Chancery Depositions (PRO C3/341/88 Barth Church v Wm Clopton)

11.2.1624 (Wednesday 11 February 1624)

document 16400230

answers of Wm Clopton esq to a bill of complaint of Barth Church complainant the defendant saving to himself now and after all advantages with the exception of uncertainty and insufficiency of the bill of complaint says that he does not know himself but thinks it is true that Robt Church doctor of divinity priest father of the complainant was in his lifetime seised of the demesne of fee of divers freehold lands and tenements in Earls Colne in Essex and of copyhold lands held of the manors of Earls Colne and Colne Priory and he thinks this true also Robt Church was possessed of divers deeds evidences copies of court roll and other writings about these and also of a library of books but what plate ready money or gold he died possessed of Clopton does not know nor does he know what the purpose of Robt Church was for the advancement of Barth Church nor what Robt gave to Barth in his lifetime but he thinks it true that Robt put some trust in Barth (his nephew) for the custody and use of the complainant Barth Church but he thinks that the complainant could not expect to have anything by the death of Barth though he had no children because he had a brother and divers sisters nearer to him than the complainant Clopton says he does not know that it was the express direction of Robt Church that the evidences plate gold and books should be delivered to the complainant when he came to years of discretion afterwards Robt Church died and Clopton thinks it true that Barth Church the godfather by virtue of the trust given him and as executor of Robt Church's will took divers goods which Clopton does not know of and took them to the house of Jn Betts in Earls Colne and there placed them in a study under lock and key but kept many of them in his own possession Clopton says that it is true that afterwards Barth Church the godfather by an unfortunate accident slew a man and was outlawed but that he did not deliver the key of the study to him as by the bill of complaint but that after the departure of Barth Church the godfather his wife sent Clopton divers writings and evidences about the lands of the complainant sealed in a pillowbere which Clopton has perused since and he also came into possession of the key and is ready to deliver this and all the writings of Robt Church the complainant's father to such person or persons as the court shall appoint Clopton says he has never had any gold plate money or other possessions of Robt Church's in his possession as by the bill only the key and writings as aforesaid he prays to be dismissed with all reasonable costs and charges from the wrongful charges