Court of Common Pleas: the National Archives, Cp40 1399-1500. Originally published by Centre for Metropolitan History, London, 2010.
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Court of Common Pleas, CP 40/668, rot. 247
Pleading: William Leche, executor of the will of Alice Leche, who was herself executor of the will of Robert Lenard, claims that Walter Grovehyrst unjustly detains two bonds. WL says that the late RL, in his lifetime, on 08/12/1425 at Dartford, delivered the aforesaid two bonds to Walter Grovehyrst. WL says that one of these bonds showed that the late RL was held to a certain John Brydd of Dartford in £40, payable at certain terms. The other bond showed that the same JB was held to the late RL in £40 payable at certain terms. WL says that these bonds have not been returned, even though the late RL often requested then, and then RL's executor the late AL often requested them, and WL himself has often requested them. WL claims damages of 20m. WL presents to the court letters testamentary, as much of the aforesaid late AL as of the late RL, which are sufficient to satisfy the court that WL is indeed the executor of AL, and that AL was indeed the executor of RL.
Pleading: Walter Grovehyrst presents the two bonds to the court and says that he is ready to deliver them with the court's decision. However, Walter Grovehyrst says that the bonds were given to him with the mutual assent of JB and the late RL, and that he was only to return them to JB and RL, or either of them, under certain conditions. Walter Grovehyrst says that he does not know whether or not these conditions have been met. Walter Grovehyrst seeks that JB be forewarned, so the sheriff of Kent is ordered to make it known to JB by good and honest men that he is to be to this court in the quindene of Easter term 1430 if he wishes to object to WL having livery of the bonds. And upon this Walter Grovehyrst puts (attorney) Walter Gore in his place against WL in this suit.
Pleading: JB says that WL ought not have livery the aforesaid bond by which he is held and obliged to WL. JB says that prior to the aforesaid 08/12/1425 there was a certain law suit and dispute between JB together with Thomas Gilberd, Roger Asshecombe and John Harvy on the one part, and the aforesaid RL in right of AL, then his wife, on the other part. This dispute was concerning and upon the right and title of one messuage, three and a half acres of land, and half of an acre of meadow with appurtenances in Dartford, Kent. In order to resolve this suit and dispute as much as all other actions between them JB, as well as the late RL, at Dartford on the aforesaid 08/12/1425, agreed to submit to the arbitration and judgement of a certain arbitrators, namely, John Knolles, Robert Aleyn, William Rothele, and Goffrey Wylkyn. Hence the aforesaid bonds were made as security that both JB and the late RL would hold to the decision of the arbiters should they make arbitration prior to the Octave of Hilary 1426, and given to Walter Grovehyrst for safe keeping. The conditions of this safe keeping were that: if both JB and the late RL should hold to the arbiters' decision made prior to the octave of Hilary 1426, or should the arbiters not come to a decision prior to the octave of Hilary 1426, the JB should have return of the bond by which he obliged himself to RL, and RL ought to have return of the bond by which he obliged himself to JB; if the arbiters should reach a decision prior to the octave of Hilary 1426 and JB should fulfil that decision but RL refuse, then JB ought to have livery of both bonds; and if the arbiters should reach a decision prior to the octave of Hilary 1426 and RL should fulfil that decision but JB refuse, then RL ought to have livery of both bonds. JB says that the aforesaid arbiters never made arbitration prior to the octave of Hilary 1426 and so he ought to have livery of the bond by which he obliged himself to the late RL. This he is prepared to verify.
Pleading: WL, protesting that the arbitration was only to concern title to the aforesaid property, and not all other actions between them, says that JB has said nothing that suggests he ought to have livery of the bond whereby the late RL had obliged himself to JB. Therefore it is decided that WL is to have livery of that bond. Concerning the bond whereby JB obliged himself to the late RL, WL says that it is true that he and the late RL made the bonds and submitted to arbitration concerning title to the aforesaid property, giving the bonds to Walter Grovehyrst under the conditions aforesaid. However, WL says that the aforesaid arbitrators did make arbitration, ordination and judgement prior to the aforesaid octave of Hilary term 1426, namely at Westminster, Middlesex. WL says that these arbiters ordained that JB ought to have and hold the aforesaid messuage [etc.] with appurtenances of himself and his heirs in perpetuity; and that JB ought to pay to the late RL £10 as for the right and title of the aforesaid AL in the aforesaid messuage, and beyond this £10, another £10 to a certain chaplain [to say] divine service in the parish church of Dartford for the good health of RL and AL while living, and for their souls after death. WL says that JB was often asked to pay this £20 to the late RL during RL's lifetime in accordance with the arbitration, and after RL's death was asked to pay this £20 to WL as much as AL as executors, but JB refused. WL says that he therefore ought to have livery of the bond whereby JB obliged himself to the late RL.
Pleading: JB reiterates his claim that arbitration never took place and puts himself upon the country, and WL puts himself likewise. Order to the sheriff of Middlesex to make a jury come in Hilary term 1430.
Postea text: postea 2 - To this day come plaintiff WL and defendant WG, as well as the aforesaid JB. And the sheriff of Kent returns that he made it know o JB by way of [names left blank]. Upon this WL seeks livery of the bonds. Day is given between all parties in Trinity term 1430.
|Arbitration||Westminster < Middlesex < England|
|Safe Keeping||Dartford < Kent < England||(initial) 08/12/1425|