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Death, Religion, and the Family in England,
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Ralph Houlbrooke

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780198208761

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198208761.001.0001

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The Making of Wills

The Making of Wills

(p.81) 4 The Making of Wills
Death, Religion, and the Family in England, 1480–1750

Ralph Houlbrooke

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses changes in the practice of will-making between the 15th and 18th centuries. The will ceased to be something in which the clergy had an important part to play. By 1750 the attorney had replaced the clergyman as the main source of professional expertise in matters of testamentary. Between the Reformation and the 18th century, the previously close connection between will-making and death was loosened. The will became a more secular document and its making more private.

Keywords:   death, preparation for death, will-making, Reformation, clergy

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