ID: MARG_524

TitleCOURT CASE between Edward De Vere and Richard Wiseman
AbstractCOURT CASE between Edward De Vere and Richard Wiseman [National Archives: C2/Eliza/B22/18/1]

Transcription by Elaine Barker July 2023

Short Title: Ballock by Gant v Wiseman
Plaintiffs: Edward [De Vere] Earl of Oxford, Lord Great Chamberlain on the part of Henry Bullock, a minor.
Defendants: Richard Wiseman
Subject: Manorial custom as to wardship. Lands called Dawes alias Bacons, lying in West Mersea, Essex, held of plaintiff the earl of Oxford as of his manor of [illegible], by knight's service

SUMMARY: On 11 November 1581 Oxford filed a bill of complaint in the Court of Chancery against Richard Wiseman. Oxford was claiming that the private wardship of 4-year-old named Henry Bullock, should have come to him automatically on the death of Henry Bullock senior, due to the latter holding lands and tenements in West Mersea called Dawes alias Bacons of Oxford by knight's service. The primary purpose of the suit was to put a stop to the alleged fraud arranged on Henry Bullock Senior's deathbed between him and the child's uncle, Richard Wiseman, intended to deny Oxford the wardship. In this document, Oxford requests that Richard Wiseman be subpoenaed to appear at the court to answer the complaint.

In the second document the child's uncle, Richard Wiseman, argued there was no case to answer and that he had bought the property before Henry Bullock senior died meaning that Oxford would have no rights over the child. [See The Story Behind the Brass of Henry Bullock ]

11 die Novembris 1581
To the right honorable S[ir] Thomas Bromley,
Knight, Lorde Chancello[u]r of England.
Complaineth and sheweth unto yo[ur] goode Lordeshippe, Edward, Erle of Oxford and lord great Chamb[er]len of England, for and on the
behalf of Henry Bullocke, an infant of the age fowre yeres, as Garden unto him. That where Henry Bullocke, late of \Muche/ Wigbrowe
in the Countie of Essex, yeman, [yeoman] father of the said infant decessed, was in his lief time amongest other land[es] seised of certaine land[es]
and tenem[en]t[es] lieng in West Mersey called Dawes al[ia]s Bacons holden of yo[ur] orato[u]r by knight[es] service, And so being seised
and about twoe yeres past lieng very sicke uppon his deathes bed, and not above six daies before the daie of his death, did
by the advice of one Richard Wiseman, his brother in lawe, and of divers other very craftie p[er]sonnes make a feoffem[en]t in Fee
to the said Richard Wiseman to the ende to defeate and defraude yo[ur] orato[u]r of the Wardeshippe of the said infant, his sonne and
heire, expressing no other use uppon the said fefm[en]t apparantly, then to the use of the said Richard Wiseman and his heires, but
in secret trust to be to the use of the said infant, his sonne and heire, as shall be made very apparant to yo[ur] lordeshippe by all
matter of circumstance in reasonable and necessary construcc[i]ion and considerat[i]on. And where also the said Henry Bullocke
the father, did likewise, lieng uppon his said deathes bed, make his last will and testam[en]t in writing, making therby the said Richard
Wiseman his executo[u]r, and devised therby unto the said Wiseman the issues and p[ro]fitt[es] of certaine of his land[es] \with other his good[es] & chattell[es]/ w[i]th Condic[i]on
that he should be bounde by obligat[i]on in the som[m]e of five hundred pound[es] to one John Baron, yeman, yerly to accompt to him
of the said issues and p[ro]fitt[es], and that they might be duely answered to the said infant & others his brethren and sisters
at theire full yeres according to the limitac[i]on of the said will, as by the same maie more at large appere. So it is nowe my
goode Lord, the said Richard Wiseman (entendinge contrary to all right and goode conscience not onely to defraude and defete
the said infant of the land so put in fefm[en]t unto him in trust, but also of such porc[i]ion as should at his full age growe unto
him by the appointm[en]t of \his/ said father's last will and testament), utterly denieth both the said trust, claiming the said lande to
be absolutely to him and his heires, and also having not put in the said bond of vC li [£500] to the said John Baron accordinge unto
the limitac[i]on of the said will, taketh \notwithstanding/ the issues and p[ro]fitt[es] of the land[es] so devised unto him therby, and hath also gotten
into his hand[es] and possession the goodd[es] and chattell[es] of the testato[u]r, his father, forasmuch as the said Henry Bullocke is
not nowe above the age of fowre yeres at the most, and that theise matters shall not be so well in memory and to be p[ro]ved
by him at his full age (to seke his owne remedy and redres herein) as nowe, And that the trust uppon the said fefm[en]t
can have no other direct proof but by the othe [oath] of the said Richard Wiseman, and so w[i]thout all remedy by the order of the
Comon lawes of this realme, w[hi]ch will tend to his disherison[disinheritance], unlesse yo[u]r goode lordshippes helpe herein be forthw[i]th exten
ded toward[es] the said Henry Bullocke, yt maie therfore please yo[u]r goode lordship, the p[re]misses considered, to gra[u]nte to yo[u]r
orato[u]r the quenes ma[jes]ties most gracious writte of Subpena to be directed to the said Richard Wiseman com[m]anding him
therby to appere before yo[u]r goode lordship in her ma[jes]ties most highe Court of Cha[u]ncery at a certaine day and under a certaine
paine by yo[u]r lordshippe to be appointed then and there to answere in the p[r]emisses, and further to stand to such order therein
as to yo[u]r goode Lordship shall be thought meete and convenient to the safetie of the said infant \in the causes aforesaid/. And the said Erle shall
herein stand bound unto yo[u]r goode Lordship, and wishe unto you great increase of hono[u]r.

