Robert Bowden v Richard Hodgkins & William Grassum, 1664

National Archives, C8/154/112

This case from the Court of Chancery arose from the sale of the manor by Major-General Philip Skippon. in 1656. Robert Bowden and Richard Hodgkins each paid £500 for a one-third share, which they had evidently borrowed. The document has been summarised below. "Your orator" / "the complainant" = Bowden, "defendants" = Hodgkins & Grassum. Bowden's case seems to have been weak and William Grassum evidently retained possession of Tuckey Mead.

[f.1] 29 Nov 1664
Complainant: Robert Bowdon of Grandborough yeoman.

He was engaged with Richard Hodgkins of Winslow “for severall Sum(m)s of money borrowed by him and taken upp of severall persons” for Hodgkins’ use amounting to £500 or more which Bowden “paid and satisfied unto them, for the Counter-secureinge your Orator therein”. Hodgkins in Hilary term 1656 in the Court of Common Bench did “confesse a Judgment” of £1,000 to Bowden with promise to pay the sums of money Bowden had disbursed for him.

Hodgkins “afterwards fallinge into greate poverty and necessity and not knowinge how to free and discharge the debts” he “secretly and colourably made over all his estate or the greatest parte thereof unto one William Grassam and Thomas Grassam his sonn [sic] with whome the said Hodgkins not longe before had Married his daughter And under colour and pretence of that Consideraico(n) of Marriage and for a Marriage porc(i)on given and promised to him with his daughter” of £60.

For securing it Grassam pretended that Hodgkins conveyed a close of pasture called Tuckey Mead in Winslow, of the yearly value of £8.  The Grassams, combining with Hodgkins “whoe now obscures and hides himselfe under that specious Colour and pretence”, keep possession and have for the last 7 years received the rents and profits.  They sometimes say the close was mortgaged to them for securing the £60, or that the close was conveyed to them “for a valuable Considerac(i)on of money paid by them unto the said Hodgkins And was made absolute” a long time before the judgment, thereby defrauding Bowden.

[f.2] Latin writ to John Deverell, Thomas Deverell, Richard Carter, Oliver Lawrence, Lewis Mapleton gents.  7 Dec 16 Charles II [1664].  Signed on reverse: John Deverill, Oliver Lawrence, L Mapleton.

[f.3] short version of complaint

[f.4] Answer of Thomas Grassum and William Grassum

Thomas [=William's father] is a stranger to all matters and disclaims all interest in the lands.

William believes complainant was engaged for Hodgkins for £500, and Hodgkins was engaged for complainant in like sum. He does not believe that Hodgkins confessed a judgment and Hodgkins has denied it.

The £500 for which complainant was bound for Hodgkins is long since paid and satisfied by Hodgkins.

If there was “any such Judgment entred into by the said Hodgekins unto the complainant it was [for] the securinge of the complainant onely concerneing that Five hundred pounds which the said Hodgekins hath with his owne moneyes satisfied & paid” so any such judgment is discharged.

Hodgkins did not after the judgment make over the greatest part of his estate to the defendants.

William on 16 Nov 1654 lent £60 to Hodgkins, and for securing it Hodgkins by indenture of lease of same date “did demise grant & to farme lett” to William “all that his full third part of Tuckey Meade (beinge the lands as this defendant conceived meant by the complainant in his said Bill)” to hold for 999 years under the yearly rent of 1d.

Hodgkins “did faile of payment” and William’s estate became absolute.  On 9 March 1658 Hodgkins and this defendant “by theire Indenture of assignement did for the consideracion of one shillinge to them by William Hogston and William Hodgkins in hand paid and for and in Consideracion of a marriage then lately had betweene this defendant and Margarett Hodgkins one of the daughters of the said Richard Hodgkins did grant bargaine sell assigne & sett over unto the said William Hogston and William Hodgekins” the third of Tuckey Meade with the indenture of lease and all estate for William Hogston and William Hodgkins to hold from thenceforth for the residue of the 999 years “to the intents and purposes that this defendant should receave the Rents issues & profits of the said Meade” for his life, then after his decease Margaret should receive them for her life, then on trust that William Hogston and William Hodgkins “should grant & convey the same unto this defendant his heires or assignes or to such person or persons as this defendant or his heires should nominate or appoint”.

The indenture provides that if Richard Hodgkins or his heirs at any time within 3 years (giving warning 1 month beforehand) pay this defendant £165 then William Hogston and William Hodgkins should assign the Meade to Richard or such person as he should appoint.

On 10 March 1658 Richard by tripartite indenture between 1. Richard 2. Richard Hodgkins the younger 3. this defendant and Margaret his wife “for the consideracion of Five shillinges to him by the said Richard Hodgkins the younger paid & for the naturall love & affection which the said Richard Hodgkins did beare to the said Margarett his daughter” did grant to Richard the younger the said Meade to the use of this defendant for his life, then to Margaret for life, then to this defendant’s heirs and assigns on condition that if Richard the elder should pay within 3 years (giving 1 month’s warning) this defendant £165 according to the condition of the last indenture, the tripartite indenture to be void.

The indenture of lease of 999 years was signed by Richard Hodgkins sr in the presence of Oliver Lawrence gent. and Robert Gibbs.  The indenture of assignment was signed by Richard sr and this defendant in the presence of John Deverell and Samuel Bell gent.  The tripartite indenture was signed sealed & delivered by Richard sr “And the said William Hogston and William Hodgkins being Tennants did Attorne Tennants unto the said Richard Hodgkins the younger by the payment of one penny as by the said deedes may likewise appeare”

This defendant is in possession of the Meade by virtue of the 3 indentures.  Richard did not pay the £60 or the £165.  This defendant has received the profits of the Meade for 5½ years, of the yearly value of £5 10s but in 1663 “the same was not worth mowinge making & caryinge hay \once/ that yeare by reason of the Fludds that happened”. It is all the marriage portion this defendant had with Margaret.

[mark] Thomas Grassum
[signed] William Grassum


Margaret daughter of Richard & Elizabeth Hodgskine was baptised 24 Jan 1634/5 at Granborough. On 2 Feb 1658/9 she married William Grashopp of Swanbourne at Winslow. William died in 1699 and Margaret around 1708. William and his father Thomas and brother Thomas are found in the Winslow manor court records as mortgagees. William's sister Jane Grasham (d.1671) lived in Winslow.

Tuckey Mead (which was freehold) eventually came into the hands of William Lowndes. William Grassum sold his third of it to Lowndes in 1693 for £150, and the documents quoted in the case above were recorded in Lowndes' roll.

Copyright 27 April, 2018