Anton vs. Henry earl of Oxford

PRO C2/JasI/A12/52

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NB: Jane Anton hereby sues Henry earl of Oxford to recover a debt she claims of L700, owed to her deceased husband by Henry's father, Edward de Vere; she similarly sued Leicester's widow for a total of L2500 (C2/JasI/A1/62); she reports that her husband owed the Queen L25,000 and that she paid L30,000 to settle his debts. Similarly, Jane Anton sued Francis, Earl of Cumberland, as heir of George, Earl of Cumberland, for L1,500 (C2/JasI/A10/7); and Robert Earl of Essex, as heir of Robert Earl of Essex, for L9,000 (C2/JasI/A10/18). Jane was the widow of James Anton, silk merchant: members of his profession often acted as money-lenders.

PRO C2/JasI/A12/52 (complaint)

xxvij Ianuarij 1620

To the Right honorable ffrancis Lord Verulam Lord Chauncello{ur} of England

Humblie complayning sheweth to yo{ur} good lo{rdshi}pp, yo{ur} daylie Oratrix Iane Anton widowe Administratrix of the good{es} and Chattells of her late husband Iames Anton late Cittizen & Mercer of London deceased That whereas the said Iames in his life tyme was possessed of a faire estate ### of Marchandizes wares & moveable good{es} to the som{m}e of Thirtie Thowsand pound{es} and better, And was likewise seised of dyvers land{es} & tenem{en}t{es} to the yearly value of ffyve hundred pound{es} & vpward{es}, And being a man of good account & Reckening in his Course of life, and had great dealing{es} w{i}th manie of the Cheife nobilitie and gentrie of this Realme and w{i}th other inferior subiect{es} & p{er}sons of this kingdome & of forrain nations for Twenty Thowsand or Thirtie Thowsand pound{es} by the yeare ### did among others ### at seu{er}al tymes by many yeares togither ^\\vtter & sell// to the right ho{nora}ble Edward late Earle of Oxford father vnto the right ho{nora}ble Henry ### nowe Earle of Oxford dyvers \\& sondry// wares and Comodities & lent him dyvers ^\\somes of money// to serve his present vse as his hono{ur} hadd occasion ### amounteinge to the full valewe of seaven hundred pound{es} & vpward{es} w{hi}ch still remaines vnsatisfied, And afterwards the said late Earle being indebted as aforesaid, And being seised of dyvers Hono{ur}s Castles Manno{ur}s land{es} ten{emen}t{es} and hereditam{en}t{es}, And likewise being possessed of a great p{er}sonall estate dyed ^\\thereof seised & possessed// before satisfacc{i}on of the said debt or any p{ar}te thereof. After whose decease ### Henry now Earle of Oxford entred into all the said Hono{ur}s Castles Manno{ur}s and land{es} of the said late Earle his father ^\\p{ar}tely as heyre to his sayd ffather// and also by force of ^\\some// Conveyance or Conveyanc{es} w{hi}ch the said late Earle his father out of an honorable Care had in his life tyme made for payment of his debt{es}, And hath likewise possessed him self as Executo{ur} or admi{n}istrato{ur} to the said late Earle his father of all the said p{er}sonall estate of the said late Earle his father, And by meanes of the said p{er}sonall estate & out of the profitt{es} of the said land{es} descended and Conveyed as aforesaid the said debt might long since haue beene satisfied And from tyme to tyme aswell the said late Earle as also the said nowe Earle haue desired longer forbearance faithfullie promising to make all iust & due satisfacc{i}on thereof But now so it is maie it please yo{ur} good Lo{rdshi}pp her said late husband for want of the said moneyes and other like debt{es} hath beene inforced to sell awaye all his said land{es} to his great losse toward{es} the paym{en}t of his debt{es}, And since his decease, yo{ur} poore Oratrix hath noe meanes to helpe or releeve herself, nor to satisfie her said husband{es} Credito{ur}s vnto whom dyvers great som{m}es of money are yett due & vnpaid, otherwise then out of her said late husband{es} debt{es} due vnto him at his decease w{hi}ch is ^\\lykewise// the meanes left for her maintenance, And in expectac{i}on thereof shee hath beene forced to borrow moneys at interest to meintaine herself her children & familie and for want they are like vtterlie to p{er}ishe and be vndone, vnles shee should bee releeved in equitie before yo{ur} good Lo{rdshi}pp yo{ur} Oratrix having noe meanes by the strict Course of the Com{m}on lawes of this Realme to recover the said debt, nor yett to make such due proofe thereof as by the same lawes are requisite. In tender Considerac{i}on whereof and forasmuch as yo{ur} said Oratrix is not able to p{ro}secute suit{es} of lawe against so honorable a p{er}son And in respect shee verilie beleeveth the nowe Earle will not onlie acknowledge, but make all due satisfacc{i}on thereof ^\\if he be therevnto moved by yo{ur} hono{ur}// Maie it therefore please yo{ur} good Lo{rdshi}pp to direct yo{ur} honorable l{ett}res to the said ### Henry nowe Earle of Oxford to appeare before yo{ur} Lo{rdshi}pp in his Ma{ies}t{ies} high Court of Chauncery at such tyme as to yo{ur} good Lo{rdshi}pp shall seeme most meete then & there to make some honorable answere towching the premisses And further that his Hono{ur} would be pleased to stand to and abide such order & direcc{i}on touchinge yo{ur} distressed suppl{ian}t as to yo{ur} good Lo{rdshi}p and to his honor shall seeme agreeable to equitie & Iustice w{hi}ch she doubteth not but the said nowe Earle out of his noble & honorable disposic{i}on and out of meere pittie & Compassion to yo{ur} said Oratrix will most willinglie yeild vnto. And yo{ur} poore Oratrix shall humblie praye for yo{ur} good Lo{rdshi}p in health & happines long to liue w{i}th much increase of honor./

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