Will of Nicholas Merwin, gentleman, 1748 (proved 1751)

National Archives, PROB 11/789/373

In the name of God Amen This Twenty fourth day of October in the year of Our Lord One Thousand Seven hundred and Forty Eight I Nicholas Merwin of Winslow in the County of Bucks Gent being in good health of Body and of a sound and disposing mind all possible praise be given to Almighty God for the same But considering the certainty of Death and the uncertain time thereof do make and ordain this my last Will and Testament in manner following First I resign my Soul to God trusting assuredly for a salvation by the Merits and intercession of my Blessed Saviour and Redeemer Jesus Christ as to my wordly Estate I dispose thereof as followeth to wit I Give and bequeath unto my very loving and most Dearly beloved Wife all and every my Goods Chattels and personal Estate paying my Debts and Legacies and I hereby appoint her sole Executrix of this my last Will and I do hereby revoke all former Wills by me heretofore made and I also Give unto the said Susannah my Wife and her heirs all that my Little Pightle of freehold Land in Great Horwood Parish which I purchased of John Finnell and I having made a surrender of all my Copyhold Lands Tenements and Hereditaments held of the Mannor of Winslow To such uses intents and purposes as should be mentioned in my last Will I Give and bequeath unto {unto} Benjamin Ashwell of Buckingham in the County of Bucks Gent and John Norman of Winslow aforesaid Glazier all and every my Copyhold Houses Lands Tenements and Hereditaments held of the said Mannor and all my Estate Right Title and Interest therein To hold to them and their heirs In Trust for the said Susannah and such person and persons and his \her/and their heirs as the {the} said Susannah shall by any Writing or Writings under her Name and seal to be Attested under her Name and Seal direct or appoint Also I give unto the said Benjamin Ashwell and John Norman and their heirs All and every my Freehold Lands Tenements and Hereditaments scituate in Kings Houghton in the County of Bedford and all my Estate Right Title and Interest therein To hold to the said Benjamin Ashwell and John Norman and their heirs In Trust for the said Susannah and such person and persons and his her and their heirs as she the said Susannah shall by any Writing or Writings under her hand and seal to be duly attested direct or appoint Also I Give and Bequeath unto the said Benjamin Ashwell and John Norman and their heires All my Estate Right Title Interest and Equity of Redemption of in and to the Inheritance of all that Freehold Messuage Cottage or Tenement now divided into three Tenements scituate at Wingrave in the said County of Bucks and all that pightle of pasture Ground therto adjoining and the Moiety of the Moat thereto adjoining and all Outhouses Barns Stable and Appurtenances thereto belonging upon this Trust and confidence that the said Benjamin Ashwell and John Norman and the Survivor of them and the heirs of such Survivor shall at the request costs and charges of the Executors of John Holland late of Mursley in the said County of Bucks deceased transfer and convey the Inheritance of the same premisses with the Appurtenances in Wingrave aforesaid unto such person or persons as the said Exec\u/tors of the said John Holland or the Survivors or Survivor of them shall in writing under their Hands request direct or appoint on payment of the several principal sums of thirty pounds and four pounds twelve shillings and two pence and Interest for the same respective sums from the six and Twentieth day of June which was in the year of Our Lord One Thousand seven hundred and forty two Or so much money as my said Executrix shall think fit to accept In Witness whereof I have to this my last Will and Testament contained in two sheets of paper set my hand to the First \sheet/ and to the last sheet my hand and seal the day and year first above written

Nicholas Merwin

signed sealed published and declared in the presence of us who have hereunto subscribed our Names as Witnesses in the presence of the Testator and each other
Rob(er)t Adams Will(ia)m Gibbs Jos(eph) Eyre

