Chancery Depositions (PRO C2ElizH.23/26 Roger Harlakenden v Sam Cockerell)

24.1.1598 (Tuesday 24 January 1598)

document 15400005

(noted at top) sworn before me Thos Legge 24.1.1598 the answer of Sam Cockerell defendant unto the bill of complaint of Roger Harlakenden esq complainant the said defendant saith the said bill of complaint is uncertain and insufficient in the law and most of the matters therein contained untrue and set forth only as this defendant verily thinketh to put this defendant to suits and troubles (torn) which this defendant from his cradle was always desirous to avoid without any just court or matter moving the said complainant thereunto but this defendant thinketh is carried in spleen against this defendant for that this defendant (torn) mean to hinder the proceeding of the said complainant against the country of Essex for the charge of making a great stone bridge in Earls Colne which by great likelihoods and apparent semblances seems should be made by the said complainant (torn) as he standeth reputed lord of the manor of Colne Priory in Earls Colne aforesaid unto which bill of complaint though this defendant thinketh he ought not to be compelled to answer yet nevertheless if this defendant shall be compelled (torn) honourable court to make answer unto saving to himself all exceptions unto the said bill of complaint and advantages thereupon for answer so far as his own knowledge extendeth he saith that he thinketh it true (torn) right honourable Jn de Vere earl of Oxford deceased in his lifetime was seised in his demesne as of fee of the manors of Earls Colne and Colne Priory in the county of Essex and that there are divers tenants (torn) copyholders of the same manor and that there do belong to each of the said manors a court leet or view of frankpledge and that the said earl being so seised did either by his deed or otherwise constitute (torn) grandfather unto this defendant steward of the same and that the said Jn Church by force thereof did execute the office of the stewardship and did receive the verdicts of divers homages of the said courts and did make the (torn) same and delivered them up unto the offices of the said earl as in his duty he was bound to do and that Jn Cockerell gentleman this defendant's father did marry with the daughter of the said Jn Church but this defendant (torn) Jn Church grandfather to this defendant's knowledge during his said office did not get into his hands any other court rolls rental extents books of survey and other charters writings and evidences (torn) manors and courts and without that that after the death of the said Jn Church the said Jn Cockerell was appointed steward by the said earl or the honourable Edw now earl of Oxford (torn) and did exercise the office of the stewardship and by reason thereof did get into his hands and possession as well the said court rolls rental extents books of surveys charters writings and evidences which before (torn) and the said Jn Church his father in law has also divers other court rolls rentals extents books of surveys charters writings and evidences for and concerning the said manors and courts to this defendant's knowledge and (torn) extents books of surveys charters writings evidences to this defendant's knowledge are now come and happened into the hands and possession of this defendant as son and heir of the said Jn Cockerell his father deceased (torn) him in his bill of complaint hath unjustly surmised and as unto the descent of the said manors from the said earl of Oxford to the right honourable Edw de Vere now earl of Oxford (torn) manors and court with appurtenances and all singular the charters writings evidences court rolls terriers books of surveys escripts and muniments to the same belonging or which touch or concern the same manor or (torn) said earl unto the said complainant for divers great sums of money paid by the said complainant this defendant hath heard say that the said now earl and the said complainant are in suit about the same (torn) of them and that the said now earl layeth to the charge of the said complainant sinister practises being officer or put in trust by the said earl for the sale thereof for the compassing and getting into his hands (torn) money by a great deal than the same are worth or mought (sic) then have been sold for and this defendant hath been warned by some of the now earl's officers as he taketh them not to deliver anything (torn) touching the said manors and courts or come of them if there be any such in this defendant's custody or possession till the trial be made of the same suit without that that the said defendant to his remembrance (torn) did ever deny to deliver unto the said complainant the said court rolls and other the evidences aforesaid but hath and yet is so far from the denial thereof if he hath any which the said complainant ought to have (torn) that he had escripts and papers of certain court rolls of the said manor and court made engrossed and delivered as he thinketh in his grandfather's time or sometime since to the officers of the said late earl or (torn) which he hath always taken to be left to posterity for their further(inserted) (torn) hath copies of them to serve his turn if the engrossed rolls delivered were lost or could not be come by and hath been so ready to pleasure him therein as upon the sending of one     Cobbe as this defendant (torn) the said complainant with a letter from the said complainant to desire that he might have a view of such papers as the defendant had and that he might have copies of such as he wanted and he the said defendant hath (torn) what the said defendant had and to confer with them such as the complainant his master had or wanted with offer unto him that if there were any showing him some of the late sovereign lady queen Mary's (torn) in queen Mary's time likewise in parchment as this defendant thinketh of this defendant's father's hand which he the said Cobbe then said his master already had which his master had not wanted that he should have them (torn) with such notes as he brought returning unto his master and showing what he had seen as this defendant thinketh the said Cobbe sent unto this defendant his letter what his master the complainant specially desired to have (torn) the said complainant did receive them and gave unto this defendant a french crown for his pains without that that the said defendant hath to this defendant's remembrance partly upon an avaricious mind for (torn) upon his evil disposition towards the said complainant hath revealed and disclosed to divers persons copyholders and freeholders of the same and to others many things contained in the said court rolls rentals escripts (torn) hath delivered unto sundry persons copies and estreats written and taken out of them whereby suits controversies and debates have grown and risen and are likely to grow and rise unto the said complainant to the impugning of the just claim and titles of the said complainant other than such (torn) such rolls as have as this defendant verily thinketh been engrossed or delivered up to the officers of the said late earl or now earl in the time of the said Jn Church this defendant's grandfather or since which (torn) of Essex for the freeing of it of such charge as the said complainant would as he thought put upon it for the said Stone Bridge as also for the indifferent justice and equity between him the said complainant and (torn) the said complainant is reported to deal hardly in his daily vexations and troubles and without that that any other matter or thing in the bill contained etc