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Chancery Depositions (PRO C10/227/83 Warren Cooke Clitter and Clarke v Stapleton)

2.6.1687 (Thursday 2 June 1687)

document 17200504

to the right honourable Geo lord Jeffreys lord high chancellor of England humbly complaining showeth unto your lordship your daily orators and oratrixes Edw Warren of Earls Colne in the county of Essex victualler and Robt Warren of the same labourer Wm Cooke of Aldham in the county aforesaid husbandman and Ann his wife Rich Clitter of Earls Colne aforesaid joiner and Eliz his wife which said Edw Robt Ann and Eliz were the grandchildren of Edm Potter late of Earls Colne aforesaid oatmeal maker deceased (children) by Eliz his daughter deceased who was the wife of Wm Boosby of Earls Colne aforesaid tailor deceased and Wm Clarke and Edm Clarke two other of the grandchildren of the said Edm Potter being the children of Jonathan Clarke and Hannah his wife another of the daughters of the said Edm Potter that the said Edm Potter made his last will and testament in writing in or about .7.1667 the tenor whereof follow in these words in the name of god amen 25.7.19Chas2 I Edm Potter of Earls Colne oatmeal maker being aged and frail of body but of good and perfect mind and remembrance I give god thanks therefore do make and ordain my last will and testament in manner and form following and I do herein and hereby utterly renounce and revoke all and every other will and wills by me made first and principally I commit my soul to the hands of almighty god etc and my body to the earth from whence it came to be decently buried in the christian sepulchre according to my degree and to that part and portion of my worldly goods which it did please god out of his free favour and love to endower me withal here in this transitory life I do give and bequeath as followeth imprimis I do give and bequeath unto Eliz Boosby the full sum of 10li etc to be paid to her within three months after my death out of my estate item I do give and bequeath unto Edw Warren her eldest son my grandchild the full sum of 40li to be paid at twenty one years by mine executors item I do give and bequeath unto Robt Warren her youngest son my grandchild the full sum of 40li to be paid at twenty one item I bequeath unto Ann Warren the daughter of the said Eliz my grandchild the full sum of 40li to be paid as soon as she shall attain the age of twenty one or day of marriage whichever shall first happen by mine executors item I give and bequeath unto Eliz Warren the youngest daughter of the said Eliz my grandchild the full sum of 40li to be paid at twenty one or day of marriage whichever first item I give and bequeath unto Ann the now wife of Jonathan Clarke and my daughter the full sum of 60li etc within six months after my death by mine executors I give and bequeath to Jonathan Clarke her eldest son my grandchild the full sum of 40li to be paid at twenty one by mine executors item I bequeath unto Wm Clarke my grandchild 40li at twenty one item I do give and bequeath unto Edm Clarke my grandchild 40li at twenty one also it is my will and intent that if any of the three grandchildren shall happen to die before they shall attain to the age of twenty one years that then I do give and bequeath their part so dying unto the longest liver of them to be equally divided and paid by my executors as aforesaid item I do give and bequeath unto Mary Norden the now wife of Hen Norden the full sum of 100li upon condition that mine executors shall pay my daughter Mary the sum of 5li every year during her natural life for the use and interest thereof and if the said Mary shall happen to die without children my intent and meaning is that 100li given and bequeathed shall be equally divided and parted between Eliz Boosby's children aforementioned and Jonathan Clarke's (children) but if the said Mary shall have any of her own body that then my intent and meaning is the money before mentioned might be equally divided between them or so many as shall be alive after her death also my intent and meaning is that if any of the four grandchildren and children of Eliz Boosby my daughter shall happen to die before they attain the age of twenty one then I do give and bequeath his or their parts so dying to the longest liver to be equally divided and parted between them item I do give and bequeath unto Xian Goodwin widow my beloved sister 40s I give unto Jn Goodwin 40s item I do give unto Eliz Goodwin 40s item I do give unto Mary Goodwin 40s to be paid by mine executors item I do give and bequeath unto my sister Rushe's children 40s to so many as be alive of them of lawful money to be paid by mine executors item I give and bequeath unto the poor of the parish 5li to be distributed at the discretion of mine executors out of which said sum of 5li I will that Frances Bounds widow and Eliz Rosebrooke single woman shall have 10s apiece I do make and ordain Geo Cressener gentleman and Jas Brockwell executors to this my last will and testament and I do make and ordain Jonathan Clarke my son in law supervisor of this my last will and testament to see it performed and kept in everything according to my true intent and meaning in everything in witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal the day and month and year first above written and the said Edm Potter being of sound mind did sign seal and publish the said will in the presence of credible witnesses and soon after the publication of the said will and testament the said Edm Potter your orators and oratrixes grandfather died possessed and interested of and in a personal estate consisting of and in ready monies bonds bills mortgages and other securities for monies plate corn and cattle and other goods and chattels to the value of 1000li or thereabouts however of a sufficient value to pay all his debts and legacies with a great overplus after whose decease the said Geo Cressener and Jas Brockwell the executors named in the said will took upon them the executorship and proved the said will in common form and possessed themselves of the personal estate of your orators and oratrixes said grandfather to the value aforesaid and shared and divided the same betwixt themselves without exhibiting any inventory and did mutually seal bonds and other writings one to the other concerning the administration of the said estate did each receive several great sums of money for interest of the monies they had of the testator before the legacies became due and payable which were a considerable time being eight years before the first grandchild's legacy was payable and some few years after the death of the testator the said Jas Brockwell died and made Mary his wife now the wife of Math Stapleton of Bocking in the said county his executrix whereby a great part of the personal estate of your orators and oratrixes said grandfather came to the possession and hands of the said Mary and the said Geo Cressener was the surviving executor to your