Daily entries from the 17th century London diary
Some explanation of Gravely copyhold and the Trice issue
Uncle Robert died in July 1661, leaving his Brampton house and estate to Sam.
The fallout from Uncle Robert's will gets quite confusing,. Sam records various events and legal processes - extending for weeks and months after Robert's death - without giving an explanation for the benefit of readers 3 centuries later!
Some good clarification is given by Arthur Bryant in his Pepys biography (part 1 of 3) 'Samuel Pepys, The Man in the Making' (1933), Chapter VIII. However, even Bryant doesn't properly explain what the Graveley copyhold is about. The Graveley court case is separate from the Trice matter.
It seems that a part of Sam's inheritance from Uncle Robert included some property at Graveley. However, to prove his right, he had to have 'the Graveley copyholds'. Without these, the property went to the heir-at-law, his Uncle Thomas (his father's older brother). There was a court case that considered this and concluded the right was to Thomas. Sam accepted this.
The Trices were a separate issue. Uncle Robert's wife had been previously married, and had had two sons by that marriage - Jasper and Thomas Trice. When she married Robert, Robert had promised to give her two sons
from L&M Companion entry for Uncle Robert...He left no children of his own, but two stepsons (Jasper and Tom Trice), both lawyers. Perhaps foreseeing trouble he expressed the wish in his will that
For any wondering about copyhold from the notes above . . . It was one of three basic forms of property rights at the time: freehold, leasehold, and copyhold. Freehold was what we commonly think of as ownership today--you pay a certain amount and the property is yours. The freeholder could lease the property to a tenant in exchange for rent.
This leaves the special case of the tenants whose families had been on the property for centuries and who couldn't simply be thrown off. Their rights were protected by copyhold, based on 'immemorial custom of the manor' as shown by a copy of the old manorial records. It sounds above like an owner had to possess surrenders from all of the copyholders to prove his ownership before he could give the property to anyone but the designated heir-at-law, leading to Sam's troubles for the next few years.
Copyhold was only abolished in 1922.
Useful reference material on "Tenants and Tenures"
Saturday 14 February 1662/63, following the outline provided above by Pauline, Dirk & OzStu further clarified the way the out-of-court settlement was worked out, much to the chagrin of S Pepys. http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1663/02/14/#c41993
Pepys V Trice
The papers survive, at least in part, and are held in the UK National Archives at Kew, catalogue Chancery “C 10/63/77”
RobertPepys Original Probate Pepys, Robert, of Brampton, Hunts, esq.1661 30 Oct. National Archives (UK) PROB 4/21135
Will of Robert Pepys of Brampton, Huntingdonshire, 23 August 1661; Records of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury -- available in 2 parts for £3.50 todayhttp://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/documentsonl...
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