In the Name of God Amen this twenty ninth day of November in the year of Our Lord One Thousand seven hundred and forty eight I Nicholas Merwin of Winslow in the County of Bucks Gentleman being in good health of Body and of a disposing memory and understanding all possible praise be given to Almighty God for the same not being minded to revoke my will bearing date the twenty fourth day of October last wherein these words (and his her and their Heires) are interlined or any part of the same \will/ but to confirm the same and I having made a surrender of the Revertion expectant upon the decease of Elizabeth Seaton Widow and relict of Robert Seaton late of Peterborough Brasier deceased of in \and to/ one Copyhold messuage with a Little Cottage thereto adjoining with the Outhouses and Appurtenances thereto belonging together with Fourteen Acres and an half of Arrable Land ley Meadow and Pasture ground with all Comons and Appurtenances thereto belonging All which premisses I Lately purchased of Joseph Seaton and Mary his Wife To such uses intents and purposes as should be mentioned and declared in and by my last Will and Testament I Give and bequeath unto John Blake of Winslow aforesaid Husbandman and Judith his Wife and the heirs of the said John All my Revertion of in and to the said Little Cottage and [blank] Foott of Ground (from the said Cottage) of the Garden Ground thereunto adjoining Expectant upon the Decease of the said Elizabeth Seaton Widow Also I Give and bequeath unto Benjamin Ashwell of Buckingham in the County of Bucks Gentleman and John Norman of Winslow aforesaid Glasier and their heirs All my Revertion expectant after the deceased [sic] of the said Elizabeth Seaton of in or to the said Messuage or Tenement with the Outhouses and Appurtenances thereto belonging and of in or to the said fourteen acres and an half of Land with the Comons and Appurtenances thereto belonging and all my Estate Right Title and interest therein To hold to the said Benjamin Ashwell and John Norman and their Heirs In a Trust for Susannah my Dearly beloved Wife and such person and persons and his her and their Heirs as She the said Susannah by any writing or writings to be duly Attested under her hand and seal shall direct or appoint and my will is and I Do hereby declare that my said will dated the Twenty fourth day of October last wherein these words (and his \her\ and their Heirs) are interlined together with this my Present Codicil as [sic] are my last Will and Testament and my will and mind is that the same Will and Codicil be deemed and esteemed my last Will Witness my hand and seal the day and year first above written

Nicholas Merwin

signed sealed published and declared in the presence of us who have hereunto subscribed our Names as Witnesses in the presence of the Testator and each other  
Robt Adams: Willm Gibbs: Jos Eyre

This Will was proved at London with a Codicil annexed the thirteenth day of August in the year of Our Lord One Thousand seven hundred and fifty one before the Right Worshipfull John Bettesworth Doctor of Laws Master Keeper or Commissary of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury lawfully constituted by the oath of Susannah Merwin Widow the Sole Executrix named in the said Will To whom Administration was granted of all and singular the Goods Chattels and Credits of the said deceased being first sworn duly to administer the same


Nicholas was born about 1668 in Iver. He arrived in Winslow as a lawyer c.1691 and became involved in the affairs of Thomas Bishop, linen draper, whose widow Elizabeth he married in 1692 - Elizabeth was buried 26 Dec 1738 and Susannah (nee Simpson) was his second wife. He was steward of the manor from at least 1709, and under-sheriff of Bucks in 1711. He was also steward of Whaddon for Serjeant Selby. He did much work for the Verneys of Claydon House from 1702 onwards: property transactions, legal disputes and election work. He became a tenant of the Verneys in 1710, apparently taking over land previously rented by his brother-in-law Daniel Seaton; his slowness to pay his rent led to much bad feeling. William Simpson, apparently the nephew of his second wife, was articled to him in 1739 (TNA, CP 5/34/18) and Benjamin Ashwell in 1745 (CP 5/30/5). He was buried on 6 Aug 1751. His widow Susannah moved to Kentish Town where she made her will in 1770 (proved 1775).