orators and oratrixes said grandfather and thereby had the opportunity of getting into his hands the greatest share of the personal estate of the said testator and your orators and oratrixes have heard and doubt not but to prove that the said Geo Cressener had 150li or more of the personal estate of the said testator in his hands during the life of the said testator and after the death of the said testator the said Geo Cressener living in the same town where the said testator died and being a rich and understanding man as your orators and oratrixes believe got into his hands by far the greater share of the said testator and sometime after the death of the said Jas Brockwell the said Geo Cressener died possessed of a great and plentiful estate of his own besides what he had of the testators which came to the hands of Mary his wife whom he made his executrix who is since dead and at the time of her death she was possessed of a personal estate sufficient and to answer and make good whatsoever of the personal estate of the said testator which came to the hands either of herself or of the said Geo her deceased husband which after her death came to the hands of Jn Cressener her son and executor who since her death hath in part administered of the personal estate of the said Edm Potter and hath paid unto your orator Wm Clarke his legacy of 40li and unto Robt Warren 20li for part of his legacy of 40li but there is still due and owing unto your orators Robt Warren and Edm Clarke and to each of them 20li being the remaining of their legacies of 40li and also unto your orators Edm Clarke and Wm Clarke 40li for the legacy of Jonathan Clarke their brother who died before he attained his age of twenty one years whereby his legacy of 40li according to the will of the said Edm Potter has become payable unto your orators Wm Clarke and Edm Clarke his brothers and your orators and oratrixes further show unto your lordship that Mary Norden in the said will and testament named died about the latter end of .3.last without having any children living at the time of her death whereby the legacy of 100li given and bequeathed unto the said Mary Norden by the said will and testament of the said Edm Potter is by the same will become demisable and payable among and unto your orators and oratrixes Edw Robt Ann and Eliz children of Eliz Booseby and your orators Wm Edm and the children of Jonathan Clarke but the said Jn Cressener and Math Stapleton and Mary his wife do refuse to pay unto your orators and oratrixes what is respectively due unto them according to the will and testament of the said Edm Potter their grandfather although they have often in a friendly manner been thereunto requested and put off the payment and satisfaction of your orators and oratrixes from one to the other with the intent to share and divide what remains in their hands of the personal estate of the said Edm Potter the testator amongst themselves and whereas the greatest part of 100li hath been paid unto the said Mary Norden which was paid unto her for the interest of 100li bequeathed unto her for the which by the will of the said Edm Potter she was to receive 5li a year now the said Jn Cressener Math Stapleton and Mary his wife contriving to defeat and defraud your orators and oratrixes of the said 100li accrued unto them by the death of the said Mary Norden give out in speeches that the said Mary Norden hath received her legacy of 100li or the greatest part thereof although they very well know that what was paid unto her was paid only for the interest thereof given for her maintenance all which doings of the said Jn Cressener Math Stapleton and Mary his wife tend to the undoing of your poor orators and oratrixes and are contrary to equity and good conscience in tender consideration whereof and for that the premises being matters testamentary it is agreeable to the constant and ancient practice of this honourable court to relieve matters of that nature your orators and oratrixes being remediless and cannot of the common law be relieved in the premises in regard whereof they cannot make a discovery of assets your orators and oratrixes witnesses which could prove the matters aforesaid being dead or removed into places to your orators and oratrixes unknown nevertheless your orators and oratrixes hope that the said Jn Cressener Math Stapleton and Mary his wife to whom the premises and every matter and thing before set forth is well known to be true will confess and discover the same upon their several and respective corporal oaths and to the end they may so do and that they may particularly set forth whether the said Edm Potter did not make his last will and testament in writing in manner and form aforesaid and when and where the same was proved and whether any inventory was exhibited of the personal estate of the said Edm Potter and by whom and when and where was the same exhibited was the same a true and perfect inventory without any omissions or under valuations to their or any of their knowledge and how much of the said inventory or other the personal estate of the said Edm Potter is come to the hands custody or possession of them or any of them or to the hands custody or possession of any other with their knowledge privity or direction what bonds or other writings do they know believe or have heard were sealed by the said Geo Cressener and Jas Brockwell each to the other concerning the administration of the personal estate of the said testator and what are the contents and conditions thereof and who were witnesses to the same and whether the said Jn Cressener and Math Stapleton and Mary his wife or any of them have seen any such writings or bonds or have any of them in their hands or custody and do they know of any in the hands custody or possession of any others and of whom and whether Jonathan Clarke brother of your orators Wm and Edm did now die before he attained his age of twenty one years and whether the said Mary Nordon was to receive 5li yearly interest of the 100li bequeathed unto her and whether what money was paid unto her was not paid upon that account and receipts taken to that purpose and may answer all and singular the premises whereby your orators Edm Clarke and Robt Warren may receive 20li apiece being the remainder of their respective legacies of 40li with damage for the same sum and that your orators Wm Clarke and Edm Clarke may receive 20li apiece for their share of the legacy of their brother Jonathan with damage of the same since due and that the 100li bequeathed to the said Mary Nordon may be divided between your orators and oratrixes according to the will of the said Edm Potter with damage for the same since due and that orators and oratrixes may have such illegible text in the premises as is agreeable to equity and good conscience may it please your lordship to grant unto your orators and oratrixes a writ of subpoena to be directed to Jn Cressener Math Stapleton and Mary his wife etc W Motte Nayler