William Brockett’s executors v Edward Brockett of Bradfield
William Brockett of Hitchin’s executors, Robert Nycoll Citizen and Merchant Tailor of London and John Gaddesdon of Hitchin, first brought this case to Chancery around 1559 demanding Edward Brockett, eldest son of Edward Brockett of Letchworth Esq, settle a debt of £130 he owed William.1 It concluded with a final decree issued in 30 Jan 15652 ordering Edward to pay the complainants £90 in instalments. It was probably never paid. Within a few years Edward was an outlaw, having been pursued by two other Nicolls.
This is the C78 Decree Roll open at the judgment:3
Contents of this page:
2. The full text of TNA C3/132/103
3. A summary of the main points
4. Some questions
5. The full text of TNA C78/25/17
6. Subsequent developments
7. Robert Nicolls
- William Brockett was a wealthy yeoman and a leading member of mid 16th C Hitchin.
- He appointed Robert Nycolles—Merchant Tailor of London—and John Gaddesden—a fellow Hitchin Yeoman—his executors:
- Edward Brockett snr [of Letchworth] had been an MP and Sheriff of Herts and Essex. Coros called William Edward’s relative.
- Edward owned the manor of Bradfield as well as land in Hitchin and elsewhere. He had purchased land in Hitchin and Offley 20 Oct 1555 for £80 and £40, total £120 (HALS 58341), then in the tenure and occupation of ‘Thomas Paris of Hechyn gent‘ (l 8). Thomas was the overseer of Wiliam’s Will.
- Edward Brockett jnr was Edward of Letchworth’s eldest son.
- Both Edwards were Attoneys at court – they had been educated at Lincolns Inn.
- Sir Nicholas Bacon, Keeper of the Great Seal of England—the Judge in this case and a Lincolns Inn graduate himself—would have known the 2 Edwards. Sir John Brocket II was later knighted at his home in Gormanbury, Herts, 1577.
- Nevertheless, the judgment went against Edward jnr.
TNA C3/132/103 comprises 4 parchment sheets containing the:
- Complaint of Robert Nycolles & John Gaddesden against Edward Brockett jnr
- Answer of Edward Brocket jnr to the complaint of Nycolls & Gaddesden
- Reply of Nycolles & Gaddesden to the answer of Edward Brockett jnr
- Rejoinder of Edward Brocket jnr to the reply of Nycolls & Gaddesden.
Thereafter the hearings are recorded on paper in TNA C33, concluding with the judgment in TNA C33/31/81.4
The bill of complaint is the uppermost of the four parchments and has been subject to light and rough handling, and so has faded and been damaged down the right hand edge and bottom, where the ink has mostly gone. The document was studied for five hours by means of ultra-violet light, which brought out much that was illegible to the naked eye in these areas, but where the ink had completely gone nothing could be deciphered. These unreadable parts are represented by […] in the transcript below, some being several words and others only parts of words. Where words can be safely guessed from the context they are added inside the square brackets. Much of the Complaint was reproduced in the enrolled judgment so fill-ins can be cross checked, see below. The other three parchments have only suffered creasing and are fully legible. Here is a full transcript: Read more
1.5 To the right honorable Sir Nicholas Bacon knyghte Lorde keper
2. of the great seale of England
3. In most humble wysse complayneth [an]d sheweth unto the hearyng your Daylye oratoures Robert Nycoll Cytyzen & merchante taylor of the Citie of London and John
4. Gaddesden of Hycchen in the coun[tie of] Hertford yoman Executoures to the last will & testament of one William Broket of Hycchen aforesayd yoman that where one Edwarde
