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Hartley Manor Farm


Hartley Manor from the Public Footpath

Introduction

Largely hidden from view, Hartley Manor can be glimpsed at a distance from a couple of footpaths. The name is really a misnomer, as Hartley Court is the ancient manor house.  It  was so named by the then Lord of the Manor, Col Evelyn in about 1872. Before that it  was called Hartley Wood Farm. Its ownership has been very stable - for most of its  recorded history just three families have owned the freehold.

Daltons

Originally the house was called "Daltons", no doubt after the family of that name, who  lived in the village in the 14th and 15th centuries.  A Warin Dalton received 'first tonsure'  at Hartley Church in 1345 - this was the lowest of the Medieval holy orders and the only  one which still allowed you to marry.  Another Warin must have made himself unpopular  as Hartley's collector of the Poll Tax in 1377.  In 1389 the King pardoned a William de Bolton of Hartley for the death of Thomas del Bank, it is probable that Dalton would have been meant (Patent Rolls, 14.2.1389)

Thereafter the picture is unclear until the  16th century, when it was owned by William White.  In 1554 he leased Daltons to John  Gardner; it was in that year that the "battle" of Hartley occurred in the woods by Hartley  Manor, where rebels of Wyatt's rebellion were pursued to after the battle of Wrotham.  John died in 1559 and his widow Joan married William Middleton of Nursted, beginning  that family's connection with the farm.  A year later they were evicted by Mr White, a  "man given to make trouble and unquietness", so it was alleged in the Chancery Court.   William Middleton sued for the value of the crops he had already planted.  This case is  an important one for the history of farming in the parish, for Mr Middleton said he had  60 of the farm's 100 acres devoted to arable (wheat, barley, oats, beans, peas and  tares).  We don't know whether the allegations against Mr White are true, but a year  later his wife Elizabeth was summoned to appear at the Kent Assizes.

In 1571 Mr White sold Daltons to Thomas Walter of Pennis Place, Fawkham.  Thomas  partitioned the estate in 1590 between his sons, with this farm going to his second son,  Thomas junior.  He died before his father in 1601, so when Thomas senior followed him  into Fawkham Churchyard in 1608, he was once again the owner of Daltons, which was  estimated by a local jury to have a net annual worth of £8.  Thomas senior's other son John Walter then became the owner.  He is remembered for his coats and gowns charity, and is commemorated by the fine  wall monument in Fawkham Church.  The long list of bequests in the will of his wife  Dorcas (1630) shows a very well to do family.  As well as substantial amounts of  furniture an bedding, she also mentions silver and a necklace of pearl and jet.  Dorcas  also owned a watch and "a fair map in a frame" - both luxury items owned by a very few  in her day.



John Walter (d 1626) and his wife Dorcas Walter (d 1630) in Fawkham Church

In 1608 the farm was still called Daltons and said to be 102 acres with an annual net worth of £8. This was almost certainly the block of land around the house. At some point before 1726 the farm acquired Gossey Croft and Dawsland in South Hartley, and Church Lands in the Hartley Bottom valley. These fields were owned together in the c16th.

For most of the time the Walters owned Daltons, they had just one family as tenants - father and son Thomas Whitehead (d 1583) and Thomas Whitehead (d 1626).

As John and Dorcas had no children, Daltons was sold in 1633 for £500 by Thomas and Robert Walter, their closest blood relatives as sons of John's brother Robert Walter. The buyer was John Hickmott of London (d 1665). He was a substantial landowner with properties in several of the home counties. However, in spite of the precautions taken to enrol a copy of the conveyance in Chancery, the Hickmotts faced the worst nightmare of buyers of freehold land in the days before land registration, that of claimed interests which come to light only after purchase but which might take priority. In 1639 they sued the Walters to say they had misrepresented the interest they were selling as they now learned about the interest of John Walter in John's will of 1626. In reply Thomas Walter said the Hickmotts were the rightful owners and that any entail had been destroyed by a process called common recovery. The result of the case is not known but the Hickmotts and their descendants continued to enjoy possession until the 18th century so it must have ended happily for them.

John's wife Joan Hickmott, who died in 1673, survived both him and their five children, so Daltons descended to their nephew Edward Potter of Oxford. In his will of 1702 he stated "the reason why I am not more liberal unto my daughter Elizabeth, is for that I have lately married her unto Mr Eggerton and did then give with her a considerable fortune". This considerable fortune included Hartley Manor Farm.

For most, if not all of this time, the Middletons were the tenants. The probate inventory of Henry Middleton (d 1666) reveals a substantial yeoman farmer. He had planted 51 acres of wheat and 69 acres of other arable crops, as well as 76 sheep, 10 pigs, 4 cows and 10 horses, as well as wagons, ploughs etc. The last Middleton tenant was Henry Middleton, who died in 1717 but gave up the tenancy about a year before. The farm house was then made of wood and thatch and the new tenant had to spend £3 to put it into repair. By then the farm was also growing hops - the earliest known date for their cultivation in Hartley. Mr Eggerton then agreed to lease the farm for 6 years to Robert Batt of Longfield at a rent of £40 per annum. It was said that as he was short of money he asked for a loan from Mr Batt to be paid from the rent. However the arrangement went sour, Mr Batt later sued Mr Eggerton for not granting the lease as he promised and for trying to lease it to someone else. It is probable Robert Batt won the case because he was still the tenant in 1726 when he was given a 21 year lease at the higher rent of £50 p.a.

Hartley Wood Farm

Ralph Egerton sold the farm to William Lethieullier of Beckenham in 1726. The sale price of £831 was considerably higher than the last sale in 1633, but would only represent an average increase in value of 0.55% per year. It may be that the financial difficulties referred to by Robert Batt in the 1718 court case had compelled Mr Eggerton to put the estate on the market.

It was now called Hartley Wood Farm. According to Hasted, the Lethieulliers were Huguenots - Protestants fleeing religious persecution in France. A people legendary for their talent, the Lethieulliers were just one Huguenot family of many that prospered in their new country. William left  the farm to his youngest son Samuel in 1736.  His widow Sarah (d 1779), who had  remarried Stephen Holland, left it to Dr John Clark, who in turn left it in 1796 to his  niece Mrs Matilda Sanxay of Epsom, Surrey.

Different tenants came and went, the newlyweds Thomas and Rachel Fielder moved here from Horton Kirby took up the tenancy in 1748. They were followed by William Loft (1757-1782), Thomas Edmeads (1782-1792) and William Bensted senior (1792-1836), William Bensted junior (1836-1872).

