William Clenche and John Wallis vs. Hugh Crabbe, Nicholas Walshe, and John James; claim by grant for lives.

PRO C2/Eliz/C19/36

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William Clenche and John Wallis vs. Hugh Crabbe, Nicholas Walshe, and John James; claim by grant for lives.

PRO summary: Land held of the manor of Thorncombe, Edw. de Vere Earl of Oxford being lord of the said manor.

PRO C2/Eliz/C19/36/2 (complaint)

25 April 1600

To the Right Honorable S{i}r Thomas Egerton Knight Lorde keeper of the greate seale of England

In all Humblenes Complayninge sheweth vnto you{r} good Lordshippe you{r} poore and daylie Orato{u}rs Will{ia}m Clenche of Mylborneporte in the Countie of Som{er}s{e}t husbandman and Iohn Wallys of the same p{ar}ishe yeoman That whereas the Right Honorable Edward de Veere Earle of Oxfford Lorde greate Chamberlaine of England vicounte Bulbeck Lorde of scales and Badlesmere was Lawfully seised in his demesne as of ffee or ffee tayle of and in the Mannor of Thornecombe w{i}th thapp{ur}ten{au}nc{es} in the Countie of Devon, The Custome of w{hi}ch saide Mannor ys and duringe all the tyme whereof the Memory of man ys not to the Contrary hath byne That all the Lands and tenem{en}t{es} w{i}thin the same Manno{u}r Haue byne demysed and demysable by the Lorde of the same Mannor or by the Stewarde or other officer or officers of the same for the tyme beinge to any p{er}son or p{er}sons willinge to take the same by Coppie of Courte Roll for one twoe or three Lyves either in possession or Reu{er}c{i}on, To holde the same by suche Copye of Courte Roll for terme of one twoe or three Lyves at the will of the lorde accordinge to the Custome of the same Mannor By the Rent{es} Customes and servic{es} thereof due and accustomed And the said Earle of Oxfford soe beinge of the said Manno{u}r w{i}th thapp{ur}ten{au}nc{es} seised the seconde day of Maye in the ffortieth yere of the Raigne of ou{r} Sou{er}aigne Lady Elizabeth the Queens Ma{ies}tie that nowe ys [=2 May 1598] One Thomas Pearce al{ia}s Iamys then havinge and p{re}tendinge an estate for terme of his lief by Copie of Courte Roll of and in divers Closes of Lande and pasture w{i}th thapp{ur}ten{au}nc{es} in Westheridge p{ar}celll of the demesnes of the saide Mannor, At a Courte Baron and a Courte of S{ur}vey then and there holde[[n]] by Luke Atslowe Roger Baynes Iohn ffloyde and Richarde Temple Co{m}myssioners appoincted by the said Earle vnder his hande and seale They the said Luke Atslowe Roger Baynes Iohn ffloyde and Richarde Temple by vertue of the saide Comyssion for and in considerac{i}on of the some of seventeene pounds of Lawfull English money By copye of Courte Roll accordinge to the Custome of the said Mannor did then and there graunte vnto one Iohn Wallys nowe deceassed and vnto you{r} said Orato{u}rs the Reu{er}c{i}on of all the said Closes of Lande and pasture w{i}th their app{ur}ten{au}nc{es} in Westheridge aforesaid then in the tenure of the said Thom{a}s Pearce al{ia}s Iamys To haue and to holde all and sing{u}ler the said Closes of Lande and pasture w{i}th thapp{ur}ten{au}nc{es} to the said Iohn Wallys and to you{r} said Orato{u}rs for terme of their Lyves and the lief of eu{er}y of them Longest Lyvinge successively accordinge to the Custome of the Mannor aforesaid ymeadiatly when after the death surrender or forfeyture of the said Thomas Pearce al{ia}s Iamys yt shoulde happen to become voyde, by the yerly Rente of thirteene shilling{es} and fower pence suyte of Courte and all other dutyes Customes and servic{es} thereof due and accustomed Of w{hi}ch said some of seventeene pounds the saide Iohn Wallys deceassed payde vnto the saide Earle the some of Tenne pound{es} before the said graunte / And in the said graunte yt was menc{i}oned that thother seven pounds shoulde be payde at the feaste of St Michell tharc{a}ungell then next ensuenge the said graunte And yt ys menc{i}oned also in the said graunte that yf yt shoulde happen the saide some of seven pounds or any p{ar}cell thereof to be behinde at the same feaste of St Michell tharc{a}ungell That then and from thensforth the said graunte shoulde be vtterly voyde and of none effecte as by the same graunte Ready to be shewed vnto you{r} Lordshippe may appeare / After w{hi}ch said graunte soe made and before the said feast of St Michell tharchangell, the said Iohn Wallys nowe decessed Repayred vnto one Leonarde Turker Then Bayliffe of the said Mannor and p{ro}ffered vnto him to thuse of the saide Earle the said some of seven pounds in full satisfacc{i}on of the said foresaid fyne of seventeene pounds whoe willed the said Iohn Wallys to Reteyne the same vntill the next Courte to be holden at and for the said