Nat Gould

His life and books

The Will of Nat Gould

The Will of Nat Gould is dated 16 January 1914. By then Nat was suffering from the onset of diabetes. He had already handed over the running of his Homovet business entirely to his son by the previous year. Furthermore his output of books was slowing. Five had been published in 1910 but just two in 1913 and 1914.

After giving his personal things to his wife Elizabeth Madeline Gould, Nat directed in his will that his property be sold and a trust fund set up for his family. As no royalties came in from his work, his books being sold outright to publishers, funds were needed to provide for the family. Probate was granted on 10 September 1919 to the two surviving executors.

The executors named by Nat Gould in his will were his wife Elizabeth and her eldest son Sydney, or Sidney as he called himself. Herbert Gould, the second son, was also named as an executor, but he was dead by the date that the will was proved in 1919. The delay in obtaining probate was because of the need to set up a trust fund under the will to provide for Elizabeth and her younger children during her lifetime.

The value of the Nat Gould’s estate was actually lower than the figure usually given - only just over £6000. Invested at 4% (about the going rate then) it would have yielded about £240 a year. Even then that was barely sufficient to maintain a large house, and Sidney had to work hard to make money from still unpublished books.

The trust fund was only to last during Elizabeth’s lifetime. Then the investment in the fund was to be realised and split equally between the surviving children. The house Newhaven would then have been sold. A copy of the probate document was obtained on May 1927, which suggests that plans for disposing of the house were already then being made.

Elizabeth Gould had moved to a new address at 5 The Close in Bedfont. Newhaven was demolished and existing semi-detached houses were built on the site. Elizabeth Madeline Gould died on 25 August 1927.