Chancery Depositions (C3/242/4 Roger Harlakenden v Jn Bowser)

29.4.1594 (Monday 29 April 1594)

document 15600254

answer of Jn Bowser defendant to complaint of Roger Harlakenden Bowser says that the bill is untrue and was devised of a set purpose by Harlakenden being of a contentious and troublesome disposition to vex and trouble him by suits of law Bowser says he is not compellable by ordinary course of this court to make any answer but if the court orders him to answer he will give a full answer to save future trouble to him says that the right honourable Edw now earl of Oxford did in .6.26Eliz1 being seised of the manor of Sherives in Essex and divers lands belonging convey to Rich Bowser deceased father of Jn and his heirs the manor of Sherives and all lands pastures rents reversions services and hereditaments of it all in Colne Engaine and other towns in Essex as by perusal of the deed will appear the parcel in the bill of complaint the Gawle and other parcels are part of this property and Rich Bowser took all the rents and revenues during his lifetime and let the Gawle to sundry persons from year to year or at will amongst other Harlakenden who paid the rent continually on the Gawle to Rich Bowser in his life after his death the manor and other premises came to Jn as son and heir and he entered the manor and the revenues and profits came to him Harlakenden being then a farmer and occupier of the Gawle at will of Rich Bowser or from year to year since the death of his father Harlakenden had paid him the rents until about the year 30Eliz1 or 31Eliz1 Harlakenden having bought or intending to buy the Priory of Colne from the earl of Oxford as Bowser has been informed in which purchase Harlakenden used the plainest dealing with the earl then putting him in trust as being his lord and master after or not long before the purchase Harlakenden refused to pay the rent to Bowser for the Gawle whereupon Bowser entered the property and was seized in his demesne of fee Harlakenden then reentered and was seised and in about easter 35Eliz1 brought his action of trespass in common law (sic but document blurred) for the cutting down of certain trees in the Gawle which action came to trial at the last assizes held at Chelmsford and Harlakenden pleaded not guilty Harlakenden had no certain title to rely on but using colourable shift for maintaining of his pretended title was still found guilty for trespass and judgement was given in Bowser's favour and damages given therefore Bowser demands of this court that after this verdict it is right to proceed with a further case about the parcel of ground the Gawle and as to the rest of the matters in the bill and first as to the pretended lease in the bill of complaint surmised to be made by the earl of Oxford of the manor of Colne Priory with divers other lands and tenements mentioned in the bill Bowser says he does not know why Harlakenden makes mention of the lease for it can in no wise impeach the interest and title of Bowser in the manor of Sherives nor part or parcel of it the lease being made after Rich Bowser the father purchased the manor if Harlakenden has any intention of making the lease uncertain to examine witnesses for the proof of it to the prejudice of any other person not party to the suit he demands judgement of this court whether Harlakenden by such devise shall be allowed to examine witnesses touching the proof of the lease but if Harlakenden's meaning by the mentioning of the lease be to entitle himself to the evidences of the earl in Priory House he Bowser says that as he was told by his learned counsel Harlakenden cannot entitle himself to those evidences by the same lease for there is no special grant contained in the same lease so as the interest of the said evidences did not remain notwithstanding the demise of the said earl and the custody and trust thereof only to the use of the being in the complainant so that if Harlakenden did take upon him to deliver any of the evidences in the bill to Bowser or anyone else without warrant for the delivery from the earl he would be discovered to be a man of small trust and large conscience and little regarding the truth and faith he ought to bear for the earl his lord and master Bowser says that it is true that about the time mentioned in the bill he came to Harlakenden in the house of Colne Priory being recommended to him by the letters of the late right honourable Xoph Hatton knight late lord chancellor for getting evidence about the manor of Sherives which was Bowser's inheritance as by the sale to his father by the earl Harlakenden gave him licence and one Smith was procured to make search amongst the evidences of the earl in the Priory House to find evidence about the manor of Sherives and whether they found any such evidence Bowser does not now remember but if he did find such evidence and if he did carry any away it only concerned the manor of Sherives and such as Harlakenden delivered with his own hands to him without that the earl of Oxford by his indenture of 2.1.30Eliz1 demised to Harlakenden the site of the manor of Colne Priory and other lands and tenements mentioned in the indenture to Bowser's knowledge and without that Harlakenden did deliver to Bowser about seventeen deeds and writings as in the bill is untruly alleged and without that Bowser has any intention by colour of the purchase of the manor of Sherives or by having any deed or evidence by the delivery of Harlakenden or otherwise to challenge or encroach to himself more lands or tenements than of right belong to him as is alleged and without that Bowser in the search of the Priory in the absence of Harlakenden carried away any deeds or evidences concerning the manor of Earls Colne and Colne Priory or took any deeds or writings about the inheritance of Harlakenden in the manor of the Priory is falsely surmised and without that he having obtained the possession of the deeds etc left before Harlakenden returned from his court for as Bowser remembers Harlakenden took his leave of him before he left for the court Bowser has never made any entry into the parcel the Gawle except lawfully and the Gawle is not parcel of the manor of Colne Priory as in the bill of complaint is very untruly alleged he is ready to avow and prove all his answers the court to give him reasonable costs for the charges wrongfully sustained