Chancery Depositions (PRO C11/12 Hen Chauncey v Rich Harlakenden)

1613 (1613)

document 16000846

(undated date uncertain) orator Hen Chauncey of Sawbridgeworth in Hertford county gentleman that whereas about five years last past he did take lease of one Rich Harlakenden of Earls Colne in Essex esq and Margt his wife of a house and certain lands in Earls Colne yielding and paying to Rich Harlakenden his executors or assigns yearly rent of 115li to two usual feasts or times of year that is to say at the feast of annunciation and michaelmas by even portions with a covenant in the leases that the orator should at the end and expiration of the term of ten years give to Rich Harlakenden or his assigns three several fields containing 50a to be ploughed fallowed and tilled ready to be sown with wheat or other grain and before the lease sealed by the orator Rich Harlakenden told him that he had sowed divers acres of the ground with wheat rye and barley and other corn to the value of 120a for which if he would have his lease he should pay for the same 120li and if upon the measuring thereof there should be found so many acres sown with wheat and other grain that then upon the measuring he Rich Harlakenden would abate 20s for every acre so wanting after which promise made by Rich Harlakenden the orator desired a draft of the lease to show unto his counsel which Harlakenden promised he should have but contrary to his promise finding the orator unwilling to take the lease did not show unto the orator any draft thereof but brought the lease ready engrossed for the orator to seal unto the which sealing the orator refused unless Harlakenden would put in all the covenants which were so agreed upon and to ensure the acres so bargained for before unto which Harlakenden then answered that if the orator would then seal the lease he would abate 20s in every acre as before he had promised further saying that if he had or should have any hard bargain of the lease or that his crop of his ground should fail he would not take any advantage of the forfeiture thereof but would forbear him any reasonable time for the same and would abate some of the orator's rent upon which promise so made the orator did seal the lease and did enter upon the ground and possessing the acres of corn so sowed and bought by the orator and his money being paid several days according to the agreement of the orator and Harlakenden there was wanting upon the measuring of the ground the amount of 30a or thereabouts which by his own agreement comes to 30li after which lease so sealed by the orator having enjoyed the same about two years the orator having sowed the same the ground fell out to be so barren that the orator did lose clearly out of his purse 120li which he procuring and perceiving and be relying upon the promises of Harlakenden that if the orator was a loser he would abate his rent the orator was the more negligent of payment of his rent and thereupon did pay 20li of the rent at the day and about six days after the rent was due the orator went to Rich Harlakenden and told him how hard a bargain he had and how the corn which the orator had bought of him and paid him for came not to so many by 30a as promised and therefore desired Harlakenden to forbear the residue of the rent being 40li and to abate some part thereof in respect of the orator's great loss which Harlakenden seemed very willing and did appoint the orator to meet him at London within six days then following according to which appointment the orator came and thinking and verily believing that Harlakenden would either have taken his rent the remainder security for it according to his promise or have abated some part thereof in respect of so great a loss the orator having in the first two years of his lease Harlakenden most unconscionably contrary to his own promise and appointment arrested the orator in London which with a process out of his majesty's exchequer pretending the debt to be due to his majesty because the orator being a country man was not acquainted in London should not find bail for his action upon which arrest the orator was enforced to lie in prison two or three days and could not find bail to release him and he seeing and perceiving no hope to be bailed and having many businesses about his own affairs was forced to stand to the mercy of Harlakenden and sent to Harlakenden to desire him to release him Harlakenden came unto the orator and told him that if he would assign over his lease back again and would grant a bargain and sale of all his cattle and corn upon the ground being worth to the value of 300li there being but due upon the arrest but 40li being the remainder of three score pounds (60li) for half a years rent that then Harlakenden would release the orator out of prison which the orator was forced to condescend and thereupon reassigned the lease back again and did pass over all by deed of bargain and sale his cattle and corn for the remainder of the rent of 40li and did also give a bond of 200li to Harlakenden to give him quiet possession at michaelmas next following which the orator did accordingly with a bond of six score pounds (120li) for the payment of three score pounds (60li) at a day then to come according to the bargain and sale at which time when the said money grew due the orator having had so bad a bargain and having made over all his cattle and corn for the payment thereof for besides the bond he had no means to pay Harlakenden the sum of three score pounds but did pay him 20li and desired him to forbear the other 40li the which when Harlakenden had received the 20li he most unconscionably refused to forbear the other 40li but entered upon the lease and forced the orator to sell his cattle and corn to one Thos Harlakenden his brother at the same instant at what prices he thought fit or else he would have taken not only advantage of all the cattle and corn being worth 300li but also did threaten to take advantage of the bond of six score pounds and also detains the bond of 200li which was given for the delivering of the possession of the land which was peacefully delivered him as before is alleged now after the orator had paid Harlakenden for 120a of corn at 20s an acre and after measuring the same there wanted the number of 30a and the orator having often demanded Harlakenden contrary to his own promise refuses to repay whereas also the orator was also by his lease to plough and fallow 50a of ground at the expiration of the term of ten years he having within the first two years ploughed four score acres (80a) Harlakenden entered upon the land and refuses to allow any recompense for the same being to the charge of the orator out of his purse to the value of 30li and upwards besides for the repairing of the house and making of the orchards and gardens and new fencing the grounds to the charges of the orator about 10li all which several sums of money so disbursed and laid out for Harlakenden's profit the orator has divers and sundry times required allowance for by friendly entreating him that having taken advantage of the forfeiture of his lease contrary to his own promises yet that he would in friendly sort make payment of the several sums of money before disbursed for the benefit of Harlakenden is also to repay 30li for the 30a which was wanting in the 120a for which the orator has already paid him and also to redeliver up the bond of 200li for the condition thereof is performed by the orator all which he most unconscionably refuses to allow and satisfy and for that the bargains and agreements was made only between the orator and Harlakenden and that the orator has no direct proof whereby he can compel him by common law to satisfy or make payment the several sums before alleged that it may please your lordship to grant writ of subpoena to Rich Harlakenden