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Testaments of the Past  by Dreamflower

 

AUTHOR’S NOTES, CHAPTER ONE

Here is the full text of Drogo's and Primula's Wedding Contract (with a link to a picture of it, illuminated and framed), Drogo's and Primula's Will, and the full text of Drogo's letter to Bilbo telling of the couple expecting a child. All these documents were mostly Gryffinjack's work, and the illuminated Wedding Document was calligraphed, gilded and painted by Dreamflower.

The names in red are the signatures.

FULL TEXT OF DROGO'S AND PRIMULA'S WEDDING DOCUMENT:

A marriage is like a summer flower garden, blooming with daisies and asters, lilies, foxgloves and more. Butterflies and bees flit among the blossoms, and ladybugs climb the leaves.
On the first day of the month of Forelithe in the year of Shire Reckoning 1354

PRIMULA BRANDYBUCK
and
DROGO BAGGINS

Surrounded by family and friends agree to enter into this mutual covenant of wedlock as partners and companions in life and love and so make the following vows:

We promise to love and honour one another; to support and comfort one another in joy and sorrow, riches and poverty, from this day forward. We pledge ourselves as friends and partners in marriage, to trust, appreciate, cherish and respect each other, to share hopes, thoughts, and dreams as we build our lives together.

We shall establish a home that is compassionate to all wherein the flow of the seasons and the passages of life, as witnessed by our mutual traditions, are honoured. May our home be filled with peace, happiness, and love as we build upon the hearth of truth, kindness, wisdom and reverence. May our home be shared by our family traditions and committed to the pursuit of learning, caring for friends and family, and nurturing of the Shire.

We vow to join our two separate families into one family, united by our marriage. We shall now each of us be considered equally a part of one other’s family as the family to which we were born. We promise to love, honour and care for each other’s family as much as the family to which we were born.

Our hearts are united forever; May we grow through our lives ever entwined, our love bringing us closer together

When we are parted at the end of our days, the one who is left shall retain the rights to all property, real or personal, and any and all inheritances with which we each of us entered into this marriage.

We joyfully enter into this covenant and solemnly accept its obligations.

In witness whereof, with love and devotion, We, Primula Brandybuck and Drogo Baggins, hereunto set our hands to seal this moment and sign and publish this covenant this first day of Forelithe S.R. 1354.

Drogo Baggins Primula Brandybuck

This instrument was signed, sealed and declared by Primula Brandybuck and Drogo Baggins, the Bride and Groom above named for their Wedding Contract in the presence of us who in their presence and at their request and in the presence of each other have hereupon inscribed our names as Witnesses. Furthermore, we Primula Brandybuck and Drogo Baggins and the Witnesses respectively, whose names are signed to the foregoing instrument do hereby declare to the undersigned official that the Bride and Groom signed the instrument as their Wedding Contract and that they signed voluntarily of their own free will and that each of the Witnesses in the presence of the Bride and Groom at their request and in the presence of each other signed the Wedding Contract as a Witness and that to the best of the knowledge of each Witness the Bride and Groom were at that time thirty-three years or more of age, of sound mind and under no constraint or undue influence.

WITNESSES:
Rorimac Brandybuck Saradas Brandybuck Adalgrim Took

Bilbo Baggins Fosco Baggins Rufus Burrows Fredegund Bolger

Subscribed and acknowledged before me by Primula Brandybuck and Drogo Baggins, the Bride and Groom and subscribed and sworn to by the
above Witnesses on the first day of Forelithe, S.R. 1354.


Gorbadoc Brandybuck,(SEAL OF THE BRANDYBUCKS)
Master of Buckland

(See a picture of the document here:

http://gryffinflower.livejournal.com/1459.html

FULL TEXT OF DROGO'S LETTER, TELLING BILBO THAT HE AND PRIMULA ARE EXPECTING:

20 Thrimidge S.R. 1368
Brandy Hall

Dear Bilbo,

Primula and I have the most wonderful news to tell you – we are expecting a child early this fall--possibly around the time of your birthday! We would have told you sooner, but we wanted to wait until the period of greatest risk was over before we told anyone. The healer seems to think that things are going well, and that there is every chance that this time our child will be born well and healthy.