5. Broket of Bradfeld in the cou[ntie of] Hertford aforeseyd esquire was indetted by parole unto the seyd William Broket [to the] some of sixe score p[oundes of] lawfull money
6. of England for & upon consideracon of the sale & assuerance of dyueres [land]es & heredytaments lying and being in [ i]n the countie of Kent in whyche […]
7. William Broket being sicke & lying [in] extremes and Dyinge of [suc]he in his mansyon houses in Hytchen af[or]esayd the [seyd Edwarde Broket ]
8. repayred & came & then and their openly in the Audience of duyeres honest credable wittnesses dyd knowledg & confess the seyd [dette of sixe score poundes]
9. wherupon the seyd William Broket dyd [by] parole & worde of mouthe grannte unto the seyd Edward Broket that in [… the seyd Edwarde]
10. Broket shoold repaye to the executoures of the seyd Willyam Broket gentely & f[ren]dly wythe [o]ut sute in lawe […]
11. [po]undes & [uppon] consyder[acion] that the seyd Edward Broket shold be frendly unto the wyffe children & executoures of the seyd Willyam [Broket … the]
12. seyd Edward Broket shold paye […] sixe score poundes of the seyd seuen score & shold be discharged of twentie poundes residewe of […]
13. whyche seyd graunte the seyd Edward Broket thankfully taking & [agreing] to perfourme the consideracion aforeseyd [the seyd Willyam Broket]
14. made his last will & testament in wryting bearing Date the Seuenthe daye of Apryell in the second & thyrd yere of the raignes [of our soueraigne Lord and Lady Philipp and Mary]
15. and in the yere of our Lord god M vc lvj & [in] the same will & testament ordayned & made the seyd Robert Nycoll & John [Gaddesden]
16. executoures [as] by the same will amongst other thinges more fully & playnely dothe & might appere After whyche that is to [say] Thirtie
17. Dayes next after the foreseyd graunte [was] made as is aforeseyd the seyd Willyam Broket at Hytchen aforeseyd dyed after whyche
18. within the space of three monythes then next ensuing your seyd oratoures taking upon them the execution of the seyd testament […]
19. Pulchers in the Cytye of London at or about the fest of the Apostles Simon & Jude[in] the yere [of oure] Lord God [one thousand fyve]
20. hundred fyftye nyne requyred the seyd Edwarde Broket to paye unto them the seyd sixe score poundes [wythe out delaye but the seyd Edwarde Broket]
21. aunswered that he colde not then presently paye the [same but] promised them to make them an obligacion & […]
22. seyd Robert Nycoll all th[…] for the taking payment therof in interest to be payed by fyve poundes a [yere … at eche]
23. [qua]rter thereof to beginne at the fest of the byr[th] of our Lord God then next ensuyng After which & before […]oblig[acion …]
24. […]the seyd Edward Broket at Bradfeld as aforeseyd dyed after whose [de]the [one] Edwarde Broket [sonne and heire]
25. to [the] seyd Edward Broket taking upon him the execution of the testament of his seyd father & being made priuie to the seyd [sale …]
26. taken out betwene his seyd father & the seyd Willyam Broket and suche seyd agreement betwene his seyd [father …]
27. […] and dyd agree to enter into bonde to paye the seyd sixe score poundes accordynglie as his seyd father had [done] & then […]
28. and afterwardes paye unto the seyd executores […] of paym[ent] of the seyd sixe score poundes twentie poundes […]
29. […] seyd Robert Nicoll tenne poundes & […]
30. […] poundes in maner & fourme […]
31. […] & requyred the seyd Edward Broket the […] taken upon them the residue of the […]
32. […] obligacion […] agreement […]
33-40. [Only isolated words are legible in these remaining lines, providing no further coherent meaning.]
