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In the obituary notice of the wellknown Sandhurst auctioneer, Mr W. P. Neal, published in the Independent, reference is made to a fortune of 1,350,000 having many years ago beenbequeathed to the Queen by Mr Neal’s great uncle, John Camden Neild. Quite a romance, though not a very pleasant one, attaches to this now i historical fact, for, extraordinary as it seems, such an event did actually occur. In a small work of reference, entitled “ Unclaimed money,” published by Mr Edward Preston, of London, an agent for the recovery of property 1 for absent heirs, this paragraph appears : “ A remarkable windfall for Royalty was John Camden Neild’s bequest to Queen Victoria. The eccentric individual who made this bequest is reported to have been a noted miser. Whether Her Majesty accepted the legacy is'uncertain ; newspaper reports do not agree on this point. The next of kin were advertised for, however; so this looks as if Her Majesty followed the good example of King George 11., and set apart a portion of the windfall for the miser’s relatives, should any be found.” But it appears that Her Gracious Majesty set apart very little, for Neal, speaking to a friend some time ago, said that on appeal his mother was granted an annuity of only LIOO from the estate. The miser, as he is called, was a prominent speculator on the London Stock Exchange, and there amassed his great fortune. The first news that Mr Neal. received of the bequest to the Queen was about four years after he landed in this colony, when he read it in the Illustrated London News. He did not know until quite recently that the heirs had ever been advertised for, but about three months ago the paragraph from Mr Preston’s book, as given above, having been brought under bis notice, he said it was news to him, and thereppon wrote to that gentleman directing him to However, he did r., :.v. .. <■ ;..i. .1 jeply.

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Bibliographic details

AN EXTRAORDINARY STORY., Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 528, 7 January 1882

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AN EXTRAORDINARY STORY. Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 528, 7 January 1882