296 Lewis Gregory to President Leverett

    [7] Copy of a Letter from Mr. Lewis Gregory

    To Mr. John Leverett president

    of Harvard Colledge

    in New England

    Barnstaple April 16th 1724

    By Capt. Tallamy


    I received yours of the 6th of September last by Capt. Tallamy and I presume you mistake my Letter as to the making a Demand of £150 Sterling in order to carry on the Suit against Mr. Ackland. What I desired was only that money might be deposited in some Hand in England where I might have it as there was occasion or else I expect that Capt. Tallamy or some other responsible person may undertake to answer the Cost.

    Tis impossible for any one to tell what the Cost of a Chancery Suit will amount unto or how long the Defendant (who is vastly rich) will contest it. It may not Cost above £50 or it may cost three times so much. To get a proper Answer on Oath will not exceed £10. And there one may guess at the succeeding Expence and likewise as to the Success of the Suit.

    The sheaf at present is not worth quite £100 per Annum (as I am credibly informed) for that there is not near as much Tillage in the parish as formerly and by the Account Mr. Ackland gives in it pays £10 per Annum to the [landlord?] when 2s in the pound, £4 yearly to the poor, 20 to the Highways and a Fee farm Rent of £33.10 per Annum which makes up £48.10. And I understand that the Lecturer will insist on his £50 per Annum clear of all outgoings first as it is specifyed in the Donors Will. But you’l find by the opinion of an eminent Counsell (which is inclosed) that if the Sheaf will not answer the full Charitys there must be a proportionable abatement.

    Tis my opinion not to sue for the Arrears further back than Mr. Ackland’s Marriage with Mr. Loverings heir (which is about 24 years) tho there is 10 years more due by Reason it will be difficult to prove who receives the Profits before and several Infants in that case must be brought before the Court (the persons that received it being dead). But if tis your opinion to sue for the whole it shall be done. As to the fee farm Rent of £33.10 I have received some intimation lately that it does not issue out of the Sheaf but out of the Manor whereof I will be thoroughly informed for Mr. Ackland is possessed of both. Be pleased to give full instructions by Capt. Tallamy and [8] they shall be punctually observed by

    Sir Your most humble Servant

    Lewis Gregory

    If it be insisted on by the Defendents that security be given to answer the Cost in the Event of the suit the Court will compel it where Foreigners sue. Therefore give Directions to Capt. Tallamy accordingly.

    Copy of Counsels opinion relating to Mr. Doddredge’s Will.

    I have perused the Will of John Doddredge Esq. and if the Rectory of Fremington be not of sufficient value to pay the Annuitys charged thereon by the said Will then I Conceive the Annuities ought to abate in proportion equally. What Expence may attend a Contest at Law is uncertain it being uncertain what opposition may be made and what Points may arise thereon. But on the Answers of the principal Defendents some Conjecture may be made as to the Expence and the having such Answers can be but small Expence.

    13th April 1724

    L. Shuley.

    Mr. Cutcliffe

    Inclosed are Copy’s tres of Mr. Gregorys which were lately sent from the Colledge in New England to my freind in London and which He desired me to send you for your better insight and information in the Affair. I beg as speedy an Answer as possible in the Affair and you’l very much oblige

    Dear Sir

    Your very humble Servant

    Ch. Challis

    [Dounsh?] 10th September 1733

    [Endorsed:] Copy of John Doddredge’s Will and sundry Letters N. 3.

    Wills, Gifts and Grants, 54. Part of a series of later copies of documents relating to the Doddridge bequest.