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Transcription: Pleadings in the Court of Chancery regarding two farms in Vowchurch

Place name:

Golden Valley




Transcription by David Lovelace, spellings modernised, abbreviations expanded. {} brackets in text, [] missing text, ( ) my comments, words in italic unsure.


C2/JasI/P12/38 dated 27 November 1604

Case in brief: Thomas Philpotts of Kent claims property rights over two farms in Vowchurch that he says Humphrey Ball of Turnastone sold to him before he died. One is 40 acres and used belong to Richard Ball, Humphrey’s deceased grandfather and the other of 50 acres was bought by Humphrey’s father Thomas Ball, now also dead. He says that Joan Ball “wyddowe havinge by some casuall meanes gotten into her handes custody and possession” of the deeds took up residence in one of farms last April, expelling him and is refusing to give back the deeds or let Philpots take possession of the farms. In answer to this Joan says she is actually Thomas Ball’s widow, that Thomas Ball’s father Richard entered one of the farms as part of the marriage settlement in 1565 and that it has “arable, meadow, pasture and wood”. Her husband Thomas acquired the property when his father died and it reverted to her when he died and she is now the rightful tenant.

Full transcript as follows:


Membrane 1

To the right honorable Sir Thomas Egerton Knight Baron of Ellesmere Lard Chancellor of England.

Humble compl[ainent] showeth unto your good lo[rdship] your orator Thomas Philpotts of Birlinge in the county of Kent that whereas one Humphrey Balle of Turnaston in the county of Heref[ord] was lawfully seised in his demeame as of ffee of and in divers landes tenem[en]tes heredytam[en]ts sett lyenge and beinge w[i]thin the parishe of Vowchurch in the said county of Heref[ord] contayne by estymac[i]on fforty acres wh[i]ch sometimes heretofore were the landes ten[emen]tes and heredytam[en]ts of one Richard Balle deceased grandfather to the said Humphrey Balle And wheras also the said Humfrey Ball was alsoe sei[s]ed in his demeane as ffee of and in dyvers other landes tenem[en]tes heredytam[en]ts contayninge by estymac[i]on ffifty acres lyeinge and beinge in vouchurch afforesaid in the sayd county of Heref[ord] wh[i]ch sometymes heretofore were purchased by one Thomas Balle late father of the said Humphrey Balle deceased and one Henry Stephens of one John Rween(?) and Humphrey Rowden deceased, And hee the said Humphrey Balle soe beinge of the premisses seised as aforesaid in or aboute the moneth of October nowe last past by his suffycyent deede in wrytinge indented w[i]th lyverey of seisen thereupon duly executed for good causes and considerac[i]on him thereupon(?) movinge dyd duly and suffycyently geve graunt bargen sell enfeoffe convey and assi[g]ne unto your orator and his heires all and singuler the premisses w[i]th the app[u]rten[e]nces and all chartes deeded evydences myun[i]m[en]ts escriptes and wrytings whatsoever touchinge or concerning the premisses or touching or conc[er]ninge any p[ar]te or p[ar]cell thereof to have and hould all and singular the premisses w[i]th app[ur]ten[e]nces together with the said chartes deeded evydences myun[i]m[en]ts escriptes & wrytinges unto your orator and his heires to the only sole and prop[er] use and behoofe of your orator and of his heires and assignes for ever. By force whereof your orator unto the premisses w[i]th the app[ur]ten[e]nces entred and was thereof sei[s]ed in his demeane as of fee and was alsoe poss[ess]ed of all and singular ch[ar]tes deedes evidences myun[i]m[en]ts writinges and escriptes afforesayd accordingly.

