Discussion:
Current Owner of Berkeley Castle
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Brad Verity
2004-08-27 17:51:00 UTC
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I wrote on 7-31-2003 in the thread 'Children of Isabel Mowbray &
James, 1st Lord Berkeley':

"So, Isabel Mowbray had at least one child, youngest son Thomas
Berkeley, after 1434, which makes a birth for Isabel before 1390
highly unlikely.
[snip]
"In conclusion, we know Isabel Mowbray's childbearing continued at
least once after the year 1434. This indicates that she could not
have been born 1386-90, and her likelier birth estimate is 1394-99."

**************
I was very excited to pay a visit to Berkeley Castle last month, and
was surprised to find that it was still owned by male-line descendants
of James, 1st Lord Berkeley & Isabel Mead (somewhere the Talbots are
rolling over in their graves). I had vaguely recalled that the
earldom of Berkeley had become extinct and the barony had descended
into the female line.

Luckily, the official guide book for the Castle has a pedigree that
spells everything out. After the death of the unmarried 6th Earl
Berkeley in 1882, the barony of Berkeley descended to his younger
brother's daughter Louisa (Berkeley) Milman, while the earldom went to
his first cousin once removed, George Lennox Berkeley who became the
7th Earl.

The death without issue of the 8th Earl Berkeley in 1942 brought the
male line of Maurice, 3rd Baron Berkeley and Isabel Mead to
extinction, and I had assumed that Berkeley Castle was inherited by
the descendants of Louisa Milman, Baroness Berkeley (whose
great-grandson, Anthony Gueterbock, 18th Baron Berkeley, is the
current holder, inheriting the title from his aunt in 1992).

But apparently that old 14th-century entail that Berkeley Castle could
only descend to heirs male - the entail that started the
Berkeley-Talbot feud which lasted almost 200 years - was still in
effect in 1942. For after the 8th Earl's death, Berkeley Castle was
inherited by his thirteenth cousin Robert George Wilmot Berkeley
(1898-1969), the senior male descendant of Thomas Berkeley, youngest
son of James, 3rd Lord Berkeley and Isabel Mowbray!

Does the latest Burke's Peerage cover this line of Berkeleys at all?
I would imagine - since Berkeley Castle inheritance was at stake -
that the descent of the present owner of the Castle from Thomas
Berkeley (d. 1484) and his wife Margaret Guy is valid. Still, it's an
amazing 13-generation-removed inheritance.

The pedigree also offers dates of birth for Maurice, 3rd Baron
Berkeley (1436) and younger brother Thomas Berkeley (1439). I don't
know what the sources are for these dates, but if valid, Isabel
Mowbray giving birth to her youngest son in 1439 would put a birthdate
for her no earlier than 1394/5, and Isabel's youngest sister Margaret
Mowbray Howard then between 1396 and 1399.

The current owner of Berkeley Castle, Robert John Grantley Berkeley
(b. 1931), has two sons, so it looks as if direct male-line
descendants of the 14th-century Barons Berkeley will continue into the
21st-century.

