The Question Why?

On other discussion sites dealing with music in general, or specialising in early music itself when the subject turns to Munrow people ask why he so tragically ended his life..This is understandable, and arguably we have the right to know..at least the official story.

Admitedly, what follows is from memory, but originates from a long article in a local High Wycombe (Bucks) newspaper. In it Mrs. Gillian Munrow at the Coroners Court claimed amongst other things that her husband did not have any financial, or health problems. The cause of his demise was arguably the death of his father (from cancer), and his father-in-law (a road accident). This had a "devastating effect" on him as she put it.

I cannot recall whether Jasper Parrott. DMs agent was present, or not at the above coroners hearing. A statement was possibly read out.

However, many people have wondered if there was more to it. Evidence seems to suggest so...There is one specific reason(s) why he may have done what he did. Originally, I found the claim on the internet but it was deleted for whatever reason. Richard Wood supported what I discovered, and claimed I was nearer the truth than I could possibly imagine. For legal reasons, I am not prepared to say, but what has been presented here should be seen as "authorative" ...




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Also, I wish to add the following (December 2015) which appears in an article on the History of Amersham. http://amershamhistory.info/chesham-bois/woodland-court/ 



....Woodland Court had a gatehouse with stable and coach house, since demolished and replaced by two substantial new houses.  The gatehouse was at one time owned by David and Gill Munrow.  David Munrow was celebrated conductor and co-founder with Sir Christopher Hogwood of the Early Music Consort, which made over 50 recordings.  Sir Christopher Hogwood went on to found the Academy of Ancient Music, which specializes in performances of Baroque and early Classical music using period instruments.
David Munrow committed suicide in 1976 while suffering from depression. There are many rumours as to why. He used to overwork, and it appears from the original court records that he was deeply upset by the death of his father, and then, shortly after, his father-in-law. This appears to be key cause of his demise. Indeed, his only book is dedicated to both of them. On the day of his passing he, and his wife Gillian were intending to go to Venice. However, she found him hanging from the hayloft of their garage in Chesham Bois, Buckinghamshire. They had not lived in the area for long, and had previously had a home in St.Albans, Herts Furthermore, Munrow had attempted suicide via a drug overdose in 1975. James Bowman his singer for his Consort lost his singing voice because of the shock of his death, and had to be re-trained.
Many of the Woodland Court servants lived in the row of cottages called The Woodlands.  Their history is unknown but they appear to pre-date Woodland Court as the deeds mention sales in 1910....


I should add I once visited the above address long after Munrow had passed on. I do not recall much of it, but ofcourse I saw the notorious  small "garage" in which he took his life in the early morning of May15th 1976. Among other things, I saw inside the small wooden step ladder on which he suspended himself from the hayloft with a cotton rope.....into eternity....

Someone sent me Munrow's Will but it does not explain anything much. However, there was a Will of sorts published in the Times after his death in which bequests of money were bequethed to mainly male friends and two females ones if I recall correctly. 



In the High Court of Justice 

The District Probate Registry at Manchester BE IT KNOWN that DAVID JOHN MUNROW of The Gate House hong Park Chesham Bois Amersham Buckinghamshire formerly of 48 Lancaster Road St Albans Hertfordshire 

197

dled on the 151 day of May domiciled in England and Wales 

AND BE IT FURTHER KNOWN that at the date hereunder written the last Will and Testament 

MASASAUR 

(a copy whereof is hereunto annexed) of the sald deceased was proved and registered in the sald Registry of the High Court of Justice 

and Administration of all the estate which by law devolves to and vests in the personal representative of the said deceased was granted by the aforesaid Court to JOHN BRIERLEY TURNER of 81 Fountain Street Manchester M2 a FB and Mrs GILLIAN VERONICA MUNROW Of The Gate House Long Park aforesaid the executors named in the said will 

VAR

SANTA 

And it is hereby certified that an Inland Revenue account has been delivered wherein It is shown that the gross value of the sold estate in the United Kingdom 

(exclusive of what the sald deceased may have been possessed of or entitled to as a trustee and not beneficially) amounts to £40125 54 and that the net value of the estate amounts to £327 30 6

.. 

Dared the 7th day of 

Dated the 

day of 

JULY 

2016 

l.a. Teia 

District Registrar. 

