Oxenforde Comes vs. John Hawes and John Stylleman; to examine witnesses to set aside a lease obtained by fraud.

PRO C2/Eliz/O2/25 (calendered incorrectly as O2/29)

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PRO summary: The manor of Hayes in Stowe Maryshe late of the estate of John de Veer Earl of Oxford, deceased, plaintiff's father, who was prevailed upon to grant the lease.

PRO C2/Eliz/O2/25/2 (complaint)

xv die Iunij 1583

To the right honorable S{i}r Thomas Bromley Knight L{ord} Chanceller of Englande

Sheweth vnto yo{ur} good L{ordship} Edwarde de Veer Earle of Oxenforde Vicount Bulbeck Lorde great Chamberlayne of Englande, and L{ord} of Baddlesmer and Scales That wher the Right Honorable Iohn de Veer, late Earle of Oxenford deceased ffather vnto the sayde nowe Earle, was Lawfullye seased in his demeasne as of ffee of and in the Mannor of Hayes with thappurtenanc{es} in Stowemaryshe in the Countye of Essex And the saide late Earle so beynge therof seazed abowt the xxixth yere of the Raygne of the late Kynge Henrye the eight dyd demyse the same manno{ur} w{i}t{h} thappurtenanc{es} to one Willyam Harrys Esquyer for the terme of xxjtie yeres by vertue wherof the said Willyam Harrys entered into the same Mannor and was therof possessed And wheras afterwarde abowte the firste yere of the Raigne of the Late Kynge Edwarde the sixte the sayde late Earle dyd graunte vnto one Thomas Rusham al{ia}s Barbo{ur} the sayde Manno{ur} w{i}t{h} thappurtenaunces for the terme of xxj yeres to begynne after the ende of the sayde terme of xxj yeres graunted to the saide Wyllyam Harrys By vertue wherof the sayde Thom{a}s Rusham al{ia}s Barbo{ur} was possessed of the said interest, and he beynge so possessed w{i}t{h}in a short tyme afterwardes did Bargayne & sell ^\\his// sayde interest to one Harvye w{hi}ch Harvye craftelye intendynge to defraude the said Rusham of his saide interest and not to paye vnto hym such money as was Betwen them agreed or anye p{ar}te therof desyred the sayde Rusham not only to haue his sayde Lease to aske advyse and counsell therin But also p{ro}cured the sayde Rusham to make hym an assignement therof p{ro}mysyng hym vppon advyse taken eyther to paye such money as was agreed betwen them or ell{es} to delyuer backe agayne bothe the sayde Lease & the assignement But having gotten the same in to his handes he neyther p{er}formed the one nor the other But towld the sayde Rusham that one S{i}r Thomas Darcye Knyght had gotten awaye the saide Lease from hym and so he cowlde not by meanes therof p{er}forme his p{ro}myse wherevppon the same Rusham seyng hym selfe thus defrawded of his sayde interest devysed howe he myghte be revenged of the sayde Harvye and defeat all his interest so passed from hym to the same Harvye, and thervppon afterwarde that ys to saye abowt the third yere of the Raygne of the sayde late Kynge Edwarde the sixte espyinge a fytte oportunytye compleyned vnto the sayde Earle howe the sayde Harvye had deceyved hym of hys sayde interest which his L{ordship} had bestowed vppon hym, and humbly desyered the said Earle to allowe of such meanes as he shoolde vse for the restoringe of his ^\\said// interest or for the obteynyng of the lyke whervnto the sayde Late Earle answered that at that tyme he had no abylitie left in hym to doe hym or anye other of his s{er}u{au}n{es} anye pleasure By the reason his whole Earledome was conveyed awaye to the Duke of Som{er}sett that then was But yf he hym selfe coold devyse anye means to doe hym selfe good he woold wyllyngly assent thervnto, And thervppon the said Rusham towlde the said Late Earle that he had devysed a lease w{i}t{h} an antedate of the sayde Manno{ur} of Hayes to be made from the sayde