A True Pedigree to prove the Claymant, James Percy, to be the second Son of Henry Percy of Horton in the County of Nor∣thampton, who was third Son of Henry Percy of Paven∣ham in the County of Bedford, who was the Eldest Son of Sir Ingelram Percy, K nt. who was the third Son of Henry Lord Percy, 5th. Earl of Northumberland, By which De∣scent the Claymant is Cousin and next Heir-Male to Jos∣celin Percy the late and 11th. Earl of Northumberland De∣ceased.
HENRY Lord PERCY, Fifth Earl of Northumberland, Lord of the Honours of Cockermouth and Petworth, Lord Percy, Lucy, Poynings, Fitz-payne and Bryan, and Knight of the most Noble Order of the Garter,
Who Married •••herine, one of the Daughters and Co-Heirs of Sir Robert Spencer Knight; by whom he had Issue,
1st. Henry Lord Percy. 6th. Earl of Northumberland; who Dyed without Issue.
2. Thomas Percy Knight, who was Executed; had to Wife, Eleanor, one of the Daughters and Co-Heirs of Sir Gwichard Harbottle Knight; by whom he had Issue, Thomas the 7th. Earl of Northumberland, who was beheaded at York, and dyed with∣out Issue-Male; And Henry the 8th. Earl of Northumberland, whose Issue is incerted hereafter.
3d. Sir Ingelram Percy Knight, who was Married, as by the Oath of Mr. Henry Champion, who kept the Books and Records of the Percies.
Henry Lord Percy 6th. Earl of Northumberland, Lord of the Honours of Cocker∣mouth and Petworth, Lord Percy, Lucy, Poynings, Fitz-payne and Bryan, Knight of the most Noble Order of the Garter, who Dyed at Hackney near London the day before the Calends of July, 1537. leaving no Children behind him, The Dignity of the Earl of Northumberland was vacant till the time of Edward the VI. John Dudly Earl of Warwick, Viscount Lisle, Lord Basset and Tyes was Intituled Duke of Nor∣thumberland the 5th. year of King Edward the VI. But when he was Dead, Thomas Percy Nephew to this Henry by Thomas his Brother, who was Executed; In the Reign of Queen Mary, was restored to all the Honours of that Family.
Thomas Percy, Nephew to Henry the 6th. Earl of Northumberland by his Brother Thomas, when the stock of the Percies were fading; to their Relief was invested in the Earldom of Northumberland, which the Earl of Warwick held before; and thereby was •he 7th. Earl of Northumberland of that Family, Lord of the Honours of Cocker∣mouth, Petworth, Lord Percy, Lucy, Poynings, Fitz-payne and Bryan; Queen Mary bestowing those Honours upon him, and his Heirs Male; (and for want of such Issue, Then to Henry his Brother, and his Heirs Male,) by her Letters Patents, dated the first day of May, 1557. and whatsoever else of the Antient Patrimonies of the Earls remained, Seised, or Forfeited: But if He should die without Issue Male, Then it should go to his Brother Henry, and his Issue Male. And although (to Honour him the more,) Queen Elizabeth made him Knight of the most Noble Order of the Gar∣ter; Yet He, (unmindful of all these Benefits,) Conspir'd with Charles Earl of West∣merland, to Depose, by Force, Queen Elizabeth; So by Authority of Paliament he was Condemned for High Treason, and as Chief in the Conspiracy, was behead∣ed at York, 14th. Year of Queen Elizabeth.
Page 2 That he Married Anne the Daughter of Henry Somerset Earl of Worcester, and had Issue Male, Thomas, who dyed young, and four Daughters; Heirs Males Extinct.
And Henry Percy 8th. Earl of Northumberland, Lord of the Honours of Cocker∣mouth, Petworth, Lord Percy, Lucy, Poynings, Fitz-payne and Bryan; all enjoyed those Ho∣nours by virtue of the Letters Patents given by Queen Mary to his Brother Thomas, and was Created Earl of Northumberland, Anno 1574. and after accused of Treason; and being in the Tower of London, slew himself with a Dag charg'd with Two Bullets, (before his Cause was heard, or that he was Arraigned,) in the Month of July, 1585.
ARMS Quarter'd as before.
Who Married Katherine one of the Daughters and Co-Heirs of John Nevel Lord Latimer, by whom he had Issue,
- 1. Henry the 9th. Earl.
- 2. Thomas, who dyed young.
- 3. William.
- 4. Sir Charles Percy Knight.
- 5. Sir Richard Percy Knight.
