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Chancery Decrees and Orders (PRO C78/230/4 Rose Partridge widow v Rich Harlakenden)

18.10.21Jas1 (Saturday 18 October 1623)

document 18600005

Roos and wife querents versus Harlakenden esq and others defendants whereas heretofore that is to say in michaelmas term 1622 Edw Roos gentleman and Rose his wife complainants did exhibit their bill of complaint into this honourable court of chancery against Rich Harlakenden esq Jeff Cuckoke son of the said Rose by a former husband and Ralph Lunt and Prudence his wife daughter of the said Rose defendant declaring thereby that the said Rose by the name of Rose Partridge widow had theretofore viz in the term of trinity then last past exhibited her bill of complaint into this court against the said defendants thereby showing that about 27Eliz1 Jeff Cuckoke her late husband deceased being lawfully seised in his demesne as of fee at the will of the lord according to the custom of the several manors of Earls Colne and Earls Colne priory of and in certain customary lands and tenements holden of the said several manors by copies of court rolls of the yearly value of 30li viz of the said manor of Earls Colne one messuage or tenement and 26a of lands 3a1r of meadow called Curds whereof one grove called Curdes Grove containing by estimation 12a divided into two closes was parcel and of three closes of land containing by estimation 15a the one called Barmanfield and the other Rounces and the third Pellsland lying in Barmansfield and of the said manor called Earls Colne priory certain lands and tenements one garden two crofts of land containing by estimation 6a called Wrongs and another parcel of land called Cogges Grove containing by estimation 2a in Earls Colne aforesaid by his last will and testament in writing devised all the said lands and tenements unto the complainant Rose being then his wife and to her heirs forever towards the bringing up of his children and payment of every of his children 20li apiece being eleven and 40s per annum during her life and his freehold land he gave to his eldest son and his heirs being of the yearly value of 20marks and according to the custom of the said several manors did respectively surrender the said customary lands and tenements into the hands of the lord or lords of the said several manors to the uses mentioned in his said will and within short time after died so seised after whose death the said surrenders were at the next courts holden for the said several manors duly presented and the said complainant Rose paid her fines and was into all the said customary lands and tenements admitted according to the effect of the said last will and surrenders and by force thereof entered into the customary land and premises and was thereof lawfully seised in her demesne as of fee at the will of the lord according to the custom of the said several man ors and took the rents issues and profits thereof and that the complainant Rose being so seised about a year after the death of the said Cuckoke took to husband one Robt Partridge then lately deceased upon which marriage one Robt Partridge father of the said husband entered into a bond of a great penalty to certain of her friends to assure her lands for her jointure of the yearly value of 20li which after the marriage effected he refused to perform unless the said Rose would assure her said copyhold lands called Curdes and other the premises holden of the said manor of Earls Colne to her said husband and his heirs which she utterly refused whereupon her said husband acquainted her that he intended to procure a formal copy to be made purporting that she the said Rose had surrendered the said lands and premises holden of the said manor of Earls Colne to the use of her said husband and his heirs to the end that his father might be thereby drawn to make her a jointure according to his said agreement and bond protesting to the said complainant Rose that no further use should be made thereof and that afterwards her said husband Robt Partridge acquainted Roger Harlakenden esq then lord of the said manor of Earls Colne with his intent and entreated him that his clerk might draw and engross such a formal copy as aforesaid which he assented unto and the same was drawn and engrossed accordingly as though it had been in truth duly surrendered which indeed was not and her said husband showed the same to his said father who for that the re was neither hand of the lord nor steward misliked the same and would do nothing upon sight thereof wherewith the said Roger Harlakenden being again acquainted and his hand desired he refused it unless the complainant Rose would indeed make such a surrender into some of the tenants hands which she refused to do unless she might be sure the same might at the next court after be duly surrendered back to her and her heirs which her said then husband Robt Partridge faithfully promised to perform yet the complainant Rose not satisfied with his promise and reposing trust in the said Roger Harlakenden and the defendant Rich Harlakenden his then son and heir apparent and since lord of the said manor and at that time lord of the manor of Earls Colne priory and knowing that nothing could be done to her prejudice without their privity entreated them to advise her therein who taking the trust upon them encouraged the complainant Rose to make such a surrender before some of the tenants promising to take such course as the same should be surrendered back to her and her heirs according to her said husband's promise and that in show of performance thereof the said Roger Harlakenden and Rich Harlakenden or one of them took a bond of the said Partridge her said husband of about 300li to that effect in confidence thereof she the said complainant Rose together with her said husband did surrender the premises holden of the said manor of Earls Colne out of court into some of the tenants hands to be presented at the next court to the use of her said husband and his heirs which surrender at the next court after was presented and the said Robt Partridge her said husband admitted accordingly and then or shortly after her said husband Partridge surrendered as well the premises holden of the manor of Earls Colne as the