The 1726 lease to Robert Batt gives a description of the farm, over the next 100 years there was some consolidation of the fields.  Homefield appears to have swallowed up five former fields:

   Little Gunners (1844 - Little Gunner Field, 15 acres)
   Three Acres Wood (1844 - unnamed, 3 acres)
   Great Gunners (1844 - Great Gunner Field, 19 acres)
   Church Lands (1844 - Churchlands, 11 acres)
   Church Lands Neck (1844 - probably part of Homefield, 59 acres)
   Steely Field (1844 - Steely Field, 11 acres)
   Bear Field, Crab Bank, Homefield, Bear Haws (1844 - probably all Homefield, 59 acres)
   The Six Acres (1844 - Six Acres, 6 acres)
   The Croft (1844 - unknown)
   Upper Horsenails (1844 - unknown)
   Lower Horsenails (1844 - unknown)
   Goss (1844 - Gossy Croft, 4 acres)
   Dawsland (1844 - Dawsland, 9 acres)


Hartley Wood Farm (Hartley Manor) - Map of farm in 1844 (click to enlarge)

Matilda Sanxay left the farm to her nephew William Clerke in 1816. As he was mentally ill, she appointed trustees to manage the estate for him. Eventually the freehold of Hartley Wood Farm was bought by the owner of Hartley Court William  Bensted junior.  Then the farm consisted of two cottages and a farmyard, William  converted them into one and both he and his son William lived there.  The building was  further improved by Col G P Evelyn when he came here in 1872. He fought in the Crimean War (1854), while his father fought at Waterloo.  In 1883 a visitor to Hartley Manor was shown a charger horse owned by the colonel, which had taken part in the Crimean War and was later bought by Col Evelyn.  The horse was given a "splendid pasture" and stabled in inclement weather.  He was told that when it heard the horns of the hunt, it would leap over the fence and gallop along with the riders, finding its way home when it was over.  No-one in Hartley or the surrounding villages objected when it crossed their fields on its way home, as it was so well known (Yorkshire Evening Post 14.11.1941).

At the turn of the  century Hartley Manor had become a very substantial 10 bedroomed mansion with all  mod-cons such as hot and cold running water, radiators and electric light.  All this and  the 8 acres of kitchen garden etc. were leased for an annual rent of £115 in 1906!  They  were one of the first residential properties to get a telephone, being the 12th subscriber  to the Longfield exchange in about 1920.  To emphasise the new status as a  gentleman's residence the field at the back of the house had become parkland.  This is  the field crossed by the footpaths from Manor Drive to Hartley Wood, and still retains  much of its former appearance.  It is interesting to note in the light of the current  controversy over "rights to roam" that when the Valuation Office valued the land in  1910, they knocked £100 off the £800 site value of the 34 acre farm holding, because  the footpaths crossed the land.


George Palmer Evelyn in 1873 (photo (c) by kind permission of the Evelyn Family)

Like most properties in the village, Hartley Manor was bought by Smallowners Ltd.  Their company secretary Miss Jane Foote Maxton was the owner in 1931, having acquired all the remaining properties of Smallowners.  By conveyance dated 30 July 1931 she sold Hartley Manor to Ivy Evelina Groom, wife of Harry Groom, owner of Grooms Bakery in Erith.  The bakery is still there but since 1957 part of Associated British Foods.  By conveyance dated 29 March 1939 she sold the house and about 20 acres to Barry Stuart Richards.  He came from a flour milling family, so may have known the Grooms already,  The Manor Farm of about 100 acres was run by Derek Dallen, Mr Dallen kept a large dairy herd and  employed several land girls in the war, some of whom were pictured in a feature in the  Dartford Reporter.  The Ministry of Agriculture inspector, however, thought that Kent  War Agricultural Executive Committee should take some action over the management  of the farm.  

Barry Richards (1910-1991) was not successful in his plans to turn the manor into a Golf Club, but his greatest achievement was to found Turning Point, a major charity helping people to turn their lives around, for example due to mental health problems, learning disability, substance abuse or employment.  He served in air-sea rescue during the war.  Afterwards he helped set up a number of Cheshire Homes for disabled ex-servicemen.  He is said to have "a talent for visualising and creating, on a shoe-string, homes for the disabled..." (Times 12.7.1991).  The 1974 Hartley Village Fete was in aid of this charity when it was called Helping Hands.  Barry Richards is buried in Fawkham Churchyard..

Now the house is in private ownership, while most of the farm land has become part of Hartley Bottom Farm.




Documents referred to

Case of Mydleton v Whit c1560
Reference: TNA C3 125/42
In this case Mr White had leased Hartley Manor Farm to Mr Gardner in 1554.  Mr Gardner had died and his widow Joan Gardner married William Middleton.  The tenancy was only at will so Mr White ended it in about 1560, but Mr Middleton is suing for the value of the crops he had sown, which were a mixture of grain and fodder crops.

To the Right Honourable Sir Nicholas Bacon, knight, Lord Keeper of the Great Seal of England.

In humble manner sheweth and declareth to your honourable lordship, your worship's humble orator, William Mydleton of Nusted in the county of Kent. That where one William Whit of Hartley in the county aforesaid was seized in his demesne as of fee of and in one messuage, a barn and a hundred acres of land with the appurtenances, set, lying and being in Hartlye aforesaid; and so being thereof seized about 6 years past did demise and to farm let to one John Gardner now deceased the same messuage, barn and other the premises to hold and occupy at the will and pleasure of the said Whit for the yearly rent of six pounds and for thirty shillings to be paid to the chief lord of the fee thereof and after the said Gardner, but one year past and more died. After whose death one Joan the late wife of the said Gardner and now the wife of your lordship's said orator, likewise by the assent, permission and sufferance of the said Whit, held and occupied the premises by the space of one half year or thereabouts and did sow with grain, that is to say, with wheat, barley, oats, beans, peas and tares - threescore acres of the premises or thereabouts. For after your lordship's said orator (.....?) married with the said Joan. And after sowed and placed the said grain being in several .... the barn aforesaid, parcel of the premises and after the said White entered into the premises; whereupon your said orator, for a convenient and reasonable time for the threshing and avoiding thereof agreed with the said Whit to make him reasonable recompense for the same; whereunto the same Whit assented and agreed and promised convenient time and liberty to your said orator for the same. Yet so it is Right Honourable Lord, that the same Whit being a man given to make trouble and unquietness, contrary to his said agreement and promise mde in that behalf hath taken, threshed out, spoiled, consumed and spent to his own use a great part of the corn and grain aforesaid, and will in no wise grant and suffer your said orator by himself, his servants or addignees to come or enter into the siad barn to thresh or take his said corn or grain. By reason whereof your said orator is enforced not only to lose or omit his season's in soiwng of grain, but also to his great charge to buy and provide other grain for the necessry and complete finding of his household and family to his great hinderance and islike to sustain the loss of the whole and remnant thereof very shortly, which ammounteth to the value of £40 and above, unless it may please your good lordship the premises considered, and for that your orator knoweth not the certainty of the said grain so already consumed by the said Whit nor the certain value thereof, to grant to him the Queen's Majesty's writ of subpoena to be directed to the said William Whit commanding him thereby personally to appear before your honourable lordship in the Queen's Highness's honourable court of chancery under a certain pain therein to be limited, at a day certain therein likewise to be prefixed, then and there to answer to the prmises and to abide therein such order and directions as your lordship's said orator according to his bounden duty shall pray to God for the prosperous success of your lordship's honour long to endure.
Feet of Fine White to Walter (Easter 13 Elizabeth I, 1571)
This document records the sale of Fawkham Manor which included Hartley Wood Farm, by Francis White and William White to Thomas Walter (d 1608).  The price paid is likely to be fictitious.

