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

19.1.3Jas2 (Thursday 19 January 1688)

document 17201023

the joint and several answers of Math Stapleton and Mary his wife two of the defendants to the bill of complaint of Edw Warren Robt Warren Wm Cooke and Ann his wife Rich Clitter and Eliz his wife Wm Clarke and Edm Clarke complainants the said defendants saving to themselves now and at all times hereafter all advantages of exception to the manifold errors and incertainties and insufficiencies of the complainants said bill of complaint for answer thereunto or so much thereof that doth in anyways concern these defendants to make answer unto they say they do not know but believe it may be true that the said Edm Potter in the bill named did make his last will and testament in writing as the complainants in their said bill do set forth and did thereby give and devise unto the said complainants and other his grandchildren several legacies of money therein mentioned and they do not know but that it may be true that the said testator did give unto his daughter Mary Norden in the bill named 100li on the condition in the bill mentioned that his executors should pay her 5li every year during her life for the interest thereof and that if she should happen to die without children that the said 100li should be equally divided between his daughter Eliz Boosby's children and Jonathan Clarke's (children) these defendants do not know but it may be true that the testator's intent was that if any of his grandchildren and children of his daughter Boosby should happen to die before their age of twenty one years that then his or their part so dying should be to the longest livers to be equally divided between then and these defendants do believe that the said testator did make and ordain Geo Cressener gentleman and Jas Brockwell in the bill named executors to his last will and testament as in the said bill is mentioned but whether the will was made at or about the time it bears date or when made these defendants do not know and the said defendant Math saith that he did never know the said testator Potter but was a mere stranger to him and also to the matter of executorship of the said Potter till his marriage with the said other defendant Mary and these defendants further say they did not know the testator at the time of publishing the said will was of sound mind and they believe that after the publication thereof he died but how long after it they know not neither do they know that the personal estate whereof the testator died possessed was of the value in the bill set forth nor do they know or believe that the said Geo Cressener and the said Jas Brockwell did prove the said will in common form as in the bill is alleged or otherwise howsoever but they do believe that after the said testator's death viz on about 4.6.1668 the said will was proved at Kelveden in the county of Essex by the said Jas Brockwell only who was one of the executors in the said will without the said other executor Geo Cressener and these defendants say they do believe that the said Jas Brockwell did possess himself of some part of the testator's personal estate to the value of 330li7s6d and no more that they can by any papers discover and believe he disposed the same by payment of legacies and otherwise relating to the executorship of the said Potter as hereafter the said defendants in their answer do set forth and these defendants say they do not know of what the said personal estate did consist nor what was the value of it and they do deny that the said Jas Brockwell did share any part of the personal estate with the other executor Geo Cressener as in the bill is very untruly charged neither did these defendants know whether any inventory of the said testator's personal estate was exhibited in the ecclesiastical court they being no way concerned in or about the same and these defendants do not know that the said executors did mutually seal bonds or other writings one to the other to the purpose in the bill mentioned or any other purpose whatsoever but they believe they might so do because that after the death of the said Jas Brockwell these defendants did find an obligation mentioned to be made from the said Geo Cressener to the said Jas Brockwell bearing date in or about 26.5.1668 with a condition thereunto annexed the tenor of which said bond and condition mentioned in a schedule hereunto annexed and subscribed Geo Cressener and sealed and delivered in the presence of Thos Lenton Thos Walford with this further addition viz to such legacies as and these words viz shall appoint were interlined before the sealing and delivery hereof Jn Owers as in and by the said obligation and condition ready to be produced into this honourable court whereunto for more certainty relation being had may fully appear and these defendants humbly pray that the same may be accepted and taken as part of their answer to the complainants bill these defendants do not know that each or either of the executors in the testator's will named did receive several or any great sums of money for interest of the money that they had of the