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William Siday v Toby Cressener and Susan Church

Privacy Level: Open (White)
Date: 23 Apr 1624 to 29 May 1624
Location: Earls Colne, Essex, Englandmap
Surnames/tags: Church Siday Cressener
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In 1624, there was a chancery deposition between William Siday v Toby Cressener and Susan Church concerning promises made by John Church as a wedding portion for his daughters Mary (Church) Siday and Jane (Church) Cressener. The portions were to be paid partly at the time of the marriage and partly at the death of John Church. The passage of time and inter family business confused the financial lines. William Siday was left nothing and to add to the confusion, the executor of John’s Will, his son Bartholomew Church held the inheritance for years then found himself outlawed on charge of murder. The outcome is not known but the surviving depositions provide incite into the general family tensions and relationships.

Named Individuals

John Church Father who’s marriage portions and estate was central.
William Siday Son-in-law raised the deposition.
Toby Cressener Son-in-law defending the deposition.
Susan Church Daughter-in-law defending the deposition.
Mary Church Wife of William and daughter of John
Jane Church Wife of Toby and daughter of John
Bartholomew Church Son and executor of the Will. Wife of Susan.
Agnes Bonner Rich spinster aunt. Used as bargaining chip, possibly when dead.
Dr Robert Church Son, died 1616
John Church Son, allegedly received a third share but otherwise not involved.
Joseph Siday Williams brother. Pressing for answers
Rose Church John Church’s widow, wanting an outcome presumably distressed by the quarrels over her husbands estate.

Minor adjustments have been made to add clarity.

Chancery Depositions PRO C8/30/102 Friday 23 April 1624 Original Transcription

Toby Cressener, gentleman says that concerning the promises that were supposed to have been made by John Church his father in law to William Siday he never knew of any of them.

Eight years ago (1616) he took to wife Jane Church one of John Church’s daughters and John promised them 200li, 100li at marriage and 100li on John's death at which time Siday was indebted to John for that sum and John expected to get this or 100li to give to Toby Cressener so John asked Cressener to receive instead a bond of Siday to receive within six months 100li and William Siday who was then in want of money asked Cressener to lend him 20li for six months and then they entered into the bond which was then 120li but William Siday failed to pay and after many demands William Siday paid 70li When, he doesn't remember!

Toby Cressener then cancelled the bond and they entered into another bond on 18 May 1617 for 52li10s and the payment of this second bond is long overdue in spite of friendly requests but after much ado he got 10li10s and he has heard that William Siday is giving out that he will not pay the money so he arrested him.

He only desires his debt, his damages and his reasonable costs for the payment of the 100li due on his marriage to Jane.

John Church and Bartholomew Church made a bond for the same, he doubts he will recover this because Bartholomew has been outlawed. He says he received very little from John Church towards his debts nor never knew Agnes Bonner, nor knows what has become of the estate of John Church denies any confederacy to get Bartholomew Church's lands or goods or John Church's he says only 40li is left of William Siday’s debt which is due since 23.11.1623[1]

Chancery Depositions PRO C8/30/102 Monday 26 April 1624 Original Transcription

William Siday of Bures St Mary gentleman shows that one John Church of Earls Colne gentleman was a man of ability and good work and had three daughters and two sons.

About 26 years ago (c1598) there was a treaty of a marriage between William Siday and Mary Church eldest daughter of John Church who promised that if he would marry Mary Church he would give 200li marriage portion with her. 100li to be paid at the time of the marriage and 100li to be paid on the death of John Church

John Church also promised he would procure one Agnes Bonner being John Church’s aunt and a singlewoman since deceased and of great wealth to give William Siday 40li more and also promised that he would procure one Dr Robert Church his brother to give 200li more and that John would give plate and bedding of good value.

So William Siday married Mary Church and lived with her ever since and have eight children alive and John Church being old and not able to travel employed William Siday in business tedious and chargeable

John Church had a younger daughter Jane Church whom he intended to marry to Toby Cressener gentleman.

John Church entreated William Siday to enter a bond for the payment of 250li for the payment of 120li to Toby Cressener which William Siday was induced to do at the request of his father in law John Church for security of Jane's portion but Siday having sealed the bond, John Church pretended great haste that it was near right and that there was no clerk to make security to Siday and Siday trusting him got no security.

Very shortly John Church fell sick and died and by the advice of Toby Cressener and his eldest son Bartholomew Church made his last will he appointed Bartholomew Church to be his executor and died about eight years ago without giving any legacy to William Siday his wife or any of the children or mentioning any of the formal promises he had made.

