Manuscripts and Special Collections

Ma B 184/710 : Document relating to the quarrel between Laxton and Moorhouse, 2 November 1680


Understanding that you are concerned in my Lady Pyerreponts affaires, & I being one of her Tenn[an]ts make bold to p[re]sent y[o]u w[i]th these Lines to accquaint y[o]u w[i]th some passages concerneing our late differences betwixt Laxton and Moorehouse about our Com[m]ons, Friday being the 15th of October last, being our Court day; Mr Hynd who was our opposer came to the Court, and seemed very tractable to an Agreem[en]t. And noe doubt (if our Case had beene well and faithfully man[n]aged wee had made a good end. But Mr Scrimshire, Mr Hyind and Francis Greene the Bayliffe, drawing for together (as is said) where they consulted almost an hower, and retourneing backe, drew up an Agreement consulting very few about it, and such as are little accquainted with our Customes, signed it, & got forraners hands to Wittness it, And afterwards sent for the Jury to set their hands to it, w[hi]ch they (as it is conceaved) out of feare of Mr. Hynd, and for contradicting others in what was done, did set their hands, not knowing what they did, being not accquainted w[i]th the particulars of the Agreem[en]t, there being noe Freehold[e]rs of the Jury but one th[a]t holds some Land for his wifes life, & another of about 5 or 10 s[hillings] p[er] Annu[m], & a very simple fellow. Soe contrary to the Evidence th[a]t wee were at a greate deale of trouble and Charge to find out to prove our right and Title (w[hi]ch were sent up to y[o]u) as also yo[u]r direcc[i]ons y[o]u sent downe last to Francis Greene, That insteade of the remedy wee sought for to my Lady, w[hi]ch by her Assistance, w[i]th the strength of our Evidence might Legally have beene obtained, there is a greater greiveance layde upon us then the first, not onely to the Tenn[an]ts and those small freehold[e]rs amonguest Us, but cheifely to our Lady who hath right of Com[m]on to above 3 p[ar]ts of 4 against all the rest of the Lords and Freehold[e]rs, If she Accquiesse to this Agreem[en]t. And it will not onely bee a meanes to breake our Stint, wh[ic]h of soe long a time wee have beene guided by, but leave us w[i]thout future remedy when our Evidence are Dead by w[hi]ch meanes every man being at Lib[er]tie to doe what he will. And o[u]r Com[m]ons (being in the Middle of the Corne Fields) our cropps must needes bee wasted & destroyed. The danger of it is evident, for whereas Mr Hynd of late encroached upon our Co[m]mon under p[re]tence of right (w[hi]ch hee can never p[ro]ve) they have now by this Agreem[en]t not onely graunted him right of Com[m]on in our best Feild w[i]thout limitac[i]on (w[hi]ch is a breach of our Stint), but also Com[m]on of Raike to all Moorehouse in all our Fields, after our Harvest is got, w[hi]ch was never Claymed, or desired before. Soe th[a]t Laxton being guided by a Stint and his Lib[er]tie boundlesse hee will deale w[i]th us as hee pleaseth. But it is manifest if our Stint bee good, th[a]t hee hath noe right [illegible sentence written above]. How else can Jepson & Peeter Dickonson of Moorehouse have right of Com[m]on which onely bought theires of those th[a]t were stinted, the purchase of one of them being above 60 yeares since. S[i]r, und[e]r favour I can[n]ot Attribute this Miscarriage to any soe much as Francis Greene, who knowing all the passages & receaveing yo[u]r instrucc[i]ons must needes eyther connive or secretly Comply in the business. & my Reason is this, the next morneing after the Court, my selfe & another Tenn[an]t of my Ladye, being also a Freehold[er], went to Greenes house to waite upon Mr Scrimshire, and talking of the Agreement I told Greene th[a]t hee was the most to blame of any about it. And hee replied that hee had rather lose all his Com[m]on, then this Agreement should not have beene. I was ready to give him this Answer, but then forboare, That was it not for the large priviledges hee had under my Lady for keeping his goods (whereby wee conceave shee receaves much damage and many of her Ladishipps Tenn[an]ts lose), hee would have beene as forward to maintaine his right of Com[m]on as any of the rest of her Lad[ishipp]s Tenn[an]ts. S[i]r what I have Asserted by a Wylie and secrete enquirie into the whole matter y[o]u will find to bee true. And though I bee singull[ar] in my Informac[i]on, yet I have many Abettors, And not onely the Jury (except Moorhouse men) but 19teen p[ar]ts of 20tie of the whole Towne are much greived now the[y] understand the contents of the Agreem[en]t. S[i]r I shall give y[o]u noe further trouble (hopeing y[o]u will onely make use of my Lines & not lay my name open to the Malice of those th[a]t will studdy revenge ag[ains]t mee. I remaine S[i]r

Yo[u]r most humble Servant
J. Roos

Laxton this 2d
Novemb[e]r 80