Extracted by 

DR2 

George Davies - Co 81 Fountain street manchester Ha a FB 

8/76 7987 229967 150m H&S(P) Ltd Gp849 

THIS WILL is made by me DAVID JOHN MUNROW of 48 Lancaster 

Road St. Albans Hertfordshire

1. I REVOKE all former Wills and testamentary dispositions made by me

2. I REQUEST that my eyes may be used for therapeutic purposes and I DESIRE that my kidneys may be used for transplantation purposes if necessary

3. I APPOINT JOHN BRIERLEY TURNER of 81 Fountain Street Manchester 2 Solicitor and my wife GILLIAN VERONICA MUNROW to be the EXECUTORS AND TRUSTEES of this my Will PROVIDED that if my said wife shall die in my lifetime or before taking out Probate or shall renounce Probate or for any other reason be unable to act as an Executrix and Trustee hereof then I APPOINT DAVID RANDOLPH MICHELL DUNBAR of 10 Gray's Inn Square London W.c.1. Chartered Accountant to be an EXECUT OR AND TRUSTEE of this my Will in her place and I DECLARE that in the interpretation of this my Will the expression "my Trustees" shall (where the context permits) mean and include the Trustee or Trustees for the time being hereof whether original or substituted

4. I GIVE all my estate both real and personal whatsoever and wheresoever (after payment of my debts funeral and testamentary expenses and any death duties payable in respect of my estate by reason of my death) to my said wife GILLIAN VERONICA MUNROW absolutely if she shall survive me for the space of Twenty eigh

days from the date of my death. 

5. IF my said wife shall die before me or shall survive me but die before the expiration of Twenty eight days from the date of my death but not otherwise then I DIRECT and DECLARE that clauses 6 to 11 of this my Will shall take effect. 

6. I DESIRE that any pets owned by me shall be painlessly destroyed unless my Trustees feel that a good home can be found for them. 

7. I GIVE (free of all duties) legacies as follows: (a) To my goddaughter MARIANNE HEIDI KLEIN absolutely if she shall survive me and if and when she attains the age of eighteen years the sum of One thousand pounds, (b) TO ALL or ANY the CHILD or CHILDREN of ROBERT SPENCER (of 11 Barclay Oval Woodford Green Essex) who shall be living at my death and shall attain or shall have attained the age of Eighteen years and if more than one equally between them the sum of Two thousand pounds. (c) TO ALL or ANY the CHILD or CHILDREN of MARY WEEDON (of The Patch Bradley Green Wotton-under-Edge Gloucestershire) who shall be living at my death and shall attain or shall have attained the age of Eighteen years and if more than one equally between them the sum of Two thousand pounds. (d) TO ALL or ANY the CHILD or CHILDREN OF ARTHUR JOHNSON (of 118 Audley Road Hendon London) who shall 

be living at my death and shall attain or shall 

have attained the age of Eighteen years and if more than one equally between them the sum of One thousand 

pounds. 

(e) TO ALL or ANY the CHILD or CHILDREN OF ROBERT MAUDE (of Cotswold View Station Road Harvington near Evesham Worcestershire) who shall be living at my death and shall attain or shall have attained the age of Eighteen years and if more than one equally between them the sum of Three thousand pounds. (1) TO EACH of ALISON ELIZABETH and JOHN (children of LESLIE HART of 42 Lancaster Road St. Albans aforesaid) who shall survive me and attain the age of Eighteen years the sum of Five hundred pounds. (g) TO JANE PARTRIDGE (the daughter of TRAVERS PARTRIDGE of 39 Lancaster Road aforesaid) if she . shall survive me and if and when she attains the age of Twenty one years the sum of Five hundred pounds. (n) To such of my parents-in-law WILLIAM ROBERT REID and EMILY REID (of 13 Kings Brae-Belfast Northern Ireland) as shall survive me and if more than one equally between them the sum of Two thousand pounds. (1) To such of HARRY PIPE and his wife MARJORIE PIPE (of 6 Church Road Snape near Saxmundham Suffolk) as shall survive me and if more than one equally between them the sum of Five hundred pounds. 

