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‘Geldorp v Swettnam’ – The Answeare of Mary Swettnam (1662)

Abstract

Mary Swettnam, landlady to the plaintiff George Geldorp (c.1590–1665) painter, dealer and former member of Van Dyck’s studio, refutes Geldorp’s charge that she owes him repayment of rent for his occupancy of two houses previously leased by the King for the painters Cornelis van Poelenburgh (1594–1667) and Alexander Keirincx (1600–52).

Place and date
Westminster, 1662

Archival reference
The National Archives, Kew TNA C10/67/59

Transcribed by James Innes-Mulraine

Publication history

Previously unpublished

How to cite: Innes-Mulraine, James. “Geldorp v Swettnam – The Answeare of Mary Swettnam (1662)” In Jordaens Van Dyck Panel Paintings Project. Edited by Justin Davies.
http://jordaensvandyck.org/archive/geldorp-v-swettnam-the-answeare-of-mary-swettnam-1662/ (accessed 1 December 2022)

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The Answeare of Mary Swettnam

Speke

The Answeare of Mary Swettnam widdow defendant to the Bill of Complaint of George Geldorpe Complaynant

The said Defendant reserving to herselfe now and att all tymes hereafter all advantags of Excepcon to the uncertaintyes insufficiencyes and imperfecions of the said Bill for a full and perfect Answeare thereunto she saith That Laurence Swettnam deceased the said defendants late husband in his life tyme and the tyme of his death was possessed and i[….] of the two messuages or tenements in the Bill mencioned for a terme of yeares then in being and not expired, and not seized in fee or of any other estate of Inheritance thereof as by the said Bill is surmised And the said defendant believeth that in the beginning of or about the month of July in the yeare one thousand six hundred thirty Eight the said two messuages or Tenements were hired of her said husband by the order of and direccion of the late King Charles the first of ever blessed memory for mr Pullenborch and mr Kering in the Bill named two dutchmen and then Servants to his said late Maiestie at the rent of threescore pounds per Annum but for the certainty of the terme the said two messuages were soe hired the said Defendant knoweth not which said yearely Rent (as by the said defendant alsoe believeth was to have ben paid by his said late maiestie out of his Exchequer And the said Defendant believeth that the said Pullenborch and Kering dwelled in the said two messuages or tenements for the space of fower yeares or thereabouts and her said husband receaved only one yeares and half Rent for the same and noe more as the said defendant hath heared her said husband affirme verily believeth And the said Pullenborch and Kering having lived in the said two messuages or Tenements for the space of fower yeares or thereabouts they went – (as she hath heard/ into their owne Country but for what cause they soe went the said defendant knoweth not, and the said two messuages or Tenements being thereby void and the Complainant (as she beleeveth destitute of a house to dwell in, the Complainant gott into the possession of them and afterwards of his owne accord and not by the perswation of her said husband (as she verely beleeveth wrote to mr Endimion Porter in the bill named to obteyne his said late maiesties consent contynue in the said houses till the returne of the said Pullenborch and Kering and she beleeveth that upon shewing of the said mr Porters Letter to her said husband he gave his consent that the Complainant should remayne and contynue in the said messuags or Tenements and accordingly as the said defendant verily beleeveth and hopeth to prove to this honourable Court the Complainant remayned and dwelt therein til Christmas one thousand six hundred forty eight upon his said late maiesties accompt and after that tyme he contynued therein till Michaelmas one thousand six hundred forty nyne or thereabouts upon his own accompt for which tyme the Complainant hath not hitherunto given the said Defendant any Satisfaccion And the said defendant saith that after the Complainant had lived in the said houses for sometyme and the Late Unhappy warres breakinge out and little likelyhood of his said late maiesties returne to London and her said late husband receavinge noe rent for the said houses her said late husband told the Complainant being a lymner that if he contynued in the said houses he the said Complainant should pay unto the said defendants husband and his assignes yearely twenty pounds for soe long as the Complainant soe contynued in the possession of them and alsoe two good pictures to the life yearely But if her said husband should att any tyme receave the arreares of the said rent of Threescore Pounds then