Tobacco Growing in the Vale of Evesham,
Winchcombe and District,
and John Stratford.
By Gerald H. Stratford.
This Chapter deals with a Complaint, made by Rouse Stratford, of Temple Guiting, in the
County of Gloucestershire, and with this Document relates further proof to the identity
of John Stratford, tobacco grower.
The Relationships of persons mentioned within the Bill are as follows, Rouse Stratford
was the son of Anthony Stratford of Temple Guiting, who was the son of William
Stratford of Farmcote, who had taken as his first wife Joyce De La Mott, and he was
born in about 1528.
The brothers mentioned, Richard, Edward, Charles, Anthony, Henry, Giles, and John are
the surviving brothers of George Stratford, initially settled at Badsey, and Alice his wife,
who eventually inherited the Manor of Farmcote. They were all the sons of John
Stratford of Farmcote, and Margaret Tracy, the daughter of Sir Robert Tracy of
Toddington in the County of Gloucestershire.
Henry Stratford, married Mary De La Mere, but does not seem to have inherited
Farmcote, leaving issue of one son, John Stratford of Farmcote, who did eventually
inherit that Estate, in relation herewith.
Rouse Stratford, born about 1581, married Anne, the daughter of Richard Foggy, of
Dane's Court, County Kent. His father Anthony Stratford had issue of Rouse by his first
marriage , and with his second marriage to Mary, the daughter of William Gent, had
William, who married Elizabeth the daughter of Richard Lilley of Stouthould, and was slain
in a Duel with Holte of London.
This then implies that, Rouse Stratford's Grandfather, William Stratford, who married
Joyce De La Mott, is also the brother of John Stratford who married Margaret Tracy,
and the numerous brothers mentioned are cousins to Anthony, the Executor of George
Stratford's Will, and, of course Rouse Stratford on the death of his father Anthony, took
over the responsibility of that Executorship.
George Stratford of Badsey, and Farmcote, did have issue of John, baptised at Badsey
on the 3rd of November 1578, Alice, baptised at Badsey on the 19th of December 1574,
and Elizabeth baptised at Badsey on the 29th of January 1580. We must presume that
they did not survive their Parents, as they are not mentioned in the Will of George
Rouse Stratford Esquire, of Temple Guiting, in the County of Gloucestershire,
Complains, that George Stratford Esquire, of Farmcote, in the County of
Gloucestershire, died leaving a Purpose of five several Legacies, to his Brothers, Richard,
Edward, Charles, Anthony, Giles, John and Henry, and their children, and by his Will dated
the 4th of March 1580, nominated Paul Tracy Esquire of Stanway, Gloucestershire, now
Knight and Bart, and John Temple of Stow, Buckinghamshire, and Anthony Stratford of
Temple Guiting, Gentlemen, the Plaintiff's father to be Overseer of his Will.
The Document is very faded, but, it appears that one of the Bequests, was paid in the
form of an Annuity, instead of a lump sum.
The Document states that Anthony Stratford is a Salter, residing in Friday Street, in
London. This must be noted that this is not Anthony Stratford, the father of Rouse
Stratford, who married Jane the daughter of William Rouse, but Anthony Stratford of
Friday Street London, where had married Elizabeth Churchman of London.
John Stratford, a Salter, the tobacco grower, is accused of defrauding Henry Stratford
of forty pounds, and Henry Stratford, being the elder brother of George Stratford,
deceased, and another George Stratford also residing in London.
The Answer of John Stratford, to Rouse Stratford, both Gentlemen.