testator's estate before the legacies became due and payable as in the bill is alleged nor do they know when the legacies first became due and payable to any of the said children in the bill named and these defendants do believe that some years after the death of the testator viz in or about .11.1673 the said Jas Brockwell died intestate without that that he made the said defendant Mary his executrix and she this defendant Mary saith that on or about 19.11.1673 letters of administration of the goods and chattels of the said Jas Brockwell late of Bocking deceased were granted to her this defendant Mary his widow and relict by Rich Colbrand doctor of divinity and dean of the deanery of Bocking in Essex as in and by the said letters of administration ready to be produced into this honourable court may at large appear and she the said defendant Mary after the death of the said Jas Brockwell that is to say in or about .7.1674 did ca use an inventory to be made of all the goods and chattels and personal estate of her said husband the total value whereof did amount unto the sum of 74li13s6d which was the full and true value of the same as she believes an account whereof she this defendant doth herein particularly set forth an inventory of the goods and chattels of Jas Brockwell of Bocking Essex yeoman taken and appraised by Jn Goodwin and Dan Clarke 27.7.1674 in the hall one press cupboard one table one jack one pair of cobirons firepan and tongs two spits and other small things 3li in the best chamber item for one joined bedstead with a feather bed and all the appurtenances one livery cupboard and other necessaries there 14li in the little chamber item two bedsteads one feather bed one flock bed and the appurtenances and one shelf and other small necessaries there 6li in the buttery item for one hogshead one beer stall six kettles two porridge pots and other small things there 4li10s item for a parcel of linen 5li and for a parcel of pewter in the closet 2li in the shop item for an old counter a meal tub and scales and weights a small parcel of cheese and butter and some other small things 5li item for wood in the yard 2li item for three cows two horses a cart and a plough 14li10s and of corn and hay in the barn 4li13s6d item in debts due to him 2li item for the wearing apparel ready money and plate 12li and she this defendant doth b elieve that her said husband did not die possessed of any more or other goods or personal estate than what is contained in the said inventory herein set forth under the hands of the said Jn Goodwin and Dan Clarke the apprisers and ready to be produced in this honourable court whereunto for more certainty thereof she refereth herself and the said defendant Math Stapleton saith that true it is that about thirteen years since he and the said other defendant Mary relict of the said Jas Brockwell did intermarry and these defendants since their intermarriage have paid several debts which were due and owing by the said Jas Brockwell at his death to the several persons hereunder named that is to say to Jn Baron of Bocking miller 10li due to his wife by bond to Wm Newman 10li to Walt Wells 20li to Jn Clarke 20li to mr Isaac Brock of Bocking 18li to mr Mann and mr Jn Aylett for rent of lands which Jas Brockwell hired of them 12li and to mr Milford of Braintree for rent of lands the said Jas hired of him 3li besides several other small debts that were owing by the said Jas Brockwell at his death to several other persons and do amount to 4li or 5li at the least which were paid and discharged by these defendants all which said sums of money were paid by these defendants for the said intestate's debts owing by him at his death do amount unto 83li and upwards which far exceeds the value of the intestate Jas Brockwell's personal estate mentioned in the said inventory these defendants do deny that a great part of the personal estate of the testator Potter came to the hands of them or either of them after their intermarriage but they do confess that the defendant Mary after the death of her said husband Jas Brockwell did receive 40li and no more of the personal estate of the said testator Potter which said money and more the said defendant Math has paid as follows to Wm Cooke and his wife two of the complainants in the bill named 20li as by receipt under their hands ready to be produced into this honourable court may appear and to one Eliz Warren 20li as by receipt under her hand and seal ready to be produced into this honourable court may appear and to mr Thos Man an attorney at law for charged of suit against one mr Chaplin a debtor upon bond to the testator Potter and against several others his debtors 11li16s2d and the said defendant Math paid the said Wm Man 3li6s more for other charges of suits against other debtors of the said testator all which said sums of money by the defendant Math so paid as aforesaid do exceed the monies by these defendants or either of them received of the testator's personal estate of which they most humbly pray allowance to be made unto them by this honourable court and these defendants say as before and do believe that the said