1-2. The Answere of Edward Brocket Defendant to the byll of Compleynt of Robert Nicoll & John Gadsden Compleynantes
3. The seyde Deffendante by protestacon not confessinge any thinge conteyned in the said bill to be trewe Sayethe that the sayd Bill is uncerteyne and insufficient in the Law to be answered
4. vnto for Dyverse apparannt matters therein conteyned And that the matters conteyned in the said Bill if they were true as in dede they are not be feyned and Imagined to put
5. this Defendaunt to wrongefull costes and chardges in the lawe and are notwithstandinge meerely Determynable at the Comen lawes of this Realme eyther by Accion uppon the case
6. Agaynste this Defendaunte uppon the premisse of this Defendaunt surmysed in the sayd byll or ells against suche parson or parsons as the sayd Edward Brocket father
7. of this Defendaunt made his Executours of his last wyll and Testament or ells have sythens by other meane or aucthorytie taken uppon theym the Admynistration
8. of the goodes rightes Chattells and credites of the said Edward by like Accion uppon the first contracte or ells uppon the promysse made to the said William Brocket by the saide
9. Edward Brocket father of the defendannt to whiche Remeadye this Defendaunt prayethe that the said Compleynanntes maye be put by the order of this honorable Court and
10. he dismyssed with his reasonable costes by the unreasonable and wrongefull vexacion of theise compleynanntes susteyned in this behalf. And y[f] by the order of this
11. honourable Courte this Defendaunt be compelled to make further Answere in this Courte to the surmised matter of the said Bill, than the advantage of the suff[iciencye]
12. and other matters aforesaid to this Defendaunt allwayes saved the said Defendaunt for answere to the said bill sayeth that true yt is that the said Edward Brocket father
13. of this Defendaunt in his lif time had certein comunication withe the said w[illiam Broc]ket named in the said bill for and concernynge certeine Lands lyinge and beinge
14. in the said Countie of kent and after bargayned with the said William Brocket for the same at and for suche price as this Defendaunt knowethe not but by Reporte And after
15. the sayd Edward the father after he had payede tenne poundes upon the said Bargayne made his last will and testament and of the same did constitute and appoynte
16. William Brocket and John Brocket younger sonnes of the said Edward and bretherne of this Defendaunt his Executours and after Died after whose Deathe a certeyne Agreamente
17. was upon good consideracions / hadde and made betwene this Defendaunt and his sayd Brethren beinge Executours of the said last will that is to saye that this Defendaunt within the
18. tyme and space of certeyne yeres yet not expired shulde paye for the dischardge of his sayd fathers Executours certyne Sommes of money to Dyvers parsonnes to
19. whome his sayd father was in his lif tyme indebted By force whereof the said Defendaunt payed to the sayd Compleynanntes the sayd twentie poundes mencioned in the said
20. Bill of compleynte not thinkinge that the said Compleynanntes by that payement could have this subtillie Imagined to chardge / this Defendaunt so farre beyonde all good
21. meaninge. / Wytheout that that the said Defendaunte takinge uppon him the Execution of the Laste will and testament of his said father Did agree to enter into bonnde
22. to paye the said sixe score powndes quarterlye, or did uppon any suche Agrement paye t[he] saide twentie poundes in maner and fourme as in the said Bill is alledged
23. and most untruelie Surmysed, or that he was ever privie of any suche agrement hadd or made / by his said father as like wise by the saide Compleynanntes in the
24. sayd Bill is untruelie sette fourthe./ And withoute that that any other matter or thing of materyall conteyned in the sayde byll of compleynte and wherevnto this
25. Defendaunt ought make answere, and is not before in this Answere sufficientlye answered confessed and Avoyded Denied or traversed is trewe All whiche ma[… the]
26. Defendaunt is readye to averre and proove as this honorable Courte shall awarde / And prayethe to be dismyssed withe his reasonable costes and chardges
27. Susteyned by the wrongefull vexacion aforesaid /. I Wilbraham
1. The Replicacion of Robert Nycolles & John Gaddesden executoures of the
2. Testament of william Brokket yoman complaynanntes to the aunswere
3. of Edward Brokkett esquier Defendaunt
4. The seyd complaynanntes replie & sayen that their seyd byll of complaynt is certayne true and
5. suffyent in the lawe to be aunswered unto & that the matteres therin conteyned are not fayned, or
6. imagined to eny sooche intent as in the seyd aunswere is supposed & that the matters therof be
7. Determynable in this honorable Court and further seye in all thinges as in their byll of complaynte
8. they haue sayed & also do avere & mayneteyne that the seyd Edwarde Brokket Father of the seyd
9. Defendaunt dyd bargayne with the seyd william Brokket yoman in maner & fourme as in the