As you can imagine, especially since we had not told anyone else our good news, Primula and I have been discussing everything imaginable about the baby – from what to name it to who it will resemble to what our child’s future will be like.

The more we talked about our child’s future, the more we realised that perhaps we should begin to make provisions for our child's future, in the event something should happen to one or both of us. To put it bluntly, we are contemplating our Will. Of course, if something should happen to only one of us, the other will be there to care for our child. But Primula has become adamant for some reason that we make provision in the unlikely event that something happens to both of us. I think perhaps this may be due to some disturbing dreams she has had recently.

We have thought this over very carefully and would like to know how you would feel about being named one of our child's guardians? You are, after all the head of the family, although I think that we shall also ask one of the Brandybucks to share the responsibility. But as Head of the Bagginses as well as one of my dearest relatives, I think the primary responsibility should come to you. I cannot ask Dudo; his health, as you know, would make it difficult for him to take on another child. Young Daisy is nearly eighteen, and will soon be entering her tweens.

I do not ask you to give me an answer now. When the child is born will be soon enough. However, I would like you to think it over in the next four months, so that you will be able to let us know then. We both are confident that old bachelor though you are, you would make a wonderful guardian.

In other news, things are going well here in Buckland. Gilda is trying to persuade Rory to hold a celebration for his fifth year as Master; she loves an excuse for a party as you know and Primula is doing her best at wheedling her brother to agree. He is not keen on the idea, but I do not think he can hold out long against their combined wiles. Young Saradoc approaches his twenty-eighth year in terror of the lasses pursuing him, but he has caught the eye of the redoubtable Esmeralda Took, here with her older sisters to visit Prim, and I do not think the other lasses will hold out long. She's almost of age, and he's still five years to go, but I doubt that will make any difference to her. She is uncommonly patient for a Took. And Merimac is spending a month mucking out the stables. Seems he thought it would be funny to replace the leaf in his Uncle Saradas' pouch with an assortment of dead grasses. Rory would probably have thought it amusing if Saradas had not been sharing his pipe-weed with him at the time.

I look forward to seeing you at the Great Smials during Lithe. Cousin Fortinbras assures me he has some fine vintage from the Southfarthing laid down for the occasion.

Affectionately yours,

your cousin,

Drogo"

____________________________________

LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT OF DROGO BAGGINS and PRIMULA BAGGINS


Be it remembered that I, Drogo Baggins, individually and on behalf of my wife, Primula Baggins, as residents of Buckland, located across the Brandywine River from the Shire, being of sound and disposing mind, memory and understanding, and mindful of the uncertainties of this life, do hereby make, publish and declare this document as our Last Will and Testament, and hereby revoke all former wills and testaments or writings and codicils thereto, by us made.

ARTICLE I. Funeral Expense. It is our desire that all of our funeral expenses be paid out of the assets of our estates as soon as practicable after each of our deaths, and we order and direct that any members of our family who have disbursed their personal funds for the payment of either of our funeral expenses be reimbursed promptly by our Executor.

ARTICLE II. Personal Effects. We hereby give and bequeath all of our personal effects, furniture, furnishings, smialhold goods, silverware, china, and ornaments not otherwise disposed of to each other. Upon both of our deaths, all of our personal effects, furniture, furnishings, smialhold goods, silverware, china, and ornaments not otherwise disposed of shall be distributed equally amongst all of our then surviving children. In the event that all of our children shall predecease both of us, then and in that event, then upon the death of the second of us to die, all of our personal effects, furniture, furnishings, smialhold goods, silverware, mathoms, and ornaments not otherwise disposed of shall be distributed to the heads of our respective families depending upon whichever of our families, Baggins and/or Brandybuck, gave said personal effects to us.

ARTICLE III. Disposition of Residuary.

A. Upon the death of either of us, Drogo Baggins or Primula Baggins, all of the rest, residue, and residuary of his or her estate, herein referred to as his or her Residuary Estate, be it real property, personal property or mixed, wherever situated, of which he or she may die seized or possessed, or to which he or she may be or become in any way entitled or have any interest, shall be distributed to the remaining spouse, Drogo Baggins or Primula Baggins.

