Cecil Papers (1607) re: Siston Court, Gloucestershire

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Three documents in the CECIL PAPERS at Hatfield House, Hertfordshire, (CP 123/113; CP 123/5; CP 98/69)concerning Siston Court, Gloucestershire, 1607, which had been offered for sale to Sir Robert Cecil. The documents comprise the letter of offer from Mr Wyke, dated 13 December 1607 (CP 123/113) and two documents generated by Cecil and/or his legal clerk in assessing the investment potential of making such a purchase. Transcribed by (Lobsterthermidor (talk) 15:18, 29 December 2014 (UTC)).

CP 123/113. LETTER FROM ROBERT WYKE TO SIR ROBERT CECIL, 13 DECEMBER 1607. (Calendar of the Cecil Papers in Hatfield House, Volume 19 (1607), pp.374-5. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1965[1]) Wyke writes from the "Wood Street Compter" debtors' prison.

In all humble mann.r my dutie remembred & in regard you are a noble p(er)son & one whoe dealeth honorably with all men that are honeste soe it is my goal to thereby I presumed by th'advise and direction of Mr Charles Halle one whome I am beholden unto whoe advised me some 6 week paste to offer to yo(u)r hon(o)r in sale my mannor of Sison (sic) with the appurtinaunce. As with tyme allsoe Mr Halle telleth me he sente you a p(ar)ticuler under my owne hande of the state of the said mannor & since he hath allsoe a more …..... p(ar)ticuler alsoe under my owne hande w(hi)ch by ye same I did commend to yo(u)r Lo(rdshi)p before any other for the price of £3,300 & soe doe still according as Mr Halle inn my behalfe then did signifie to yo(u)r hon(o)r by his letters. But now he telleth me that yo(u)r hon. saithe those letters with my former p(ar)ticuler never came to yo(u)r hon(o)rs handes but suppressed by the p(ar)tie put in truste to deliver them to yo(u)r hon(o)r whoe toulde Mr Halle that yo(u)r Lo(rdshi)p woulde not deale for the matter whereby yo(u)r hor(o)r was much abused & Mr Halle & my selfe wronged & I allsoe of my lib(er)tie which otherwise I shoulde have had. I am moste willinge to waite uppon yo(u)r hon(o)r as Mr Halle telleth me you desire at which tyme I shall satisfie yo(u)r Lo(rdshi)p & your councell at the full but muste have a writte of H(ab)eas Corpus to my chardge (being in …..) to authorise me to p(er)forme that yo(u)r hon(o)rs desire. And soe I humbly take my leave. Ffrom the comptor, Wood Streete this 13th December 1607, Yo(u)r honor's to com(m)and, Robert Wyke.

CP 123/5 (dated December 1607) (Calendar of the Cecil Papers in Hatfield House, Volume 19 (1607), p.396. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1965[2]) (A summary of the legal background, apparently written by Cecil's legal clerk for Cecil's information)

The estate of Siston and in whome the right thereof truly remayneth.

A)Anno 10 Eliz (1568) Richard Dennis tenant in fee and Walter his sonne and heire apparent sould Siston to Robart Wicke for £3,200 then fourthwith payed in money, statutes, recognizances and bonds to the said Richard and Walter and others by their appointment for dischardge of the lands and debts of the said Richard …..

B)Upon present payment of £1,000 thereof, Richard only acknowledged a statute (now in extente) of £2,000 to Wicke for the present passing of the assurances according to the indentures of bargayne and sale then drawne thereof ingrossed and agreed upon

C)And yet nevertheless (the whole money being payed (ut supra A)) then Dennis the father and sonne refused to seale thereunto upon offer of £ 100 (?) more by an adversarye to Wickes.

