[A Collage of Lavenham]

Lavenham Parish Council's Millennium Website

The following is the transcript of a contract between the Town of Lavenham and John Lumley, signed 20th March 1634. If you're finding the language difficult, a summary of the contract appears at the bottom of the page.

This Indenture Made the Twentithe daye of Marche in the Tenthe yeare of the Reigne of our Sovereign Lord Charles by the grace of God Kinge of England Scotland Fraunce and Ireland defendour of the faithe &c Betwene William Copinger of Buxhall in the County of Suff' Esquier And Henry Copinger of Lavenham in the said County gent being amongest divers others feoffees of the Towne Landes of Lavenham aforesaid to susteyne and charitably relieve the Poore and Almeshowses within the said Towne of Lavenham on the one part And John Lumley the younger of the same Towne Clothier on the other part Witnesseth that the said Willm' Copinger and Henry Copinger for themselves their and either of their executours administratours & assignes Have demysed graunted & to farme leatten And by theis presentes doe demise graunt and to farme leatt vnto the said John Lumley his executours administratours & assigns All those three pieces of pasture called and known by the names of Greate Kinge feilde, little Kinge feilde, and Linches feilde, sett lying and being in Brent Eleighe in the said County of Suff' and are Towne Landes belonginge vnto the poore of Lavenham aforesaid conteyninge together by measure fourteene acres sixe pole and an halfe To have and to holde all and singuler the said demysed premisses with Thappertenances to the said John Lumley his executours administratours and assignes for and during the Terme and space of Seaven yeares from the Feaste daye of St. Michaell Tharchangell last past to beginne & from thenceforth fully to be compleate & ended Yealdinge and payinge therfor yearely & every yrare to the said Willm' Copinger and Henry Copinger or either of them their or either of their executours administratours or assignes to the vse and behoof of their Overseers of the said Towne of Lavenham for the vse and benefit and towardes the relief of the poore there, the full summe of Fourteene Poundes of lawfull Englishe money at the two vsuall and accustomed dayes of payment in the yeare by even and equall porcions That is to saye Seaven Poundes therof in and vpon the Five and Twentithe daye of Marche next ensuing commonly called our Lady Day or within one and Twenty dayes next after and the other Seaven poundes in and vpon the Feaste daye of St. Michaell Tharchangell next followinge or within one and Twenty dayes next after the said feaste daye & so at every of the said feaste dayes seaven poundes during the said terme of seaven yeares or within one and Twenty dayes next after either of the said feaste dayes And the said John Lumley doth for himself his executors administratours and assignes covenante promise & graunte to & with the said Willm' Copinger Henry Copinger & either of them their & either of their executors administratours & assignes by theis presentes in manner & forme following That is to saye that he the said John Lumley or his assignes shall this first yeare breake vp & ploughe & sowe with graine or corne the said demysed premisses & the next yeare followinge shall give a good & sufficient sommertilthe accordinge to the custome of the country vnto all the said demysed premisses & soe afterwardes from tyme to tyme during the terme of this demyse shall take but two cropes of corne together & then sommertill the said Landes without sowing any tares or other graine whatsoever & at the end and expiracion of this present demyse shall leave & yeald vpp all and singuler the demysed premisses in good & sufficient manner with all hedges ditches quicksettes rowes rayles gates particions & stiles well fenced as they now are In witnesse wherof the parties abovenamed have herevnto interchangeably subscribed and sealed the daye and yeare firste above written Annoque Domini 1634
Sealed and delivered in the presence H
Henry Copinger senior
of / Henry Copinger
John Lumley

The above agreement is for the tenancy of three fields - Great King Field, Little King Field and Linches Field - in Brent Eleigh [about 5 minutes drive from Lavenham]. The fields are owned by the Town of Lavenham for the benefit of the poor and almshouses of Lavenham. They are leased to John Lumley of Lavenham for seven years to grow arable crops. William Copinger of Buxhall and Henry Copinger of Lavenham are acting on behalf of the Town of Lavenham. The rent will be £14 per annum, which will go to the poor of Lavenham.

John Lumley agrees that in the first year he will plough the land and sow an arable crop. Thereafter, he will take no more than two crops per year before leaving the land fallow for the remainder of that year.

Contributed by Lionel Baker

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