People who make our their wills are often advised to leave at least a token inheritance to every relative, even if they hate them. Otherwise, an unmentioned relative may contest the will on the grounds that their named simply slipped the writer's mind. Some folks go much further, and leave behind an explanation of why the bequest is so small, in quite colorful prose, as a final and lasting insult. Check out some wills that were probated by the Canterbury court in the 18th century.
JOSEPH DALBY – Doctor of Physic of the Parish of St. Marylebone in Middlesex – 27 July 1784
“I give to my daughter, Ann Spencer, a guinea for a ring, or any other bauble she may like better, I give to the lout her husband one penny to buy him a lark-whistle, I also give to her said husband of redoubtable memory, my f—t-hole for a covering to his lark-whistle, to prevent the abrasion of his lips, and this legacy I give him as mark of my approbation of his prowess and nice honour, in drawing his sword on me at my own table, naked and unarmed as I was, and he well fortified with custard.”
PHILIP THICKNESSE – Of London and then of Boulogne, France – 24 January 1793
“I leave my right hand, to be cut off after my death, to my son, Lord Audley, and I desire it may be sent to him, in hopes that a such a sight may remind him of his duty to God, after having so long abandoned the duty he owed to a father, who affectionately loved him.”
(Image credit: Flickr user Ken Mayer)