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Chancery Depositions (PRO C6/276/80 Edw Johnson v Jn Crow and Ann Crow)

22.10.1684 (Wednesday 22 October 1684)

document 17100005

answers of Jn Crow and Ann his wife defendants of the bill of complaint of Edw Johnson complainant then and all manner of etc they answer and say that they do believe it to be true that Ann Day widow in the bill of complaint mentioned late mother of the defendant Ann was in her lifetime lawfully seised and her heirs according to the custom of the manor of Colne Priory in Essex of and in several copyhold lands tenements and hereditaments in the bill of complaint particularly mentioned and held of the manor that is to say of and in one messuage with appurtenances lately erected and built upon a certain croft called Mallorys together with the said croft and garden enclosed called Mallorys and two other crofts of land containing by estimation 5a more or less and of and in two other crofts of land between Mill Fenn and the brook containing by estimation 5a more or less and of and in two other crofts of land whereof one lies next Sandhills and contains by estimation 4a more or less and the other was lately parcel of Mill Fenn and that it was found by the homage at a court held for the said manor upon 4.10.1657 that the said Ann Day being so seised had duly surrendered the said messuages lands and tenements to herself for life and after her death then as to one moiety or half part of the same messuage lands and premises to the use of Ann Crow this defendant one of her daughters and to the heirs of her body forever and for defect of issue to the use of Mary Day in the said bill named the other daughter of Ann Day and the heirs of the said Mary forever and for want of such issue to the right heirs of Ann Day forever and as to the other moiety of the lands and premises to the use of Mary Day and the heirs of her body forever and for default of such issue to the use of Ann Crow and the heirs of her body forever and for default of such issue to the right heirs of Ann Day forever and that Mary Day married Thos Osborne the elder and by him had issue Thos Osborne the younger in the said bill named and that Mary Osborne long since died in or about .1.1683 Ann Day died having before her death made her last will wherein Ann Day did give and bequeath unto two of the defendants children the sum of 20li to be paid to them within a month about after the said Ann Day's death and to another of the defendants children 20li at the full age of twenty one years and some other legacies to five more of the defendants children of which said will of Ann Day the said complainant did by some indirect ways and means as this defendants verily believe procure himself to be executor and this defendant Jn Crow does further for answer say that some little time after the death of Ann Day he did repair to the said complainant and have some discourse touching the said legacies to the defendant's children as aforesaid and this defendant did admonish the complainant to take care for the true payment of the legacies and said that he the defendant hoped that the complainant would be a good steward for the children or words to that effect at which discourses the complainant seemed to be very angry and said he would take a course with the defendant and to the defendant Ann Crow says that soon after the death of Ann Day her mother the complainant told her that it was Ann Day's will and desire at first when the complainant came to her a little before her death to give to three of her children 20li apiece and the other 50li the said Ann Day then having 110li or thereabouts in her house should be for this defendant her daughter and at disposal of the defendant but that he the complainant as he then told her should advise her that it was better to give the 50li to her children she this defendant being then weak and sickly woman not like long to live or words to that effect whereupon she the defendant said then to the complainant that he would have a fine profit to himself of the monies while the children came of age seeing that they were but young and he had persuaded Ann Day to give the same to be paid as they came of age and the defendant did then further say to the complainant that it was but reason that he should give security that her children should have the principal at last or to that effect at which discourse the complainant seem very much displeased and these defendants do further for answer say that they do verily believe in their consciences that the said complainant did afterwards purchase the moiety of the messuage and premises of and from Thos Osborne the younger in the bill named on purpose to disquiet and vex these defendants he the said complainant being highly provoked by the discourse of the defendants touching the legacies as aforesaid and these defendants are the rather induced so to believe for that about a day or two before the complainant had bought the moiety Thos Osborne the younger being at the house of the defendants she Ann did ask Thos Osborne the younger her nephew if he would sell the moiety but Thos then replied and he would not sell the same but within a day or two after the said Thos Osborne junior being at an inn or alehouse in Earls Colne with the complainant and there continuing together drinking sometime the complainant as these defendants are credibly informed and hope to prove did solicit him Thos Osborne the younger to sell his moiety of the premises to the complainant and did employ another person to importune him the said Osborne to sell the same to him the complainant and one Thos Rayner who happened to be in the alehouse telling the complainant that if the moiety were to be sold these defendants would buy the same unto whom the complainant replied that he Jn Crow should not have it but that he the complainant would buy it or to that effect and presently the complainant taking advantage as these defendants believe of the said Thos Osborne the younger being then in drink did strike a bargain for his Osborne's moiety of the principal but these defendants do utterly deny that he did buy the said moiety with the good liking of these defendants or either of them as in the bill of complaint is most falsely alleged and the defendants believe that the complainant purchased the moiety out of malice and ill will to these defendants and to hinder