Chancery Depositions (PRO C3/372/8 Rose Partridge v Rich Harlakenden)

10.5.1622 (Friday 10 May 1622)

document 16200179

to the right honourable rev father in god bishop of Lincoln lord keeper of the great seal of England complainant Rose Partridge of Earls Colne Essex widow in or about 27Eliz1 Jeff Cuckoke of Colchester Essex deceased late husband of Rose Partridge died fully seised in his demesne as of fee according to custom etc in the several manors of Earls Colne and Earls Colne Priory of copyhold lands and tenements and customary by copy of court roll of the yearly value of 30li viz of the manor of Earls Colne one messuage or tenement and 26a of land 3a1r meadow called Curdes and one wood or grove 16a now divided into two closes and three closes of land 15a one called Birmenfield or Barmanfield the other Rownces the third Pellsland lying in Barmanfield of Earls Colne Priory manor certain lands and tenements commonly called by the name of one garden and two crofts of land containing 6a Wrongs and one parcel of land Coggesgrove 2a held of the same manor the said Cuckoke by his last will bequeathed all the lands and tenements to her Rose Partridge his then wife and to her heirs forever and according to the custom of the several manors he did surrender all the several lands and tenements and premises into the hands of the then lord or lords of the manors to the uses of his will and within a very short time of making the will and surrenders Jeff Cuckoke died of his estate seised after his death the surrenders were made at the next courts of the manors duly and orderly presented and she paid her fines and was admitted lawfully to the lands according to the intent of the will and surrender and entered into them and was seised she received and took the rents issues and profits and being seised about one year after the death of Jeff Cuckoke espoused and took to husband one Robt Partridge late deceased upon which marriage one Robt Partridge father of Robt Partridge her husband entered into a bond of a great penalty to certain of her friends to assure her certain lands for her jointure of the yearly value of 20li which after the marriage he refused to perform unless she would assure her copyhold lands called Curdes and other the premises of Earls Colne manor to her husband and his heirs notwithstanding any persuasions and threats used by her husband to draw her thereunto she utterly refused whereupon he acquainted her that he intended to procure a formal copy to be made purporting she had surrendered the lands Curdes and other the premises of Earls Colne manor for the use of her husband and his heirs to the end that his father might therefore be drawn to make her jointure according to the agreement and bond in that behalf which otherwise without extremity which he was loath should be used against his father could not be gotten as he pretended protesting to her that no further use should be made thereof but only to give his father satisfaction so that the jointure might peaceably and with fair means gotten from him Robt Partridge her husband acquainted Roger Harlakenden esq then lord of the manor of Earls Colne of which most of the lands were held with his intent and entreated him that his clerk might draw and engross in parchment a formal copy purporting a surrender from her of the premises held of the manor to the use of her husband and his heirs which he assented to and a formal copy was drawn and engrossed accordingly as though it had been in truth duly surrendered which indeed it was not her husband showed it to his father who for that there was neither hand of the lord nor steward disliked the same and would not be drawn to do anything upon sight thereof unless the hands of the lord or steward could be gotten thereunto wherewith Roger Harlakenden being again acquainted and his hand desired he refused to set his hand unless she would indeed make such surrender into some of the tenants hands that might justify# his doings which she likewise refused to do unless she might be sure that the same might at the next court after be duly surrendered back to her and her heirs she reposing special trust and confidence in Roger Harlakenden and knowing that he being lord of the manor and nothing could be done to her prejudice contrary to true meaning without his proviso entreated him to advise her therein so taking the trust and care upon him encouraged her to make such a surrender before some of the tenants promising that he would take such a course that all things should be performed again to her according to the true meaning and in show as though he had meant faithfully to perform the same took a bond of 300li or thereabouts of her husband in confidence whereof she did surrender the same out of court into some of the tenants hands to be presented at the next court to the use of her husband which surrender at the next court was presented and her husband admitted accordingly then or shortly after surrendering the premises by way of mortgage to one Gurling and Salter which Roger Harlakenden gave way to without contradiction contrary to the trust aforesaid but admitted them Gurling and Salter thereunto after the money was not paid and the premises became forfeit to Gurling and Salter and continued so forfeited for three or four years who notwithstanding were never in possession of the premises finding that in truth she had made no surrender of the premises to pass the inheritance forth of herself but the forementioned surrender made out of court into