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Dylan Thomas' probate record shows £100 left to Caitlin

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Laura Chamberlain Laura Chamberlain | 09:56 UK time, Thursday, 24 May 2012

It's news that perhaps won't surprise many people given his penchant for a small dram or two but the will of Dylan Thomas, which has been now been published online, reveals that the Welsh poet left very little wealth behind him after his death.

Genealogy website ancestry.co.uk has published the wills of millions of famous Britons online for the first time, including the likes of Thomas, Winston Churchill, Florence Nightingale, AA Milne, George Bernard Shaw and Beatrix Potter.

The probate record of the Welsh poet shows that effects worth just £100 were left to his widow Caitlin, which equates to roughly £2,300 in monetary value today.

Copy of the online probate record relating to Dylan Thomas. Courtesy of ancestry.co.uk

Copy of the online probate record relating to Dylan Thomas. Courtesy of ancestry.co.uk

More than six million records dating from 1942 to 1966, that form part of the England and Wales National Probate Calendar, 1858-1966, have been put online.

When compared to sums left by other well known authors whose details have been unearthed during the publication of the records, Thomas' bequest seems a small sum indeed.

For instance author Lewis Carroll left £4,145 (approximately £440,000 today) to his younger brother Wilfred in 1898 while George Orwell is listed as having £9,908 (just under £280,000 today) to his name in 1950.

Meanwhile, former prime minister Churchill left behind effects totalling £304,044 (nearly £4.8 million today) to his wife Clementine in 1965.

Thomas died on 9 November 1953 in New York. The post mortem gave the primary cause of death as pneumonia, with pressure on the brain and a fatty liver given as contributing factors. He is buried at St Martin's Church in Laugharne.

Read more about Dylan Thomas on the BBC Wales Arts website.

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