In 1564-5 Richard Issell, a husbandman, was the plaintiff in a case in the Court of Chancery, concerning property in Ipplepen. The defendants were his sister Margaret and her husband Thomas Pope. From their answer it is clear this case concerned the will of their father Robert and property left by him. The will itself does not survive – if it survived until then it will have been lost in the bombing of Exeter in 1942 – so the extract from it in the answer is all we know about it.

These document are at the National Archives, ref. C 3/98/29.


The Bill seems to me quite clear. Margaret and her husband Thomas Pope had the right to Bakelforde, a tenement with its appurtenances and land, meadow and pasure belonging to. For some ready money and ‘other good considerations’ they sold this right to Richard. Thomas and Margaret had said they would put the agreement in writing and hand over to Richard the original deed.

The Answer denies this; Richard had neither paid Thomas and Margaret any money nor performed any considerations. He had not asked for an agreement in writing or for the original deed. What I find confusing is that the answer is much longer than is needed to say this, explaining the land held by Richard and Margaret’s father, Robert, an agreement that Robert made with Thomas and Margaret, and it cites some clauses from Robert’s will. Is this not really a disagreement about land, but a way of putting in writing who did have a right to what land, and how?

The Bill

Two copies of the bill survive, one intact, one in a poor state – I have transcribed the former.

To the right honorable Sr Nicholas Bacon knight
Lord keper of the greate Seale of Englond

In most humble wise complayninge Sheweth unto yor honorable Lordshipp yor powre and daylie Orator Richard Issell of Ippelpen in the Countie
of devon husbond[man] That wheras one Thomas Poope within the same Countie and Margaret his wyf beinge laufullie possessed by good convenance
in the lawe of and in one tenement withe his apprtenances called Bakelforde and of certen land meadowe and pasture to the same belonginge Sett
lying and beinge in Ippelpen aforesaid for terme of yeres yett to come, the certen nomber wherof yor said Orator knoweth not by occacon as foloweth
and they so beinge therof possessed aswell for redie monye in hand to them paide by your said Orator as also for div[er]se other good consideracon
well knowen did bargaine and Sell unto your said Orator their said terme of and in the prmisses And all suche estate right title and
interest as they or any of them had in the same withe faithfull promise also, upon requeste to them made by yor said Orator or his
assignes they wold alwayes not only make him writinge therof for his further assurance, but also deliv[er] the originall deade
a lease wherin by div[er]s covenantes and condicons conteyned unknowen unto your said Orator for want of the Same, And so it is
right honorable Lord to whiche there bar[gain? hole ?pro]mise onlie wthout writinge he trusted, And so it is right honorable Lord that notwthstandinge
yor said Orator hathe paid his money as [? hole a]foresaid and of his p[ar]te p[er]formed ev[er]y consideracon and accordinglie requested the said Thomas
Pope and margaret his wyf to make him suche p[er]fitt assurans of the prmisses as before they faithfullie p[ro]mised to do in that behalf wth
deliv[er]ie also of the originall deade all whiche of their p[ar]te to p[er]forme they utterlie denie and yett do contrary to all right equitie and
good conscience / And for as muche as in the said Originall deade be sonderie covenantes and condicions contayned on the p[ar]te and behalf
of the lessees to be p[er]formed the certentie wherof yor said Orator knoweth not for want of the said deade by occasion aforesaid he may so
fall unwillinglie into the danger and further penaltie of the same, besides therby he knoweth not the yerely res[er]vacions nor when
the terme shall end by full exspiracon of the yeres, And yet hathe no ordinarie remedie by due order and course of the comon lawes
of the realme for recov[er]ie of the same deade and other the prmisses because he knoweth not the certen Date contentes no other
certenties therof, and so without all remedie unles yor good Lordeshippes aide and favor be unto him shewed in this behalf In consideracon
whereof ytt may please your good Lordshipp the prmisses considered to graunt unto yor said Orator the Quenes moste gracious
write of Subpena to be directed unto they said John [sic – Thomas everywhere else] Pope & Margaret his wyf com[m]aunding them and ev[er]y of them by the
same p[er]sonallie to appeare before yor honorable Lordshipp in the Quenes high court of Chauncery at a c[er]ten day and under a
certen payne therin to be lymited then and there to answere to the prmisses and further to be ordered therin as shall accord
wth equitie & good conscience & yor said Orator shall daylie p[r]ay for yor Lordshippes honor long to endure


Text in bold is my emphasis to indicate the extract from Robert’s will.

Thaunswere of Thomas Pope and Margaret his wif Defendauntes to the bill of compl
of Richarde Issell complaynaunte taken at exet[er] the xth day of January yn the viith yere of the reygne of or sov[er]eigne
ladye elysabeth by the grase of god of Inglond Fraunce & Irelond quene defender of the feyth & c[etera]. [10 Jan 1564/5]