Late Earle to one Wyllyam Ludkyn for the terme of ffowerscore and one yeres to begynne lykewyse vppon the determynac{i}on of the said Lease made to the sayde Wyllyam Harrys, and humblye desyred his L{ordship} to seale the same The sayde Late Earle then asked of the sayd Rusham howe that cowld doe hym anye good to haue the Lease made in the name of Ludkyn who was then dead, who answered that notw{i}t{h}standynge the saide Ludkyn was then dead yet he had made the Lease to bear date at such tyme as the sayd Ludkyn was alyve, and sayde further that he woold p{ro}cure to hym ^\\self an// assignement from the executors of the sayd Ludkyn, And yf his L{ordship} woold vowtsafe to seale yt, he hoped that the tyme of sealynge the same woold never be called in Question and the rayther becawse yt was not to begynne a great manye of yeres after, and so at the Request of the sayde Rusham the sayde late Earle then sealed & delyuered to the sayde Rusham the saide Lease made in the name of the sayd Ludkyn, and the sayde Rusham havinge thus gotten the sayde lease, and fearyng that yf he shoold acquaynt thexecuto{ur}s of the said Ludkyn therw{i}th his purpose myght haue benn defeated, Lefte [=refrained] so to doe and contryved an assignement of the sayde Lease in wrighting w{i}t{h} an Antedate in the name of the sayde Ludkyn to one Rycharde Ennewes w{i}th whome he the said Rusham had great famyliaritye, and browght the same assignement sealed & subscribed & towlde the same Ennewes, that he was bowld to vse his name in that behalfe, and afterwarde the sayde Rusham fearinge that his indyrect course of dealing woolde be called in question and glad to prevent such myschyfe as myght insue thervppon did for the som{m}e of fortye pound{es} payde to hym the sayde Rusham sell the same to one Iohn Church gent{leman} s{er}vant to the sayde ^\\late// Earle & Stewarde of his cowrt{es}, and so p{ro}cured the sayde Ennewes to assigne over his p{re}tensid interest had from the sayd Ludkyn to the sayde Churche which Church afterwardes for the some of xliijli [=43] assigned over the same to George Chrysmas Iohn Turner & Rob{er}t Chrysmas who assigned ^\\over// the same to Wyllyam Hawes, which Wyllyam Hawes ordeyned his laste wyll & testament, and made one Iohn Stilleman his executo{ur} & gaue the said terme to Iohn Hawes his sonne when he cam to the age of xxiiijti yeres and so dyed after whose death the sayde Iohn Stilleman entred into the sayde Mannor and was and yet ys therof possessed. By colo{ur} of the sayde demyse made from the sayde late Earle to the sayde Ludkyn & of the other, meane conveyance. So yt ys Right Honorable that the sayde nowe Earle to whome the inheritance of the sayde Mannor of Hayes doth nowe of ryght app{er}teyne havinge intelligence of all the p{ro}ceding{es} above declared and vnderstandinge by hys Learned cowncell that the sayde Lease made in the name of the said Ludkyn was vtterly voyde for that in trew{i}th the said Ludkyn was dead at the tyme of thensealynge and delyuery therof (and fynding dyuers p{ro}pable [sic] coniectures that did decypher the said Lease to be gotten by indyrect dealynge as in supposinge the said Lease to be made to the said Ludkyn beyng then servant to the sayde Late Earle when in trewth he was put owt of the said late Earles servyce ^\\in displeasure// fyue monethes before the date of the same Lease and never receyued in to service after, and in supposyng the sayd assignement to be made from the sayde ludkyn to the sayde Ennewes in the xxxvjth yere of the Raigne of the late Kyng Henrye the eyght, when in trewth the sayde Ennewes was then beyond the seas at Mutterell & never spake w{i}t{h} the sayde Ludkyn duryng all the tyme that the said Ennewes was