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Written by JulieW
(1/25/2004 11:40 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, My impression..., penned by Mandy N
It would appear that he was the "tennant for life" of the Longbourn estate,probably due to a re-settlement of the estate, perhaps when his father married, and when he died it was to pass to Mr Collins-the heir presumptive to the property.
Mr Collins was the presumed heir and not the apparrant heir because, while Mr Bennet lived there was a presumption in law that he could father a child;and ,while Mrs Bennet lived( whatever the practicalities of the matter)it was legally presumed that she could have a son too.
So, no son for the Bennets meant that the entail could not be broken. You needed the consent of the son-the heir apparrent in order to " bar",that is to break, the ential.Becasue it affected his intersts.
Mr Collins therfore, being only the heir prseumptive, could not join in barring the entail even if he had wanted to ;-)
Mrs Bennet who was, remember, an attourney's daughter ,had ovbviously managed to gather, by osmosis one presumes, some legal terms in her head.But she can merely bark them back parrot fashion.She does not understand them.That is why all her talk aobut "doing something about the entail" is comical.In law there was nothing they could do.
And certianly nothing Mr Collins father,who was Mr Bennet's uncle, could do about it.Mr Collins was Mr Bennets cousin.
The ential was probably brought into legal existance upon the marriage of Mr Bennets grandfather. He left the estate to devolve through the direct tail male,that is, setteled on his eldest son( Mr Bennet's father) and the heirs of his body.(N.B he could have left it to females too, in which case it would have been known as a tail general.But he didn't.Ya-boo.)
So- why do Mr Bennet and Mr Collins have different surnames?For, if Mr Collins is to inherit, he and Mr Bennet have to have had a joint male relation,and the fanmliy surname should have been the same.
Well, this is where my theroy on the name question comes into play.As Mr Collins father( Mr Bennet's uncle )was a younger son,he would not inherit .His elder bother(Mr Bennet's father)did. So unless specific provision was made for him to recieve money upon his attaining his majority( the age of 21)under the terms,say, of his mother's marriage settlement, he would haveto find other ways of obtaining finance.I think he found someone like the Knight family,who "adopted" JA's brother Edward.
They may well have had no son of their own and left him money provided he changed his name from that of Bennet to theirs -Collins.
We know he was a mislery man,and this might have been sufficient inducement for him to alter his name .This may have casued him to argue with Mr Bennet, who might not have approved of the family name being changed.
All speculation,but there we are;these circumstances might explain the diffrent name question.
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