Friday, 29 July 2016

Wills and legacies

It’s been 114 years since the Together Trust lost its founder. A man still largely unknown to many, we’ve discussed through several of our blogs the work he did within the charity. From the very beginnings of opening a small home for boys on Quay Street, to the many different homes and services that were running during his lifetime, he left a legacy that continues today. 

Leonard Kilbee Shaw

But what of the man himself? The charity grew over the 32 years that he was in charge into a large organisation, which cared for many children. Despite the staff and volunteers it was a large undertaking that took most of Shaw’s spare hours. This of course was run alongside his main job, in the early days as a Cotton Salesman and later as an Insurance Inspector. Shaw was also formally involved in other charitable organisations. He became the Honorary Secretary of the YMCA; an original Committee Member of the Hospital Sunday movement and was also involved with the Church Association.

, perhaps for the time, a last will and testament survives for Shaw, compiled in 1894. His Executors were named as his wife, Annie and adopted son Robert. His will gives an insight into the man who, until his final days, fought for the children of Manchester. After debts were paid and tax deducted, Annie received £4467 from Leonard’s will. This equated to around a quarter of a million pounds in today’s money, which was made up of his own savings, insurance policies and various stocks. £400 of the net estate was given to his son Robert.

The beginnings, 1873

The most interesting parts of the will however, were the omissions. None of Shaw’s assets were bequeathed to the Manchester and Salford Boys’ and Girls’ Refuges and Homes, the charity in which he devoted his life to. Maybe he felt that he had given enough to the charity with this work and wanted to make sure that his wife and son were taken care of after his death. It was also perhaps indicative of a man who had led his own life without any previously inherited wealth and wanted to ensure his own son was financially stable. In an age however,
when many wealthy businessmen left portions of their money to favoured charities it does seem a surprising omission. 

The Together Trust however, still benefits today from legacies. Many people send gifts in memory of loved ones or leave a portion of their estate to help the young people, adults and families we care for today.   

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