Caroline Margaret Chapman (1851-1920)

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The last part of the history (for Lawrence of Arabia) concerns Thomas Chapman's younger sister, Caroline Margaret Chapman (Lawrence's aunt). She had married her cousin, Montagu Chapman, who became 5th Chapman baronet. He died in 1907 without children, and four years later she drew up a will setting out the terms under which the Killua estate was to be broken up. In this will she arranged to bequeath £20,000 to her brother Thomas (Lawrence's father), making further generous legacies to his daughters in Ireland.

This separate provision for the Chapman s leaves little doubt that she intended Thomas Chapman's £20,000 to pass, ultimately, to his sons. It is not unreasonable to suppose that he knew of these legacies and that he would have discussed them with Sarah Lawrence. If this is the case, it might account for some otherwise unexplained remarks in Lawrence's letters (see below).

Caroline Margaret Chapman was seriously ill for several years: a codicil to her will dated June 1916 was signed with a cross and witnessed by two nurses. She died in 1920, some months after the of Lawrence's father. As he had predeceased her, the £20,000 bequest was passed, not to his sons, but to the residuary legatees under her will: his four Chapman daughters.


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