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Lawyers and Gentlemen

15 Feb 2018

Hm. I got the idea of doing some searching for Ham[m]ond[e] in the AALT indexes and found a couple sort of interesting entries:

From 1510:

Side Image County Pleas Plaintiffs Defendants
f 887 Essex common recovery Meyny, John, gent; Strangman, John, senior; Hern, John; Edmond, John; Purfotte, Thomas; Baker, Thomas Hamond, Reginald, gent

That’s presumably our man Reggie right there in the Defendants column. “Common recovery” is the term for a hilariously underhanded way to get around an entail on a property (that is, its automatic passing by operation of law to an heir pre-determined by the settlement deed). As explained on Wikipedia:

As a preliminary, there needed to be a conveyance of the land. The owner (in tail) of the land A conveyed it to someone else B (known as the tenant in precipe) to the intent that a third person C (known as the demandant) might sue for it. C accordingly issued a writ against B. In court, B defended his right saying (correctly) that he had acquired it from A. A (now called the vouchee) was called upon to vouch for his right to the land. He alleged that he had acquired it from D (a person known as the common vouchee). D asked for time and failed to appear subsequently; alternatively, he dashed out of the court. In either case, the judgment was that C should recover the land, and that D should compensate B with land of equal value. However, D was chosen because he was a ‘man of straw‘ with no property at all, so that the judgment against him was valueless, and it was never enforced. The result was thus that C recovered land in fee simple, which A had owned in only fee tail; thus, the entail was barred.

And from 1536:

Side Image County Pleas Plaintiffs Defendants
f 2643 London debt de Vere, Elizabeth, Countess of Oxford Hamond, Brisingham, of Parva Regn, Essex, gent

Plaintiff Elizabeth here would have been the former Elizabeth Trussell, wife (second wife, of course!) of John de Vere, the 15th Earl of Oxford, and mother of John de Vere, the 16th Earl of Oxford — hence the mother in law of Margery Golding. Defendant Brisingham Hamond? No clue, except he’s mentioned as being from Colchester in a property transaction from the same year. Selling, maybe to pay off the Countess? Anyway, I’m guessing he was related to Reggie. And what and where is Parva Regn? Also no clue.




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