Grant v Hewitt, 1698

National Archives, C6/310/9

The property involved in this case was known as Grants Baulk, and lay west of what is now Burleys Road. It eventually came into the hands of William Lowndes, and there is a summary of its history in his notebook, with no indication that any controversy was involved. The lengthy documents have been summarised below, with explanatory notes in italics. Silvester Grant's own bill of complaint makes his case sound very weak, and he clearly lost as Grant Hewitt was in possession of the property later.

3 Nov 1698
Complainant: Sylvester Grant of St Martins in the Fields mercer, only brother and heir of Thomas Grant.  They were the only issue male of Sylvester Grant of Buckingham deceased, who was youngest son of Walter Grant of Winslow deceased, who was eldest son and heir of Walter Grant deceased, the complainant’s great-grandfather.
Walter the grandfather had 3 sons: Thomas Grant deceased his eldest son and heir, Henry Grant his second son and Sylvester Grant the complainant’s father.

Generation 1: Walter Grant alias Miller, d.1633

Generation 2: Walter Grant, d.1642, m.1606 Bridget Lowndes (1582-1640)

Walter the great-grandfather, Walter the grandfather or some other ancestors were tenants of a copyhold messuage and several parcels of land thereunto belonging called Grants Balk in Winslow.  “Being desirous to have the same continued in his or their name and blood” they surrendered the premisses to the use of Walter the great-grandfather or Walter the grandfather or another ancestor and the heirs male of his body, or to their use for life with remainder to the first son of the body of the great-grandfather or another ancestor, and the heirs of the body of the first son.  For want of such issue to the use of the second son, with contingent remainders to all and every son and sons.  Or they surrendered the premisses to uses to be declared in a deed or writing or by their last will and testament.

The premisses were settled on the complainant or the heirs male of his family with a remainder expectant to him.
Walter Grant the grandfather was admitted tenant and had seisin until he died in 1642.  Thomas Grant his eldest son was then admitted tenant.  He died in April 1676.  He had no issue living at his decease, and Henry Grant the second son had died leaving no issue male, so the premisses descended to the complainant’s father [Sylvester] who was or ought to have been admitted tenant and for some time took the rents and profits.

Upon the father’s death in 1662 [sic] the property descended to Thomas the complainant’s brother who was admitted or ought to have been admitted tenant.  Thomas died without issue in May 1678.  The premisses descended to the complainant as heir male or tenant in tail, and he ought to be admitted tenant.

Now Grant Hewitt of Winslow labourer has entered into a confederacy with Mr Cherry the steward who admitted him tenant to the premisses, and he now has possession.  Sometimes he pretends the complainant is dead without issue and the entail to heirs male is extinct and he is heir at law.  He pretends Henry Grant the second son had two daughters, one of which died without issue, and Grant Hewitt pretends he is the son and heir of the other daughter.
At other times he pretends the premisses were never entailed but were an estate in fee simple, or the entail was to the heirs of the body not the heirs male, and no deed or will was entered in the court rolls.

If there has been any neglect in entering such a surrender it was occasioned by the confederates, who have got possession of all the court rolls and other documents and refuse to allow the complainant to take copies.  They have made fraudulent dispositions of the premisses.


[f.2]  Sworn 1 Feb 1698 [=1698/9]
The severall answer of Grant Hewett

He does not know the pedigree of Walter Grant the elder, pretended great-grandfather of the complainant.  He has heard that Walter the son had issue Thomas, Henry and Silvester.  He does not know about Silvester’s issue.

He does not know that Walter or any other ancestor being admitted tenant to a messuage and several parcels of land called Grants Baulke were desirous to have the same continued in their name and blood, or surrendered it to the heirs male.

Walter Grant the complainant’s pretended grandfather might be admitted and at the time of his decease might have had seisin but he was seized to him and his heirs general without entail.

Soon after the death of the grandfather, Thomas Grant his eldest son was admitted tenant, but not as heir male or tenant in tail.  He had no issue at the time of his death and Henry Grant (the defendant’s grandfather) left no issue male.  Thomas Grant the complainant’s brother was never admitted tenant.

The defendant is heir at law to Thomas and Henry the sons of Walter as eldest heir of Henry’s daughter Bridget.  Henry had issue only Bridget, Elizabeth and two other daughters named Susan and Anne Grant who are all dead without issue.

Walter Grant the pretended grandfather at a court on 23 Sep 16 Charles I = 1640 surrendered parcel of the premisses to the use of Thomas Grant his son.  Thomas was admitted to all the premisses in the bill mentioned and several times mortgaged some part of it, and settled it or part of it on Susan his wife for life. 

On his deathbed on 26 April 1676 he surrendered the messuage in which he then dwelt with closes and outhouses in reversion after the death of Susan his wife to the use of Bridget and Anne on condition to pay the complainant £100 and to pay John and Anne Butcher £5 apiece.  Bridget and Anne were admitted at a court on 11 Oct 1676.

