A real case
Posted by Caroline on November 18, 1997 at 11:22:15:
In response to Yet another question about inheritance, written by Bill on November 18, 1997 at 09:46:20
] What was the legal standing of a first-born illegitimate son? Would his properly docuemented claim for a share of estate be upheld by the court?
The succession had ceased to be direct from father to son in 1810 when William Fitzhardinge,first of the four illegitimate sons of the 5th Earl, inherited the castle, but not the Berkley Title.Eventually he was created 1st Baron Fitzhardinge in 1841......
.........his mother, Mary Cole, the daughter of a Gloucester butcher. She eventually married William's father, the earl, in 1796 - though he protested, without success, that they had been married secretly nine years earlier. If only he could have convinced the courts, this would have made William his legitimate son and heir.
Mary Cole was a remarkable woman. After her husband died, she was peoposed to by the Duke of Clarence, who later became WilliamIV. She turned him down; otherwise she would have become Queen of England.....
Mr Berkley doesn't say where the title went.And that's all I know about it.
Source."Berkley Castle" in "Hand-picked Tours in Britain"
Automoble Association Publications, 1977
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