beyond the seas) determyned to trye his tytle, and thervppon made a Lease of the demeasnes of the sayde manno{ur} of Hayes to one Israell Amyce Esquyer his servant who by vertue therof entred and browght an Acc{i}on of Eiectione firme in the cowrte of her Ma{ies}ties Benche at Westm{inste}r against the said Iohn Stilleman Ihon Hawes & one Iohn Loreyne ther fearmo{ur} who pleaded that the sayde Late Earle demysed the said Mannor to the sayde Wyllyam Ludkyn whose interest they had whervppon an yssue was ioyned that the sayde late Earle dyd not demyse the sayde Mannor to the sayde Wyllyam Ludkyn and thervppon a wrytte of Nisi prius for the tryall of the sayde issue was directed to the Iustyc{es} of Assise in the countye of Essex and a Ivrye [=jury] sworne & evidence deliberately geven and hard, and after the Iurye had benn togither one daye & one nyghte to conclude of ther verdytt, they (as yt semeth tendrynge & pyteyng the def{endan}t{es} in that Acc{i}on cam to the Barre & made humble sute to the Iustic{es} of assise, that yt woold please them to move bothe p{ar}tyes to co{m}myt ther cawse to arbitrament of some indifferent p{er}sons Whervppon the said Iustic{es} that ys to saye Mr Iustice Sowthcote & S{i}r Thomas Gawdye ^\\knyght// so dyd, and vppon ther moc{i}on the same matter was referred by consent of bothe p{ar}tes [=parties] in open courte ther to the hearinge & determynacion of the Right Honorable, the Lord Burleygh Lord Treasurer of England, and of S{i}r Gylbart Gerrard Knyght M{aste}r of the Roll{es} in this honorable Cowrte, Sythens which tyme the sayde Arbitrato{ur}s haue sundrye tymes had bothe the p{ar}ties & ther learned counsell before them and haue harde the allegacions made on bothe p{ar}tes, Howe be yt for that the testymonye of such as wer witnesses on the behalfe of the sayde nowe Earle at the said assises was not delyuered by the sayde wytenesses vppon ther othes before the sayde Arbitrato{ur}s but in wryghting vnder ther hand{es} yt was ordered & thought mete by the sayde Arbitrato{ur}s to thintent they myght gyue the more credytt to the sayde wytnesses, that all such witnesses as wer p{ro}duced & vsed at the sayde assises in the said matter shoold be deposed vppon ther oathes in this Honorable Courte for & conc{er}nyng ther knowledge in the sayde matter, and especyallye whether theffect of ther testymonye allrydye set downe vnder ther hand{es} wer trewe and that ther depositions beynge thus taken, the same shoold be foorthw{i}th publyshed to the sayde arbitrato{ur}s to the end they myght the better determyne thervppon In considerac{i}on wherof and for that the sayde wytnesses which wer p{ro}duced at the said assises on the behalfe of the sayde nowe Earle ar verye aged & by course of nature not lyke to lyve longe and vppon whose lyfe & testymonye dependeth the whole cawse beyng a matter of great waight and to thintent that by these meanes the sayde arbitrators maye be the better satisfyed & directed for the full determynac{i}on of this controversye Maye yt please yo{ur} good Lordship to graunte vnto the said nowe Earle that he may haue his said wytnesses examyned in this Courte in p{er}petuam rei memoriam by Comyssion or otherwyse and ther depositions p{re}sentlye published for the better satisfying of the said arbitrato{ur}s & for the said better p{re}seruac{i}on of the Right of the said nowe Earle, and further to graunt the Quenes Ma{ies}ties wrytt of Sub pena to be directed to the sayde Iohn Hawes & Iohn Stylleman to shew vnto yo{ur} L{ordship} good cawse why the sayde wytnesses shoold not be examyned and publyshed to the end and intent before mencyoned. And the sayde nowe Earle shall remayne bownd vnto your good Lordship in this behalfe.