Centre for Bucks Studies, M11 Reel 52: Claydon House Letters

21-24 Sep 1702: letter from Nicholas Merwin to Sir John Verney at Claydon (Merwin acted for the Verneys for 50 years):
... I have been with Mr Wm & Daniell Gyles and have acquainted Daniell that you desire to see him when he comes towards Cleydon. I perceive by Wm that he has noe orders to say anything to you from Mr Lowndes but only makes a proposition of his own which is to the same effect that I spoke to you the last night and really if my case was Sir John Verneys I would not let skipp this opportunity for really it wilbe difficult for ought I can see to meet with such an other[.] There is not enough to pay every body ...

30 Sep 1702: letter from Nicholas Merwin to Sir John Verney
... I am informed by Mr Bigg that the Widdow Deely was contracted for the land surrendered to you[.] If soe I will endeavour to settle that matter ... As to Mr Lowndes I will certainly informe him in what manner Stutsbury used his name and give you an account thereof ... Mr Lowndes had your lettre noe doubt but he rarely answers letters perhapps he may answere yours when he comes to London ...

2 Oct 1702: letter from Nicholas Merwin to Sir John Verney in London:
... Sir Thomas Wynford is dead ... & I should be tomorrow engaged in his Affair, Soe that I know not whether I can attend you taking the Sacramt on Sunday, but I will send my first Clark without faile, who shall goe with me to the Sessions.

25 Dec 1703: Nicholas Merwin, Winslowe, to Viscount Fermanagh [previously Sir John Verney]
According to your Lordshipps desire I send this to acquaint your honour Mr Lowndes is att Winslowe and designes to returne on Munday morning next [added] Mr Lowndes came to day & Mr Wyatt his bro: in lawe is alsoe at Winslowe.

10 Feb 1705[/6]: Viscount Fermanagh to Nicholas Merwin
I recd yours of ye 1st by ye post and I have all this weeke asked every Winslowe man I saw if you was come home but none coud tell me. If I had known of your being there I should have wrote to you.  Last night late a tenant brought me from Aylesbury market yours of the 7. wch Jno Seaton gave him there.  I see he (Seaton) hath had it 2 or 3 dayes in his pocket tho he & his son were her[e] on Thursday & Fryday but tis his custome to doe soe. …

Reel 54

20 March 1709/10: Nicholas Merwin, Winslow, to Viscount Fermanagh, about an arrangement for Daniel Seaton to supply meat to Claydon House
I cannot well tell how to apply my selfe to Your Lordship for the bearer [Daniel Seaton] without an Appollogy Your Lordship’s favo(u)rs to him are soe many and soe frequent He has hardly courage to w(i)thstand the insinuations of those who Aim at their own not his benefitt though his Encouragem(en)t from  Your Lordship is soe very great[.] He tells me He is informed  Your Lordship has been pleased to consider his case in relation to his Ability and that Your Lordship wilbe Willing to pay him once a fortnight for what he now delivers w(hi)ch is extraordinary kinde and I am willing and desireous If Your [sic] If Your Lordship soe pleases that it may be soe till Midsomer by that time I hope he will be able to pay somewhat I am sensible If any Misfortune attends him it must be my detre(men)t but If I cannot bear him up whilst his head is above Water when he is sunck it wilbe out of my power to p(re)serve him If Daniell be misinformed I hope Your Lordship will pardon him and excuse
Your Lordships most Obedient Very Faythfull  Humble Serv(an)t

17 Nov 1710: Nicholas Merwin, Winslow, to Viscount Fermanagh
I have sent by the bearer 50li and hope Your Lordship will excuse the slack payment of the rest an other Year[.] I hope I shalbe a Better Grazier & by consequence a Better Tenant [i.e. better than his brother-in-law Daniel Seaton]

2 Dec 1710: Viscountess Fermanagh, Middle Claydon, to Viscount Fermanagh
Mr Merwin had his studdy broke open & three score pound taken out of one bagg besides monny out of 4 more & Hall ye carryer was robed twice togather …

5 Dec 1710: Nicholas Merwin, Thavies Inn, to Viscount Fermanagh
I am sorry to tell Your Lordship my house at Winslow was broke open on Thursday last between 12 & 2 in ye night and 60 or 80 li tooke away & w(ha)t more I know not[.]  I don’t doubt Your Lordship’s concern for me

5 Dec 1710: Viscount Fermanagh, London, to Ralph Verney his son:
... Merwin's Studdy broak open at Winsloe, and he robb'd of between 60 and 80 pounds, hee is under Sheriff to Mr. Grange of Horwood ...