The said defendauntes sayen that the said bill of complaynte is uncerteyne and insufficiente in the lawe to be aunswered unto and the matters therin conteigned altogether
untrue devised ymagyned and setforth by the said compl agaynste the said Defendauntes onlie to put the said defendauntes to trouble travaile and vexacon of their
bodies and losses and expenses of their gooddes without any good grounde consideracon or cause resonable Nev[er]theles if the said Defendauntes by thordre of this honorable
courte shalbe compelled to make any further Aunswere to the said insufficiente bill of complaynte Then thadvantage and excepcon of the ynsufficiency of
the said bill of complayunte to the said Defendauntes alwayes salved for aunswere sayen that longe tyme before the said Complaynaunte or defendauntes any
thinge had in the said ten[emen]te with his appurtynaunces called Backelforde and other the landes meadowes and pastures to the same belonginge mencyoned in the said
bill of complaynte which do conteigne in the whole aboute threscore acres and do lie and be in the parishe of Ipplepen in the countie of Devon one Roberte
Issell father to the said complaynaunte by good and juste conveighaunce in the lawe was possessed of and in the same prmisses for a great nombre of yeres
Wherof many are yeat to come And so beynge therof possessed by his Indenture of lease sufficiente in the lawe bearinge date the eightenth Daye of
Auguste in the thirde yere of the reigne of our sov[er]eyne ladie the quenes Majestie that now is [18 Aug 1561] for dyv[er]se consideracons hym the said Roberte Issell for[?]
movinge did dymyse and to ferme let to the said complaynaunte all that close of lande called Allercombe parke one meadow called Allercombe meade
and one close of lande called Langlande with their appurtynaunces lyinge in Bakelforde aforsaid within the said parishe of Ipplepen in the said countie of
Devon purcell of the prmisses mencyoned in the said bill of complaynte To have and to holde the same to the said complaynaunte his executours and
assignes from the feaste of Saynte Petre advincla then laste paste before the Date of the said Indenture [1 Aug 1561] untill thende and terme of Sex yeres then
nexte ensuynge and fullie to be complete and ended yeldinge and payinge therfore yerlie to the said Roberte Issell his executours and assignes
fo[u]re? pence of lefull money of Englande at the feaste of Saynte Mychell tharchaungell [29 Sep] yerelie duringe the said terme as by the same Indent[ure – missing]
do and maye appeare And after that is to saye the tenth daye of Maye in the yere of our lorde god a thousande fyve hundred threscore and [missing] [10 May 156?]
the said Roberte Issell at Ipplepen aforsaid did make and declare his laste Will and testamente of the said tenemente and other [missing]
premises mencyoned in the said bill of complaynte in names and forme followinge That is to saye Itm my mynde is that Richarde my sonne
shall have a close named Langlande my whole terme Also he shall have an other close called Allercombe for the space of Sex yeres And a[fter? –
the said terme of Sex yeres to remayne unto Roberte Issell or to his assignes And I gyve and bequeath the terme and righte of my pluc[?
unto Alice my wif And after her Death unto Margaret my Doughter /
And after the said Alice died And after the said Roberte died
After the Death of Which Roberte the said Thomas Pope one of the said Defendauntes Who toke to wife the said Margaret thother of the
said Defendauntes as in the right of the said Margaret entred into the residue of the premisses mencyoned in the said bill of complaynte not by the said
Indenture Dymysed or letten and Was and yeat is therof lefullie possessed accordinge to thentente and true meanynge of the said Roberte Issell
by his said laste Will and testamente in man[er] and forme aforsaid Declared and thissues and profites of the same rasinge comynge and growinge doth
receave and take to his owne use as well and lefull was and is for hym to do Without that that the said Defendanntes beinge possessed
of the said teneme[n]te With thuppurtynances called Bakelforde and of the said lande meadow and pasture mencyoned in the said bill of complaynte for redy
money to them in h[an]de paid or for any other consideracons did bargayne and sell unto the said complaynaunte their terme of and in the prmisses or all
such estate right tytle and ynterest as they or any of them had in the same Or did faithfullie promysse uppon requeaste to them to be made by the
said complaynaunte or his assignes that they woulde make hym Wrytinge therof or Delyv[er] unto him any origynal deede of lease of the
premissses as in the said bill of complaynte untrulie alledged And Without that that the said complaynaunte hath paid any money for
the p[re]misses to the said Defendauntes Or hath of his parte performed any consideracon comprised in any such lease as in the said bill of complaynte
surmysed And without that that the said complaynaunte hath requeasted the said Defendauntes to make unto hym any perfecte assurance of the prmisses
or to delyv[er] any such origynall Deede concernynge the same Or that they ought to Delyv[er] any such deede Or that the said Defendauntes Did denye to do the same
contrary to righte equytie or consicence as in the said bill of complaynte untrulie surmysed And without that the said complaynaunte for wante of the
said Origynall Deede maye fall unwillinglie into the Daunger and penaltie of sundrye covenauntes and condicons of the parte and behalfe of the said leasees
to be performed as in the said bill of complay[un]te untrulie alledged For the said Defendauntes sayen that such deede or deedes as they have in their custodie Do belonge
to the said Defendauntes Which they the said Defendauntes do deteigne and keepe for the pres[er]vacon of their estate in the prmisses as well and lefull is for them to
do And Without that that any other thinge materiall or of effecte comprised in the said bill of complaynte to be aunswered unto
presente Aunswere sufficientlie aunswered unto confessed and avoided traversed or Denyed as true All which matters the said Defendauntes ben readie to
averre and prove as this honorable courte shall awarde And prayen to be dismyssed out of the same courte with their resonable costes and chardges in
this behalfe susteyned.

[a few Latin words]

I have done some searching of the index to decrees and orders (images on the AALT website) but not found any so far.


Issell siblings squabble over Bakelforde in Ipplepen (1564/5) – or do they? — No Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

HTML tags allowed in your comment: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>