New life for £12m worth of historic Edinburgh bequests

By Michael MacLeod

THE CONTROL of £12 million in charity cash is to be offloaded by one of Scotland’s biggest councils.

A huge pool of money left in wills dating back to 1707 for causes including pensions for wartime raid survivors, kids’ Christmas treats and soup kitchens will be brought back to life by the move.

The 38 funds are currently managed by the City of Edinburgh Council, which wants an outside charity to take the strictly ring-fenced donations forward.

Many of the legacies have been paid out in part, while others have been sitting in council coffers accruing interest for literally hundreds of years.

Some of the bequests were set up under vague instructions – including a legacy left for the “deserving poor of Corstorphine.”
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Scot who left legacy to places that shared his name a “misunderstanding”

By Cara Sulieman

HE HIT headlines across the world when it was revealed he left his legacy to places across the globe that shared his surname.

But the claims baffled the solicitors of Eric Gordon Douglas – the mysterious Edinburgh philanthropist – as his will doesn’t show any such bequests.

It seems that the heart-warming story of generosity started after one of the beneficiaries misunderstood the terms of their donation.

Douglas Borough Council on the Isle of Man was bequeathed £10,887.73 and somehow thought that they were amoung 20 places around the world named Douglas that had benefited from his will.

The bachelor used to holiday on the Isle of Man and left money to the council, a museum and an old folks home on the island.

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