premises held of the manor of Earls Colne priory by way of mortgage unto one Gurling and Salter which the said Roger and the defendant Rich Harlakenden gave way unto and contrary to the said trust by themselves or their steward of the said several manors admitted the said Gurling and Salter thereunto after which the money pensionable# by the said mortgage not being paid at the days appointed the premises became forfeited to the said Gurling and Salter and continued so three or four years who notwithstanding were never in possession of any part of the premises for finding that the complainant Rose had made no surrender at all of the premises holden of the manor of Earls Colne priory nor no surrender of the rest of the premises to pass the inheritance forth of herself but the said surrender made upon the trust aforesaid which being made out of court into the tenants hands by her being a feme covert could not be good in law combined with the said Roger and the defendant Rich Harlakenden and others their then servants and steward to defeat the complainant Rose of the premises and thereby procured divers untrue entries to be made in the court rolls of both the said manors by some of which entries it was supposed that the complainant Rose had surrendered all or most part of the said copyhold premises to the use of her said husband Partridge and his heirs by some others which he had surrendered only to the use of him and her and her heirs but after two or three years the said Gurling and Salter were glad to get as much of their money again as they could and to that end the better to colour their said untrue entries they the said Gurling and Salter surrendered the premises to her said husband Partridge and his heirs and that at divers courts after holden for the said several manors proclamations were made that her said husband Partridge should come and be admitted to the premises and pay his fine or that the same should be seized into the lord's hands which her said husband refused assuring he never had any inheritable estate therein or any parts thereof other than in right of the said complainant or so long as they should live together whereupon the said Roger and Rich Harlakenden did at the last seize all the premises and made a lease thereof to try the title and ejection firme was thereupon brought against her said husband Partridge and an action likewise brought against him upon the said bond of 300li by the said Roger and Rich Harlakenden or one of them without the privity of the complainant Rose and thereby forced the said Partridge to a composition and drew from him a great sum of money and 6a of wood ground parcel of the said grove called Curdes Grove holden of the said manor of Earls Colne to be conveyed to the use of the said Roger Harlakenden and his heirs without the privity of the said Rose delivered up the said bond of 300li so taken in trust to her use as aforesaid and the better to colour their said proceedings he the said Roger Harlakenden taking upon him to be seised of the premises holden of the said manor of Earls Colne by colour of the said seizure of some surrender from her said husband Partridge granted all premises except the said 6a to the complainant Rose for her life with remainders to the defendant Jeff Cuckoke and Prudence wife of the defendant Lunt and divers others of the children of the complainant Rose by her said former husband Cuckoke and their heirs whereof there were living only the said defendant Jeff and Prudence the rest being dead without issue all which notwithstanding the complainant Rose continued still in possession of all the premises and set workmen to fell the wood upon the said 6a whom the said Roger Harlakenden arrested whereupon the complainant Rose being then a feme covert not able to defend her right proffered her petition to the then lord chancellor of England to be relieved of the premises who was pleased to direct his honourable letters to sir Wm Waldgrave knight and Edw Grimston esq both since deceased to hear and determine the cause if they could or else to certify but the said Roger Harlakenden understanding thereof proffered his petition to his lordship desiring that sir Jn Tindall knight and Wm Wiseman knight be joined with them which being granted the matter was heard before them at large who certified the complaint of the said Rose to be just and that ever after the complainant Rose and her said husband Partridge quietly enjoyed the said 6a and all the rest of the premises so long as the said Roger Harlakenden lived and after his death until the defendant Rich Harlakenden lord of the said several manors compounded with the said complainant Rose for the said 6a and took from her a surrender thereof to him and his heirs and he ever after quietly enjoyed the same by virtue thereof and divers times they offered to buy the rest of the premises of the said complainant Rose or that if she would be at some charge he would set all things right according to her said claim and further showed by her said bill that although she the said complainant Rose had never made any surrender whereby to pass away the inheritance of the premises or any part thereof except the said 6a save only the said surrender made upon trust and out of court that albeit the said defendant Rich Harlakenden well knoweth the same was done upon the persuasions and promises of him and his said father and upon the said security by them taken yet she was informed that the said defendant Rich Harlakenden of purpose to discredit her title to the premises and make it seem litigious gave out in speeches the complainant had no good estate in the premises or any part thereof longer than for her life the remainder to her children by her first husband and their heirs for that as he affirmed he had then found out a court roll of the said manor of Earls Colne made about .9.31Eliz1 which testified that she together with her said husband Partridge did in open court she being then solely examined according to the custom surrendered the premises holden of the said manor of Earls Colne or a great part thereof to the use of her said husband Partridge and his heirs and that the lord of the same court granted the same accordingly and likewise gave out that the complainant Rose had