Recites court roll in Latin.  Court Baron of Sir Robert Clayton, Thomas Spratt DTh, John Wildman & Matthew Clifford esq., trustees of the most noble George Duke of Bucks held 11 Oct 28 Charles II 1676 by Edmund West jr esq. then steward. 
At this court the homage presented a surrender made by Thomas Grant alias Miller lately one of the customary tenants of the manor lying on his deathbed, out of court and since the last court (namely) on 26 April last into the hands of the lords of the manor by the hands of John Hogson & John Armborough two customary tenants, of all that messuage in which he then lived with closes, orchards, gardens, outhouses, barns, buildings, courtyards, backsides, easements and all other appurtenances, in reversion after the death of his wife Susan Grant, to the use and behoof of Bridgett Hewett and Ann Grant, two daughters of his brother Henry Grant, and their heirs forever on condition that they well and truly pay or cause to be paid to Sylvester Grant, son of his brother Silvester Grant, the sum of £50 six months after the death of his wife Susan, and £50 more twelve months after the said six months.  And they also cause to be paid to John and Ann Butcher, two children of his sister Ann Butcher £5 “apiece” if they are still alive, and at any time after six months from Susan’s death if they come and demand it.  If Bridget and Ann Grant neglect or refuse the payment of the said sums of money, then this surrender is to be to the use and behoof of Silvester Grant and his heirs forever, Silvester paying John and Ann £5 “apiece” if demanded, as before.  And hence to this court came Bridget Hewett and Ann Grant and sought to be admitted tenants in reversion on the death of Susan on the said condition.  The lords by their steward granted seisin thereof by rod, to hold to themselves and their heirs after the death of Susan on the said condition by rod, by rent of 11s p.a., suit of court, heriot and other services previously due therefor and rightly accustomed.  And they paid the lords as a fine for such their estate and entry so to be had thereof 5s, and for heriot a cow.  They did fealty and were admitted tenants thereof.  Examined, Edm: West jr steward.

At a court held on 15 Oct 1680 the homage presented that Susan was then living and Anne was dead and Bridget was dead after Anne, and that the defendant was eldest son and heir of Bridget, and he was admitted tenant.

Recites court roll in Latin.  View of frankpledge with court baron of Rt Hon Sir Robert Clayton Mayor of London, Thomas Spratt DTh & John Wildman esq. trustees of George Bradbury esq. and James Hayes gent. persons nominated and appointed by Nicholas Goodwin held on 15 Oct 1680 32 Charles II by Edm’ West serjeant at law then steward.  At this court it was found by the homage that at a court held for this manor on 11 Oct 1676 it was presented by the homage that Thomas Grant alias Millier surrendered [as above]. Susan Grant is now alive and Ann Grant died before the last court and also Bridget died after Ann, and Grant Hewett is eldest son of Bridget.  He was present in court and sought to be admitted tenant by John Hewett his father and guardian.  The lords by their steward granted seisin [as above].  Fealty respited because of his tender age.  Examined, Edm: West steward.

The defendant long since paid £5 apeice unto John and Anne Butcher.  He was then an infant under 21 and could not raise the £50 within 6 months of Susan’s death on 4 May 1684.

Therefore the complainant at a court on 2 Jan 36 Charles II [1684/5] by his attorney was admitted to the messuage, closes and premisses.

Recites court roll in Latin. Court baron held 2 Jan 36 Charles II by Oliver Lawrence gent. deputy of William Cherry esq. steward.  At this court it was found by the homage that Thomas Grant alias Miller [as above].  Grant Hewitt was admitted on 15 Oct 32 Charles II [as above].  Susan died on 4 May last and six months have elapsed after her death, namely 5 Nov last.  And the £50 which by force and virtue of Thomas Grant’s surrender were payable to Silvester Grant on 5 Nov were not paid, nor any part, by reason of which the premisses by virtue of Thomas Grant’s surrender should revert to the use of Silvester Grant and his heirs.  And that Silvester Grant has good right by virtue of Thomas Grant’s surrender according to the custom of the manor to be admitted to the premisses.  And that John Yeomans of the city of Westminster Bricklayer at the request of John Hewett, guardian of the said Grant Hewett, on 22 Nov 1684 deposited the sum of £100 to pay the £50 due and payable to Silvester Grant on 5 Nov, and also the £50 which by virtue of the surrender was due and payable to him within a year after the expiration of the six months after the death of Susan.  And now to this court came Silvester Grant by Robert Gibbs his attorney irrevocable and sought to be admitted to the premisses.  To whom the lord by his steward granted seisin to hold to himself and his heirs by rod at the lord’s will according to the custom of the manor by rent, suit of court, heriot and other services therefor due and rightly accustomed.  And he gave the lord as a fine [blank], heriot nothing, Silvester’s fealty respited until etc.  And he was admitted tenant thereof.  Examined by Oliver Lawrence deputy of William Cherry esq.

The defendant says he does not know that the premisses were ever surrendered to the complainant in any other manner than is in the last recited surrender mentioned.

