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Monday, August 3, 2015

The Staunton Court Branch ~~~c.1584-1824

[Chapter 7]

14~John Luttrell [#6369]

The Staunton Court Branch of the family begins with the second son of Andrew Luttrell [#6352]see Chapter 6.25, John Luttrell [#6369].

John appears to have laid the framework for questionable behavior when he entered into an agreement with his grandmother to care for her, but after his purchase of Staunton Court, he failed to fulfill his agreement with her and she sought litigation against him in court.

John had three sons, John [#6442], Francis [#6443], and Edward [#6444], and one daughter Dorothy.

15~Col. John Luttrell [#6442]Cover V1

John Luttrell [#6442] was only six years old at the time of his father’s (John [#6369]) death. John [#6442] would take up arms in the parliamentarian see Appendix 6E cause and obtain the rank of colonel before being killed at a skirmish between Milverton and Wiveliscombre in 1645. Colonel John had seven children and was succeeded by his third child and eldest son, Southcote Luttrell [#6449].
When Southcote was an elderly widower, his first cousin, Edward Luttrell [#6448], son of Edward [#6444] below came to live with the aged Southcote. Edward and his wife, Mary, would involve themselves in Southcote’s affairs, and eventually they engaged him in an elaborate settlement that would serve to disinherit Southcote’s descendants in favor of Edward and Mary’s descendants.

The Lunatic

In 1702, following the death of both Southcote and Edward [#6448], Southcote’s third son and otherwise legal heir, Southcote Luttrell [#6461] was declared insane and placed in the care of Edward’s widow, Mary. After Southcote Luttrell [#6461] “the lunatic” died in 1751 all of his personal property passed to the his nephew, Marshall Ayers, and the estates passed to Edward and Mary’s grandson, Southcote Hungerford Luttrell [#6496].

Another cousin of the elder Southcote (and Edward) was Narcissus Luttrell [#6474], son of Francis [#6443]below a noted ‘antiquarian’ referred to his cousin Edward as both a “villain” and a “rascal”.

The Rascal

On the surface, Edward and Mary’s efforts might appear (in hindsight) as justified, since in this journal and the sources for it, Edward’s family line continues on longer than either of his uncles (John #6442 and Francis #6443). This would be a misleading conclusion though, as the record of Edward’s descendants is more complete because of its connection to the estates that he schemed to obtain for them. The male line of descendants of John [#6442] and Francis [#6443] does not end as a result of no male descendants as much as it ends because of no “record” of males with property.
The paper trail created by ownership of property and/or titles is a major resource in tracing family lines, as records of property, title, military service, and civil court actions are more complete and universally maintained than family birth and death records.

As the second son of the third son, any inheritable properties of his grandfather, John Luttrell [#6369], were not likely to ever fall upon Edward or his descendants by any natural means. His successful attempts at taking advantage of his elderly cousin, Southcote Luttrell [#6449], lacked any legitimate justification as an attempt to keep the estates in the male line of the family as the elder Southcote had a legitimate male heir at the time of the settlement.

This heir apparent, the younger Southcote ([#6461] “The Lunatic”), had not yet lost the use of his reason at the time of the settlement. It appears that Edward (an attorney) and Mary had taken advantage of the elder gentleman’s aged feebleness.

Edward would precede his wife, Mary and the younger Southcote in death, and his grandson Southcote Hungerford Luttrell [#6496] would inherit the estates.

Scandal and Tragedy follow the Staunton Court Branch:

One of four children of the above Edward [#6448] was Captain Edward Luttrell [#6492] who married Anne Hungerford of Wilshire and received a commission in 1713 as a lieutenant and would later obtain the rank of captain.

On October 17, 1721, two bailiffs (Tranter and Reason) arrested Captain Edward, for failure to pay a debt. The captain convinced the two men to accompany him to his quarters were he could obtain the amount of the debt from his young wife. Upon paying the two men, an argument arose when the captain refused to pay the bailiffs an additional amount for their troubles. Captain Edward was called a “rogue”, a “rascal”, and a “minter” to which he responded by striking Tranter over the head with his walking cane. Reason reacted by stabbing the captain nine times and then shooting him.
The captain lived long enough (several hours) to make a short will in favor of his wife, Anne, who was pregnant with their only child (Southcote Hungerford Luttrell [#6496]). The two bailiffs were tried for manslaughter and found guilty, in spite of the brutality of their crime they were not hanged but only “branded” on the hand.

18~Major Southcote Hungerford Luttrell [#6496]

Born without a father the infant was soon completely orphaned, as his mother did not survive his birth for long. The Luttrell estates were placed in trust with Southcote’s maternal uncle, Walter Hungerford.

Southcote would obtain a Marine commission as a second lieutenant in 1741 and would eventually rise to the rank of major in the 45th Foot (Regiment). Documents in England indicate that he married in South Carolina, but his regiment was based in Halifax, Nova Scotia (North America), which is supported by family history.

Major Southcote fathered four children, the oldest born in Nova Scotia. Upon the death of his namesake second cousin (once removed), Southcote Luttrell [#6461],above “the Lunatic”, the major and his family returned to England and resided at Staunton Court. The major would eventually sell Staunton Court but his sons would be provided for through the inheritance of their cousin’s estates, the son of the major’s maternal uncle, Walter Hungerford.

The major had three sons, Wilmot, Edward, and John. All three would sell their interest in the Hungerford Wiltshire estates. While John would have descendants in England, Edward, a military surgeon would be the ‘progenitor’ of many descendants in Australia where he would die in New South Wales in 1824.

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