10. seyd byll of complaynte is truly declared & that the same Defendaunt was made pryvie to the same
11. bargayne & therupon payed to the same complaynanntes the seyd twentie poundes mencyoned in the
12. seyd byll of complaynte in maner & fourme as in the seyd byll of complaynte is most truelye
13. alledged And that the seyd Defendaunte dyd agree & promyse to & with the seyd complaynanntes to entree into
14. Band to the seyd complaynanntes to paye the seyd syxe score poundes of lawfull money of England
15. mencyoned in the seyd byll and aunswere in maner & fourme as in the seyd byll of complaynt
16. is also most truely alledged And further the seyd complaynanntes do averre & maynteyne all & euery
17. other matter and matteres in their seyd byll of complaynte especyfyed to be true in maner & fourme as in
18. their seyd byll of complaynte is alledged And further seyen that upon the agrement which is partely touched in
19. the seyd aunswere made bytwene the seyd Defendaunt and his seyd brotheres named in the seyd aunswere
20. yt was agreed that the seyd Defendaunt shoold paye all his Fatheres dettes & thervnto was bounde by
21. good band to his seyd brotheres without that ‘that’ the seyd Edward Brokkett the father dyd paye tenne
22. poundes in maner & fourme as in the seyd Annswere is untruely surmised ‘And’ without that that eny other matter
23. or thinge conteyned in the seyd aunswere materyal to be replyed unto & not in this replicacion confessed
24. avoyded or travysed is true all which matteres the seyd complaynanntes ben redy to averre & proue as this honorable
25. Courte shall awarde And for as mooche as the seyd defendannte in his aunswere confessyth according
26. to the truthe therof that the tyme lymitted by the seyd agrement for the payment of the dettes of the seid
27. Edwarde his father is to endure for certeyn yeres yet not expyred & that by force of the same agrement
28. the seyd Defendaunt dyd paye the seyd twentye poundes to the seyd complaynanntes & dothe knowledg
29. & confesse the seyd bargayne of the landes and hereditaments mencyoned in the seyd byll of complaynte made
30. bytwene the seyd Edward Brokkett esquyer his father and the seyd william Brokket yoman & doth not
31. shewe enythinge to pae eny more of the seyd summe of money bargayned for to be payed than the
32. seyd twentye poundes declared by the seyd complaynanntes in their seyd byll of complainte Your seyd oratoures
33. prayen in all thinges as in their seyd byll of complaynte they haue prayed Will . Blackwelle
1. The Reioyndre of Edward Brocket esquire Defendaunt to the
2. Replicacion of Robert Nycolls & John Gaddesden executours
3. of the testament of William Brocket yoman compleynanntes
4. The sayed Defendaunt saieth in all and euery thinge and thinges as he before in his said answare hath saied And Dothe Averre all and euery thinge and thinges
5. therein conteyned to be good and true in maner & forme as they and euerie of theme be therein by him alleadged / Wythe out that that
6. the said Edward the father Did bargaine with the said William Brocket yoman for the same Landes for suche price, as in the sayd
7. Replicacion is by the seyd compleynanntes averred / or that this Defendaunt was privye thereunto / or thereupon paied the said twentie poundes
8. or Did agree or promisse to enter into bonnd to paye the said one hundreth and twentye poundes in maner and forme as in the said replicacion
9. ys untruelie set foorth Withowt that that any suche Agreament was hadde betwene the said Defendaunt and his brethren mencioned
10. in the said Replicacion for the payement of all the Dettes of this Defendauntes father as the Compleynanntes in their Replicacion haue
11. untruelie alleadged Or that the same yf it were true is or ought to be beneficiall to theise compleynanntes or ought to chardge this
12. Defendaunt in any other sort than at the suet of his said brethren to whom the bonndes and promisse aforesaid be in the said Replicacion
13. Surmised to be made : Without that that any other matter or thinge materiall mencioned in the said replicacion and not before in
14. this Reioyndre sufficientlie reioyned unto is true : All whiche matters this Defendaunt is redy to aver and prove as this honorable Courte
15. shall awarde and prayethe as he before in his said Awenswere hathe prayed Willbraham
This image of the beginning of lines 19-21 taken under ultra-violet light shows the words “hundred fyftye nyne” on line 20:6
20. hundred fyftye nyne requyred t…
21. aunswered that he colde not then
Coros saw this C3/132/103 document in the late 1970s when it may well have been less damaged or faded. Coros’ statement: “The executors of a relative, William Brocket, were to sue Edward Brocket the younger in Chancery for an alleged debt…” may have been based on words in the Complaint which are now illegible. But even if not, Coros was in no doubt that the two men were related, presumably as an obvious interpretation of the circumstances.