10 Nov 1711: Nicholas Merwin, Thavies Inn, to Viscount Fermanagh [apparently concerning his rent]
T’is noe small concern to me that I could not comply with Your Lordship to make up my account and espetially because I see your Lordship soe very desireous[.] I am sure Nothing of that sort has stuck soe much with me[.] I heartily Beg your Lordshipps pardon and will with all the speed I cann retreive my Misfortune

2 Jan 1711/12: Nicholas Merwin, Winslow, to Viscount Fermanagh, Claydon
I doubt I shall not be able to attend Your Lordship on Friday next but on Munday morning God willing I will and endeavour to bring Daniell Seaton with me who I doubt by one meanes or other wilbe noe small disadvantage to Your Lordshipps Most Obedient …  My Spouse joynes in humble duty & service to My Lady & Your Lordshipp

28 Feb 1711/12: Viscount Fermanagh, London, to Ralph Verney, Baddow Hall
I did yesterday talk with Mr Merwin who desires to hold the Bargain again at the same rent; he beleiving he shall make more of it then before because Dan: Seaton had parcelld it out (for want of stock) Soe I told Merwin I woud have a weekes time to consider of it, which makes me write to you for your answer.  I believe the land is worth somewhat more then he payes, but money is scarse, & so noe good time to raise rents. … If Merwin holds it your rent will be sure for he is rich.

8 March 1711[/12]: Viscount Fermanagh, London, to Ralph Verney, Baddow Hall
I understand by your Mothers letters that our Chal[oner] would have one half of Dan: Seatons bargain but was asham’d to speak of it to me least I shoud be angry[.] I confess I had rather he had it then Merwin … I have not yet given Nick Merwin my finall answer

10 March 1711/12: Viscountess Fermanagh, Claydon, to Viscount Fermanagh, London
Mr Merwin dined here a Sunday & his wife, he ask’d me if I know whither he was to have ye bargain so I told him I sopose’d yo woud write to him about it for I did not know your mind, for fear I might say any thing yo wo’d not have me

21 Aug 1712: Nicholas Merwin to Viscount Fermanagh
I rec(eive)d your Lordship’s which I had sooner answered but I hoped to get up some money towards rent which I did intend to \have/ brought alsoe being disappointed I am uneasy at the thought of seeing Yo(u)r Lordship without it[.] A little time will I hope Enable me to appear before You with some money and to settle the account which I will some morning Attend Your Lordship to doe[.] Iff you should not be at home or at Leisure I’le waite on Your Lordship again I Beg Your Lordship’s pardon that I have \not/ been sooner with you[.] As to the Thisles they are more than Usuall every where this Year but they shalbe cut down speedily There is one twice a day To looke after the Grounds but my Lord Unlesse the Mounds had been repaired and kept soe it had been better I cofesse [sic] that I had not asked to have them either for this or more yeares[.] I could not get the moundes repaired in the Spring to devide Brookelys from Townesend ground and now that and Markhams  ground cannot be kept asunder Unlesse Your Lordship will give directions ab(ou)t it which I was I confesse a little Unwilling to complain of to  Yo(u)r Lordship though Markham complained to me of it and tooke it very ill of me who could p(re)scribe noe remedy neither[.] I must take care My Lord to clear al the rent as well for Daniell Seaton Lease as for this year which I am Obleidged to doe But that You Lordship may be at Noe doubt whether I desire Your Lordship’s Favour to hold the Grounds after our Lady day I take the Liberty to mention it to Your Lordship That I doe not That Your Lordship may in the mean time let them to whom Your Lordship thinks most proper and I’le Endeavour to observe the punctilio’s of Feeding the grounds the last year If Yo(u)r Lordship shall observe anything contrary it shalbe without designe and I Desire Your Lordship will favour me with Notice of it and that I may allways have Yo(u)r Lordship’s Favo(u)r & be
Your Lordshipp’s Most Obedient Ser(van)t