National Archives: C2/Eliz/B22/18/2

Jur: cora[m] Mat. Carew = sworn before Matthew Carew
Thanswere of Richard Wisman defendant to the bill
of Compleynt of the right honourable \Edwarde/ Earle of Oxenford for
and in the behalfe of Henry Bullocke being within age.

The said Defendant by protestac[i]on not confessing the said landes and ten[emen]t[es] called Dawes al[ia]s Bacons menc[i]oned in the said bill of Compl[ey]nt or eny p[ar]te or p[ar]cell
of the same or eny other of the landes or ten[emen]t[es] w[hi]ch were the said Henry Bullock[es], deceased, to be to his knowledge holden by knight[es] s[er]vice of the said Earle of
Oxenford or of eny other p[er]son or p[er]sons by that tenor, as in and by the said bill of Compl[ey]nt is supposed and declared, sayeth that the said bill of Compl[ey]nt ys uncerteine
and insufficient in the lawe to be answered unto for that yt is alledged therin that the said Henry Bullock the father was seazed of the said landes and ten[emen]t[es] called Dawes al[ia]s Bacons and doth not shewe of what estate he was seazed, neyther what estate he hadd in the same, for w[hi]ch apparant cause and incertenty
the said defend[an]t doth demur in lawe uppon the said bill of Compleynt and demandeth iudgement thereof. Nevertheles, yf by thorder of this honourable Courte he
shalbe compelled to make eny further answere to the said insufficient bill, then the advantage of thincerteynty and insufficiency alwayes saved unto him, the said
defend[an]t for further answe[r] and for a pleyne declarac[i]on of the truthe doth sey that true yt is that the said Henry Bullocke the father was in his lief tyme
amongst other landes seazed of the said landes and ten[emen]t[es] called Dawes al[ia]s Bacons (and as he thinketh of a good and lawfull estate in fee symple) and so being therof seazed
being mynded and determyndd to make sale therof and to alyenate and put awaye the same did longe before his death enter into talke and comonyca[c]ion [communiocation] w[i]th div[er]se and sundry
p[er]sons for the buying therof, and at length made offer of the sale of the same to the said defend[an]t his brother-in-lawe who after div[er]se treates therin did in thend growe
to a full and pleyne bergayne for the same, vi[de]l[ice]t that the said defend[an]t shold have the said landes and ten[emen]t[es] called Dawes and Bacons menc[i]oned in the said bill of Compl[eyn]t
to him and to his heires, and that he the said defend[an]t shold paye for the same the some of Eyghtskore pound[es] in mony at such dayes and tymes as betwene them was
then agreed of. In p[er]formynge and accomplishinge of w[hi]ch said bergeyne and agrement the said Henry Bullocke the father did about the fiftenth daye of January in the
jth 21st yere of the reigne [=15 January 1579] of o[u]r sovereigne lady the Quene, her Ma[jes]tie that nowe ys make a deed of feoffement and caused an estate to be duly deliverdd of the said land
called Dawes al[ia]s Bacons to the said defend[an]t and his heires in the p[re]sens of div[er]se p[er]sons of good abilitee and credite, w[hi]ch said estate and feoffement so made
and taken was in truth pleynely and absolutely to the only use of the said defend[an]t and his heires and not to any other use intent and p[ur]pose. Sithens the makeing of w[hi]ch said
feoffement he the said defend[an]t hath bene seazed therof accordingly and hath from tyme to tyme ev[er] sithens taken and receyved the yssues and profitt[es] of the same