- 6. Sir Alan Percy Knight.
- 7. Sir Josceline Percy Knight.
- 8. George Percy Esq
Henry Lord Percy 9th. Earl of Northumberland, Lord of the Honours of Cocker∣mouth and Petworth, Lord Percy, Lucy, Poynings, 〈◊〉, Bryan, and (in his Mothers right) Lord Latimer; He was Knight of the most Noble Order of the Gar∣ter, by Queen Elizabeth, in the Year of our Lord, 1593.
Who Marryed Dorothy, Daughter of Walter 〈◊〉, Earl of 〈◊〉; by whom he had Issue,
- 1. Algernoon, the 10th. Earl.
- 2. Lord 〈◊〉,
Algernoon, the 10th. Earl of Northumberland, Lord of the Honours of Cockermouth and Petworth, Lord Percy, Lucy, Poynings, Fitz-payne, Bryan and Latimer, Kinght of the most Noble Order of the Garter, Lord Admiral of England, and General over His Majesties Forces for his Expedition in Anno 1640. and one of his Majesties most Honourable Privy Council: He Marryed Two Wives: by the former he had four Daughters; and by the latter Wife, 1 Son, (viz.) Josceline.
Josceline, the 11th. Earl of Northumberland, Lord of the Honours of Cockermouth and Petworth, Lord Percy, Lucy, Poyning, Fitz-payne, Bryan and Latimer, Deceased;
Who Marryed Elizabeth, Daughter to the Earl of Southampton, by whom he had Issue,
- 1. Henry, who dyed young; before his Father.
- 2. Elizabeth, who Marry'd the Lord Ogle.
The Collateral Line.
Sir Ingelram Percy the 3d. and youngest Son of Henry Percy the 5th. Earl of Nor∣thumberland; was married, and had Sons and Daughters, (as by the Oath of Mr. Henry Champion, who kept the Percies Books and Records; where he found what h• testify'd upon Oath, at the Tryal between Ʋtting Plaintiff, and Coppleston Defen∣dant) He had Issue, viz.
- 1. Henry Percy,
- 2. Robert Percy,
About 1559. these four Children were (in the time of Troubles in Queen Eliza∣beths Days) sent out of the North in Hampers, to old Dame Vaux at Haraden in Northamptonshire, and there were brought up, preserved, and provided for. Therefore it is concluded by all, that Sir Ingelram's Lady (the Mother of those Children,) must be related to Dame Vaux's Family.
Henry, the eldest Son of Sir Ingelram, Marryed the Daughter of one Tibbott, by whom he had Issue,
- 1. James Percy, who dyed about the year 1654. in Ireland, without Issue-male.
- 2. William, who died young.
- 3. Henry.
Henry Percy Marryed Lydea the Daughter of Mr. Robert Cope of Horton in Nor∣thamptonshire, by whom he had Issue.
- Page 3
- 1. Henry, who dyed young.
- 2. James.
- 3. Henry, who dyed young.
James, the now Claymant, born 1619. of Henry and Lydea his Wife, who was 3d. Son of Henry, who was first Son of Sir Ingelram, who was 3d. Son of Henry, 5th. Earl of Northumberland, who was great great Grandfather of the Claymant James Percy, who married Sarah the Daughter of John Sawyer of Norwich, Gent. by whom he hath Issue,
- 1. Anthony Percy, Married and hath a Son (viz.) Henry.
- 2. Henry.
- 3. John.
In May 1670. Joscelin Percy, late Earl of Northumberland departed this Life in parts beyond the Seas; after whose death, the Honours descended to the now Clay∣mant ut per the Pedegree asoresaid.
October the 11th. 1670. The Claymant Arrived in England to prosecute his Claime to the Earldom of Northumberland; at which time it being given out, that the Countess Dowager of the said 〈…〉 with Child; the Claymant desisted untill the con∣trary was evident.
February the 3d. 1670. The Claymant entred in His Late Majesties Signet-Office at White-Hall hi• Clayme to the said Earldom, as Cousin and next Heir-Male to Josceline, and to the Title, Stil•, Honour and Dignity of Baron Percy, and Earl of Northumberland Cum pertinent••, and to the Annual Rent or Fee of 20ll. with which the said Honour and Dignity is endowed payable by the Sheriff of Nor∣thumberland out of the same County; And at the same time entred there also his Cav•at, that no Grant might be made thereof to any Person.
In the same Year 1670. The Claymant, in Order to the Recovery of his Right, applied himself to Sir Heneage Finch then Attorney General to His Late Majesty, and desired him to sign the Claymants Quo Warranto.
