The Tunaley Family History

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(Click here for Tunaley Debtors, Insolvencies and Bankruptcies)


Court Cases 0f 1857

There were two Chancery court cases in 1857:

(1) Chancery: Tunaley vs Roch, April 27th 1857 (click here for details)

(by P.H.Tunaley)


These two cases followed the Court Hearings of 1853-1855.

The issue in this first case was that, in her will, Constantia, the mother, left all her estate to daughter Constantia Maria, leaving out her two sons

as beneficiaries.

Perhaps significantly, as far as the two sons were oncerned, the will was made out 16 May 1854, only a few days before Constantia died (Constantia buried

Duffield, 10 June 1854).

Prelude to the above case: Robert Tunaley, Constantia’s husband had died 1820 leaving a will that suggested or was interpreted as such by Constantia that

all his estate would go to Constantia on the proviso that the 3 children by Robert’s second marriage to Constantia survived beyond the age of 21 years.

All three children did survive and Constantia Tunaley in turn died 1854, leaving all the estate to her one daughter Constantia Maria Roch (nee Tunaley).

Constantia's will was confirmed London 7th April 1856. Witnesses included Richard Barber, Clerk of Duffield, Derby.

This case (Tunaley vs. Roch) now a challenge to that will.

The final court judgement opposed Constantia's will and asserted that all property should be shared equally between Robert's 3 children. The judgement, based on

the will of Robert Tunaley (deceased husband of Constantia) concluded that Robert had effectively left his property in Constantia's trust for the three children

of his second marriage, namely Robert James Tunaley, Thomas Snape Tunaley and Constantia Maria Roch irrespective of the reference in Robert’s will to the 21 years

survival. As a result, property that consisted of 3 dwelling houses in Full Street (parish of all Saints) and one in the parish of St. Werburgh’s together with

all outbuildings was to be split equally between Constantia Maria Roch, who by then was a widow, and Robert’s two other children.


(2) The following case of August 5th 1857 was a sequel to the case of April 27th 1857

"Chancery: Tunaley vs Roch and Tunaley, August 5th 1857"

(click here for full details of the case as published in the London Gazette August 7th 1857

Thomas Snape Tunaley died 17th April, 1855, Wigginton, Tamworth (cause of death pulmonary phthisis (a form of T.B.), leaving widow Catharine and

young daughter Kathleen Constantia Tunaley, born 1852.

The Will of Thomas Snape Tunaley

Thomas's will (click here) was signed and witnessed on the day of his death. He left an estate valued at £1500 to his wife for the term of her natural life, after

which, acording to the will, it was to be passed on to daughter Kathleen Constantia Tunaley.

One of several problems was that the late Robert Tunaley's estate was tied up in property and, in accordance with the first Chancery hearing, was

to be shared in equal amounts between the various beneficiaries. And thus any sale would have required the agreement of all joint owners or, as the case may

have been, "tenants in common" (persons each owning a share of the property).

The Chancery case refers to “An Act to Facilitate Leases and Sales of Settled Estates”.

This Act of 1856 allowed the Chancery to overide common law and provide special dispensation as in cases such as this where the estate had already

been settled following the first Chancery hearing but where there remained a problem involving the distribution of the estate and any children of the


The outcome of the two cases was that Thomas Snape’s will was accepted by the Court with permission given for the sale of the properties.

Catherine was confirmed as executor of husband Thomas’s third share of the estate with proceeds to go into trust for the benefit of Kathleen.


Court hearings of 1853-1857


Transcript of Thomas Snape Tunaley’s Will


(Copy of original Will document kindly provided by Dr. Jane Holmes)


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