I am writing a novel based in Tudor times (1584), and have a slightly convoluted question(s) regarding guardianship, illegitimacy, and inheritance laws.
My research has pointed me here.
I have looked elsewhere on this site, and whilst have found some answers, which have helped a great deal, I am still unsure as to the following points.
I have the following scenario. A young illegitimate child is sent to live with her only living relative – her very rich uncle – on her mother’s death bed.
The child has nothing to her name.
The uncle takes in the child and he becomes her guardian.
The uncle has a wife, a son and two daughters.
Would the uncle have become her guardian immediately, or would he have had to apply to the crown to gain wardship (is this correct term?) over the child?
Could this be done even though the child is illegitimate and the Uncle has no idea who the father was?
Would the Uncle also have to apply for legitimacy for the child?
Would the uncle be able to state in his will that the child is to be provided for, and looked after, by the uncle’s family, after his death? In which case would the guardianship of the child automatically pass to the son? Would the uncle also be able to state if the child was to have a dowry in the same will?
I hope you can help – I imagine this is all very complex – but if you could point me in the right direction, or give me a brief basic outline as to the above, I would be very grateful.
is any of the above likely or am I barking up the wrong tree entirely?
Many thanks in advance.