lawfully surrendered the premises holden of the said manor of Earls Colne priory to the use of the said Partridge and his heirs whereas she never gave away surrender at all of the premises holden of that manor or of the rest of the premises holden of the manor of Earls Colne other than that before acknowledged which entries if any such were counterfeit and further gave out that the complainant Rose had no greater estate therein than for her life only the remainder in the defendant Cuckoke and Prudence and their heirs whereby they the said defendants Jeff Cuckoke Ralph Lunt and Prudence his wife were encouraged to claim the inheritance thereof for which was made for that the complainant Rose was aged and like to grow into want and be enforced of necessity to sell the premises and for that the said counterfeit court rolls might in time gain the reputation of the ones to her disherison for which she had no remedy but in this court and therefore by her said bill of complaint she had prayed to be relieved in this court and process of subpoena to be directed to the said defendants to appear in this court and answer the said bill as by the said former bill remaining in this court might appear to which bill all the said defendants had answered and the said complainant Rose before any proceeding therein had about november then instant taken to husband the complainant Edw Roos whereby the said bill who by the rules of this court abated and her title and proofs in equity to the copyhold lands and tenements in question then invested in both the said complainants therefore for that the said action was proceeded towards a hearing the said complainant prayed that the said recited bill of complaint and the several answers of the said defendants and all other proceeding thereupon might be revived and stand in the same state as they were at the time of the intermarriage of the said complainants or at any time before and that the defendants might answer the said bill and accordingly process was awarded against the said defendants but the said defendants made no answer to the said bill of revivor relying on the answers made to the said former bill the said defendant Rich Harlakenden having by his answer set forth that Cuckoke former husband of the complainant Rose was seised in fee by copy of court roll at the will of the lord according to the custom of the said several manors of all the lands in the bill mentioned except Curdes Grove containing by estimation 12a which he did take to be no part of the said tenement called Curdes or of the said 26a of land nor was contained in any grant or copy which he had seen and had heard that the same was anciently parcel of the demesnes of the said manor of Earls Colne and that he the said defendant son and heir of the said Roger Harlakenden esq was lord of the manors of Earls Colne and Colne Priory mentioned by the complainants bill and that the said Cuckoke by his will dated about .1.1585 did devise the said lands and tenements to the complainant Rose and her heirs and all his lands and tenements in Birch during her life and after to Jn his eldest son and his heirs and other lands and tenements worth 50li and the most part of his goods and chattels amounting to a great value and to his other children being eight or nine in number he gave very little but committed them to the education of the complainant Rose in whom as it seemed he reposed all his trust and surrendered the said copyhold lands to the use of his will and died and that shortly after his death the complainant Rose married the said Robt Partridge making no provision for Cuckoke's children but as this defendant hath heard had suffered some of them to beg and the rest to live very miserably and beat in them extreme and unnatural manner and that the complainant Rose had then of late told the defendant that never a child she had by the said Partridge or Cuckoke should ever be a penny the better for any of her lands and that if she did not sell them she would rather give them to some sufficient man that should well enough keep them or any profit of them from her children and that in .12.28Eliz1 the said surrenders were presented and the complainant Rose admitted tenant according to the said device and surrenders and at the same court surrendered the same to the use of the said Robt Partridge her then husband and herself and her heirs and they were admitted accordingly and that he heard and thought it to be true that shortly after the complainant Rose and her husband Partridge surrendered the premises holden of the manor of Colne Priory to the use of her said husband and his heirs but he had no court rolls of that time belonging to that manor which neither his said father nor he did purchase till 34Eliz1 and that he had heard that the complainant procured such a formal copy to be made upon such pretence as in the bill was alleged and that Robt Partridge the father disliked thereof and refused to make assurance of her jointure according as was likewise alleged and further said that he had heard the complainant Rose and her husband Partridge acquainted the said Roger Harlakenden with the said Robt Partridge the father's refusal and requested his favour and furtherance and that thereupon it was at last agreed that the complainant Rose and her said then husband should surrender the said lands and tenements to the use of her said then husband and his heirs and so to draw the former estate for life the better to enable her to help her children which the said Roger Harlakenden much regarded and thereupon forgave the fine and lent them some money towards the discharge of the steward's fees which as he thought was never repaid again and that accordingly the surrender was made and the said Robt Partridge her husband entered into a bond of 300li to the said Roger Harlakenden conditioned to surrender the premises to the complainant Rose and her heirs and that the said Robt Partridge her said husband being admitted according to the said surrender did mortgage the lands holden of both the said manors to the said Gurling and Salter for 138li and as he had heard became bound in 300li to warrant the title and that the surrender of the lands holden of the manor of Earls Colne was duly presented on 5.1.32Eliz1 and that 