Transcript, Court of Chancery: Bill of Complaint regarding disputed ownership of Michaelchurch Mill
[Transcription by Arthur Price, reproduced with his kind permission]
National Archives E 112/581/47
Bill of Complaint Dated Easter Term 1 James II [1685/86]
Complainant: Edmond Price of the parish of Michel Church co Hereford and Margaret his wife and one of the coheirs of William Howell late of [blank] deceased and Joane Miles of the said parish of Michaell church co Hereford one other of the sisters and coheirs of William Howell
Defendant: James Price
[Part the middle of first six lines smudged and illegible; some other fading through centre of document and a few creases; otherwise small handwriting mostly well written. ]
To the right honoble Lawrence Earle of K[?] and High Treasurer of England [………?........] Also John [?] knight […..?.....] under [?] of his Majesty’s Court of Excheqr at Westmr. William Mornt[on?] Lord of [.?...] Barron of [……….?...........] and to the[…?...] Barrons there
Humbly complaining sheweth unto yor honors yor daily orator Edmund Price of the pish of Michell Church Escley in the county of Hereford […..?.......] and Margarett his wife sister and one of the coheires of William Howell late of ………[gap left blank]………… decd and Joane Miles of the said parish of Michell Church and county of Hereford aforesaid widow [……?...........] sister and one other of the coheirs of the said William Howell debtors and accountant unto his Majs as by the [records?] of this honble Court it doth appear & that in Easter Terme in the year of our Lord one thousand six hundred eighty and [?] when your said orators bill of complaint within this honble court against John Price settinge forth that the said William Howell the brother of your oratrixes Margarett and Joane during his life tyme was lawfully seized of […..?.......] feehold in one [messuage?] with the [appurenances?] lands and tenements thereunto belonging in the aforesaid pish of Michaell Church about the cleare yearly value of eight or ten pounds and being feehold [……?......] seventh of May in the yeare of our Lord one thousand six hundred fifty and foure became indebted in diverse small sumes of money in the whole amounting to the sume of forty pounds of lawfull money of England unto one John Powell of the Greenway in the parish of Peter Church within the county of Hereford aforesaid yeoman and being soe indebted and wanting in ready money to pay the sume for securing the payment thereof unto the said John Powell the said William Howell by his deed menconed bearing date on or about the aforesaid time made between him the said William Howell of the one part and the said John Powell of the other part or by some other sufficient conveyance in the lawe (as your orators suppose) by way of mortgage did convey the pmises unto the said John Powell his heires and assigns forever upon condition nevertheless that if the said William Howell his heires and assigns should well and truly pay or cause to bee paid unto the said John Powell his heires and assigns the aforesaid sume of forty pounds with the lawfull interest thereof at the time and place by the said conveyance appointed for the payment thereof that then the said conveyance should bee void and of none effect by virtue of which said conveyance the said John Powell entered into the said pmisses and took the rents issues and pffitts thereof for some tyme and hee being [incossituted?] for money on or about the first day of September1664 for the sume of forty pounds of the like lawfull money of England the said John Powell by his deed of assignment did assign and convey over the said mortgage & mortgaged pmisses unto one John Price his heires and assignes forever subject neverthelesse unto the aforesaid condition of redemption where of the said John Price had full notice And the said John Price by virtue of the said assignment entered into the said mortgaged pmisses and tooke & recved the rents issues and pffitts thereof during his life & dyed soe seized about the tenth day of August in the yeare of our Lord 1672 and soe and by severall means descent the pmissses are since descended and come unto John Price Grandson of the aforesaid John Price by virtue of the assignment of the said John Powell who hath been ever since in the possion thereof and hath reced the rents issues and pffitts thereof And yor orators further humbly showe that the said William Howell in or about the month of May in the yeare of our Lord 1667 dyed seized of the equity of redemption of the said pmisses whereby several mencond descents it come to yor orators and to yor orator Edmond Price and Margarett his wife in the right of the said Margarett his wife and yor orator Joane are now seized of and entitled to the equity of redemption of the said pmisses But now soe it may please yor Honr that the said John Price the Grandson refusith to accept the principall money and interest or to come to any account with yor orators for the proffitts of the pmisses although your orators have in friendly manner tendered him the said principall money of forty pounds and the lawfull interest thereof [discompting?] for the pffitts of the prmisses and often requested him to receive the same which the said John Price [?] refusseth to doe sometimes ptending that the originall conveyance from the aforesaid William Howell to the aforesaid John Powell was absolute without any condition of redempcon and at other times ptending that although the said conveyance had a condition of redemptcon yet that the said William Howell in his life tyme did release the said condition and equity of redemptcon unto the said John Price the Grandfather all which his ptences are contrary to equity & good conscionce and […?...] only to the delay and harme of yor orators In tender consideracon whereof and for that yor orators and [remedialosse?] in the pmisses by the [..?...] of the common law and only by [..?..] in this honble court before yor honor where matters of this nature are properly examinable and for that yor orators witnesses should [ appear? …crease in document] are either dead or gone into parts remote beyond the seas in places unknown to yor orators Your orators humbly prayed that the said John Price the Grandson may by the decree of this honble Court bee compelled to come to an accompt with your orators and to receive his principall money and interest for the same discompting for the pfitts of the prmisses and to convey the said pmisses to yor orators and your said orators prayed the prcess of this honble court to bee directed to the said John Price the Grandson where being granted and the said defendt [?] the [?] and the said defendt appeared and putt in his answer since which tyme the said deft John Price departed this life and the tenemt and estate in law & there in is come and discended unto & vested in James Price as son and heir unto the said John Price but still subject neverthelesse unto yor orators said equity of redemptcon To this end then [refirm?] the said proceedings may stand revived & bee in the same phght and condicon that they proved at the time of the death of the said deft John Price May it therefore please yor Lordpps to grant unto yor said orators his Matjs most gratious writt or pcess of [?] under the seale of this honoble Court to bee directed to the said James Price thereby requiring him at a certain day and under a certain paine theron to bee committed psonally to bee & appear before your Lopps this honoble Court to show cause if he can why the said bill & answer should not be revuted and to stand to and abide [….?....] order & decree therein as to yor Lopps shall deeme [?] And yor orators shall ever pary etc.
[?] Wright [?] Bridges..
This appears to be the original Bill of Complaint that started the action in the Court of Chancery where the descendants of William Howell attempt to regain possession of Michaelchurch Mill from the descendents of John Price of Bacton; a number of related papers are available on the website.