By Professor Bonfield Lloyd
Seventeenth-century England was once a rustic passionate about estate rights. for under those that owned estate have been thought of to have a vested curiosity within the upkeep of legislation, order and social concord. As such, constructing the possession of 'things' was once a continuing main issue for everyone, and nowhere is that this extra glaring than within the instances of disputed wills. in accordance with a wealth of surviving proof from the Prerogative courtroom of Canterbury, the probate jurisdiction which probated wills of the extra filthy rich English homeowners in addition to a few of people with a extra modest volume of estate, this e-book investigates what litigation over the validity of wills finds concerning the interaction among society and legislation. the quantity investigates, catalogs, and systematizes the criminal concerns that have been raised in will disputes within the Canterbury court docket within the final half the 17th century. even if, this isn't only a booklet approximately legislation and criminal perform. The documents from which it attracts plunge us into deeply own and infrequently tragic occasions, revealing how the final requests of the lifeless and death have been usually neglected or misinterpreted by means of relations, pals and collectors for his or her personal benefit.
By targeting estate legislation 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 capability have been involved to cross on their possessions, and their circumstances offer a image of the kind of gadgets owned and social relationships published via styles of bequests. This too is correct for ladies, who regardless of being denied complete participation in lots of parts of civic lifestyles, are often encountered as key gamers in proceedings over disputed wills.
What emerges from this learn is an image of a society for which notions of legislations and personal estate have been more and more intertwined, but within which courts have been much less taken with formality than with making sure that the intentions of will-makers have been thoroughly carried out.
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