PRO C2/Eliz/O2/25/1 (answer)

NB: Much of right side is damaged or missing entirely; bottom left corner is decayed and hanging by a thin strip of parchment only.

The Aunswer of Iohn Hawes and Iohn Stilleman defend{aun}t{es} to the bill of Compleynte of the right honorable Edward de Veear Earle of Oxenford Compleynnte.

The said Defendaunt{es} humbly acknowledginge th{er} dueties to thier said veary good lord the Compleyn{au}nte, not Confessinge enie thinge in the said bill alledged to be true oth{er} then such partes thereof, as the said defend{aun}t{es} hereafter humbly in duetyfull sorte, & manner shall Confesse declare & sett downe to this Honorable Courte

and taking by protestac{ion}, that the said bill & ^\\the// matters th{er}in conteyned are insufficient to meinteine the Content{es} of the same (as these defendaunt{es} doe Conceiue th{er}of) The insufficienty wh{er}of to these defend{aun}t{es} reserued and allwaies saued. The said defend{aun}t{es} for the better settinge forth & openinge of thier

int{er}est, and estate, for terme of yeres yet enduringe in and to the said manno{ur} of Haies, acknoweledginge the reu{er}c{i}on th{er}of in the said Right honorable th{er} good Lord Edward de Vear nowe Earle of Oxenford after the said terme of yeres to be ended doe sey. That true it is that the said

right honorable Iohn de Vear late Earle, fath{er} of the said right honorable th{er} good lord nowe Earle of Oxenford, was seased of the said manno{ur} of Haies in the said bill menc{i}oned in his demeasne, as of ffee; And he so beinge th{er}of seased, in Ianuary in the said nine and twenty yere of the raigne of

the said late Kinge Henry the eight, did make a lease of the said Manno{ur} of Haies to the said Willyam Harrys for One & twentie yeres. By fforce wh{er}of, the said Willyam Harrys entered into the said Manno{ur}, and was th{er}of possessed for the said terme of One and twenty yeres And he th{er}of

so possessed being And the said late Earle beinge so seased of the reu{er}c{ion} of the said Manno{ur}, the said late Earle in the five & thirtyth yere of the reigne of the said late Kinge by his indenture of lease, bearinge date the tenth daie of the month of September in the said five & thirtieth yere

of the reigne of the said late Kinge Henrye the eight, made betwene the said late Earle on the one p{ar}tie, and One Wyllyam Lodkyn ^\\by the name of Willyam Lodkyn// servaunte to the said Earle on the oth{er} p{ar}tie, did demyse and lette ferme to the said Willyam Lodkyn the said Manno{ur} [[...ser]]vic{es} [[...pro]]fytt{es}of the Court of

fines, amercem{en}t{es}, harryott{es}, reliefes, escheates, forfeict{es}, meadowes, landes, leasures, pastures, m{ar}shes, feadinges, waies, waters, pathes, with all, and singul{er} the app{ur}ten{au}nc{es} to the said manno{ur} belonginge, or app{er}teyninge togyueth{er} [sic] with the mil[[...]] freehold

alwaies reserued to the said Earle his heires, & assignes thadvowson, and guifte of the p{ar}sonage th{er}, with wardes and marryages, and sale of great woodes to the said mannor belonginge or in enie wyse app{er}teininge.) To haue & to hold the s[[ame ...]]

app{ur}ten{au}nces (except before excepted) vnto the said Willyam Lodkyn, and his assignes from the feast of Sainct Mychaell the Arkangell, next after the terme, and yeres so before graunted to the said Willyam Harrys [[...]] next after

ensweinge and fully to be Complete, & ended: As by the indenture therof signed with the seale, and handwrytinge of the said Earle w{i}th these defend{aun}t{es} remayninge, to them appeareth. By force wherof the said Willyam L[[odkyn ... GAP]]

terme of ffowerskore, and one yeres aforesaid. And the said Willyam Lodkyn (so beinge th{er}of possessed) afterwardes by his deade in wrytinge bearinge date in the sixt, & thirtith yere of the reigne of the said late kinge Henr[[y the eight ... GAP]]

said ffowerskore & one yeres aforesaid to one Richard Ennowes as by a deade with these defendauntes remayninge likewyse appeareth.) By force wh{er}of the said Richard Ennowes was th{er}of possessed. And afterward the said [[... GAP]]

twenty yeres (yet then enduringe.) And the said late Earle beinge seased of the reu{er}c{i}on of the said mannor, The said late Earle (as these defendaunt{es} haue credibly hard, & doe think to be true) in the first yere of the reign[[ of Kinge Edward the sixt... GAP]]

havinge in minde the said former lease by him made to the said Willyam Lodkyn, bearinge a veary honorable, bountyfull and liberall disposition toward such, as did serue his Lordship, did seale a lease of the said M[[annor... GAP]]

