England (Counties as in 1851-1901) => England => Somerset => Topic started by: phil57 on Saturday 22 May 21 11:37 BST (UK)

Title: Searching for legal case from 1794-1825
Post by: phil57 on Saturday 22 May 21 11:37 BST (UK)
I have recently obtained copies of a number of documents relating to my Gx6th, 5th and 4th grandfathers, from SWHT. The documents are in a collection of papers belonging to the DICKINSON family of Kingweston, and concern lands and property that was sold to them by George HODGES of Charlton Adam. In short, the lands involved originally formed part of the estate of George's grandfather, and were inherited by his son Henry HODGES (George's father) who died in 1758. In his Will, he left his estate in trust, to be equally divided between family members including a living son and daughter (Jane) and the as yet unborn George with whom his wife was pregnant at the time of his death, who were each to receive their share upon reaching the age of 21 years.

A complicated story involving several family tragedies resulted in George assuming possession of the entire estate, some of which he disposed of in following years, Jane's entitlement having apparently been "overlooked" despite her reaching full age during that period.

In October 1794, the two surviving daughters of George's sister Jane (their mother also by then deceased) appear to have sought legal advice on claiming the share of the estate that should rightfully have been their mothers, and subsequently theirs. The document relating to that advice is a Case for Opinion re ELLIS and BARRETT versus George HODGES. I assume it was within the DICKINSON family collection as they had purchased several parcels of land and properties from George HODGES, which had been part of his father's estate. From the married names of Jane's daughters and various searches, I have managed to find their mother's marriage, the name of their father, each of their own marriages and the names of their husbands.

Other than the advice contained in the Case for Opinion, which indicated that the two daughters had a good claim but would have to pursue a recovery through the courts, there is no record of whether any case was pursued or the result. There are however copies of certified extracts from parish registers proving the descent of George HODGES from his grandfather, obtained in 1825, which could either suggest that the matter had gone on for some time, or had reared its head again directly in connection with the DICKINSONs' acquisitions.

Is there any way of finding out if a case against George was pursued by the daughters, and the result please? I have no idea where to start looking. Their married names were Mary ELLIS and Ruth BARRETT. Mary and Ruth died in 1835 and 1828 respectively, George in 1838.
Title: Re: Searching for legal case from 1794-1825
Post by: GrahamSimons on Saturday 22 May 21 20:02 BST (UK)
Most likely in the Chancery records at the National Archives. Searchable online but not downloadable as not digitised.
Papers once you get to see them range from a couple of pages, sometimes printed, to massive lots of parchment: I found one set of papers which would fill a reasonably large suitcase, all in tiny handwriting....
Title: Re: Searching for legal case from 1794-1825
Post by: phil57 on Sunday 23 May 21 09:37 BST (UK)
Thank you. I will have to do a bit of digging. Found the Chancery records, but nothing coming up on a simple search.