may die seised or entitled to.

Item—I hereby constitute and appoint John B. Stevens aad Eugene Thorn by this my last
will and testament. In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this 9nd day of Jane, in the year of our Lord, 1869.

Jane Mary Thorn

And here is the article that accompanied the printing of the will:

Protocol of the Conference held at Department of State at Washington, on the “LADY THORN’S” WILL.

Among the many curious wills in the Surrogate’s office, New York, that of Mrs. Jane Mary Thorn, lately admitted to probate, is one of the most singular, and will greatly interest the many friends of the family in Paris, in both of which cities Colonel and Mrs. Thorn, with their children, were well known and highly respected.

Colonel Thorn was personally a man of great elegance, and both in America and Europe was surrounded by men of rank and wealth, and in Paris continually gave splendid entertainments. He died in 1859, and although there is nothing to indicate the exact amount of his wealth, he was accounted a millionaire, which at that time meant very much more than at present.

Mrs. Thorn, from her culture and intellectual worth, received, by common consent, while in Paris, the title of “Lady,” and for long years before her death was known on both sides the water as “Lady Thorn.” She was a niece of William Jauncey, from whom Jauncey Court, New York, received its name, and by his will, which was proved in September 28, she became legatee to a large amount of the great estate of which he was possessed.

For many years before her death, Lady Thorn, accompanied by her family, spent the summer months at the Pequot House, New London, Conn., until it began to be thought by the frequenters of New London that her years would fill up a century there she should close her remarkable career. The last summer she spent there she was noticed to be very frail, and much changed. Her death occurred soon after, at which time she was over 90 years of age.

Pequot House

The family have fully maintained their social position, which Colonel and Lady Thom during their life acquired. The connections made by the marriages of the children were of a high character. One of the daughters, Alice, married Count Ferussac, who was equerry to the Emperor Napoleon. Another, Jane, became the wife of Count de Pierres, who was attached to the household of Napoleon. Depaw, the husband of Angelina, was a warm friend of Napoleon, and cared for him in his exile. Still another son-in-law of Lady Thorn was Samuel M. Fox, who for many years was agent in Philadelphia of the Fulton line of steamers, running between New York and Havre, and whose father was of the once famous firm of Fox and Livingston.

In time, all the marriages of the children and grandchildren have been of such a character as to preserve the social influence of the family. The family mansion in New York was on Sixteenth-street, West of Broadway, and is an estate well suited to the requirements of such a family. In view of the history of Lady Thorn, her character, and the old-time renown and present standing of the family, the Last Will and Testament which follows is of peculiar and special interest.

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