Welcome to the Historical Fiction Online forums: a friendly place to discuss, review and discover historical fiction.
If this is your first visit, please be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above.
You will have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed.
To start viewing posts, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.

Regency Questions

Post Reply
User avatar
robinbird79
Avid Reader
Posts: 378
Joined: June 2009
Location: Georgia

Regency Questions

Post by robinbird79 » Wed May 9th, 2012, 1:33 am

Figured there had to be some folks on here more knowledgeable in the Regency than I am. :)

1. Can a man inherit two estates? Say he's already inherited his father's estate and his uncle (who had his mother's estate) dies with no heir, could he be named heir to his mother's estate?

2. If above situation CAN happen, what can the man do with the "new" estate? Does he keep it (for the income it can bring him), leave it to a younger sibling (or an older sister if she hasn't married into a wealthy family), or would he sell it?

3. Were kidnappings for money something that happened in the time period? I.e desperate man kidnaps a girl from a wealthy family, drags her off to Gretna Green so he can get her dowry?

Thanks y'all!
Currently Reading: Crown in Candlelight, R. H. Jarmen

http://almostcrazymommy.blogspot.com

SGM
Compulsive Reader
Posts: 699
Joined: March 2010

Post by SGM » Wed May 9th, 2012, 7:10 pm

[quote=""robinbird79""]Figured there had to be some folks on here more knowledgeable in the Regency than I am. :)

1. Can a man inherit two estates? Say he's already inherited his father's estate and his uncle (who had his mother's estate) dies with no heir, could he be named heir to his mother's estate?

2. If above situation CAN happen, what can the man do with the "new" estate? Does he keep it (for the income it can bring him), leave it to a younger sibling (or an older sister if she hasn't married into a wealthy family), or would he sell it?

3. Were kidnappings for money something that happened in the time period? I.e desperate man kidnaps a girl from a wealthy family, drags her off to Gretna Green so he can get her dowry?

Thanks y'all![/quote]

The landed gentry had properties all over the country which they had acquired by divers means: inheritance (and not just from the paternal side), purchase, etc etc. There was nothing to stop them from inheriting from anyone. There might have been limitations to who they could leave part of their "estate" to, ie some of the nobilty were bound by entails. This was often still the case by the Regency period and up until the seventeenth century restrictions upon diposal of property inherited under feudal arrangements were rife. This had been partly evaded by the formation of trusts but Henry VIII attempted to put an end to that but had to back track in the face of severe opposition. You need to look at The Statute of Uses for the Henrician positon. But William I made an honest to goodness mess of English property law which it took centuries to sort out.

A person could do whatever he wanted with a newly acquired property but land was a primary element of prestige and position until relatively recently. It might be sold if he was in financial difficulty or to finance some other project but largely land was to be held on to even if it was never visited by the owner.

As to the last part of your question, there are a great many newspaper collections going back to the seventeenth century available online. I have access to them through various libraries both local and university and I am sure you would be able to get access to similar resources. I would have thought that this would be the best way to research your interest. Although it really relates to an earlier period Lawrence Stone's An Open Elite is quite interesting regarding the acquistion of land and what was done with it.
Last edited by SGM on Wed May 9th, 2012, 7:16 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Currently reading - Emergence of a Nation State by Alan Smith

User avatar
LoveHistory
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 3751
Joined: September 2008
Location: Wisconsin, USA
Contact:

Post by LoveHistory » Wed May 9th, 2012, 9:55 pm

1. Yes.

2. Depends. If he inherited an entailed estate he wouldn't be able to sell it. If it is his free and clear he can keep or sell as he chooses. He might sell or give it to a family member. It could become part of a daughter's dowry or younger son's inheritance as his main residence would likely go to the eldest son, if he has any sons that is.

3. Maybe not common but it happened occasionally. Though all he had to do to get her dowry was compromise her. Actually marrying her would be the safest option to secure the money but if she was ruined her family would likely insist upon the wedding happening at that point. However, this plan can backfire as some families have dowries and inheritances tied up until the girl reaches a certain age, or so that she won't get a penny if she marries without the family's consent.

User avatar
robinbird79
Avid Reader
Posts: 378
Joined: June 2009
Location: Georgia

Post by robinbird79 » Thu May 10th, 2012, 3:24 pm

Thank y'all! This was the information I needed!
Currently Reading: Crown in Candlelight, R. H. Jarmen

http://almostcrazymommy.blogspot.com

Post Reply

Return to “Questions and Research”