In the Will of George Stratford of Farmcote, Badsey, and London, he allotted two
thousand pounds, except for forty pounds of it, which was reserved for his brother
Henry's daughter Hit which should be disbursed amongst his brothers, and their children,
at the discretion of the overseers of his Will, of which one thousand pounds, was to be
paid soon after his death, and the other one thousand pounds after the death of his wife,
The overseers divided this money, and Henry Stratford, the son of -Richard Stratford of
Standish, the brother of George Stratford, deceased, received forty pounds. The
Defendant says that he never received that forty pounds, and, that George Stratford the
brother of Henry Stratford, being a Freeman of the City of London, and a joiner, and the
Defendant, being a Kinsman of George Stratford, being Servant with Peter Robinson, a
Salter of London, and of being of good liking with his Master, and having served his
Apprenticeship, did Trade in Cheshire Cheese, and Woollen Hoses, and divers other
things, which were sent him by some of his Master's Chapmen, out of the Country, and
with his Master's leave.
And, George Stratford, being needy, and thinking this Defendant able to relieve him, by
giving him Credit, George Stratford, made his moan to the Defendant, and asked him to
lend him money, and trust him with some Cheeses, and other goods, alleging that in so
doing, he would be as a loving Kinsman like favour to him, for there was a neighbour of
good Estate, who was ready to bestow upon him (George) in Marriage, his daughter, in
So, the Defendant, lent George Stratford the money and Cheese, and other
commodities, to the value of eighty five pounds, twelve shillings and seven pence, out of
which the Defendant received later off of George Stratford, forty three pounds four
shillings and eight pence, by monies and wares, at several times in part payment of the
So, forty two pounds seven shillings and nine pence was still owing. Also, the Defendant,
entered into a Bill with George Stratford, at his earnest request, unto one Christopher
Robinson, of Barnaby Street, Southwark, a Fell Monger, for thirty pounds, for the proper
Debt of George Stratford.
Shortly after, Alice Stratford, the wife of George Stratford of Farmcote and Badsey,
died, and the second one thousand pounds, was paid according to George Stratford's
Will, and there was present at Farmcote Manor House, the Defendant with the said
George Stratford, and Henry and William, their brothers? In the Bill it also mentions with
their Brethren, and their Children, and, after discussion, it was agreed to pay to his
Brother's Children, (his brother Richard's Children) George and Henry, amongst others,
the sum of forty pounds each, for their remainder of the portion due.
But, Feoffes, thought Henry, Being sick of Capacity, unfit to receive his Portion, into his
hands, and, not used to Trading or Employing Monies to benefit, so it was agreed that
George Stratford should have the money, (Henry's brother), and enter into a Bond, to
pay Henry Stratford, an Annuity during his lifetime, and provide him with Board and
Lodgings, in his House, at the earnest request of George Stratford, and it would enable
him to pay off his Debts.
The Defendant, entered into Bond with him, and one George Stratford, now of
Farmcote, (this was the grandson of Henry Stratford, and Mary De La Mere, the eldest
son of John Stratford and Margaret Tracy, and therefore John Stratford the tobacco
grower was his Great Uncle. The son of Henry Stratford and Mary De La Mere, John,
married Mary the daughter of Sir Anthony Throgmorton, and had issue of this George,
who inherited Farmcote, and married Elizabeth Hobby of Hailes), unto the Complainant
Rouse Stratford, for the payment of the said Annuity, quarterly, on the condition that
George Stratford, also enter into a Bond, to free the Deed Gift, or other Security, as
soon as he returned to London, and to save the Defendant harmless from the said Bond.
And, on that condition, the Defendant gave his Counter Bond with George Stratford, to
save George Stratford of Farmcote, harmless from the said Bond, which Security was
given to the Defendant, in London, by Deed of Gift accordingly.
so, when the first quarter of the Annuity became due, Henry Stratford, came to the
Defendant for his Annuity, and the Defendant, to save the forfeiture of his Bond, and for
that George Stratford, (Henry's brother) was indebted, and being so far indebted, that he
doth not show his head, but has departed from his dwelling, and absented himself for that
purpose, did only pay for a time, until, the said Henry Stratford, seemingly, to have very
desirous' to travel, into the New Countries, having no Trade to live by in London, was
earnest with Debt, asked him to give him two years Annuity before hand, to apparel him,
and put money in his purse, declaring to the Defendant, that with the money, he might
have in Her Majesties, (notice Her) where he should live like a Gentleman, which of
course he was. (This means the incident afor mentioned must have been before the 24th
of March 1602/3).
