Freehold Titles (ERO D/Q6/1/8 copy of bill of exceptions to decree concerning school lands)

20.3.8Jas1 (Wednesday 20 March 1611)

document 32301315

the bill of exception of Hen de Vere (in copy misread as Danvers) earl of Oxford to be a decree concern of the school and school lands of Earls Colne within the county of Essex made the 20.3.8Jas1 by sir Jn Sammes and sir Hen Maxey knight and     other of the commissioners for charitable uses within the said county of Essex imprimis first the commissioners having said decree ordered and decreed the inheritance of the patronage of the Free School from the said earl and heirs unto the bishop of London his successors and during the vacancy of the     to the archbishop of Canterbury and his successors where neither their commission nor the statute of the 43Eliz1 late upon which their commission is grounded giveth them any power to determine transfer the same from one to another but only to reform the misemployment of lands etc given to charitable uses item two the earl was never advertised of the purpose the commissioners had to question his right of patronage to the same school or his interest in the lands but the commissioners by their letters only requested the earl and the countess his mother consent of one Adams (Adgarth in copy) who then held the schoolmastership with promise not to impeach his interest so as the earl was ever lawfully called to defend his interest as by the said statute of the 43Eliz1 he ought to have been neither was there any evidence at all given for defence of the earl's right or interest in or to the said patronage or lands and that the commissioners have decreed from the earl the inheritance of the patronage of the said school and ordered the earl to convey away the inheritance of the said lands from himself and his heirs notwithstanding the said earl be under age and his body and lands in ward to the kings majesty item three whereby the inquisition recited in the said decree it is found first that one Swallow the founder of the said school enfeoffed others besides Jn earl of Oxon to the use of the school secondly that this school is to be kept three years at Earls Colne and three years at Coggeshall alternis vicibus thirdly that the school master is to teach freely thirty scholars dwelling either in Earls Colne or some of the parishes where the school lands lie there is no ground of proof to warrant any one of the said matters so presented for as by the first it appeareth by the inquisition itself that the jurors knew not the name of any other feoffee besides the said earl of Oxon or whether the said earl nor any of the said other presented feoffees both which were not but have been easily known had there been other feoffees besides the said earl of Oxon the foundation of the school being so late and Swallow himself dying but in 31Hen8 as is presented in the said inquisition where contrariwise it appeareth by the earl of Oxon his continual disposing of the said schoolmastership and lands and likewise by ancient evidences that the said Swallow having been wholly advanced by the said earl of Oxon did repose his whole first for the said school in the said earl and his heirs and for the     the school in all the evidences concerning it called Colne school and hath been kept in Colne ever sithence the first foundation and not in Coggeshall and for the third it appeareth by ancient evidences that the earl of Oxon and his heirs have the ordering as well of the number of scholars as of all other     belonging to the well government of the said school neither was any evidence at all given the said jury to prove unto them any one of the said three points but only a bill exhibited into the honourable court of chancery by one Stockbridge claiming the said schoolmastership under the grant of Edw late earl of Oxenford against the said claiming likewise under the same earl grant which bill containing some such allegations as are presented by the jury but no proof made of any one of them and the same bill being verbatim recited in a decree made in the said court of chancery 44Eliz1 then showed forth to the jury under the great seal of England but no part of the said allegations being strengthened in any sort by the said decree nor any thing thereby decreed but only an agreement made between the said parties under their hands and seals nothing touching any of the said allegations the said commissioners have suffered the jurors to be mislead by mr Harlakenden's counsel who found the said inquisition and provided to the jurors in evidence for proof of the matters therein contained the said bill recited in the said decree under the names of itself and as if all the matters recited in the decree had been thereby decreed whereupon without any other evidence or proof the said jurors have found the said inquisition but merely by the said mistaking as by the very words of the inquisition itself it appeareth