A 17th century scoundrel: The life and times of Thomas Spigurnell, attorney, clerk of Taunton Castle, confederate, father, gentleman, pettyfogge (Hardcover)

A 17th century scoundrel: The life and times of Thomas Spigurnell, attorney, clerk of Taunton Castle, confederate, father, gentleman, pettyfogge By Adrian J. Webb Cover Image

A 17th century scoundrel: The life and times of Thomas Spigurnell, attorney, clerk of Taunton Castle, confederate, father, gentleman, pettyfogge (Hardcover)

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A 17th century scoundrel: the life and times of Thomas Spigurnell, attorney, clerk of Taunton Castle, confederate, father, gentleman, pettyfogger, steward and surveyor of Taunton, Wilton, Clement's Inn and Long Sutton.


This study is a groundbreaking piece of research into the life of an attorney is thought to be the first of its kind. The life of Thomas Spigurnell touched upon many places and people in different walks of life. This book offers a unique look into a 17th century life of an attorney. Born in Berkshire in 1630, thanks to a distant family connection he entered the world of Dr John Palmer who became MP for Taunton in 1645. After spending time at All Souls College, Oxford where he served as surveyor of the college estate, Spigurnell entered Clement's Inn, one of the inns of Chancery in London. In the 1650s he became embroiled with the Taunton confederates who controlled the town. He obtained numerous estates that had been sequestered by Parliament. He served as surveyor of the lands given to Taunton as compensation for their losses during the civil war. Subsequently one dispute followed another during the turbulent times of the Interregnum. His financial and legal activities have been painstakingly researched and brought to life in this volume. Spigurnell married into the wealthy Godwin family of Wells who were prominent recusants. The newly weds moved into Court Farm at Long Sutton but his wife passed away. Shortly afterwards he married Elizabeth Browne of Wilton (near Taunton). But controversy followed Spigurnell wherever he went. The newly weds did not receive their marriage settlement from her brother-in-law. Subsequently Spigurnell obtained control of the valuable office of clerk of Taunton Castle. He did this by taking advantage of his aged mother-in-law, who was suffering from a palsy, while she lay incapacitated in her sick bed at Sherford House, Wilton. This and other events are documented in this volume, including firsthand accounts of ordinary people who lived in Taunton during the 1640s and 1650s. Spigurnell had three children, a fine house at Long Sutton, practised law in Taunton, but his untimely death in 1663 was a disaster for his widow and family. His debt-ridden lifestyle came to life. A lack of money in the Spigurnell household at Long Sutton drove his widow to abandon their youngest child to the mercy of a neighbouring farmer's wife. She lived off the charity of friends but never gave up her claim to the substantial marriage dowry due to her from her brother. This and many other stories can be found in this volume.


Product Details ISBN: 9781862410473
ISBN-10: 186241047X
Publisher: Harry Galloway Publishing
Publication Date: February 1st, 2023
Pages: 232
Language: English