Reel 55

16 Dec 1712: Viscount Fermanagh, Middle Claydon, to Ralph Verney, Baddow Hall
I hear nothing of Merwin[.] He is at London & hath been there above 6 weeks about his under sheriffs buisness and the term[.] Now the sheriffs are prickt I believe he is indeavouring to gett to be under sheriff again.

20 Dec 1712: Nicholas Merwin, Thavies Inn, to Viscount Fermanagh, Claydon [re appointment of sheriff's officers]
I have heard nothing from Stutsbury nor Mr High Sherriff elect concerning him But Your Lordshipps intimation shall stay the disposeing of that office (if in my power) till Your Lordshipps discition about it

25 July 1713: Nicholas Merwin, Winslowe, to Viscount Fermanagh
And notwithstanding Your Lordships hard unfriendly publick declaration of me at the [quarter] sessions I venture to tell Your Lordship if I am rightly informed Your Lordships interest in Steeple Cleydon wilbe lessened by the contest about the rate[.] [At the Quarter Sessions on 17 July, "The appeal of several inhabitants of Steeple Cleydon against their assessments to rates was referred to the justices of the hundreds of Buckingham and Cottesloe to determine."] Wherefore I desire Your Lordship will give me leave to waite on you at Midle Cleydon with Seaton and that this matter may talked [?over] as friends and if possible Your Lordshipps interest preserved entire there[.] In the mean time I desire Your Lordship wilbe soe kinde as to let me know wherein your Lordship apprehends I endeavoured to deceive you.  I hope I am in justice entituled to that favour[.] My Lord since Your Lordship before such publick declaration did not thinck fitt to informe \me/ of it it may be possible my Lord that I may acquitt my selfe of that inputation with Your Lordship though t’wilbe very difficult to avoide being censured with being untrue to a friend & a gentlemen whose interest I alwayes so warmely every where espoused…
[PS] I don’t forget forget [sic] I am Your Lordships debtor nor am mindelesse of it.

30 July 1713: Viscount Fermanagh to Nicholas Merwin, draft
[re Steeple Claydon church rate]… Its much more my wonder that one who pretends to be my friend should for a small fee plead so unjust cause against me … I have never refusd you a welcome at Mid Cl: but I have observed these many m(onth)s your shyness of coming the(re) on others buisness & your hast you are always in to be gone[.] The reason is plain tho I never struck on that string you endeavourd to avoid[.] I perceave its your custome once in 3 months to send me word you are my d(ebtor) & not mindless of it for I have it now in 2 of your letters.  Sir you knowe you have owed me a great sume of money a vast while, I desire you wou’d come and clear the debt or send me word what day you will infallibly do it, to verifie the proverb that short reckonings make long friends…

