Ref: EDC 5/1582/11

Catalogue Entry:

EDC 5/1582/11. TILSTON Richard Masie of Grafton c John Brereton claiming a pew in right of Grafton Hall – libel.

Summary:

Richard Massey contra John Brereton

At service time, John Brereton had tried to sit in a certain pew in Tilston church, but Richard Massey contended that he was not entitled to do so because use of the pew belonged exclusively to him and his family, as owners of Grafton Hall.

There are two copies of the libel and images of both are included.

There is also another libel filed at this reference which is unrelated to this matter. It is referenced on this website as EDC 5/1582/11a

Year

1582

Type of Cause:

Violation 0f church rights – pew dispute

Cause Papers:

Libel

Libel (image 1)

Original Document

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Translation

[1582/11 image 1]

In the name of God, Amen: before you, the venerable Robert Leche, Doctor of Laws, lawfully deputed official principal of the Chester consistory court, or any other judge whomsoever competent in this regard; the party of the distinguished Richard Massey of Grafton, gentleman, of the parish of Tilston, of the archdeaconry of Chester and the diocese of Chester, against John Brerton of the parish and diocese aforesaid, and against any other person or persons whomsoever lawfully intervening before you in judgement for the same, by way of complaint and complaining to you in this behalf says, alleges and propounds in these writings in law jointly, severally and in articles as follows:

Firstly, namely that the aforesaid Richard Massey, the precursors and predecessors of the aforesaid Richard Massey, gentleman, each and every one of them in their successive times, for 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 and 60 years and also before and since, from the time and throughout the time of the beginning or to the contrary of which there exists no memory of men were, just as they should have been, in peaceful possession of a certain pew or seat in the church of Tilston aforesaid, and in the same pew or seat his precursors and predecessors, as aforesaid, had the right and authority of sitting, kneeling, praying and burying and interring, just as they should have had and the said Richard, the present plaintiff, always peacefully and quietly had, possessed and occupied for himself and his household until the time of this trouble;  and he propounds jointly, severally and concerning any of these points.

Also, that the aforesaid pew or seat always belonged and appertained both to the precursors and predecessors of the aforesaid Richard Massey in their time by reason of the principal residence of the aforesaid Richard called ‘the hall of Grafton’ and controlled by the aforenamed Richard now possessing and inhabiting the same house of Grafton; and he propounds as above.

Also, that the aforesaid John Brereton, who did not have or ought to have any right in the said pew or seat wrongfully, against the requirement of law, to the bad example of other parishioners claiming to expel the aforenamed Richard Massey, gentleman, from the aforesaid seat or at least to sit in the same pew or seat with the same Richard against the wishes of the said Richard saying of the same seat ‘he would sitt there in spyte of his head’[1] or at least wrongfully in some part of the same, to the serious detriment and disturbance of and no small trouble to the said Richard; and he propounds as before.

[1] In spite of his head = in defiance of him

Transcript

[1582/11 image 1]

In dei nomine amen coram vobis venerabili viro Roberto Leich legum doctori Curie consistorialis Cestrensis officiali principali legitime deputato aut alio Judice in hac
parte competenti quocunque pars discreti viri Richardi Massie
de grafton generosi parochie de Tilston Archidiaconatum Cestrensis
Diocesis Cestrensis contra et aduersus Johannem Brereton parochie et
diocesis predictis ac contra quemcunque alium seu quoscunque alios pro
eodem coram vobis in Juditio legitime intervenientem per viam querele
et vobis in hac parte querelando dicit allegat et in his scriptis
in iure proponit articulatim pro vt sequitur

Inprimis videlicet Quod <predictus Richardus Massie>  precessores et predicessores predicti Richardi Massye
generosi omnes et singuli eorum temporibus successiue existentes a
x xx xxx xl l et lx annos necnon vltraque et citra
a tempore et per tempus cuius initij siue contrarij
memoria hominum non existit fuerunt prout esse debuerunt in
pacifica possessione cuiusdam <scamnum> siue sedilis in Ecclesia de
Tilston predicte in eodemque scamno siue sedili Jus et potestatem
sedendi genuflectendum orandi et sepeliendi et inhumandi
{habuerunt} eius precessores et predicessores vt predicitur habuerunt
prout habere debent dictus Richardus pars iam agens semper habuit
et possedit et occupavit per se et suos pacifice et quiete
vsque ad tempus huius gravamenius et ponit coniunctim diuisim et de
quolibet

Item Quod predictum Scamnum siue sedile semper spectabat et
pertinebat tam ad precessores et predicessores prefati Richardi
Massie pro tempore existentes Ratione domicilij principalis predicti Richardi
vocati the hall of Gradton quam ad prelibatum Richardum
moderamen eandem domum de Grafton iam possidens et
inhabitans et ponit vt supra

Item quod predictus Johannes Brereton qui nihill iuris in dicto scamno
siue sedili habuit aut habere debet iniuste contra iuris
exigentiam in malum exemplum aliorum parochia-
norum prenominatum Richardum Massie generosum a predicto scamno
expellere vell saltem in eodem scamno et sedili cum
eodem Richardo sedere contra voluntatem dicti Richardi
dicendo he would sitt there in spyte of his head eandem
sedem vell saltem aliquam eiusdem partem iniuste sibi vendicando
in gravem iniuriam et disturbationem atque gravamen
dicti Richardi non modicum
et ponit vt supra

Libel (image 2)

Original Document

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Translation

[1582/11 image 2]

Also, that the said John Brereton was and is of the parish of Tilston of Chester diocese and for that reason notoriously subordinate and subject to your jurisdiction; and he propounds as before.

