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Court of Wards (PRO WARD13/79 Countess of Oxford etc v: Hen Coppinger etc)

3.2.1605 (Sunday 3 February 1605)

document 20000357

the answer of Hen Coppinger clerk one of the defendants to the bill of information of Thos Hesketh etc the said defendant to answer to as much of the bill of information against him and others into this honourable court exhibited as doth concern this defendant and is material for him to answer unto in this honourable court saith that he this defendant is a stranger to all the matters contained in the said bill of information other than to a certain portion of tithes or to a certain pension arising and issuing in and out of the said town of Lavenham in the bill mentioned or out of certain lands within the said town neither can this defendant make any direct or further answer to any of the said matters to the certainty of his now remembrance otherwise than this this defendant hath heard and doth think it to be true that before and in the time of the disillusion of the said late priory of Colne in the bill mentioned there was a certain pension rent and yearly payment of 33s4d in money issuing and paid yearly out of certain lands or tithes in Lavenham aforesaid unto the said late priory of Colne and there was a certain portion of tithes allotted to be issuing out of certain lands in Lavenham for the security of the said yearly pension of 33s4d or in recompense thereof and other than that portion of tithes this defendant doth not know nor believe that anything is of right due unto his majesties said ward out of the said town of Lavenham neither doth this defendant know out of what lands or tithes the same portions or pension rent or payment of 33s4d by year or the said portion of tithes in lieu or recompense thereof is or been of right issuing due or payable howbeit this defendan t saith that he doth think it to be true that about thirty years now last past the said Edw de Vere late earl of Oxford being then seised of the said pension or the said portion of tithes to be paid in recompense thereof or some good estate of inheritance as this defendant supposeth the said earl did by indenture demise unto one Thos Bacon the elder then of Lavenham aforesaid gentleman now deceased for the term of twenty one years or thereabouts the said portion of tithes arising within the said town of Lavenham due to the said late priory of Colne but this defendant doth not remember that there was any certainty expressed in the said lease out of what lands the said portion of tithes was to arise and for that the said portion of tithes was demanded and charged both by the said Thos Bacon and also by some others before him who claimed the same under the interest of the said earl and his ancestors as this defendant was informed by divers of the parishioners of the said town of Lavenham with such uncertainty and so obscurely in that it was not justly known out of what lands the same tithes ought of right to be issuing sometime taking the said portion of tithes out of some lands and sometimes out of other lands as that thereby much trouble and disquiet did arise within the same town therefore this defendant within few years after his coming to the said benefice of Lavenham did at the instance of some of his parishioners there and for the quiet of himself and his parishioners of the then lessee or assignee of the said portion of tithes compound with the said lessee or assignee which then was Thos Bacon the younger as this defendant remembreth and did by of him the remainder of the said lease and term then to come and unexpired and did hold the same lease until the expiration thereof paying the said yearly rent of 33s4d thereupon reserved and this defendant hath been so far from hindering or obscuring the right belonging to the said earl or his ancestors as that this defendant of a dutiful regard which he beareth to that honourable house after the expiration of the said lease and after such time as this defendant did understand that the high court of chancery had ordered that the said late earl ought to have the portion of tithes in Lavenham aforesaid formerly did belong to the said late priory of Colne was contented to allow and did allow unto the officers of the said late earl to the use of the same earl 4li by year for the said portion of tithes in Lavenham aforesaid whereby this defendant might receive the tithes of the said town together and no disturbance grow in any p arty and since the time that the said allowance of 4li by year hath been refused or not accepted by the officers of the said earl this defendant hath been contented for the pursuing of quietness to suffer the officers of the said earl and of the said Hen now earl of Oxford his majesties ward to take two parts of the tithes in three parts divided arising and renewing in and upon certain lands called Livorden Hill containing by estimation 120a or 140a of ground or thereabouts lying in Lavenham aforesaid in satisfaction of the said portion of tithes pretended to be due to his majesties said ward which portion of tithes this defendant was contented the rather to assign in the place aforesaid for that by the report and informations of the ancient inhabitants of the said town of Lavenham this defendant was given to understand that that place was the most likely place out of the which the said portion of tithes ought to be issuing which allowance so given by this defendant either in money or in tithes as aforesaid this defendant doth think to be the full value or more than the said portion of tithes doth amount unto nevertheless it may appear unto this defendant in certainty that it shall be proved by any due proceeding either in this ho nourable court or elsewhere according to law and justice out of what lands the said portion of tithes ought to arise and go this defendant is contented to allow thereof with all willingness desiring nothing more than to defend the right of his church and to yield to his majesty's said ward what belongs unto his honour without that the said portion of tithes in Lavenham aforesaid have been letten out to farm to several persons or that this defendant hath obtained or gotten into his possession at any time any lease of the said tithes or hath continued the possession of the said portion of tithes otherwise than this defendant hath herein before truly expressed to the uttermost of his knowledge and remembrance and without that that this defendant hath obscured and brought out of knowledge what land and tenements are liable to the payment of the said portion of tithes or how much the same portions do contain or how far the same do extend or that this defendant hath confounded the same with other the tithes of the said town of Lavenham in such manner and form as in the said bill of information is alleged and without that that any such ledger book register survey rental lease evidence writing or muniments as being mentioned in the said bill of information been come to the hands or possession of this defendant or to the hands or custody or possession of any other person or persons by his knowledge privity or content or delivery to the present knowledge and remembrance of this defendant other than the indenture of lease made to the said Thos Bacon the father as aforesaid which lease being expired this defendant delivered the same indenture unto Roger Harlakenden esq whom this defendant did then suppose to be owner of the said portion of tithes for that he did for the space of divers years together receive yearly rent for the said tithes before the said order was set down in the chancery and for the said late earl as aforesaid and without that that this defendant hath contrived any estate to himself or any other person of the said pension or portion of tithes as in the said bill of information is surmised all which matters this defendant is ready to aver and prove etc copied 12.2.1605 following