By certain articles of agreement concluded on 22 Nov 36 Charles II [1684] between (1) the complainant by the name of Silvester Grant of Stepney factor (2) John Yeomans of St Margaret’s Westminster bricklayer and John Hewett of Winslowe yeoman, father and guardian of the defendant, in consideration of £100 paid to the complainant, the complainant did covenant unto John Yeomans that he would at the next court baron in person or by attorney procure himself to be admitted to the premisses and in the same court surrender the same to Yeomans “upon condicion that if this defendant or any for him should att any tyme dureing his Minority or in Six Moneths after he should Attaine the age of One and Twenty Yeares pay or cause to be paid to the said John Yeomans” the £100 and in the meantime should pay the interest at 5%, then the surrender was to be to the use of the defendant and his heirs “as by the said Articles of Agreement under the Hand and Seale of the Complt now in this Defts power or Custody and ready to be produced”.  The complainant at the same court
[f.3] held 2 Jan by Robert Gibbs his attorney irrevocable surrendered the messuage with the closes, orchards, gardens, outhouses to the use of John Yeomans upon the condition contained in the articles. 

Recites court roll in Latin. To this court came Silvester Grant by Robert Gibbs his attorney irrevocable and in full court surrendered into the lord’s hands by the acceptance of the steward all that messuage in which Thomas Grant lately lived in Winslowe … to the use and behoof of John Yeomans of the city of Westminster bricklayer and his heirs forever on condition that if Grant Hewett, son and heir of Bridget Hewett deceased lately wife of John Hewett of Winslowe or anyone for him at any time during his minority of within 6 months after he attains the age of 21 pays to John Yeomans at his now dwelling-house situated in Westminster the full sum of £100 and in the interim pays the interest for the same at the rate of 5% in equal half-yearly payments, then this surrender will be to the use of Grant Hewett and his heirs.  But if it happens that Grant dies before the sum of £100 is paid and before he is 21, then if his rightful heirs within one month after his death, in case he dies under age, pay to John Yeomans the said £100 with interest, the surrender will be to the use and behoof of the rightful heirs.  But if default is made in the payment of the principal and interest or any part thereof, this surrender will be absolute to John Yeomans and his heirs.  Now to this court comes John Yeomans and seeks to be admitted to the premisses, to whom the lord by his steward gave seisin thereof … He gave as a fine [blank] and did fealty and was admitted tenant thereof.  Examined by Oliver Lawrence deputy of William Cherry esq.

The defendant confesses that he was admitted tenant at the time set forth by Mr Serjt West then steward and ever since by himself his guardians, tenants and under-tenants been in possession thereof and of the ground called Grants Baulke, and still receives the rents, issues and profits “which as he is advised is just and lawfull for him to doe”.

He denies any neglect in procuring entries of surrenders, or having any copies and writings except those herein set forth, and those where Thomas Grant mortgaged the premisses, long since satisfied.

The messuage with the closes, outhouses, buildings are scituate and being together in Winslowe “the Common Lanes or Streete there lyinge on the East North and South thereof, the land of William Eden lyeth on the West parte thereof”.

The ground called Grants Baulke being by the said Walter Grant unto the said Thomas Grant at a court on 23 Sep 1640 and Thomas Grant being duly admitted. 

Recites court roll in Latin. Walter Grant surrendered 2 acres of leys lying together over Westwell in Winslow, adjoining Walter's close on the east, the land of William Udden west. To the use of Thomas Grant his son, and his heirs forever, who sought admission by Daniel Seer his attorney. Rent 6d, fine 4s, heriot nothing because he has other lands.  And he was admitted tenant and did fealty.  Examined by William Rushton, deputy of Richard Lane esq. chief steward.

Thomas Grant at a court on 30 Sep & 1-2 Oct 1674 surrendered to the use of Mary Adams widow now deceased upon condition for the repayment of £30 and interest. 

Recites court roll in Latin. View of Frankpledge with Court Baron of Hon. Edward Seymour, Sir Charles Harboard, Sir Robert Clayton, Ranald Grahme & John Wildman esq. trustees of the most noble George Duke of Buckinghame held 30 Sep & 1-2 Oct 1674 by Edmund West jr esq. then steward.  To this court came Thomas Grant a customary tenant and in full court surrendered into the hands of the lords by the hands of the steward two acres of pasture in Winslowe next to the dwelling-house of Thomas Grant and commonly called Grants Baulke.  To the use and behoof of Mary Adams of Swanbourne widow, on condition that if he pays her at her dwelling-house in Swanbourne £35 8s: 18s on 1 April next, 1 Oct 1675, 1 April 1676, 1 Oct 1676, 1 April 1677 and £30 8s on 1 Oct 1677 then this surrender will be void.  Rent 6d, fine 4s.
For the interest of which £30 the defendant and his guardians have given satisfaction.

The defendant has not made any disposition save that John Yeomans, to whom he caused to be paid the £100 and interest, at a court on 2 May 5 William & Mary [1693] surrendered the premisses to John Meakes then of Addington on condition that if the defendant and John Amborough his guardian should pay to John Meakes £130 or thereabouts and interest on the days mentioned, the surrender should be to the use of the defendant.


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Copyright 2 April, 2018