William Lowndes & others v estate of Richard Barker, 1720

National Archives, C 11/2721/45

This case from the Court of Chancery was brought by various men of Winslow and elsewhere against the estate of Richard Barker of Great Horwood. It's of interest because of the number of Winslow people listed, and shows that Winslow provided Great Horwood with most professional services. The text has been summarised below.

Complainants: William Lowndes of Westminster esq., Richard Walls of Buckingham Inholder, Thomas Curtice of Little Horwood Yeoman, John Markham of Winslowe Gentleman, Thomas Forster of Winslowe Grocer, Benjamin Dudley of Winslowe Woollen Draper, Joseph Turner of Winslowe Surgeon, Stephen Bigg of Winslowe Blacksmith, Mathew Deeley of Winslowe Brickmaker, William Norman of Winslowe Glazier, Thomas Adams of Thorneborough, on behalf of themselves and the rest of the creditors, against the estate of Richard Barker Esq. late of Great Horwood deceased.

Barker’s debts:

He was seised in fee simple of a good estate, part in possession part in reversion.  He had property in Bucks, Gloucs, Berks and elsewhere to the value of £800, and long-term leases, and ready money etc.  He made his will on 4 Sep 1718 and charged his estate with payment of his debts and several legacies within 1 year.  He bequeathed the whole estate so charged, if he should die without issue by his wife Anne Barker or if such issue did not live to 21, unto his brother Hugh Barker gent. then in the East Indies and his heirs male of his body, and for want of such issue to his brother Robert Barker and the heirs male of his body, and for want of such issue to his own right heirs.  He appointed his brother Hugh sole executor, and during his absence he appointed his brother-in-law Joseph Bell of Aylesbury gent. and his brother-in-law William Busby of Marsh Gibbon esq. executors in trust.  He died a little time after making his will without heirs of his body, and Hugh being beyond the seas Joseph Bell & William Busby proved the will and entered upon the estates and received the rents. 

The complainants several times applied to them and they often promised to pay, but Hugh Barker returned to England and proved the will and took on himself the execution and he or Bell & Busby by his permission are now in possession.  He ought to have applied the estate to paying the debts.  The complainants have applied in a fair and friendly manner.  Hugh Barker confederated with Bell & Busby & Robert Barker & others to defeat them of their debts and demands or delay payment.

They say Hugh claims that Richard was not at the time of his death indebted as aforesaid.  He says many of Richard’s debts had higher security than the complainants’.  But the estate is sufficient to pay all debts.  The inventory submitted to the PCC is inaccurate.  Hugh Barker refuses to sell off part of the estate to pay the debts, claiming that there are too many competing claims on it.  Hugh intends speedily to go to the East Indies again, or somewhere else beyond the seas.

The court is requested to subpoena Hugh and Robert Barker, Bell and Busby.

Hugh Barker seems to have been involved, as his brother’s executor, with much other litigation, apparently arising partly from the estate of their father Hugh Barker: C 11/2718/19, 1722; C 11/2383/21, 1723; C 11/857/50, 1723 (Robert Lowndes was one of the defendants). He also had a case against his sister-in-law Anne Barker, who was Richard’s second wife (C 11/765/27 and C 11/2571/12, 1725), and one against his brother Robert (C 11/2571/42, 1725).  There is another case brought by Anne against him and others including Robert Lowndes (C 11/1706/54, 1724).  He was co-defendant with Bell and Busby in a case brought by Thomas Salisbury, coachmaker (C 11/2722/103, 1722).  Anne Barker and other creditors of Richard brought a separate case against them in 1720 (C 11/2718/73).

The will (PROB 11/572/143) was first proved on 9 Jan 1719/20 at London, and then on 2 Sep 1720 by Hugh Barker.  As the complainants thought, it charged the estate first with the payment of all debts. The will shows that Richard Barker had a daughter by his first marriage to Abigail Busby. He left up to £40 for a memorial to himself in Great Horwood church.


Copyright 31 January, 2018