devising dying and dispute probate litigation in early modern england

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Devising Dying And Dispute

Author : Lloyd Bonfield
ISBN : 9781317151685
Genre : Law
File Size : 44. 27 MB
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Seventeenth-century England was a country obsessed with property rights. For only those who owned property were considered to have a vested interest in the maintenance of law, order and social harmony. As such, establishing the ownership of 'things' was a constant concern for all people, and nowhere is this more evident than in the cases of disputed wills. Based on a wealth of surviving evidence from the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, the probate jurisdiction which probated wills of the more wealthy English property owners as well as some of those with a more modest quantity of property, this book investigates what litigation over the validity of wills reveals about the interplay between society and law. The volume investigates, catalogs, and systematizes the legal issues that were raised in will disputes in the Canterbury Court in the last half of the seventeenth century. However, this is not just a book about law and legal practice. The records from which it draws plunge us into deeply personal and often tragic situations, revealing how the last requests of the dead and dying were often ignored or misinterpreted by family, friends and creditors for their own benefit. By focusing on property law as reflected in cases of disputed wills, the book provides a glimpse at a much fuller spectrum of society than is often the case. Even people of relatively modest means were concerned to pass on their possessions, and their cases provide a snapshot of the type of objects owned and social relationships revealed by patterns of bequests. This too is true for women, who despite being denied full participation in many areas of civic life, are frequently encountered as key players in court cases over disputed wills. What emerges from this study is a picture of a society for which notions of law and private property were increasingly intertwined, yet in which courts were less concerned with formality than with ensuring that the intentions of will-makers were properly carried out.

The Dynamics Of Inheritance On The Shakespearean Stage

Author : Michelle M. Dowd
ISBN : 9781316300749
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 84. 89 MB
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Early modern England's system of patrilineal inheritance, in which the eldest son inherited his father's estate and title, was one of the most significant forces affecting social order in the period. Demonstrating that early modern theatre played a unique and vital role in shaping how inheritance was understood, Michelle M. Dowd explores some of the common contingencies that troubled this system: marriage and remarriage, misbehaving male heirs, and families with only daughters. Shakespearean drama helped question and reimagine inheritance practices, making room for new formulations of gendered authority, family structure, and wealth transfer. Through close readings of canonical and non-canonical plays by Shakespeare, Webster, Jonson, and others, Dowd pays particular attention to the significance of space in early modern inheritance and the historical relationship between dramatic form and the patrilineal economy. Her book will interest researchers and students of early modern drama, Shakespeare, gender studies, and socio-economic history.

Earls Colne S Early Modern Landscapes

Author : Dolly MacKinnon
ISBN : 9781317147251
Genre : History
File Size : 48. 69 MB
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The Essex village of Earls Colne boasts one of the most comprehensive collections of historical documents in Britain, and has been the subject of an intensive and ongoing research project to collate and computerise the surviving records. As such, Earls Colne is undoubtedly one of the most studied parishes in England. Yet whilst much is now known about the village and its inhabitants, little work has been done on the social relationships that bound the community together within its mental and physical landscape. As such, scholars will welcome Dr MacKinnon’s investigation into the social, political and cultural world of early modern England as represented by Earls Colne. The book provides a fresh approach to the study of the landscape of a seventeenth-century village by focussing on the relationships between political power and cultural artefacts. It examines how private, public and communal spaces within society were generated, gendered and governed, and how this was recorded and perpetuated in the records, names, and monuments of the parish and surrounding landscape. Yet whilst the ’elites’ tried to represent a select social landscape through their control of the local records and documents, these attempts were always counterbalanced by the less powerful members of the community who occupied and contested these spaces. By reconstructing the dynamics of Earls Colne through a careful reading and cross-referencing of the surviving documents, buildings and place names, this book offers a fascinating insight into how the sights and sounds of early modern society were imbued with the social relations of parish politics. As well as deepening our understanding of Earls Colne itself, the book offers historians the potential to revisit other local studies from a fresh perspective.

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