Transcript, Court of Chancery: Response to a Bill of Complaint relating to properties of the Price family in Ewyas Lacy and vicinity
Michaelchurch Escley, Walterstone, Llanveynoe
1697 - 1698
National Archives C5/281/16
Answer to John Price’s bill of Complaint by James Morgan and John Price. 10th Dec 1698.
Plaintiff John Price of Michaelchurch Escley Yeoman
Defendant: James Morgan Esq of Llantillio Pertholey & John Price an Infant.
Transcription by Arthur Price, reproduced with his kind permission
Two pages. First a small paper with sixteen lines of Latin text, not transcribed. Second English text clear in a fine hand & easy to read. At bottom follows eight lines of untranscribed Latin text.
The joint & several answer & Answers of James Morgan Esq & of John Price an Infant by the said James Morgan his guardian (true of the defendt) to part of the bill of complaint of John Price Yeoman complainant & the joint & several Pleas of the said defendt to the residue of the said bill of complaint.
The said Defendt & each of them now & at all times hereafter saving & reserving to themselves & each of them the benefit & advantages of exceptions to all these uncertainties untruths & innifficienciys of the said bill for Answer to so much thereof as is not herein or hereby after pleaded unto the deft James Morgan answering for himself & the said John Price by the said James Morgan his guardian Answer & say that they have heard & believe it may be true that John Price (in the bill named) the complts Grandfather was in his lifetime & at his death seized in fee of & in all the freehold lands & premises in the bill mentioned situate in the several pishes of Waterston, Lanvayno & Michael Church Eskelley in the county of Hereford & in Lanvihangel Crucorney in the county of Monmth But these defts deny that to their or either of their knowledge or beliefe all the said prmisses are or ever were of the value in the bill mentioned or of any greater value than of about six & twenty pounds p ann & these defendt have also heard & believe it to be true that the complt Grandfather had some estate for lives (but for what lives these deft know not) of & in some copyhold lands in the pish of Lanveyno of about the value of six pounds p ann & no more But these deft do not know or believe he was ever seized of any other copyhold estate & these deft have heard & believe it may be true that the said freehold premises by the death of the said complt grandfather descended & came to the eldest sonne Thomas Price in the bill named who died seized of all the said premises about fifty yeares since ( as these defts have heard & believe) leaving John Price (the late father of the deft John Price) his sonne & heire who became seized in fee (as these defts believe) of all the said freehold lands & premises But these dets know not either what his or the said Thomas Price his estate therein in the aforesaid customary lands was if they had any estate therein & these defts believe the said John Price (the defts father) had no estate at the time of his decease in the aforesaid customary lands because all the said customary lands (as these dets have heard & believe) were by him mortgaged for one hundred pounds to one Sybil Price widow & were never by him redeemed but after his decease were redeemed by James Price (in the bill named) who was sonne & heire of the said John Price & these defts confess that for his first wife married Margaret the daughter of William Prichard (in the bill named) & settled his estate in such manner as in these defts Plea is hereinafter set forth & not otherwise or in any other manner whereby the Complt is or ever was in anty way entitled thereto or to any part thereof & these defts never saw or heard of any such settlement as by the bill is pretended & these defts verily believe the aforesaid mortgage to the said Sybill Price & the settlement in these defts Plea after sett forth were the only conveyances made or executed by the said John Price of the lands in the bill mentioned or of any part thereof & these defts confess that they have heard & believe may be true that the Complt is the eldest sonne of Arnold Price in the bill named & that the said Arnold Price was the brother of the said Thomas Price But they are advised & humbly conceive that the Complt (for the reasons in these defts Pleas herein after sett forth) hath not any manner of right either to the estate or lands of the said John Price or of the said James Price or to any part of either of the estates or lands & this deft James Morgan & this deft John Price by the said James Morgan his guardian further answer & say that (as they have been credibly informed & believe) the said James Price being of a sound & perfect memory made & published his last will & testament in such manner & as such time as in these defts Plea is hereinafter sett forth & that the same was liltoally read to him & that he very well understood & approved of all the content thereof. But these defts or either of them not being present cannot of their own knowledge affirm anything thereof but have heard & believe the same was duly & legally made & exposed & these defts deny all manner of confederacy & combination whatsoever whereof they or either of them are charged in & by the Complts said bill & this deft James Morgan confesseth that the said James Price at the time of the death of his father was an infant of about twelve yeares of age & that he this deft being nearly related to him was his guardian & as such managed his estet & concerns & tooke care of his education & maintained & kept him until he came to his full age of one & twenty yeares & during his minority this deft out of the rents & profits of his estate payed the greatest part of his fathers debts & defended his rights & title to his estate & redeemed the aforesaid lands wch his father had mortgaged aforesaid of all which matters & of all other matters relating to the said Guardianshipp a fair & full account was given unto the said James Price at such time & in such manner as by this deft is after pleaded & set forth & as to the right & title of the complt as heir of the whole blood unto the said James Price & to all the residue of the said bill of complaint not herein before fully answered unto these defts by protestation not confessing or acknowledging all or any of the matters thereof to be [……. word covered over] in such manner & form as the same are therein declared & sett forth for Plea there unto this deft James Morgan & this deft John Price by the said James Morgan his guardian say that John Price (the late father of James Price in the bill named) & of this deft John Price) being seized in fee of & in all the several messuages mills lands & tenemts herein after mentioned (being as these defts believe all the freehold lands & estate of the said John Price in the bill mentioned) by his Indentures of lease & release duely executed bearing date the lease the first & the release the second day of April in the seaven & twentieth yeare  of the raign of our (late soveraign) Lord King Charles the Second & made