Between Thomas Walter, plaintiff, and Francis White and William White, defendants, of the manor of Fawkeham and of 250 acres of land, 110 acres of meadow, 50 acres of pasture, 100 acres of wood and 100 acres of furze and heath, and 40 shillings of rent with the appurtenances in Fawkeham, Hartley, Farnyngham, Stone, Darnte, St Margaret Hills, Horton Kyrby and Dartford. And of the advowson of the Church of Fawkeham. Consideration £200.
Deed of Partition of Estate of Thomas Walter, 20 April 1590
Reference: CKS U947 T1/1
Thomas decides to divide his land between his sons Thomas and John before he dies, to save problems of the Kentish inheritance custom of gavelkind.  The deed for Hartley Manor does not survive but other evidence shows it went to his son Thomas.

Partition deed between Thomas Walter of Fawkham, yeoman, and John Walter of Grays Inn, his son. Mentions that the donor is desirous of avoiding problems after his death, so has decided to partition lands between him and John. Lands involved are not Hartley Manor. Further partition of lands to Thomas, one of his other sons on 28 April 1590, included Hartley Manor.

Will of Thomas Walter of Lyons Inn, 6 Feb 1601
Thomas had been left Daltons (Hartley Manor Farm) by his father Thomas, but predeceased him.  As he appears to have had no children he left the farm back to his father.

Leaves to "my natural and loving father, Thomas Walter and his heirs forever: all those messuages, lands, tenements and hereditaments with all and singular their appurtenances whatsoever, set, lying or being in Hartley, Ash, Fawkham, Darnth, Horton Kyrby, St Margarettes Hilles, Stone, Southfleete and Dartford or in any of them, in the county of Kent, whereof my said father by his deed indented bearing date the eight and twentieth day of April, in the year of our Lord God 1590.......

Proved at London 25.6.1601
Inquisition Post Mortem of Thomas Walter (1608)
This inquisitions were held when important landowners died to see if any dues were payable to the Crown.  A local jury would list the lands they owned and how was their feudal overlord.  In the case of Daltons (Hartley Manor Farm) it was William Sedley, the lord of the manor of Hartley.

Inquisition held at Sevenock... 17th September 6 James I before Thomas Wildosse esquire, escheator of the said lord king, by the oaths of William Olyver gent. etc...., good and true men of the said county. Who say on their oath that the said Thomas Walter... long before he died and on the day of his death was seized in his demesne as of fee of and in one messuage called "Daltons" and 102 acres of land by estimate more or less, situate and being in Hartley in the said county, the same messuage is usually demised and occupied? (also 2 messuages and 22 acres of land at Ash; 2 acres at Fawkham demised with the Ash lands; 1 messuage and 60 acres of land at St Margaret Hilles; and 30 acres at Darenth and 60 acres at Stone demised with the St Margaret Hilles lands). And so seized thereof on 18 May 6 James I (1608), he died so seized. And the said jurors say further on their oaths that the said messuage called Daltons and the said lands with the same messuage usually demised is held and at the time of the death of the said Thomas Walter was held of William Sedley knight, as of his manor of Hartley in free and common socage for the rent of 47s 1d and suit to court every three weeks, and is worth £8 pa. clear besides expenses (lands at Ash held of William Bowes as lord of the manor; lands at Fawkham held of Thomas Barham gent as lord of the manor for rent of 3½d and are worth 6s)... And the said jurors further say on their oaths that John Walter is son and heir of the said Thomas Walter and is of full age, viz 50 years and above.....
Conveyance from Thomas Walter and Robert Walter to John Hickmot, 12 June 1633
Reference: TNA C54 2959
This is a very important deed as it has so much information, not just about Daltons (Hartley Manor Farm) but of neighbouring landowners too.  It also is the earliest mention of Manor Lane (then a private farm track) and the footpath from Manor Field to Hartley Manor - the oldest reference to a footpath in Hartley.

This indenture made the 12th day of June in the 9th year of the reign of our sovereign lord Charles, by the grace of God King of England, Scotland, France and Ireland, defender of the faith etc.  Between Thomas Walter and Robert Walter, two of the sons of Robert Walter, one of the sons of Thomas Walter deceased, late whilst he lived of the parish of Fawkeham in the county of Kent, gentleman, of the one party.  And John Hickmot of Clifford Inn, London, gentleman and Joan his wife of the other party.  

Witnesseth that they the said Thomas Walter and Robert Walter sons of the said Robert Walter for and in consideration of the sum of £500 of good and lawful money of England unto them the said Thomas and Robert Walter, at and before the sealing and delivery of this present, well and truly paid, and for divers other causes and considerations them thereunto moving, have given, granted, enfeoffed, bargained and sold by this present, do give, grant, enfeoff, bargain and sell unto them the said John Hickmot and Joan his wife.

All that messuage or tenement wherein Thomas Whitehead now of lately dwelled, sometimes called Daltons, together will all the barns, stables, outhouses, edifices, buildings, yards, gardens, orchard and 12 pieces or parcels of land and wood unto the said messuage or tenement belonging or appertaining, or reputed and taken thereunto to belong, with all and singular their appurtenances, situate, lying and adjoining together in the parish of Harteley in the county aforesaid, containing in all by estimation 120 acres, be there more or less.  With all and singular their and every of their ways, easements, profits, privileges and appurtenances.  Whereof one parcel thereof is called or known by the name of Beathams, one other parcel thereof is called  Well Hawcroft.  One other parcel thereof is called and commonly known by the name of Homefeild.  One other parcel thereof is called or commonly known by the name of Barncroft.  Two other parcels thereof called and commonly known by the name of Crabbs Bank.  One other parcel thereor is called and commonly known by the name of Stillyfeild, one other parcel thereof is called and commonly known by the name of Churchland and the other three parcels thereof are called or commonly known by the names of Gurnard Land and Gurnard Land Spring.  All which said mentioned premises do abut upon the land and wood of Sir John Sedley baronet, parcel of the manor of Hartley aforesaid, south and west; and upon other woodland of the said Sir John Sedley, parcel of the said manor and the land heretofore of James Genses gentleman, and the land heretofore of William Swanne gentleman, and the land heretofore of Thomas Parker, north; upon the land of the said Sir John Sedley, parcel of the said manor and the land of the said Thomas Parker and the land heretofore of Henry Middletons, east.

And the said Thomas Walter and Robert Walter for the considerations aforesaid, have also given, granted, enfeoffed, bargained and sold, and by this present do for themselves and their heirs give, grant, enfeoff, bargain and sell unto them the said John Hickmott and Joan his said wife.  One other piece or parcel of land with the appurtenances, lying and being in Hartley aforesaid, called and commonly known by the name of The Six Acres, containing by estimation 6 acres more or less, and abutteth upon the wood of the said Sir John Sedley, parcel of the said manor, and the wood heretofore of the said James Genses, sometime parcel of the said manor, north; and upon the wood of the said Sir John Sedley, parcel of the said manor, east; and upon the land heretofore of the said James Genses sometime parcel of the said manor, west; and upon the wood of the said Sir John Sedley, parcel of the said manor, and the land heretofore of the said James Genses, south.  

