Chancery pleadings: c.1580 (Beaple v. Bowden)
National Archives ref: C 2/Eliz/B28/11
Transcribed by David Carter 2017
[Implied letters in brackets have been added by the transcriber. Spelling remains verbatim]
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Date: Between 1558 and 1603
Pleadings: Beaple v Bowden.
Plaintiffs: Agnes Beaple, widow.
Defendants: Peter Bowdon.
Subject: Bill to recover rent; a tenement in the parish of Northam, Devon, late the estate of Alexander Beaple, plaintiff's husband.
Reference: C 2/Eliz/B28/11
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Description of documents:
This set of documents consists of four pages of legal representations concerning the disagreement about payment of rent etc, to the estate of the deceased Alexander Beaple.
One of the documents was a copy, but the other three are fully transcribed below.
The documents were not dated (amongst pleadings for Eliz I), but from the date of other sources about Alexander Beaple, they appear to be c.1580.
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To the right honorable Sir Thomas Cromley knight Lord Channcelor of Ingland.
Humbly complanidge showeth unto youre good lordshippe your daily oratrix Agnes Beaple of Barnestable in the Countie of Devon wydowe that whereas one Alexander Beaple decessid late husband to youre said oratrix was in the life tyme of longe tyme seized to hyme & to his heirs in ffee simple of & in the rev[er]tion of a certeyne tenement lying & beinge in the par[is]he of Northam in the said countie of Devon whiche one Peter Bowden then and there doth nowe hold As in the right of Johan his wife for terme of the liffe of the said Johan and the said Peter Bowdon was and ought to yeld & paie yerely to the said Alexander Beaple for the same tenement fortie shillings rentt yerely or ther abouts which said rent was behinde & unpaied in the life of the said Alexander Beaple by the space of eight yeres or there abouts And whereas also the said Peter Bowdon did owe & was indettid unto the said Alexander Beaple in dyv[er]s other somes of money to the valewe of ffortie pounds or ther aboute aswell for money lent to hyme by the said Alexander as for sundry other considerations which said somes of money were now satisfied by the said Peter Bowdon nor by any other under the said Alexander Beaple nor to any other to his use, So hit is therfore as hit maie please your good lordshippe was your said oratrix being sole executrix of the last will and testament of the said Alexander Beaple her husband hath often & sundrye tymes requestid the said Peter Bowdon to satisfie & to paie unto her all the arrerag[e]s of the said rent And also all such somes of moneys as the said Peter did owe unto the said Alexander att the tyme of his death for that they doo nowe howly & only belong unto your said oratrix as executrix to the said Alexander Beaple which notwithstanding the said Peter Bowdon always hath and yet doth refuse to paie contrary to all right & conscience & to the hynderance & lett of the p[er]formance of the said last will and testament of the said Alexander Beaple In tender consideration wherof and forasmuche as your said oratrix cannott by any means certeynly learne what the certeyne yerely rent was of the said tenement ne[i]ther doth p[er]fectly knowe for howe many yeres the same rentt hath ben behind & unpaied in the liffe of the said Alexander and forasmuch as your said oratrix cannott by witnesses nowe lyvying sufficiently p[ro]ve what other somes of money the said Peter Bowden did owe unto the said Alexander Beaple at the tyme of his death therefore your said oratrix is without all remydye by the com[m]one lawes of this realme to recon’ the said arrerages of rent or the said other somes of money. Maie hit therefore please youre good lordshippe to gr[a]nnt unto your said oratrix the quenes maieg[e]ties most grateious writte of subpoena to be directed unto the said Peter Bowdon com[m]andinge hyme therby at a certeyne daie & under a paine therein tobe lymittid p[er]sonally to appeare before your good lordshippe in the quenes maiest[y]s most highe courtt of chancery then & there to awneswere to the p[re]misses & therein to stand to & abide such order & decree as to your good lordshippe and to the said honorable court shall deame to stand with equitie & conscience And your said oratrix shall contynually praie for your good lordshippe longe in honor and felicitie to conynewe.
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The Annsweare of Peter Bowden to the bill of comp[lain]t of Agnes Beaple widowe.
