ABSTRACT OF EXCHEQUER PROCEEDINGS OF
JOHN BINGLEY v. WILLIAM CRAGG, 1616.
JOHN BINGLEY of Westminster, esquire, one of the Officers attendant
upon this Honourable Court complains:
Robert Bromley late of London, draper, deceased, was seised in fee simple
of a capital messuage or manor place or house called the manor of
SWACKLIFFE alias SWACKLEYS in Ickenham and divers other lands
there and, with Martha his then wife, by lease dated 4 December 3 James I
demised to WILLIAM CRAGG (then and now one of the attorneys of the
Court of Common Pleas) the same, late in the tenure of Barnard Sharpe,
yeoman, and of Horselease (24 acres) adjoining to the orchard of the said
capital messuage then in the tenure of the said William Cragg and Style of
Uxbridge and pasture enclosed (9 acres) part of Middleton's and a parcel of
meadow or pasture containing 3 acres part of the Little Meadow before the
gate in the tenure of William Hobb, butcher (excepted unto Robert Bromley
his heirs and assigns all that Great Chamber and Room part of the capital
messuage, called the King's Chamber, with an inner chamber thereunto in
the same house next or west unto the same for the lodging of them their heirs
and assigns and their children servants or friends with use of the kitchen,
buttery, hall and great parlour or such other necessary rooms as shall be meet
and convenient for the dressing of their meat and setting of necessary provisions of housekeeping and also for his heirs and assigns there dining supping
and housekeeping and use of stables for their horses and geldings—he giving
reasonable price for hay and provin—together also with free liberty and licence
for the said Robert and Martha and the heirs and assigns of the said Robert
and his and their steward and tenants to call keep and hold Court or Courts
for the said manor of Swackliffe alias Swackley in the said messuage and
reserving also the wood and liberty to fell trees etc.) to hold from Michaelmas then last for 21 years (also excepted liberty to hawk hunt fish or otherwise to solace and recreate themselves there and to enter and effect repairs
within six months after due warning). On 22 July 4 James, ROBERT
BROMLEY for very valuable considerations sold to your Orator for ever
in fee simple the premises so leased. William Cragg about two years past
gave licence to your Orator to build a brick wall about the said capital house
orchard and garden for the better defence thereof and to fill and dam up the
moat of water compassing the said house which water was corrupt and
unhealthful and to repair or new build all the ruins and decayes of the house
and buildings and to dig up an old orchard and replant the same and to alter
and enlarge the ways and passages to the house. Your Orator intending
to give execution to which licence, to his great costs and charges provided
lime brick and other materials and most of the work has been done and
the orchard new planted with at least 300 new fruit trees and the moat is
for the most part dammed and stopped up and the ways and passages to the
said house much enlarged and amended.
Now William Cragg being a man of turbulent condition and quality and
maliciously purposing to disturb and interrupt your Orator in the enjoying
of his rights hath gotten possession of the counterpart of the lease and doth
deny and refuse to permit your Orator to have and enjoy the same Great
Chamber and room called the King's Chamber, etc. etc. And your Orator
for want of having the counterpart of the said lease is without remedy in
strict course of the common law.
Fiat breve de subpœna.
The Demurrer and Answer of WILLIAM CRAGGE gentleman,
defendant, to the Bill of John Bingley, esquire, complainant.
The matter doth already depend in Chancery and Plaintiff is not such a
person as by reason of his place only ought to have privilege to sue
in this Court; and the Complainant hath there examined divers
witnesses in the matter at issue. Robert Bromley alone was seised
of the estate in fee simple (for Martha never sealed the lease) for
£95 for a fine.
Rent payable at Robert Bromley's house at St. Mary Aldermarye, City,
£56, and also on or before 1 November yearly 20s. towards the buying of
a clean and well brawned boar and two good young fat crammed capons
at Christmas. Bromley to have and take competent and sufficient hedge
boote, hayboote, ploughboote, cart boote, gate boote and fire boote to be
spent on the said demised premises only and not elsewhere without let
trouble or expulsion of Francis Cotton of Roche Court, Hants, esquire,
or the heirs of Margerie Beckett late the wife of the said Francis and a
daughter and co:heir of Sir Richard Pexall, knight, deceased.