Jas Brockwell as executor of the said Potter did possess himself of several bonds for money owing to the testator and did receive several sums of money belonging to his estate amounting to the sum of 330li7s6d as they have herein above mentioned and no more but these defendants do find by several receipts and otherwise that the said Jas Brockwell did dispose and lay out all the said monies by his received as aforesaid to several legatees of the said testator as namely to one Wm Boosby and Eliz his wife 33li6s3d as by their receipt under their hands and seals dated 26.5.1668 ready to be produced in this honourable court may appear to Jonathan Clarke 30li to Jas Newman 18li16s to Xian Gooding and Mary Jn and Eliz Gooding to the Rushe's 10li and to Edw Warren 20li and paid more unto several other legatees of the testator Potter and upon other accounts for him as appears by several writings and papers 201li19s1d and these defendants say they did not know Jonathan Clarke in the bill named nor when he died nor his age nor that his legacy of 40li according to the testator's will is become payable to the complainants Wm Clarke and Edm Clarke his brothers and these defendants say that they do not know that the said Mary Norden died about the time of the bill for that purpose mentioned or when she died nor do they know that she died without any children as in he bill is alleged and if the said legacy of 100li to her given by the testator in his will is now become payable to the complainants in their bill yet these defendants humbly conceive with the favour of this honourable court that they shall not be charged with the payment of any part of it for that they have not in their hand any part of the said testator's personal estate but such part of it as is unadministered they do believe is in the hands of Jn Cressener in the bill named who as these defendants hear hath taken upon him the execution of the testator Potter his will in the right of the said Geo Cressener his father who was one of the executors thereof and these defendants say that sometime after the death of the said Jas Brockwell who died about fourteen years since the said Geo Cressener his coexecutor did prove the will of the said testator and did take upon him the execution thereof possessed himself of the testator's personal estate not administered by the said Jas Brockwell as they believe for he did demand and receive of this defendant Math several obligations which the said Jas Brockwell had in his custody at his death which belonged to the testator's estate particularly one obligation from Jn Burton of Earls Colne another obligation from mr Chaplin of Halstead another obligation from one     Upcher and two or three obligations more but by whom they were made this defendant doth not remember neither can this defendant Math set forth the time when the said obligations or any of them were made or the sums contained in any of the said obligations and these defendants have heard and do believe that the said mr Geo Cressener had in his hands in the lifetime of the testator and at the time of the death of the said Jas Brockwell the sum of 150li of money of the said testator Potter and these defendants do deny that they refuse to pay to the complainants what is respectively due unto them according to the will of the said Edm Potter or that they put off the payment to them with such intent as in the bill is very untruly suggested or to any intent or purpose whatsoever and these defendants further say that they do believe that the said Mary Norden was to receive 5li yearly for her life for the interest of the said 100li bequeathed unto her but they do not know how much money the said Mary Norden or Hen Norden her husband have received for interest of the said 100li but these defendants do know and say that the said mr Geo Cressener for many years in his lifetime did send to the defendants yearly 50s for one half years interest of the said 100li which said 50s these defendants did so long as they did receive it pay to the said Hen and Mary Norden as appears by the said several receipts under the hand of the said Hen and Mary Norden ready to be produced to this honourable court whereunto for more certainty they refer themselves but since the death of the said mr Geo Cressener the 50s for the half years interest for the said 100li or any part thereof hath not been paid to these defendants or either of them by his executor or by any other person whatsoever and these defendants do believe that what money was paid to the said Mary Norden or her husband was paid only upon the account of interest for the said 100li and receipts taken to that purpose and these defendants do deny all contrivances and combinations with the other defendants in the bill named or with any other person or persons whatsoever to the intent and purpose in the bill mentioned or to any other intent or purpose whatsoever without that that any other matter or thing etc the reply of the said Math Stapleton and Mary his wife at Braintree 19.1.3Jas2 before us Nat Plume and Robt Brent Math Stapleton mark Mary Stapleton (on right bottom) Lyngwood (inserted)