Peter Brown Family History

PM Inquistion of William Feldwick 1634

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Provided by Chris Allen (Chris & Norma Allen [cfallen23@tiscali.co.uk])

Inquisition Post Mortem of William Feldwick(e) – (c1560 – 1633) the original of which is in the National Archives under ref: WARD/7/93/241

Inquisitions were held after the death of major land owners and were originally an aspect of the feudal tenures of the early Middle Ages. The Stuarts, particularly Charles 1 who was at times in desperate financial straights, revived many of the feudal arrangements particularly those that would result in fees and income for the Crown. The aim of the Inquisition was to see what lands the deceased had, who was his manorial overlord, what services etc were due and what the annual value was which could then lead to payments going to the Crown.

(Jane Wicks Comments: The inquisition itself is dated 5th August 10 (decimo) Charles. However the Chancery annotation at the top of the page says "delivered to the court 27th June 15 (quinto decimo) Charles". I'm not sure why there was a five year delay in returning the completed IPM to Chancery, it should have been returned within 2 months of it's being taken on pain of a heavy fine. Escheators have been known to alter the date of an IPM that was not returned in time, to avoid this fine. This copy is from the chancery series in TNA, but it does not look like a Chancery copy to me and there is no writ with it, it looks more like the Exchequer copy. Maybe another copy had to be made for Chancery for some reason, five years later.) 

 

 The preamble and ending in italics are the translation from the Latin and the document contains a large verbatim section from William Feldwick’s will which has also survived.

 His will clearly has his name and those of his family as Feldwick whilst the Inquisition mostly has the name shown as Feldwicke.

 An Inquisition indented and taken at Eastgrinsted in the said county on the 5th day of August in the tenth year of the reign of our Lord King Charles, by the grace of God, King of England, Scotland, France and Ireland, Defender of the Faith etc before Robert Pickeringe esquire, escheator of our Lord the King in the said county, by virtue of a writ of our said Lord the King of diem clausit extremum for holding an inquisition after the death of William Feldwicke, deceased, directed to the said escheator, and annexed to this inquisition, on the oaths of etc who say on their oaths that the said William Feldwicke, for a long time before his death, and at his death, was seized in his demesne as of a fee of and in one messuage, one barn and certain lands and tenements with their appurtenances, containing by estimation forty acres, commonly called or known by the name of Feldwicke, situated, lying and being in the parish of Westhothly and Ardingley in the said county; and of and in one other parcel of land with appurtenances in Westhothly aforesaid, containing by estimation thirty acres of land called Nicholles or Homewoods; and of and in all that portion of tithes, part of the rectory of Westhothly aforesaid; and that the said William Feldwicke, being as mentioned seized of all and singular the premises, the same William made his last will and testament in writing bearing date the 25th of July in the year of Our Lord 1628, and by the same he willed and bequeathed all and singular the premises as follows [amongst other things] in the following English words, namely:

 

And as touching the disposing of all my lands, tenements and hereditaments whatsoever I bestow as followeth etc:

 Firstly:  I give to John Feldwicke for and during his natural life all my portion or part of parsonage tithes within the parish of Westhothly aforesaid [except the tithes of my own lands called Feldwicke and Homewoods and the other lands that I do use];

 Item: I do give and bequeath my said lands and tenements called Feldwicke and Homewoods and all other my lands, tenements and hereditaments whatsoever, and the rents, issues and profits [except the said tithes before bequeathed] to my said son John and to the said John Gibb, Thomas Comber, and William Miles, for and during the term of four years next after my decease and until the feast of St Michael the Archangel then next happening after the expiration of the said four years;  and also the tithes bequeathed to my said son John, in case he should die within the said term, for and during so much of the said term as shall be unexpired at the time of his death, upon this trust and confidence, that they shall employ the rents, issues and profits of my said lands and tenements in manner following, namely: that they shall pay yearly and every year to my said wife during her natural life a full third part thereof in lieu and satisfaction of her thirds and dower at the feast of St Michael the Archangel, the birth of our Lord Christ, the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the feast of St John the Baptist, by even portions. 

 The first payment to begin at the first of the feasts aforesaid, which shall first happen after my decease, my said wife giving them at every payment a sufficient acquittance or discharge for the same in lieu of her dower, if they require the same; and that they shall likewise pay twenty pounds yearly to my said son John at or in the church porch of Westhothly aforesaid at the feasts aforesaid during his life, the first payment likewise to begin at the next of the said feasts after my decease, and that they shall educate and bring up my grandchild John Feldwicke until the said feast of St Michael next after the end of the said four years;and that they shall employ the residue of the said rents, issues, and profits thereof towards the finding of office and the suing out of livery after my death if need require, and if any surplusage or overplus of the rents, issues and profits of my said lands shall be in their hands at the said feast of St Michael next after the end of the said four years, then they shall pay the said overplus to my said grandchild John Feldwicke, if he be then living, or if he be dead before that time, then to him who shall next succeed him in estate of my said lands, by this my said last will;and my meaning is that from the said feast of St Michael next after the said four years, and my said grandchild John Feldwicke for his time, and after they to whom my said lands shall remain for their times successively, shall allow and pay to my said wife a full third part of the rent and profits thereof during her life in lieu of her dower, if she will so accept thereof, and shall likewise pay twenty pounds per annum to my said son John during his life in such manner as is aforesaid.

