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Assessment of the Lands of Thomas Benson (1753)

National Archives ref: T 1/354/25 

Transcribed by David Carter 2018

[Implied letters in brackets have been added by the transcriber. Spelling remains verbatim]

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Catalogue entry:
Memorial of Thomas Benson of Northam, co. Devon, proposing a method of paying the money he owes on tobacco bonds.
Date: 17th October 1753
(National Archives ref: T 1/354/25)


N.B. Refer also to the Witness statements in the Benson and Stafford Court case (1758), which also includes list of all Benson family land holdings. (National Archives reference E 134/32Geo2/Mich9)

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The Memorial of Thomas Benson of Northam in the County of Devon, esq.
17 October 1753
Together with the rental of the said Thomas Bensons Estate hereunto annexed.
To the Right Hon[oura]ble the Lords Commissioners of his Majestys Treasury. To the Commissioners of the Customs.

Humbly sheweth
That Whereas he stands indebted to his Ma[jes]tie in sev[era]l sums of money due on sundry Tobacco Bonds now in the hands of the Solicitor of the Customs w[hi]ich have been put in Execution & for w[hi]ch the estates of the said Thomas Benson are now in pos[es]sion of the Crown by an Extent, and the said Thomas Benson being desirous of paying & securing the same, Humbly presents to your Lordships the following proposals, Viz:

That the whole estate contained in a schedule hereunto annexed be conveyed in Trust to two gentlemen of indisuputable good character for raising the sum of £2000 and to pay the same into the hands of the officers of the Crown on or before the 25th day of March next and that the said Trustees do also pay on or before the 26th day of March then next following the further sum of £1000 and so to continue every 25th day of March following the payment of £1000 until the whole debt from the said Thomas Benson to the Crown be paid off and discharged.

That the trustees to be named may be those that the Crown can repose due trust and confidence in for the just performance of their Trust, and as such the said Thomas Benson names William Barbor of Lary in the County of Devon af[oresai]d Doctor of physick and William Melhuish of

Satterly in the said County Barrister at Law and the Rev[eren]d Thomas Melhuish of Witheridge in the County af[oresai]d clerke or any two of them as to your Honours shall seem meet.
That the said Thomas Benson will oblige himself by such deed of trust to execute every thing in his power to enable the trustees to raise money by mort[ga]ge sale or otherwise of the said estates and the money ariseing thereby shall go to and be applied for & towards the payment of the said debt due to the Crown as afores[ai]d and to no other use intent or purpose w[hat]soever and to w[hi]ch the said Trustees will oblige themselves in like manner.

That the officers of the Crown do remain in full possession of the said Estates by virtue of the extent only to join w[i]th the Trustees in w[hic]h is necessary for raising the money or any part thereof by mort[ga]ge sale or otherwise as af[oresai]d And in case these several sums are not paid on or before the respective times mentioned then the officers of the Crown to sell the estates or any part thereof and pay and apply the money arising thereby in discharge of the said debt.

That the said Thomas Benson having an Honest desire of paying his just due to the Crown on the sev[era]l Tobacco Bonds, Humbly and heartily makes these his proposals to your Lordships wise considerations and w[i]th great condescension submits himself to your Lordships will and pleasure, thereby hoping to find such relief from your Lordships usual levity and goodness towards himself and family (who must otherwise be totally ruined and undone unless timely aided and assisted herein) as to your Lordships shall seem meeet, And your petitioner as in duty bound shall ever pray etc.

Who are your Lordships m[os]t h[onoura]ble & m[os]t ob[edian]t serv[an]t.
Signed: Thomas Benson

Whitehall Treasury Chambers 18th October 1753.
The Right Hon[our]able the Lords Comm[issione]rs of his Ma[jesty]s treasury are pleased to refer this memorial to the comm[issioner]s of his Ma[jesty]s customs who are directed to consider the proposal and on their part to make such a proposal to their Lordships as may best promote the interest of the Crown.

Signed: N Hardinge.

Thomas Benson ref'd to Commissioners Customs.

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Survey of lands lately belonging to John Benson esq who devised the same to his son Peter Benson esq in fee who by his Will limited the same subject to several considerable legacies to his brother Thomas Benson esq for 99 years with divers remainders over to his nephew in like manner & their heirs in Tail Male etc:..

Tenements Tenants Yearly value beyond said rents Number of years purchase of his interest in said lands The amount thereof Value of his interest in lands and rents of years
Napp & the grounds & closes thereunto belonging in Northam In hand £80.0s.0d      
Bidna Francis Sexton £27.10s.0d      
Quarry Thomas Evans £20.0s.0d      
Hammetts Ditto £9.0s.0d      
Collybeare Martha Pasmore £9.9s.0d      
Lands on Jefferys Key at Appledore In hand £54.14s.0d      
The old key & 6 cellars at Appledore In hand £20.0s.0d      
A house & shop there John Barzey £7.0s.0d      
Gammaton in Bideford George Sage £56.0s.0d      
Halls Pill in Weare Giffard Edward Lewis £15.0s.0d      
  Total £298.13s.0d 7 £2090.11s.0d £2090.11s.0d
An annuity issuing out of Hansford Will: Melhuish esq. £5.4s.0d 8 £41.12s.0d £41.12s.0d
  Total £303.17s.0d   £2132.3s.0d £2132.3s.0d

The said John Benson's lands on lease:..