And also two other pieces or parcels of land with the appurtenances lying and being together in Hartley aforesaid called or commonly known by the name of The Upper Horse Lease and The Lower Horse Lease, containing in the whole by estimation 20 acres be they more or less, and abut upon the land of the said sir John Sedley, parcel of the said manor and one footway there leading from the messuage aforesaid to the parish Church of Hartley aforesaid, east; and upon the glebe land of the Rectory of Hartley aforesaid and the king’s highway there leading from Hartley Church toward Dartford aforesaid and the land heretofore of the said James Genses, south; and upon the land heretofore of the said James Genses and upon a cartway there leading to the said messuage, west and north.  

And also one other piece or parcel of land with the appurtenances in Harteley aforesaid called or commonly known by the name of Gossy Croft, containing by estimation 6 acres more or less, and abutteth upon the king’s highway there leading from Hartley aforesaid toward Ash and the land sometime William Payse’s, west and north; and upon the land of the said Sir John Sedley, parcel of the said manor and the land sometime of the said William Payses, south; and upon the land of the said Sir John Sedley, parcel of the said manor, and the land late of the heirs of Thomas Humphrey, east.

And also two other pieces or parcels of land with the appurtenances, lying and adjoining together in Hartley aforesaid, called or commonly known by the names of Dawes Land, containing by estimation 12 acres more or less, and abut upon the said highway there leading from Harteley toward Ashe aforesaid, west; and upon the land of the said Sir John Sedley, parcel of the said manor and the land late of the heirs of the said William Payse, north; and upon the land of the said Sir John Sedley, parcel of the said manor and the land late of Leonard Lovelace esquire, east; and upon the land late of Richard Overy called Hobbs Deane, south.

All which said recited and before mentioned messuage, land, tenements, hereditaments and other the premises are now or of late in the tenure or occupation of him, the said Thomas Whitehead, or of his assigns, undertenant or undertenants.  And also all other the messuages, lands, tenements and hereditaments whatsoever of them the said Thomas Walter and Robert Walter, parties to this present situate, lying and being in Hartley aforesaid, with all and singular the appurtenances.  And the reversion and reversions, remainder and remainders of all and singular the bore mentioned messuage, land and premises and all rent and services any way incident or belonging thereunto, together with all deed, indentures, writing, charters, exemplifications of record, escript and muniments whatsoever which do only contain all or any the before mentioned messuage, land and premises or any part of them; together with true copies to be made, written and delivered by them, the said Thomas Walter and Robert Walter, or one of htem unto him, the said John Hickmott before the first day of November next ensuing.

To have and to hold all and singular the said recited and before bargained messuage, land, tenements, woods, hereditaments and all other the premises with their and every of their ways, easements, privileges and appurtenances unto him the said John Hickmott and his assigns for and during his natural life, and from and immediately after his decease unto her the said Joan, the now wife of the said John, for and during her natural life for her jointure, and after her decease then to the heirs and assigns of him the said John Hickmott forever of the chief lord and lord of the fee and fees of all and singular the premises by such rent and services as are due for the same, and of right accustomed.
In witness whereof the said parties to this present indentures their several hands and seals, have interchangeably set and subscribed, the day and year first above written, and in the year of the Lord 1633.

And memorandum that on the 15th day of July in the above year, the said Thomas Walter and Robert Walter came before the said lord king in his Chancery and acknowledged the said indenture and all and singular contained and specified in the said form.
Case of John Hickmott v Thomas Walter and others (1639)
Reference: TNA C7/177/89
In this case John Hickmott is suing the vendors of the 1633 conveyance because he says they have not given him good title to the land.  As John continued to own the farm, it must be presumed that the claims of the Walter cousins were not successful.

22 February 1638 [1639]
The answer of Thomas Walter the elder, one of the defendants to the bill of complaint of the said John Hickmott and Joan his wife, as also of Thomas Walter and Francis Walter, infants, by the said Thomas Walter the elder, guardian, defendant to the said bill of complaint of John Hickmott and Joan his wife, complainants

All advantages […..] to the uncertainty and insufficiency of the said bill of complaint now and at all times hereafter to these defendants saved and reserved, they for full and perfect answer to so much of the said bill as doth concern them, the said defendants to make answer unto do say as followeth.  

And first the said Thomas Walter the elder for himself saith this defendant being so much and able? [………………………………………………………………………………………………] That true it is that about the time in the bill mentioned Robert Walter in the bill and this defendant Thomas Walter the elder or one of them did for that purpose propound to the said complainant John Hickmott or to some other to his use, to bargain and sell to the said complainant.  All that messuage or tenement wherein one Thomas Whitehead then or late dwelt some time called Daltons and also all and every the messuages, lands, woods, tenements and hereditaments with their appurtenances in the said bill particularly mentioned.  And also all other the messuage, lands and hereditaments whatsoever of them the said Robert Walter and this defendant Thomas Walter the elder, situate, lying and being in Hartley in the county of Kent with all and singular their appurtenances.  

And that the said Robert and this defendant Thomas the elder did affirm and undertake to the said complainant John Hickmott, that they the said Robert and this defendant Thomas the elder or one had a good and absolute, clear estate in [selling?..........] the said premises and had in himself or themselves good right and full power to bargain and sell the same and that  all or every of the said premises were free and clear of and from all manner of incumbrances whatsoever had, made […..] by them the said Robert Walter and this defendant Thomas Walter the elder or any their ancestors.  And this defendant further saith that the said complainant John Hickmott was to give for the said land and accordingly did give to them the said Robert Walter and this defendant Thomas Walter the elder for the said land the sum of £500 of lawful money of England and that thereupon the said Robert Walter and this defendant Thomas Walter the elder did by […..] bargain and sell bearing date in the said bill mentioned and enrolled in his Majesty’s High Court of Chancery bargain and sell to the said John Hickmott and Joan his wife and to the heirs of the said John Hickmott [….] said messuages, lands, tenements, woods and hereditaments and all other the premises aforesaid.  

And this defendant Thomas Walter the elder further said that true it is that the said Robert Walter did in and by the said indenture [……] and sale covenant to and with the said complainant John Hickmott and his heirs in and by all things, according as is expressed and contained in the said indenture of bargain and sale unto which said indenture he this defendant [for] certainty in this behalf referreth himself and thereby may more at large appear.  

And this defendant Thomas Walter the elder further saith that he believeth it to be true that the said complainant John [Hickmott by] force and virtue of the said indenture of bargain and sale into and upon the said premises entered and ought to be lawfully seized in his demesne as of fee to him the said John Hickmott and his heirs, of and in [….] lands, tenements, woods and hereditaments and other the bargained premises and to hold and enjoy the same accordingly.  