Cheers, ------Brad
Tim Powys-Lybbe
2004-08-27 20:40:12 UTC
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Post by Brad Verity
I wrote on 7-31-2003 in the thread 'Children of Isabel Mowbray &
"So, Isabel Mowbray had at least one child, youngest son Thomas
Berkeley, after 1434, which makes a birth for Isabel before 1390
highly unlikely.
[snip]
"In conclusion, we know Isabel Mowbray's childbearing continued at
least once after the year 1434. This indicates that she could not
have been born 1386-90, and her likelier birth estimate is 1394-99."
**************
I was very excited to pay a visit to Berkeley Castle last month, and
was surprised to find that it was still owned by male-line descendants
of James, 1st Lord Berkeley & Isabel Mead (somewhere the Talbots are
rolling over in their graves). I had vaguely recalled that the
earldom of Berkeley had become extinct and the barony had descended
into the female line.
Luckily, the official guide book for the Castle has a pedigree that
spells everything out. After the death of the unmarried 6th Earl
Berkeley in 1882, the barony of Berkeley descended to his younger
brother's daughter Louisa (Berkeley) Milman, while the earldom went to
his first cousin once removed, George Lennox Berkeley who became the
7th Earl.
The death without issue of the 8th Earl Berkeley in 1942 brought the
male line of Maurice, 3rd Baron Berkeley and Isabel Mead to
extinction, and I had assumed that Berkeley Castle was inherited by
the descendants of Louisa Milman, Baroness Berkeley (whose
great-grandson, Anthony Gueterbock, 18th Baron Berkeley, is the
current holder, inheriting the title from his aunt in 1992).
But apparently that old 14th-century entail that Berkeley Castle could
only descend to heirs male - the entail that started the
Berkeley-Talbot feud which lasted almost 200 years - was still in
effect in 1942.
I simply don't believe this. Somewhere between 1922 and 1926, in a
major act to rationalise the law of property in England, entails were
effectively abolished.

A particular example of this was when he current duke of Marlborough
disinherited his son. He took it to the High Court, quoted the relevant
act of the 1920s and had the old entail squashed. This was within the
last fifteen years.

If the Berkeleys chose to adhere to the entail, that was their concern.
But my guess is that, if the last owner did not explicitly leave the
estates to his male cousin, all the beneficiaries would have had to have
agreed to a Deed of Variation - of the will.

Sometimes the guides to these ancient estates write some complete
rubbish!
Post by Brad Verity
For after the 8th Earl's death, Berkeley Castle was
inherited by his thirteenth cousin Robert George Wilmot Berkeley
(1898-1969), the senior male descendant of Thomas Berkeley, youngest
son of James, 3rd Lord Berkeley and Isabel Mowbray!
What precisely was the means by which he inherited the castle? It
might well have been that be was left it by will.
Post by Brad Verity
Does the latest Burke's Peerage cover this line of Berkeleys at all?
How does any peerage descend? Peerages (baronies, rather) by Summons
normally descend through the female line if their are no males.
Post by Brad Verity
I would imagine - since Berkeley Castle inheritance was at stake -
that the descent of the present owner of the Castle from Thomas
Berkeley (d. 1484) and his wife Margaret Guy is valid. Still, it's an
amazing 13-generation-removed inheritance.
Hmmm...
Post by Brad Verity
The pedigree also offers dates of birth for Maurice, 3rd Baron
Berkeley (1436) and younger brother Thomas Berkeley (1439). I don't
know what the sources are for these dates, but if valid, Isabel
Mowbray giving birth to her youngest son in 1439 would put a birthdate
for her no earlier than 1394/5, and Isabel's youngest sister Margaret
Mowbray Howard then between 1396 and 1399.
The current owner of Berkeley Castle, Robert John Grantley Berkeley
(b. 1931), has two sons, so it looks as if direct male-line
descendants of the 14th-century Barons Berkeley will continue into the
21st-century.
Very likely. But I would be surprised if he has inherited any barony
as territorial baronies have long since vanished from the statute books.

The other problem the family would have had is inheritance tax. Until
recently the tax was 80% of the deceased's estate, though for the last
17 years it has come down to 40%. By and large these levels of tax were
penal and ruined most estates so that they had to sell up. The only
answer was to transfer the bulk of the property to the National Trust;
this could be done with a clause that the current heirs should be
allowed to live in an apartment of the ancient pad.
--
Tim Powys-Lybbe ***@powys.org
For a miscellany of bygones: http://powys.org
D. Spencer Hines
2004-08-27 16:10:51 UTC
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Appalling!

You Brits really do live in a Pseudo-Communist State -- with
confiscatory taxes of that sort.

"British Socialism"... a misnomer.

