My transcription of this document. I have tried to keep the spelling, abbreviations and words emphasised as in the document, but I have used modern letters e.g. I have not put ‘f’s for s just because an s then looked more like our f, and where an i is clearly a j I have put a j.

This is more-or-less how I transcribed this document when on holiday but I bought a photo of the document and have since looked at this and made a few corrections / additions, as my ability to read secretary hand has improved.

(If it is permitted I will add the photo here, but I was not allowed to photograph the document myself and the Archives Centre retain copyright in the photo they took for me.)

1614 This Indenture made the first daie of December In the yeare of the raigne of our sov[er]aigne lord James by the grace of god kinge England France and Ireland defendor of the faith etc the twelfthe and of Scotland the eight and forteth Betweene the Deane and Chapter of the cathedrall and metropoliticall churche of Christe of Canterbury of thone p[ar]tie And Richard Gotham of Chislett in the county of Kent husbandman of the thother p[ar]tte Witnesseth that the said Deane and Chapter as well for and in consideracon of the cost and Charges that one Richard Gotham of Chartam deceased bestowed in erectinge of a barne upon a peice of ground belonginge to the sd Deane & Chapter lyinge in Chartam aforesaid called Salters Platt to the kings highewaie & mystoole greene towards the East and south to the lands nowe or late of John Packenham towards the west and north. As also for div[er]se other good causes & considerations them thereunto movinge have demised grannted & to ferme letten. And by these pr[esen?]ts for them and there successors, do demise grant & to ferme lett unto the said Richard Gotham the sd [sd = said] peice of ground & barne thereupon erected To have and to houlde the said peice of grounde & barne with all and singuler thapp[ur]tinannces to the said Richard Gotham his executors and assignes from the feast of St Michaell tharchangell last past before the date hereof unto to the full end of the terme of one & twentie yeares from thence next ensewinge & fully to be compleat and ended. Yeldinge & payinge therefore yearly duringe all the sd terme to the sd Deane & Chapter & there success[or]s at or in the Treasory house of the sd churche fourepence, of lawfull money of England at the feast of St Michaell tharchangell only to be payed  And the sd Richard Gotham for him his executors ad[ministra]tors: & assignes doth covenannt & grannt to & wth the said Deane & Chapter and there successors by these pr[esen]ts at his & there proper coste and charges in all things to repaire and maintaine the sd barne and to fence and inclose the said peice of grounnd & the said barne & grounnd ^ {well} and sufficiently repaired and fenced in the end of the sd terme to the said Deane & Chapter & there successors shall leave and yeild upp. And if it happen the said yearly rent of fourepence to be behinde & unpayed in part or in all by the space of fourteene daies next after the feast abovesaid in wch it ought to be payed. Or if the reparacons & inclosures be not well & sufficiently made and done wthin twenty & six weekes next after menicon and warninge by the sd Deane & Chapter ^ [the few words following I have put in {} are squeezed in above and not very legible] {or there lore au[er] gen[er]all} for the time beinge to the sd Richard Gotham his executors & assignes given and declared Or if such p[er]son or p[er]sons other then the wife childe or Children of the sd Richard Gotham to whose use & possession this pr[e]sent lease and term of yeares shall remaine & come by bargaine sale device legacie or otherwise from the said Richard Gotham do not wth in halfe a yeare next after the havinge and enjoyinge of this pr[e]sent lease & terme of yeares make surrendor of the same and of the terme of yeares therein then to come, So that he or they maie then or wthin convenenient time after receave of the sd Deane and Chapter & there succ a like good and lawfull newe lease of the pr[e]misses for so manie yeares as shallbe then to come of the terme aforesaid payinge only therefore the ordinary charges and fees for sealinge & writinge of the same. That then and from thence forth this pr[e]sent Indenture and lease & ev[e]rie clause and ar[tic]le therein above on the behalf of the sd Deane and Chapter & there succ made & grannted, shalbe utterly void & of none effect, Aniethinge before menconed to the contrary notwithstandinge In witnes whereof to one part of this Indenture remaininge wth the said Richard Gotham the said Deane and Chapter have set there comon seale And to the other part remaininge with the sd Deane and Chapter the sd Richard Gotham hath sett his seale, Dated in the Chapterhouse of the sd Deane & Chapter the daie and yeres first above written
Exat[e]r Jo Sympson
rich + Gotham

It was wonderful to see this original document, almost 400 years old, especially knowing it had been in the hands of my 9 x great grandfather when he made his mark on it. It is folded to make quite a small square, and after being unfolded was sat on a special sponge on the desk, with small weights to hold flat enough for me to read. At first it appeared very hard to read – I should have brushed up on my secretary hand before my visit – but the more I read the easier it became.

My comments about the people involved and the background can be found here, but this needs more research – when I have the time.


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