And this defendant Thomas Walter the elder denieth that either he or the said Robert Walter to [……] knowledge hath or have made, granted or contrived unto any person or persons any lease or leases for divers or any years or terms or have or hath made any grant, bargain, sale, mortgage, charge or any estate or interest for years or for life or lives or any estate in fee farm or interest to any person or persons or any other estate whatsoever, or to any purpose or end whatsoever of bargained premises or any part thereof, otherwise than what the said Robert Walter and this defendant Thomas Walter the elder have made to the said complainants as aforesaid.  

And this defendant Thomas Walter denieth that either he or the said Robert Walter to his this defendant’s knowledge have or hath before the making of the said indenture of bargain and sale to the said complainant acknowledged […..] or entered [….] statute or statutes, recognaisance or recognaisances, judgement or judgements to any person or persons for any sum or sums of money or debts whatsoever or that he this defendant or the said [………] defendant’s knowledge have or hath done or acknowledged any other assurance, act or thing whereby or by means whereof the said bargained premises or any part thereof are or may be hindered or encumbered or whereby the said complainant or the heirs of the said John Hickmott or any of them  shall or may be evicted or dispossessed of the said bargained premises or any part thereof? [……..………….] enjoying the same or for or from having, receiving, levying or enjoying to his or their use of all and singular the rents, issues and profits thereof or of any part thereof, or that he this defendant Thomas Walter or Robert Walter to this defendant’s knowledge have or that mortgaged the said premises or any part thereof to any person or persons, for any sum or sums of money or for or under [……] or pretence whatsoever.
[…….] defendant Thomas Walter the elder saith that it may be that he hath given out in speeches that the said premises so purchased by the said complainant were by some will or […………] or deed in law made or [……………by] Thomas Walter, grandfather of him this defendant Thomas Walter the elder, entailed to one John Walter son of the said Thomas the grandfather and his heirs male […. ] Walter [……] remainder [……….] of such issue, then Robert Walter, third son of the said Thomas  Walter the grandfather for term of his life and after his decease to his son, this defendant Thomas Walter the elder […..…..…………….] and to his eldest issue male and for want of such issue male then to the right heir of him this defendant Thomas Walter the elder forever.   

But this defendant Thomas Walter the elder saith [……………] marriage with (blank in ms) his now wife levy, assign and suffer a recovery of the said lands so purchased by which the said estate tail to or touching Thomas Walter the younger […………………] elder and is cut off and determined so that the same doth not now remain of force.  But this defendant Thomas Walter the elder saith [….] that he hath issue male, Thomas Walter his son [………..] also a daughter Frances Walter, which said son and daughter are the two other defendants to the said complainant’s bill of complaint.  

And this defendant Thomas Walter the elder saith that [he] Thomas Walter the elder denieth that the said Thomas his son [……………] any estate tail for term of his life, with remainder over to his heirs males of or in the said bargained premises or any part thereof after the decease of him, this defendant Thomas Walter the elder or that he the said […………..] this defendant’s son doth claim the same by force and virtue of the said estate tail, so made by the said Thomas the grandfather [………] other estate tail at all.  
And this defendant Thomas Walter the elder saith the true it is that the said Thomas Walter his son and likewise the said Frances his daughter are both yet under age and that [……………] chosen? him, this defendant Thomas Walter the [……….….] to them, the said Thomas Walter and Frances Walter his children but not to or for any such undue purpose, as in and by the said bill is pretended.  And this defendant Thomas Walter […….….] acknowledge and confess that there is not [……….] estate tail of and in the said bargained premises or any part thereof, made, [……] settled, or executed, which is or ought to be of a [………………………………………..] or their said title.  

And the said other defendant Thomas Walter and Frances Walter, the said infants, by the said Thomas Walter the elder, their guardian, do say that […………………………………] another estate by conveyance or assurance of the said bargained premises made, conveyed, granted, or executed to them the said infants or either of them, of or in the […………………..]
[The last 7 lines of the reply are missing in several places due to damage to the manuscript and what looks like water damage]
Hickmott Family Wills 1654-1701

Will of John Hickmott of Clifford's Inn, gentleman, 20.5.1654

..... Item: I give and bequeath to my only son Charles and to his heirs after the decease of my wife, his mother. All those messuages with all the lands and tenements with the appurtenances unto them belonging, set. lying and being in Stapleherst .... Item: I give and bequeath to my said son Charles and to his heirs in like manner after the decease of his said mother. All that my messuage or tenement with all the lands with the appurtenances thereunto belonging, set, lying and being in Hartly in the said county of Kent....... (also lands at Aylesford, Kent; Merstham, Surrey; Cuddesdowne, Oxon; High Onger, Essex; St Andrews Holborn, Middx)

Wife Joan to be executrix.

Proved at London 24.3.1656

Will of Charles Hickmott of New Windsor, Berks, gentleman, 28.3.1667

Mother Joan to be executrix, various bequests, including "I give and bequeath unto my cousin Edward Potter £5"

Will of Joan Hickmott of All Saints Oxford, 2.9.1673

Wishes to be buried at St Andrews Holborn, where her husband and five of her children are.

Real estate in Kent, Surrey, Middx, Berks and Essex left to sister Mistress Elizabeth Longbaine of Oxon, widow, and nephew Nathaniel Chyles of Middle Temple, esquire.

Many family bequests, including £100 for Sampson, the son of her nephew Edward Potter.

Proved 1.12.1673

Will of Edward Potter of Hollywell, Oxford, 28.8.1701

"... and the reason I am not more liberal unto my said daughter Elizabeth is for that I have lately married her unto the said Mr Eggerton and did then give with her a considerable fortune....."
Inventory of Henry Middleton of Hartley (1666)
Reference: TNA PROB 4/14987

An inventory of all the goods and chattels and debts of Henry Middleton late while he lived (?) of the parish of Hartly in the county of Kent, deceased.  Valued and praised by William Jennings, Thomas Middleton and Nicholas Middleton, the 12th day of October 1666.
First his wearing apparel and money in his purse
£5.5.0
In the Chamber over the barn

1 standing bedstead; a feather bed and all the beddings to it
£6.10.0
[................] press; 2 chests; a box
£1.10.0
1 chest; 28 pairs of sheets; 12 tables loth(?); a cupboard clold (?);  3 pairs of pillow [............]; 3 dozen of napkins and their lumber  
£25.12.0
For 21 quarters of malt  
£21.0.0
For wheat and barley in the jarret with other lumber
£14.10.0
High bedstead; one half headed bedstead; a featherbed; 3 feather pillows;   1 flock bed; 2 bolsters; 7 coverlets and blankets; 2 chests and other   lumber
£6.1.0
In the Little Room

1 trundle bedstead and flock bed with other lumber
£1.1.6
In the Parlour

A long table and carpet; a standing bedstead; a trundle bedstead; 2 featherbeds; 2 feather bolsters; a flock bed and bolster; 2 coverlets; 4 blankets; a cupboard with other lumber
£11.7.0
In the Buttery

