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Ref NoD 44
TitleDeeds, legal papers and correspondence relating to the legal disputes over the inheritance of the estate of Miss Elizabeth Lovett of Liscombe Park in Soulbury
DescriptionElizabeth Lovett, spinster, died on 18 August 1855. At the time of her death she owned estates in Soulbury and elsewhere in England and Ireland. By her last will dated 8 October 1853 (with a codicil of 16 June 1855) she left the bulk of her estate to her cousin Philips Cosby Lovett, with sundry other legacies. Her executors were George Wallis and John Randall, a solicitor in the firm of Brundrett and Randall of London.
Sir Jonathan Lovett, father of Elizabeth Lovett, had six children. His three sons, Robert Turville Jonathan Lovett, Edward William Lovett and John Lovett, had all died unmarried by the time of his own death in 1812. On his death Elizabeth Lovett inherited the estate as she was the eldest daughter. Her two sisters subsequently also died unmarried, Arabella Lovett in 1827 and Letitia Lovett in 1844.
Sir Jonathan had two brothers, who both died before Elizabeth. Robert Lovett died a bachelor, but Dr Verney Lovett married and had six children. His three sons, Jonathan Henry Lovett, Henry William Lovett and William Lovett, also died unmarried before 1855. However all three of his daughters married.
Elizabeth, the eldest, married Hector Cameron and died in 1848, leaving a son Rev. Jonathan Lovett Cameron
Melecina Henrietta married Rev. Henry Woodward and died in 1833, leaving a son Rev. Francis Blake Woodward in Ireland
Frances Mary, the youngest, married John Ashton Yates, but they had no children.
In September 1855, when the executors of Elizabeth Lovett sought to prove her will in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, there were objections from John Ashton Yates and his wife and also from another relative, Rev. Robert Lovett. They claimed that when Elizabeth Lovett died she was not of sound mind and accordingly her will was not valid. Therefore probate was not immediately granted and no rents and profits from the estate could be collected.
Jonathan Lovett Cameron, Francis Blake Woodward and Frances Mary Yates contended that because the will was invalid Elizabeth Lovett had died intestate, so they should inherit the estate as her co-heirs at law. At the same time Rev. Robert Lovett, with his son Robert Jonathan Arden Lovett, contended that since the final will was invalid it was replaced by an earlier will, dated 21 March 1851, which left the bulk of the estate to them.
This led to the filing of suits and countersuits in the Court of Chancery as follows:
Lovett v Lovett
Philips Cosby Lovett, senior, and Philips Cosby Lovett, junior, versus Rev. Robert Lovett, clerk, Robert Jonathan Arden Lovett, infant, Rev. Jonathan Lovett Cameron, clerk, Rev. Francis Blake Woodward, clerk, Ashton Yates, Frances Mary Yates his wife, Rev. John Hart, clerk, Barbara Wallis, wife of George Wallis, George Sackville Wallis, infant, Barbara Lovett, widow, Marianne Lovett, spinster, Peter Deacon, Fanny Deacon his wife, Thomas Hart and Charles Heaton Ellis
Philips Cosby Lovett, senior and junior, versus George Wallis and John Randall
George Wallis and John Randall, versus Rev. Robert Lovett etc (as above)
Wallis v Lovett
George Wallis and John Randall, versus Philips Cosby Lovett, senior, Philips Cosby Lovett, junior, Rev. Robert Lovett, clerk, Robert Jonathan Arden Lovett, infant, Rev. Jonathan Lovett Cameron, clerk, Rev. Francis Blake Woodward, clerk, Ashton Yates, Frances Mary Yates his wife, Rev. John Hart, clerk, Barbara Wallis, wife of George Wallis, George Sackville Wallis, infant, Barbara Lovett, widow, Marianne Lovett, spinster, Peter Deacon, Fanny Deacon his wife, Thomas Hart, and Charles Heaton Ellis.
The papers in this collection were produced during the subsequent legal proceedings, they include some earlier items relating to other cases. See D 44/7 and D 44/27 for a fuller account of the issues involved in the original complaints and the course of the subsequent trial.
Eventually the will was judged valid and Philips Cosby Lovett succeeded to the property.
Access_StatusOpen
Date19th cent
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