Mannor the fowerth day of October then next followinge and p{er}swaded him to pay the same in full courte / And therevpon the saide Iohn Wallys not knowinge any daunger that might happen for not [=non] paym{en}t of the saide seven pounds at the very day menc{i}oned in the said graunte the Courte beinge w{i}thin one Weeke after, did reteyne the same in his owne Custodye vntill the said fowerth day of October vpon w{hi}ch saide day at a Courte holden at and for the said Manner of Thornecombe he the said Iohn Wallys did in full Courte and in full satisfacc{i}on of the said fyne of xvijli pay vnto the said Leonard Tucker to thuse of the said Earle the said some of seven pounds And cawsed the then Stewarde of the said Mannor to endorce the paym{en}t thereof on the back of the foresaid graunte / And therevpon the said Iohn Wallys thought that there was noe daunger or hurte might befall him or your said Orators towchinge the same / Sythence w{hi}ch tyme the said Thom{a}s Pearce al{ia}s Iamys and the said Iohn Wallys are bothe dead / By and after whose deceasses the said Closes w{i}th thapp{ur}ten{au}nc{es} ought to come and discende vnto the said Will{ia}m Clenche one of your said Orato{u}rs for terme of his lief And soe after his deceasse vnto the said Iohn Wallys thother of you{r} said Orato{u}rs for terme of his lief vnder the Rent{es} duties and servic{es} due and of Right incident to the same accordinge to the Custome of the Manno{u}r aforesaide But soe yt ys yf yt may please you{r} good Lordshippe that the possession and interest of the said Mannor ys (sithence the gr{a}untinge of the said Coppye of Courte Roll) Come vnto Hughe Crabbe Nicholas Welshe and Iohn Iames or to twoe or one of them or to some other to their or some or one of their vse or vses Whoe havinge gotten the possession of the said Mannor have by Cullor thereof entred vpon all the saide Closes w{i}th thapp{ur}ten{au}nc{es} gr{a}unted to the saide Iohn Wallys deceassed and to you{r} saide Orators as aforesaid and haue Contryved amongest them selves dyvers and sundry secrett estat{es} thereof vnto dyvers p{er}sons vnto you{r} said Orato{u}rs vnknowen / And yet Nevertheles they or some or one of them doe keepe the possesion of the same grounds and converte the whole benefytt thereof to their or some or one of their vse or uses / And havinge gotten into their or some of their hand{es} all the Evidenc{es} Courte Rolls specialties and wrytting{es} conc{er}ninge the saide Mannor p{re}tendinge that the graunte made vnto the said Iohn Wallys deceassed ### and to you{r} said Orators as aforesaid ys voyde becawse the said vijli was not payde vnto the saide Earle accordinge to the stricte words menc{i}o{n}ed in the proviso of the saide gr{a}unte albeyt that the same was p{ro}fered before the day wherein yt was due, and payde w{i}thin one weeke after to thuse of the same Earle And that by the direcc{i}on of the said Bayliffe of the said Mannor / And p{re}tendinge also that the foresaid Closes w{i}th thapp{ur}ten{au}nc{es} are p{ar}cell of the demesne Lands of the said Mannor And soe not demysable by Copye of Courte Roll accordinge to the Custome of the said Manno{u}r / They have vtterly dispossessed and evicted you{r} said Orato{u}rs from the benefytt of the same closes, Soe as you{r} said Orato{u}rs beinge poore men and w{i}thowte remedy at the Com{m}on Lawe to Recover the p{re}misses are enforced to seeke for Releif by petic{i}on vnto you{r} Honor They the said Hughe Crabbe, Nicholas Walshe, and Iohn Iames or some or one of them wrongfully deteyninge the same from you{r} saide Orato{u}rs and purposinge vtterly to distroye and overthrowe thestate [=the estate] and intereste of you{r} said Orato{u}rs, beinge all the porc{i}on w{hi}ch your said Orators had lefte theme to Lyve by, contrary to all equitie and good conscience and to their vtter vndoinge for euer vnles you{r} Lordshipps accustomed clemency be vnto them extended in this behaulfe In tender Considerac{i}on whereof may yt please you{r} good Lordshippe the p{re}misses Considered to graunte vnto you{r} said Orato{u}rs the Quenes Ma{ies}t{es} moste gratiowse wrytt of supena to be directed vnto the saide Hughe Crabbe Nicholas Walshe and Iohn Iames comaundinge them therby at a certen day and vnder a certen payne therein to be Lymyted and appoynted p{er}sonally to appeare before her Ma{ies}ie in her highnes moste honorable courte of Ch{a}uncery Then and there to aunswere the p{re}misses And ffarther to abide suche order & direcc{i}on therein as to you{r} Lordshippe shall seeme meete to accorde w{i}th equitye and good Conscience And you{r} said Orato{u}rs shall daylie pray for the p{ro}sperovse estate of you{r} lordshippe longe to contynewe/

