John Ranken

???? - 1845

Claimant or beneficiary


Partner in Beckford & Ranken (q.v.).

  1. Will of John Ranken of Finsbury Circus proved 06/06/1845. In this will John Ranken identifies William Beckford as his former partner, and says: 'I further earnestly pray God in his infinite mercy may change the sordid and avaricious disposition in all things the more particularly where any self-interest is in any degree concerned of my late partner William Beckford and instil in him a more just and correct idea of what is right and what is wrong.' Ranken willed to his sister Mrs Katherine Geddes the property conditionally left to him under the will of her husband Christian Geddes of Viewforth [?] Culross North Britain so that his widowed sister had full control over the disposal of that property; he left the dividends from £2000 stock in the East and West India Dock. Co and from his shares in the London and Southampton ('or Southwestern') Railway to his niece Janet Davidson; he left £500 each to his cousins or relatives John Allan, David Allan and Margaret Allan but excluded them from succeeding to any other property under his will. Of his £9000 stock in the Colonial Bank, he had bought £5000 from Alexander Barclay of St Thomas East [sic] in Jamaica, and he left this amount to his (Barclay's) nephew Alexander Peter now employed in Ranken's counting house; the remainder he left to his cousin William Young 'at present in the offices of Messrs Ranken & Co. South Square.' To William Adam Davidson 'now employed in my counting-house' he left all his right and title to Mr George Wattley's Spooner's Cayon estate in St Kitts, and his stock in the Marine Insurance Co.

  2. A report in the Times 17/12/1845 deals with the Chancery case of Fowlis v Davidson, concerning wills and codicils of a John Ranken who died leaving £50,000 on April 19 1845. Times 05/08/1848 identifies this John Ranken as a West indian merchant who 'continued to carry on his business until a very late period of his life.' John Ranken's sister had married Dr Davidson, had child, John Ranken's niece, whom John Ranken had effectively disinherited while deranged.


  1. PROB 11/2020/85; Times 17/12/1845 and 05/08/1848.

Further Information


The wealth at death of £50,000 is drawn from contemporary reports in The Times 17/12/1845

Wealth at death

Associated Claims (6)

£210 18s 0d
£372 7s 1d
£1,295 2s 5d
Awardee (Mortgagee)
£3,792 17s 8d
£4,298 3s 9d
£2,858 11s 8d
Awardee (Mortgagee)

Associated Estates (3)

The dates listed below have different categories as denoted by the letters in the brackets following each date. Here is a key to explain those letter codes:

  • SD - Association Start Date
  • SY - Association Start Year
  • EA - Earliest Known Association
  • ED - Association End Date
  • EY - Association End Year
  • LA - Latest Known Association
1834 [EA] - → Mortgage Holder
13/03/1819 [SD] - 1834 [LA] → Mortgage Holder
1834 [EA] - → Mortgage Holder

Legacies Summary

Commercial (1)

Firm Investment
Beckford & Ranken
West India merchant  

Relationships (1)

Business partners

Addresses (1)

Finsbury Circus, City of London, Middlesex, London, England