William lends Edward snr £140 on a verbal promise. At William’s deathbed Edward snr admits to this debt before witnesses and William reduces the debt by £20. Later after Edward snr dies, Edward jnr pays £20 to William’s executors, apparently under an agreement entered into between him and Edward snr’s executors—his younger brothers. The issue raised before the Court is that by the agreement between Edward jnr and his brothers as executors of Edward snr’s estate, Edward jnr undertook to settle all the debts of Edward snr. They now hold him to his promise.
Edward jnr’s Answer
Edward jnr’s Answer is essentially a bare denial. He admits to knowing that Edward snr:
- concluded a land deal with William
- paid William £10 at the time of the deal
- appointed William and John (his younger sons) to be his executors.
However he denies any knowledge of the monetary value involved in this land deal with William and claims the complainants’ case is fabricated. Edward jnr alludes to an agreement made soon after Edward snr’s death between himself and his brothers William and John whereby he undertakes to pay ‘certain sums’ to settle Edward snr’s debt and thereby release William and John from their duty as Edward snr’s executors. Under this agreement he will settle the debt within a number of years. It is a fact that he pays the complainants £20 (why he did so is at issue). Edward jnr admits that because of this agreement with his brothers, he paid £20 to the complainants but he denies that in so paying he had undertaken to settle Edward snr’s entire debt with William. He also denies that he was privy to the agreement made by Edward snr.
The Crux of the Matter
The question is: Why did Edward jnr pay the complainants the £20? Was it because:
- he was settling the debt his father owed to William of Hitchin’s estate?
- he was paying towards the settlement of his father’s debt?
The Complainants say it was the former, Edward jnr says the latter. As he neither explains the scope of his agreement with his brothers nor does he have his brothers corroborate his story, the assumption must be that Edward is not being entirely truthful in his Answer.
In his Rejoinder, Edward jnr merely repeats and stands by his earlier Answer. There is no infusion of any supporting evidence. He again denies that the agreement between him and his brothers is for the settlement of all his father’s debts as alleged by the complainants.
He now raises the legal issue of the complainants’ right in law, not being the executors of Edward snr’s estate, to bring this action (Bill of Complaint) against him. He questions whether the complaints have sufficient privity of contract to give them locus (standing) in the Court on this matter?
Privity of Contract
1. Are the complainants party to the agreement between Edward jnr and Edward snr’s executors?
2. If the allegation is true that Edward jnr is to settle all of Edward snr’s debts, who is the party that benefits? Brothers William & John? Or the complainants?
3. The agreement being denied, are the complainants the correct party to bring suit against Edward jnr or is the correct party to do so his younger brothers—the appointed executors—since Edward jnr entered into the agreement with them?
4. It is not they who will suffer a loss of benefit if he went back on his promise to settle all debts. [If the agreement he made was made with his brothers then the complainants have no privity to enforce the agreement.]
5. Perhaps it is Edward jnr’s tendency to deny rather than to clarify issues which caused the court to suspect his motives and truthfulness.
The Judgment orders Edward jnr and one surety to be bound to the complainants for 200 marks (£133+). It also orders Edward jnr to pay the Complainants £90 in instalments. If he fails to do so his surety will satisfy the debt.
On Jan 30 1565/6 Edward was ordered to pay £90  in the following instalments: 1. Easter.  £20 2. 29 Sept.  £30 3. 25 March.  £20 4. 29 Sept. 1566  £20, i.e. the residue. Total £90.
The Judgment further orders the Complainants to be similarly bound to Edward jnr for 200 marks. They are to indemnify him and keep him indemnified against all other persons who might lawfully claim any part of the £90 from him. They are to release the £90 to such persons as are entitled to it under William snr’s Will and if they fail to do so, their surety will settle 200 marks on Edward jnr.
