Will & Probate for Edward Lamb of Sanford, England – 1894

Amanuensis[i] Monday
Darling, McAllister, Lamb
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.

The 1894 Last Will and Testament of Edward Lamb shows the rift that occurred in the Lamb family. Sometime between 1861 and 1871, the Lamb family blew apart. During the 1871 Census, Edward was enumerated living with his mother and two sisters. His wife, Isabella, and son, Edward, went off to parts unknown, to be found in 1881 in Lancashire. His daughter Margaret left Westmorland and headed to Workington, Cumberland, England, where she married. She then emigrated to the United States in 1884. His son, James Cooper Lamb, appears to have had a stint in jail, cleaned his act up, and joined the military, where he was when Edward completed his will.  So, although his wife, daughter, and two sons were living, he gave everything he had to James.

Edward Lamb’s Probate Document*

BE IT KNOWN that at the date hereunder written the last Will and Testament of Edward Lamb of Sanford in the parish of Warcop in the county of Westmorland, farmer, deceased, who died on the first day of November 1893 at Sanford aforesaid and who at the time of his death had a fixed place of abode at Sanford aforesaid within the District of the Counties of Cumberland and Westmorland was proved and registered in the District Probate Registry of Her Majesty’s High Court of Justice at Carlisle and that Administration of the personal estate of the said deceased was granted by the aforesaid Court to James Cooper Lamb of Linen Hall Barracks in the city of Dublin Sergeant in the 4th Royal Dublin Fusiliers, son of the said deceased, the sole executor. Named in the said will he having been first sworn well and faithfully to administer the same.

Dated the 10th day of July 1894

Gross value of Personal Estate £22.10.0
33rd Section

Extracted by John Bell
Solicitor Appleby.

Edward Lamb’s Will*


This is the Last Will and Testament of me, Edward Lamb of Sanford in the parish of Warcop in the county of Westmorland, Farmer. I appoint my son, James Cooper Lamb sole executor of this my will I give and bequeath all my money, securities for money nd all my household stores and articles of consumption, linen, furniture and other effects of household use or ornament articles and implements of every kind and description and all other goods and chattels of which I may be entitled to dispose by this my will to the said James Cooper Lamb for his own use absolutely I give and devise my to freehold messuages or dwelling houses situate at Sanford in the township of Sanford in the parish of Warcop in the said County of Westmorland with the yards, gardens and appurtenances hereunto belonging and the field thereunto adjoining commonly call or known by the name of Mosey Dale and also all that my open and unenclosed Dale situate in Sanford Mise in the said township of Sanford and Parish of Warcop to the said James Cooper Lamb absolutely and I give devise appoint and bequeath all other my real and personal estate whatsoever and wherever and whether in possession reversion remainder of expectancy unto my said son James Cooper Lamb for his own use absolutely and I declare this only to be my last Will and Testament in witness whereof I the said Edward Lamb have herein to set my hand this eighteenth day of August one thousand eight hundred and ninety three.

Signed and declared by the said Edward Lamb the         {
testator as and for his last will and testament in the      {
presence of us, present at the same time, who at his      {
request, in his presence and the presence of each other{
have hereunto subscribed our names as witnesses         {
the works “all my having first been inserted between   {  the third and fourth lines from the top hereof.                 {

            Est. Lonsdale Nankon of Appleby Solicitor
            Mary Lamb, Sanford

            On the tenth day of July 1894 Probate of this will was granted at Carlisle to James Cooper Lamb, the Executor.


James Cooper Lamb owned a house and land freehold in Sanford from 1895 until he died in 1898, even though he was in the military and stationed in Ireland.


Determine exactly what property was Edward Lamb’s that transferred to his son in 1894.


[i] John Newmark started the “Amanuensis Monday” category in 2009 on his Blog,  Transylvanian Dutch  and many bloggers have followed suit using the tag. Google provides the following meaning for amanuensis: “A literary or artistic assistant, in particular one who takes dictation or copies manuscripts.”

* Images available through GOV.UK — Probate Search — Service — “Find a will”  — https://probatesearch.service.gov.uk/#wills

Carlisle Opera House, 23 April 1920

Donna Montran and “Chin Chin” play the Carlisle Opera House on 23 April 1920 

Finishing their one-night show On April 22nd at the Frederick City Opera House, the cast and crew of “Chin Chin” packed up and rolled the 65 miles north to Carlisle, PA for the show the next night at the Carlisle Opera House.

Photo of Cast of Chin Chin on stage - Carlisle Opera House
Cast of “Chin Chin” – Carlisle Opera House – 23 April 1920

Pre-show advertising on April 17th indicates, “there is no leading lady in this organization, although a number of beautiful women, principals and otherwise, song birds and actresses are in the cast. It appears that she who is to enjoy the place of honor as first favorite is left to the choice of the public.”[i]

However, two days later there was an advertising article which called out Donna specifically – “Miss Donna Montran as the goddess of the lamp sings some pleasing songs and has a very attractive personality.”[ii]

The show appears to have gone on without a hitch, and the show packed up and headed east to Reading for a show the next night.

Carlisle Opera House

photo of Carlisle Opera House - Decorated for Jim Thorpe's homecoming in 1912
Carlisle Opera House – Decorated for Jim Thorpe’s homecoming in 1912 (Courtesy: Ohio History Connection)

Carlisle is the county seat of Cumberland County, Pennsylvania. Currently a small town of about 20,000, in 1920 the borough’s population was about 11,000. The theatre is said to have seated over 1000 people; however, the stage size was relatively small.  The proscenium opening was only 26 feet wide and 20 feet high.[iii]

It is unclear to me when the Carlisle Opera House was built; however, it was certainly in operation before 1888, when the Dickenson College Glee Club sang there.[iv]

In 1898, the Carlisle Opera House building in Carlisle housed a barber shop, billiard room. and bowling alley on the ground level, with the opera house on the second floor, and Masonic meeting rooms on the third floor.”[v]

It appears to have been closed sometime between 1955 and 1959 as it was opened on May 9, 1959, for a presentation of “Hansel and Gretel” put on by the students of Dickinson College.[vi]

The building was destroyed by fire in August 1972 in a fire that killed two people.[vii]


[i] Carlisle Evening Herald (Carlisle, Pennsylvania) – Sat, Apr 17, 1920 – page 5 – “The Musical Melange of Chin Chin.”
[ii] Carlisle Evening Herald (Carlisle, Pennsylvania) · Mon, Apr 19, 1920, · Page 7 – “CHIN CHIN”. Newspapers.com https://www.newspapers.com/image/269958879.
[iii] The Julius Cahn – Gus Hill Theatrical Guide – 1910, Page 679, Carlisle.
[iv] “The Dickinsonian – Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA, March 1888, Page 10, THE COLLEGE GLEE CLUB CONCERT – http://deila.dickinson.edu/cdm/ref/collection/dickinsonia/id/28932.
[v] Condee, William Faricy – Coal and Culture: Opera Houses in Appalachia – Ohio University Press, Athens, Ohio 45701 (c) 2005 – Pages 54 & 55.
[vi] “The Dickinsonian” – Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA, Friday, May 1, 1959, Page 3, ‘BUCKET’ OPENS FOR DICKINSON PRESENTATION. http://deila.dickinson.edu/cdm/ref/collection/dickinsonia/id/18415.
[vii] Cinema Treasurers – The Strand Theatre – http://cinematreasures.org/theaters/23000