PRO C2/Eliz/C19/36/5 (answer)

The ioynte and seu{er}all awnsweares of Hugh Crabbe, and Nicholas Welshe Two of the Defendant{es} to the Bill of Complainte of William Clench, and Iohn Wallis Complaynaunt{es}

The sayde defend{an}t{es} savinge to themselves now and at all tymes heerafter all advantag{es} of Excepc{i}on to thincertayntye and insufficiency of the sayde Complayn{a}nt{es} Bill, for awnsweare to soe much of the same Bill as concerneth them these defend{an}t{es} or eyther of them they say, That they doe take it to bee true That Edmonde [forEdwarde] Earle of Oxforde in the same Bill named about Thirty yeares now last past [ca. 1570] was seysed in fee, or in fee tayle, of and in the Mannor of Thorncombe in the sayd Bill mentioned, And they likewise say, that they doe not certaynly know what the Customs of the sayd Manno{u}r of Thorncombe haue bene But they theise defend{an}t{es} haue hearde, that the Custody of the said Tenem{en}t{es} of the sayde Manno{u}r of Thorncombe, tyme w{i}thout memory of man (vntill of late yeares that the sayde Manno{u}r was dismembred) haue bene demysed, or demysable, by the Lord of the said Manno{u}r for the tyme being, or by his Steward of the same Manno{u}r, by Copie of Court Roll, for one, Two, or three lyves in possession, or for one or Two lyves in Reu{er}c{i}on, after one Custom{ar}y liefe in possession, at the will of the Lorde according to the Custome of the sayde Manno{r}. And theis saide Defend{an}t{es} doe farth{er} say, That they doe not certaynly know whether there were any such Custom{ar}y Estate made or graunted, bu Copie of Court Roll of the Land and pasture in the sayd Bill menc{i}oned, by the saide Earle of Oxforde, or by his officers, vnto the sayde Complayn{an}t{es}, as in their sayde Bill is set forth But yf any such Estate were made, yet they theis defend{an}t{es} haue hearde that the same was voyde in Law, aswell for the Cawses alleaged in the sayd Complayn{an}t{es} Bill, as for that alsoe, the same Estate was made and graunted (as theis defend{an}t{es} haue likewise hearde) vnto the sayde Compl{ainan}t{es} the saide Iohn Wallys, father of the Compl{ainan}ts Iohn Wallys, for the Terme of their three lyves successively, in Reu{er}c{i}on of Two lyves then in possession of the same Landes contrary to the Custome of the sayd Manno{u}r of Thorncombe as theis defend{an}t{es} doe take it) And theis sayd defend{an}t{es} doe alsoe saie That the sayde Earle of Oxforde, being soe of the sayd Manno{u}r of Thorncombe, as aforesayde, seised, after, that is to say, about Twenty three yeares now laste paste, Iohn ffreake, and Mathew Bragge, did purchase to them and their heires (as theis defend{an}t{es} haue heard) of the saide Earle of Oxforde, emongst other thing{es} the Reu{er}c{i}on of the sayd Land and pasture, and were by vertue of their sayd Purchase, seysed of the same Land and pasture (as theis defend{an}t{es} haue likewise hearde) in their demeasne as of ffee, and being soe seysed, they the said Iohn ffreake, & Mathew Bragge, by their deed indented bearing date the Tenth day of Ianuary in the Nyneteenth yeare of the Reigne of o{u}r Sou{er}aigne Lady Queene Elizabeth [=10 January 1577], did demyse graunt and to ffarme let the same Land and pasture, by the name of all that grownde [[bothe ara]]ble & pasture called Hayredge contayning by estimac{i}on fforty Sixe acres more or lesse, lying w{i}thin the p{ar}ishe of Thorncombe in the sayde County of Devon, and then in the Tenure, or occupac{i}on of Rob{er}te Peers al{ia}s Iames, father of the sayde Iohn Peers or of his assignes: To haue and holde the same Land and pasture, vnto the sayd Iohn Peeres, and his assignes, from the ffeast of St Michael tharchaungell then last past before the date of the sayde deed, vnto thend & terme of Two thowsande yeares thence nexte following, fully to bee compleate By vertue wherof, hee the sayde Iohn Peeres was (as theis defend{an}t{es} doe take it) of the saide Lande and pasture, or of the Reu{er}c{i}on, and yearly Rente therof possessed accordinglie and being so possessed, hee the sayd Iohn Peeres afterward{es} that is to say aboute Seaven yeares now last past [ca. 1593], did make his last will and Testam{en}t in writing, And in and by the same