Chancery Depositions (PRO C2/01/58 Hen earl of Oxford v Rich and Thos Harlakenden)

12.6.1608 (Sunday 12 June 1608)

document 15900676

the joint and several answers of Rich Harlakenden and Thos Harlakenden gentleman of the bill of complaint of Hen earl of Oxford firstly Rich Harlakenden says that true it is that the late right honourable Edw earl of Oxford deceased father of the complainant about some fifteen years now last past exhibited into this court two several bills of complaint against Rich Harlakenden one of the defendants and Roger Harlakenden now deceased father of him which bills were in effect just as the now complainant's bill of complaint against these defendants is mentioned and set forth but for the more certainty thereof they refer themselves to the said bills which are remaining of the records in this court and Rich Harlakenden for himself does further say that Roger Harlakenden deceased and this defendant being served process of subpoena out of this court at the said earl's suit Roger and Rich appeared unto the bills and made their answers to the bills upon their corporal oaths according to the course of the court which answers are likewise remaining on record in this court and unto which Rich Harlakenden the only defendant now living which was party to the said bills for more certainty refers himself and further says that he and his father made their answers unto both of the bills but the earl replied unto only the first of the bills and this defendant Rich Harlakenden and Roger Harlakenden rejoined also to the first bill but the matters in both bills and answers comprised proceeded to issue and examination of witnesses and publication of the same and afterwards came to judicial hearing in this court at three several days and times that is to say the first bill exhibited by the said earl against this defendant and Roger Harlakenden the first time to the hearing before his lordship as he remembers in or about 10.2.41Eliz1 hilary term and upon the hearing of the bill there was an order conceived tending to the effect mentioned in the complainant's bill of complaint now exhibited against the defendant and his brother but touching the certainty of the said order and the particulars therein contained this defendant refers himself to the order remaining on record in this court and according to the order there were breviots delivered to your lordship who having considered the breviots afterwards that is to say the 23.6.41Eliz1 about the term of holy trinity heard the cause again and upon the second hearing it pleased his lordship to order as follows that in respect the matter of the promise of the reassuring of the lands sold by the earl to this defendant's father Roger Harlakenden was not contained in the said bill exhibited by the earl whereby any order could well be made thereupon it was therefore ordered that the earl might exhibit a new bill concerning the promise and call the defendants in to answer the same and then such witnesses only to be examined on the earl's part as had not been examined already touching the said promise and that since the farm of Plaistowe and certain tithes in the former bill mentioned were formerly decreed for the earl therefore the earl might have order for the mean profits of the farm and tithes as by the said order amongst other things therein contained whereunto this defendant refers himself may unto this court more fully appear he further says that after the hearing of the first bill and the orders thereupon conceived and had as aforesaid the earl exhibited against this defendant and Roger Harlakenden his second bill of complaint setting forth and pretending in and by the bill that Roger Harlakenden did promise to reassure the lands mentioned in the bill to be sold by the earl unto this defendant and Roger Harlakenden unto which bill Roger Harlakenden and this defendant made their several answers to on their oaths and denied the pretended promise suggested and alleged in the earl's bill as in and by the bill and answers remaining of record in this court and whereunto this defendant for the more certainty refers himself as may more fully appear and he says that upon the second bill the earl examined witnesses touching the supposed promise of Roger Harlakenden and after the publication of witnesses that is to say in or about saturday being 3.5.42Eliz1 in easter term the second bill came to hearing before your lordship upon hearing whereof there was likewise an order conceived and set down in effect following viz that your lordship after long debate of the matter in the bill by the counsel learned in both parts thought not mete to give any judicial order in the cause so coming before him to hearing but did order that either party should make true breviots of the matters by them set forth touching the cause and each part to see each others breviots to the end they may be well warranted by proofs and the breviots should be subscribed by the counsels on either part and should be delivered to your lordships who would be pleased to consider thereof and give such further order and direction in this cause as should be mete as in and by the order remaining of record in the court unto which this defendant refers himself and he further says that he and Roger his father in obedience to the order on the one part and the earl on the other part delivered their several breviots of the cause to your lordship under the hands of their counsel according to the order which were as he thinks deliberately viewed and considered by your lordship but the earl finding as it does seem no hope to prevail in this court upon the supposed promise did forbear any further proceeding thereunto during his lifetime howbeit the earl himself lived about four years after the hearing of the cause and never solicited or pressed any further proceeding therein for the promise but only procured a decree under seal for the said farm Plaistowe and the tithes and as touching the reviving the several bills against the defendant and his father he prays the judgement of this court whether the bills and the proceedings upon them or either of them shall or ought to be revived for that the earl the complainant's father had the effect of his suit upon the first bill and a decree was thereupon had and made and procured under the seal of the late earl and this defendant has ever since performed the decree in permitting the complainant to enjoy the farm of Plaistowe and the tithes and paying the means and profits according to the true meaning thereof and therefore he hopes there is no cause to revive the bill and proceedings thereupon against him and touching the second bill he says that he verily thinks neither the same bill nor any the proceedings thereupon ought to be revived for that the same suit was long since discontinued by the complainant's father's own willingness who neglected the prosecution thereof after the hearing almost three whole years in the lifetime of Roger Harlakenden his father and he further says that the said lands were settled and estated upon him upon his marriage for money paid to his father for 650li and for other valuable consideration and not upon trust or confidence as pretended neither was the defendant privy or acquainted with any promise of his father if any were as by the answer of this defendant to the second bill of the late earl whereunto this defendant refers himself he has affirmed on his oath and as for the seal of his father which came to him or his brother or either of them by the death of their father either as heirs or executors these defendants say that their father left not assets sufficient by much to these defendants either in lands or goods to pay his just and due debts of father deceased but these defendants or one of them has paid or given contentment to all or the most part of the credits of their father deceased with a good part of his or their own estate and Rich Harlakenden does deny that by virtue of any general words contained in the conveyance of the late earl made to him he this defendant has made any entries into or taken the issues or profits of any other the lands or tenements of the complainant or his father deceased or does or ever did make any challenge or demand to the same as by the bill pretended other than such lands or tenements which both were conveyed and meant to be conveyed to him and his father deceased and which are mentioned in the answer of Roger Harlakenden to the first bill of the late earl the now complainant's father which the defendant hopes by the favour of this court it is lawful for him to do and touching the ledger and register books mentioned in the bill and supposed to belong unto the complainant and to be remaining in the custody of the now defendants Rich and Thos Harlakenden they do likewise both of them say that the complainant has before exhibiting the bill in this court exhibited his bill of complaint against these defendants into the court of wards and liveries and by the same bill amongst other things has complained for the same cause unto which they have answered and been examined upon interrogatories according to the course of that court which bill and answers is yet remaining upon record in the court undecided and undiscussed and therefore do for themselves and either of them demand judgement of this court whether they or either of them being double vexed for one of the self same cause shall be compelled to make any other further answer unto the complainant's bill of complaint or whether the said former bills or either of them shall be revived or further proceeded in and Thos Harlakenden does deny that he is tenant in possession of any part of the lands in the bill or claims any interest in the lands or any of them without that any other matter or things in the bill contained etc ask to be dismissed with reasonable costs