D. Spencer Hines

Lux et Veritas et Libertas

Vires et Honor

"Tim Powys-Lybbe" <***@powys.org> wrote in message news:***@south-frm.demon.co.uk...

| The other problem the family would have had is inheritance tax. Until
| recently the tax was 80% of the deceased's estate, though for the last
| 17 years it has come down to 40%. By and large these levels of tax
| were penal and ruined most estates so that they had to sell up.
| The only answer was to transfer the bulk of the property to the
| National Trust; this could be done with a clause that the current
| heirs should be allowed to live in an apartment of the ancient pad.
|
| --
| Tim Powys-Lybbe
***@powys.org
| For a miscellany of bygones: http://powys.org
William Black
2004-08-28 09:20:19 UTC
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Post by D. Spencer Hines
Appalling!
You Brits really do live in a Pseudo-Communist State -- with
confiscatory taxes of that sort.
"British Socialism"... a misnomer.
I think you'll find that inheritance tax on that level is only paid by the
obscenely rich who are too stupid to sort out a trust fund.

So only the inbred aristos pay it
--
William Black
------------------
Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords
is no basis for a system of government
Dave
2004-08-29 15:29:37 UTC
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On Sat, 28 Aug 2004 10:20:19 +0100, "William Black"
Post by William Black
Post by D. Spencer Hines
Appalling!
You Brits really do live in a Pseudo-Communist State -- with
confiscatory taxes of that sort.
"British Socialism"... a misnomer.
I think you'll find that inheritance tax on that level is only paid by the
obscenely rich who are too stupid to sort out a trust fund.
So only the inbred aristos pay it
Not for much longer

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/newspaper/0,,2770-1236291,00.html
Brad Verity
2004-08-28 15:24:48 UTC
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Post by Tim Powys-Lybbe
If the Berkeleys chose to adhere to the entail, that was their concern.
But my guess is that, if the last owner did not explicitly leave the
estates to his male cousin, all the beneficiaries would have had to have
agreed to a Deed of Variation - of the will.
Sometimes the guides to these ancient estates write some complete
rubbish!
What precisely was the means by which he inherited the castle? It
might well have been that be was left it by will.
From the Berkeley Castle Guidebook: "We may now pass on to Frederick
Augustus, the 5th Earl, on whose death in 1810 some trouble arose over
a question of legitimacy involving the succession to the title, and
culminated in the notorious Berkeley Peerage Case, which was brought
before the House of Lords in 1811. To put it briefly, the 5th Earl
had fallen in love with a certain Mary Cole, daughter of a
Gloucestershire tradesman, and the whole dispute hinged on whether a
secret marriage had taken place, as the Earl alleged, in 1785, some
ten or twelve years earlier than the official marriage in 1796. Were
the older sons legitimate or not, or must they give way to their
younger brothers, born after the official marriage? The case was
decided against them, so William the eldest son of the doubtful
marriage couldn't inherit the title. He did, however, inherit the
Castle, and by way of compensation mainly because of his political
influence, was created Lord FitzHardinge in his own right in 1841, the
earldom of Berkeley passing to the eldest legitimate son and
subsequently by collateral branches of the family to the sixth,
seventh and eigth Earls of Berkeley.

"Meanwhile, the title of Lord FitzHardinge continued with the de facto
owners of the Castle, Maurice the next brother of William, and his
sons Francis William and Charles. Charles dying without children in
1916, the Castle and the Berkeley earldom became re-united in tail
male in the person of the eigth Earl of Berkeley, a distinguished
scientist and Fellow of the Royal Society. He died in 1942.

"Both titles are now extinct, but it is agreeable to be able to record
that the present owner, Mr. R.J.G. Berkeley, is a lineal descendant in
the twenty-fourth generation of old Robert FitzHarding (to whom the
Castle was granted in 1153 by Henry II)."