- 3 

(3) · To the CATS PROTECTION LEAGUE AND TAIL WAVERS 

REGISTERED NATIONAL CHARITY the sum of Five hundred pounds to be applied towards a fund for the spaying and neutering of cats and I DECLARE that my Trustees may accept the receipt of the Treasurer or other proper officer for the time being of the said Charity as their full and sufficient discharge for thi

legacy. AND IN RELATION to the legacies given by this Clause I DECLARE as follows

(1) Any legacy to any person conditional upon attaining a specified age shall be contingent upon attaining that age but shall nonetheless carry the intermediate income which said income shall (subject however to any exercise of the statutory powers of mainten ance and advancement) be accumulated as an accretion to the capital thereof PROVIDED ALWAYS that if any such beneficiary shall die before attaining the specified age his or-her contingent legacy shall fall into and form part of my residuary estate as hereinafter defined (except in the case of class gifts where' other members of the class survive and attain the specified age and so take the share of the deceased legatee by accretion to their own share or shares). (11) If any of the persons to whom a legacy is given by this clause has or have become entitled to

legacy (whether vested or contingent) under the reciprocal clause in the will of my said wife then the legacy or legacies hereby respectively given to such legatees shall be reduced (and if appropriate extinguished) by the amount of the legacy which he she or they actually receives under such reciprocal clause in the Will of my said wife to the intent that in the event of myself and my said wife dying within Twenty eight days of each other no such legatee shall be entitled to receive both the whole of the legacy under this clause and the whole of the legacy under such reciprocal clause in the will of my wife. 

8. I GIVE (free of all duties) other legacies as follows: 

(a) To my said god-daughter MARIANNE HEIDI KLEIN ALL my wife's jewellery and doll collection and any childrens books AND I declare that my Trustees may accept the receipt of the parent or guardian for the time being of msaid god-daughter as their full and sufficient discharge for any gifts to her under this Clause 8 of my Wili. (b) To my said mother-in-law EMILY REID absolutely if she shall survive me all articles of silver the grandfather clock the antique kitchen clock the sewing table and sewing machine the brass table lamp and my tapestry pictures and my wife's opal and pearl bar brooch. If my said mother-in-law 

shall predecease me then I give the grandfather clock to HAZEL PARTRIDGE (of 39 Lancaster Road aforesaid and I give the remainder of the articles mentioned in this sub-clause to my said god daughter MARIANNE HEIDI KLEIN. (c) TO STUART HART of 42 Lancaster Road aforesaid any television sets that I may own at my death the small round painted table (at present in the sittin

I wishech room) and also the waxed chinese rug (at present in the dining room). (a) To the said JOHN BRIERLEY TURNER (without reference to his capacity as an Executor and Trustee hereof) all flutes recorders flageolets and square pianos that I may own at my death and such others of my musical instruments which he may wish to put to practical use and may choose within one month from my death. (e) To the UNIVERSITY OF LEICESTER all my books music and musical instruments (except such as are herein otherwise effectively disposed of) for the benefit of the Music Department in the said University and I declare that my Trustees may accept the receipt of the Treasurer or other proper Officer for the time being of the said University as their full and sufficient discharge for this legacy. (1) To the said ARTHUR JOHNSON all my records and tapes to retain or dispose of as he shall in his 

----- 

absolute discretion think fit. (g) To such of FRANCES and ARNOLD TUSTIN of "Middlepiece" Christchurch Road Tring Hertfordshire as shall survive me and if more than one equally between them such of my furniture and articles of personal household domestic or garden use or ornament (other than any such as are herein or by any Codicil hereto otherwise effectively disposed of) as they may choose within the space of one month from the date of my death. (n) To the said HAZEL PARTRIDGE the glass china cabinet (at present in the dining room) and such of my furniture and articles of personal household domestic or garden use or ornament (other than any, such as are herein or by any codicil hereto otherwise 'effectively disposed of or such as are chosen by Frances and Arnold Tustin pursuant to sub-clause (8) hereof) as she may choose within one month of my death. 