It appears that the Court recognised a sum owing of £90 only. By ordering Edward jnr to pay the Complainants the Court is recognising that when he paid £20 to the Complainants, he undertook to settle all sums owing by Edward snr. To make certain that he does pay this sum they order that he or a surety pays £133+ (200 marks) if he reneges on this payment.
But the Court also wanted to ensure that Edward jnr was not burdened by additional claims, so it ordered that with the receipt of the £90 the Complainants now must ‘protect’ (indemnify) Edward against any subsequent claims on the same debt of £90.
So if a 3rd party now claimed an entitlement to the £90 or any part of it, the 3rd party would have to recover it from the Complainants and William’s estate. If they refused to protect Edward jnr they would have to pay to him 200 marks and if they failed to do this their surety would have to do so.
- Why did Edward snr appoint his next 2 younger sons to be executors of his Will? Edward jnr was his eldest son and as an Attorney might have been the more likely candidate.
- Did Edward jnr expect that by taking over the execution of his father’s estate he might not have to take over the debt of the estate?
- What were the terms of the agreement he made with brothers William and John? Why would they agree to his taking over?
- Why did Edward jnr not reveal any of its terms in his Answer? Would it not have helped his case?
- Why didn’t his brothers testify in Edward’s defence? If he was settling his father’s debt, so releasing his younger brothers from their duties and benefits as executors, what was the consideration for this agreement between them?
- Was Edward jnr in debt before this case?
2. Robert Nicholles Cytyzen and Marchaunt taylour of the Cytye of london and John Gaddesden of hitchyn
3. in the Countie of hertford yoman executors of the last Will and testament of one william Brockett of hitchin
4. aforesaid yoman Complaynauntes and Edwarde Brockett esquyer defendaunte the said Complaynauntes declaringe
5. by theire bill of Complaynte exhibited in to this Courte That where one Edward Brockett esquyer father of
6. the defendaunte was indebted by paroll vnto the said william Brockett in the somme of seven score poundes
7. of lawfull money of Englande for and vppon consideracion of the sale and assuraunce of dyuerse landes
8. and heredytamentes lyinge and beinge in [blank] in the Countie of Kent to whiche said william Brockett
9. beinge sicke and lyinge in extremes and daunger of death in his mansion house at hitchin aforesaid
10. the said Edward Brockett esquyer repayred and came then and there openly in the audyence of dyuerse
11. honest credible witnesses did knowledge and confesse the said dette in manner and forme aforesaid Wheruppon
12. the said william Brockett did by paroll and word of mouth graunte vnto the saide Edwarde Brockett that
13. in consideracion that the said Edward Brockett shuld repaye to thexecutors of the said william Brockett
14. gently and frendlye without sute in the lawe sixe score poundes parcell of the said seven score poundes ‘and’
15. vppon consideracion that the said Edward Brockett shuld be frendly vnto the wyfe children and executors
16. of the said william Brockett that he the said Edward Brockett shuld paye but sixe score poundes of the said
17. sevenscore poundes and shuld be discharged of twentie poundes residewe of the ‘said’ sevenscore ‘poundes’ which said graunt
18. the said Edward Brockett thankfullye receyved and promysed to performe the consideracions aforesaid after whiche
19. tyme the said Willyam Brockett made his last will and testament in writinge beringe date the seventh daye
20. of Aprill in the seconde and thrid yeres of the raign of kinge Phillippe and quene marye and in the yere
21. of our lord god a thousand fyve hundreth fyftye and syxe and by the same will and testament ordeyned and
22. made the said Complaynauntes his executors as by the same will amongest other thinges more fully and playnly
23. doth and maye appere After which that is to saye within fourtene dayes next after the foresaid graunte
24. made as is aforesaid the said Willliam Brockett at hitchin aforesaid died after whose death that is to saye
25. within the space of three monethes then next ensuynge the said Complaynauntes takynge vppon them the
26. execucion of the said testament in the parysshe of saincte Pulchers in the Cytye of london att or aboute the
27. feaste of the Apostles Simon and Jude which was in the yere of our lord god a thousand fyve hundreth