In the pedigree chart in the guide book, some names are highlighted in
red type, and the key at the bottom reads: "Red Type: Owners of the
Castle by succession". After "Randal Mowbray [Berkeley] 8th Earl
1865-1942 dsp" the next red type name is "Robert George Wilmot
[Berkeley] 1898-1969", his thirteenth cousin - they each being 14
generations removed from James, 1st Baron Berkeley and Isabel Mowbray.

Whether the entail was legally in effect in 1942, or whether (as you
suggested) it was agreed within the family to leave the Castle to male
line descendants (Can you imagine having to track down a thirteenth
cousin! - "Hello, would you like a Castle?"), is an interesting
question. Perhaps newspapers of the time (with the War raging, a
noble inheritance was not top priority, though Gloucestershire papers
might have paid attention) could shed some light.

Or I can ask the next time I pay a visit to the Castle, as I
definitely wish to return to it!

Cheers, ---------Brad
Tim Powys-Lybbe
2004-08-28 18:16:34 UTC
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Post by Brad Verity
Post by Tim Powys-Lybbe
If the Berkeleys chose to adhere to the entail, that was their concern.
But my guess is that, if the last owner did not explicitly leave the
estates to his male cousin, all the beneficiaries would have had to have
agreed to a Deed of Variation - of the will.
Sometimes the guides to these ancient estates write some complete
rubbish!
What precisely was the means by which he inherited the castle? It
might well have been that be was left it by will.
From the Berkeley Castle Guidebook: "We may now pass on to Frederick
Augustus, the 5th Earl, on whose death in 1810 some trouble arose over
a question of legitimacy involving the succession to the title, and
culminated in the notorious Berkeley Peerage Case, which was brought
before the House of Lords in 1811. To put it briefly, the 5th Earl
had fallen in love with a certain Mary Cole, daughter of a
Gloucestershire tradesman, and the whole dispute hinged on whether a
secret marriage had taken place, as the Earl alleged, in 1785, some
ten or twelve years earlier than the official marriage in 1796. Were
the older sons legitimate or not, or must they give way to their
younger brothers, born after the official marriage? The case was
decided against them, so William the eldest son of the doubtful
marriage couldn't inherit the title. He did, however, inherit the
Castle,
That seems to settle it. The noble earl broke the entail, if such
existed, at that point and no-one challenged him on it. He wrote a
will and the castle passed to the beneficiary of the will.
Post by Brad Verity
and by way of compensation mainly because of his political
influence, was created Lord FitzHardinge in his own right in 1841, the
earldom of Berkeley passing to the eldest legitimate son and
subsequently by collateral branches of the family to the sixth,
seventh and eighth Earls of Berkeley.
"Meanwhile, the title of Lord FitzHardinge continued with the de facto
owners of the Castle, Maurice the next brother of William, and his
sons Francis William and Charles. Charles dying without children in
1916, the Castle and the Berkeley earldom became re-united in tail
male in the person of the eigth Earl of Berkeley, a distinguished
scientist and Fellow of the Royal Society. He died in 1942.
"Both titles are now extinct, but it is agreeable to be able to record
that the present owner, Mr. R.J.G. Berkeley, is a lineal descendant in
the twenty-fourth generation of old Robert FitzHarding (to whom the
Castle was granted in 1153 by Henry II)."
In the pedigree chart in the guide book, some names are highlighted in
red type, and the key at the bottom reads: "Red Type: Owners of the
Castle by succession". After "Randal Mowbray [Berkeley] 8th Earl
1865-1942 dsp" the next red type name is "Robert George Wilmot
[Berkeley] 1898-1969", his thirteenth cousin - they each being 14
generations removed from James, 1st Baron Berkeley and Isabel Mowbray.
I trust they had Henry VII and VIII in the line? (As William marquess
of Berkeley surrendered the castle to the crown, effective on his death
in 1492.)
Post by Brad Verity
Whether the entail was legally in effect in 1942, or whether (as you
suggested) it was agreed within the family to leave the Castle to male
line descendants (Can you imagine having to track down a thirteenth
cousin! - "Hello, would you like a Castle?"), is an interesting
question. Perhaps newspapers of the time (with the War raging, a
noble inheritance was not top priority, though Gloucestershire papers
might have paid attention) could shed some light.
Or I can ask the next time I pay a visit to the Castle, as I
definitely wish to return to it!
(And living a bit closer, I really must get round to visiting it too!)