Defendant was only told in general terms of the Plaintiff's intentions as
to building the wall etc. before he suddenly without the Defendant's privity,
consent or knowledge set very many workmen to the number of fifty persons
or more about the beginning of November 12 James and then in Michaelmas
term the Defendant being in London, on the sudden the workmen did dig
and root up all or most of the fruit trees then growing in the said premises
being fruit full well bearing and good fruit trees in an ancient orchard,
and he forbade them to continue. Defendant did ride down in person to
the said house and grounds and forbid them but Complainant and his
workmen continued their courses and dug up 100 fruit trees of wardens
pears apples of divers sorts plums cherries etc., many of them long before
planted by Defendant and dug up his hop plot, filled up a moat about the
house it being good and sweet water being not only a defence for the said
house but also did serve for dressing of food drink washing and other
necessary offices, which Defendant is now deprived of, and hath removed
most of the fences round the orchard and felled timber trees the lops
whereof ought to have been Defendant's fire boote, who by reason whereof
is forced to buy his firewood, and digged and spoiled with horses and carts
all the grass and pasture grounds to the quantity of ten acres of his best
grounds and trenched his garden and yards and stopped up the watercourses
about his house and grounds so that his barn all or most part of the two
last winters was overflowne with water under his corn lying therein, also his
kitchen so wet that during wet weather he could not keep any fire therein,
besides the drowning up of one end of his stable and spoiling of his
dovehouse being an ancient house and well stored with very many pigeons
to the number of 120 pair near all driven away except three pair or very
few more by the workmen and evil dealing, which was before worth five
marks a year to Defendant, and hath laid open his grounds to the Common
and some quite to the highway, and stopping up and altering the ancient
passages and ways to the house.
Defendant cannot hold 15 acres part of lands demised to him formerly leased
to Style and not excepted in the said lease nor made known to Defendant.
Since the now Bill exhibited the Plaintiff hath placed a glover who has
three apprentices in the room and intends to keep shop there and have use
of the kitchen as this Defendant shall show, with very many other threatening
and unfit speeches unmeet to be herein inserted on record.
Denies that he said the house was not defensive without a brick wall,
in fact it was a great deal better defended and safer and the fences better
and more defensible before than now with the brick wall. Denies that he
agreed the moat might be filled up or that the water was foul. Denies that
Plaintiff has repaired the house and denies that he consented thereto or
intends to consent. Plaintiff has not brought any quantity of materials
saving certain free stones parcel of an old house which was fallen down at
Ruislip not far from the said capital messuage, which are of no great value.
There is now timber and flints laid on his ground to his further wrong and
some lime and sand left from making the brick wall. The trees were very
good bearing trees young and still fruitful. The ground about five or six
acres of best land compassed with a brick wall and adjoining his house where
he pastured horses kine and other cattle and the trees yielded fruit. Besides the
ground is converted to walks and devices for pleasure and Complainant keepeth
a gardener there and Defendant is not allowed to take any profit thereof.
Plaintiff has dug up and spoiled most of another close of four acres and
made 800,000 bricks as the complainant's workmen have themselves told
Defendant and trenched and stopped up the way to another close of seven
acres so that Defendant has no convenient passage to the same close, and he
hath of late placed a glover and his family in the said two rooms so excepted
and the said gardener and others have used the rooms oftentimes when they
have been in drink they were oftentimes ready to fall together by the ears.
Defendant has not the lease but thinks Plaintiff has it because he not
very long since offered to give Defendant a copy of it.
Sworn 13 May 1616
JA : ALTHAM.
The Replication of JOHN BINGLEY, esquire.
Is a Principal Officer of the Receipt of H.M. Exchequer and by virtue
of his said Office he is priviledged to sue by English Bill in this honourable
Court of Exchequer.
Defendant did give him licence to carry out the works and helped in
the carriage of loads of stones and timber trees. Defendant's servants by
direction of his wife did stop up the passage of the watercourse with full
intent to have the kitchen belonging to the said house overflown and the
floor of the kitchen is higher than any other ground about the house.
He placed Robert Oatman as his bailiff in the room.
P.R.O. Exch. K.R. Bills and Answers : London and Middlesex. Jas. I, 1065.
Term : Pasche 14 Jas. (A.D. 1616.)