All aduantages of Exception to the incertainty and insufficiency of the sa[d]id bill of Complaint to these defendants now and at all times heereafter saued and reserued for answere therevnto They these defendants and either of them saith that Richard Gunnell in the bill named being in his life time and at the time of his death possessed of a personall estate of good ualue consisting of ready money and debts secured by bonds and otherwise and of other goods and chattels and hauing issue by Elizabeth his wife two daughters Margaret and Anne about twenty one yeares since dyed intestate after whose death the administration of the said personall estate was committed vnto Elizabeth Gunnell the relict of the said Richard Gunnell who hauing taken uppon her the administration of the said intestate her husbands estate amonge diuerse other goods and Chattells left at the time of her death unadministred a principall debt of forty poundes of lawfull money secured by an obligation or writing obligatory bearing date the last day of Aprill one thousand sixe hundred Twentyfoure wherein the said Complainant by the name of Andrew Caine of London Gentleman by which name the said Complainant was then commonly called and knowne together with Charles Massey William Cartwright William Stratford Richard Price and Richard ffowler of London Gentlemen became Iointly and seuerally bound unto the said Richard Gunnell the intestate in the penall summe of eighty pounds of lawfull English money conditioned for the due and true payment of the summe of forty pounds of like lawfull money at one whole and entire payment on the first day of October next ensuing the date of the said obligation or writing obligatory as by the said obligation or writing obligatory vnder theire handes and seales ready to bee produced doth and will appeare and hauing made her last will and testament in writing and of her said last will and testament constituted ordeined and made the said Margaret and Anne her said daughters executrixes about seauen or eight yeares after the death of the said intestate her late husband and hee this defendant hauing married and taken to wife the said Margaret and William Clerke in the bill named hauing married and taken to wife the said Anne and amonge diuerse other obligations and writings obligatory and other papers and writings the said obligation or writing obligatory ʌ⸢in⸣ wi[t]ch the said Complainant standeth bound as aforesaid after the death of the said Elizabeth by uertue of the last will and testament of the said Elizabeth came to these defendants handes and the said defendants and either of them further saith that after the said obligation and writing obligatory came to theire hands in manner as aforesaid being informed that they the said Margaret and Anne being the daughters of the said Richard Gunnell and Elizabeth his wife and neerest of kindred unto them had the best right unto and interest in the money secured by the said obligation ʌ⸢and that the sume and euery parte thereof was vnpayd⸣ after the death of the said Elizabeth who as the said defendants haue beene informed and hope to make appeare by good proofe hauing taken to husband Iohn Robinson in the bill named did by and with him in her lifetime often demaund the said debt and damages due for the same and threatned to put the said bond in suit and endeauoured to procure the payment thereof though without effect by reason of the death and insoluency of the said obligors they the said defendants from time to time for many yeares after the death of the said Elizabeth did make demaund also of the said debt and damages due for the same and did also often endeauour to procure the payment thereof but without any successe therein by reason of the death and insoluencie of the said obligors and ʌ⸢the absence of⸣ the said Complainant who being at Oxford in the late kinges armie could not bee proceeded against uppon the said bond in any legall way And the said defendants and either of them further saith that the said [ ⸢ defendant⸣ Anne Clerke being lately dead and the right unto the said money secured by the said obligation or writing obligatory being deuolued to the said defendant Margaret and they being lately informed that the said Complainant who neuer since the said obligation came to this defendants hands untill of late within a yeare or two or thereabouts was of ability to make satisfaction for the said debt and damages or in any condicion to make payment of the said debt the said defendant Margaret for to inable them to recouer the said debt and damages so longe due as aforesaid and now of right belonging unto them hath of late taken letters of administration of the goods chattels debts and credits of the said Richard Gunnell her late father unadministred by the said Elizabeth her late mother as by the said letters of administration under the seale of the court for probate of wills and granting letters of administration bearing date the nine and twentieth day of September in the yeare of our lord God according to the computation aforesaid one thousand sixe hundred fifty foure ready to bee produced doth and will appeare and the said defendants further say that they being by uertue of the said letters of administration