Hartley History - 13th and 14th Century Assize Cases

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These cases are all from the assize records held at the Public Records Office. They are all civil cases concerning the possession of land. They relate to disputed possession, either by inheritance (mort d'ancestor) or by dispossession (disseisin).

The rolls are written in Latin, most of the Hartley cases have been translated in full. Those for Ash and Longfield are summarised. Most cases begin with explanatory notes.

Eylnoth vs le Clerk and others (1288)

PRO JUST1/372 folio 12

In this case Walter Blodiner had died. He was the owner of a 45 acre farm at the top end of Church Road in Hartley, which his family had owned since at least 1232. His nephew and heir John Eylnoth found a number of people in possession of 31 acres of the farm in 6 holdings. He sued for possession, but they in turn claimed Walter Blodiner had sold (enfeoffed) the land to them. The fact that henceforth this end of Church Road had a number of smallholdings, shows that the defendants must have prevailed. Some of the holdings mentioned can be identified.

Defendant

Extent

Identification

Alice wife of Robert Fauer

2 acres

Hartley Field

Alice, daugher of Osbert

13 acres

Dawsland

John le Clerk

6 acres

Hartley Hill Cottage?

Simon atte Wode

5 acres

Whiffins Cottage (part) ?

Henry and Simon atte Siwro

3 acres

Whiffins Cottage (part) ?

[John Eylnoth]

14 acres

New House Farm (part)

Alarus Veysyn

1 acres

Bazes Shaw

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Grenewych assizes on the Octave of St Hillary, 16 Edward I (1288)

The assize came to acknowledge whether Walter Blodiner, uncle of John Eylnoth was seised in his demesne as of fee of 44 acres and 1 rood of land and 3 roods of wood, with the appurtenances in Hertleye on the day on which etc (he died). And whether etc., whereof John le Clerk of Horton holds 6 acres of land and 1 rood of wood therefrom; and Simon atte Wode holds 5 acres therefrom; and Alice, who was the wife of Robert Fauer holds 2 acres of land therefrom; and John, son of Henry atte Silwro (?) and Simon his brother hold 3 acres therefrom; and Alarus Veysyn holds 1 acre of land and 1 rood of wood therefrom; and Alice daughter of Osbert holds 13 acres of land and 1 rood of wood therefrom. And all except the said Alice, daughter of Osbert, (said) that the said Walter, concerning the death of whom etc, had not died seised in his demesne as of fee; for they say that the said Walter had enfeoffed them thereof a long time before his death. And place themselves on the assize regarding this.

And the said Alice, daughter of Osbert did not come and she is to be summoned etc, and judgement is respited that she should be at Rochester on Friday nest before the feast of St Margaret Virgin etc.

Penman v Cydeleye and de Shotingden (1298)

PRO JUST 1/1311 folio 20

f 20 - Rochester Assizes, Friday on St Luke's Day, 26 Edward I (18 October 1298)

This is a case for possion of freehold land in Ridley. As Mr Penman did not proceed with the case he was fined.

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Thomas Penman vs Alexander de Cydeleye and Roger de Shotingden. Case of novel disseisin of free tenement in Redleye. Prosecution not proceeded with, therefore Thomas and his pledges of prosecution (Richard le Forester, Simon de Greneweye) are in mercy.

De la Holte and Holme v Denise de Monte Canisio (1298)

PRO JUST 1/1311 folio 31

William de la Holte and others were suing Denise de Monte Canisio, the lord of the manor of Hartley for possession of a farm, but they and their sureties were fined for dropping the case.

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Grenewych Assizes, Saturday after the "month" of Easter, 26 Edward I (1298)

William de la Holte and Margery his wife, and Alan de Holme and Rose his wife, who brought the assize of novel disseisin against Denise, who was the wife of Warin de Monte Canisio and others, of a tenement in Herteleye, did not prosecute. Therefore the said Denise and others (are discharged) "sine die". And William and the others and their pledges of process are in mercy, viz Hugh Child and Henry Francceys.

Southesshe v Southesshe (1300)

PRO JUST 1/1311 folio 94

A case concerning land in Ash.

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Canterbury Assizes, Friday before St Catherine, 28 Edward I (1300)

Matilda, daughter of Walrandus de Southesshe, and Cecily her sister (20d) vs John de South Esshe and others in a plea of novel disseisin of a tenement in Essch. Prosecution not proceeded with, therefore they and their pledges are in mercy.