due and afterwards should grow due for the said two messuages or tenements That then her said husband should pay back unto the Complainant such ?Picture and sumes of money as he should pay unto her said husband of the same twenty pounds per Annum And the said defendant doth acknowledge that the Complainant afterwards paid unto the said husband in his lifetyme (to witt) on or about the tyme in the Bill in that behalfe mencioned tenn pounds att our Lady day before which tyme (videlicet) att our Lady day one thousand six hundred forty six there was six yeares then arrears of the said rente afterwards the Complainant paid unto the said defendants husband the seaven and twentieth day of December one thousand six hundred forty six tenn pounds more and on the six and twentieth day of July one thousand six hundred forty eight which was two dayes before her said husband dyed tenn pounds more in all thirty pounds and since her said husbands death she the said defendant hath receaved of the Complainant at severall tymes twenty five pounds more which in all makes upp fifty five pounds and noe more And the saod defendant saith that there being many yeares arreare of the said rent of Threescore pounds per Annum and her said husband dying and leavinge her fower Children to be provided for she the said defendant havinge taken Letters of Administracon of the goods and chattles debts and creditts of her said husband shee repaired unto the then pretended Committee for the publicke Revenue for the said Rent, five of which gave their order dated the tenth day of July one thousand six hundred forty nyne to Thomas Falconbridge Esquire the then Receaver generall of the same Revenew for payment of Three hundred and fifteene pounds to the said defendant for the Arreares of the said rent for five yeares and a quarter ended at Christmas then last past which said Three hundred and fifteene pounds the said defendant according to the said order receaved of the said mr Falconbridge att two severall paquets in September one thousand six hundred forty nyne and not in the yeare one thousand six hundred fifty fower as by the said bill is supposed And the said defendant saith there was due for the arreares rent at Christmas one thousand six hundred forty eight over and besides the said five yeares and quarter soe allowed and paid unto her as aforesaid two hundred and tenne pounds for three yeares and half ended at michaelmas one thousand six hundred forty three which is still unpaid And the said defendant doth therefore deny that the Complainant [———-] paid unto her said husband or his assignes in his lifetyme and doth also [—] deny that the Complainant ever paid unto her the said defendant or any other to her use since his her said husbands  death any more or other mony for or towards the said twenty pounds per Annum then the said fifty five pounds as aforesaid And the said defendant doth humbly conceave as she is advised by her Councell she is not bound to sett forth in this her answeare what personall estate her said husband dyed possessed of or what value nor what debts she hath paid out of the same for what according to her said husbands agreement with the Complainant she the said defendant wilbe ready to repay unto the Complainant the said fifty five pounds out of the said two hundred and tenn pounds soe remayning in arreare as aforesaid assoone as she shall receave the same the Complainant making good the pictures in arreare and giving the said defendant satisfaccon for his three quarters of a yeares living in the said houses after Christmas one thousand six hundred forty eight and untill then she doth refuse to pay the said fifty five pounds unto the Complainant she being noe way lyable for the payment thereof (as she humbly conceaveth) and besides the Complainant left the said houses much decayed and ruinated the reparacon whereof afterwards cost the said defendant thirty pounds at her [—] And the said defendant saith that her said husband to her knowledge or the said defendant since his death never receaved of any person or persons whatsoever any other or more monyes for or towards the said rent for the said two messuages or tenements then before she hath in this her answeare sett forth and expressed without that, that any other matteror thing in the said bill of Complaint conteyned materiall or effectuall in the Law to be answeared unto by this defendant and not herein sufficiently answeared confessed and avoyded traversed or denyed is true All which this defendant is ready to averre iustify mainteyne and prove as this honourable Court shall award and humbly prayeth to be hence dismissed with her costs and charges in this behalfe wrongfully susteyned./

[Signed]

Joseph Whittam