|Content Description||For more detailed descriptions see sections Pl F8/1-13 below.|
This group of papers deals with the estates of Lord William Bentinck and the 4th and 5th Dukes of Portland just west of King's Lynn in Norfolk (property acquired by the 4th Duke from Lord William and settled on Lords George and Henry Bentinck, passing thence to the 5th Duke of Portland in the 1870s); and the various other trusts involving the younger children of the 3rd Duke of Portland (see also Pl F7/5/1/ -Pl F7/6). It forms something of an archive within an archive.
The material can be divided into three main parts: that involving Lord and Lady William Bentinck (Pl F8/1-8); that involving Lord William's younger brothers and sisters (Pl F8/9-10); and ensuing litigation (Pl F8/11). The first part, as well as involving the acquisition and management of the estate, contains a large body of material concerning attempts to reclaim land from The Wash, and to divert the river Great Ouse near King's Lynn. The residue (Pl F8/7-8) deals with the wills and will trusts of Lord and Lady William respectively.
The litigation caused much material to be gathered together to cover the 35 years from the death of Lady William. Various accumulating trusts to benefit the children of Lord Charles Bentinck's second marriage were declared void for remoteness (breaching the rules against perpetuity) in 1877. 240 Edinburgh and Glasgow shares were judged to fall into Lady William's residuary estate; but she was deemed to be intestate in respect of four-sevenths of her residuary estate (now including four-sevenths of the railway shares), which thereby passed to her next of kin under the then rules of intestacy, except for that portion which was real estate (the freehold portion of the North Lynn estate) which passed to her heirs at law. Some of those who got what they had not thought themselves entitled to then passed on the money to those for whom it had been intended.
For further material relating to the Terrington estate, Norfolk as the property of Admiral William Bentinck, Lady Frances Bentinck alias Lady Frances Stephens and other descendants of the 1st Earl of Portland by his second wife, see series Pl F11/1.
For other Norfolk investments of the 4th and 5th dukes in land and the Cross Keys Bridge, see series Pl F6/8/3 and 25.
For Lord Henry's affairs, see also series Pl F9/2.
The bulk of the Norfolk estate material in this group is treated at sections Pl F8/1-8/6. A small amount, some in part duplicating the foregoing, was used as briefing material in Bentinck v Portland c.1880 and is listed there in section Pl F8/11.
The small quantity of Norfolk estate material dating from after the conclusion of Bentinck v Portland will be found listed at Pl E17.