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Original Document


Abstract of Title and Supplement; The Firs Farm, Firs Cottage and Teer Reece Harry Reece otherwise Rhyd y Bach

Place name:

Michaelchurch Escley




1   Abstract of the Title to a Farm & Lands called “The Firs” and another Farm and Land called “Teer Reece Harry Reece” otherwise Rhyd y Back in the parish of Michael Church Eskley in the County of Hereford. Dated 1863.


As to the Firs Estate



Indenture of Feoffment 1/2/1733
between Joseph Exton the Elder of Michaelchurch Eskley, gent and Samuel Exton gent his 2nd son by Eleanor his wife; to secure payment of £600 by Samuel to his youngest brother Joseph Exton, Joseph Exton the Elder sells to Samuel that messuage where Joseph Exton the elder then lived plus a later built messuage also in the possession of Joseph Exton the Elder [The Firs Farm and Firs Cottage now called Escley Cottage]; including land as follows:

Meadow by Barn, containing six days math of hay

Cae Mawr, arable, pasture & woodland divided into 4, 30 acres
Cae Bannall Ycha, arable & pasture 10 acres
Cae Bannall Issa, arable & pasture 10 acres
Cae yr y chain, arable, pasture & woodground 7 acres

Gurlod run, meadow containing two days math of hay
Cae yr Ewen, wood & pasture 8 acres
Cae Tinnon, pasture, wood & furze 13 acres

Maes pen y wern, pasture & furze 13 acres

Cae pys, wood & pasture 3 acres

Cae Canog, pasture 4 acres

Purcas, pasture & wood 8 acres
Cae Glace, pasture 7 acres
Caeyr Lann, pasture & wood 5 acres
Meadow where later built Mansion then stood 12 acres

Meadow containing one days math of hay
Croft y Laur, 2 parcels of arable & pasture 10 acres
Gwern Gellin, arable, pasture & wood 20 acres
Cae Gove, pasture & wood 4 acres
Gwrlod y Dial, meadow containing 6 days math of hay
Cae Quarrell, pasture 8 acres
Abutting lands of John Watkins gent and lands belonging to Keven Kest on North, lands of John Price on East, lands of Edmund Thomas Esq occupied by William Perkins on South, other lands of Edmund Thomas on South, lands of Edmund Thomas and John Price and the lane from Michaelchurch Eskley towards the Hay on West.
Which said premises are in Michaelchurch Eskley and then in the tenure or occupation of Joseph Exton the Elder
Subject to rent to the Chief Lord or Lords.


Indenture 9/2/1733

Reciting the 1st February sale, Samuel Exton demised same to Joseph Exton the younger for a term of 500 years in lieu of paying the £600, at a peppercorn rent with a proviso for cesser of the term if Samuel Exton pays the £600 with 4.5% interest.


Indentures 31/12/[1738] and 1/1/1739

Between Joseph Exton the Elder, Samuel Exton and Joseph Exton the Younger of the one part and William Brydges of Tibberton; Brydges pays Joseph Exton the Younger £600 and takes a mortgage on the messuage in which Joseph Exton [?the Elder] lately and Samuel Exton then did dwell and the latter built messuage where Ann Harries did and Samuel Harries then did dwell.


Mortgage assigned: 1741 to George Sawyer of Westminster; 1763 to John Powell of Clifford: 1769 to Thomas Price of the Whitehouse St Margarets gent. and increased to £800 with interest at 4%pa.


Indentures 1& 2/2/1773
(1) John Exton of Michaelchurch Eskley yeoman devisee in will of Samuel Exton deceased and Hannah wife of John Exton
(2) James Exton of Michaelchurch Eskley eldest brother and heir at law of Samuel Exton.

Samuel Exton in his Will dated 6th April 1771 left his Michaelchurch Eskley property to his son John. Samuel Exton never married and could not have a legitimate son; dispute between John and James as to validity of the will and other matters; to settle the matter James agreed to pay John £600 and John gave James all the messuages devised to him by Samuel Exton’s will subject to the mortgage of £800. Premises as in 1739 Indenture plus all other messuages, lands and premises devised to John in Samuel’s will.


Indenture 19/11/1774

James Exton had died and left all messuages he had bought from John to Simon Exton of Peterchurch gent, his nephew. Mortgage assigned to William Bird of Hereford gent. and sum increased to £857 9s.


Indentures 18& 19/9/1777
Simon Exton owed a John Russell of Hereford £1800 of which £900 was due. The premises in the 1773 Indenture were used as security for this money and the Bird mortgage was assigned to John Merrick of Haywood Lodge Herefordshire, gent. It was noted in the Bond with John Russell that the two properties were in the occupation of John Price and Joseph Exton respectively.