by & between the sd John Price by the name of John Price (then) late of Clodocke in the county of Herford & then of Kemerey in the parish of Lantilio Grosseny in the county of Monmouth gen of the one pt & John Gwillim of the pish of Lanvihangel Ysternlewern in the county of Monmouth gen & Lewis Williams of the pish of Backton in the county of Hereford gen of the other pt for & in consideration of a marriage then all rady had & solemized between the said John Price & Margaret then his wife the eldest daughter of William Prichard of Lantilio Grossenny in the county of Monmth gen & in performance of certain articles of sgreement (then) formerly made & for the settling a competent jointure for the said Margaret & for settling an estate upon the issue of her body then begotten or to begotten & for other good causes he the said John Price did give grant unto the said John Gwillim & Lewis William & their heires All that messuage or tenemt with the appurtances wherein one Henry Powell did then dwell situate in the pish of Walterstone in the county of Hereford & all outhouses lands tenements & herediments & apptences thereunto belonging & all that messuage or tenement with the apptences & all lands meadows pastures woodsunderwoods & & all herediments thereunto belonging situate in the parish of Llanvihangel Crucorney in the County of Monmouth (then) in the occupation of Jane Thomas widow & all that messuage or tenement together with the water grist mill lands tenemts & herediments with their apptences unto the said John Gwillim ^& lewis William & their heirs & the heir odf the survivor of them To & for the only uses following (that is to say) to & for the use of the said John Price for the term of his natural life & from & after his decease to the use of the said Margaret (then) his wife for the term of her natural life ( in case she should survive her said husb& ) for & in lieu of her jointure & in recompence of her Dower& after the decease of the said John Price & of the said Margaret & of the survivor of them then to the use of the heirs of the body of the said Margaret by the said John Price begotten or to be begotten & in default of such issue to the use of the right heires of the said John Price for ever & by the said release the said John Price did convent & graunt for himselfe & his heires that the said prmisses were free from all incumberances & that (if required) he would make farther assurances to the aforesaid uses & these defts for farther plea say that by virtue of the aforesaid limitation of uses the said John Price held & enjoyed the said prmisses during all the remainder of his life & dided in or about the yeare of our Lord one thous& six hundred eighty & four & from & after his death & the death of the said Margaret (who died long before her said husab& ) all the said lands & prmisses pursuant to the aforesaid limitation of uses descended & came unto the said James Price (who was the only s/o the said John Price on the body of the said Margaret begotten that survived him the said John Price) & the saifd James Price pursuant to the sforesaid limitation of uses from the decease of the said John Price & enjoyed all the said prmisses by this deft James Morgan his guardian during his minority & after he came to his full age he the said James Price had received to his own use all the rents & pfitts of all the said lands & prmisses until the time of his death which happened in or about the latter end of the month of November in the year of our Lord one thous& six hundred niety & seaven & these deftd for farther Plea say that some time before his death he the said James Price made & duly published his last will & testamt in writing in the presence of a competent number of credible witnesses & by his said will (wch is dated the twenty eigth day of November in the ninth yeare of the raign of our present Soveraign Lord King William the third the said James Price did give & devise unto this deft John Price (his brother) all his lands & esate freehold Coppyhold & leasehold in the parishes of Waterstone & Michael Church Eskelley in the county of Hereford & in the pish of Lanvihangel Crucorney in the county of Monmth & charged the said lands & estate in Waterstone & Lanvihangel Crucorney with the payment of his debts & of his said will he did nominate & appoint this defts James Morgan his sole executor & this deft James Morgan for Farther Plea saith that he this deft after the death of the said James Price arrived & came to his full age of one & twenty years stated settled & evened a general & true acct of all the rents & profits of the estate of the said James Price which this deft his guardian had received during his minority & of all that this deft to his use had at any time received & of the several paymts & Disbursmts by this deft made for his use or by his direction for & towards the satisfaction of the debts of the said John Price his farther (which were great) & the said James Price after his having well considered of the act by his deed of release duly executed dated the tenth day of June in the year of our Lord one thous& six hundred ninety & three did for himself his heires execute & admiistrat & remise release & foe ever quitt claim unto this deft all & all manner of reckonings accts debts dues & dem& s whatsoever was during the minority of the said James Price by this deft James Morgan received from the estate od to the use of the said James Price & this deft John Price by the said James Morgan his guardian pleads the aforesaid Lease & Release made by the said John Price his father & the aforesaid last will of the said James Price in Barr of all the right claime & dem& of the complt of in or to the aforesaid l& & prmisses which deeds & will & several other deeds writings relating to the said prmisses are in the custody or power of the defts or one of them (ready to be pducedinto this honble Court) for the use of this deft John Price Whereof & for as much as the complt doth not prtend any title to the said lands & prmisses or any of them as a purchaser for any valuable consideration payed but merely as heire at law to this defts father & brother aforesaid Who in their lives made & executed the aforesaid severall & respective conveyances by deeds & will to the uses aforesaid This deft humbly abideth in the Judgement of this honble Court whether he shall be compllled to set forth any of the Anticent title deeds or other evidences relating to the prmisses or to make any farther answer to any of the matters in the said bill of complaint mentioned All wch matters by the defts & each of them respectively pleaded in barr to the aforesaid matters of the said bill of complaint (not herein before answered) these defts are & each of them respectively is ready to verify & humbly pray the judgmt of this honble Court thereupon & that they may be hence dismissed wth ythe costs herein most wrongfully sustained.
[Witnessed] Will Jones, Will Proger, Tho Smyth
This guest transcription was made by Arthur J Price as part of his research into his family history in Ewyas Lacy and vicinity.