STAC 5/W6/34 - B A - Trin 26 Eliz - Gloucestershire Somerset - Robert Weekes v Roger Newburrough see STAC Wykes
Transcribed by Helen Good
To the Queens most excellent Majesty
In most humble wise complaining showeth unto your most excellent Highness your true faithful and obedient subject Robert Weekes of Hannam in your County of Gloucestershire esquire That where you're said subject about half a year sithence exhibited his Bill of Complaint unto your Majesty in your High Court of Star Chamber against one John Sturges, John Sadler, William Cooke, Friswell Perman, Thomas Phillippe and John Rawllyns for diverse forgeries cousinage and sundry other misdemeanours and abuses alleging among other things in the same, That about six or seven years then last past this said John Sturges upon his corporal oath had deposed that he was seized in his demesne as of fee of and in the manor of Wolverington in your highness County of Somerset by reason of which oath so made and in consideration of the matters contained in the same Bill of Complaint your said subject did disburse defray and lay out to and for his said John Sturges diverse and sundry great sums of money, and for the security of your said subject The said John Sturges did not only become bound unto your said subject in sundry bonds recognisances or statutes also did demise grant and to farm let, unto your set subject this said Manor of Wolverington and the whole demesne belonging unto the same for ninety-nine years And to this end that your said subject should quietly enjoy occupy and possess the said Manor according to the said demise, became bound to your said subject in a statute of eight hundred pounds as by the said Bill of Complaint remaining in your highness said Court may more plainly appear.
Now so it is if it to me please your most excellent Majesty, That was said that John Sturges labouring by sundry very indirect means and sinister practices to frustrate and make void the said lease so granted unto your said subject and to defraud cousin and deceive him of sundry great sums of money which he had paid for the same, And also to avoid as well the said statute of eight hundreth pounds, As one other former statute of six hundred pounds wherein he also stood bounden unto your said subject for the better enjoying of the same lease did more about the four and twentieth year of her Majesty’s reign confederate himself with the said John Sadler, William Cooke, Friswell Perman, Thomas Phillippes, John Rawlyns named in the said former Bill and with Roger Newborowe to destroy and overthrow the said lease and indirectly and by lewd practices to avoid the said statutes and bonds, And to that intent and purpose, They the said John Sturges, John Sadler and other persons aforesaid by that means assent and procurement of the said Roger Newborowe sithence the decease of the father of the said John Sturges, That is to say in or about this said four and twentieth year of your majesty’s reign Now very craftily subtly and falsely forged counterfeited and contrived or they or some of them have by the procurement assent or means of the said Roger Newborowe forged counterfeited and contrived one false writing in the name of the said John Sturges the father, as the last will and testament of the said John Sturges the father whereas in truth the said John Sturges never made any will or testament. In which counterfeits and untrue writing it is written and declared That said John Sturges the son should have no greater estate in the said Manor of Wolverington then for term of his life, Where in truth he had and hath an estate in the same in fee simple by descent from his said father. By means of which forgery so committed they would bring to pass that the said lease should be no longer good then for the life of the said John Sturges, And to the end that the said forged and untrue will or writing should bear the face or seem to be the last will and testament of the said John Sturges the said persons or some of them together with and by the maintenance aid assent or procurement of the said Roger Newborowe have very subtly and most falsely antedated the same false and untrue will with the date of the First day of June in the year of our Lord god One thousand five hundred and seventy as though the same had then been made by the said John Sturges the father where in truth the said John Sturges was dead long before the said supposed will or writing so made and forged and was never party privy or consenting to the making of the same or any such will and to the same writing so forged, The said Roger Newborowe by the privity of other the persons aforesaid or some of them did cause his name to be most falsely inserted into the same as a supervisor of the said supposed forged will or writing, and to give the greater countenance and credit to the same to be a true will, did about the month of January in the 24th year of your majesties reign cause the same to be proved in you highness spiritual court at Wells