In the same Year 1670. the Claymant humbly addressed himself by Petition to His 〈◊〉 Majesty for redress in that matter, who was graciously pleased to send Sir John Birkenhead to the said Attorney General, to demand of him from his Majesty why he did not sign the Claymants Quo Warranto; who returned for answer, That he could n•t do it, as he was of Councel with the Defendant, •he Countess Dowager of Northumberland.
This Answer of the Attorney Generalls being signifyed to His Majesty, he was pleased expresly to refer the Clymant to Sir Edward Walker and Sir John Bir∣kenhead, to inquire and search into the Claymants Pedigree; for which purpose the Claymant attended them with his Councel Mr. Serjeant Brampston, where the mat∣ter was debated; and there then appearing some difficulty to find with certainty, who was the Claymants Great Grandfather: It was the joynt advise of Sir Ed∣ward Walker, Sir John Birkenhead, and Serjeant Brampston, That the Claymant should at adventure Clayme under some one of the Family of the Percies, and not delay his prosecution any longer; they all then declaring to the Claymant, that in case he pitcht upon a wrong Person to Clayme from, yet it could not pre∣judice the Claymant; for that on the contrary would be a means 〈◊〉 out the Right Person.
Pursuant to this Advice, the Claymant took his descent from Sir Richard Percy as his Great Grandfather; and the matter thereon coming to be heard before the Lords in Parliament, Sir Richard Percy appeared to be too young to be the Clay∣mants Great Grandfather; Serjeant Pemberton then of Counsel with the Claymant, Informed their Lordships of the Reason and Advice aforesaid of the Claymants fixing upon Sir Richard Percy as his Great Grandfather; and that notwithstanding the mistake, yet the same could not, nor ought really to prejudice the Claymant, Page 4 as to any definitive Sentence to be passed thereon by their Lordships, against the Claymant; For that the matter of the Claymants Right and Claim ought first to be Tryed in the Inferiour Courts; and in case the Truth of the matter could not be found out and determined at Law, then (and not before) it was pro∣per for their Lordships Judgment and Determination; with which their Lordships were satisfied.
Upon this the Claymants Adversaries procured to be Published in the Gazets, That the Claymant was an Impostor; and at their Courts, declared to the Ten∣nants, That his Name was not Percy, but that he was a Bastard, and that they could prove, that Henry Percy, who he declared was his Father, was never marryed: the Consequence of which evil, and unheard of practices, Was
1st. Rendring the Claymant Odious to the World. And
2ly. Through the foul practice of the Claymants Sollicitor, there was a misinfor∣mation given unto His Late Gracious Majesty of ever Blessed Memory, who there∣upon gave the Title and Land away, which multiplied not only Enemies, but Power against the Claymants Just demands: In Order to the removing these Ob∣stacles, convincing the World of the Malice of his Adversaries, and clear himself of these vile Imputations, to assert his undoubted Right to the Honours and Earldom of Northumberland, the Claymant brought his Action of Scandal against Mr. John Clerk one of the Adversaries principal Agents.
In 1674. The Cause came to Tryal (Clerk having for a long time before sheltred himself under Priviledges of Parliament) where notwithstanding the Claymant prov'd himself Legitimate by Father, Mother, Grandfather and Grandmother; yet the Claymants Attorney, with colusion, and without the Claymants consent, suffered a Non-Suite; upon which the Lord Chief Justice Hale, stood up and declared his dissatisfaction thereat; saying in open Court, That the Claymant had fully proved himself a true Percy, by Father, Mother, Grandfather and Grandmother, and of the Blood and Family of the Percyes of Northumberland, and that he did verily believe the Claymant was Cousin, and next Heir Male to Josceline Percy late Earl of Northum∣berland? only he was afraid, he had taken his Descent a little too low. Nay, the Ju∣ry (then Impanneld, and sworn upon the Tryal; after the Tryal, had a Treat given them by the Adversaries) declared thus to Clark the Defendant in the Suit: Sir, You are beholding to the Claymant James Percy, for suffering a Non-Suit; for truly, otherwise we must have given a Verdict against you for him▪ his Pedigree was proved so clear.
Note, The Damages in this Action was laid at 10000ll.
