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Vol 23 No 4 April/May 2018

Book of the Month

Cover of Williams, Mortimer and Sunnucks: Executors, Administrators and Probate

Williams, Mortimer and Sunnucks: Executors, Administrators and Probate

Edited by: Alexander Learmonth, Charlotte Ford, Julia Clark, John Ross Martyn
Price: £295.00

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Peter Thellusson's Will of 1797 and Its Consequences on Chancery Law

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ISBN13: 9780773472372
ISBN: 0773472371
Published: April 2002
Publisher: The Edwin Mellen Press Ltd
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Hardback
Price: £104.95

Low stock.

This is the first full-length study of the most celebrated will in English history, a will which scandalized society, forced an immediate and rare statutory curb on testamentary freedom, precipitated a Chancery suit lasting more than half a century, and was one of the inspirations for Dickens’s Bleak House.

This study, based on the records of the court of Chancery, family papers, and a wide range of official and other printed sources, will be of value to scholars in a number off fields. In business, it explores the activities of the house of Thellusson, one of the biggest firms in international trade and finance in the late 18th century.

As social history it explains the place of this innovative will in the development of the law and practice of inheritance and family settlement among the new rich, and discusses the motives for and effect of the legislation hurriedly enacted in response to it. As legal history it provides an unusually detailed account of the workings of the court of Chancery in its most unpopular phase and in its most criticized sphere, the administration of an estate.

Furthermore, because the entire property was directed to be invested in land, this study contributes to knowledge of 19th century agriculture by a detailed examination of land purchases and management.

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Legal History
Preface by Professor A. W. B. Simpson
1. The Most Famous Will in the World
2. The Thellussons
3. Making the Fortune
4. Founding the Family
5. A Tale of Three Cities
6. Property Politics and Peerage
7. Peter Thellusson’s Will
8. The First Round in the Great Law Suit
9. The Thellusson Act
10. In the Shadow of the Will: The First Generation
11. In Chancery: Managing the Fund
12. In Chancery: Managing the Estates
13. The Shadow of the Will: The Second Generation
14. Escaping the Clutches of the Hungry Sloth
15. The Final Round
16. Spending the Fortune
Tables of Cases and Statues