Chancery Depositions (PRO C8/56/109 Wm Edees v Thos Morgan and Bennet Groute)

25.5.1609 (Thursday 25 May 1609)

document 16000229

complaint of your very poor supplicant and complainant Wm Edees of Colne Engaine in Essex cordwainer that whereas one Wm Edees deceased his father by name of Wm Edees the elder of Saffron Walden bricklayer by his obligation of the sum of 200li bearing date in or about the month of .5.33Eliz1 did become bound to the suppliant with condition thereupon enjoined that if the heirs executors and assigns of Wm Edees the elder should or did pay the suppliant his heirs or assigns the sum of 100li within one half year next after the decease of Wm Edees the elder and of Margt his then wife or the longer liver at or in the dwelling house of one Hen Pullen of Colne Engaine then the obligation would be void as by the same obligation and condition thereof did whilst it was in the suppliants hands manifestly appear so it is that they the said Wm Edees the elder and Margt his wife both of them long since deceased that is to say about four years past and the said Wm Edees the elder having in his lifetime made and ordained his last will and testament in writing and therein made one Thos Morgan of Eselene in Cambridge mason and one Benedict alias Benet Growte of Saffron Walden executors thereof as by the same will does manifestly appear they Thos Morgan and Benedict Growte after the decease of Wm Edees the elder did cause and procure the last will and testament to be proved in the form of law and afterwards did take upon them the charge of the executorship by reason whereof there came to their hands goods chattels and cattle rights and credits late of Wm Edees testator to the value of 1000li and above in respect whereof your lordships poor suppliant long after the time limited in the above obligation for the payment of the 100li to the orator that is to say after Wm Edees the elder and Margt his wife were both of them dead above half a year did come unto Thos Morgan and Benedict Growte executors of the last will of Wm Edees deceased and did not only acquaint them with the aforesaid bond and condition thereof demanding of them the sum of 100li but did also show the bond or obligation unto Thos Morgan praying him and Benedict Growte having assets in their hands to satisfy and pay the suppliant the said 100li according to the condition of the obligation but it is so that they Thos Morgan and Benedict Growte utterly refused so to do and very peremptorily bid the suppliant come by it as he could since which time the suppliant lodging in the house of Benedict Growte in Saffron Walden did there casually lose the said bond which being come to the hands of Thos Morgan and Benedict Growte or either of them as he verily believes they had cancelled it or at least deny it from the suppliant by reason whereof the suppliant is and stands clearly remedy less at the common law for the recovery of the 100li due on the bond by the suppliant the forfeiture of which bond being 200li and the same forborne these four years and more and whereas in the lifetime of his late father there was a marriage mentioned between the suppliant and Mary his now wife being daughter of Hen Pullen whereupon a meeting was appointed for a conference to be had between the suppliant's late father and Hen Pullen concerning the marriage and of the marriage portions to be given on either party but so it is also that before the day of the meeting so appointed came his late father Wm Edees fell and broke his leg so that he was not able by any means to travel in effect thereof he appointed him Benedict Growte as his deputy or assignee on his behalf to go unto Hen Pullen and in his name and for him to signify unto Pullen that for every groat that he would make his daughter worth in marriage unto the suppliant he Wm Edees his late father would make the suppliant worth sixpence unto her upon which promise made by Benedict Growte made for and on behalf of the late Wm Eedes deceased and in hope that the same should have been performed accordingly Hen Pullen did give and bestow in marriage with his daughter Mary the sum of 300li and shortly after the solemnization of the marriage and before a penny of the portion money promised which the suppliant by Benedict Growte for and on behalf of Wm Edees the elder the said Wm died and to the end that Benedict Growte should be enabled to pay and satisfy the portion did nominate him together with Thos Morgan executors of his last will and died leaving assets in their hands as well to satisfy and pay the marriage portion as aforesaid promised as well as all other debts and legacies owing given or bequeathed by Wm to the end with a large overplus charging them Thos Morgan and Benedict Growte and especially Growte to see not only the marriage portion but also the 100li to be duly paid and performed but so it is also that they the executors Thos Morgan and Bendict Growte little regarding the office and duty of executors and the trust in them reposed but more respecting their own private profits have from time to time deferred and delayed the payment of the marriage portion amounting unto the equivalency of the said 300li at sixpence for every fourpence the full sum of 450li and also the 100li and albeit that the suppliant has in all good terms and friendly manner demanded Thos Morgan and Benedict Growte to pay and satisfy the money yet will they not so do because as they pretend they are not compellable so to either in law or in equity unless the suppliant can make very plain and direct proof of the premises and then neither as they allege because as they most untruly allege they have not neither had assets left them by the testator Wm Edees to pay all his debts and legacies whereas the contrary will be proved with a large overplus and whereas at and after the death of Margt the suppliant's late mother who died about five years after Wm Edees the testator the suppliant had certain goods and household stuff to the value of 10li or 20marks remaining in the house where she died in Saffron Walden they Thos Morgan and Benedict Growte by cover of their executorship did take the same goods fully and wholly into their possession and did detain and convert them to their own proper uses and whereas in the time of the sickness of the suppliant's late father he desired greatly to see the suppliant who then dwelt fifteen miles from him and willed them Thos Morgan and Benedict Growte to send for the suppliant and with his own hands as the suppliant has heard gave 12d unto a messenger to go for the suppliant so it is further that they Morgan and Growte gave unto the same messenger appointed to be sent to the suppliant 2s to stay at home and not to come to the suppliant purposefully because the suppliant should not know his late father's mind and intent towards him and they Morgan and Growte did the like also at the death of the suppliant's late mother by means whereof the suppliant is exceedingly hindered he knoweth not how much but believes about 40li in ready gold and silver over and above the marriage portion the said 100li which 40li his late mother always in her lifetime told him she had ready in a bag for him in case she happened to overlive his late father as she did by four years and upwards in tender consideration whereof and for as much as the orator is without any remedy by the common laws and either to reckon the 100li for want of the bond the marriage money or the 40li for that he has no such witnesses as the strict course of the common law of this land requires either to prove the bond or to come to the hands of the executors or either of them or to prove the marriage money or the just value thereof or the 40li for every way remedyless by the common laws of this land to help and relieve himself but in all equity and good conscience to be relieved and forasmuch as Thos Morgan and Benedict Growte cannot of their corporal oaths deny the same may it please his lordship to grant a writ of subpoena to be directed to them