them in the purchase of the same and to put them to charge trouble and vexation and the defendants do further say that the complainant the next morning after the purchase of the premises did come to this defendant's dwelling house and the same being part of the said premises and did call the defendant Jn Crow out of his bed and did then and there tell Jn Crow that he had bought the moiety of the house and premises and that he now had a way to this defendant and further said that he the complainant would sue this defendant Jn Crow and undo him and not leave him worth a groat which was a great grief and trouble to the defendant Ann Crow she then being a bedridden woman and the complainant further said that he would put into the house to this defendant Ann Crow to vex her a troublesome neighbour and about two days after the complainant being told that it was not well done of him to buy the moiety of the premises over the defendants heads without their consents the said complainant replied that it was true indeed that the defendants ought to have had some say of it but he was angry with the defendants and he bought the same to vex them otherwise he would not have bought it as these defendants doubt not but to prove and these defendants do deny that the complainant did pay for the purchase the sum of 100li as in the bill is set forth for he the complainant was to give for the same the sum of three score and ten pounds (70li) only as these defendants are credibly informed and so it was openly declared in a court held for the manor and this defendant Jn Crow does further for answer say that he this defendant knowing that Ann his wife would not consent to any sale being made of her moiety of the premises and being too well acquainted of the malicious temper and revengeful disposition of the complainant did before the complainant's admission to his purchased moiety of the premises proffer in the presence of several witnesses 40li for the buying of the same but the complainant did refuse the same and the defendant did make divers other proffers to the complainant to buy his moiety and at last in .5.1683 this defendant proffered to give for the same to the complainant as much as it cost him together with all his charges and 3li of money profit and above as interest for the complainant's purchase money from the time of his purchase until that time all which the complainant did refuse and this complainant is yet willing to give the complainant more than his money is worth for the purchase of the same and the defendants do further say that the said Ann Day after she had made the surrender and entailed the moiety of the lands and premises aforesaid she Ann Day did declare that she had taken great care in the settling of the same to the end that no part of the premises should be sold without the consent of both the parties to whom she had entailed the same and after the death of Mary her daughter Ann Day told Jn Crow that he Jn Crow must buy Osborne's part for he was not able to buy the part of these defendants and that if they could not agree about the same they must both keep their own parts for that was her care in settling of it and this defendant Ann Crow humbly hopes that she shall not be enjoined by this honourable court to alter the settlement made by her mother these defendants being willing to purchase the complainants moiety as aforesaid and the defendant Jn Crow does utterly deny that he Jn Crow has had and enjoyed the sole profit of all the messuages lands and premises as the complainant in his bill most untruly suggested and he the defendant says that he is very much damnified by the complainant's purchase of the moiety of the premises and this defendant at the time of the complainant's purchase having a little hopground one part of the premises and the complainant did continually threaten to put his cattle into the same whereupon the defendant was forced to take up and destroy the hopground whereby he lost the sum of 10li about and the complainant ever since the time of the purchase has refused to pay any part of the quit rent of the premises to the lords of the manor or to contribute towards the reparation of the messuage or the fencing of the lands and premises and this defendant has made and repaired the fences at his own proper charge and has likewise since the complainant's purchase expended in and about the repairs of the messuage about the sum of 3li and the com plainant has always refused to make any allowance of the same or any part thereof and the defendant does deny that the complainant did since the purchase sow any part of the premises to this defendant's knowledge nor does this defendant remember that he did put or cause to be put in any cattle into the premises when the complainant had any cattle there and the defendant does believe that the complainant by reason of his obstinacy and crossness has made a less of the moiety than otherwise have done in case the complainant had been willing to comply with the defendants on any reasonable terms and Jn Crow further says that forasmuch as Ann Crow his wife could by no means be persuaded or prevailed upon to cut off the entail to her and her children or to make any partition or division of the premises contrary to her mother's true intent and meaning who oft times before her death declared that if any part of the premises must be sold she had settled it so that the Osborne's or Crows must buy it therefore he the defendant is very willing to buy the complainant's moiety to prevent any further differences or controversies between them and the defendant is willing to give for the same the sum of four score pounds (80li) being more than the same is worth and the defendant did formerly proffer four score pounds to the complainant for the same but he would not then accept thereof although the complainant a little before did offer the same to the defendant for four score pounds but the complainant does refuse all reasonable propositions made by the defendant on purpose to give further disquiet and vexation as these defendants have great cause to believe and that as the complainant did openly declare upon his purchase he bought the moiety for the same intent and purpose without that that any other matter or thing material in the law etc they ask to be dismissed with reasonable costs and charges and this defence was made 22.10.36Chas2 Jn Crow Ann Crow Jn Cox