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

25.11.4Jas1 (Tuesday 25 November 1606)

document 19201653

answer of Robt Cobb (formula of protestation) says that hearing that Wm Edes and Mary his wife Wm Strutt Jn Smith Edw Smith Robt Peartree Jn Sillitoe and Dan Rand and others with them namely Francis Wright of Earls Colne shoemaker and others had on saturday and sunday the 17.5.last 18.5.last with force and strong hands entered into the mill and lands belonging and driven and put forth Sam Diglett the elder then farmer of the mill from Rich Harlakenden they with force held and detained possession of the mill from Diglett he Cobb being then servant to Rich Harlakenden as he had been to him and his father many years before did on 18.5.last in the absence of his master being then in London repair to mr Thos Waldgrave esq justice of the peace for Essex living near in Earls Colne and told him how Wm Edes and his wife Mary Wm Strutt Edw Smith Robt Peartree Jn Sillitoe Dan Rand and Francis Wright had forcibly entered into the mill and on the behalf of his master asked mr Waldgrave to do execution of your majesty's laws in removing of the said force mr Waldgrave seemed very willing to meddle or deal with matter of that nature himself and asked Cobb to go to Thos Gardiner sir knight justice of the peace for Essex and tell him of the forced entry and ask Gardiner to come with him to remove them Cobb did this and sir Thos Gardiner told him he would have been ready to have joined mr Waldgrave but he was then very ill at ease and prescribed by a physician to enter into a course of physic at this answer Cobb returned to mr Waldgrave and told him the answer of sir Thos Gardiner and entreated him to undertake the business himself on telling him these things mr Waldgrave determined to come the next day to Earls Colne himself to view the force and appoint a certain time of his purpose to be there namely eight am the next day monday 19.5. and directed a warrant to the constables of Earls Colne to attend him at the time and place aforesaid to do and execute what seemed fit because mr Waldgrave was to deal with a matter of that moment alone and lest he should overslip himself in anything in his proceeding as he said to Cobb he willed Cobb to go to mr Tiffin esq ancient counsellor at law living near Earls Colne entreating him to take pains to meet mr Waldgrave at Earls Colne so as to be present at the performing of the above service and advise and direct him in his lawful proceedings in the view and removing of the above force so Cobb did this telling mr Tiffin of mr Waldgrave's purpose and request and mr Tiffin agreed to meet mr Waldgrave next day accordingly so mr Waldgrave and mr Tiffin on the monday morning of 19.5. at about eight or nine in the forenoon came to Earls Colne and their coming being seen by some of the people in the millhouse Francis Wright and one Tim a shoemaker departed presently mr Waldgrave willed Cobb and Sam Diglett to go to the mill to see if there were any set there keeping the possession and so Cobb and Diglett went to the mill and finding the door shut one of them knocked at it and Wm Edes who was inside cried out presently in outrageous manner "murder murder" whereas no force or violence was either offered or intended to him by either Cobb or Diglett neither of them having any weapons with which to hurt him mr Waldgrave and mr Tiffin attended with Thos Plombe and Nich Leffingwell their servants and Thos Harlakenden accompanying them followed and came to the mill presently after Diglett and Cobb and mr Waldgrave coming to the door of thee millhouse and finding the door shut called to Edes to speak with them then Edes went to the window and answered mr Waldgrave who then told him of his purpose of coming there namely that he had been informed of a forcible entry and detaining of the mill committed by Wm Edes and others and was required on his majesty's behalf to remove them from there as by law and for that purpose he had come to see if the mill was held by force or not he required Edes to open the door so that he could enter and see what force was in the house and on such view take what action the law required Edes refused to open the door and let mr Waldgrave in saying he had a good right to the mill by virtue of a lease made by the late Edw earl of Oxford deceased to Hen Pullen deceased and Mary his daughter now wife of Edes therefore he thought he might justify and maintain his possession or words to that effect mr Waldgrave replied that he did not come to dispute the right of possession nor would he impeach or hinder the same but he came on a complaint made for forcible entry and his duty was to come and see what force Edes was using to hold the mill both mr Waldgrave and mr Tiffin told Edes how he would endanger his right to possession by keeping the door shut and denying view of the mill with force at last mr Waldgrave seeing that he could not prevail on Edes with gentle persuasion used for an hour or more commanded one of the constables of the town who was present to go