Note, Immediately after this Tryal was over, the Court of Kings-Bench risen, and the Judge going to his Coach, the late Earl of Shaftsbury meeting him at his Coach, sayd thus to the Judge, My Lord, I hear Mr. Percyes Tryal was to day; I pray, What do you think of him? To which the Lord Chief Justice Hales, (with much earnestness) replied, I verily believe he hath as much right to the Earldom of Nor∣thumberland, as I have to this Coach and Horses which I have bought and paid for;
☞ Note, The Earl of Shaftsbury when he was Lord Chancellor of England was by Agreement with some of the Adversaries to have had Lands of the Percies to the value of 30000ll. for what purpose let the prudent and unprejudiced judge.
After this, the Claymant (pursuant to Judge Hale's Intimation) endeavoured to search higher for his Pedigree, and for that purpose repaired to the Right Honora∣ble, and truely Noble and Vertuous the then Countess of Dorset, Pembroke and Montgomery at Appleby-Castle, at such time as Judge Wild and Judge Ellis (in their Circuit) Dined there; when and where (after a long discourse had between the said Countess and the Claymant touching his Claym to the Earldom of Northumber∣land, and inquiry after his great Grandfather) the Countess in the presence of Page 5 Sir Thomas Stringer, and Sir John Otway, said thus to the Claymant: If you be of Kin to me, you must be Descended from those Children that were sent into the South in Hampers, in the Troublesom times, in Queen Flizabeth's Dayes; which proved a happy intimation to the Claymant, for thereby he at last arrived to the knowledge of his Great Grand Father, as in the Pedigree.
Some short time after this, the Claymant brought an Action in Ejectment, in the Court of Kings-Bench, for Cannington, and Rodway in Somersetsh•re, against Sir John Coppleston, Trustee for the Lady Clifford; against which Sir John shel∣tred himself, under Priviledge, for a considerable time; but at length, to wit, In the Term (as the Records will make appear) this Tryal came on, where the Claymant fully proved his Pedigree; and that he was Cousin, and next Heir-Male to Jocelin Percy, late Earl of Northumberland; and it is especi∣ally to be Noted, That, whereas at the first Hearing in Parliament, the Adversa∣ryes produced one Sir John Hanmer, who deposed, That Sir Richard Percy dyed in France, Anno 1648. and was never Marryed, but was Buried with Ribands and Gloves, as a Batchellor. Now (at this Tryal with Sir John Coppleston) the Clay∣mant proved by Mr. Henry Champion (who kept the Books and Records for Al∣gernoon Tenth, and Jocelin Eleventh Earls of Northumberland) that he found in those Books and Records, that Sir Ingelram Percy was Married, and had Sons and Daughters: And the Court then Declared, That the Claymant had fully proved his Pedigree, and Right of Claim, and willed him to proceed to the Title of the Lands in question; unto which, the Claymants Councel replyed, They had proved his Pedigree and Right; and conceived the Lands must at∣tend that, and that they relying therein, were not prepared nor Instructed to proceed further, than to prove the Claymants Legal Lineal Descent. Where∣upon, for want of certain Evidences and Records touching the same Lands, then in the Defendants Custody; a Non-suit was had against the Claymant, and Seventy Pound Costs Awarded.
☞ Note, Upon payment of these Costs, Sir John Coppleston Offered to the Claymant, That if he would relinquish his Right to those Lands in Sommerset∣shire, he should have some consideration for the same; and further, That he the said Sir John Coppleston, would furnish the Claymant with such Writings as should enable him to recover above 5000. Per Annum, good Lands.
The Claymant brought another Action of Scandal against one Mr. Wright, ano∣ther of the Adversaries Agents, for the like Scandalous words with those spo∣ken by Clark. This Cause was tryed before the Lord Chief Justice Rainsford, where the Claymant proved his Legitimacy and Pedigree by several Witnes∣sess; so fully and clearly; and to that fullness and Satisfaction, that before he had Examined half his Witnesses, the Lord Chief Justice Rainsford stood up, and said, You Gentlemen of the Jury, We need not trouble the Court further in Ex∣amining any more of the Plaintiffs Witnesses, by reason his Pedigr•• hath been fully pooved before, at a former Tryal, at the Bar of this Court So a •erdict pas∣sed for the Claymant: But when the Jury brought in but Three Hundred Pounds Dammages, the Lord Chief Justice was angry with them, for not gi∣ing the Plaintiffe greater Dammages.
Note, This Verdict, and the Judgment there upon, is Exemplified.
In June 1676. The Claymant brought another Action of Scandal in the Guild-Hall London, against John Blackstone Esquire, Agent for the Lady Elizabeth Percy; who kept her Courts, and had spoke the like scandalous words against the Clay∣mant, in delivering his Charge to the Juryes and Tennants, That Blackston Re∣moved the Cause into the Court of Kings Bench.