2 ligches (?); 2 bowls, 2 powdr (?); 4 tubs with other lumber
£1.15.0
2 dozen of pewter at 10d per lb; 96lb comes to  
£4.0.0
8 silver spoons and a silver cup
£3.0.0
In the Kitchen

9 old tubs and other lumber
£0.15.0
In the Drinte (?) house

9 old tubs with other lumber
£0.15.0
In the Milk House

3 tables; 4 cheesemoulds; 9 scales (?) and lumber
£1.10.0
2 new leenes (?) and other old dru (?)
£6.0.0


4 shears and a bois (?)
£19.12.0
51 acres of wheat on the ground at 27s the acre
£70.0.0
17 acres of barley on the ground  
£15.6.0
18 acres of oats
£13.0.0
15 acres of peas
£30.0.0
11 acres of grey peas  
£16.0.0
8 acres of peese more  
£8.0.0
10 horses, mares and colts  
£42.0.0
Waggons, ploughs & horse harness with other implements for husbandry
£22.8.0
10 hogs  
£9.6.8
4 cows    
£10.0.0
Rope and 2 buckets for the cows (?)
£1.10.0


For apparel of woollen
£1.5.0
The brass: 1 furnace (?); 2 kettles; 2 warming pans; 2 skillets
£6.15.0
4 iron pots; a kettle; a skillet
£0.15.0
In the Hall

5 han'ter (?)
£12.10.0
2 tables; a form; 2 cupboards; 3 spits; a dripping pan; 3 chains;   2 fowling pieces with all their lumber
£3.0.0
20 loads of wood unmade; 2 loads of old reese (?) with some chaff  
£9.3.0
12 quarters of wheat   
£13.0.0
76 sheep and lambs
£75.1.0
(also lists 7 items at his Northfleet house)

Sum Total is:
£523.1.0


Debts doubtful and desperate

From: Mr Nicholas Middleton
£20.0.0
Mr Henry Acoorte
£36.16.0
Mr Debar (?) Acoorte
£5.1.6
Mr Leonard Carrier
£10.10.10
Mr Edward Carrier
£3.10.0
Mr Nicholas Richardson
£54.15.0
Mr Richard Barker
£17.0.0
Total
£146.1.6
Case of Batt v Eggerton, 1718
Reference: TNA C11/846/15

5 February 1717 (=1718)
To the Right Honourable Lord Cowper, Baron of his Highness, Lord High Chancellor of England

Humbly complaining sheweth unto your lordship your orator Robert Batt of Longfeild in the county of Kent, yeoman.  That Ralph Eggerton of Alsham in the parish Broad Windsor in the county of Dorset, esquire, in or about the month of October in the year of our Lord 1716 pretending to be seized or entited to either in his own right or in the right of Elizabeth his wife, the fee simple or some other estate of inheritance of and in a messuage, farm or tenement with a barn, stable, malthouse, outhouses and several pieces or parcels of land belonging containing 140 acres or thereabouts, situate, lying and being in the said parish of Hartley in the said county of Kent, of the yearly rent of £40 and no more and wanting a tenant for the same, treated with your orator about your orator [……] and after several times treating and discoursing thereof the said Ralph Eggerton a need to let and your orator agreed to take the same for the term of 6 years from Michaelmas then last part, at the yearly rent of £40 upon the covenants and [……………] mentioned.  And the said Ralph Eggerton having then a pressing occasion for some ready money, earnestly desired and entreated your orator to advance and lend him the sum of £30 in ready money and give him a note for £20 payable some time after and [……..] for the said farm for one year and an half coming from Michaelmas then last past which was then computed at £6 18s and also to pay to the carpenter  and thatcher employed by the said Eggerton to do repairs at the said farm and the sum of £3 [2s…….] amounting together to the sum of £60 telling your orator that it would be a particular service and kindness to the said Eggerton and that he would always remember and acknowledge it and be a kind landlord to your orator, and […..] and promising your orator that he [………] Eggerton would pay interest for the same and that your orator should run no hazard for that he should pay himself the same with interest out of the first rent that should grow due for the said farm and that he would give your orator a bond for the said money and that in the agreement for the lease of […….] and likewise in the lease which the said Eggerton had then agreed to make to your orator the first payment of rent should be made when £60 was due and not before whereby your orator should have it in his power to pay himself the said £60 and  that the agreement for […………..] the said farm should be immediately drawn and put into writing and he would duly execute the same and particularly perform every part and item that he had then agreed to, whereupon your orator was prevailed with and did agree to advance the said £60 as aforesaid.  And thereupon the said Ralph Eggerton and your orator sent for Mr John Franckwell an attorney at Dartford in Kent, and acquainted him with all the matters they had agreed upon and gave him directions to put the same into writing and make it ready and proper for them to seal and execute, which the said [……] accordingly did.  And the said Ralph Eggerton and your orator both duly signed, sealed, delivered and executed the same, which your orator believes was to the purpose or effect following, viz Memorandum It is now enacted and agreed the 2nd day of October 1716.  Between Ralph Eggerton of Alsham in the parish of Broad Windsor in the county of Dorset esquire, and Robert Batt of Longfeild in the county of Kent yeoman as followeth, viz. First the said Ralph Eggerton doth covenant and agree to and with the said Robert Batt.  That he the said Ralph Eggerton and Elizabeth his wife and all proper persons shall and will on or before the 15th day of May next, make seal and deliver a good and sufficient lease for the term of 6 years from the feast day of St Michael the Archangel then last past of all that messuage, tenement with the barn, malthouse, buildings and several pieces or parcels of land contining in the whole by estimation 140 acres, be the same more or less, to the said messuage or tenement belonging with their and every of their appurtenances, situate, lying and being in the parish of [Hartley in] the said county of Kent late in the tenure or occupation of Henry Middleton (and which the said Ralph Eggerton hath let to the said Robert Batt.  Except timber trees and trees like to be timber, at and for the yearly rent of £40 to be paid in manner following, that is to say [………] pounds part thereof on the feast day of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which shall be in the year of our Lord 1718 and £60 at the end of the first three years of the said term of 6 years and the yearly rent of £40 [….] half yearly payments for the last three years of the said 6 years.  And the said Ralph Eggerton doth covenant and agree to and with the said Robert Batt that in the said lease, he the said Ralph Eggerton and all proper persons shall and will covenant at his and their charges to do the repairs of the said messuage or tenement, buildings and premises during the said 6 years.  And it shall be lawful for the said Robert Batt to lop, top and shroved all such trees on the said lands as have been usually lopped, topped and shrived, except such as are growing in that part of the of the [……] landway between Gunners Lands and Homefeilde and in the hedgerows round and adjoining to the hopgarden, containing about half an acres, and a little piece of land adjoining to the hopgarden, containing half? An acre.  And it shall be lawful for the said Robert Batt to grub a little shaw containing about half an acre in the grove or landway and ad[joining?] to Homefeild and lay it to the said Homefeild and to grub up about 30 rods (165 yards) of hedge in a field to the said messuage where there stands a yew tree.  And that it shall be lawful for the said Robert Batt to have and take ploughbote and cartbote growing on the said land being first marked out by the lessors or one of them.  And that it shall be lawful for the said Robert Batt to carry off from the premises all or any of the sainfoin, clover and hay as shall grow on the said lands during the said 6 years and also the chaff of corn [….]
That the said Robert Batt performing the covenants in the said lease on his part to be performed, shall quietly enjoy the said messuage or tenement, lands and premises during all the said 6 years, and that the said Robert Batt shall have liberty till May Day next after the [end of] the said 6 years to lay and thresh out the corn in the said barn and to fodder his cattle on the premises.  And the said Robert Batt doth covenant and agree that he will seal and deliver a counterpart of the said lease and therein covenant to pay the £60 hereinbefore mentioned […………] at the end of the first 3 years and the other rent for the last three years half yearly and that he will quietly deliver up the possession of the premises at the end of the said 6 years, having the liberty till May Day aforesaid and that he [………………….] and in barn his corn growing on the said lands during the said 6 years on the said premises, and fodder out the straw on the premises and lay the dung arising on the said premises upon the said lands. And that he will preserve the fruit trees and that the said Ralph Eggerton [………..] and agree to and with the said Robert Batt, his executors or administrators that the said Robert Batt, his executors or administrators shall have one other new sufficient and good lease made and granted for the term of 6 years more of the same farm and For the same rent and covenants on either part (other than for a new lease) as are before mentioned and that a covenant for the same purpose shall be entered into by all proper parties in the first lease.  And to the due performance of all and every the aforesaid covenants and agreements [……..the] said Ralph Eggerton and Robert Batt did bind himself, his heirs, executors and administrators respectively unot the other of them, his heirs, executors and administrators in the penal sum of £80 as in and by the said agreement and writing had your orator the [………] might more fully appear.  And your orator further sheweth unto your lordship that your orator at the time when the said Ralph Eggerton sealed and executed the said agreement did pay the said Ralph Eggerton the sum of £30 and did give notes or promises [……………] for the payment of the said £6 18s towards the land tax for the said farm for one year and an half without any abatement or deduction to be made to your orator for the same and also for payment of £3 2s to the carpenter and thatcher [……….] by the said Eggerton as aforesaid.  All which your orator hath long since paid and discharged and your orator did likewise at the same time give the said Mr Eggerton a note under his hand for the payment of £20 and interest. And your orator further sheweth that [………..] Eggerton and your orator did both duly seal and execute one part only of the said agreement and did agree to leave the same with the said Mr Frankwell for the joint use of your orator and the said Mr Eggerton; and that the said Mr Frankwell should keep the same and not deliver it […….] and parties without the consent of both of them though he might permit either of them to look over and read the same and if either of them desired a copy he might have it paying for the same.  And your orator further sheweth that the said Ralph Eggerton did enter into and give a bond of the said […..] pounds […..] 2nd October 1716 to your orator in the penal? sum of £120 with a condition under written for the payment of £60 and 15 shillings on the 3rd of January then next ensuing.  And your orator at the desire and request [of……] Eggerton did agree and by endorsement on the said bond did promise that if the said Mr Eggerton did pay of the said bond before the 1st of May 1718 if your orator would take interest only for one half year.  And the said Ralph Eggerton did by deed poll […..] 2nd of October 1716 agree that your orator should detain and keep in his hands the rent of the said farm as it should become due to pay himself the money due on the said bond, as in and by the said bond condition, endorsement and deed poll ready to […………..] may more fully appear.  And your orator further sheweth unto your lordship that the said farm and lands being then much out of repair the said Mr Eggerton ordered and directed your orator to buy materials and employ workmen to do several repairs thereto, promising your orator he should deduct […….] the rent.  And your orator did accordingly buy materials and employ workmen to do the repairs and did pay for the same.  And your orator did likewise lay out considerable sums of money in manuring, ploughing and improving the said farm and lands, and hath lately dunged, ploughed and [……………..] parcels of the said lands and did hope peaceably and quietly to hold and enjoy the same during the time agreed on and to have reaped and received the crops and benefit of his said labour, and to have paid himself the money so lent to the said Mr Eggerton as aforesaid, and laid out by [……………] disbursements on the said farm according to the said agreement.