2. I GIVE (free of all duties) to such of my parents ALBERT DAVIS MUNROW and HILDA IVY MUNROW as shall survive me and if more than one equally between 

them the cottage and premises known as 20 Coventry Road 

Flushing near Falmouth Cornwall (freed and discharged from all sums secured thereon by way of mortgage or charge at my death) If both of my said parents shall predecease me then I GIVE the said cottage and premises (free o

of all duties and freed and discharged as aforesaid from any mortgage or charge thereon) to my Trustees Upon trust for my said parents-in-law WILLIAM ROBERT REID and EMILY REID during their joint lives and to the survivor of them during his or her life and after the death of such survivor Upon trust for JASPER PARROTT of 22 Hillgate Street London W.8. absolutely and I DIRECT that my said parents-in-law and the survivor of them shall at their own expense during their joint lives and the life of the survivor of them keep the said cottage and premises in good repair and condition and insured so far as practicable against fire to the full value thereof in some office of repute and to the satisfaction of my Trustees in all respects, but I DECLARE that my Trustees shall not be bound to see that the said insurance is effected or kept up or keep up such insurance as aforesaid

10. I GIVE (free of all duties) to the said JASPER PARROTT all copyrights and rights of a like nature owned by me at the date of "my_ death and also the benefit of all royalty agreements (except for any copyrights and royalties derived from my said father). 

11. SUBJECT as aforesaid I GIVE all my estate 

· both real and personal whatsoever and wheresoever to 

my Trustees Upon trust to sell call in and convert into money such parts thereof as shall not consist of money with power to postpone the sale calling in and conversion for such a period as my Trustees without being liabl

to account may think proper and (after paying out of the proceeds of such sale calling in and conversion and my ready money my debts funeral and testamentary expenses and any death duties payable in respect of my estate by reason of my death and the pecuniary legacies payable under clause 7 hereof) to stand possessed of the net residue and any part of my estate for the time being unconverted (all hereinafter called "my residuary estate") Upon trust to divide the same into two moieties and to hold such moieties as follows: 

(a) As to one of such moieties for payment or transfer thereof to such of my said parents ALBERT DAVIS MUNROW and HILDA IVY MUNROW as shall survive me and if more than one equally between them. (b) As to the other such moiety for payment or transfer thereof to such of my said parents-in-law WILLIAM ROBERT REID and EMILY REID as shall survive me and if more than one equally between them. 

PROVIDED ALWAYS that :

(1) If the trusts hereinbefore declared concerning either such moiety of my residuary estate shall fail then I DIRECT that such moiety so failing shall accrue to and devolve with the other moiety of my residuary estate the trusts whereof shall not have failed and (11) That if the trusts hereinbefore declared concerning 

both such moieties of my residuary estate shall 

fail then my Trustees shall stand possessed of my 

residuary estate upon trust for the said JASPER PARROTT absolutely if he shall survive me. 

12. FOR the purposes of this my Will : (1) The statutory powers of maintenance and advancement shall apply with a variation that the limit of advancement contained in Section 32 (1) (a) of the Trustee Act 1925 shall not apply to the intent that my Trustees may in their absolute discretion pay or apply the whole of the capital moneys instead of one half

(11) My Trustees may as well in their capacity as trustees as in their capacity as personal representatives at any time in their discretion exercise all the powers of appropriation under Section 41 of the Administration of Estates -Act 1925 without obtaining any of the required consents. 

(111) Trust moneys may be invested in the purchase of or at interest upon the security of such stocks funds shares securities or other investments of whatsoever nature and wheresoever and whether involving liability or not or upon such personal credit with or without security as my Trustees shall in their absolute discretion think 

fit to the intent that my Trustees shall have the same 

full and unrestricted power of investing and transposing investments in all respects as if my Trustees were absolutely entitled thereto beneficially

(1v) Any Executor or Trustee for the time being hereof who shall be a Solicitor or Accountant or engaged i

any other profession or business may be so employed or act and shall be entitled to charge and be paid out of my estate all professional and other charges for work or business done or transacted by him or his firm in connection with the proof of my Will the administration of my estate and the trusts hereof including therein any work or business which he might as an Executor and/or Trustee have been required to do or transact in person and such remuneration shall be a first charge on my estate

IN_WITNESS whereof I have hereunto set my hand this 28 day of 7elman

One thousand nine hundred and seventy three. SIGNED by the said DAVID ) JOHN MUNROW in our presence and attested by us in the presence of him and each other 

Slluan 

A. D. Walls 

and fames Oltanap . . So Cubans













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