30 July 1713: Nicholas Merwin to Viscount Fermanagh
My Lord,
I rec(eive)d your Lordships of this day As to my Clyents and the receiveing a small Fee ag(ains)t Yo(u)r Lordship at the sessions is w(ha)t I would not have done and I told Your Lordship at the Assizes I had not nor did I know anything of the matter Neither did I as I hope to live Nor was I reteyned ag(ains)t Yo(u)r Lordship or received any Fee ag(ains)t you Nor have Yet of any person whomsoever[.] I knew nothing of the meritts of the Cause Nor doe[.] Yet My whole drift was to accomodate the matter and believed I should have had the honour of being for your Lordship[.]  I know not the meritts of the cause Nor was apprised on’t[.]  Your Lordship told me First of it[.] I wish I had a better Title to Your Lordshipps Favour and knew better to have kept it However it be I sent to Seaton who came to me this day and \he/ sayes he designes not to carry on the matter but to collect the whole year by the former rate and for ought I Finde Your Lordship may have it as you will[.] Seaton tells me That Richard Cox & Edw(ar)d Ingram were Churchwardens and Henry Wooton & Ja: Roberts with them were at makeing the rate who are Freeholders and he says a litle disgusted that they could not as well as the Tripletts speake to Your Lordship ab(ou)t the matter Now Your Lordship knowes the names of the men you cann take such care to keep them in humour as is suitable[.] The Sheriffe is bound to provide conveniencyes whoever is paid Or payes for it[.] My Care is only that it may be done to sattisfaction. I Humbly thanck Your Lordship I always thought \myselfe/ welcome at Mid Claydon but I was never shy of comeing there Nor on the least intimation Omitted it that I know of[.] I have had indeed for some moneths past I received businesse that required me to be in hast and I must own that I have been not a litle uneasy That the sume I am Engaged to pay yo(u)r Lordship should be soe long unpaid But to set this day infallibly I cannot[.] soe soon as possibly I cann I will And if I can get up anything fitt to Offer Your Lordship will come tomorrowe night[.] I am Willing my Lord to own the Obligation I have to Your Lordship and am
Your Lordships most Faythfull & Obedient Serv(an)t

21 June 1715: Viscount Fermanagh, Middle Claydon, to Ralph Verney, Baddow Hall
I have never heard one word from Merwin since you was here.  I sent once or twice to Winsloe but he was then at London.  He is not at all to be depended on if he means honestly, for I confess it looks as if he did not.

13 Nov 1715: Viscount Fermanagh, Middle Claydon, to Ralph Verney, Baddow Hall
This is cheifly to acquaint you that after often sending Chaloner and others to N.MN. he at length came to me but without money; and after much discourse he made me a bond for eighty pounds to be paid the … of Aprill next which I hope he will perform.

Reel 56

3 Oct 1716: Nicholas Merwin, Thavies Inn, to Viscount Fermanagh
I desire Your Lordship to favour me w(i)th a Line whether I may depend on having my Ladyes money Wee cann doe with 600 li but had rather have 7 or 800 li If your Lordship pleases to let us have it My Sister will add an other Maulting of her own that she has Built upon ground she Bought which is worth to be let 25 li or 30 per ann(um) & which joynes to an other that wilbe her sonns they are now both in her own occupation[.] As to the ensureing the whole money shalbe ensured and the pollicy made over and my Sister & I wilbe bound to repay[.] Young South and a Sonn in Law of My Sisters \one Jackson/ a Young Attarney wilbe bound too if Your Lordship pleases but they are not worth much[.] If I had Your Lordships answere I would p(re)pare the Draughts & shew them to Your Lordship before they are engrosst[.] I beg Your Lordshipps answere soe soon as possible to
Your Lordshipps most obedient Faythfull Ser(va)nt

2 Dec 1716: Viscount Fermanagh to Hon. Ralph Verney, Baddow Hall
… as to Merwins business; if it be nothing but a reconveyance of a house and lands in Leckhamstead I think it shou’d be done, for he says he is about selling of it, it had been better if he had offer’d it when you were in these parts. I have these two last Thursdays sent Mr Chaloner to his house for ye money he owes, but he’s never there, he’s allways att London whether I have sent to him by his Clark for this money, but I can have noe answer from him

13 Dec 1716: Viscount Fermanagh to Hon. Ralph Verney, Baddow
[I] have sent Chaloner this day to Merwins house, but I know not whether he be att London, for I can hear nothing of him. I doubt there will be noe money come from that quarter, for it is said Mr Bridges of Wadsdon has cast him in a suit for a great deal of money, but I hope yours will come att a long run for all that.  You did well to send his writeings to Sir T(homas) C(ave)for I doubt he’ll pretend his want of them for his non payment.

