Chancery Depositions (PRO C8/298/15 Abbott v Clarke case)

16.1.36Chas2 (Friday 16 January 1685)

document 17000351

answer of Simon Dove gentleman who says that it may be true that the complainant Hen is seised of divers lands tenements and hereditaments in Suffolk and Essex in the right of Abigail his wife which estate might descend and come to Abigail from Joseph Park her late brother or as heir to Jn Park her father or by virtue of some settlement by her grandfather's as in the bill but the defendant says he is altogether stranger and wholly unconcerned of all every the matters in the bill saving that the complainant Abigail sometime in .10.1683 before her marriage to the complainant Hen did apply to the defendant expressing herself very desirous of having her estate as w ell freehold as copyhold so settled as she might have a power to dispose of the same after such time as she should be married with the complainant Hen and this defendant did wish her to advise with counsel that might divert the making of writings for such purpose and accordingly the complainant Abigail together with the defendant did repair to counsel and did advise concerning the settling of her estate and this defendant according to advise did draw a lease and release whereby it is mentioned that the complainant Abigail did convey her messuages lands and tenements to this defendant and his heirs to the use of herself for life with divers uses therein after limited and to such child or children she might have and if she had no issue then to the use of her sisters the daughters of Mary Clark by her late husband Peregrine Clark or some of them and their heirs with a power of revocation in the release referred to the complainant Abigail as by the deeds when they shall be produced will more fully appear and to which for more certainty he refers himself and he did about the same time at the request of Abigail and by the advise of her counsel draw several surrenders of her copyhold lands and tenements of several manors in the counties of Suffolk and of the manor of Tey Magna in Essex to the use of such person and in such estate as Abigail should declare to which surrender this defendant for more certainty refers and he says that he believes that the complainant did afterwards in pursuance of the power she had by the surrenders limit and declare by some writing or writings under her hand and seal the uses of the copyhold premises to herself and to the child or children she might have and in case she should have no issue to the use of her sisters and their heirs this defendant says that the deeds of lease and release were sealed and delivered by the complainant Abigail and he does believe that the surrenders were made and past by her but they are not in his possession or custody but he believes that the deeds and copies of the surrenders are in the custody of the other defendant Mary Clark and likewise the deed or deeds whereby the uses of the copyhold premises are limited and declared and he says he did also at the request of the complainant Abigail draw a deed of release from Abigail to Mary Clark but he does not know what accounts were then between the complainant and the defendant Mary Clark at the time excepting only that he was made acquainted that there had been a bond entered into by Peregrine Clark late husband of the defendant Mary with condition for the payment of 200li to Abigail and the defendant did also by the order and direction of Abigail draw up another deed being a grant of a yearly rent of 6li given by Abigail to Mary Clark out of the lands and tenements of Abigail or some of them which deed Abigail did seal and deliver as he remembers they were taken and carried away by Mary Clark in whose custody he believes they now are and to which for more certainty when they shall be produced he refers himself he says that he has been informed and he believes that the father of the complainant Hen did declare that he would make no jointure or settlement upon the complainants unless all the estate of Abigail might be settled upon Hen and his heirs although Abigail should happen to die without issue and he denies that he procured obtained or persuaded Abigail to execute the surrenders writings or any of them or any other writings whatsoever upon the pretences in the bill charged or any of them or was otherwise concerned in the writings otherwise than he has herein set forth and he does believe and hopes to prove that the complainant Hen was made acquainted with the writings and surrenders and with the effect and intention of them before his marriage with Abigail and he denies that ever he had the box of writings in the bill in his custody nor does know anything thereof nor does he know that the complainant Abigail did seal make or execute any other deed writing or surrender of or concerning her estate or otherwise and such writings as in such manner as he has before set down saving that he has heard that sometime after the marriage of the complainant Abigail did make another writing under her hand and seal but does not know what effect this last mentioned writing is otherwise than as by what the other defendant Mary Clark had set forth in her answer he the defendant never having seen the writing he denies any manner of combination and confederacy with the other defendants or either of them or otherwise and asks to be dismissed and have costs