into the town and bring down some to assist in the entering of the premises who went accordingly the said constable being gone and mr Waldgrave retiring from the door of the mill Edes came out voluntarily and told mr Waldgrave that if he would himself go into the mill he might which mr Waldgrave refused to do for fear of danger then Cobb made the offer on behalf of Rich Harlakenden his master that if Edes would quietly leave and give up the possession of the mill to Sam Diglett the farmer of Harlakenden of it and go to London and show the supposed lease of the premises to the witnesses named in the lease and that they the witnesses would declare on oath justify that the lease was a good one duly obtained and made Edes should after such proof and showing quietly have the possession again and enjoy the lease without any further suit or trouble from Rich Harlakenden and Thos Harlakenden being then present undertook the performance of the offer on behalf of his brother Edes accepted this offer very willingly and quietly allowed Diglett to enter the millhouse and so mr Waldgrave mr Tiffin Thos Harlakenden and Cobb leaving Diglett there went to dinner at the house of Rich Harlakenden while they were there at dinner the said Diglett coming to them complained that Edes contrary to his promise made in the presence of mr Waldgrave mr Tiffin and others by the instigation of some evilly disposed persons then assembled had refused to depart from the mill and with force detained it and required relief of the said justice on his behalf after dinner mr Waldgrave mr Tiffin mr Harlakenden Cobb and some others whose names Cobb does not remember went back to the mill and finding Edes inside with some others demanded of him why he did not depart according to his former agreement Edes answered that the lease he now had of the mill was his greatest source of living and maintenance and it made him unwilling to depart from the possession or words to that effect mr Waldgrave and mr Tiffin telling him that the offer made by Rich Harlakenden would be well and truly observed they thought if he would submit himself to it and that thereby many suits and troubles would be avoided Edes seemed very well satisfied and demanding of Diglett recompense for some glass from a window of the millhouse which he said was his for which Diglett paid him 2s as Cobb now remembers Edes and his company departed and left the possession of the mill quietly to Sam Diglett the elder touching the supposed forging of the counterpart of the lease of the mill Chalkney Mill as by the bill Cobb says that as he thinks the late Edw de Veer earl of Oxford deceased being seised in his demesne as of fee or fee tail of the mill and lands and meadows usually let with it did by lawful conveyance in the year of 34Eliz1 about sell or convey to Rich Harlakenden amongst divers other things the said watermill called Chalkney Mill Cobb says that a short time after the purchase he came to serve Roger Harlakenden esq father of Rich and saw in Roger's custody one writing purporting the counterpane of the indenture of the said lease made by the late earl of Oxford to Thos Cocke as in the bill bearing date 10.12.27Eliz1 lease for twenty one years from michaelmas 4li per annum the rent having been paid to Rich Harlakenden since his purchase of the property until a year or two past Rich Harlakenden finding that according to the counterpane in his hands the time of the lease ended in michaelmas.3Jas1 the day after michaelmas in that year required Cobb his servant to attend him to the mill to demand possession of it which Cobb did coming to the mill they found Wm Forde mentioned in the bill in the mill to whom Rich Harlakenden made known the purpose of his coming there and demanded to enter the term of Wm Forde being then ended as Rich Harlakenden then thought Forde answered that his lease extended for another year but did not show forth the lease to them pretending that it was in the custody of another man then mr Harlakenden showed forth the writing that he had ready to satisfy Forde that he had not come without just cause to demand possession but Forde constantly affirmed that his lease continued for another year and promised to show to Rich Harlakenden or some friends the lease to satisfy him and promising that if he could have the mill for a further year he would then leave peaceably and yield the mill to Rich Harlakenden Harlakenden seemed contented and departed at that time and as they were going from the mill another of the servants of Harlakenden whom he had appointed as Cobb thinks to bring some cattle to put into the lands of the mill in order to enter opened a gap to put the cattle in before Rich Harlakenden got to the place to stop or stay them then the cattle being put it Forde presently put them out again and the cattle being driven away Rich Harlakenden and Cobb departed also with reference to the riots routs misdemeanours etc in the bill of complaint said to be done by Cobb either by himself or with others says he is not guilty of any ready to prove Jn Josselyn