B. Upon the death of the second of us to die, then and in that event, our Residuary Estates shall be distributed equally amongst all of our then surviving children.

C. In the event that all of our children shall predecease both of us, then and in that event, then upon the death of the second of us to die, our Residuary Estates shall be distributed to the heads of our respective families, depending upon whichever of our families, Baggins and Brandybuck, said assets were derived. Any and all remaining assets shall be distributed equally between the heads of our families, Baggins and Brandybuck.

ARTICLE IV. Payment to Minors and Incompetents. Except as provided for in Article III, if, pursuant to the terms of this, our Last Will and Testament, any portion of our estate becomes payable to any beneficiary during such beneficiary’s minority, or to any beneficiary who shall have been determined to be incompetent, our Executor, in his sole discretion, shall be authorised to distribute said portion of the estate to a parent or guardian of the beneficiary, or to the person with whom such beneficiary resides, without obligation by the Executor to look to the proper application or use of any payment so made; or the Executor, in his sole discretion, may make distributions in such manner as he believes will best benefit the beneficiary, and also may pay to the beneficiary directly such sums as the Executor shall approve as an allowance; or the Executor, in his sole discretion, may accumulate and hold all or a portion of the assets which otherwise would be distributed to the beneficiary, and distribute said assets to the beneficiary when he or she attains the age of thirty-three (33) years, or upon removal of the incapacity. However, if said beneficiary dies before the age of thirty-three (33) years, or prior to the removal of the incapacity, and no other provision is made in this Will for the passing of such beneficiary’s interest to others, then our Executor shall distribute any accumulated corpus and income to the estate of the beneficiary.

ARTICLE V. Powers of Executor. In the administration of our estate pursuant to the terms of this, our Last Will and Testament, the Executor shall have the following powers, which may be exercised in whole or in part, and which shall be deemed to be supplementary to and not exclusive of the general powers of executors pursuant to the laws of the Shire, and shall include all powers necessary to put the same into effect. Such powers may be exercised independently and without the prior or subsequent approval of any authority, and nobody dealing with the Executor shall be required to inquire into the propriety of any of his actions.

A. To retain, in his absolute discretion, and for such period as he shall deem advisable, any and all investments and other properties held by us at the time of our deaths without liability for any loss incurred by reason of the retention of such investments or properties.

B. To sell, mortgage, pledge, and otherwise dispose of the assets of our estate and of the interests established pursuant to this Will, or any part of said assets, when he deems such action necessary and proper for the purpose of complying with our testamentary desires as herein expressed, and for the purpose of conserving, preserving and maintaining our estate.

C. With respect to any indebtedness held by either of us at the time of our deaths, to enter into agreements for the alteration of our interest therein, or of the rights and obligations under any contract with respect thereto, in effect at the time of our deaths.

D. To take any action deemed advisable to enforce, compromise or arbitrate any obligation, lien or other claim held by them, and to agree to any rescission or modification of any contract or agreement.

E. To hold undivided interests in any other properties held by us or that may form part of our estate at the time of our deaths, or that may be purchased or acquired thereafter on behalf of our estate without being required to make a physical division of any properties which may form a part of our estate at the time of our deaths.

F. In the event that at the time of either of our deaths either one of us is a member of any partnership, joint venture, or undertaking, whether alone or jointly with one (1) or more persons, we hereby authorise and empower the Executor to carry out and perform the terms of such partnership or joint venture, including furnishing additional assets as may be necessary or desirable in the sole discretion of our Executor, it being our intention that the Executor shall have full power to cooperate with our surviving partner or partners, joint venturers or other persons in such manner as shall be deemed advisable by the Executor, in order that the continuation, development and intention of such partnerships, ventures, or undertakings shall not be prevented or interfered with by virtue of the continued interest therein of our estate.

G. To loan or borrow money to or for such businesses or business interests which either of us may own at the time of our deaths.

H. To lease any real estate for such term, or terms, and upon such conditions and in such manner as he may deem advisable, and any lease so made shall be valid and binding for the full term thereof. To make repairs, replacements and improvements, structural or otherwise, to any such real estate; to insure against fire or other risks as he may deem proper. To subdivide real estate, to dedicate same to public use, and to grant easements as he may deem proper.