the said late Earle for One & twentie yeres to beginne at the end of the said former lease, th{er}of made to the said Willyam Harrys Which lease the said Rusham within short space after that he had so gotten [[... GAP]]

yeres, did bergaine & sell, & assigne & set over to one Rob{er}t Harvie then likewyse servaunt to the said Earle (as these defend{aun}t{es} haue credibly hard.) which said Robert Harvie afterward in the fifte yere of the reigne of [[Kinge Edward the sixt ... GAP]]

of one & twentie yeres so graunted to the said Rusham, to one Willyam Hawes fath{er} of the said Iohn Hawes, one of the said defendaunt{es} with whom the said lease so made to the said Rusham did rest, vntill nere before [[... GAP]]

which did end at Michaelmas in the first yere of her maiesties reigne or th{er} nere abowtes (as these defend{aun}t{es} doe suppose) And the said Richard Ennowes so beinge possessed of the said second lease & int{er}est so made & graunted by the sa[[me ... GAP]]

ffowerskore & one yeres aforesaid. Afterward in the sixt yere of the reigne of the said late Kinge Edward the sixt for threeskore, sixe poundes thirtene shilling{es}, & ffower pence did bergaine & sell, and assigne and set over the [[lease of the mannor ... GAP]]

aforesaid to the said Iohn Church in the said bill named as by a deade indented, signed w{i}th the seale, & handwrytinge of the said Richard Ennowes remaininge with these defendant{es} appeareth.) By force wh{er}of the said Iohn Churc[[h ... GAP]]

the said Iohn Church (so therof possessed beinge.) And the said Willyam Hawes (beinge also possessed of the said third lease made to the said Thomas Rusham as is aforesaid) The said Church in the yere next before the end of the said f[[irst yere of the reign of Kinge Edward the sixt...]]

Wyllyam Harrys (havinge bought the latter yere of the said Willyam Harris lease, and th{er}by beinge in possessyon of the said Mannor by force of the graunte of the said latter yeres of the said Harrys his terme) did bestowe some rep{ar}ac{i}ons th{er} [[...]]

to the knowledge of the said Willyam Hawes that the said Church had a lease in reu{er}c{i}on of the said manno{ur}. Of which ferme the said Willyam Hawes did then make his Reckoninge to haue entered at Mychaelmas then next ffollowenge Wh[[...]]

greatly stirred) Compleyned himself to the said late Earle: Wh{er}vppon the said late Earle vppon veary honorable & graue Considerac{i}ons aswell for the satisfyeinge of his Lordshippes said poore supplyant Willyam Hawes, as also for the avoyd[[ance ...]]

honorable Consideration to be eschewed) as these defend{aun}t{es} doe Conceiue of it) did send for the same Iohn Church, [(]then beinge his officer and servaunte.) Vppon whose Aunswer the said late Earle did appointe a daie & time (aswell to the said Church [[)...and to]]

the said Lodkyn, as also to the said Willyam Hawes, to shewe forth his lease so made to the said Thomas Rusham: And did also call the p{ar}ties to the meane Conveighaunces of bothe the said leases then livinge to be p{re}sent at that daie and time [[...]]

At which daie and time in the first yere of her Maiesties Reigne in the p{re}sence of all the said p{ar}ties, bothe the said leases, in reu{er}c{i}on, & all the meane Conveighaunces th{er}of, were shewed forth before the said late Earle, his Lordshippes Councell beinge p[[resent as these defendaunts have credibly]]

hard. And vppon the sheweinge forth of both the said leases, the vearityes & validyties of both the said leases (that is to wete) of the said lease so made by the said late Earle in the fiue & thirtith yere of the reigne of Kinge Henry the eight to the said W[[illyam Lodkyn ...]]

