Star Chamber (PRO STAC8/289/30 Eliz and Francis Veer v Rich Harlakenden)

25.11.4Jas1 (Tuesday 25 November 1606)

document 19201289

answer of Rich Harlakenden (preamble as formula) says that it is true that the late earl of Oxford deceased Edw de Veer was in his lifetime lawfully seised as of fee or fee tail of the watermill Colneford Mill also of the garden Quilletts sometime garden on the north of the mill sometime part of Firmary Garden with all buildings etc by his indenture of lease dated 17.5.27Eliz1 made between him and Hen Pullen let the mill etc to Hen as by Thos Pullen was lately held and occupied the earl to have half the fish from day of indenture for twenty one years paying 40s4d at michaelmas and annunciation in equal portions reentry for non payment as in the counterpart in the hands of Harlakenden and ready to be shown to the court Hen Pullen was possessed with the earl to hold reversion in or about 7.2.34Eliz1 the earl demised the reversion amongst other lands to Harlakenden and he was seised and from time to time he received the rent from Hen Pullen Hen Pullen died and the premises went to Wm Edes married to Mary the daughter of Hen Pullen he entered but by what manner of conveyance Harlakenden does not know Wm Edes being in his conscience possessed did bargain sell and assign and set to Wm Strutt both the indenture between the earl of Oxford and Hen Pullen and all his right and title and possession and term of years Strutt entered the reversion to Harlakenden Strutt became bound to Wm Edes for 40li to keep the possession of the premises till he was evicted but whether the condition of this bond was that the premises should be kept for the possession of Edes he does not know says he has not seen this bond nor heard it read but if any condition as above was in the bond says that there was at that time controversy touching the interest of the lease between Wm Edes and Mary on one part and Wm Clarke and Jane his wife on the other and nothing to do with the reversion or his title to it says that Hen Pullen attorn tenant to Harlakenden and Pullen in lifetime and after his death Edes and Strutt continued to pay rent and acknowledged Harlakenden their landlord and he never heard of any other lease except the one to Pullen for twenty one years Harlakenden being seised of the reversion as lawful owner and not knowing that the late Edw earl of Oxford had made any estate or interest to Hen Pullen and Mary his daughter now the wife of Edes of the mill to begin 1.5.1606 as in the bill is pretended so Harlakenden entered into communication with Sam Diglett the elder concerning a new lease to be made with him Diglett for twenty one years to begin at the end of the lease made by the late earl of Oxford to Hen Pullen Harlakenden and Sam Diglett the elder contracted for a new lease and by an indenture dated 12.4.2Jas1 he let the mill for twenty one years on the expiration of the earl of Oxford's lease on the payment of 24li per annum at michaelmas and annunciation paid as touching the new lease mentioned in the bill which Edes and Mary his wife say to have been made by Edw de Veer late earl of Oxford to Hen Pullen deceased and Mary long before this Harlakenden had purchased the reversion and he says that neither at the time of the purchase nor since the past twelve months he had any notice of this said lease nor was there any speech about it until a good while after Harlakenden had contracted with Sam Diglett for the lease nor any exception of the lease at the time of the purchase of the reversion from the late earl nor has Harlakenden any counterpane as he had of the original lease made with the earl and Hen Pullen and also of other leases made by the earl with other persons as soon as Harlakenden heard of the new lease he enquired who were the witnesses of it and as soon as he had the names he repaired to mr Amys justice of the peace of Hertfordshire who at the time the pretended lease was supposed to have been made was a principal officer to the earl and told him that such a lease was talked of and would be set on foot and desired mr Amys to deal plainly with him he asked him to tell him what he knew of it saying further that if it were a good lease Edes should enjoy it without cease or trouble he also told mr Amys that Math Hubberd gentleman was another witness to the lease and mr Amys replied that he did not remember any such lease and thought that it was false or forged or such words specially as Math Hubberd was at that time servant to mr Amys and never used to be a witness when the earl sealed any writings Harlakenden being denied the sight of the lease as also the witnesses he exhibited his bill (STAC8.163.9) about its forgery and other misdemeanours in this court against Wm Edes and some others to which bill the answer is pending and still being discussed Harlakenden says that it is true that the late Edw de Veer earl of Oxford was in his lifetime seised in his demesne as of fee or fee tail of Chalkney Mill and divers lands in Earls Colne as in the bill and by indenture he let the same to Thos Cock for twenty one years paying 4li per annum and Thos Cock entered till he died and after that the interest of the lease came to Florence his wife and she married Wm Forde says that Edw de Veer about 7.2.34Eliz1 conveyed amongst other lands the reversion of the above mill to Harlakenden plus appurtenances so he was seised and took the rent for about twelve years from Wm Forde as assignee of Thos Cock and so until about a year ago since which time by some evil counsel as he thinks Forde has not only denied the rest of the payments of rent but has also tried to give the title to Hen de Veer now earl of Oxford so keeping the reversion from Harlakenden so Harlakenden was forced to enter a bill at the last quarter sessions for forcible detainment of Wm Forde and others and after debate Wm Forde was found guilty of forcible detainer and a writ of restitution was awarded and Harlakenden was put in possession by the sheriff as by law Harlakenden says that in a search amongst deeds among his writings he found a counterpart of the indenture made between the late earl and Thos Cock as follows this indenture of the 9.12.27Eliz1 between the right honourable earl of Oxford and Thos Cocks servant of the earl witnesses that in consideration of the good and faithful service of Thos before this time has granted and letten to Thos Cock the mill Chalkney Mill etc late in the tenure an occupation of Robt Jolly in Earls Colne and also all the pastures and arable lands in Finchfield 6a going by the name of Gyles Land or another name late in holding or occupation of widow Hammond from michaelmas last to the end of twenty one years paying 4li per annum at michaelmas and annunciation and the said three closes 3s per annum at the same feast days per annum by this lease the term ended on michaelmas.1605 and Harlakenden thinks this counterpart to be a true one and on about 30.9.1605 he told Wm Forde of this and said his lease was ended but Forde denied this and said his lease had still one year to go Harlakenden told Forde to compare the counterpart with the indenture of lease but Forde refused so Harlakenden entered the mill as he thinks was lawful for him to do Forde ousted him and kept the premises until Harlakenden recovered it by course of law but whether the writing is a true counterpart of the lease or who drew it or engrossed it or sealed it he does not know he published this evidence which he found amongst his others thinking it to be true and as touching the riots routs forgeries misdemeanours combinations etc in the bill he says he is not guilty all of which he will be ready to prove