Atte Holte v Passemer and others (1300)

PRO JUST 1/1311 folio 114

Another case brought by William atte Holte and not proceeded with.

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f 114 - Canterbury Assizes, Monday after All Saints Day, 28 Edward I (1300)

William atte Holte (10d) and Margaret, his wife, who brought a writ of novel disseisin against Simon Passemer and others in the writ, concerning a tenement in Hertlegh, did not prosecute. Therefore the said Simon and others (are discharged) sine die. And the said William and Margaret and their pledges of prosecution, viz John le Rugle (10d) and John le Gymir (10d) are in mercy.

John Cok and others v Michael atte Cherch (1307)

JUST 1/1338 folio 4

In this case John and the others claimed they were the heirs of land at Ash, but did not proceed with the prosecution.

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Maidstone Assizes, Monday after St John the Baptist, 35 Edward I (1307)

John Cok and Katherine his wife, John Weyn and Joan his wife vs Michael Atte Cherch. Plea of mort d'ancestor of a tenement in Asshe next Stanstede. Prosecution not proceeded with, therefore they and their pledges are in mercy.

John le Chapman of Horton Kirby v Geoffrey le Clerk of Longfield (1312)

PRO JUST 1/381 folio 2

This case is one for possession of 1 acres of land in Longfield

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Dartford Assizes, St Hillary's Day 5 Edward II (1312)

John le Chapman of Horton and William, his brother vs Geoffrey le Clerk of Longefeld and Alice his wife, and William atte Wode of Faukham. Case of novel disseisin of free tenement in Longfeld, containing 1 acre and 1 rood of land. Defendants claim that Reginald, Alice's first husband, gave the land to the said William, who enfeoffed Reginald and Alice; Alice owned it when she married Geoffrey. Jury finds for defendants.

Atte Wode v Atte Wode (1323)

JUST 1/385 folio 48

This seems to be connected with the cases of William Atte Holte v Simon Passemer from 1300 above, as this involves the descendants of the parties. This time we learn that the land in question is a farm and 40 acres in Hartley, which defies identification at present.

The family relationships are a bit complex. The original owner was Thomas Attewode (Atwood). He had 2 children mentioned - Edmund, and Rose, wife of John le Clerk. He was also uncle of John atte Holte, son of William (probably Edmund's brother in spite of the different surname - Holt also means wood). Edmund, Rose and John all claim that Matilda, widow of Thomas Attewode has dispossessed them. She calls as witness William and Henry, sons of Simon Passemer, who are living in Essex. The case gets held over for want of a jury, on the second time the jurors are listed because they were to be fined for not turning up. Many of the names of jurors were clearly local.

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Dartford Assizes, Monday after Epiphany 16 Edward II (1323)

The assize came to acknowledge whether Edmund son of Thomas atte Wode of Hertley, the brother of Rose the wife of John le Clerk, and uncle of John the son of William atte Holte, was seised in his demesne as of fee of 1 messuage and 40 acres of land with the appurtenances in Hertley next Derteford, on the day on which etc (he died). And whether etc. And whether the same Rose and John are the nearest heirs of him, which messuage and land Matilda who was the wife of Thomas atte Wode of Hertlegh holds. And the said John le Clerk did not prosecute. And {fut' ?} to the court. Therefore separately etc. And it is considered that the said Matilda should answer to the said John and Wiliam for a half etc. And for the other half the said Matilda called for warranty William and Henry, the sons and heirs of Henry Passemer, who ought to be summoned in the county of Essex. And John the son of William said that they ought not to be admitted to call warranty, because she was the first who {imrasa ?} herself in the tenement after the death of the ancestor etc. And they seek that it be enquired upon by the assizes. And the said Matilda likewise. Therefore the assize is taken, but it remains to be taken to Friday after the feast of St James at Maidestan for want of a jury {suspl'orum et calu'p ?}. Therefore the sheriff is to have their persons at the said day etc. And additionally those as many and suchlike and by what etc. So that it does not remain (unheard).