May 7. 1677. Appointed by the Court for Tryal, and the Master of the Office atten∣ded by both sides, & a Jury struck, & the Claymant prepared for Tryal, & brought Page 6 up Sixty-Five Witnesses; several of which came from the most remote parts of the Kingdom; the Travel in Sommoning, and bringing them to London, above Four Thousand Miles: The Charges thereof, and in retaining, and feeing fourteen Councels for the Tryal, amounting to above Four Hundred Pounds.
At the day appointed, the Claymant attended with his Counsel and Witnes∣ses, prepared for Tryal; when the Defendants Counsel Insisted, the Defendant was priviledged, as Agent of the Countess-Dowager of Northumberland, that he was Steward of her Courts, and Receiver of her Rents; and therefore if the Claymants Councel proceeded to the Tryal, it should be at their Perils; which so awed them, that they refused to Plead; declaring, they had no mind to go to the Tower: Some of them having been there upon the like occasion before. And so the Tryal was put off; at which the Court seemed much disatisfied; and particu∣larly, Mr. Justice Wild stood up in open Court, declaring his resentment of the Adversaryes practises in these words, viz. Fye, fye, Gentlemen; Is this a time to insist upon Priviledges; when you forc't the Plaintiff to this Tryal, and have put him to so great Expence, Travel, and Labour? You do but cast cold Water upon your Cause. It is not the first time this Cause hath been before this Court.
After this, Blackeston sheltring himself under the late Earl of Essex's priviledge, (the Countess Dowagers being taken off by Order of the House of Lords upon another occasion) the Clayment Petitioned the House of Lords to discharge Blakestons priviledge, under the Earl; whereupon an Agreement was made be∣tween the Earl, and the Clayments Councel; that the Clayment paying Ninety Pound Costs into Court (then unpaid upon the Non-suit against Clarke) Blake∣ston should not stand upon Priviledge, but go forth-with to Tryal; whereupon the Claymant paid the Ninety Pound Costs into Court, there to remain, until a fair Tryal had; and the 11th. of November, 1678. the Tryal came on, and after opening of the Cause, the Defendants Councel took Exceptions to some Point in the Declaration, which, after a debate, was waved; the Action judged to be well laid, and the scandalous Words proved.
Then the Claymants Councel proceeded to call Witnesses, to pove his Pedi∣gree upwards, as being the better way to satisfy the Court, and inform the Jury; and that the Claymant could not possibly Arrive at, any present better way to prove his Pedigree, than by his Action of Slander; For that the Claymant had before that delivered Declarations in Ejectment in several Counties, but the Lands being all in the hands of great Personages, stopt his Proceedings, on such Ejectments by Priviledge, which Candidness of the Claymants Councel was un∣reasonably made use of to the Claymants great Damage. For hereupon Draughts of the Claymants Pedigree being delivered to the Judges, the Lord Chief Justice Scroggs said, What need you trouble the Court to Examine all these Witnesses, if there be no Lands, therefore let us see first, what Lands there are.
Then the Claymant produced divers Records out of the Tower, and elsewhere; which evidenced, that the Lands (late the Lady Lucy's in Cumberland, and other Counties, in the Records especially named) were Settled upon the Heirs-Males of the Percyes for ever, tendring three Hundred Pounds to the King, &c. and quar∣tering the said Lucyes Coat of Armes next their own, and before the Percyes.
Here the Defendants Councel started up an Attainder of Sir Thomas Percy in King Henry the Eighth's time, also his Son in the Reign of Queen Elizabeth, which being new to the Claymant, and therefore his Councel not prepared pre∣sently to answer, time was given to the Clayment, to Inform and prepare him∣self to answer that matter; and a further day appointed for Tryal, and the Jury then Sworn, with-drawn; and after that, two several dayes appointed for Tryal, and also a third day, to wit, the 27th. of January, 1678. But
Page 7 The first day of Hillary Term, 1678. the Defendants Councel moved the Court, for a new Jury, and also for a further day for Tryal; both which the Court granted. Yet after all this, the Defendant moved again for a longer day, which was granted, until Thursday the 6th. of February. Notwithstanding all which, and that the Claymant had (at a vast Expence) kept his Witnesses in Town, all this time, yet would not the Court Award him any Costs.
