Criticism of the effect of inheritance laws, in disinheriting female heirs from peerages and estates, has arisen again following the death of the 10th Baron Braybrooke and the passing of his title and estate at Audley End in Saffron Walden, Essex.
Despite leaving behind 7 daughters, the title and estate of the Baron pass to distant relatives.
This issue was flagged up recently when the Duke of Westminster died last year leaving the family fortune and ancestral seat at Eaton Hall, Cheshire to his third born son, although he had two older daughters.
The Succession to the Crown Act 2013 changed the rules as far as the Royal family are concerned, but the arguably antiquated inheritance laws for all others remain in place.
The creator of Downton Abbey has criticised inheritance laws after a baron's daughter lost her father's title and land. Lord Fellowes of West Stafford said that Amanda Murray, 55, daughter of Baron Braybrooke, had been unfairly penalised by laws in the peerage which prioritise male heirs. Robin Neville, the 10th Baron Braybrooke, died last week, leaving seven daughters - but none of them will inherit his title or the 6,000-acre Audley End estate in Essex. Instead, the title goes to a distant cousin, Richard Neville, 40, director of Bring a Bottle, a price comparison site for alcohol, and the estate to Louise Newman, 56, an art historian.