Thank you both for your replies, very helpful indeed. The fact that the person named is effectively the executor or administrator of the will makes much more sense - the more probate entries I looked at, I thought it was odd that so many people left all their estate to just one or two people, or sometimes to a bank! It explains a lot!
It was a very large amount of money, £660,000 in todays money, I wonder where it all went, charities hopefully.
Many thanks again to both of you