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‘Geldorp v Swettnam’ – The Complaint of George Geldorp (1662)

Abstract

George Geldorp (c.1590–1665) painter, dealer and former member of Van Dyck’s studio, sues his landlady Mary Swettnam, for 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, 11-6-1662

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Previously unpublished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 Complaint of George Geldorp (1662)” In Jordaens Van Dyck Panel Paintings Project. Edited by Justin Davies.
http://jordaensvandyck.org/archive/geldorp-v-swettnam-the-complaint-of-george-geldorp/ (accessed 1 December 2022)

© Jordaens Van Dyck Panel Paintings Project (terms and conditions)

The Complaint of George Geldorp

11o Junii 1662 Penrodoc

To the right honourable Edward Earle of Clarendon Lord High Chancellor of England

Humbly Complainieinge sheweth unto your Lordshipp your Orator George Geldorp of the City of Westminster gent That whereas one Lawrence Swettnam of Westminster aforesaid Esquire deceased beinge in his lifetime and at the tyme of his death (amongst other thinges lawfully seized in his demeasne as of soe or of some other estate of Inheritance of and in twoe Messuages or Tenements with their Appurtenances scituate lyeing and being in Orchard Streete in Westminster aforesaid did about the yeare of our Lord One thousand sixe hundred Thirty and Nyne by the speciall order and Direcion of his late Majesty Kinge Charles the first of ever blessed memory devise sett and to ffarme Lett the said Messuages or Tenements and premises to one Mr Pullenbrooke and Mr Kernings two Dutchmen and servants to his said late Majesty for a certaine terme of yeares att and under the yearely rent of Threescore pounds which was to bee paid by his said late Majesty out of his Exchequer By virtue of which said Devise the said Mr Pullenbrooke and Mr Kerings entered into the said premises and held and enioyed the same for divers yeares and the said yearely rent was duely paid to the said Lawrence Swettnam or his Assignes by his said late Majesties Officers for that purpose by him appointed And your Orator further sheweth that the said Mr Pullenbrook and Mr Kerings were afterwards employed by his said late Majesty to goe into Holland for the dispatch of some affaires for him and they accordingly went thither with an intent to returne again and to hold and enjoy the said houses but the late unhappy Warres happening in this Kingdome within a short time after and soe returnd  not againe By meanes whereof the said two Messuages or houses remained uninhabited for some time and the said Lawrence Swettnam conceavinge that the houses would bee the worse if they should longer remaine untennanted perswaded your Orator to write unto one Mr Endimion Porter then one of his said late Majesties Bedchamber and a friend of your Orator to obtaine his said late Majesties consent that your Orator might dwell and contiane in the said houses untill the returne of the said two dutchmen from Holland which your Orator accordingly did and his said late Majesty being moved therein gave his consent thereunto and such his said consent was shortly after signifyed unto your Orator by the a  Letter written by the said Mr Porter unto your Orator dated from Oxford the Thirteenth of February One thousand six hundred forty and three upon receipt whereof your Orator did shewe the same unto the said Mr Swettnam whoe thereupon admitted your Orator unto the Messuages aforesaid for some time upon his said late Majesties Accompt without payinge anythinge for the same [deletion, illegible] and then there being noe likelyhood of his Majesties Returne unto London the said Lawrence Swettnam informed your Orator that his Majesty was in Arreare unto him for the rent of the said twoe houses and that hee would not suffer your Orator to remaine in the possession thereof any longer unless hee would pay a reasonable rent for the same Whereupon itt was about Christmas One thousand six hundred fforty and ffive or shortly after concluded and agreed betweene the said Lawrence Swettnam and your Orator that your Orator should pay the summe of Twenty pounds a yearer or the said twoe houses for soe long time as hee should continew in the possession of them But nevertheless it was expressely agreed to bee paid upon this Condicion that if the said Lawrence Swettnam his Executors Administrators or Assignes should att any time then after receave the Arreares of the said rent then due for the said premisses That then hee the said Swettnam his Executors and Administrators should satisfy and pay backe unto your Orator and his Assignes such summe of money as hee should pay unto the said Swettnam by vertue of the said Agreement By vertue of which said Agreement your Orator continued in the said houses and att the end of halfe a yeare after the said Agreement that is to say upon or about the Three and Twentyeth day of June in the yeare of our Lord One thousand six hundred fforty and sixe your Orator in parte of execucion thereof paid him the summe of Tenne pounds for that halfe yeares rent att which time the said Lawrence Swettnam gave your Orator a writinge under his hand purporting the said Agreement and in confirmacion thereof (As in and by the said somme itt doth and may att large appeare And your Orator for the space of three yeares after or thereabouts continued in the said houses and duely paid the said yearely rent of Twenty pounds unto the said Lawrence Swettnam