Our team of research volunteers have been delving into the archives to learn more about Charlecote and the Lucy family. In this short post, we look a little more into George Lucy (1714-86) and a will that was written on this day in 1723…
It’s hard to believe today, but George’s destiny was supposed to be as the Rector of Hampton Lucy, and not as the owner of the Charlecote Estate!
His uncle, Reverend William Lucy, had succeeded to the Charlecote Estate in 1721, when his childless brother, Colonel George Lucy, died. When William himself died in 1723, the succession would normally have gone to his younger brother, Fulke. However William had little time for his brother, who was a heavy drinker and gambler, but was fond of his sons, Thomas and George, and had taken them under his wing to ensure they were well educated and not badly influenced by their father.
When he wrote his will on 28th January 1723, he disinherited his brother in favour of his nephews. Fulke was already in receipt of an annuity of £150 (about £13,000 today) from his brother, to be paid for the rest of his natural life, and this was reconfirmed in the will along with an inheritance of £500 (£43,000 today) on condition that Fulke would not mount a legal challenge, in which case he would lose both the annuity and the inheritance.
He named the elder nephew, Thomas, as his heir. His plans for George were for a totally different life to the one he eventually was to lead. George was given an annuity of £150 (£13,000 today) for the rest of his life, to commence when he was admitted to Oxford University, where he was to study for both Bachelor and Master of Arts before becoming the Rector of Hampton Lucy.
William had left provision for the living at Hampton Lucy in case he died before George had qualified. He wanted his cousin, George Hammond, to take up the position in trust for when George was qualified.
George left Oxford in about 1734, with only his Bachelor degree, and initially moved to Lichfield to study law in an attorney’s office. He moved to Charlecote to help his brother run his affairs. Thomas was an epileptic, which in those days was considered to make him unfit to run the estate, and there are several legal documents held at the Warwick Records Office which have been co-signed by George. When Thomas died in 1744, George succeeded him at Charlecote, and was to become the last male in the direct line of Lucys stretching back to the 12th century.
How life would have been different for him if Uncle William had lived longer, and George had become the Rector of Hampton Lucy!
Find out more about George on a visit to our House which will reopen for the season on 13 Feb 2016.
You can also read more about the Lucy family and our work on our National Trust website.