Regency Inheritance Law
Today’s research question:
Under what circumstances could a Regency-era parent withhold their child’s expected inheritance?
I note that in the Jane Austen canon, Mrs. Ferrars Senior “settles all her money irrevocably upon one of her sons” when the other declares his intention to make a marriage his mother disapproves of.
On the other hand, Mr. Wickham famously seduces Georgiana Darcy, “his object being her fortune,” which seems to indicate Mr. Darcy could not cut his sister off financially if she married without his approval. Unless he could, but Wickham was betting he wouldn’t?
My guess is that the terms of the inheritance matter a great deal. If Georgiana Darcy was left so much by her parents, to her by name, to come to her when she came of age or married, Darcy couldn’t do anything? But if the late Mr. Ferrars left all his money to his widow for her lifetime, she could disinherit a child if she wanted to? Something like that?
If anyone knows for sure or could point me to an appropriate website, I would greatly appreciate it.