I posted this in response to Caspar Verney and my posts in 2010; so am posting at the top of the Wilkes Forum.Ann Allan
Caspar, after much looking, I have finally found the proof that Thomas Wilkes, merchant of the staple of the town of Calais, [France?] is brother-in-law to one of the Leveson (s) mentioned! I have included some of the other cases so that you will see how they are leading into the Wilkes case.
Notice the Leveson name is spelled Leueson so that is probably why we haven't found these entries.
Once you have read this, let me know what you think.
The Star Chamber became the central criminal court after 1560, and punished perjury, corruption, and malfeasance throughout the legal system.
Suits on titles to land were restricted to the common law courts and no longer to be heard in the Star Chamber, Chancery court, or in the Court of requests.
The Queen's Privy Council frequently issued orders to Justices of the Peace, for instance to investigate riots and crimes, to enforce the statutes against vagrancy and illegal games, to regulate alehouses, to ensure that butchers, innkeepers, and victuallers did not sell meat on fish days, and to gather information needed from the counties.
The Judges of Assize rode on circuit twice a year to enforce the criminal law and reported their assessment of the work of the Justices of the Peace back to the Privy Council. Accused people could wait for years in jail before their case was heard.
The Privy Council investigated sedition and treason, security of the regime, major economic offenses, international problems, civil commotion, officials abusing their positions, and persons perverting the course of justice. The formal trials of these offenses would be held elsewhere.
The duty to hear and determine felonies was taken from Justices of the Peace by 1590. The Judges of Assize did this work.
The Justices of the Peace decided misdemeanors such as abduction of heiresses, illegal entry, petty thievery, damage to crops, fence-breaking, brawling, personal feuds, drunken pranks, swearing, profanation of the Sabbath, alehouse nuisances, drunkenness, perjury, and malfeasance by officials.
The Justices of the Peace had administrative duties in control of vagrancy, upkeep of roads and bridges, and arbitration of lawsuits referred to them by courts. They listed the poor in each parish community, assessed rates for their maintenance, and appointed overseers to administer the welfare system, deploying surplus funds to provide houses of correction for vagrants. Raw materials such as wool, flax, hemp, and iron were bought upon which the able-bodied unemployed could be set to work at the parochial level. They determined wages in their districts with no statutory ceiling on them. There were about 50 Justices of the Peace per county. All were unpaid. They performed these duties for the next 200 years.
Pleadings had to be in writing and oral testimony was given by sworn witnesses. Case decisions are in books compiled by various reporters who sit in on court hearings rather than in year books.
In the common law courts, the action of assumpsit for enforcing certain promises is used more than the action of debt in those cases where there is a debt based on an agreement. The essential nature of "consideration" in contract is evolving from the procedural requirements for the action of assumpsit. Consideration may consist in mutual promises, a precedent debt, or a detriment incurred by one who has simultaneously received a promise related to the detrimental action. Consideration must be something, an act, or forbearance of an act that is of value. For instance, forbearance to sue a worthless claim is not consideration.
The abstract concept of contract as an agreement between two parties which is supported by consideration is developing as the number of various agreements that are court enforceable expands. For instance the word "consideration" is used in Hayward's Case in 1595 in the Court of Wards on the construction of a deed. Sir Rowland Hayward was seised in fee of the Doddington manor and other lands and tenements, whereof part was in demesne, part in lease for years with rents reserved, and part in copyhold, by indenture, "in consideration of a certain sum of money" paid to him by Richard Warren and others, to whom he demised, granted, bargained and sold the said manor, lands and tenements, and the reversions and remainders of them, with all the rents reserved upon any demise, to have and to hold to them and their assigns, presently after the decease of Sir Rowland, for the term of 17 years. It was held that the grantees could elect to take by bargain and sale or by demise, each of which had different consequences.
In another case, A delivered 400s. to B to the use of C, a woman, to be delivered to her on the day of her marriage. Before this day, A countermanded it, and called home the money. It was held in the Chancery Court that C could not recover because "there is no consideration why she should have it".
In a case concerning a deed, A sold land to B for 400s., with confidence, that it would be to the use of A. This bargain "hath a consideration in itself ... and such a consideration is an indenture of bargain and sale". It was held that the transaction was not examinable except for fraud and that A was therefore estopped.