will, hee did give, and bequeath, his sayde Interest, and terme of Two thowsand yeares of and in the said Land, & pasture, after his wives widowhed, and sole liefe, vnto his sonne Iohn Peeres and to the heyres of his body begotten. And more over in, and by the same his sayd last will and Testam{en}t hee did ordaine and constitute Eydith his wiefe, to bee the sole Executrix of his sayd will And hee soe appointed this Defend{an}t Hugh Crab, and Will{ia}m Vincent, and Iohn Burgh the Overseers of the same will and after viz about Six yeares now last past, hee the sayde Iohn Peeres dyed. Sythence whose decease, the sayd Eydith hath maried, and taken to husband the sayd defend{an}t Nicholas Welshe And sithence alsoe the governement of the said Iohn Peeres the sonne, (hee being very yonge viz of the age only of six yeares, or therabout) hath bene com{m}ytted or co{m}mended vnto this sayd defend{an}t Hugh Crabbe And by reason therof alsoe, they the sayde Nicholas Welshe and Eydith, haue deliu{er}ed the sayd deed of demyse, for Two thowsande yeares, togither w{i}th the Interest and Terme therin expressed to this defendant Hugh Crab, as a Legacy for the behooffe of the sayd Iohn Peeres the sonne, to be disposed of according to the last will of the sayd Iohn Peeres the father. By meanes wherof he the sayde Hugh Crab (the sayde Rob{er}te Peeres being alsoe dead) hath lately entred into the sayd Land, and pasture, in the righte and for the behooffe of the sayde Iohn Peeres the sonne, and hath demysed or letten the same Land & pasture, to the defend{an}t Nicholas Welshe, for the terme of diu{er}s yeares yet vnexpired, Yelding therfore, the yearly Rente of Eighte pownd{es} for the behooffe of the sayed Iohn Peeres the sonne wherof the So{m}me of ffower pound{es} is yearly imployed toward{es} the finding and educac{i}on of the Childerne of the sayd Iohn Peeres the father deceased.) as lawfull it is for them theis defend{an}t{es} to doe (as they take it) w{i}thout that that to the knowledge of theis defend{an}t{es}, that the sayde Land & pasture, oughte to come, & discende vnto the sayd Compl{ainan}t{es}, or eyth{er} of them, after the decease of the sayd Thom{a}s Peeres al{ia}s Iames, and Iohn Wallis, or eyther of them: Or that the interest of the sayd Manno{u}r of Thorncombe, or any p{ar}te therof Excepte only the Interest of the sayd Lease of Two thowsand yeares for the behooffe of the sayd Iohn Peeres the sonne (as aforesayd) is come vnto them theis Defend{an}t{es}, or to one of them, or to some other, to their or some or one of their vse, or vses, as in the sayd Bill of Compl{ain}te is surmysed and alleged: And w{i}thout that, that they theis sayd defend{an}t{es}, or eyther of them, haue contryved or made amongst themselves diu{er}s and sundry secrete Estat{es} of the sayd Close of Meadow, and pasture, to any p{er}son or p{er}sons, or that they theis defend{an}t{es}, or eyther of them, haue or doe detayne, and keepe the same grownd{es}, and convert the benefit therof, to their or one of their owne vse, or vses, other then to the vse of the sayd Iohn Peeres the sonne (as before is alleaged) or that they theis defend{an}t{es}, or any of them haue gotten into their hand{es}, the Evidenc{es}, Court Rolles, Specialtyes, and writing{es}, concerning the sayd Manno{u}r of Thorncombe, to thintent therby to make voyde and frustrate, thestate [=the estate], and Interest of the sayde Iohn Wallis deceased, and of the now Compl{ainan}t{es}, as in the sayd Bill of Compl{ain}t is likewise surmysed, and alleaged: And w{i}thout that, that any other matter, or thing, in the sayde Bill of Compl{ain}t contayned, conc{er}ning them theis defend{an}t{es}, or eyther of them, materiall or effectuall to be awnswered vnto, by them theis defend{an}t{es}, or eyther of them, and heerin not sufficiently awnswered vnto, confessed, and avoyded, traversed or denyed, is true, to the knowledge of theis defend{an}t{es}, or eyther of them. All w{hi}ch matters the sayd defend{an}t{es}, and eu{er}y of them, for soe much as conc{er}neth himselfe, are ready to averre, & p{ro}ve, as this honourable Court shall awarde, and humbly pray to be dismyssed, w{i}th their reasonable Cost{es}, & Charg{es} in this behalfe most wrongfully sustayned.