Church then had: And of the said lease so made in the first yere of the reigne of Kinge Edward the sixt to the said Thomas Rusham which the said Willyam Hawes then had) did receiue a circumspect, deliberate, & due examinac{ion} by the said late Earle himself [[...]]

and in whom the p{er}fect knowledge of the vearities & validities th{er}of best Consisted. Vppon examinac{i}on wh{er}of, the said late Earle called to his p{er}fect remembraunce the makinge of the said lease to the said Willyam Lodkyn in the said Th[[irtie]] & five yere [[of the reigne of Kinge]]

Henry the eight, as these defend{aun}t{es} haue credibly hard. And th{er}vppon the said Right honorable late Earle of his owne honorable and p{er}fect knoweledge did allowe & vearyfie the said lease so made to the said Willyam Lodkyn. And did disallow of the said lease [[so made ... to the said Thomas]]

Rusham (as these defend{aun}t{es} haue likewyse hard.) And th{er}vppon the said Willyam Hawes p{er}ceyving his expectation of the said lease so made to Rusham, which he then had purchased of the said Haruie, (wh{er}of he had longe before made great accompte ) to be vtterlie [[voide ... Wherevppon the said Rusham did in]]

Seryous & lamentable mann{er} make suite to the said ^\\late// Earle, to be a meane to obteine for him of the said Mr Church the said approued lease made to the said Lodkyn, which the said Church then so had purchased; And thervppon did offer to give to the said late [[Earle fiue hundred]]

markes to bringe the same to passe: wh{er}vppon it pleased the said late Earle (takinge pytyfull regard of the importunate suite of the said Willyam Hawes,) to travell [=travail, plead] with the said Mr Church (beinge his Lordshippes officer, and p{re}ferred by his Lordship vp[[on ... having received]]

meny benefitt{es} of the said late Earle.) And th{er}vppon the said late Earle (for what pryce, and Considerac{ion} betwene the said Earle & the said Church agreed vppon, these defendaunt{es} doe not knowe:) did Compas the said Mr Church to conveigh and sett [[over]]

the said Mannor to George Chrystmas, Robert Chrystmas, and Iohn Turno{ur} esquiers, who by the appointm{en}t of the said late Earle did Conveigh and sett over the said lease & interest so made, & graunted, to the said Willyam Lodkyn (as is aforestated) [[...]]

And th{er}vppon the said late Earle (accordinge to the former agrem{en}t of the said Hawes) dyd receiue and had of the said Willyam Hawes the said fiue hundred markes of good, and lawfull monie of England (as these defend{aun}t{es} haue hard credibly reported) wh{er}vpon the said [[Iohn Stilleman at the time]]

of the Commencement of the said lease abowt Mychaelmas in the first or second yeres of her maiesties reigne ^\\by force & vertue of the said lease made to the said William Lodkyn// entred into the said mannor & was th{er}of possessed. And (so th{er}of possessed beinge) about ffowertye yeres now last past declared th{er}of his last will [[and testament during]]

the same ^\\terme// to the said Iohn Hawes one of these defend{aun}t{es}, and did Constitute the said Iohn Stilleman thoth{er} defend{aun}te one of his executors of the said testament, & dyed. By and after whose death the said Iohn Stilleman entred into the said Manno{ur} and was [[thereof possessed And]]

so the possessyon of the said Manno{ur} (by force, and vertue of the said lease, made to the said Willyam Lodkyn, hath gone & Contynued accordinglie, ever since the end of the said ^\\Wyllyam// Harrys lease by the space of three and twentie yeres nowe last paste, or th{er} nere aboutes [[...]]

late that the said Israell Amyce entred vppon the possessyon of the said defend{aun}t{es}, & thier hardes, and them haue disturbed, and brought in actyon by an (eiection firme) for the same, wh{er}vnto the said defend{aun}t{es} haue appeared and haue pleaded the said lease [[...]]

th{er}of in barre haue ioyned issue vppon the said demyse of the said Earle to the said Wyllyam Lodkyn, whervppon at the assyses a iury of the Cuntrey was empannelled, & sworne to trye the said Issue wh{er}e these defend{aun}t{es} (as they do think) made [[...]]