A court reporter at the King's Bench formulated two principles on consideration of the case of Wilkes against Leuson as: "The heir is estopped from falsifying the consideration acknowledged in the deed of feoffment of his ancestor. Where a tenant in capite made a feoffment without consideration, but falsely alleged one in the deed on an office finding his dying seised, the master of the wards cannot remove the feoffees on examining into the consideration, and retain the land until &c. and though the heir tended, still if he do not prosecute his livery, the Queen must admit the feoffees to their traverse, and to have the farm, &c." The court reporter summarized this case as follows: Wilkes, who was merchant of the staple, who died in February last past, made a feoffment in the August before his death to one Leuson, a knight, and his brother, and another, of the manor of Hodnel in the county of Warwick; and the deed,(seen) for seven thousand pounds [140,000s.] to him paid by the feoffees, of which sum he made acquittance in the same deed (although in fact and in truth not a half-penny was paid), gave, granted, and confirmed &c "habendum eir et hoeredibus suis in perpetuum, ad proprium opus et usum ipsorum A. B. et C. in perpetuum," and not "hoeredum suorum," together with a clause of warranty to them, their heirs and assigns, in forma proedicta: and notwithstanding this feoffment he occupied the land with sheep, and took other profits during his life; and afterwards his death was found on a diem clausit extremum by office, that he died seised of the said manor in fee, and one I. Wilkes his brother of full age found his next heir, and a tenure in capite found, and now within the three months the said feoffees sued in the court of wards to be admitted to their traverse, and also to have the amnor in farm until &c. And although the said I. Wilkes the brother had tendered a livery, yet he had not hitherto prosecuted it, but for cause had discontinued.
And whether now the master of the wards at his discretion could remove the feoffees by injunction out of possession upon examination of the said consideration of the said feoffment which was false, and none such in truth, and retain it in the hands of the Queen donec et quousque &c. was a great question. And by the opinion of the learned counsel of that court he cannot do it, but the Queen is bound in justice to give livery to him who is found heir by the office, or if he will not proceed with that, to grant to the tenderers the traverse, and to have the farm, &c. the request above mentioned. And this by the statutes ... And note, that no averment can be allowed to the heir, that the said consideration was false against the deed and acknowledgment of his ancestor, for that would be to admit an inconvenience. And note the limitation of the use above, for divers doubted whether the feoffees shall have a fee-simple in the sue, because the use is not expressed, except only "to themselves (by their names) for ever;" but if those words had been wanting, it would have been clear enough that the consideration of seven thousand pounds had been sufficient, &c. for the law intends a sufficient consideration by reason of the said sum; but when the use is expressed otherwise by the party himself, it is otherwise. And also the warranty in the deed was "to them, their heirs, and assigns, in form aforesaid," which is a declaration of the intent of Wilkes, that the feoffees shall not have the use in fee simple; and it may be that the use, during their three lives, is worth seven thousand pounds, and more &c. And suppose that the feoffment had been "to have to them and their heirs to the proper use and behoof of them the feoffees for the term of their lives for ever for seven thousand pounds," would they have any other estate than for the term of their lives in the use? I believe not; and so in the other case.
A last example of a case concerning consideration is that of Assaby and Others against Lady Anne Manners and Others. The court reporter characterized the principle of the case as: "A. in consideration of his daughter's marriage covenants to stand seised to his own use for life, and that at his death she and her husband shall have the land in tail, and that all persons should stand seised to those uses, and also for further assurance. After the marriage he bargains and sell with fine and recovery to one with full notice of the covenants and use; this is of no avail, but on the death of A. the daughter and her husband may enter." The court reporter summarized this case as follows: A. was seised of land in fee, and in consideration of a marriage to be had between his daughter and heir apparent, and B. son and heir apparent of C. he covenanted and agreed by indenture with C. that he himself would have, hold, and retain the land to himself, and the profits of during his life, and that after his decease the said son and daughter should have the land to them and to the heirs of their two bodies lawfully begotten, and that all persons then or afterwards seised of the land should stand and be seised immediately after the marriage solemnized to the use of the said A. for the term of his life, and after his death to the use of the said son and daughter in tail as above, and covenanted further to make an assurance of the land before a certain day accordingly &c. and then the marriage took effect; and afterwards A. bargained and sold the land for two hundred marks (of which not a penny is paid) to a stranger, who had notice of the first agreements, covenants, and use, and enfeoffed divers persons to this last use, against whom a common recovery was had to his last use; and also A. levied a fine to the recoverers before any execution had, and notwithstanding all these things A. continued possession in taking the profits during his life; and afterwards died; and the son and daughter entered, and made a feoffment to their first use. And all this matter was found in assize by Assaby and others against Lady Anne Manners and others. And judgment was given that the entry and feoffment were good and lawful, and the use changed by the first indenture and agreement. Yet error was alleged. The judgment in the assize is affirmed.