(folio 32) Dartford Assizes on the Octave next after the Feast of Easter 17 Edward II

The assize came to acknowledge whether Edmund, the son of Thomas Attewede of Hertlegh, brother of Rose the wife of John le Clerk and uncle of John the son of William Atte Holte was seised in his demesne as of fee etc of 1 messuage and 40 acres of land with the appurtenances in Hertlegh next Derteford on the day on which etc (he died). And whether etc. Which messuage and land Matilda, who was the wife of Thomas Attewode of Hertlegh holds, who cames by summons etc. And because the said John le Clerk and Rose his wife reply (?) separately, it was conceded that they should reply to the said John, son of William etc as to half etc. And therefor the said Matilda shall reply and wall therefor at the warranty of William and Henry, the sons and heirs of Simon Passemer, who ought to be summoned in that county. And John, son of William said that the said warranty ought not to be called for. Because he says that she was the first who intruded on the said property after the death of the ancestor etc. And he places himself on the assize and Matilda similarly. Therefore the assize was taken, but remains to be taken to the said Friday at Wesse Mallingg due to the default of Henry atte Crouch, Andrew Pycard, William Clerk, William Fauer, Henry Launce, John Averay, Richard Launce, John atte Hoke, John de Pencomp', Clement de Hodesole, Walter de Sancto Dionisio, William atte More, Thomas Hayward, Richard Pyreman, John Thomas, Philip in the Lane, and William Child, jurors who did not come. And the sheriff is ordered that he should have their persons here at this day etc. And the sheriff replies that Henry atte Crouch is bailed by John Adam and Robert Russel; Andrew Pycard by John Joce and Robert Joce; William Clerk by Robert Stad and Henry Stad; William Fauer by John Joce and William Joce; Henry Launce by John Cod and Robert Cod; John Averay by Peter Prat and Robert Prat; Richard Launce by John Pot and Robert Pot; John atte Hoke by John Pety and Robert Pety; John de Pencomp' by Peter Adam and Robert Adam; Clement de Hodesole by John Punt and Robert Punt; Walter de Sancto Dionisio by Richard Ace and Robert Spery; William atte More by Adam Cobbe and Robert Cobbe; Thomas Hayward by Robert Ace and Peter Ace; and William Child by Peter Ace and Robert Ace. Therefore both they and their sureties are in mercy. And the Sheriff is ordered that he should distrain them by all their lands and chattels. And that for the revenues etc. So that he should have them on the said Friday at Wesse Mallynge etc. And the copy (?) writ is with the plaintiff and the original writ is with the sheriff.

(folio 34) Essoins (lawful excuses for non-attendance) at Dartford - case held over to next assize at Wesse Mallyng.

(the case is repeatedly adjourned, due to the essoin of one of the parties and then it disappears without being resolved. The last mention is an essoin on Saturday after St Matthew, 20 Edward II. see folios 28, 24, 22, 17, and 10)

de Shotenden v le Smith (1323)

JUST 1/385 folio 64

A case concerning the inheritance of a farm at Ash.

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William son of Roger de Shotenden vs Walter son of Gilbert le Smith of Assch, case of mort d'ancestor re tenement in Assch next Frenyngham. Not prosecuted, therefore William and his pledges (Robert and Walter Bakere) are in mercy

Le Taillour v Mussinden and others (1323)

JUST 1/385 folio 89

A case concerning land at Ash

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William son of William le Taillour vs Robert de Mussinden, Dionisia widow of William le Taillour and Roger le Biet re whether defendants disseised him of free tenement in Assh next Derteford (1 messuage, 5 acres of land and 3 roods of wood). Defendants did not appear. Jury says the tenement was formerly held by William Neel who enfeoffed William le Taillour. After his death, Denise his wife enfeoffed William their son of 1 messuage and 3 acres of land of the total. The said Robert disseised him by force of arms, the remainder Robert recovered from William son of William. William son of William to recover 1 messuage, 3 acres. Robert to be taken for disseisin by force. The said William is in mercy for false complaint against the others.

Mossindenne v Taillour and others (1323)

JUST 1/385 folio 106

A case of inheritance of freehold at Ash, notable for an early reference of the Lance family, who later came to own North Ash Farm. Jury finds for plaintiff.

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Robert de Mossindenne vs William Taillour of Asshe, William atte Lanende, John Mendecome, Richard le Taillour, Robert le Bakere, Thomas le Bakere, John Prest, Robert Lance, Abel Launce, John Launce, Matthew Geldenyde, Philip Nehtam, John Neel senior and John Neel junior. Case of novel disseisin of free tenement in Asshe (2 acres of land and 1 acre of wood). They did not appear. Jury finds that William le Taillour, William atte Lane, Robert le Bakere, John Prest, and Abel Launce disseised him, others did not. Order for recovery, damages 10/-.

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