William Dowtie v. Richard Whitney and Anthony Whitney: Martley, Worcester, 1567.
William Dowtie claimed that he was seased in his demesne as of fee (inherited property) of one capital messuage (house and adjoining buildings) and 200 acres in Martley, Worcester. The documents for this property were somehow obtained by Richard Whitney the elder, who was now deceased. The documents were now in the possession of his executors Richard Whitney and Anthony Whitney. He claimed that they were now trying to encumber the title of the land and disinherit him. He requested a subpoena be issued against them.
Richard Whitney claimed that William Dowtie, by indenture dated 24 April 2 & 3 Phillipp and Mary , leased the property for a certain number of years not yet fully expired to his deceased father Richard Whitney, his wife Elinor, and their son Thomas Whitney. The father Richard Whitney and Thomas Whitney had both died, and his mother Elinor Whitney had delivered the deed of demise to him. He and his mother were still using the property and were still paying their yearly rent. He requested that the case be dropped and that William Dowtie be ordered to pay their court costs in the matter.
Note that according to C 3/57/30, William Dowtie / Doughtie was the husband of Joan Cratford, sister of Elizabeth Cratford, the wife of Richard Whitney [the younger], and were thus brother-in-laws by marriage.
Richard and Anthony Whitney, sons of Richard and Elinor (-----) Whitney.
- C 3/53/45
- C 3/57/30
23 ___ A(nn)o Xo Eliz(abeth)
To the Right honorable Sir Nych(ol)as Bacon knight
lorde keeper of the grete seale of England
Humbly complayninge shewethe unto yo(u)r good Lordshipp yo(u)r daylie oratour Will(ia)m Dowtie That wheras your Oratour ys Laufullye seased in his demesne as of fee of and in one Capitall messuage and two hundrethe acres of Lande medowes & pasture be it more or lesse sett lyenge and beinge in the towne p(ar)ishe and fyldes of Martley in the Countye of Worcester And he so beinge therof seased hathe peacybly and quyetly p(er)ceyved & taken the issues & p(ro)fyttes therof to his owne use withowte lett or int(er)vexion of anye p(er)sone or p(er)sons as Lawfull ys for hym to doo nevertheles so yt ys yet it maye plese yo(u)r good Lordship That dyverse evydences dedes ch(arte)rs escriptes mynyments & wrytings consirninge the messuage & other the p(re)mysses afforesaide belonging to yo(u)r oratoure by casuall meanes did come to th'[h]ands cusodie & possession of one Rychard Whitney th'elder decessed & sythens his deathe bene casually come to th'[h]ands custodie & possession of one Richarde Whitney & Anthony Whitney executors of the last will and testament of the saide Richard Whitney th'elder who by color of havinge of the same evydences dedes ch(arte)rs escriptes & mynyments and wrytings _____ onlye nowe as yo(u)r oratoure ys informed set? by dyvers wayes & menes to incomber the tytle of yo(u)r oratoure but also maye in tyme to come p(re)tende title to the p(re)misses to the utter disenheritans of yo(u)r oratoure and his heires for ever And albeit yo(u)r oratoure hathe dyverse & sondry tymes gently requyred the saide Richarde Whitney and Anthony Whitney to delyver unto hym the same evydences dedes ch(arte)rs escriptes mynyments and wrytings consirninge the p(re)misses as of Right they ought to doo yet chose to delyver they and every of them have utterly refused & denyed contrary to all right equite and good conscyens In considerac(i)on wherof & orsomoche as yo(u)r oratoure knoweth not the date no c(er)tentie o the said evydences dedes escriptes mynyments & wrytings no where the same bene conteyned yo(u)r oratoure ys therfore w(i)thoute all remedy for the recov(er)y of his said evydences by the order of the com(m)on Lawes of this Realme & so lykely to lose the same & in tyme to come lykely to be disenherited of the mesuage & landes afforsaid or want therof unles yo(u)r Lordships favoure be to hym shewed in this behalfe yt maye therfore plese yo(u)r lordshipp the p(re)misses consydered to grant unto yo(u)r orator the quenes m(ajesti)es most gracyouse wrytt of Subpena to by dyrected unto the saide Richard Whitney and Anthony Whitney comanding them therby p(er)sonally to appere before yo(u)r lordship in the quenes most honorable courte of chauncery at a certen daye & tyme by yo(u)r lordshipp to be app(er)__ynted & to Aunswere unto the p(re)misses And yo(u)r orator shall daylie praye for the p(re)sirvac(i)on of yo(u)r Lordship in hono(u)r long to endure