Doubtless the guy's will would help.

The problem to me would have been to find someone with enough funds to
run the estate and with the time and inclination to do just that.

Genetically the remarkable thing is that long line of Berkeleys. Most
landowners married heiresses along the line, bringing with it a
probable genetic tendency not to breed males so that the male line
expired.
--
Tim Powys-Lybbe ***@powys.org
For a miscellany of bygones: http://powys.org
A***@aol.com
2004-08-28 00:16:02 UTC
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<snip>
Post by Tim Powys-Lybbe
Post by Brad Verity
But apparently that old 14th-century entail that Berkeley Castle could
only descend to heirs male - the entail that started the
Berkeley-Talbot feud which lasted almost 200 years - was still in
effect in 1942.
I simply don't believe this. Somewhere between 1922 and 1926, in a
major act to rationalise the law of property in England, entails were
effectively abolished.
I think new entails were abolished in 1880. If I remember correctly, the law
against perpetuities, which would end old entails, was enacted in the 1920s.
Except for charities this Act restricts the length of trusts to a maximum of
80 years. (The original rules were more complicated). I would guess that an
old entail would not end on the date that this act was passed, but a date
which was after the date of enactment and 80 years after the last change in
ownership before the act.

<snip>
Post by Tim Powys-Lybbe
The other problem the family would have had is inheritance tax. Until
recently the tax was 80% of the deceased's estate, though for the last
17 years it has come down to 40%. By and large these levels of tax were
penal and ruined most estates so that they had to sell up. The only
answer was to transfer the bulk of the property to the National Trust;
this could be done with a clause that the current heirs should be
allowed to live in an apartment of the ancient pad.
For property of National Importance (real and movable) and which the owner
agrees access to the public (which can be fairly restrictive — a few days a
year), tax can be exempted until either the agreement is ended or the property is
sold, but the tax is then based on the current vale/proceeds, not the vale at
the time when the tax was exempted. The Inland Revenue lists such exempted
property at:

http://www.inlandrevenue.gov.uk/heritage/index.htm

regards,
Adrian
A***@aol.com
2004-08-28 10:11:09 UTC
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Post by William Black
Post by D. Spencer Hines
Appalling!
You Brits really do live in a Pseudo-Communist State -- with
confiscatory taxes of that sort.
"British Socialism"... a misnomer.
I think you'll find that inheritance tax on that level is only paid by the
obscenely rich who are too stupid to sort out a trust fund.
So only the inbred aristos pay it
--
William Black
------------------
Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords
is no basis for a system of government
Not all that rich, an average London house will take your estate into the 40%
rates.

As to trusts, this is becoming less of an option (e.g. 40% income tax on
discretionary trust). Still useful in many circumstances but disadvantages include
1) Inheritance Tax applies if donee dies within 7 years 2) Most discretionary
trusts are subject to their own inheritance tax every 10 years plus exit
charge for property leaving at other times 3) Usually results in some loss of
control of the assets entrusted. 4) One of the biggest problems is the rule
against the continued enjoyment of property by the donor and for which further anti
avoidance legislation is about to come into force. Thus if the donee is in
occupation of a donated house (gift post 1986) within seven years of his death,
then the gift is deemed to form part of his estate, both his estate and the
donee being jointly liable to the tax.

Thus there are many circumstances, apart from stupidity, for which trusts and
other tax planning is not practical.

Adrian (Chartered Tax Advisor; Chartered Accountant)
D. Spencer Hines
2004-08-28 21:00:35 UTC
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Incredible!

