The Journal Gazette: June 18, 1903, Logan, Hocking County,
Heirs Will Contest Property Worth Millions
Representatives Who Went to London for Ohio Heirs Tell The Story.
The heirs of that great sea rove Sir Francis Drake in the United States are getting active for the recovery of a large estate in England. Descendants of Drake in Morgan county recently sent an attorney to England to look after their interests. The report is of local interest as many of the descendants reside in Logan and Hocking county. The Bowen family of this city are descendants of England's annihilator of the dreaded Armada and Capt. William F. Bowen has such data of genealogical interest and otherwise bearing on the case. Below will be found an article from the Morgan County Democrat bearing on the case and will be of interest to the Bowen family and their many relatives in this vicinity:
Mr. James Drake of McConnelsville, and Attorney [sic.] L. C. Russel of Newark, returned Sunday from England where they have been looking up the interests of the Drake heirs in the Sir Francis Drake estate.
On the 29th or in 11 days they arrived in Liverpool. The following day they left by train for London and crossed the great but small kingdom in four hours. Think of the relative size of the United States and England. It requires 30 times as long to cross our country. The next day May 31st they went 190 miles south from London toward the English Channel to Exeter, near where the famous Drake mansion and estate is.
The grounds proper are called Nutwell court and comprise about 640 acres enclosed by a fine brick wall 10 feet high. In addition there is outside some 1300 acres of farming lands besides vast estates in other parts of south England. Some idea of its value can be gained rfom [sic.] the fact that outside farming lands sell for from 50 pounds to 300 pounds per acre and one pound is worth nearly $5.00 in our money. The entire estate is valued at many million dollars.
They found the facts to be briefly as follows: Sir Francis Drake died in 1595, leaving one of the finest estates in England. By the will and the English laws it passed to the oldest son and son on down to line forever or until some descendant died without male heir when the property was to be divided among all the heirs of the original owner. Francis Henry Drake the 5th baron in the line, died in 1795 without male heir but willed his property to his daughters without regard to former ancestral requirements. This will is pronounced fraudulent, the possession of the property since by the descendants has been illegal. The property is now held by Lady Drake, one of the leaders of the English aristocracy. Mr. James Drake and his attorney Mr. Russel retained an English lawyer at Exeter to investigate the matter and he will have an expert genealogist trace the descent of the original owners to establish the claims of the American heirs when suit will be instituted to recover the property.
Monday, February 15, 1999 11:26 AM