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Courtoy's Complaint

Mr David Godson

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ISBN 10: 0953665976 / ISBN 13: 9780953665976
Published by Anthill Press, 2014
Condition: Good Soft cover
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Bibliographic Details

Title: Courtoy's Complaint

Publisher: Anthill Press

Publication Date: 2014

Binding: Paperback

Book Condition: Good

About this title


The true-life story described in this book took place in early 19th century London. It is one of greed, conspiracy and betrayal. It relates to a man known as John Courtoy. During his lifetime John became one of the richest men in England. Remarkably he amassed his fortune while working as a humble wig-maker. He achieved his wealth through a number of activities in addition to those of his chosen occupation. Initially he developed an employment registry, possibly the first of its kind in England. Using the money derived from this activity, he then became a prodigious money-lender, catering largely to the needs of the aristocracy, gentry and merchants. As his fortune grew, he proved to be a wily investor. He was also a renowned miser. John Courtoy was born Nicolas Jacquinet in 1729, in the town of Jussey, France. He adopted the name of John Courtoy when he fled to England in 1751. This was allegedly after the discovery of an affair with his married half-sister. When he eventually died in 1818 he was 89 years of age. Reports suggest that during the final years of his life he was suffering from dementia, a condition that became progressively worse toward the end. During this time two Wills were made, one in 1810, the other in 1814. The second Will was made when his mental health had allegedly deteriorated significantly. This raised many questions as to the Will’s validity. Maureen Sayers, who provides this account of John Courtoy’s last days, raises a number of questions concerning the final destination of his fortune. Central to her interpretation is the possibility that his Last Will and Testament of 1814 was fraudulently compiled. If we accept Maureen’s account, his estate worth £19 million in today’s money, possibly ended up in the wrong hands.

About the Author:

David Godson holds a Batchelor of Arts degree in sociology and philosophy from the Open University, together with a Master of Science degree in social administration from the University of Southampton. David has worked both in the public and private sectors in England. He was Assistant Chief Value Analyst for British Leyland at Longbridge in Birmingham, and later became Chief Information and Research Officer in the National Probation Service based in Hampshire. During the last six years of his working life he was head of GM Associates, a conference provider in the field of criminology, contracted to the Home Office in London. Since retiring, in addition to his genealogical research interests, David spends his time developing new ideas across a range of subjects. He currently has a patent application pending for a modular bird-feeder. As well as being a keen fruit and vegetable gardener, he is also a life-member of Hampshire County Cricket Club. His other main interest is sponsorship of the ‘David Godson Disability Award’ for the Open University, which provides funding grants for undergraduates with disabilities. He lives with his wife Carol on the outskirts of a village in Hampshire, England, enjoying the benefits of a quiet retirement.

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