I. Whenever required or permitted to divide and distribute any funds under this Will, to make such distributions in money or in kind, or partly in money and partly in kind, and to exercise all powers herein conferred until our estate has been fully distributed.

J. To employ accountants, attorneys, and such agents as he may deem advisable; to pay reasonable compensation for their services.

K. To determine which assets or portion thereof shall be distributed to or for the benefit of each beneficiary of our estate in satisfaction of the share which he or she is entitled to receive under this, our Last Will and Testament. The selection and distribution of assets by the Executor shall be binding and conclusive upon all persons and shall not be subject to question by any beneficiary.

ARTICLE VI. Appointment of Executor.

A. In the event that Primula Baggins shall predecease Drogo Baggins, then Drogo Baggins is hereby appointed as her Executor under this Last Will and Testament.

B. In the event Drogo Baggins shall predecease Primula Baggins, or for any reason shall fail to qualify as Executor hereunder (or having qualified, shall die or resign), or upon the death of Drogo Baggins, then and in such event, Bilbo Baggins shall be appointed as Successor Executor under this Will, in which capacity he shall possess and exercise all powers hereinbefore conferred on our Executor.

C. In the event Bilbo Baggins shall predecease both of us, or for any reason shall fail to qualify as Executor hereunder (or having qualified, shall die or resign), then and in such event, Saradoc Brandybuck shall be appointed as Successor Executor under this Will, in which capacity he shall possess and exercise all powers hereinbefore conferred on our Executor.

ARTICLE VII. Appointment of Guardian.

A. In the event that one of us shall die, then and in that event, we hereby nominate, constitute and appoint our surviving spouse, Drogo Baggins or Primula Baggins, guardian of the our children and their property. We hereby authorize the Guardian to exercise all of the rights, powers and privileges, whether or not discretionary, as are herein conferred upon the Executor of our estate.

B. Upon the death of both of us or in the event the surviving spouse is unable to serve as Guardian, then and in that event, Bilbo Baggins and Saradoc Brandybuck shall serve as Successor Guardians of our children and their property, under this Will.

C. In the event that either Bilbo Baggins or Saradoc Brandybuck shall predecease us or is otherwise unable to serve as Guardians, then and in that event, our remaining Guardian, Bilbo Baggins or Saradoc Brandybuck, shall continue to serve alone as Successor Guardian of our children and their property, under this Will.

ARTICLE VIII. Construction of Will. Wherever the context of any provision of this Will permits, any word in either number shall be construed to mean both singular and plural; any word in the masculine gender shall include the feminine and neuter; any word in the feminine gender shall include the masculine and neuter;

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I, Drogo Baggins, individually and on behalf of my wife, Primula Baggins, have signed and published this Will this eighth day of Winterfilth, S.R. 1368.

Drogo Baggins, individually and on behalf of Primula Baggins

WITNESSES:

Rorimac Brandybuck Dodinas Brandybuck Gorbulas Brandybuck

Saradas Brandybuck Adalgrim Took Rufus Burrows Paladin Took

This instrument was signed, sealed, published and declared by Drogo Baggins, individually and on behalf of his wife, Primula Baggins, the Testators above named, as and for their Last Will and Testament, in the presence of us, who in his presence and at his request, and in the presence of each other, have hereupon subscribed our names as witnesses, this clause first having been read to us and we now intending to certify that the matters herein specified took place in fact and in the order named. Furthermore, we, the Testator, Drogo Baggins, individually and on behalf of his wife, Primula Baggins, and the witnesses respectively, whose names are signed to the foregoing instrument, do hereby declare to the undersigned officer that the Testator signed the instrument as the Last Will and Testament of Drogo Baggins and Primula Baggins and that he signed voluntarily and that each of the witnesses in the presence of the Testator, at his request, and in the presence of each other, signed the Will as a witness and that to the best of the knowledge of each witness the Testator was at that time thirty-three years or more of age, of sound mind and under no constraint or undue influence.

Subscribed and acknowledged before me by Drogo Baggins, individually and on behalf of his wife, Primula Baggins, the Testators, and subscribed and sworn to before me by the above witnesses on the eighth day of Winterfilth, S.R. 1368.

Heribert Grubb, Attorney (SEAL)





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