Wednesday, February 27, 2013

A Forcible Act of Possession

I found a delightful document in the digital holdings of the Library of Congress about the "Great Jennens Case." I first posted about the Jennings inheritance hoax here.

The report was prepared by in 1863 by Columbus
Smith and C M Fisher, agents for the Jennings
Association, USA.
On pages 11-12 an attempt by one supposed Jennings claimant to recover the real estate already given by the courts to Earl Howe is described:
"We are credibly informed that as recent as 1847 or 1848, while Lord Howe was traveling on the continent, an individual in England, claiming to be descended from Humphrey Jennings, the grandfather of William, took out administration on an old Jennings estate, and armed with this administration went to Acton Hall and demanded Lord Howe's steward possession. He was allowed to come in, and in fact took quiet possession. 

1st Earl Howe, Richard William Penn Curzon, engraving by Richard Austin Arlett 
He seems to have made himself too much at home for his own interest; for he is said to have ordered on Lord Howe's wine beautifully and by too free an indulgence in the sparkling beverage soon became intoxicated. The steward wrote Lord Howe how matters stood at home. This news brought his lordship soon back to Acton Hall, where he found the new owner of the estate making merry over his wine. Lord Howe ordered him to leave immediately which he refused to do. Lord Howe then ordered his servants to forcibly eject him from the house.

Acton Hall, Wrexsam, England

They attempted to put him out the door, but as he was a strong man, they were not able to do it. His lordship then quietly raised a window at his back, and with his lordship's assistance, they succeeded in forcibly ejecting the new claimant from the hall through an open window. This matter might have terminated very differently had this new claimant kept sober and had a sufficient force with him to have kept Lord Howe from entering the hall; for then Lord Howe would have been compelled to have sued for possession, and to have proved his title, which he might not have been able to have done. This would have left the claimant in possession with perhaps no better title than the one under which his lordship holds."

Don't you just love it when lawyers and their agents gossip?

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