26 Feb 1716/17: Richard Grenvill, London, to Viscount Fermanagh
… Mr Merwin tells me he has had a letter from my Lady, where she informs him that she can pay but £150 of it in London … I have only a present a note under Mr Merwins hand for ye money

21 Feb 1717[/18]: Nicholas Merwin, Thavies Inn, to Ralph, Viscount Fermanagh [he succeeded his father in 1717]
I have severall times since my late Lord Fermanagh’s death enquired for you and been at your Lordships lodgeings in Town to have paid my duty and respect [to] your Lordship and to have acknowledged the fav[o]r I re[ceive] from your Lordship with respect to the debt I owe your Lordship but I have not been soe fortunate to see your Lordship[.]  When you was in Bucks I did not hear on’t till you were gon[.] I hope and desire noe misconstruction or want of true respect to your Lordship may be inferred from thence.

Reel 57

5 March 1722[/3]: Ambrose Eldridge, Wycombe, to Charles Howse, Goddington near Woodstock, to be left at ?Spatts Coffee House in Aylesbury
… I went to Mr Merwins chambers but he was gon into ye country – and I had an acct yt he was to goe ye circuit ye beginning of ye week following …

27 May 1723: Nicholas Merwin, Thavies Inn, to Ralph, Viscount Fermanagh
I went to Goddington … & came all night to London on Friday early I took the acknowledgement of Mr Gurney at Beirton & came thence to Peterley

Reel 59, image 947: John Millward (Claydon steward) to Viscount Fermanagh about a case at Quarter Sessions
Aug: ye 17th 1740
My Lord
I writ to y(ou)r Hon(ou)r last Wednesday what Mr Pilsworth said and thought it proper for us to suspenae Champion to the Sessions, but no body could grant em [sub-poenas] at Winslow but old Mr Merwin. I sent one of ye officers to him for one & to serve it on Champion, but Merwin told him he could not do it right w(i)thout the order, w(hi)ch he got for him, & when he got it he would not part w(i)th it & told him he would bring it to the Sessions & by that means he gott himself to be a Sollicitor in the Cause & then we had 3 but when I come to Aylesbury on Thursday in order to talk with Mr Geary & to put him right but was not come & was told by one that saw him that morning that he said he would not be there for he was not well enough to come, we then thought we would abide by Price & Merwin, but in the afternoon I went down to the Sessions House to hear the tryalls ab(ou)t Quarrels & Assaults & such like (the settlements was to be tried in the morning) Old Merwin was imployed in one of em & he made the sads [sic] fumbling pice of work on \in pleading/ as I was quit sorry as the had imployed him & thought it not at all proper to trust to him, as made me enquire who was reckoned the best & I was told Mr Warner of Thame was as good as any …

Nicholas Merwin appears to have had two married sisters: Elizabeth Merwin married John Eddoes at Iver in 1682, and Sarah Merwin married Thomas Becket there in 1683. Elizabeth's husband John Eddowes, gentleman of St Clement Danes, leaving her with a surviving daughter Elizabeth and pregnant with another child (TNA, PROB 11/393/322).

Reel 57: 30 Oct 1722: Nicholas Merwin, Thavies Inn, to Ralph, Viscount Fermanagh
… Im heartily ashamed of the usuage I shew to you both which is ocasioned by my being unkindely treated by the person in whose hands I placed my money for this purpose …

National Archives, E112/931 no.53: Complaint brought by Nicholas Merwin against Thomas Hornsby of Westminster gent. concerning £120 which Merwin had lent him in 1707-9.

Centre for Bucks Studies, BAS 375/22/2: In 1726 Nicholas Merwin inherited from his sister Hannah Merwin, who lived in London, the first King's Head (10 High Street). Hannah's will, made 23 Dec 1725, refers to her brother Nicholas of Thavies Inn (an Inn of Chancery associated with Lincoln's Inn) and his wife Elizabeth, and shows that the family came from Iver. The Nicholas Merwin on the electoral register for Iver in 1705 was probably their father.