Thanks for those details, Adrian.

Creeping Communism to be sure.

Damn, I'm happy to be an American -- and this helps me better to
understand why so many of my sterling, superior, top-drawer British
friends have chosen to live in the U. S. of A. and want to become
American citizens ASAP.

Cheers,

D. Spencer Hines

Lux et Veritas et Libertas

Vires et Honor

<***@aol.com> wrote in message news:***@aol.com...

| In a message dated 28/08/04 10:32:59 GMT Daylight Time,
***@hotmail.com
| writes:
|
| > D. Spencer Hines" <***@hotmail.com> wrote in message
| > news:KjNXc.21$***@eagle.america.net...
| > >Appalling!
| > >
| > >You Brits really do live in a Pseudo-Communist State -- with
| > >confiscatory taxes of that sort.
| > >
| > >"British Socialism"... a misnomer.
| >
| > I think you'll find that inheritance tax on that level is only paid
by the
| > obscenely rich who are too stupid to sort out a trust fund.
| >
| > So only the inbred aristos pay it
| >
| > --
| > William Black
| > ------------------
| > Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords
| > is no basis for a system of government
| >
| >
|
| Not all that rich, an average London house will take your estate into
the 40%
| rates.
|
| As to trusts, this is becoming less of an option (e.g. 40% income tax
on
| discretionary trust). Still useful in many circumstances but
disadvantages include
| 1) Inheritance Tax applies if donee dies within 7 years 2) Most
discretionary
| trusts are subject to their own inheritance tax every 10 years plus
exit
| charge for property leaving at other times 3) Usually results in some
loss of
| control of the assets entrusted. 4) One of the biggest problems is
the rule
| against the continued enjoyment of property by the donor and for which
further anti
| avoidance legislation is about to come into force. Thus if the donee
is in
| occupation of a donated house (gift post 1986) within seven years of h
is death,
| then the gift is deemed to form part of his estate, both his estate
and the
| donee being jointly liable to the tax.
|
| Thus there are many circumstances, apart from stupidity, for which
trusts and
| other tax planning is not practical.
|
| Adrian (Chartered Tax Advisor; Chartered Accountant)
Pierre Aronax
2004-08-29 13:33:32 UTC
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Post by D. Spencer Hines
Incredible!
Thanks for those details, Adrian.
Creeping Communism to be sure.
Damn, I'm happy to be an American -- and this helps me better to
understand why so many of my sterling, superior, top-drawer British
friends have chosen to live in the U. S. of A. and want to become
American citizens ASAP.
What is the level of taxation in the US of A for an indirect succession (for
exemple a succession from a man to his cousin)?

Pierre
Bronwen Edwards
2004-08-29 21:02:22 UTC
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Post by Pierre Aronax
What is the level of taxation in the US of A for an indirect succession (for
exemple a succession from a man to his cousin)?
Pierre
In the US the concept of hereditary succession is only the inheritance
from one family member to another. The term "succession" is not
usually applied to simple inheritance of property. In terms of
taxation, unless it has recently changed, inheritance tax only kicks
in if the worth of the property is more than $600,000. Most Americans
therefore probably pay no tax at all for their inheritance (especially
since our medical system requires that someone with property become
impoverished in order to qualify for long-term care unless they are
wealthy enough to afford it on their own - even if their property is
sold, the amount often has to be paid back to the government after the
person's death. Even after you're dead, they get you! But not by
direct taxation).
c***@gmail.com
2018-06-27 22:52:08 UTC
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How can I find out how to get a geneology of Louisa Lennox my 9th great grandmother.
John Higgins
2018-06-28 20:42:51 UTC
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Post by c***@gmail.com
How can I find out how to get a geneology of Louisa Lennox my 9th great grandmother.
Is this perhaps what you're looking for?

http://www.genealogics.org/pedigree.php?personID=I00005393&tree=LEO&parentset=0&display=standard&generations=7
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