☞ Note, In the Lord Chief Justice Hayles time, it was otherwise; for, in the Suit brought as aforesaid against Clarke, the Defendant moving to put off that Tryal for seven days, on pretence he was not prepared; the Court Awar∣ded the Defendant to pay the Clayman•Thirty Five Pound Costs, in respect of the Charge of keeping his Witnesses in Town, before any further time gi∣ven for Tryal; and which was paid accordingly.
Sixth of February, 1678. The New •ury appeared, and the Tryal came on again; the Cause opened, •nd one of the Witnesses called to prove the Words; who appearing, the Court declared he had sufficiently proved them before. So no Exception being made thereunto, or to any matter in the Declaration, by the Defendants Councel: It was Agreed to proceed, and take up the Case, where they left at the former Tryal, the 11th. of November.
Hereupon Copys of the Records of the Patents in Queen Maryes time (viz.) One for the Barony, and th• other for the Earldom, were produced. Up∣on this, the Defendants Councel Objected the Attainder of Thomas Percy. A∣gainst which, the Claymants Councel insisted, and Evidenced, That the Claymants Descent and Claim was Paramount the Attainder, and that the same could not, in any sort, affect the Claymant, and which was admitted by the Court.
This Point being thus Cleared, the Claymant descended to Examine his Wit∣nesses to prove his Pedigree, but the Defendants Councel declared, They admit∣ted and owned the Claymants Pedigree and Title, but that could not Affect the Lands, for that by an Act of Parliament touching Exchange of Lands between King Henry the Eighth, and Henry Percy the Sixth Earl of Northumberland, and others, the Limitations in the Settlement, under whom the Claymant Claymed, were destroyed. But this Point being also answered, as well by several Sa∣vings in that Act, as otherwise; and the Claymant Pressing, That he might be permitted to Examine his Witnesses, to prove his Pedigree, and pro∣ceed in the Cause: The Defendant then resorted to their first piece of Craft, and Insisted upon a pretended Insufficiency in the Declaration, and which had been debated, and waved as aforesaid; but the Lord Chief Justice Scroggs now falling in with them, would not suffer the Claymants Witnesses to be Exami∣ned, as to his Pedigree; but on the contrary, Cryed out The Declaration is nought, the Declaration is nought; whereupon, the Claymant was driven to suf∣fer a Non-Suit.
After this, the Claymant brought an Ejectment, for recovery of that part of the Estate belonging to the Earldom, called the Lady Lucyes Lands▪ and in 1681. brought the same to Tryal at the Kings-Bench-Bar, where the Claymant ful∣ly proved his Pedigree; and so was Declared by the Court; But by the evil Prac∣tises of the Adversaries, with the Person that managed the Cause for the Clay∣mant; and his not producing, at the Tryal, the Copy of the Grants, made by Richard the Second, to the Earls of Northumberland; for want thereof, and some other Records the said Agent was entrusted with, by the Claymant, the said Tryal passed against the Claymant. The then Lord Chief Justice Pemberton standing up in Court, and saying to the Claymant, Mr. Percy, Your Cause is ill managed, suffer a Non-suit.
Note, Through the like Practises, and evil Dealings of another of the Clay∣mants Page 8 Agents, one Mr. James Hooton, the Claymant lost the benefit of two Writs of Error brought in the House of Lords.
By these Methods the Claymant proceeded in the Courts of Law singly.
Now for Equity and Law together:
The Earldom of Northumberland, being heretofore endowed by his Majesty's Ancestors, with an Annual Rent or Fee of Twenty Pounds per Annum, payable by the Sheriff of Northumberland, out of the County.
In order to the Recovery thereof, and Affirmance of the Claymants Title, he exbibited his Bill in his Majesties Court of Exchecquer, against Edmond Crai∣ster Esq the then Sheriff of Northumberland, for Recovery of the said Twenty Pounds per Annum; not in the least doubting, but to bring the Merits of that Cause to a speedy Issue; but on the contrary, notwithstanding, the Sheriff was otherwise an uninterressed Party then, only as the hand to pay the Twenty pounds per Annum to the Claymant, and have it again allowed in his Accounts. Yet the Spirit and Practises that had hitherto opposed the Claymant, in his Prose∣cuting his just Right in the Courts of Law, appears in this also▪ and that the World may see it plainly, take this following Account of those Proceedings, viz.
In Trinity-Term, 1682. The Bill was fyled against Mr. Craister, who appears, but sits in Contempt for not answering; whereupon four several Attachments issued against him, directed to the Coroner of the County of Northumberland; but before any Obedience would be given thereunto, or Execution procured there∣on, the Claymant (Plaintiff in the Cause) was necessitated to be at the extraor∣dinary Expence of sending Persons on purpose, from London into Northumber∣land, to procure the same to be Executed.