to his owne use, as well and lawfull was for him to doo, w[i]thout that the said feoffement was made of eny covenous intent to defeate or defraude the said
Compl[eynan]t of the wardshipp of the said infant as in the said bill of Compl[eyn]t ys s[ur]mised Or that ther was uppon the makeing of the said estate or feoffement eny
secret purpose, meaning, or intent that the same shold be to the use of the said infant or to eny other use then ys pleynely and simply expressd and declared
in and by the said dead [deed] of feoffement w[hi]ch ys redy to be shewed forth to this honorable Courte And forasmuch as by the truth of all the matter it ys very manifest
and apparant that the said Compl[eynan]t hath no iust cause or good title as gardeine [guardian] in Chevalry \or/ otherwise to have the custody or wardshipp of the said Henry Bullock
the infant And for that his custody, Educac[i]on, and brynginge upp during his mynoritee was specially ment and appointed by his father uppon his death bedd
unto the said defend[an]t so that the said Compl[eynan]t hath neyther by lawe or conscience eny cause or authoritee to deale either w[i]th his body or w[i]th eny other thinge
belonginge or app[er]teyninge to him, the said infant And forasmuch as the rest of the matters menc[i]oned in the said bill do only concerne certeine accompt[es] & reconing[es]
to be made to the said infant at his comynge to his full age w[hi]ch do by no meanes app[er]teyne or belonge to the said Compl[eynan]t, he the said defend[an]t verily
thynketh that he ys not, towching thoes matters or towching that p[ar]te of the said bill of Compl[eyn]t, to make eny answere at all to the said compleyn]t and [illegible] and
referreth him sealfe to the order and iudgement of this honorable Courte And prayeth that he mey be dismissed out of the same w[i]th his [reasonable?] costs and
charges herein susteyned.

PRO C2/Eliz/B22/18/3 (replication)
The replication of Edward, Earl of Oxford, complainant, to the answer of Richard Wiseman, defendant

THE SAID COMPLAINANT doth aver and maintain his said bill of complaint to be certain and sufficient in the law to be answered unto, and all the matters and things therein contained to be good, just, and true in such manner and form as they are and been in the said bill of complaint set forth and alleged, without that that the said deed of feoffment and the estate made thereupon, with all other the matter and circumstances touching the same as they are before set forth in the answer of the said defendant were made, done, or executed to any other end, effect, or purpose than to defeat, defraud, and avoid this complainant of the wardship of the said Henry Bullock, the son, and without that that the said sum of eightscore pounds was agreed upon between the said defendant and the said Henry Bullock, the father, to be paid to him, the said Henry Bullock, for and in consideration of the purchase of the said lands absolutely, truly, and bona fide, but fraudulently to cover and shadow the covin and deceit aforesaid purposed and practised against this complainant in this matter under pretence and show of this bargain, all which matters this complainant is ready to aver and prove as this honourable court shall award, and prayeth as he before in his said bill hath prayed.

SourceMersea Museum