But now so it is may it please your lordship: that the said Mr Eggerton and Elizabeth his wife, combining and confederating to and with Robert Praul of Hartley aforesaid, yeoman, and divers other persons at present [unknown to your] orator whose names when discovered your orator prays may be inserted in this bill and they made parties hereto with apt words to charge them, not only to circumvent your orator of the lease of the premises but also of the money laid out and expended in the repairs and […………….] money lent to and paid for the said Mr Eggerton as aforesaid but of their crops of corn sowed on the said farm and to turf your orator out of possession thereof, he the said Ralph Eggerton and Elizabeth his wife utterly refuse to make a lease of the said farm and lands [………..] according to the agreement aforesaid to pay your orator or to let him deduct out of the rent the said money due upon the bond as aforesaid or any of the money laid out on the repairs of the said farm or by the order and direction of the said Mr Eggerton, but on the contrary has […………………..] to have let the same to the said Robert Praul or some other of the said confederates and yet the said confederates or some of them threaten to sue your orator on the said note for £20 and to bring declarations in ejection out against your orator to turn him out of possession of […………] and lands and to put the said Praul or some other of the said confederates into possession thereof.  And the said Mr Eggerton in order to carry on his unreasonable and unjust designs against your orator, did in or about the month of April last, sent for the said Mr Franckwell to the Bull Inn in Dartford [………….] bring the said agreement between him and your orator with him and to show and read the same to Mr Eggerton and his wife, who was then with him, which the said Mr Franckwell did and read the said agreement to the said Eggerton and his wife, and when he had read it to the said Mr Eggerton [………] Franckwell to let him look upon it and took it out of the of the said Mr Franckwell’s hands and put it into his the said Eggerton’s pocket and refused though requested thereto to return the same to the to the said Mr Franckwell, but carried the same away and hath since, though in a friendly manner requested the [………..] orator and the said Mr Franckwell absolutely refused to redeliver the same to the said Mr Franckwell, sometimes pretending that he hath not or ever had the said agreement, and at other times that he and your orator never made such or any other agreement and that if there was, that the same is [……..] gives out in speeches that your orator, not having the said agreement in his custody or power, cannot oblige him to the performance thereof and that he hath let the same farm and premises to the said Praul or some other person and will eject your orator out of the possession [……………] allowing him anything for the corn sown thereon or to reap the crop thereof or to make any allowance for the money laid out by your orator for repairs or other improvements of the said farm, and that he will distrain or sue your orator for the rent in arrear [……………] deducting the money due on the said bond and agreed to be deducted and paid out of the rents as aforesaid.  All which doings and threatening of the said confederates are contrary to all equity and good conscience, and tend to the great wrong and oppression […………………………………..] and for that your orator is remediless in the premises by the strict rules of the common law, your orator’s witnesses who could prove all and singular the premises being either dead or gone into parts beyond the seas, or remote and unknown to your orator but properly [………………….] before your lordship to compel the said confederates to set forth and discover the said agreement and to a specifical performance thereof to the end therefore that the said confederates may upon their corporal oaths set forth and discover the truth of all and singular the premises […………………] Eggerton, Elizabeth his wife, and Robert Praul may more particularly set forth whether the said Eggerton did not let the said farm to your orator for the said term of 6 years, and when and whether he and your orator did not come to an agreement about letting the same, whether [……………..] they made was not put in writing and by whom and whose order and direction, who made the said agreement, whether the said Mr Eggerton and your orator did sign, seal, deliver or duly execute any and what agreement, whether the said agreement was not in words purpose or [……………………………] other and what, and may set forth the agreement or writing thereof in hec verba, whether the said agreement or writing was not left in the hands and custody of the said Mr Franckwell, whether there was any more than one agreement executed for the said lease and how many parts there [……………………………] Franckwell was not to keep the said agreement or writing for the use and benefit of both parties, whether the said Ralph Eggerton did not order, request or desire the said Mr Franckwell to bring the said agreement to the Bull Inn in Dartford?  Whether the said Mr Franckwell did not [….] the same? Whether the said Mr Franckwell did not read the same or any other and what agreement to the said Mr Eggerton and Elizabeth his wife, or either and which of them or to any other and what person? Whether the said confederates or any and which of them did not see? And when the said [……………..] agreement or hear the same read and by whom, whether the said confederates or any and which of them did not take the said agreement and carry it away? And why they did see whether it was carried away by and with the will and consent of the said Mr Franckwell?  Whether thes aid Mr Franckwell did not ask for or demand the same immediately after the said Eggerton had taken the same, when of whom and in whose company or presence? Whether they or any and which of them delivered the same to the said Mr Franckwell or denied or refused so to do? And when and where and in whose presence and company?  Whether the said confederates or any and which of them ever and when, and when last saw the agreement in any and whose custody, hands or power? Where it hath been and now is?  Whether your orator did not pay the said Mr Eggerton or any other? And who for him or by his or whose order did receive the said sum of £30? pounds or any other and what sum or sums of money and did not give a note for £20 or any other? And what sum? Whether the said Eggerton did not give your orator some bond and deed poll as aforementioned? Whether your orator did not agree to take half a year’s interest only if the said [Mr] Eggerton paid the money on the said bond in the time mentioned in the said indorsement?  Whether your orator hath not paid the said land tax and carpenter and thatcher money or gave the said Eggerton such notes for payment thereof as aforesaid?  Whether the said Eggerton or any other and who did order or direct your orator to do some and what repairs about the said farm and to buy materials and employ and pay workmen for any? And what repairs or any other and what money your orator hath paid for or by the order of the said Eggerton? Whether the said Eggerton or any other by his order and […..] hath not given warning to your orator to quit or leave the possession of the said farm or have not threatened to eject him out of possession and why?  Whether the said Eggerton hath not let the said farm and lands to the said Praul or to some other person or persons?  And to whom? For how long? And on what rent and what other considerations or terms? Whether your orator was not to stop or deduct the money lent or paid to or for the said Eggerton out of the rent when due?  Whether the said Eggerton hath not threatened not to let your orator do so, but that he the said Eggerton will have and receive the rent due at Lady Day next [……………] your orator for the same notwithstanding the said agreement?  And that the said confederates may be compelled to a specific performance of the said agreement.  And that the said Robert Praul may particularly set forth whether the said Eggerton hath not let or leased or contracted to lease [the said] farm and lands or some and which of them unto him the said Robert Praul or to any other person or persons? And to whom, for how long and from what time such lease or leases do or are to continue?  And for what considerations or terms?  Whether he the said Robert Praul did not [……..] heard or believed or was told at or before such lease or leases were granted or contracted for and by whom that the said Eggerton had agreed to let the same to your orator for the said term of 6 years or for any other?  And what term or terms of years or upon and according to the agreement aforesaid or upon any other?  And what agreement? And to the end the said Eggerton and his wife may give your orator a lease of the premises according to the covenants and agreements in the said deed of agreement mentioned and may be stayed by the injunction of this court [……..] proceeding at law against your orator and may be true and perfect?  Answer make to all and singular the premises as if the same were here again particularly repealed and interrogated.  And your orator be otherwise relieved therein according to equity and good conscience.#