The said defendant saiethe that the said Bill of Comp[lain]t is verie untrewe & fayned & exhibited by the plentife against him of malice and evill will and of purpose & as it seemethe to thintent to molest vexe trouble and disquiet him the said defendante beinge a poore man and inhabitnnte same of frome this honorable rents without anye ins~??? matter or re[a]sonable cause or matters in the same bill conteyned lacking forme the valewe of the rent the charge of debets so unc[er]tegne & insufficiente in the lawe as he supposeth by lawe he is not bound to annswere the same and therefore he demanndethe indoor[s]ment of this honorable courte nev[er]theless if he this def[endant] shall be forced by order of this honorable court to make anye other annswere to the same s~~yted untrew & insufficient bill this defendant for farther annswere saethe as here to fore in licke supposed matters exhibited against him wrongfullie in this honorable courte by this compl[ainant] ffrends abetment prmement(?) or condiscent hathe saide that trewe at is as he supposeth that the said Alexander Beaple husband unto this compl[ainant] named in the said bill was seized as of fee And right of And in the rev[er]tion of the said ten[emen]te mentioned in the same Bill And that the said defendant & Joahne his wiefe as in right of the said Joahne held the same as the said Alexander for terme of liefe of the said Joahne yeldinge & payinge therefore yerelie certen rent as by the same dead [i.e. deed] it dothe & maye appeare and the said Alexander so beinge thereof seised died seised intestate, not makinge her executrix as in the bill is untrewlie alleged, savyinge onlie by a fayned and supposed will for that the said Alexander was of no sownd mynd nor of p[er]fet remembrans as this def[endant] dothe verily thinke & this dothe belive at the oather because he was with the said Alexander at the tyme of the makinge of it his supposed will attindinge uppon him in his extrem sicknes so that to this defendants iudgment he did not nor cold not knowe nor und[er]stand what was comp[ri[sed in that p[re]teneded will w[hi]ch he subscribed so that if there were anye rent or other somes of moneye besaied(?) unpayed it she is not to cleme it as executrix unto her husband as he verily supposethe And where as she sayethe that the rent behind & unpaied in the liefe of the said Alexander by the space of eight yeares or there abouts & also that this defendant was indebited unto the said Alexander husband unto this compl[ainant] to the valewe of fortie pounds as by the said bill of complent it dothe & may appere this defendant for annswere there unto sayethe that as to tha~~~age(?) of the rent to his knowlidge & as he verilie belevethe that he did not owe unto him on[e] pennye at the tyme of the deathe of the said Alexander, but farther saiethe that he p[ro]fered his last quarters rent unto the said Alexander liynge in his bed verie sicke in p[re]sence of this comp[lainan]t the Quarters day beinge not come, who by meanes of his extreme sicknes takinge but litle plesure there in coffinge & tumblinge flunge it frome the bed who gatheringe it up agayne payed it unto this compl[ainant] who as he sopposethe is to repaye it by lawe & conscience in as muche as her husband died before the quarter whiche makethe this defendant verilie to belive that she dothe it onlie to impoverishe him that he must be constrayned to y[ie]lde unto her & to her friends will & pleasure voide of equitie & trewe meanynge, the w[hi]ch is to be dowted unles y[ou]r lordshippes favor be unto him in this behalf shewed & as to the fortie pounds that the said Alexander shold lend or otherwise shold come unto this defendants hands he dothe not remember that ev[er] he lent him anye but that he hathe disoursed at sondrie & div[er]se tymes for hime, & that he was accomptant unto him for div[er]se recepts whereof he well thewlie & honestlie by his liefe tyme did satisfie content And paye w[i]thout that that she was executrix of his last will & testament otherwise then in this annswere is alleged and w[it]hout that that he was indebited unto the said Alexander at the tyme of his deathe in in fortie pounds or anye pennys(?) there of unto his knowledge as in the said bill of compl[aint] is untruly surmysed all w[hi]ch matters this defendant is reddie to avowe & prove as this honorable court shall awarde & prayethe to be dismissed out of this honorable court withe his costs & charges for wrongfull vexation sustened in this behalfe.
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The Replication of Agnes Beaple wydowe complain[an]te to the Annsweere of Peter Bowden defendannte.
The said complain[an]te for replication saieth that her said bill of complainte & the matters therein conteyned are true certeyne & sufficiente in the lawe to be awneswered unto & not exhibited againste the said defendunte of malice & evell will to molest & vex the said defendante withoute anste(?) matter or reasonable cause of sute as in the awneswere of the said defendante as sladerouslye fayned & surmysed for the said complain[an]te doth & will avow and p[ro]ve all & ev[er]ye the matters conteyned in her said bill of complainte to be sufficient & true in suche sorte manne[r] & forme as the same are therein alreadye trulye alledged And farder reliethe & saithe that the said Alexander Beaple being of sounde mynde & p[er]fecte remembrannc made his laste will & testament And by the same made the said complain[an]te his executrix as in the said bill of complainte is alledged wh'oute(?) that that the said Alexander Beaple died instestate savinge only by a fayned & supposed will soe(?) that the said Alexander was of no sounde mynde nor of p[er]fecte remembrance as the said defendant soe(?) cleringe of himselfe in this matter & dyv[er]s other matters in w[ch]ch in like sorte he is to be charged with all by the said complainante seameth most falslye to affirme And w[i]thoute that that the said defendannte did p[ro]fer his laste quarters rente unto the said Alexander in p[re]senc of the said complainante & that the complainante did receve the same as the said defendante also moste untrewlye hath alledged, And withoute that the said defendante did satisfie contente & paie unto the said Alexander Beaple in his liffe tyme suche recepts & somes of money w[hi]ch the said defendannte had receaved of & for to the use of the said Alexander Beaple as in his said annswere also he hathe most falsly affirmed And withoute that that any other thinge or matte[r] on the said annswere conteyned hereby not sufficiently travesed confessed avoided or denyed as true as and teviall to be replied unto all w[hi]che the said complain[an]te as redie to aver & p've as this honorable courte shall awarde & prayeth as she before in her said bill hath praied.
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Parish Register and Will entries relevant to the above:
BARNSTAPLE – Parish Marriage
1553 Jan 16 – Alexander BEAPLE, to Annes CADE
DEVON WILLS INDEX
1576 – Alexander BEAPLE, gent of Fremington, confirmed by sentence 17 Feb 1578; revoked 26 Nov 1580.
1580 – Alexander BEAPLE, Administration to Agnes Beaple, wife
1595 – Agnes BEAPLE, widow
Prerogative Court of Canterbury, MUR1 abstract
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