LD4 – Lease for a year on 10 acres of land in Glassmoore (Whittlesey) from Mr James Fisher and wife & Frances Fitzjohn Spinster to Mr William Boyce – Dated 4th November 1811
This Indenture made the Fourth Day of November in the Fifty second Year of the Reign of our Sovereign Lord George the Third by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland King Defender of the Faith and in the Year of our Lord One thousand eight hundred and eleven Between James Fisher of Eastward End in the Hamlet of Wimblington in the Parish of Doddington within the Isle of Ely in the County of Cambridge Farmer and Alice his Wife and Frances Fitzjohn of Glassmoore in Whittlesey within the said Isle of Ely and County of Cambridge Spinster (Which said Alice Fisher and Frances Fitzjohn are the two only Children and Coheiresses at Law of Robert Fitzjohn late of Glassmoore aforesaid Yeoman deceased) of the one part and William Boyce of Glassmoore aforesaid Farmer of the other part Witnesseth that for and in Consideration of the Sum of Five Shillings of lawful Money of England to the said James Fisher and Alice his Wife and Frances Fitzjohn in hand paid by the said William Boyce at or immediately before the Sealing and Delivery of these Presents the Receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged They the said James Fisher and Alice his Wife and Frances Fitzjohn Have and each of them Hath bargained and sold And by these Presents Do and each and every of the Doth bargain and sell unto the said William Boyce his Executors Administrators and Assigns All those Ten Acres of Pasture Fen or Marsh Ground ( be the same more or less) lying in Glassmoore aforesaid in two Pieces adjoining each other abutting on a certain River called Whittlesey Dike North and on a Droveway called Forth’s Drove South and next Land late of John Stona deceased and now of Alice Stona Widow East and Land late of Isaac Speechly deceased and now of Robert Speechly his Son West And also all that Messuage or Tenement lately erected by the said Robert Fitzjohn deceased and now standing thereon Which said Ten Acres (more or less) of Land were formerly the Estate of Thomas Dash since of John Reason deceased and were (with five other Acres (more or less) of Land lying in Glassmoore aforesaid) purchased by the said Robert Fitzjohn deceased of Thomas Elsum Together with all Ways Paths Passages Waters Watercourses Hedges Ditches Drains Sewers Easements Rights Members Privileges and Appurtenances whatsoever to the same Premises belonging or in anywise appertaining And the Reversion and Reversions Remainder and Remainders Rents Issues and Profits thereof and of every part thereof And also all the Estate Right Title Interest Use Trust Inheritance Benefit Property Possession Claim and Demand whatsoever of them the said James Fisher and Alice his Wife and Frances Fitzjohn and each and every of them both at Law and in Equity of in to or out of the same Premises and every or any part thereof To have and to hold the said Land Messuage Hereditaments and Premises hereby or intended to be hereby bargained and sold and every part thereof with the Appurtenances unto the said William Boyce his Executors Administrators and Assigns from the Day next before the Day of the Date of these Presents for during and unto the full end and term of one whole Year from thence next ensuing and fully to be compleat and ended Yielding and Paying therefore unto the said James Fisher and Alice his Wife and Frances Fitzjohn or the Heirs or Assigns of the said Alice Fisher and Frances Fitzjohn the Rent of One Pepper Corn only on the last Day of the said Term (if the same shall be lawfully Demanded) To the intent and purpose that by virtue of these Presents and by force of the Statute made for transferring Uses into Possession he the said William Boyce may be in the Actual Possession of the said Land Messuage Hereditaments and Premises hereby or intended to be hereby bargained and sold and every part thereof with the appurtenances and may be thereby enabled to accept and take a Grant and Release of the Reversion and Inheritance thereof to him and his Heirs To the Uses upon the trusts and for the ends intents and purposes expressed and declared of and concerning the same in and by a certain Indenture of Release of Three Parts already prepared and intended to bear date the Day next after the Day of the Date of these Presents and made between the said James Fisher and Alice his Wife and Frances Fitzjohn and Susanna Fisher Widow of the first part the said William Boyce of the second Part and John Boyce of Whittlesey aforesaid Liquor Merchant of the third part In Witness whereof the said parties to these Presents have hereunto set their Hands and Seals on the Day and Year first above written
James [L/S] Fisher The Mark x & Seal [L/S] The Mark x& [L/S] Seal
of Alice Fisher of Francis Fitzjohn
Dated 4th November 1811
Mr James Fisher & Uxr [Uxor/Wife] &
Frances Fitzjohn Spinster
to Lease for a Year
Mr William Boyce
[the following appears upside-down due to folds in the document]:
Signed Sealed and Delivered (being first
duly Stampt) in the presence of us
Notes & Comments
“When viewed alongside LD3, which was written exactly one week earlier and which concerns the same parcel of land at Glassmoore, this can all seem rather confusing. My friend from the Legal profession has made the best of it he can and correspondence from him forms the basis of my comments to both of the documents. I hope they go some way to unravelling the complexities of these early C19 legal documents.” S. Browness
Explanation of legal terms
Indenture = a contract binding one party into the service of another for a specified term.
Devisee = beneficiary of a Will
Hereditaments = property that can be inherited
Appurtenance = something associated with another, more important thing; an accessory.
Prerogative Court = a Court with authority in Wills and Administrations
Jointure = a property held by one spouse (historically the husband) and jointly used by both spouses, to be provided to the other spouse in the event of the death of the property holder.
Dower = a spouse’s legal entitlement to a share of a deceased spouse’s property.
L/S = this abbreviation is found between the first name and surname of the signatories to the document which is a copy of the original. It stands for locus sigilli meaning “place of the seal”.
mesne charges = intermediate or intervening charges
Comments on the content of the Transcript
Taken alongside LD3, which was dated 11th November 1811 (one week after this Indenture) this document appears very confusing. However, if one recognises that William Boyce is the ultimate owner (but not possessor) of the residue of the 500 year lease – as apparently confirmed by LD3 – it is a bit clearer. The tripartite indenture was intended to follow this latest document (LD4) the next day and although we do not know the reason why Boyce needed possession of the land for 1 year (possibly because he could not otherwise assign the land but it is not clear here) and the indenture makes it clear that Boyce has the ability as the ultimate owner (everything is held by whoever possesses the land at the time in trust for Boyce) to direct that the land should be disposed to whomever he wanted and directed. For whatever reason Boyce wanted a 1 year lease of the land to himself. Remember that his underlying right was to the residue of the 500 years but that did not get him possession. There is obviously a commercial background to all of this but the documents do not reveal what that was.