Bartholomew Church proved the will and took all his father's personal estate and held it for years. He too did not keep any of the promises his father had made to William Siday though he knew of them and promised that he would.

Bartholomew Church was then suspected of having killed a man and was outlawed for this.

Toby Cressener and one Joseph Siday gentleman (Bartholomew Church’s son in law), Susan Church his wife and Rose Church his mother, wife of John Church got into their hands not only Bartholomew Church’s lands and goods but also those of John Church out of which the debts should be paid but they pretended they had got from his majesty a grant of [Church-6788|Bartholomew Church’s]] estate and refused to make good any of John Church’s promises made to William Siday to save him harmless against the bond made to Toby Cressener.

Rose Church refuses to take out letters of administration of the goods of her late husband John Church to enable her to fulfil his promises and only lets Toby Cressener deal with the same.

Toby Cressener received divers large sums from John Church in his lifetime towards payment of the debt of 120li due as his wife's portion for which William Siday entered bond and Toby Cressener has also received from William Siday certain sums of money viz one time 20li another 50li another 10li towards payment of the debt upon the debt and also interest every half year until xmas last at which time it was agreed between them that Toby Cressener should deliver up the bond and William Siday should enter a new bond for the residue of 40li due.

But Toby Cressener instead has caused William Siday to be arrested on the bond of 250li and threated him with severity to compel him to put in special bail and threatens to recover the whole sum

He is remedy less and asks that Toby Cressener sets forth what money and what interest he has received and all other details including whether Agnes Bonner was living at the time the bond was made and also that Toby Cressener, Joseph Siday, Susan Church and Rose Church set forth what has become of John Church’s estate and that the remainder of the debt of 120li being in trust the proper debt of John Church may be paid out of his estate and that William Siday may receive satisfaction out of the estate for his promises. [2]

Chancery Depositions PRO C8/30/102 Saturday 29 May 1624 Original Transcription

Susan Church sworn Darsha, Suffolk she believes that William Siday married Mary Church at that time mentioned one of John Church’s daughters but what promises John Church made she does not know nor whether he used William Siday latterly in his business nor what promises John Church made or why William Siday entered into bond for 240li with Toby Cressener

She was ignorant of John Church’s proceedings. She believes that if John Church had made any promises to William Siday they had long since been performed otherwise he would not have forborne suit all this time being a man given to contentions and suits in law.

She believes that John Church made his will in writing and divided his estate into three, one part to his wife, one to his son John and a third to Bartholomew Church who was executor.

She doesn't know that the will was made on the advice of Bartholomew Church or Toby Cressener but after John Church’s death Bartholomew Church administered the will and if there was anything due to William Siday it was paid to him at that time for William Siday has had for many years the occupation of the lands called Broadfields in Alphamstone being part of Susan's jointure from her husband [[Church-6788|Bartholomew Church] without paying any rent.

Rhe rents amount to much more than William Siday was owed by John Church and the lands left to her husband Bartholomew Church were at Colne about twelve miles from his mansion house and William Siday embezzled or purloined or some other divers goods and Bartholomew Church brought home in two carts goods and chattels which were John Church’s but she does not remember particulars.

Bartholomew Church a year since was questioned for killing a man and fled and was outlawed, John Church’s goods being amongst his in his house in St Edmunds Bury Suffolk all were forfeited for Sir Edmund Bacon knight who has by grant of the king all felons goods in the franchise of St Edmunds Bury.

As for the rest of John Church’s goods she does not know what has become of them at the time of her marriage with Bartholomew Church she was seised of lands of the value of 160li per annum and was worth to Bartholomew Church 500li besides in household stuff and cattle all of which were forfeit by the outlawry and she was turned out of her estate and if there were any of John Church’s goods owing to William Siday they were of little value and there was little conscience of him to sue for them and put this poor and miserable defendant to needless expenses in the law.

Denies any confederacy to get John Church’s goods or that she has got by a judgement all Bartholomew Church’s estate[3]


  1. Chancery Depositions (PRO C8/30/102 Wm Siday v Toby Cressener and Susan Church) 23.4.1624# (Friday 23 April 1624) document 16400579
  2. Chancery Depositions (PRO C8/30/102 Wm Siday v Toby Cressener and Susan Church) 26.4.1624 (Monday 26 April 1624) document 16400406
  3. Chancery Depositions (PRO C8/30/102 Wm Siday v Toby Cressener and Susan Church) 29.5.1624 (Saturday 29 May 1624) document 16400508

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