rightfully and legally intituled unto and interessed in the said debt and damages and hauing often demaunded the same of the said Complainant who refused to make payment thereof or to giue them the said defendants any satisfaction concerning the same they these defendants for the recouery of the said debt and damages haue commenced a suit uppon the said bond in the Sheriffes Court of London and did proceed thereupon as they conceiued was lawfull for them so to doe the same being a iust and due debt and rightfully belonging to them and vnsatisfied as they haue beene informed and humbly conceiue that the Allegation in the said bill of Complaint that the said debt is of great antiquity is no good cause in equitie to barre them of their said iust and due debt and damages And the rather because there was no hopes or possibility of recouering the said money at any time since the said bond came to these defendants hands till now of late by reason of the Complainant absenting himselfe and his insoluencie and the death and insoluencie of the rest of the said Obligors and these defendants and either of them further saith that they doe not beleiue that the said obligation or writing obligatorie was entred into for the doing some collaterall act which is performed and that the said bond was thereuppon discharged and ought to haue beene deliuered upp or that the said Richard Gunnell knowing the same and that no money was due and payable thereon unto him did at any time promise to deliuer upp the same to the said Complainants [as]so soone as hee could find the same being mislaid or that the said Richard Gunnell did not demaund the same of the said Complainant during his life or that the said Complainants estate was sufficient to to sati[f]sfie the said debt or a greater summe as in and by the said bill of Complaint is pretended and alleadged and these defendants °are the rather induced soe to doe for that they doe belieue & And hope to make it appeare by good proffe vnto this Honorable Court ° that he said Richard ° ʌ⸢Gunnell in his lifetime did often demand⸣ the said debt and after his death the said Elizabeth his said Administratrix and Iohn Robinson her husband [ (blank) ] did alsoe often demand the said debt and that the reason why the Complainant and seuerall others of the said Obligors were not sued vppon the said bond vntill now was because of the death of some of the said Olbigors and the Insolvency of the said Complainant and such other of them as were then Liveinge And allso for that it appears by the plaintiffes owne sheweinge in his said bill that though he alleadged that the said obligacion was entred into for the doeinge of some Collaterall Act which was done and performed accordingly yet he saith that if it were for mony it was paid and alsoe saiath further that it was entred into only to oblige the said Obligors not to departe from the Playhouse in the said bill mencioned they beinge Players and the Princes Servantes as was vsuall for them to doe by which seuerall and diuerse Allegaciones which Cannot well stand together it doth plainly appeare that they are but mere suggestions and pretences not haueinge any truth or Reallity in them And alsoe for that the Condicion of the said bond is for the payement of the summe of fforty poundes at one intire payement And these defendantes for the reasons aforesaid doe not likewise beleiue there was any such Agreement concerninge the said obligacion or writeinge obligatory entred into in manner aforesaid as in and by the said bill of Complaint is suggested and alleadged, And they the said defendantes and ether of them doe deny that they or ether of them doe make any other title or Clayme to the said debt other then they and ether of them haue formerly set forth by theire ⸢said⸣ Ioint and seuerall Answers And the said defendantes and ether of them doth alsoe deny all practice Confederacy or Combinacon in any wise Chardged vppon them or ether of them in and by the said bill of Complaint for or Concerninge any of the matters in and by the said bill of Complaint suggested and Alleadged And hope the premisses Considered they shall not be hindred by the Iniunction of this Honorable Court from Recoueringe there iust and due debt and damages att the Lawe without that that any other matter thinge Clause sentence Article or Allegacion in the said bill of Complaint Conteined materialles effectuall in Lawe to be Answered vnto by theise defendantees or ether of them and not herein and by this theire Ioint and seuerall Answeres well and sufficiently Answered vnto Confessed and Avoyded trauersed or denyed is true All which these defendantes are ready to averre mainteyne and proue as this honorable Court shall Award And humbly pray to be dismissed out of the same with theire reasonable Costes and Chardges in that behalfe wrongfully and without Cause susteyned &c°/././././
(signed) Nicholas ffrankyn

Footnotes

  • Twentyfoure: written over erasure
  • wich: c written over t
  • the said: written over erasure
  • this…untill: written over erasure
  • so: written over as
  • satisfie: second s written over f
  • & And: dittography
  • he: for the
  • Richard: written over another word
  • <...>: erased space of 14mm with fillers