before the Official of the said Court and there did publish pronounce and commands the same to be a very good will and the last will and testament of the said John Sturges knowing it to be false and untrue and well knowing that the said John Sturges never made any such suppose will. And the said John Sturges John Sadler Roger Newborow and other the persons aforesaid meaning further to incumber the said premises in such sort as that your said subject nor any claiming under him should not to enjoy the said term of ninety-nine years, The said Roger Newborowe having of long time sithence purchased from the said Sturges the Manor of Toptnam [Tokenham?] in your highness County of Wiltshire. And upon the assurance thereof having had one recognisance or statute of a thousand pounds wherein the said John Sturges standeth bounden unto him for the quiet enjoying of the said manor, Or else that she was lawful owner of the same manor. Albeit that the said John Sturges hath sufficiently conveyed unto the said Roger Newborowe the said Manor of Tocknam and that he does quietly occupy and enjoy the said manor of Toknam, without any maner of interruption or incidbrunce, Yet to the intent to cousin deceive and defraud your said subject of his said interest and term of ninety-nine years in the said manor of Wolverington. He the said Roger Newborowe by the secret practice subtle confederacy and sinister dealing of the said John Sturges and John Sadler pretending most untruly that the said statue of one thousand pounds is become forfeited, and upon his very false untrue surmise made, Hath procured out an extent of the lands of the said John Sturges, and procured out your majesties writ of liberty, By reason whereof the said manor of Wolverington is extended for the said sum of a thousand pounds, And your said subject and they who claim under his estate anything in the said manner of Wolverington put out of the possession and from the occupation thereof, And albeit in appearance unto the world it seemeth the same is extended for the benefit of the said Roger Newborowe and at his prosecuting suit and charges Yet the same suit and execution hath been showed forth at the only costs and charges of the said John Sturges and John Sadler or one of them and for the only use and benefit and behoof of the said John Sturges and John Sadler or one of them or at the least to be equally divided between them and others then confederates, and that the said John Sturges and John Sadler might the better proceed therein and reap the greater benefit thereof. They or one of them have within one year now last past given or promised sundry sums of money or other rewards to the said Newborowe to the end intent and purpose that they should by his privity and consent use his name and cause him to join with them in this their lewd subtle and fraudulent practices and cousinage which your said subject is the rather induced to believe, for that the said Roger Newborowe being before this sought unto and requested by the said John Sturges to extend this statue of his upon the like practice as this is to defraud and defeat one Sturges alias Turgis of Chichester of an execution which he had against the said John Sturges upon a statute of five hundred pounds knowledged by the said John Sturges unto him sithence that said Newborowes statute did then utterly refuse to join with him in any such lewd practice and answered he had no cause to extend or colour to go about it, for that he knew his assurance was good, and did quietly and peaceably according to his covenants occupy and enjoy the said manor of Toptnam which he bought of him. In tender consideration whereof and forasmuch as your said subject hath in his said former Bill charged only with the said forgery and other the said misdemeanours the said John Sadler, John Sturges, Thomas Phillipps and John Rawlyns, William Cooke and Friswell Perman and not the said Newborowe. Whereas in truth as this complainant hopeth he shall be well able to prove that said Newborowe hath been and is a chief and principal doer and practicer of the forgery of the said will or writing, and the same forgery committed by his assent means and procurement.
And forasmuch also as the said forgery and every aider procurer and doer therein is to be punished by the laws of this your highness realm, May it please your majesty of your abundant clemency to grant unto your said subject your your gracious writ of subpoena to be directed to the said Roger Newborowe commanding him thereby at a certain day and under certain pain therein to be limited personally to appear before your highness in your majesty’s courts of Star Chamber then and there to answer to the premises And to abide such further punishment for his said offences as to your highness most honourable Privy Council shall be thought meet and convenient. And your highness said subject according to his bounden duty shall daily pray to god for your most excellent majesty in much felicity long to reign over us.