said lease: And yet by meanes of somme p{er}sons beinge of the same Iury (vppon what cause, these defend{aun}t{es} leaue to the Considerac{i}on of this honorable Courte) was a motyon made by the Iustices of the same assyses, that the same matter mowght be con[[sidered]]

of the said right honorable, the L{ord} Treasurer of England, & M{aste}r of the rowles, before whom the said defend{aun}t{es} at sondry times have appeared. And the said Lord Treasurer, and M{aste}r of the Rowles, haue vearie deliberately hard and examined the alle[[gacions made by]]

the said p{ar}ties, pleintiff, & defend{aun}tes, And these defend{aun}t{es} doe saye, that they doe trust, and doe vearylie think that it hath sufficiently appeared to the said right honorable Lord the Lord Treasurer, and the said M{aste}r of the Rowles, that the said lease of these [[defend{aun}t{es} is a]]

good & a p{er}fect lease. And these defend{aun}t{es} vnder the favo{ur} of this honorable Courte, and vnder the honorable favo{ur}, and patience of the said nowe Earle their veary good Lord doe furder seye, That they doe think, That forasmuch as the said matt{er} dependeth in a c[[ourt ...]]

depend before the said bill exhibyted, and the witnesses p{re}tended in the said bill to be examined (as these defend{aun}t{es} doe thinck) were sworne and gave in evydence at the said assyses that th{er}fore the said bill is exhibited out of ordin{ar}ie Course to put these defend{aun}t{es} to Costs [[and to]]

Tedyousnes of suites w{i}thout enie iust Cavse: with that that these defend{aun}t{es} trust to be able to averre, & to be redie to vearyfie all & eu{er}ythinge by them for the meintennce of their seid lease & terme of yeares in the said Manno{ur} above alledged And th{er}fore [[these defend{aun}t{es} praie]]

that they mey come in Comyssyon for examyninge of witnesses on the p{ar}te of these defend{aun}t{es} without that, that the said S{i}r Thomas Darcey (to the knowledge of these defend{aun}t{es}) did take awaie the said lease from the said Harvey Or that he the said [[late Earle]]

s[[aw]] anie report of the said Rusham: or that the said Rusham made such reporte to the said late Erle (as these defend{aun}t{es} do vearilie thinke) ffor these defend{aun}t{es} doe sey, that they doe think it is alledged in the said bill that the said Rusham Confessed [[that the said late]]

Earle thereby sold away his int{er}est to Harvey; And so then no cause why he should compleine him to therle for enie inurie done to him by the takinge away of the said lease (yf the same surmyse had bene true.) And without that that the

said right honorable late Earle did consent or agree to enie such matter of practyse of the said Rusham, as in the said bill is alledged (as these defend{aun}t{es} doe think) vnwares, & vnsemely w{i}thout the pryvytie, or knowledge of the said nowe Earle And [[without]]

that that the said Ruham did forge enie such deades (as in the said bill without the pryvytie or knowledge of the said Earle (as these defend{aun}t{es} doe suppose) is vntruely alledged, or did sell the same for [[fiue hundred markes to the]]

said Mr Church to make enie such assignment ouer to the said Mr Church, as in the said bill is vntruelie alleadged) for these defend{aun}t{es} doe sey that the said Rusham did liue in veary good Credytt and reputation & of good name

&[[...]]dac{i}on in [[...]] yeres & dyed fyve [.] yeres nowe last past, And that after the Commencemt of the said lease in questyon duringe & by all the space of the life of the said Rusham, those supposed falselie

spoken of vntruly in the said bill. And without that, that enie oth{er} matt{er} or thinge in the said bill Conteined, and herein not sufficiently aunswered, trauersed, denied, or confessed and avoyded is true, or [[... and for]]

aunswer denieth that these defend{aun}t{es} doe spare, & feare to aunswer in some point{es} (as they doe think they haue iust Cause) towchinge the said p{re}tended forgerie of the said lease, because the same alleag[[ations ...]]

their honorable good L[[ord the]] now Earle; and yet (as these defend{aun}t{es} think) without his Lordshipps knowledge. And therefore denyeinge the same, doe referre the same allegac{ions} to the Comptroller of th[[...]]

which these defend{aun}t{es} [[are]] ready to averre & th{er}fore praie examinac{ion} of theis witnesses by the order of this honorable Courte &c.

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