26 Aug 1740: John Millward (Claydon estate steward) to Lord Fermanagh:
Old Nick Merwin is married and they say two Biters are Bit. The old man is got allmost superannuated and has but little business and has got low. This wife has some money as will help a little; he is very hard of hearing, tho' he stood very tight to our Cause, which was one of his best performances.

17 June 1746: Lord Fermanagh at Claydon to Earl Verney his father, about using an attorney:
I doubt Merwin is too deaf and old for it, that Selby would make a Joke of him.

General Advertiser, 20 Aug 1751: A few Days since died, greatly advanced in Years, of the Gout in his Stomach, at his house in Winslow in Buckinghamshire, Nicholas Merwin Esq., formerly one of the Commissioners of Bankrupts, Associate upon the Norfolk Circuit, and in Commission of the Peace.

National Archives, C11/1205/11. On 19 Oct 1727, James Edmunds, vicar of Winslow and Rector of Newton Longville, complained against Nicholas Merwin. Merwin acquired possession of the parsonage house and rectory (i.e. right to collect great tithes) of Newton Longville when the previous rector Richard Ridge fled to Antigua to escape his creditors, and allegedly kept his livestock in the house and turned the garden into a farmyard. Edmunds also claimed tithe milk from a great number of cattle in Winslow and Newton. Merwin (in his answer dated 28 Feb 1727/8) said that Ridge owed him £126 in 1718, and a dispute between them was referred to arbitration by the Court of Common Pleas. This involved Ridge demising the parsonage and rectory of Newton Longville to John Barton and Henry Langley for three years. Ridge owed Merwin over £350 in all, and demised the rectory to him for seven years from 1722. Merwin was to pay a curate no more than £30 p.a. to serve Newton Longville. The bailiff Thomas Turnham was involved in seizing some of Ridge's property. Merwin said he was possessed of several closes in Winslow, all of which (except Little Cowmead Close being common upon Lammas Day containing 3 or 4 acres and hired by Merwin for the last twenty years at 45s p.a.( he had always mowed not grazed and paid the tithe [of hay] to the impropriator not the vicar. The vicar was entitled to the tithe of Little Cowmead Close when grazed. Merwin depastured his cows and cattle there in the spring until Lammas when it becomes common to commoners. In 1724 he asked Edmunds what he owed him, and paid him for tithe milk and calves in 1723-24. In 1725 he had only one cow which had only one calf "which was kept for a Breeder". He was going to pay his tithe milk in kind and "ordered his servant to leave the Milke for the Complainant att the Place where the same was milked according to the Custome Used in the precinct of Winslow aforesaid which was done for severall Tyth Days" but Edmunds did not think it proper to take it and someone else did, so Merwin sent him 5s as a gratuity (which Edmunds refused to take), but there was really no more due than 6½d "besides Easter Offerings and a Garden or Somke Pen(n)ey annually" which he afterwards paid. The tithe milk for 1723-24 was worth 2s 6d or 2s 8d each year. In 1722 he had only two cows, one at the beginning of the year and the other at the latter end. In 1726 he had "one yeareling Bullock kept for a Breeder and in the first part of the same Year one Cow onely which was kept partly in the said Parish and partly out of the said Parish and fedd for the Butcher". The tithes were no more than 2s 6d. At the beginning of 1727 he "had noe milch Cattle or Cowe save the Heifer or Breeder aforesaid which then had had noe Calfe". In 1727 he took into Little Cowmead Close one horse for about ten weeks (tithe worth about 2s) and five cows for one night only (tithe about 3d), which he sent after it was demanded in the bill of complaint but Edmunds refused to take it. In 1725-26 he took into the close one horse for about a month (tithe 1s). In another year there were several cows at several times for one night at a time. In 1725 his tithe milk was worth about 2s 6d. He will pay 25s for all tithes due.

Copyright 6 December, 2023