28. fyeftye and sixe requyred the said Edward Brockett to paye vnto them the said sixe score poundes
29. wherevppon the said Edward Brockett aunswered that he cold not then presentlye paye them but faythfully
30. promysed them to make them an oblygacion with a resonable penaltie and to deliuer the same to the said
31. Robert Nicholles at his next comynge to London for the trewe payment therof quarterly to be payde by
32. fyve poundes a quarter the fyrst quarter therof to begyn at the feaste of the byrthe of our lorde god then
33. next ensuynge after whiche and before any oblygacion by hym made the said Edward Brockett the father
34. died after whose death Edward Brockett esquyer the Defendaunt sonne of the foresaid Edward Brockett
35. taking vppon hym thexecucion of the testament of his said father and beinge made privye to the said
36. agrement betwene his said Father and the said Complaynauntes did agre to enter into bande to paye
37. the said sixe score poundes quarterly as his said father had before agreed and therappon did paye
38. vnto the said executors in parte of payment of the said sixe score poundes twentie poundes that
39. is to saye to the said Robert Nicolles tenne poundes and the said John Gaddesden other tenne poundes
40. faythfully promysinge to paye the residewe of the said sixe score poundes in manner and forme as is afore
41. said as by the same bill of Complaynte remaynynge of recorde in this honorable Courte of Chancery
42. more playnly doth and maye appere . Vnto which bill the said Defendante appered and made his aunswere
43. declaringe by the same that trewe it was that the said Edward Brockett father of the said Defendante
44. [mistake scored out] in his lyfe tyme had certayne communycacions with the said william Brockett named in the said bill
45. for and concerninge certayn lands lyinge and beinge in the said Countie of kent and after bargeyned with the
46. said william Brockett for the same at & for suche pryce as this Defendaunte knoweth not but by reporte
47. and after the said Edward the father after he had payd tenne poundes vppon the said bargayne made
48. his last will and testament and of the same did constitute and appoynte william Brockett and John
49. Brockett younger sonnes of the said Edward and brethren of this Defendaunte his executors and
50. after died after whose death a certayn agrement was vppon good consideracions had and made betwene
51. this Defendaunte and his brethren beinge executors of the said last will that is to saye that this
52. Defendaunte within the tyme and space of certeyn yeres yett not expyred shold paye for the discharge
53. of his said fathers executors certayn sommes of money to dyverse persons to whom his said father was
54. in his lyfe tyme Indetted By force wherof the said Defendaunte paid to the said Complaynauntes the
55. said twentie poundes mencioned in the said bill of Complaynte not thinkynge that the said
56. Complaynauntes by that payment colde haue subtelly charged this Defendaunte so farre beyond all
57. good meaninge as by the same aunswere lykewyse remaynynge of recorde in this said honorable
58. Courte more playnly shall and maye appere. Vnto which aunswere the said Complaynauntes replied
59. and vppon the reioynder of the said Defendaunte the said parties discended and came to full and perfecte yssue
60. and a Comyssion was awarded oute of this Courte for the examynacion of witnesses on the bahalfe of
61. the said Complaynauntes and wytnesses beinge thervppon examyned and publysshed daye was given for
62. the heringe of the same matter at whiche daye the said matter beinge hard and fully and delyberately
63. vnderstande in open Courte the said partes and ‘theyre’ Councellors and attorneys beynge therat present forasmoche
64. as it playnly appereth by dyuerse and soundrye witnesses examiyned on the behalfe of the Complaynauntes
65. that the said Edward Brockett the father of the Defendaunte was in his lyfe tyme indebted to the
66. said william Brockett named in the said bill in the somme of seven score poundes for certayn lands in
67. kent solde by the said william Brockett vnto the said Edward Brockett and that the same Edward Brockett
68. came to the same william Brockett the same william Brockett lyinge on his death bedde
69. and confessed the same vnto hym and to dyuerse others beinge then present . And that the said
70. william Brockett in consideracion and for that the said Edward Brockett shuld be frendlye vnto