Tenements Tenants Reserved rents Yearly value beyond said rents
Higher Knap John Jury 13s.4d £13.0s.0d
A field adjoining Ditto 7s.0d £7.0s.0d
A House and garden George Samm 5s.0d £4.0s.0d
2 houses James Bond 5s.0d £9.0s.0d
Burdens House George Hogg 6s.8d £18.0s.0d
A House Daniel Bowden 6s.8d £6.0s.0d
A House James Leach 6s.8d £6.0s.0d
Another ditto John Webber 6s.8d £6.0s.0d
Another ditto Ann Brooke 6s.8d £6.0s.0d
A House, Market & Shambles Thomas Clibbett £1.0s.0d £10.0s.0d
One House, Shambles & Key Richard Harrin 13s.4d £7.0s.0d
One House & Garden James Dennis 5s.0d £3.0s.0d
Hobbs House & field Thomas Bass 10s.0d £5.0s.0d One field Julian Heale 9s.4d £2.0s.0d
One field William Lyle 1s.0d £1.10s.0d
One house & one field Mary Whitson 4s.0d £3.0s.0d
Westwood Executors of Marsh 10s.0d £9.0s.0d
Middle Wood Susannah Hernam[an] 4s.0d £4.0s.0d
The Higher Winsery John Barzey 3s.4d £10.0s.0d
Gibbs's Ground Mary Vernam 3s.0d £3.0s.0d
A House Nicholas Andrews 1s.0d £1.0s.0d
2 Fields called Middletons Robert Prance 3s.4d £3.0s.0d
2 Houses on Jeffery's Key James Lancey 4s.6d £5.0s.0d
One house on the old Key Edward Jeffery 1s.0d £2.10s.0d
A house & field called the Windmill & other lands called Wittmores Roger Band 10s.0d £10.0s.0d
The Bell Inn & two fields belonging thereto Ann Sowdon 10s.0d £6.0s.0d
Lousehill Robert Searles 14s.0d £7.0s.0d
A house called Moors Ditto 1s.0d £1.0s.0d
One house & garden Phillip Mayne 2s.0d £2.0s.0d
One house & garden Joan Jones 2s.0d £2.0s.0d
One house & garden John Cockram 3s.0d £3.0s.0d
An estate called Hoskins John Oxenham 5s.0d £5.0s.0d
One house & 2 fields called Bennetts Mary Bennett 8s.0d £4.0s.0d
Conygears in Bideford Humphry Ching £2.0s.0d £30.0s.0d
Dunscomb's in ditto John Walter 10s.0d £10.0s.0d
Darracott's Byberry in ditto Henry Stoneman £1.4s.0d £24.0s.0d
Grigg's Byberry in ditto Ditto £1.4s.0d £24.0s.0d
Summer's Byberry in ditto James Horwood £1.6s.8d £26.0s.0d
  Total £11.16s.2d £298.0s.0d

A survey of lands purchased by late Peter Benson esq & by him devised to his brother Thomas Benson subject to several considerable legacies:..

Tenements Tenants Value of his interest in lands and rents
Shorn lands in Abbotsham John Blackmore bought in 1743 by said Peter Benson for... £630.0s.0d

East Commons in Northam divided as follows (to wit):..

Tenements Tenants Yearly value beyond said rents Number of years purchase of his interest in said lands The amount thereof Value of his interest in lands and rents
The house garden & two fields Anthony Tawton £6.15s.0d 20 £135.0s.0d £135.0s.0d
The School House Jacob Rugg 10s.0d 20 £10.0s.0d £10.0s.0d
A House garden & orchard Mary Knill £1.8s.0d 20 £28.0s.0d £28.0s.0d
An annuity of five shillings issuing out of late Will Yeo's field at Lousehill Executors of William Yeo 5s.0d 24 £6.0s.0d £6.0s.0d
The like annuity out of the field adjoining John Rogerman 5s.0d 24 £6.0s.0d £6.0s.0d
The Swan Inn in Northam Gardens In hand £7.0s.0d 20 £140.0s.0d £140.0s.0d
      Total   £955.0s.0d

Peter Benson's purchased lands continued:..

Tenements Tenants Reserved rents Yearly value beyond said rents Value of said Thomas Benson's interest in said referred rents at 8 years purchase The amount thereof
Messuage called Dock New built house malthouses key etc. John Brooks executors 19s.0d £20.0s.0d    
4 fields at Gazing Gate Elizabeth Glover 5s.0d £7.0s.0d    
One house & garden Ditto 4s.0d £2.0s.0d    
One house & garden Richard Williams 4s.0d £2.10s.0d    
2 houses an orchard and garden Joan Rooke 8s.0d £4.0s.0d    
Three fields John Lane 5s.0d £5.0s.0d    
Three fields Mr Samuel Pyke 3s.0d £3.0s.0d    
One house on Colehill George Yeo 0s.6d £2.10s.0d    
  Total £2.8s.6d £46.0s.0d £58.4s.0d £322.0s.0d

Lands purchased by the said Thomas Benson:..