the hands and upon the trust aforesaid which surrender so made out of court into the tenants hands by her being femme covert could not be good in law to bind her inheritance caused by confederacy and practise with the said Roger Harlakenden lord then of the manor and others his servants and steward as for the time being did demise untrue entries to be made in the court rolls as well of the manor of Earls Colne and the other manor of Colne Priory some of which entries it is supposed that she had surrendered the premises to the use of her husband and his heirs by others that she had surrendered them for the use of only him and her heirs but in the end after two or three years spent in framing and contriving such entries as pleased themselves they were glad to get as much of their money again as they could and with the intent to give the better colour to their untrue entries which they had so procured to be made they Gurling and Salter surrendered the premises back to her husband and his heirs at divers courts held after for the manor proclamation was made that her husband should come and be admitted to the premises and pay his fine or that it should be seized into the lords hands which notwithstanding her husband refused to do affirming that he well knew the truth was he never had other estate therein than for his life only whereupon Roger Harlakenden then lord did at last seize the premises and made a lease thereof to one of his servants or friends to try the title and an eviction was thereupon brought upon her husband and an action likewise brought against him upon the bond of 300li by Harlakenden without her privity but only for his own ends and by the same forced her husband to a composition and by colour thereof drew from him a great sum of money and 6a of wood ground parcel of the forementioned Curdes Grove parcel of the premises conveyed to the use of Harlakenden and his heirs without her privity delivered up the bond of 300li to be cancelled and to give the better colour to his proceeding as though it had been for her behalf in truth to strengthen his own title in and to the 6a of wood he Harlakenden taking himself to be seised of the premises by colour of the seizure or by colour of some surrender from her husband granted all the premises except the 6a to her for her life with remainders over to the lives of her children by her former husband Cuckoke and their heirs all which notwithstanding she continued still in possession of all the premises and set workmen to fell wood upon the 6a whom mr Harlakenden arrested thereupon she being then a femme covert not able to sue for or defend her own right proffered a petition to the then right honourable lord Ellesmore then lord chancellor of England to be relieved in and concerning the premises and please to direct his letters to sir Wm Waldgrave knight and Edw Grimstone esq since both deceased to determine the cause if they could or else to certify mr Harlakenden understanding thereby proffered his petition to his lordship desiring that sir Jn Tindale knight and mr Wm Wiseman Harlakenden's steward might be joined with them which being granted the matter was heard before them at large who found and certified her complaint to be just and ever after she and her husband Partridge during his life and her after his death quietly and peaceably enjoyed both the 6a and the rest of the premises so long as Roger Harlakenden lived and after his death until Rich Harlakenden esq his son and heir then now lord of the several manors well knowing the premises to be true compounded with her for the 6a and to know her as lawful owner and inheritor a surrender thereof to him and his heirs and Rich Harlakenden since such a surrender has quietly enjoyed the 6a by virtue of his composition and her surrender but notwithstanding she did never make any surrender whereby to pass away the inheritance or any part thereof the 6a only excepted save only the forementioned surrender made out of trust and out of court wherein she was never examined as before is mentioned albeit Rich Harlakenden well knoweth the same to be true yet she is informed that he Rich Harlakenden of purpose to discredit her said title and estate in and to the premises and to make it seem litigious and doubtful that he might the more easily compass the same hath of late given out in speeches and published that she has no good estate or right in or to the premises or the greatest part thereof for as he affirms he has found out of a court roll made at either or one of the said manors made about .9.31Eliz1 which testifieth as he affirms that she together with Robt Partridge her late husband did in open court she being then and there solely examined according to the custom surrender the premises or a great part thereof to the use of her husband and his heirs and the lord at the court granted the same to her husband and his heirs accordingly which entry if any such be is altogether false and counterfeit in consideration whereof forasmuch as she is very aged and impotent and like to grow in want whereby she may be urged by necessity to sell the premises or at least is desirous to leave a settled quiet and sure estate to such persons as she shall will and dispose of the same and for that the foresaid counterfeited false court rolls and entries will in time gain the reputation of true ones to the disinherison of her the poor oratrix may it therefore please his lordship all premises considered to grant a writ of subpoena against Rich Harlakenden to appear etc