Also, that it was and is on the part and behalf of the said Richard Massey rightly and lawfully complained to you, lord judge aforesaid, and to your Chester consistory court; and he propounds as before.

Also, that all and singular the premises were and are true, public, notorious, manifest and equally well-known, and regarding and concerning the same public voice and fame were and are circulating.

Whereupon, due proof being made as is required by law in this regard, the party of the said Richard Massey prays that right and a complement of justice may be done and administered to him in all and singular the premises, and that the said pew or seat, held by his precursors and predecessors in peaceful possession as thus set out above, is adjudged, decreed and declared as his and his family’s and that he, John Brereton, will be punished on account of his wrongful and presumptuous nuisance and disturbance and also that the party of the said John Brereton will be condemned in the lawful costs incurred on the part of the said Richard Massey in this behalf, and he protests those to be incurred, and, having been condemned that he will be obliged and compelled to the real payment of the same by you passing your definitive sentence in that behalf, lord judge aforesaid; not obliging himself to prove all and singular the premises, nor to the burden of superfluous proof, concerning which he protests, but so far as he will have proved in the premises, thus far may he obtain in the petitions,

Transcript

[1582/11 image 2]

Item Quod dictus Johannes Brerton fuit et est parochie de
Tilston Cestrensis diocesis et eo pretextu vestre Jurisdiccionis notorie
subditus et subiectus Et ponit vt supra

Item Quod fuit et est ex parte et per partem dicti Richardi Massey
ad vos dominum Judicem antedictum et ad curiam vestram consistorialem Cestrensem
Rite et legitime querelatum Et ponit vt supra

Item Quod  premissa omnia et singula fuerunt et sunt vera
publica notoria manifesta pariter ac famosa atque de et super
huiusmodi laborarunt et laborant publica vox et fama

 Vnde facta fide de iure in hac parte requisita petit pars
dicti Richardi Massy ius et Justiciam complementum sibi
[in premissis] omnibus et singulis fieri et ministrari dictumque Scamnum
siue Sedile sic vt premittitur a suis precessoribus
siue predecessoribus habitum in pacifica possessione sibi
et suis adiudicari decerni et declarari Ipsumque Johannem
Brerton propter suam Iniustam et temerariam vexacionem
et perburbationem puniendum fore necnon in expensis legitimis
per partem dicti Richardi Massy in hac parte factis et protestatur
defiendis parte dicti Johannis Brerton condempnari condempnatumque
ad realem solucionem earundem cogi et compelli per vos et vestram
Sententiam diffinitivam in hac parte ferendum domine Judex antedicte non
arctans se ad omnia et singula premissa probanda nec ad
onus superflue probacionis de quo protestatur sed Quatenus
probauerit in premissis eatenus obtineat in petitis Juris

Libel (image 3)

Original Document

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Translation

[1582/11 image 3]

always reserving the benefit of law in all things; and he asserts the right of amending this libel; humbly imploring your office in the premises, distinguished judge aforesaid.

 

Transcript

[1582/11 image 3]

beneficio Ac protestatur de Addendo hunc libello In omnibus semper
saluo vestrum officium in premissis Judex egregie antedicte
humiliter Implorando

Libel (image 4)

Original Document

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Translation

[1582/11 image 4] 

[Endorsement] 

Libel on behalf of Richard Massey, gentleman, against John Brereton in a cause of seating. Exhibited 1582. 

[in pencil in a different hand]

Tilston

[Produced with the permission of the Chester Diocesan Board of Finance.]

Translation copyright ©2022 P J Cox All Rights Reserved

Transcript

[1582/11 image 4] 

[Endorsement] 

Libellus ex parte Richardi
Massie generosi contra
Johannem Brereton
in Causa Scedilis
Exhibitus 1582

[in pencil in a different hand]

Tilston

[Produced with the permission of the Chester Diocesan Board of Finance.]

Transcript copyright ©2022 P J Cox All Rights Reserved

People

Richard Massey – plaintiff

John Brereton – defendant

 

 

Officials

Robert Leche

Subjects

Church seating

 

 

 

 

 

Places

Grafton

Tilston

Notes

Sentence was passed in favour of the plaintiff. Although the sentence has not survived, the defendant appealed to York where his libel and Richard Massey’s response survive at reference CP.G.3064 and may be viewed online https://www.dhi.ac.uk/causepapers/causepaper.jsp?id=128125

The basis of John Brereton’s claim was that lands which he occupied under a three-life lease from John Heath of Overton, and which were situated in Grafton, gave him the right to sit in the contested pew, which Richard Massey continued to dispute.

There were two pews in dispute, both on the north side of the church, one being four back from the pulpit and the other behind it.