360 Lewis Gregory on the Doddridge Bequest

    Barnstaple 18th April 1729


    This week Mr. Mewin Rector of Henton punchardon shewed me your Letter to him of the 29th ult. and desired me to answer that part of your Letter which relates to the £10 per annum given by Mr. Dodderidge to the Colledge in New England and he would write to you like wise.

    Captain Tallamy about 3 Years since came to me and shewed me Mr. Dodderidges Will wherein he had devised £50 per annum de claro to a Lecturer at Fremington, £10 per annum to the College in New England, and £10 per Annum to select Scholars in the University of England, all to issue out of the Rectory of Fremington and by his will nominates Trustees to settle those Charitys as counsel sho’d advise. As soon as I received this will I applied to Mr. Acland who hath been in possession of the said Rectory for near 80 Years and acquainted him I had orders from the College of New England to prefer a Bill against him for the arrears of this Charity, whose answer was that after a Fee Farm rent of £33 per annum which issues yearly out of the said Sheafe and paying the Lecturer and Rates and taxes there was nothing left. I told him if the Sheaf would not pay the whole there must be an abatement in proportion and I find the Sheaf will not near pay the whole. I have collected some papers and receipts of use to shew how the Sheafe was sett to Tenants and have the receipt which was given for the £10 due to the College of New England in 1687 and gave a particular account of it to the College of New England by Captain Tallamy and advised with Counsellor Stuckey about drawing a Bill. Mr. Ackland is no way entituled to the sheaf as Heir at Law but only as he married one of the Daughters and Coheiresses of one of the Trustees in Mr. Dodderidges Will which I believe was the sur vivor. The Sheaf was formerly set for £100 per annum and upwards but now not worth above £80 and rates and Taxes prodigious high in that parish. There have been several Lecturers since my remembrance and I am credibly informed Mr. Ackland hath kept back for several years the £10 per annum due to New England and I believe he hath not paid any thing for many years to a scholar in one of our Universities. Mr. Ackland is a vast rich wicked man and will do nothing till he is compelled and I wanted only a note under some persons hand in England that would pay me and I would have proceeded long ago but Mr. Tallamy would not undertake it. Tis necessary to know how the College is incorporated and in whose names they must sue and I believe an information in the name of the Attorney General a[bout] the relation of the president and fellows of Harvard College may be proper. Mr. Tallamy had the copy of Mr. Dodderidges will from me about 3 months since. I hear he is not gone to New England himself, but his son and he is at Bedeford. If you want any farther Information from me I will send it you and proceed against Mr. Ackland as you shall direct. Sir,

    Your most humble Servant

    Lewis Gregory

    Wills, Gifts, and Grants, p. 53. Page 3 and part of page 4 of a later copy of documents relating to the Doddridge bequest. Pages 1 and 2 comprise the Will (our No. 60), pages 5–6 are a letter of 1720 (our No. 199), pages 7–8 are a letter of 1724 (our No. 296). Lewis Gregory is probably addressing Henry Newman here.