Henry Budd, the Anti-Mustache Millionaire

English eccentric Henry Budd stipulated in his will that his sons would forfeit their inheritance if they ever grew a mustache. Details from twickenhampark.co.uk:

Henry lived until 1862 when he died in London. In his Will his estate was valued £200,000 which would be tens of millions today. The Will divided his estates between his only surviving children, namely his sons William and Edward. Henry added a final stipulation that should either of his sons grow a moustache they would forfeit their share which would revert to the other brother.

The newspapers reported this in some detail at the time, and it was still worthy of news 20 years later in 1882.

Detail from Budd's will in which he forbids his sons from ever growing mustaches

     Posted By: Alex - Sat Jan 09, 2021
     Category: Law | Nineteenth Century | Hair and Hairstyling

That sort of clause certainly would not be honoured these days, and I'm not sure it would've stood up to a determined challenge in court even then.

However... I love that handwriting. It's so rhythmic! It's almost a cursive gothic! I'm an amateur calligrapher, and man, I wish I could write in a hand like that. It's genuinely gorgeous.
Posted by Richard Bos on 01/09/21 at 12:11 PM
I wonder what would have happened if they both grew mustaches.
Posted by ges on 01/09/21 at 06:25 PM
If both sons grew mustaches, the money would have gone to a young women's association like the YWCA so no mustachioed individual could put their greedy hands on it.
Posted by Yudith on 01/11/21 at 11:43 AM
In my family, there were several wills with stipulations which were above and beyond.

One of my uncles left a farm to one of his sons on the condition he lived there and worked it himself for ten years. If not, it'd have to be sold and the proceeds given to his daughter. That lasted exactly two years -- then he and sis cut a deal, he purposely defaulted, and sis kicked back 25%.

Another uncle stipulated his heirs had to remain Catholic, and he also stipulated that anyone who contested any part of his will would only get $1. One son contested the first part, and won, but the court let the second one stand, so he was out. It did free the others to do what they wanted.

My grandfather's will said that, in perpetuity, any heir would have to repay their inheritance if they ever had a child out of wedlock. I'm still waiting for my older sister to violate that and have to give back the $2,500 (which would come to me), but since she's now in her 70s, I'm not holding out much hope.

It's been a couple of decades since any of this came up, but a lawyer told me that such stipulations would hold up in court if someone violated them, but it was generally easy to petition the probate court to set such stipulations aside prior to their being broken.

Posted by Phideaux on 01/11/21 at 07:13 PM
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