Chancery pleadings: c.1560 (Docton v. Toker)

National Archives ref: C 3/S5/70
Transcribed by David Carter 2020

[Most punctuation, all line-spaces and implied letters in brackets have been added by the transcriber to aid understanding. Spelling remains verbatim]

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National Archives Catalogue entry:

Date: 1560 ?
Record: C 3 - Court of Chancery: Six Clerks Office: Pleadings, Series II, Elizabeth I to Interregnum (1558-1579)
Short title: Docton v Toker.
Plaintiff: Thomas Docton.
Defendants: John Toker.
Subject: Personal estate of the deceased Richard Chaunterell of Devon.
Document type: Pleadings.

TNA Reference: C 3/S5/70

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Explanation of the case:

Analysis and Interpretation of the documents:

•    Richard Channtell (or Chauntrell) appointed Thomas Docton as executor of his Will.
•    Alice Snowe appointed John Toker as executor of her Will.

£4.6s.8d was loaned by Richard Channtell to Alice Snowe, and after the death of both parties, the executor of Richard Channtell (Thomas Docton), tried to reclaim the money from the estate of Alice Snowe (administered by John Toker).

The document is not dated, but is contained in a batch of pleadings which cover 1558 to 1579.

(There was an Alisia Snow, widow, buried at Hartland on 4th Jan 1583/4, and a Will of Alice Snow was proved in the Archdeaconry of Barnstaple in 1583, to the value of £41.16s.5d, but this will only survives as a list entry, so cannot be researched. This date is too late to be the Alice in question, so there must have been an earlier Alice Snowe, but the Hartland registers do not start until 1558).

A Richardus Channterel was buried at Hartland on 30th Aug 1559, and must be the person in question. A document dated 1525 (CRO/AR/1/606), describes him as an attorney.

Thomas Docton was a contemporary of Richard Channtrel, and his son John Docton married Richard’s daughter Agnes Channtrel c.1539. There is no recorded burial for Thomas Docton, but it is believed that he died sometime between 1558 and 1566.

It is therefore concluded that this document probably dates to 1560.

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Transcription of documents:

Document 1

8 die May

To the ryghte honorable Sir Nicoles Bacon knyghte Lord ke[e]p[per] off the great seale.

In hys moste humble wysse compleninge shewynge to yower lordshyppe, Thomas Docton off Hartland in the Countie off Devon gentillman, executor off the laste Wyll and testiment off Rychard Channtell decessed.

That wheras one Alys Snowe wydowe in the Countie afforsayd, in her lyffe tyme dyd borowe off the sayd Richard Channtell the sume of IIII£ VIs VIIId, to be repayed to the sayd Rychard hys executors or admynystrators, Att and upon requeste to be mayd by the sayd Richard his executors or administr[ator]s.

So yt is yff ytt may plese yower lordshyppe, that after that the sayd Alys dyd borowe the sayd sume off III£ VIs VIIId off the sayd Rychard in man[ner] and forme as ys afforesayd, the sayd Alys dyd order and make her laste wyll and testiment, and theroff made one John Toker her executor off her sayd laste wyll, and dyed.

After whose dethe so made(?) off the p[ro]per goodes and chattelles off the sayd Alys, As woll pay and dyscharge all the duties off the sayd Alys, came to the handes and possession off the sayd John Toker the executor off the sayd Alys, by force off the sayd Wyll off the sayd Alys the sayd Rychard Channtell in hys lyffe tyme, and [INSERTED WORDS, THEN CROSSED OUT] the sayd compl[ainant] div[er]s and sundry tymes have repayed as~?~ the sayd Alys Snowe, as allso the sayd John Toker to repay the sayd sume off IIII£ VIs VIIId unto them.

Yett they and every off them allwayes dyd refuse, and yett the sayd John dothe refuse to paye the sayme to the sayd complainante contrarie to all spirite and good conscyen[c]e, to the hynderance off the execution off the said testament off the sayd Rychard Channtell.

For redresse and remedy(?) whereoff the sayd compl[ainant] haythe no remedy by the order off the comon lawes off thyse realme, because neyther he the sayd Rychard Channtell haythe any sufficent dede in the lawe for the sayme.