Note, These Delayes spent all Trinity, Michaelmas, and Hillary-Terms, 1682. and Easter-Term, 1683.
Trinity-Term, 1683. The Coroner returns Cepi Corpus, but neither brings in the Body, nor Assignes the Bail-Bond, and is therefore amerced Five pounds.
Michaelmas-Term, 13 November 1683. The Plaintiff moves, and obtains an Or∣der for a further Americiament of Ten pounds against the Coroner, and liberty for the Plaintiff to Examine his Witness, de bene esse.
November the 20. 1683. Upon another Motion a further Amerciament of Twenty pounds.
November the 27. 1683. Upon another Motion, a further Amerciament of Forty pounds.
Hillary-Term, 1683. January 25. Upon another Motion, a further Amerciament of One Hundred pounds; and then Ordered, that the former Amerciaments should be forthwith Estreated and Levyed.
February 12. 1683. Upon another Motion, a further Amerciamen• of Fifty pounds, and to be forthwith Estreated.
Easter-Term, 1684. April 16. Upon another Motion, and Information o• these Matters; and that no Obedience was given by the Coroner: It was Ordered, That the Comptrollor of the Pipe, should forthwith Issue special process to the Sheriff of Northumberland, for Levying those Amerciaments; and that the Pro∣cess should be returnable the first day of the next Term, and that Mr. Craister should not have his quietus, until he had answered the Plaintiffs Bill, and cleared his Contempts; yet no Obedience yielded.
10 of May 1684. Upon another Motion, a further Amerciament of One Hun∣dred and Fifty pounds.
30 of May 1684. Mr. Craister put in his Answer, and upon the Plaintiffs Mo∣tion, it was referred to the Remembrancer, to Tax the Plaintiff his Costs for these Abuses and Delayes, which amounted to One Hundred Sixty Four pounds, Twelve shillings, Six pence; and yet Taxed but at Twenty one pounds, Sixteen shil∣lings, and Six pence.
Page 9 Now any reasonable Man would have Imagined, That after all 〈…〉 and Contempt, this small Pittance of 21 ll. 16 s. 6 d. Costs, should have been rea∣dily paid: But observe the contrary.
20 June 1684. Upon the Plaintiffs Motion, Ordered, That unless Mr. 〈◊〉 (by Monday then next) pay to the Plaintiff the Costs 〈◊〉, the Amer••aments should forthwith be levyed.
27. June 1684. The Plaintiff Moves further, and inform• th•〈…〉 were not paid; whereupon ordered, the Costs be paid that day, 〈…〉 Motion; but not a Penny paid.
Michaelmas-Term 1684. Nov. 4. The Plaintiff Moves the 〈…〉 forms, That no Costs is paid, nor any Obedien•• given to the 〈…〉 whereupon an Attachment was •warded against 〈◊〉, unless he 〈…〉 21 ll. 16 s. 6 d. and 1•s. and 4 s. more for 〈◊〉 of Costs 〈…〉 but no Obedience given.
Hereupon the Plaintiff (b• Petition to the B•ron• of the 〈…〉 the whole progress the Cause had had; and that to put the Plaintiff to 〈…〉Craister, de nov•, with the ordinary Process, was to run the old 〈…〉, in Infinitum; and that the Plaintiff having taken all the Method• that 〈◊〉 could advise, and to no purpose; prayed the Consideration 〈◊〉 by the 〈◊〉, and such course to be taken 〈◊〉 the Defendant, as might enforce Obedience 〈◊〉 these or the like Reasons, incert•• in his Petition.
First, The notorious and out-daring Practises of the 〈◊〉, and 〈◊〉 flying in the Face of the Court, by their unpresidented D••obed••nce to Authority, and rendring the same Contemptuous to all, and ineffectual in it• Justice to the prosecutor.
Secondly, The Ruin hereby following the Suitor, not only by the 〈◊〉 Charge, but Delay.
Thirdly, For that it's dishonourable, and reflects upon the Justice, as well as 〈◊〉 of the Court, That any person should be suffered to dare and tri••e with 〈◊〉, and Ruin the Prosecutor immediately under the protection thereof; if after •uch Delay, he must yet further suffer in his real Expence, ••casioned 〈◊〉 by this unparallel'd Contempt of Justice; The loss of near ••s. 6 d. in the pound, the Costs taxed being little more than 2 s. 6 d. in the pound: And
Lastly, For that nothing deters any Person from Contemning Justice, but ma∣king the Delinquent Exemplar.