71. the wife children and executors of the said william Brockett and paye vnto them the somme of sixe
72. score poundes parcell of the said somme of sevenscore poundes dewe for the said landes as aforesaid
73. he the said william Brockett did forgyve and release vnto the said Edward Brockett the father the somme
74. of twentie poundes, And for that also that the said Edward Brockett the father in his lyfe tyme and
75. after the death of the said william Brockett had paid tenne poundes parcell of the said sixe score
76. poundes to certeyn persons mencyoned in the said deposicions with thassent of the said executors and
77. also for that the said Defendaunte had payd vnto the said Complaynauntes synce the death of the said
78. Edward Brockett hys father twentie poundes parcell of the aforesaid somme of sixe score poundes as a
79. dette dewe by his Father vnto the said william Brockett deceased wherby it appereth vnto the same
80. Courte that the said Defendaunt did take vppon hym as Admynystrator to his father . It is therefore
81. this presente terme of sayncte hillarye that is to saye the thrittye daye of Ianuarye in the seventh yere
82. of the raign of our soueraign lady Elizabeth by the grace of god of England Fraunce and Ireland quene
83. defendor of the fayth &c By the right honorable syr Richard Bacon knyght lord keper of the greate Seale
84. of England and this Court of Chauncerye ordered adiudged and decreed that the said Defendaunte
85. and one suffycyent suertie with hym shall Immedyatly vppon the signinge of this decree become bounde to
86. the said Complaynauntes theyre executors and assignes by Recognyzaunce to be taken in this Courte in the
87. somme of two hundreth markes that he the said Defendaunte his heyres or admynystrators shall well and truly
88. content and paye or cause to be contented and paid vnto the said Complaynauntes or to the executors or
89. Admynystrators of the survyvor of them at South porche of the parishe churche of hitchin in the
90. Countie of hartford the somme of four score and tenne poundes of lawfull money of Englande in manner and
91. forme followynge that is to witt at the feast of Easter next comynge after the date herof the some of twenty
92. poundes and in the feast of saynct michell tharchaungell then next folowynge the somme of thrittye poundes
93. and at the feast of thanuncyacion of our lady the vyrgyn then next followynge twentie poundes And in the
94. feast of saynct michell tharchaungell whiche shalbe in the yere of our lord god a thousand fyve hundrethe
95. threescore and sixe then next followynge the resydewe that is to saye the somme of twentie poundes of
96. lawfull money of Ingland in full contentacion satisfaccion of the said somme of foure score and tenne
97. poundes And it is further ordered adiudged and decreed by the said lord keper and Courte of Chauncerye
98. that the said Complaynauntes shall lyke wyse be bounde with one sufficient suertie with them vnto
99. the said Defendaunte by recognyzaunce to be taken in this Courte in the somme of two hundredth
100. markes that they the said Complaynauntes theyre executors or Admynystrators or somme ones of them
101. shall discharge or saveharmeles without lawfull damage the said Defendaunte agaynste all
102. other persons whiche may lawfully demaunde the said somme of foure score tenne poundes before recyted
103. by force of the last will and testament of the said william Brockett as also to aunswere and bestowe
104. the said somme of foure score tenne poundes vnto suche persons and vses as it ought to be bestowed by
105. the said laste will and testament of the said william Brockett the testator deceased
William’s first-named executor, Robert Nicholl / Nycolles, was a citizen and Merchant Tailor of London, and probable master of William’s son William, his apprentice. When he died has not yet been discovered, but it was possibly before Edward Brockett’s debt to William had been recovered, since two other Nicolls were pursuing Edward Brockett in court for debt.
The following two Wills were evidently not his:
Robart Nicholls of London, Haberdasher, written 12 Aug 1563, proved 20 March 1564/5.9
Robert Nicolls or Nichols of London, Gentleman, written 3 Jan 1582, proved 19 Jun 1583.10 This appears to have been revoked on 19 Jun 1583 and proved again 27 Jan 1584.11
Robert Nicholls of Hampton, Norfolk, 1588 (folio 76).
Robert Nicolls of Eaton [Eton], near Windsor, Bucks, 1592 (folio 12).
Page Last Updated: April 6, 2020