Please your lordship to grant unto your orator his majesty’s most gracious writ of subpoena to be directed to said Ralph Eggerton and Elizabeth his wife, Robert Praule and the rest of the confederates when discovered, thereby requiring them at a certain day and under a certain pain there to be limited, personally to be and appear before your lordship in this honourable court, there to answer all and singular the premises, and to stand to and abide such further order and decree herein meet and your orator shall ever pray etc.
  
Lethieullier Deeds 1726-1744
Reference: CKS U47/11 T169
This is the purchase deed from Ralph Egerton.

Indenture 24 June 1726

Made between

(1) Ralph Egerton of Lodon Dosett, Gentleman; Elizabeth his wife, one of the daughters of Edward Potter, late of Oxford, gentleman; Charles Egerton, only son and heir of Ralph Egerton.
(2) William Lethieullier of Beckenham, esquire

In consideration of £831.5.0 the Egertons sell to Lethieullier. All that messuage or tenement and 18 several pieces of land called Daltons, alias Hartley Wood Farm, being 140 acres, heretofore in the occupation of Henry Middleton, yeoman, now in the occupation of Robert Batt.

Deed dated 2 March 1744

Made between

(1) John Lethieulier of Sutton (Kent) esquire and Mary his wife; Manning Lethieullier of Lewisham esquire and Ann his wife; William Lethieullier of Leadenhall Street, London, groom and Rachael his wife (the three sons of William Lethieullier, late of Beckenham, deceased).
(2) Samuel Lethieullier of Middle Temple esquire, the youngest son of the said William Lethieullier

Whereas the will of William senior, dated 8 December 1736, left Hartley Wodd to Samuel; and whereas the said Hartley Wood Farm is gavelkind tenure. This indenture is a sale of the same by the others to Samuel.
Counterpart Lease Lethieullier to Batt, dated 19 October 1726

Made between

(1) William Lethieullier of Beckenham, esquire
(2) Robert Batt the elder of Longfield, yeoman; and Robert Batt the younger of Longfield, yeoman

In consideration of annual rent of £50, Mr Lethieullier leases to the Batts for 21 years. All the several pieces: one piece of land called Little Gunners; one piece of woodland called Three Acres; one other piece of land called Great Gunners; one other piece of land called Church Lands; one other piece of land called Steely Field; one other piece of land called Church Lands Neck; four other pieces of land called by the several names of Bear Field; Crab Bank; Homefield; and Bear Haws; one other piece of land called The Six Acres; one other piece of land called The Croft; and other pieces of land called The Upper Horsenails, Lower Horsenails, Goss and The Dawesland. All the lands containing 120 acres and situated in Hartley.

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