LD1. Agreement to Assign -1812
This is the final Agreemt [Agreement] made in the Court of our Sovereign Lord the King at Westm.t [Westminster] in fifteen days of St Martin in the fifty second year of the reign of George the Third by the grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain & Ireland King defender of the faith before James Mansfield John S*eath Soulden Laurence & Alan Chamber Justices of our Lord the King & others then & there present Between John Boyce Plt [Plaintive?] and James Fisher & Alice his wife Susanna Fisher W* [Widow?] & Frances Fitzjohn Spt [Spinster?] Defen.ts [Defendents] of one messuage one Cottage fifteen Acres of land Fifteen Acres of meadow fifteen Acres of pasture fifteen Acres of marsh & Comon of pasture for all Cattle with the appurts [appurtenants] in the parish of Whittlesey Whereupon A plea of Covent [Covenant] was sumoned between them in the same Court that is to say that the afores [aforesaid] James & Alice Susanna & Frances have acknowledged the afores [aforesaid] tenem.ts [tenements] & Common of pasture with the afores [aforesaid] to be the Right of him the β [unknown symbol assumed to represent aforesaid] John as those which the said John hath of the gift of the afores [aforesaid] James & Alice Susanna & Frances and those they have remised [i.e. relinquished] & quit claimed from them the β James & Alice Susanna & Frances & their heirs to the afores’d [aforesaid] John & his heirs forever And moreover the [unknown symbol assumed to represent aforesaid] James & Alice have granted for them[?] & the heirs of the [unknown symbol assumed to represent aforesaid] Alice that they will warrt. [warrant] to the aforesd [aforesaid] John & his heirs the aforesd [aforesaid] tenemts. [tenements] & Common of pasture with the appurts [appurtenants] against them the β James & Alice & the heirs of the said Alice forever And further the β Frances hath granted for her & her heirs that they will warrt. [warrant] to the aforesd [aforesaid] John & his heirs the aforesd [aforesaid] tenemts. [tenements] & Common of pasture with the appurts [appurtenants] against her the β Frances & her heirs forever And also the β Susanna hath granted for her & her heirs that they will wart. [warrant] to the aforesd [aforesaid] John & his heirs the aforesd [aforesaid] tenemts. [tenements] & Common of pasture with the appurts [appurtenants] against her the β Susanna & her heirs forever And for this acknowledgmt [acknowledgement] promise [to]? quit their warranties Fins [?] and agreemt [agreement] the β John hath given to the aforesd [aforesaid] James & Alice Frances & Susanna Sixty Pounds Stirling.
James & Co.[?]
Cambridge – Boyce & Fisher
NOTES & COMMENTS
Throughout the document there are repeated use of an unknown symbol which has been entered on the transcript as β and which has been taken to represent ‘aforesaid’. However, it is unclear why this symbol should have been used when ‘aforesd’ has been used as an abbreviation for the same word in a number of other instances on this document.
The document is not dated but we can take it to be around 1812 as the Agreement was reached in the 52nd year of the reign of George III who ascended the throne in 1760.
The other date reference is less clear, i.e. ‘in fifteen days of St Martin’. St Martin’s day falls on 11th November and in this country is known as Martinmas. It is primarily celebrated in Germany and, as George III was a Hanoverian monarch, perhaps it was also celebrated here at that time. This particular day has now long been superseded by Armistice Day.
The document concerns an agreement to assign a property – 60 acres of farmland together with a messuage (dwelling house), one cottage, Common pasture land and appurtenances (presumably barns, tools, etc) from James and Alice Fisher, Susannah Fisher and Frances Fitzjohn to John Boyce for the sum of £60. Unfortunately, the location of this property is not given beyond the fact that it is in the parish of Whittlesey.
What would £60 in 1812 be worth today (2017)? Depending on which calculation tool is used, this can be assessed as £4458 (£74 per acre) or £2983 (£50 per acre). By either calculation, this appears to have been a remarkably astute purchase by Mr Boyce and perhaps explains why it was necessary to involve a court appearance in front of no less than four Justices to reach an agreement between the two parties.