The Defendant, knew that Henry Stratford, could not give sufficient discharge for the
money, but, never the less, at the Entreaty, John Stratford, did venture to pay Henry
Stratford, two years Annuity, which, being twelve pounds, beforehand, and took a
Writing, under Henry's Seal, specifying the like said receipt, of which the Defendant is
ready to show to this Court.
Before Henry Stratford shipped himself over, William Stratford, brother to the said
Henry Stratford, (this now makes three brothers, George Henry and William,) dwelling in
Bristol, and coming to London, perceiving his brother's purpose, (Henry) persuaded him
to the contrary. Whereupon Henry Stratford declared unto William Stratford, the two
years Annuity, received off of the Defendant. But, William Stratford, being of an
obnoxious and unthrifty disposition, dissuaded Henry Stratford, from the intended
journey, and got from him a Letter of Attorney, to Recovery of the said Defendant, his
Annuity, and in fortune of the Bond, if the Defendant should fail to make payment
This Defendant, being loath to fall into the hands of so a lewd person, as William
Stratford, duly paid his Annuity every Quarter there after, until at the hot Siege and
Stance at Ostend, where unto Henry Stratford was pressed forth at London, under
Captain Shakley, for stance there, (this was in 1601), and the said Captain Shakley, after
returning to London, having lost most of his men, in that Service, the mother of the said
Henry Stratford, repaired to the Captain, for news of her son's welfare, and then came
to the Defendant, and told him that the Captain had said that her son Henry Stratford
was now dead.
After this, the Defendant ceased to pay the Annuity, but, William Stratford, had the
Letter of Attorney, and alleged that his brother was still living, but dishonestly sent a
letter to the Defendant, in Henry Stratford's name, asking for the Annuity. John
Stratford did not pay up, so, William Stratford sued Anthony Stratford, the father of
Rouse Stratford, in Chancery to deliver the Bond, as Surety for the payment of the
So Anthony Stratford refused to let the Bond out of his hands, seeing the evil purpose of
With Anthony Stratford's consent, John Stratford put a Suit in Chancery, that, Anthony
Stratford, may bring in the Bond, and leave it in Chancery, until Henry Stratford, should
come to claim the Annuity.
This was done, but, William Stratford, brought two felons, who were never seen again,
after taking the Oath, who claimed to know that Henry Stratford, was still alive, and as
the Defendant had heard, the Court, handed with the Bond to William Stratford,
permission to Sue the Defendant, at Common Law.
So, William Stratford, sued Sued the Defendant to an Outlawery, at Common Law, and
the Defendant, not knowing of this was taken to the Sheriff's Office, in London, and put
The Defendant proceeded in his Suite, and obtained his liberty. But one, Thomas
Sandford, a Minister and Kinsman of the Families, wishing to make Peace between the
Parties, William Stratford and the Defendant, asked the Defendant, to give William
Stratford, something in regard of his great want and poverty.
William Stratford had long been absent from home, and was willfully wasting other
people's money, by these Suits, to have an end to the question. So, the Defendant, in
order to save any further expenses, met William Stratford, and gave him five pounds, and
took up the Bond, that William Stratford had in his possession, and thereby got relief
from the said William Stratford.
The Defendant says, not with standing his readiness to help his Kindred, he is like to lose
by George Stratford, the brother of Henry and William Stratford, almost one hundred
Marks, besides his loss of time, the neglect of his Trade, and the long vexation in Law
The Defendant, John Stratford denies all Charges made against him by Rouse Stratford.
Data transcribed by Colin Hinson from:
A document written by
Gerald H. Stratford in 1988.
Reproduced here by permission
© Gerald H. Stratford.