Capt{um} fuit hoc responsu{m} apud Beamyster in Com' Dors{e}t xxiiijto die Maij, Anno Regni R{egi}ne Elizabethe &c. xlijo [=24 May 1600]. Cor{a}m nob{is} Henrico Derby et Will{el}mo Hoskyns Comissionar', virtute Comissionis p{resent}ibus annor{um}

(signed) Henry Derby
(signed) W Hoskins

PRO C2/Eliz/C19/36/1 (replication)

The Replicac{i}on of Will{ia}m Clench and Iohn Wallys Complayn{au}nt{es} against Hughe Crabb Nicholas Walsh and Iohn Iames defend{an}t{es}

The said Compl{ainan}t{es} averre their said bill of Compl{ain}t and euery matter article & thinge therein Contayned to be good iust & true in such sorte order manner and forme as in the said bill of Compl{ain}t ys plainly iustly and truly sett foorthe and declared And further saie that the said aunswere of the said defend{an}t{es} ys very vncertaine and insufficente in the law to be replied vnto for diuers ^\\verie// manifest and apparant matters causes and insufficiencies therein Conteyned and that the matters Contayned are nothinge but imaginac{i}ons & indirect answeres onely devised by the said defend{an}t{es} for the delay and further vexac{i}on of the Compl{ainan}ts w{i}thout that that any matter or thinge in the said insufficiente answere set fforth or declared, materiall or effectuall in the law to be replied vnto ys true. All w{hi}ch matters they the said Compl{ainan}t{es} ar ready to averr & prooue as this honorable Courte shall award and praieth as in their said bill of Compl{ain}t they haue praied.

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