Re: Ranger of Windsor Great Park
- From: Chris Pitt Lewis <chris@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Wed, 5 Apr 2006 22:51:03 +0100
In message <1144132059.331383.147130@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, mjcar@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx writes
This and the grant to the D of Cumberland below do seem to be the standard wording for a lease for 3 lives. In the 17th and 18th century these were a common way of granting a moderately lengthy lease - probably more common than a lease for an equivalent term of years, such as 50 years. The way it works is that the three lives define the term of the lease, so that it expires on the death of the last of them. But, though the named lives usually include the person to whom the lease is granted, they need not do so, and there is no requirement that the lease will be inherited by either of the other lives. So in the simpler case of the duke of Cumberland cited below, the lease (and therefore the office of ranger) could be bequeathed in his will, or, if not, would be inherited by his heir (one advantage of the lease for lives was that, unlike a lease for years, it was treated as real property, at least for inheritance purposes). Unless forbidden to do so by the terms of the grant to him, he could also sell it.
Francois R. Velde schrieb:
Her will contains a long provision regarding the rangership and office or
place of keeper of Windsor Great Park which I do not understand well:
"...And whereas by Letters Patent, dated on or about the 18th Day of July,
in the eighth Year of the Reign of her late Majesty Queen Anne [=1709], her said
late Majesty granted the Rangership and Office, or Place of Keeper of Windsor
great Park, and of all the Houses or Lodges there; and also of the keeping
the Paddock-Walk, and the Hosues or Lodges belonging to the same Walk, and
all other Profits in the said Great Park, unto James Craggs, Samuel Edwards,
and Charles Hodges, Esquires, and their Heirs, In trust for me and my Heirs,
during the Lives of myself and Henrietta late Duchess of Marlborough, and Mary
Duchess of Montagu, and the Life of the longest Liver of us:
Now I do hereby will, order and direct, That the Heirs or Assigns of the said
Samuel Edwards shall stand seized, possessed and interested of and in the said
Rangership and Office or Place of Keeper of the said Great Park, and of and
in the said Houses or Lodges there, and of and in all other the said last
mentioned Premisses, for and during all the Residue of my said Estate and
Interest, which shall be to come therein at the Time of my Decease, by
Virtue of the said Letters Patent, In Trust for my said Grandson John
Spencer, his Heirs and Assigns...."
Thanks for posting this interesting addition. I do not understand it
as well as I would wish, but it seems that the grant of the rangership
was not just for life in the Duchess of Marlborough's case, but for a
term of lives, meaning that if the original grantee died before all of
the other persons named, the position could be inherited by her heir or
otherwise disposed of by will [presumably it could not be sold]. The
duchess died in 1744, her eldest daughter Henrietta, Duchess of
Marlborough having predeceased her in 1733; her youngest daughter,
Mary, Duchess of Montagu, survived until 1751. Presumably the office
was vested in trustees in order to assist its passage from one
beneficial owner (the duchess) to another. It is not clear to me,
however, why it passed out of the Churchill family on the death of John
Spencer in 1746, given that it should have remained theirs until 1751,
particularly as the duchess's will specifies that it was the pass to
Spencer's heirs (again, within the limits of the original grant - i.e.
during the three lives specified); perhaps there was some further
limitation in the grant, or perhaps Spencer's executors returned it to
the Crown. His will was proved in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury,
3 July 1746 (Prob 11/748) and may contain answers.
In the case of the duchess of Marlborough, probably the office was vested in trustees for her because she was a married woman in 1709. Had the grant been made to her directly, it would have vested in her husband, under the law as it stood at that time.
The limitation of the gift to John Spencer "his heirs and assigns" is simply the standard wording for giving the remaining term of the lease to him absolutely. It did not have to pass to his heirs, but would do so if he did not otherwise dispose of it. As his heir was under age (11) when he died, it might be that the lease was surrendered on the basis that he was incapable of carrying out the duties of the office (assuming there were any).
This also makes sense of your earlier post in relation to the
rangership of the Duke of Cumberland, viz:
William, duke of Cumberland (12 July 1746-65) "for and during his own life
and the lives of their RH the Princess Amelia and the Princess Caroline
and the life of the longest liver of them"
Henry, duke of Cumberland (8 July 1766-1790)
The duke died in 1765, but his sisters Amelia and Caroline survived
until 1786 and 1757 respectively. He was childless, so perhaps upon
his death the interest in the office reverted to the Crown, or perhaps
he willed the office to his nephew Henry, afterwards (22.10.1766)
created Duke of Cumberland - although the apparent gap in your dates
from the duke's death (31.10.1765) until his successor's appointment
(8.7.1766) suggests this was not the case.
In relation to the other appointments to this office, I imagine
Hayden's Book of Dignities will provide details until early last
Chris Pitt Lewis
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