In consideration whereoff and for as muche as yower sayd pour oratour ys clere wythout remedy by the court, and order off the same [INSERTED: come ~[illeg]~ off thys realme] for the reanye(?) theroff.

Therfore may yt please yower lordshyppe to grannt the quenes maiestys most gracio[us] wrytt off sub pe[oen]a, to be directyd to the sayd John Toker, commandynge hym therby att a certayne day and under a certayne payne therein to be lymytted, p[er]sonally to appear before yower lordshyppe in the quenes maiestie most hygh courte off chance[r]y, then and there to answer to the p[re]mysses.

And yower sayd supplicant shall as he already dothe pray for the preservation off yower good lordshyppe wythe much ~?~resse off honors long to indure.

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Document 2

Th[e] answ[er]s of John Toker to the bill of complaynt of Thomas Docton.

The said John Toker saith that the said bill of complaynt is untrue, incerteyn, insufficient in the lawe, and the matters therein conteyned fayned, imagyned and devisid to th[e] entent to put hym to vexation, troble, coste charge and losse of his goods.

And for answ[er]s saith that true it is that he was executour of the last will and testament of Alice Snowe decessed, named in the bill of complaynte, and p[ro]vid the said last will and testament before th[e] ordenarie, according to th[e] order of the Ecli[si]asticall lawes, and toke upon hym th[e] executor[torshi]p of the same and did administer according to the trust and confidens put in hym by the said Alice Snowe.

W[i]t[h]out that, that the said Alice Snowe did borowe of Richard Channtrell, named in the said bill of complaynt, the some of IIII£ VIs VIIId recited in the said bill of complainte or any parte therof, to the knowlige of this defendant, or that the said Alice Snowe was at the tyme of her deth indetted unto the said Richard Channtrell, in the said some of IIII£ VIs VIIId, or any parte thereof, as is surmysed by the said bill of complaynt, or that the said Richard Channtrell in his life did aske or demannde of the said Alice any suche supposed dett of IIII£ VIs VIIId, as is surmised by the said bill of complaynte.

And if he had it as not materiall for that that the said Alice did not owe unto the said Richard Channtrell the said some of IIII£ VIs VIIId, nor any p[ar]te thereof, or that the said defendant in refussing and denying to paie to the said complaynant the said some of IIII£ VIs VIIId, hath done agaynst right or conscience, or that the the said defendant any thing hath done to the lett or hyndrance of th[e] execution of the testament and last will of the said Richard Channtrell.

And w[i]t[h]out that, that any other thing effectuall or mat[eryell in the said bill of complaynte alledged and not here sufficentlie confessed and avoided, denyed nor tran[s]ferd(?) as true.

All w[hi]ch matters the said defendant is redie to avere as this courte shall awarde.

And praith to be dismyssed w[i]t[h] his costs and chargs by hym susteyned in this behalf.

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Document 3

The replyation off Thomas Docton complanante to the answer off John Tucker defendante.

The sayd complanante sayeth that hys sayd byll off complaynte and the mattere therein conteynd, ar trewe, certayne and sufficyent in the lawe to be answeryd to, and groundyd upon juste and resonable cause, and nott to th[e] entent to putt the sayde defendante to v~?~ste vexation, trouble, costes, charges and losses off the goodes.

And furder [hole in document] that the sayd Ales Snowe dyd borowe off the sayd Rychard Channtell the sayd sume of IIII£ VIs VIIId, in man[ner] and forme as ys treuly alledgyd by the complanante.

And further that the sayd Alys Snowe was in dettye att the tyme of her dethe to the sayd Rychard Channtell, as also ys trewly allegyd by hys sayd byll, and that all other matters conteynyd in hys sayd byll ar trewe.

All whyche matters the sayd complanante ys redy to averr and p[ro]ve, as thys moste h[o]norable courte shall award. And pray the sayd sume off IIII£ VIs VIIId wythe hys resonable costes and damages susteyned by menes off thys iniuste vexation and wrongfull detenar(?) thereoff.

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The Decision:

The decision of this court is not contained in these documents.

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