Jur coram Ric(hard) Rede
Th'aunswere of Richard Whitney Defendaunt to the bill of compl(aint)e of Will(ia)m Dowtie compl(ainant)
The saide defendaunt for aunswere saiethe that the saide bill of complaint exhibited ageinst him in this honorable courte is uncerten untrewe and insufficient in the lawe to be aunswered unto and the matters there[unto contey]ned framed devised and Imagined onlie of malice to putt the saide defenda(u)nt to uniuste costes vexac(i)on and trouble and for nowe other cause intent or purposse Th'advauntage of excepc(i)on to the insufficiency wherof to him alwaies saved the saide defendaunt for aunswer thereunto and for furder declarac(i)on of the truethe saiethe that the saide complayn(a)nt by Indenture bearinge __ the xxiiijth daie of Aprill in the seconde and thirde yeres of the raigne of our late Soueraigne Lorde and Ladie Kinge Phillipp and Quene Marye did devise graunte and to farme lett unto one Richard Whitney deceassed father of this defendaunt and Elinor his wife and Thomas Whitney theire sonne one capitall messuage sett lienge and beinge in Mertley within the saide countye of worcester And diverse other landes tenements meadowes pastures and feadings in Mertley aforesaide for certen yeres yet to come yealding and paieng therefore yerely unto he saide complayn(a)nt a certen rente for the same As by the saide deade Indented bearing Date as is aforesaide more at lardge it dothe and maye appeare By vertue whereof the saide Richard Whitney Elinor Whitney and Thomas Whitney did enter into the saide capitall messuage landes tenements and other the saide premisses so devised and th'issues and proffittes thereof risinge cominge and groweing ever sith(enc)e the saide have receaved and taken and have paide unto the saide complayn(a)nt the yerely rente reserved uppon the saide Indenture of demise so had & made as is aforesaide whiche the saide complayn(a)nt hathe hitherto quietlye accepted and taken After W(hi)ch the saide Richard Whitney and Thomas Whitney died After whose deceasse the saide capitall messuage and other the saide premisses did survive unto the saide Elinor Whitney mother of the saide defendaunt And the said Elinor did deliver the saide deade of demise unto the saide defendaunt Whiche Indenture of demise of the saide premisses the saide defendaunt dothe deteyne witheholde and kepe to the use of the saide Elinor mother of the saide defendaunt aswell and lawfull is for him to do without that that anye other writinges escriptes or mynyments touching and concerning the premisses did by casuall meanes come to the handes and possess(i)on of the saide Richard Whitney th'elder deceassed to the knowledge of the saide defendaunt Or that sith(enc)e the deceasse of the said Richard the same are come to the handes custodie and possession of the saide defendaunt or of the saide Antony Whitney named in the _______ no executors of the laste will and testament of the saide Richard Whitney th'elder deceassed Or that the saide defendaunt by cowler of having of the saide? evidences did enter into the possess(i)on of the said complaynant in and to the saide premisses in suche manner and forme as in the saide bill is alledged Or hathe done anye thinge touching the saide premisses __________ dothe suppose may lawfully do And witheout that that anie other matter ________________ in the saide bill of ______ alledged materiall __ effectuall to be aunswered unto and not hereby sufficiently ______ _________ confessed _________ is trewe All w(hi)ch matters the saide defendaunt is reddie for to averr and prove _________________ _______ shall award And praieth therefore to be dismissed w(i)th his reasonable? costes and chardges in this _____ susteyned