Tenements Tenants Yearly value beyond said rents Value of his interest in lands & rents
Halsbury The greatest part of these lands which are all situate in Parkham are let at yearly rents to Messrs Wakely Bartlett & Saunders & the rest of in hand being all lately the lands of one Giffard who sold the same subject to a former mortgage which was assigned & is still bested in Mr Hillow. £100.0s.0d  
Worden £18.0s.0d    
Collingham £3.0s.0d    
Great Bolland £15.0s.0d    
Little Bolland £5.0s.0d    
South Yeo £12.0s.0d    
South Yeo Mills £10.10s.0d    
Payne's Moore £1.16s.8d    
Bartlett's House & garden 15s.0d    
Williams's House 15s.0d    
Bocomb in Parkham In hand £30.0s.0d  
The Brickfield part of Pillhead in Bideford Henry Leworthy £5.0s.0d  
Pillhead Meadow In hand £2.10s.0d  
A tenement called Wellingtons at Underburrough etc in Northam Edward Mayne £5.5s.0d  
Part of Russell's House in Appledore late Wise's Thomas Russell £1.0s.0d  
  Total £210.11s.0d £4211.0s.0d

The said Thomas Bensons purchased lands out on lease:..

Tenements Tenants Reserved rents Yearly value beyond said rents Value of said Thomas Benson's interest in said referred rents at 8 years purchase Value of his interest in lands & rents
Pillhead in Bideford James Horwood £2.10s.0d £50.0s.0d    
A House and garden in Northam John Hancock 2s.0d £2.10s.0d    
In these 4 estates Thomas Benson purchased a term of about 300 years absolute but has not the fee:          
Bonehill tenement in Northam Peter White £1.9s.4d £29.0s.0d    
Another tenement at Bonehill Sarah Langdon 18s.0d £18.0s.0d    
Hornhill Head tenement William Ellis 7s.8d £17.0s.0d    
Henna Castle Eleanor Heale 1s.16d £27.0s.0d    
  Total £7.13s.0d £143.10s.0d £183.12s.0d £1188.2s.0d

Leasehold estates determinable with lives belonging to the said Thomas Benson as representative of his brother Peter who was executor of his father:..

Tenements Tenants Number of lives existing thereon Names of said lives and their ages Yearly value beyond the referred rents Number of years purchase of his interest herein The amount of his interest therein
Rayley in Northam Jasper Husbands 1 Mary Couch 60 £48.0s.0d 5 £240.0s.0d
Ford in Northam William Lang 1 Thomas Benson 44 £16.0s.0d 7 £112.0s.0d
Late Doctons House fields gardens at Appledore In hand 1 Ditto £25.0s.0d 7 £175.0s.0d
A dwellinghouse part of Doctons Thomas Salmon 1 Ditto £7.0s.0d 7 £49.0s.0d
3 other fields called the Long Winsory, Row's field and the Brickfield Ditto 1 Ditto £3.0s.0d 7 £21.0s.0d
A house at Irsha called Birch's In hand 1 Eleanor Howell £2.0s.0d 6 £12.0s.0d
Boathead Ropeyard, Marsh's Cellars gardens & courtlage In hand 2 Thomas Benson & John Stafford 23 £20.0s.0d 11 £220.0s.0d
Hyde Part in hand & part let 2 Ditto £28.0s.0d 11 £308.0s.0d
Sussex field In hand 2 Robert Searle 40, William Sussex £1.5s.0d 11 £13.15s.0d
Several houses cellars etc at Instow In hand 2 Thomas Benson & Thomas Stafford 20 £10.0s.0d 11 £110.0s.0d
      Total £161.12s.0d   £1270.4s.0d
To bought from Mrs [torn] for said Thomas Benson's interest in his father's lands in demesne. £2132.3s.0d
To bought from 2d Fol: for his interest in the rest of his said father's lands as full leased. £432.9s.4d
To bought from 2d Fol: for his interest in his brother Peter's purchased lands in demesne. £955.0s.0d
To brought from Fol: 3d for his interest in the rest of his said brothers's lands as full leases. £380.4s.0d
To brought from said 3rd Fol for his own puchased lands in demesne £4211.0s.0d
To brought from ditto Fol: for his own purchased lands out at lease. £1496.2s.0d
Total £10877.2s.4d

The legacies to Mr Robert Stafford's family which become due and payable after their respective ages of twenty one years or marriages and not before, two of whom are of age and five not of age ammounts in all to the sum of two thousand five hundred pounds which the lands and other effects of the said John and Peter Benson stand charged And the two thousand five hundred pounds due for principal and interest are(?) mentioned in the schedule out of the lands purchased by said Thomas Benson and due [torn] Mr James Hillow.

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