But nowe right honorable lo[rdship] see it is that one Johan Balle of Vouchurch afforesaid in the said county of Heref[ord] wyddowe havinge by some casuall meanes gotten into her handes custody and possession the sayd wrytinge indented made by the sayd Humphey Balle unto your orator and dyvers other chartes & deedes evydences and writinges touchinge and concerninge the premisses and of ryght belonginge unto your orator and to himself by the said Humfrey Balle as afforesaid. By color of havinge thereof upon or aboutes the last day of April nowe last past into all and singular the premisses w[i]th the app[ur]ten[e]nces wrongfully entred and thence by like wronge expulsed and differed your said orator and the possession thereof together w[i]th the said chartes deedes evidences and wrytynges eversethence dyd and yet still doth by like wronge detayne and keepe from your sayd orator, And albeit your orator hath dyvers tymes in gentle maner requested the said Johan Balle to deliver unto your orator the said chartes deedes evydences myun[i]m[en]ts escriptes and wrytings and to permytt and suffer your orator quietly to occupy and enioy the premisses according to justice yet so to do the said Johan Balle hath utterly refuced and yett doth refuce wh[i]ch is against all equity and justice and to your orator expresse wronge and greate hinderance wherefore the premisses considered & for that your orator knoweth not the certen dates number or other contentes of the said chartes deedes evydences and wrytyinges nor wherein the same are contayned either in bagge or boxe sealed or unsealed or in chest locked or unlocked and therefore is remediles touchinge the premisses or for recovery there of or of the said chartes deedes evydences & wrytynges by order of the co[mm]en lawe. May yt therefore please your good lo[rdship] to graunt unto your orator the kinges ma[jas]ties wrytte of subpena to be directed to the said Johan Balle comandinge her therby at a certain day and under a certen payne therein to be lymited tapp[er]ed(?) in his ma[jas]ties lesser(?) court of chauncery to answere hereunto to theme such order may bee taken by your lordship touching the premisses as to equity and justice shall app[er]tayne, and your said orator shall pray for your lo[rdship]s longe and prosperous lief in all happynes and honor.


Membrane 2

The answere of Johan Ball widowe defendant to the bill of complaynt of Thomas Phelpotts complaynant


The benefitt of excepc[i]ones to then sufficiencie of the said bill of compl[ayn]t unto this def[endan]t now & at all times hereafter saved? she this def[endan]t for a?nsweare and tytle to one messuage and div[er]s lands tenem[en]ts and hereditam[en]ts lyinge in Vouchurch in the countie of Heref[ord]late in the tenure and occupac[i]on of Thomas Ball d[e]ceased in the bill of complaint named this deffend[an]ts late husbandp[ar]te whereof are the lands in the bill firstelie menc[i]o[n]ed thus this deffend[an]t thinketh. This def[endan]t sayth that Richard Ball deceased in the bill named was in his lief tyme lawfully seised in his demesne as of fee of and in one messuage and div[er]s lands arable medowes pasture and woodd to the same sev[er]allie & respectivelie belongeinge and therew[i]th usually enioied lyinge in Vouchurch in the countie of Heref[ord] as soe seis[e]d aboutes July in the xij th yeare of the raigne of our late Sov[er]aigne Lady Elizabeth late Queen of England ffor considerac[i]on of a mariage to be then had and solempnized betwene the said Thomas Ball and this deffend[an]t and w[hi]ch afterwardes tooke effect accordingelie, did of the p[re]misses infeaffe clame feaffes and theire heires, to have the same to them and theire hieres to the use of the said Richard Ball for terme of his lief and after his decease to the body of this deffend[an]t lawfullie begotten w[i]th other remainders over for wante of such issue. By force whereof and of the statute made for transferring of use of landes and tenem[en]ts into poss[ess]ion the said Richard Ball entred into the p[re]misses was thereof seised in his demesne as of freehouldfor terme of his lief and died thereof seised. After whose decease the said Thomas Ball by vertue of his remainder entred into the p[re]misses and was thereof seised in his demesne as of fee sayle and died thereof seised. After whose decease this deffend[an]t (him s[er]vivinge) held her feef in the p[re]misses and was & is thereof seised in her demesne as of freehould for terme of her life per form[er]? And for the residue of the p[re]misses in the bill secondly menc[i]only this def[endan]t disclaimeth to have any interest therin but saith that she is ready to deliv[er] such writinges as she hath conc[er]ninge the same, to whomsoev[er] this L[ower?] courte shall thinke fytt ??[]thout? that that the said Humphrey Ball in the bill named was of the p[re]misses whereof this def[endan]t hath taken uppon her the tenancie seised in his demesne as of fee in man[er] & ferme as in the bill of compl[ayn]t is most untruly alleaged And w[i]thout that that this def[endan]t hath gotten into her hands custodie or poss[ess]ion any such writinge indented as in the bill of compl[ayn]t is surmised for that this def[endan]t did aboute the last of Aprill nowe last past enter into any lands or tenem[en]ts other then such as in her answer is exp[re]ssed. Or that this def[endan]t hath wrongfullie expulsed or differed the compl[aynan]t. The poss[ess]ion of the p[re]misses or any p[ar]te thereof therwise then before is exp[re]ssed Or that there is any ther matter or thinge in the said bill of compl[ayn]t to the knowledge of this def[endan]t f? mat[er]iall effectuall to answere unto and herein not sufficientlie confessed and avoided transvered or demed is true. All w[hi]ch this defend[an]t is readie to averre and prove as this low[er] courte shall ad??vard and prayeth to be heerd hence as ??s??ssed with her reasonable costs and charges in his suite ?est wrongfullie sustained.





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