By Professor Bonfield Lloyd

Seventeenth-century England used to be a rustic captivated with estate rights. for less than those that owned estate have been thought of to have a vested curiosity within the upkeep of legislation, order and social concord. As such, developing the possession of 'things' was once a relentless difficulty for everybody, and nowhere is that this extra glaring than within the circumstances of disputed wills. according to a wealth of surviving facts from the Prerogative court docket of Canterbury, the probate jurisdiction which probated wills of the extra prosperous English homeowners in addition to a few of people with a extra modest volume of estate, this publication investigates what litigation over the validity of wills unearths in regards to the interaction among society and legislations. the quantity investigates, catalogs, and systematizes the criminal concerns that have been raised in will disputes within the Canterbury courtroom within the final 1/2 the 17th century. even though, this isn't only a publication approximately legislations and felony perform. The files from which it attracts plunge us into deeply own and sometimes tragic events, revealing how the final requests of the useless and death have been frequently neglected or misinterpreted by means of family members, pals and collectors for his or her personal benefit.

By concentrating on estate legislations as mirrored in instances of disputed wills, the booklet presents a glimpse at a far fuller spectrum of society than is frequently the case. Even humans of quite modest capacity have been involved to move on their possessions, and their circumstances offer a photo of the kind of gadgets owned and social relationships published by way of styles of bequests. This too is right for ladies, who regardless of being denied complete participation in lots of components of civic existence, are often encountered as key avid gamers in lawsuits over disputed wills.

What emerges from this research is an image of a society for which notions of legislation and personal estate have been more and more intertwined, but during which courts have been much less taken with formality than with making sure that the intentions of will-makers have been accurately carried out.

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Devising, Dying and Dispute: Probate Litigation in Early Modern England by Professor Bonfield Lloyd


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