As to the Rhyd y Bach Estate


Indentures16& 17/8/1754
Between Thomas Lewis of Longtown gent and Humphrey Prosser of Drayton, Salop.
Reciting a Lease and Release 19& 20/4/1751 under which a mortgage from Catherine Gwillim of Hereford spinster was assigned to Humphrey Prosser of Salop on the direction of Thomas Lewis, total loan £200; regarding a messuage where Ann Hugh Harry widow before did dwell and Ann Thomas did then dwell known as Teer Harry Reece otherwise Reed y Ty bach in Michaelchurch Eskley and all other messuages of Thomas Lewis in Michaelchurch Eskley.
Reciting that Humphrey Prosser had received the principal and interest due under the 1751 Indenture from a sale in Craswall in the same mortgage.
Reciting a mortgage dated 2nd Feb 1744 between Richard Heath and John Evans regarding premises of said Lewis in Longtown and an assignment of same dated 25th June 1750 by way of payment of £200 by Sarah Roberts to John Evans, such premises were assigned to Sarah Roberts.
Reciting an Indenture also of 16& 17 August 1754 whereby the said premises in Longtown were conveyed to Thomas Lewis for the sum of £240 subject to a mortgage from Humphrey Prosser.

Reciting that as further security for the sum due to Humphrey Prosser, the premises in the 1751 Indenture in Michaelchurch Eskley should also stand charged which matter is dealt with by the 1754 Indenture.


Indentures 26& 27/6/1764
Humphrey Prosser wanted his money, Thomas Lewis did not have it so he borrowed £350 from Thomas Green of Michaelchurch Eskley to pay off Humphrey Prosser; premises as before ie Teer Reece Harry Reece otherwise Reed y Ty bach where William Prosser now lived, and others.


Indentures 8& 9/5/1777
Between Elizabeth Green of Michaelchurch Eskley widow of Thomas Green who died January 1766 intestate; John Harris of Peterchurch yeoman son of Elizabeth one of Thomas Green’s daughters and James Jones of Turnastone yeoman and Ann his wife, the second daughter; Ursula Knight of the Grange of Wormsley widow.
Reciting the Indentures relating to the Longtown property and the Indenture of 26& 27 June 1764.

Reciting that Ursula Knight had agreed to pay off outstanding debts in the sum of £446 4s.

Mortgage assigned to Ursula Knight. Premises as 1764 Indentures.



Indenture of Fine Easter Term 18th Geo3 [May 1778]

Between Ursula Knight plaintiff and John Harris, James Jones and Ann his wife, defendents of two messuages two barns two stables two gardens three orchards sixty acres of land twenty acres of meadow thirty acres of pasture ten acres of wood twenty acres of furze and heath and common of pasture in Michaelchurch Eskley.




Regarding Both Properties


Reciting that Simon Exton was in debt owing

John Russell £1000 by mortgage of farm and land in several occupations of Messrs William Farr and Richard Thomas in Clodock, let to them on several yearly rents totalling £84

John Russell £900 on a farm in Michaelchurch Escley let to John Price at £60
Ursula Knight £400 on two messuages in Clodock and Michaelchurch Escley called Ponthenny and Kitty bach in several occupations of William Farr and Nicholas Johnson at a total rent of £31 10s
Philip Davis the elder £1000 two farms in Michaelchurch Escley called Call[?tt]er Rowland in occupation of John Lewis, other in Peterchurch at the Cross occupied by Simon Exton.
Simon Exton to transfer several messuages to Philip Davis elder and younger being:
in Michaelchurch Escley the messuage occupied by John Price;
two messuages in Clodock and Michaelchurch Escley being Ponthenny and Kitty bach occupied by William Farr and Nicholas Johnstone;
three messuages in Michaelchurch Escley called Catto[?]m Rowland Wern in the occupation of John Lewis and a farm adjacent in the occupation of John Lewis;
plus all other property of Simon Exton’s in the County.


Lease & Release 24& 25/4/1794
Remortgage by Simon Exton with Joseph Wyke of Leominster of messuage in occupation of John Price and later built messuage in the occupation of Joseph Exton in Michaelchurch Escley.


Lease & Release 24& 25/12/1794
Reciting that Thomas Lewis had died. His will left 50s annuity to his wife Mary; 40s to Thomas son of Thomas Powell of Longtown yeoman until 18 years old; all his estates to Simon Exton. Ursula Knight had received interest and now wanted capital back; remortgage arranged with John Tudor; premises comprised Teer Reece Harry Reece or Rhty y bach.


Will of Simon Exton elder proved 14 Nov 1803

Then late of Hereford but then City of London, Dr of Physic; legacies to daughters Ann and Sarah of £500 each and to Catherine £100; all real estate to son Simon Exton Dr of Physic; executors included Walter Marsh of Clodock.


Indenture 25th March 1804

Between Simon Exton of Clifford Place, Clifford, Dr of Physic, only son and heir of Simon Exton late of Peterchurch, Gentleman deceased and members of Tudor family. Reciting that Simon Exton had tried to sell the premises but had had no interest; John Tudor’s heirs agreed to roll up interest on outstanding loan; in 1822 one of his daughters Rebecca Davis took over the full loan.


