William Jennings, "The Miser"

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William Jennings (Jennens), "The Miser"

Also Known As: "William Jennens"
Death: Died
Immediate Family:

Son of Robert Jennings and Anne Jennings
Brother of Sarah Beckett

Occupation: Wealthest man in England (1797)
Managed by: Ric Dickinson
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About William Jennings, "The Miser"

Robert Jennens (1671-1725) married in 1700, Ann Guidotte, daughter and heir of Carew Guidotte (-1761). They had one son, William Jennens (1701-1798) of Acton Place, Suffolk, whose godfather was King William. William was a miser who died unmarried and intestate, leaving an enormous estate that became a matter for the British court to settle. They declared that the inheritor of the real property was George Augustus William Curzon, a descendant of Robert Jennens’s eldest sister Hester. George’s mother, Sophia Charlotte Howe, took possession of the estate for him. After his early death she continued to hold the property for her second son, Richard William Penn Curzon (1796-1870). They later alleged, however, that the second son was the illegitimate son of a single woman named Ann Oake

The court divided the personal property of William Jennens between the living next of kin. They were Mary, Lady Andover, a granddaughter of Humphrey Jennens’s daughter Ann and William Lygon (1747-1816), the Earl of Beauchamp, a grandson of Hester Jennens, and a descendant of Thomas Lygon [14080].

Nevertheless, controversy arose. William Jennens, born 15 November 1676, the youngest son of Humphrey Jennens and Mary Milford, was a British officer who had came to America to fight in the Indian wars. If it were he who was the William Jennings who wed Mary Jane Pulliam, then many Americans were coheirs. Litigation on behalf of the American descendants commenced around 1850. Every descendant of anybody who had an ancestor named “Jennings” was solicited. The accumulation of funds for litigation was initiated in England. Virginia descendants helped collect large sums of money. Many individuals named “Jennings,” even ones with no relation to William Jennings, sent money in hopes that they might share in the inheritance.

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William Jennings, "The Miser"'s Timeline

June 29, 1793
Age 92