Family left out of millionaire's will

A MILLIONAIRE widow has written her children out of her will, fearing that inherited wealth will bring them nothing but unhappiness.

Hilda Robinson, who died aged 94, provided for her extensive family during her lifetime, but decided to leave her pounds 1.4m fortune to charities.

Mrs Robinson acquired her wealth from her family's pioneering radio rental business and with her husband brought television rental to Britain. But she explained to her relatives in her will that she felt they would be happier without an inheritance. "I love all my family very deeply but noticing the great unhappiness that inherited wealth has brought to my family I do not wish to leave any money directly to my children as they have all received reasonable provision and first- class education in my lifetime. I hope they will understand my wishes," she wrote.

Those who knew Mrs Robinson said her will was a characteristically single- minded gesture from "a grand old lady". The Rev Malcolm Atherton, of Abingdon, Oxfordshire, who conducted a thanksgiving service for her earlier this year, said: "It is just typical of her, it is splendid...I think what she was trying to get across was that money is a mixed blessing. She herself got a lot of joy and a lot of heartache out of it."

Mr Atherton, minister at Trinity Church, where Mrs Robinson was a regular worshipper, stressed that during her lifetime she had provided financially for her extensive family. She had three daughters, two sons and more than 30 grandchildren and great-grandchildren. "All her family have done well and are living fulfilled lives and I think she simply felt they did not need the money," Mr Atherton said. "She had seen lives ruined by people over-indulging in money. Although she made sure her family had enough, she believed they did not need any more."

Mrs Robinson, he said, had travelled widely. She died in a nursing home at Wincanton, Somerset, last December, leaving a total of pounds 1,358,805 to the Methodist Missionary Society, the National Children's Home, the Friends of Tewkesbury Abbey, and the Canon Collins Educational Trust for Southern Africa.

Details of individual bequests are not generally known, but the Methodist Society confirmed she left it pounds 400,000.

Mrs Robinson met her husband, Joseph, on a blind date. In the 1930s they set up Rediffusion and Radio Rentals with pounds 100 capital. Some 30 years later the family shared the proceeds of the pounds 6m sale of Radio Rentals to Thorn. She and her husband divorced in 1960.

t A pensioner who lived in a modest flat and shuffled around in old waterproof trousers has left more than pounds 1m in his will. Neighbours in Bristol knew John Chapman as a man who carried tatty plastic shopping bags and dined on a bowl of tinned soup every day. The former bank manager lived for more than 30 years in a two-bedroom flat worth pounds 53,000. Mr Chapman had no family but left an estate of pounds 1,207,278, Lloyds Bank Trustees confirmed.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Store Manager & Store Supervisor

£19000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Case Liaison Officer / Administrator

£13000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Pension Specialist based in Rochest...

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Manager / Sales - OTE £45,000

£35000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is a solutions / s...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - OTE £45,000

£18000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Executive is required t...

Day In a Page

Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific