On This Day: 9 April 1706

Today’s document is another duplicate document with copies both at the London Metropolitan Archives and the British Library but that is not what I shall discuss.

One of the names on the list of the members of The English Company Trading to the East-Indies, who are also Members of The General Society is Mr George Fettyplace. The Fettyplace (or Fettiplace) family are connected to Thomas Bowrey. Bowrey’s mother-in-law’s brother Robert Bushell married Diana Fettiplace. Diana’s brother was George Fettiplace.

This connection would usually be of little interest except that George Fettiplace had no direct descendants and, when he died, he left his estate to his nephew, Thomas Bushell. Thomas Bushell was also the nephew of Francis Gardiner, Bowrey’s mother-in-law. Again, this would be of little interest except that Francis outlived her husband, children and son-in-law. She bequeathed the majority of her estate to Thomas Bushell. Twenty-three years later Thomas Bushell changed his name to Fettiplace when he inherited his uncle’s estate.

The concept of copyright did not exist at the time Bowrey died but, due to our illogical copyright laws, Bowrey’s copyright passed through his widow then his mother-in-law to Thomas Bushell. By his change of name, the copyright passed to the Fettiplace family.

Physical ownership of the papers followed a different path. They also passed to Thomas Bushell but, in 1743, were left behind at Cleeve Prior when he moved his family to his Fettiplace uncle’s estate. They remain there until they were sold to Henry Howard in 1921.

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