 And I do hereby give and bequeath to my said grandchild, John Feldwicke all my lands and tenements and hereditaments whatsoever [except the said tithes bequeathed to my said son John] to have and to hold the said lands, tenements and hereditaments [except the said tithes bequeathed to my said son John Feldwicke] from the said feast of St Michael the Archangel next after the end of the said four years, for and during his natural life without impeachment of waste, and after his decease to the first son of his body lawfully begotten and to the heirs male of the body of such first son begotten; and for want of such issue, to the second son of my said grandchild lawfully begotten and to the heirs male of his body begotten; and for want of such issue, to the use of the third son of my said grandchild lawfully begotten and to the heirs male of his body begotten; and for want of such issue to the fourth son of my said grandchild lawfully begotten and the heirs male of his body, and for want of such issue to the first son of the said grandchild and to the heirs male of his body, and for want of such issue to the sixth son of my said grandchild and to the heirs male of his body, and for want of such issue to the seventh son of my said grandchild and to the heirs male of his body, and for want of such issue to the eighth son of my said grandchild and to the heirs male of his body, and for want of such issue to the ninth son of my said grandchild and of the heirs male of his body, and for want of such issue to the tenth son of my said grandchild and to the heirs male of his body, and for want of such issue to my grandchild William Feldwicke, for and during his natural life without impeachment of waste, and after his decease to his eldest son and to the heirs male of his body, and for want of such issue to the second son of my said grandchild William and to the heirs male of his body, and for want of such issue to his third son and to the heirs male of his body, and for want of such issue to his fourth son and to the heirs male of his body, and for want of such issue to his fifth son and to the heirs male of his body, and for want of such issue to his sixth son and to the heirs male of his body, and for want of such issue to his seventh son and to the heirs male of his body, and for want of such issue to his eighth son and to the heirs male of his body, and for want of such issue to his ninth son and to the heirs male of his body, and for want of such issue to his tenth son and to the heirs male of his body, and for want of such issue to my grandchild Thomas Feldwicke for and during his natural life without impeachment of waste, and after his decease to his eldest son and to the heirs male of his body, and for want of such issue to his second son and to the heirs male of his body, and for want of such issue to his third son and to the heirs male of his body, and for want of such issue to his fourth son and to the heirs male of his body, and for want of such issue to his fifth son and to the heirs male of his body, and for want of such issue to his sixth son and to the heirs male of his body, and for want of such issue to his seventh son and to the heirs male of his body, and for want of such issue to his eighth son and to the heirs male of his body, and for want of such issue to his ninth son and to the heirs male of his body, and for want of such issue to his tenth son and to the heirs male of his body, and for want of such issue my will and meaning is that all my lands, tenements and hereditaments shall remain and be unto my said son John’s daughter, and my said three grandchildren, John, William and Thomas, their daughters, and to my said godson and grandchild John Balcombe, and to my daughters Anne, Elizabeth, Sarah, and Mary, equally in manner and form following, namely:

 To my son John’s daughters and their heirs, a part; to my grandchild John’s daughters and their heirs, a part; to my grandchild William’s daughters and their heirs, a part; to my grandchild Thomas his daughters and their heirs, a part; to my grandchild John Balcombe and his heirs, a part; to my daughter Anne and her heirs a part; to my daughter Elizabeth and her heirs, a part;  to my daughter Sarah and her heirs, a part;  to my daughter Mary and her heirs, a part;   equally to be divided amongst them.

 And as concerning the tithes before bequeathed to my son John during his life, my mind is, and I will and bequeath them after the death of my said son, and after the feast of St Michael the Archangel next after the end of the said four years, to my grandchild William Feldwicke, for and during his natural life, and after his decease to the first son of his body lawfully begotten and to the heirs male of his body, and for want of such issue to the second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth and tenth sons of my said grandchild William successively, and to the heirs male of their bodies lawfully begotten, severally and successively, in such manner and form as is before expressed in the limitation of estate to my grandchild John Feldwicke and his sons, of my lands aforesaid, and for want of such issue of such ten sons of my grandchild William, then to my grandchild Thomas Feldwicke, for and during his natural life, and after his decease to his eldest son and to the heirs male of his body, and for want of such issue to his second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth and tenth sons and to the heirs male of their bodies lawfully begotten severally and successively in such manner and form as aforesaid, to William and his sons, and for want of such issue, to my grandchild John Feldwicke for and during his natural life, and after his decease to his eldest son and to the heirs male of his body, and for want of such issue to his second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth and tenth sons and to the heirs male of their bodies lawfully begotten severally and successively in such manner and form as aforesaid, and for want of such issue, to my son John’s daughters, my grandchild John’s daughters, my grandchild William’s daughters, my grandchild Thomas his daughters,  my grandchild John Balcombe, my daughters Anne, Elizabeth, Sarah and Mary and their heirs equally for ever, in such manner as the rest of my lands, tenements, and hereditaments aforesaid are to them limited and appointed by this my will.