Lease & Release 25& 26/9/1812
Simon Exton of Peterchurch owed money to James Spencer of Hay and secured this by way of mortgage on the Firs then occupied by Wm Rowlands; Firs Cottage then in possession of [blank]; The Upper House also occupied by William Rowlands; the Wern then in the occupation of [blank] Williams and Rhydy bach then also in occupation of [blank] Williams. Mortgage was conditional on existing mortgages with Sarah Tudor, Elizabeth Bird and [blank] Woodward


Lease & Release 20& 21/6/1823
Rebecca Davis’ loan taken over by Mary Green of Hereford widow; premises being messuage occupied by John Price and later built messuage occupied by Joseph Exton plus the messuage where Ann Hugh Parry formerly lived and Ann Thomas did since live called Teer Reece Harry Reece or Ryty bach both in Michaelchurch Eskley then in the occupation of John Price and James Williams or their undertenants.

Mortgage assigned to Francis Lewis Bodenham of Hereford.


Lease and Release 16& 17/8/1826
Remortgage with John Perry and assigned to Ursula Dorothy Perry; premises as 1823 document.


Lease & Release 29& 30/4/1833

Simon Exton had contracted to sell the premises to Miss Wilhelmina Barbara Trail for £3450; premises comprised:
messuage formerly occupied by John Price called the Firs;
messuage formerly occupied by Simon Exton called Firs Cottage;
175a 3r 13p of land formerly in occupation of John Elliott, then William Prosser, then Simon Exton deceased, then James Gatover [Gittove], then William Rowlands, then John Lewis, then John Price, then Robert Howard;
messuage Teer Reece Harry Reece or Rhydy bach comprising 21a 1r 38p then in the occupation of John Williams.


2   Supplement to The Abstract of the Title to The Firs and Rhyd y back Estates in the County of Hereford. Dated 1863.




Will of Simon Exton the elder, late of City of Hereford dated 2nd April 1803, proved Canterbury 14th Nov 1803
Bequeathed all his real and personal estates to his son Simon Exton; money bequests to his three daughters Ann, Sarah and Catherine all spinsters, a niece Sarah Coates, a servant Ann Williams and her daughter Elizabeth.

Simon Exton, Walter Marsh of Cluddock and ano as Executors.


Will of James Exton of Michael Church Escley dated 17th Feb 1773, proved Brecon 30th July 1774

Bequeathed to his nephew Simon Exton, all his messuages, tenements and lands then lately purchased from John Exton and then formerly the property of his [James’] brother Samuel Exton then deceased, in Michael Church Escley.

Nephew Simon Exton and brother Joseph Exton Executors.


Will of Thomas Lewis of Longtown dated 18th Oct 1765, proved Brecon 9th Nov 1765

Bequeathed his tenements, lands and premises called Pont Henry and Rhyd y tee back in Clodock and Michael Church Escley to Simon Exton of Michael Church Escley gent; subject to payment of annuities out of the properties to his wife Mary of 50s and to Thomas son of Thomas Powell of Longtown of 40s until aged 18 years.


Affidavit from John Prosser of St Margarets sworn 19th May 1832
Farmer, aged 65 years and upwards; born, as he was informed, in Michael Church Escley and lived there 40-50 years; has known Rhydy Bach and the Firs, in the respective occupations of James Williams and Robert Howard and the land of which the farms consisted; ever since known to him they have consisted of the same land; the only change was the grubbing up of a fence between Rhydy Back and the Wern which were both occupied by William Rowlands as tenant some 30 years ago.


Affidavit from Samuel Jenkins labourer, Samuel Exton yeoman and Robert Howard of the Firs, farmer, all of Michael Church Escley. [no date].
Samuel Jenkins now 65, born in Michael Church Escley as he heard; has known the Firs Farm ever since, now occupied by Robert Howard; now comprises the same lands as when he first knew it, no land taken or added; known as the Firs Farm all his life; first tenant he knew was William Prosser now deceased, then Simon Exton the then landlord now deceased, then James Gittove, then Wm Rowlands, then John Lewis now deceased, then one [blank] [?]Gude, now Robert Howard as tenant to Simon Exton the father, Simon Exton the son and then mortgagor.

Samuel Exton now 61, born at Firs Cottage part of the Firs Estate now held by Robert Howard as tenant; his late father John Exton was owner or part owner of said Firs Estate; knows the Firs from infancy; lived in Michael Church Escley or neighbourhood all his life; property was always known as the Firs and comprised the same land as now occupied by Robert Howard; was occupied by John Elliott as tenant, after by William Prosser as tenant to Simon Exton, then held by Simon Exton for some years then James Gittove, then William Rowlands then John Lewis with whom he Samuel Exton resided as assistant on Firs Farm, then John Price then [blank] [?Pride] and now Robert Howard.

Robert Howard now 53, lived in Michael Church Escley for nearly 45 years, now tenant of The Firs Farm; has known the farm for last 40 years during which time it has been called the Firs and comprised the same land throughout this period.




The Rhyd y Bach has been renamed The Long Barn.

Ponthenny and Pont Henry are probably references to Ponthendre.


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