Upon this Petition, the Court ordered, That if Craister did not pay the Costs by a day certain in Michaelmas-Term, 1684. then all the former Amerciaments to be forthwith Levyed, and a further Amerciament set.
Notwithstanding all which, the Plaintiff was put to the Charge of several o∣ther Motions for the Costs; and they not paid until the beginning of Hillary-Term last.
9 January 1684. The Claymant, by Petition, humbly Addressed himself to his late Sacred Majesty, and the Lords of his Privy-Council, briefly setting forth the said Matters in the Suit against Craister; and that the proceedings of Craister (and the Coroner) were in notorious Contempt of His Majesties Dignity and Authority; and tended not only to the bringing His Majesties Courts of Justice into Contempt, but to the Obstruction of Justice in general, and utter Ruin of the Claymant in particular.
Upon this Petition the Claymant received a Gracious verbal Answer, That the whole Matter of the Petitioners Cause should be heard and determined in the next ensuing Parliament.
That it being necessary to make his said late Majesty, by his Attorney General, Page 10 a Desendant to the Claymant's said Bill, in the Court of Exchequer, he made humble Application to the said Attorney General, to put in an Answer thereunto; but hath not hitherto been so happy, as to obtain the same; whereby the Claymants further proceedings in that Cause, are at a full stop.
Now it remains, that the Claymant answer some Objections much insisted on by his Adversary: As,
Object. I. That the Claymant, at first, derived his Pedigree from Sir Richard Percy, as his Great Grand-Father, and afterwards from Sir Ingleram Percy.
Answ. This is admitted to be true in Fact; but the occasion of deriving from Richard Percy, was:
1. The Matches of the Percies were rent out of the Heralds Book, and Sir In∣gleram Percy's was quite lest out of the First Pedigree.
2. The Misfortunes of the Family of the Percies in Queen Elizabeth's Time; and thereby, those of them under whom the Claymant is immediately Descended, dri∣ven out of their Native Country, and from their Father's House, in a most obscure manner, meerly for Preservation of their Lives in their tender Years.
3. The taking away the Court of Wards and Inquisitions, post mortem.
4. The Interruption in the Executing the Office of Heralds, in •he Times of the late Rebellion.
5. The Adversaries having the Advantage o• possessing themselves of all the Memorandums and Records of the late Earls of Northumberland, Algernoon and Ioscelin, and the Pedigrees and Descents of that Family.
6. The Advice above-said, given to the Claymant by Sir Edward Walker, Sir John Berkenhead, and the Claymant's Councel, to fix upon a Wrong Party, as the only way to find out the Right; and which, in truth, had the hoped-for Effect. Nor is this an Objection with any knowing, intelligent, unbyass'd Person; it being a thing frequently in practice in the Courts of Law.
Object. II. The Obscureness of the Claymant, and Meanness of his Profession, having been a Trunk-maker.
Answ. The Obscureness was, as before is said, from the Misfortunes and Dif∣ficulties of the Family of the Percies, in the troublesome Times of Queen Eliza∣beth.
Nor is it any real Disreputation upon any Noble Family; the supporting Fami∣lies by Lawful Callings, though never so mean, being esteemed a Virtue by all virtuous Persons: And it's most frequent in the Noblest Families in Germany▪ To Train up their Sons in the learning Handicraft-Trades. Nor can any thing but Vice, disparage True Nobility. Besides, the Matter in Controversie, is not, Whe∣ther the Claymant was of this, or that Trade? but, Whether he be Cousin, and next Heir Male to Joscelin Percy, late Earl of Northumberland; which he hath at several Tryals, and in several Courts, proved to full Satisfaction of the said Courts, by all the Methods and Ways imaginable?
As by Proof of his Lineal Descent, and the Ownings and Declarations of the late Earls of Northumberland, Algernoon and Ioscelin; That the Claymant (by the Appellation of James Percy, the Trunk-maker at Dublin) was of the Blood and Family of the Percies, and next Heir Male, after the said Ioscelin, to the Earldom; and by divers other unanswerable Proofs.
This being the True State of the Claymant's Right and Title to the said Earldom, and of the Means by which he has endeavour'd to Recover his said Right; wherein he hath been obstructed by the Powerfulness of his Adversaries, and the Corruption of his Agents: He humbly submits to the Great Wisdom, Honour, and Justice of the King's most Sacred Majesty, and the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, in Parliament Assembled, (and where it's not possible, there can be any Failer of Justice) for Relief and Redress in the Premises.