 And it is my will and meaning that if my grandchild John Feldwicke happen to die without heirs male of his body, so that my lands and tenements aforesaid called Feldwickes or Homewoods come to my grandchild William Feldwicke by virtue of this my will, that then my grandchild Thomas Feldwicke or his sons successively shall have the said tithes in like manner as my said grandchild William should have had the same, if the said grandchild John had lived.

 Provided always, and my will and mind is that whereas I have hereby given to my said son John a certain portion of tithes and twenty pounds yearly during his life, that if my said son John shall in anything interrupt, impeach or appose this my last will and testament or my executrix or overseers in the performance thereof, or if my said son John shall be entitled at any time hereafter to any part of my said lands, tenements or hereditaments by office found before escheator or feodary and shall thereby or any other ways take or claim any advantage or interest in any of my said lands, tenements or hereditaments or any benefit or profit thereof, then according to my meaning of this my will and testament, that then his estate interest, both in the said tithes and yearly rent of twenty pounds to him before bequeathed, shall utterly cease, determine and be void, and that he shall have none other advancement or benefit by that my will but only twenty shillings, to be paid unto him by my said overseers within one month next after he shall so interrupt or take benefit of any of mine estate, otherwise than by this my will as aforesaid.

 And that then from thenceforth my said overseers shall take and receive all the said tithes and detain in their hands the said yearly rent of twenty pounds so long as they shall have anything to do with my estate by this will, to the use and benefit of my grandchild John Feldwicke, to be paid unto him at the feast of St Michael the Archangel next after the end of the four years after my decease as aforesaid, if he be then living, or if he be then dead before then to him or them as shall be then living and are next to succeed him in the estate of my lands according to this my last will.

 

As by this last will and testament the jurors aforesaid upon the taking of this inquisition shall more clearly and fully show. And the jurors aforesaid further say that the said William Feldwick named in the said writ died seized of all and singular the premises, as is shown, on 24th of August in the ninth year of our Lord Charles, King of England etc at Westhothly aforesaid, seized of such his estate, and that the said John Feldwicke is, and at the time of the death of the said William Feldwicke named in the said writ was, the son and next heir of the said William Feldwicke named in the said writ, and at the time of his death was of the age of 40 years or more, and that the said messuage, barn, lands and tenements aforesaid called Feldwicke are held, and at the time of the death of the said William Feldwicke named in the said writ, were held, of the most noble Earl of Nottingham as of his manor of Plumpton Buskag in the said county, by fealty, but by what other services the said jurors do not know.  And it is worth per annum in all profits after deductions 27 shillings and four pence.  And that the said parcel of land with appurtenances called Nicolles or Homewoods is held, and at the time of the death of the said William Feldwicke named in the said writ, was held, of the said lord the King in free socage in chief by fealty only, but not by knight’s service, and is worth per annum in all profits after deductions sixteen shillings and eight pence; and the said portion of tithes, part of the rectory of Westhothly aforesaid is held, and at the time of the death of the said William Feldwicke named in the said writ, was held,  as the rest of the rectory of Westhothly, namely of our Lord the King as of his manor of Eastgreenwich in the county of Kent, in free and common socage, and not in chief nor by knight’s service; and is worth per annum in all profits after deductions ten shillings.  The Jurors aforesaid say further on their oaths that the said William Feldwicke, named in the said writ, neither had nor held any other or further lands or tenements at the time of his death from any other person or persons in his demesne or service noticed by them. To which matter etc

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Some definitions:

Appurtenances. Rights belonging to a property.
Demesne (pronounced de-mean). A manor house with adjacent lands not let out to tenants; any land estate.
Dower. Property settled on a woman at marriage to be enjoyed after her husband’s death.
Escheator. An official who watched over escheats which were property that fell to a feudal lord or to the state for want of an heir, or by forfeiture.
Feodory/Feudory. Holding lands or power by feudal tenure.
Fee. A grant of land for feudal service: feudal tenure.
Hereditaments. Any property that may pass to an heir.
Messuage (pronounced messwidge). A mansion house and grounds.
Seized or Seised. In legal possession of.
Socage. Tenure of lands by service which is fixed and determined.
Tenement. Anything held, or that may be held, by a tenant.
Tenure. Holding or period of holding.
Tithe. Originally the tenth part of the produce of land and stock payable to the Church. A rent-charge in commutation of this.