D)Anno 12 Eliz (1570) Upon breach hereof Wicke fourthwith sued both father and sonne in the Chancerye where in the 12th of hir maj(estie's) reigne Siston was decreed to Wicke and his heires according to the contente ofn the said bargayne and sale ut supra B. And by force of the said decree Wicke enjoyed the possession, rents and p(ro)fytte of Siston for the space of vi yeres after, to wytt untill the 18th of hir ma(jesty's) reigne ut infra F

E)During which tyme Richard Dennis (amongst many other leud practyses and attempts to frustrate the said decree and thereby to defeate Wicke of lands & money) did what he could to chardge Siston with a debt of £7,500 due to hir ma(jes)tie by his uncle Sir Morris Dennis in the 4th (1562) and 5th (1563) of hir reigne who (Anno 2 Eliz (1560)) sould the said mannor of Siston to Rowland Hayward by waye of mortgage for £2,200 forfeyted and lost by non-payement.

F) Richard Dennis being put by his device by this sale and forfeyture aforesaid continueing in his former malitious purpose to defeate Wicke of land and money as aforesaid (ut supra D) made himselfe debtor for the paym(en)t (An(n)o 18 (1576)) of the said £7,500 by installment thereof at £100 p(er) annum out of the said mannor of Siston with a clause of entrye for not paym(en)t thereof.

G)And in coulor of consyderacon thereof gott from her Ma(jes)tie £1,550 of the moneyes and goods of the said Sir Morris Dennis seized into hir Ma(jesty's) hands as in p(ar)te of payment of the said £7,500 whereof hir Ma(jes)tie was confounded (?) and Wicke hereby frustrated of the benyfytt of lande and consciente (?)

THE CASE: But if the Chancerye have power to decree lands lawfullye bought & payed for and the comon lawe to extend statute for just cause, then had Richard Dennis no power at all to chardge Siston with this imp(er)tinent debt of £7,500 nor the ….. thereby to extend it for that this chardge was doon by Richard Dennis viii yeres after his sale of Siston, a statute acknowledged, the land decreed to Wicke and he thereby in possession.

CP 98/69 (Apparently a summary of the situation and his decision written by Cecil himself)

Sir Morris Dennys became indebted to her Ma(jestie) £7,500 and dyed without yssue: Richard Dennys his couzen & heir 16th (of the reign) gott the said debt stalled at £100 p/a and Richard Dennys undertooke ye payment & made conveyance of ye mannor of Siston for assurance of ye payment.

The scope & effect of this grant now sued for is whether Walter Dennys in her Majestie's name, but merely to his owne use, may have and sue for and levye the said debt

Wherin the purchasers after theese poynte to ….... consideracon that no benefitt is reserved to her majestie by this grant neither …... it is for any consideracon or reward of service but onely uppon a suggestion of equity because Richard Dennys undertooke the stalement.

Richard Dennys who was …... to Sir Morris his estate being his heire handled the matter so by freude & means as for ….. yeares after the death of Sir Morris Dennys uppon presse yssued to levye the said debt, no lande cold be found byable whereby her majestie was abused and ye stalement unduely obtayned.

Ffurder the purpose of Richard Dennys in assureing Siston to the Crown was to defeate one Weeke, to whom the said Richard Dennys had bargained the same & received £2,000 of the money and to prevent a decree in ye Chancery made against him for Weekes. So as Dennys parted with nothing but served his owne turne in a course most unconsionable and not ….. when the assureance to the Crown was accepted.

Richard Dennys by collor of the stalement & by ye like grant made to him as is now sued for by Walter received into his hands in goods that were Sir Morris dennys's £1,550 which is the full price & recompence of the stalement being but £100 per annum if it had been p(er)petuity, besides the serveing of his turne uppon divers sales & composicons for lands to a far greater valewe.

The lands pretended to be charged were purchased & compounded for not from Sir Morris dennys but from Richard & walter Dennys themselves so as Walter Dennys seeketh to charge & evicte the purchasers against his father's & his owne sales convayances & composicons.

It is xxvi years since the instalement and by this grant any auncient statute uppon purchase of land acknowledged to Sir Morris Dennys shall be turned and merely for molestacion whereof the defeazance in so long tyme maye have been lost.

By this grant they have authoritye not only to extend but to compound which no doubt is meant to be used but for vexacion & (which)? is levyed on/or h....... by ….......ett composicon cannott appear and so the proceeding will be endlesse.