or his Assignes for that time the same amountinge unto the summe of Threescore pounds and upwards And your Orator further sheweth that about thirteene or ffowerteene yeares since the said Lawrence Swettnam dyed intestate possessed of a very great and considerable personall estate sufficient to pay all his debts with a great overplus By and after whose death Letters of Administracion of all his personall estate were in dew forme of Lawe comitted and granted unto Mary Swettnam his widdowe and Relict By vertue whereof shee possessed herselfe of all her said husbands personall estate being of such vallue as aforesaid and became intitled to the said Arreares of rent due from his said late Majesty for the twoe Messuages aforesaid which amounted unto the summe of Three hundred Thirty and ffive pounds or to some suchlike summe [deletion] and in or about the yeare of our Lord One thousand six hundred ffifty and ffower the said Arreares of rent being soe much as aforesaid were paid unto her (or to some other by her appointment ) by the hands or direcion of [blank] Fauconbridge late of Westminster aforesaid Esquire deceased who was Treasurer of or as had some other imployment relating to his said late Majesties Revenue and […] the same was paid her by some other person or persons therefore shee the said Mary Swettnam  according to the said Agreement ought to reimburse and pay your Orator the said Threescore pounds soe receaved by the said Lawrence Swettnam as aforesaid togeather with damages for the same ever since the said Arreares were receaved Butt soe itt is may it please your Lordshipp That hee the said Lawrence Swettnam being dead shee the said Mary Swettnam having a purpose to avoid the said Agreement though the same hath been often in a freindly manner requested to bee paid and although shee well knowe and was privy to the said Agreement and knowe that the Threescore pounds was paid unto her husband in pursuance thereof shee the said Mary Swettnam pretendinge that there was never any such Agreement made as aforesaid and that your orator never paid the summe of Threescore pounds unto the said Lawrence Swettnam or to any other to his use upon any such Account as aforesaid and pretends that shee never receaved any summe or summes of money whatsoever from the said Mr Faulconbridge or from any other for the Arreares of rent or any parte thereof and if shee did yett she gives out in speeches that her husband dyed very much indebted and shee hath fully administered his estate and hath noe Assetts to satisfy your Orator the said summe of Threescore pounds or any parte thereof By means whereof your Orator is like to be defeated and defrauded of the said Threescore pounds and of all damages for the same contrary to the said Agreement and contrary to all right Equity and good Conscience In tender consideracion whereof and forasmuch as your Orator hath noe remedy att the Common Lawe for the recovery of the said Threescore pounds nor to enforce the said Mary Swettnam to performe the said Agreement in regard the forme was made in private betweene your Orator and the said Lawrence Swettnam and your Orator cannott make proofe of the same nor of the said Mary Swettnams receipt of the same Three hundred Thirty and ffive pounds for the said Arreares of rent nor cannott make a true discovery of the promisses aforesaid but by the said Mary Swettnams oath in this honourable Court the Wittnesses that should prove the matters aforesaid being all dead or Gone beyond the seas and cannott be had or produced att any tryall att Lawe soe that your Orator is onely releavable by and before your Lordshipp in this honourable Court To the end therefore that the said Mary Swettnam whoe knowes all and singular the promisses aforesaid to bee true may thereunto perfect answer Answeare make and in particular may sett forth whether there was not such an Agreement as aforesaid or any other and what other Agreement made betweene your Orator and the said Lawrence Swettnam touchinge the said two Messuages and whether your Orator did not pay the summe of Threescore pounds unto the said Lawrence Swettnam or to some other to his use as aforesaid And that shee the said Mary Swettnam may alsoe sett forth whether shee hath not receaved the said Arreares of rent due from his said late Majesty for the said twoe houses or how much thereof and when and from whome shee receaved the same And whether shee hath not Assetts in her hands sufficient to satisfy the said Threescore pounds soe dew unto your Orator as aforesaid togeather with damages for the same as alsoe all other debts of the said Lawrence Swettnam And that the said Mary Swettnam may bee by the decree of this Court enforced to pay unto your Orator the said Threescore pounds with damages/ and to performe the said Agreement And that your Orator may bee releeved in all and singular the promisses accordinge to Justice and Equity May itt please your Lordshipp the promisses considered to graunt unto your Orator his Majesties most gracious Writt of Subpoenato bee directed to the said Mary Swettnam thereby comanding her att a certaine day and under a certaine paine thereunto to bee lymitted personally to bee and appeare before your Lordshipp in this High Court of Chauncery then and there to answer all and singular the promisses and to stand so and abide such further order direccion and decree therein as to your Lordshipp shall seeme meete And your Orator shall ever pray Etcetera

[Signed]

Naylor        [?]Parr      Luttrell