|Document and transcription donated by David Gallifant. It is a photocopy - the source and the transcriber are not known.
Accession No. 2016.01.003B
A Coppy of a fine sued by Saml Daniel & his Wife on the Ship house in East Mersey and other Tennamnts had of Mr
May hew Attorney
A Deed leading to the uses of the fine 1 Sept 1709
This Indenture made the first day of September Anno Domini 1709 Between Samuel Danniel of Colchester in the
County of Essex Linnen Draper and Katharine his Wife and John Bevan of Coptford in the s[ai]d County Carpenter
and Mary his Wife of the one part and John Eldred of Stanaway in the s[ai]d County Gent[leman] of the other
Whereas the s[ai]d Samuel Daniel and Katharine his Wife and John Bevan and Mary his Wife did in Trinity terme
last past acknowledge and levey before her Ma[jes]ties Justices of her highest Court of Common Pleas at
Westminster unto the s[ai]d John Eldred and his heirs One fine sur cognizance de droit come ceo &c w[i]th
proclamc[i]on thereupon had According to the Forme of the Statute in that Case made and provided of all that
Messuage or Tenement with all the Lands Grounds hereditaments and appurtenances thereunto belonging containing
by Estimacon two Acres more or less Situate lyeing and being in Fingregoho in County afores[ai]d near unto a
certaine bridge there called Fingrego as the s[ai]d premises formerly were in the Occupation of Edw[ar]d Turner
afterwards of John Goffe Since of Edward Warner and now or late of Jonathan] Levy or his assigns And also of all
that Messuage or Tennemnt and all the freehold lands thereto belonging containing by Estimacon two Acres more
or less Situate lyeing and being in East Mersey in the s[ai]d County and now or late in the Tennor [tenure] or
Occupation of Robert Cock or his assigns And also of all that Messuage or Tennemnt with the Garden and
appurtenances there[un]to belonging Situate lyeing and being in Colchester afores[ai]d in a Certaine Street
there called Gutter Street leading without the Wall of the s[ai]d Towne from head Gate towards Shier gate in the
parish of Holy Trinity between the Messuage or Tennemnt of Sherley Widow now in the Occupation of Ann Bonnett
Widow on the East part and the Messuage or Tennemnt of Thomas Kettle late in the Occupation of John Sloman on
the West part one head thereof abutting upon the afores[ai]d Street call[e]d Gutter Street towards the South
and the Towne Wall there towards the North as the same late w[a]s in the Occupation of Sampson Ward or his
assigns Which said fine doth comprehend and express the said premises by the names of the three Messuages three
Gardens four acres of land and four acres of pasture with the Appurtenances in Fingregohoe East Mersey and
Now this Indenture Witnesseth that it is covenanted granted concluded and fully agreed by and between all the
s[ai]d p[a]rties to these presents for themselves and every of them their and every of their heirs e[xec]otors
and ad[ministra]tors that the s[ai]d fine so as afores[ai]d acknowledged and leveyed at the time of the
acknowledging thereof was intended to be and enure and so shall be adjudged deemed expounded and taken to be
and enure and is hereby declared to be and enure and the s[ai]d John Eldred and his heirs by virtue thereof
shall stand and be seized of the said Messuages Lands and premises with the Appurtenances To the several uses
intents and purposes here[in]after mentioned (that is to say) as to for touching and Concerning the said
Messuages or Tennemnts Lands and all other the premises ment[i]on[e]d to be Situate lyeing and being in
Fingringhoe and East Mersey afores[ai]d With their Appurtenances To and for such p[er]son and p[er]sons
and of and for such Estate and Estates and under such provisoes and conditions and in such sort manner and
forme as the said Samuel Daniel and Katharine his Wife shall Joynt [appoint] by any deed or Deeds writeing or
writeings under their hands and seals testified by three or more credible Witnesses from time to time declare limit or Appoint And as the estate or Estates so to be appointed (If any shall be) respectively end and determine and in default off And in the mean time untill such declaration and appointment and as to so much of the said premises whereof no such appointm[e]nt shall be made to the use of the s[ai]d Sam[ue]l Daniel and Katharine his Wife their heirs and Assigns for ever And as to for touching and Concerning the s[ai]d Messuage or Tennemnt and all other the premises with the Appurtenances mentioned to be Situate lyeing and being in Colchester afores[ai]d to the use and behoof of the s[ai]d John Bevan and Mary his Wife for and during the term of their Natural lifes and the life of the longer Liver of them and after the decease of the Survivour of them Then to the use of the heirs and Assigns of the s[ai]d Mary for ever and to and for no other use Intent or purpose Whatsoever
In Witness etc
A fine of lands, also called a final concord, or simply a fine, was a species of property conveyance which existed in England from at least the 12th century until its abolition in 1833 by the Fines and Recoveries Act.
The conveyance took the form of the record of a fictitious lawsuit, compromised or terminated by the acknowledgment of the existing owner (known as the deforciant, impedient or tenant, depending on the original writ used to levy the fine) that the land in question was the rightful property of the claimant (theplaintiff, querent QY demandant). In reality, the deforciant had already agreed to sell the land, and the plaintiff to buy it: the suit was, in other words, a collusive action between the two parties. In the most common means of levying a fine, the plaintiff would bring a writ of covenant alleging that he and the deforciant had entered into a covenant to transfer some real property, but the deforciant had not held up his end of the bargain. In all actions used to levy a fine, before the court could render judgment, and typically on the same day the writ was returned, the parties would seek leave of the court to compromise, and then compromise on terms where the deforciant admitted that the real property was the right of the plaintiff. A fine was said to be "levied".
The true intention of the fine was often explained in a separate document, known as a Deed to lead the uses of a fine if it was executed beforehand, or a Deed to declare the uses of a fine if it was executed afterwards.
Our example is described in the heading above as "A Deed leading to the uses of the fine", although it refers to the judicial proceedings as having already taken place (the Trinity law sittings being held in June and July). It will be seen that the "deforciant" John Eldred of Stanway was the vendor of three separate properties:
(a) two houses situated respectively in Fingringhoe and East Mersea, to the purchasers Samuel Daniel and his wife Katherine;
(b) a house in Gutter Street (now St Johns Street) Colchester, to the purchasers John Bevan and his wife Mary.
The East Mersea property is the only one of the three to be named (in the heading rather than in the body of the deed, where it is described as "the Ship House"). Otherwise no name or street number is attributed to any of them and there is no reference to a plan. However former or present occupiers are specified to assist with identification. (This standard conveyancing practice continued to be adopted up to more recent times.) Nor is there any reference in the deed to a sale price.