12.6.32Eliz1 the said Gurling and Salter were admitted and did their fealty and paid their fines and enjoyed the said lands by virtue thereof until about 33Eliz1 and that he hath heard that about 33Eliz1 the said Partridge the son repurchased the said lands and tenements of Gurling and Salter for 160li who thereupon surrendered the same to the use of him and his heirs and that he the said Partridge the son refused to be admitted or to pay his fine whereupon the said Roger Harlakenden seized the said lands for a forfeiture and tried his title in the ejection firme against the said Partridge and had a verdict judgement execution and possession in the 35Eliz1 and that he had heard that having the said suit at the common law Partridge the son with the consent of the complainant Rose exhibited a bill in this court against the said Roger Harlakenden who put in his answer and thereupon he proceeded no further and that after she exhibited a petition to the lords of the council which the said Roger likewise answered and that thereupon that suit was likewise relinquished and that he had heard that the said Roger Harlakenden at the entreaty of the complainant Rose and the said Partridge her husband referred the matter to one mr Tiffin who ordered that the said Partridge should be admitted to the said lands and tenements to him and his heirs according to the said surrenders made by the said Gurling and Salter and that he should surrender the same all but 6a of Curdes Grove to the use of the complainant Rose then his wife for her life the remainder to her seven children by her husband Cuckoke and to pay for both the admittance 14li for a fine and that he should surrender the said 6a to the use of the said Roger Harlakenden and to his heirs who then claimed the whole grove being 12a as demesne of his manor and the said Roger Harlakenden to deliver up the said bond of 300li which order as the said defendant had heard was mutually performed on all parts respectively the performance whereof as the admittance of the said Partridge and surrenders thereby ordered appeareth by the court rolls and the complainant Rose by her said husband came and prayed to be admitted to her estate for term of life and was admitted accordingly and by virtue thereof enjoyed the said lands and tenements as he did take it and that whereas the complainant Rose suggested that she was not examined upon the surrender made to the use of her husband Partridge and his heirs the said defendant did think that the said surrender was made both by her and her said husband in open court and that she was duly examined by the steward or else there needed no bond of her husband Partridge for reassurance neither could the said Partridge safely have become bound to the said Gurling and Salter as aforesaid and referred himself to the court rolls whereby it appeared that she was examined and to a former answer of the said Roger Harlakenden in this court concurring therewith and that as he thought the said Roger Harlakenden was careful for the goods of the children of the said Cuckoke and did nothing but that was fitting for an honest man and lord of the manor and further said that he knew not that there was any petition exhibited to the lord chancellor Ellesmere to any such effect as in the bill and that he knew not anything of his own knowledge of the matter contained in the bill but such as had been done since he came to be lord of the said manor of Earls Colne being about nineteen or twenty years then past and confessed that the complainant Rose had surrendered the 6a of wood to the use of him and his heirs after her decease or to such effect and had entered into a bond of 20li for his quiet enjoying thereof during her life and said that by force of all his titles he held the same and that the consideration which he gave for the surrender and bond did not amount to more than 10li which he was willing to give for his quiet not then well knowing how his title stood and that the complainant Rose had not any quiet possession of the said 6a of wood for her workmen were arrested by the said Roger Harlakenden for felling wood thereupon and that the said Roger Harlakenden lived not long after and that as he thought the entry of the court rolls was true and so were all other the entries concerning the lands in the bill mentioned all which he had offered to show to the said complainant paying the ordinary fees and denied that any trust was reposed in him by the complainant Rose as in the bill was alleged or that he made any seizure of the lands or any lease or bought any ejection firme or knew anything of those proceedings and confessed that it was true that after the complainant Rose had surrendered the said 6a of wood to the said defendant she offered to sell him the rest of the premises and that he then not well acquainted with his title entered into some communication with her but wishing her that a good portion of the purchase money might go amongst Cuckock's children she answered that never a child she had by either of her husbands should be a penny a better for her lands and thereupon he the said defendant gave her an absolute answer he would not buy them if he might have them for half the worth and desisted from further speech and caused the rest of the bill as by the said bill and answers remaining of record in this court to which answers the complainant having replied and witnesses being examined on both sides and published according to the rules of this court a day was appointed for hearing of the said cause in this court on which day for as much as upon the hearing and debating of the matter in the presence of the counsel learned on both sides for and touching the lands complained by the complainant's bill the court being assisted by mr justice Jones at the hearing thereof there appeared no matter of equity to relieve the complaint it is therefore this present term of michaelmas that is to say on saturday 18.10.21Jas1 by the right honourable and right reverend father in god Jn lord bishop of Lincoln lord keeper of the great seal of England and the authority of the said high court of chancery ordered adjudged and decreed that the matter of the complainant's bill be from henceforth clearly and absolutely dismissed out of this court