3. Indenture, Richard and Joan Nicholls, 10 September 1638

The third indenture involves the Nicholls family from Fenton Culvert. Dated the tenth of September, 1638 Joan and Richard Nicholls (a gentleman) with “greate love and natural affection” for their boys: Michaell, John and Joseph (and another on the way) hope to ensure their education and care during their lifetime and to pass down the family property via the laws of primogeniture.

The Nicholls already own land in Fenton Culvert, Coltsmore and Bradnopp and have recently purchased some more land: Birch Meadow, Poole Meadow, and Stanley Croft Meadow from Luge and Barnabie Lewitt, and William Knight. They intend to lease land to Richard Garrison (a yeoman) of Boote Hall and Raphe Wood (a gentleman) of Cannock and Canke.

The indenture ensures that Joan will have use of the properties in Coltsmore and Bradnopp during her natural life and will lease it to Richard Garrison and Raphe Wood at twenty pounds a year paid twice annually, on the Feast of the Annunciation of our Ladie[1] and the feast of St. Michaell the Archangel.[2] After her death, the property will pass to Michaell, after the death of both parents, an addition five-hundred pounds will be divided among their younger children.

Unfortunately, the Civil War saw the loss of much of the Nicholl’s property, owning to the involvement (or perceived involvement) of Richard with Royalist causes. For example, the property in Coltsmore was sequestered by the parliamentary Committee at Stafford on May 10th, 1644 (Pennington). Richard is found throughout the indentures in this manuscript. He is very likely the most well-documented individual from the manuscript owing to his legal troubles during the Civil War.

“greate love and natureall affection” ff. 5r

1 (5r)

\Mr Nicholls Coutiyant/

This indenture made the tenth daie of
 Separtiember in the thirteenth yeare of the raigne of our ~
Soveraigne lourd Charles by the grace of god of England Scotland
Ffrance and Ireland kinge defender of the faithe pt Between
Richard Nicholls of Ffenton Culvert in the county of xx
Staff-gent. and Joane his wife of the one partie, and Raphe
Wood of Cannocke and Canke in the sayd county of Staff
gent and Richard Garrison of Boote Hall in the said xx
County of Staff-yeoman of the other partie. Witnesseth, that
for and in consideration of the great love and natureall
affection which the sayd Richard Nicholls and Joane his xx
wife doe beare unto Michaell Nicholls John Nicholls
and Joseph Nicholls sonnes of the sayd Richard Nicholls
and Joane his wife, and such issue as it shall please
god to blesse them with all and for the better preservacon
and continuance of the messuages lands tenements
tythes and hereditamente of them the sayd  Richard x
Nicholls and Joane in their issue and posterity soe x
longe as it shall please god soe to continue the samme.
And for diverse other greate and valenable considerations
the sayd Richard Nicholls and Joane espesiallie movinge
It is coveunted concluded and fullie agreed by and xx
betweene the sayd parties to their presentes, And the sayd
Richard Nicholls and Joane doe for them their heires
Executors and administrators and everie of them covemt
promise and graunt to and with the said Raphe Wood &
Richard Garrison theire Executors and Administrators
and every of them that they the sayd Richard Nicholls x
and Joane shall and will with in one yeare next ensueing
By ffyne or ffynes in due form of same to be levied xx
whereuppon Proclaimacons maie bee had and made
accordinge to the Statute in that case made and provided
ffeoffment or ffeoffments comon recoverie or recoveries mth
double or single voucher or vouchers or by such other
good and sufficient conveyances and assurances
in the lawe as by counsell lerned in the law shall bee
reasonably advised devised or required convey and assure

2 (5v)
unto said Raphe Wood and Richard Garrison and x
the theine heires for ever, All theire and either of theine
Messuages lands meadows pastures tythes rents,
revercons services comons tenements and hereditaments
with theire appurtanances scituate lying and beinge
in Ffenton Culvert aforesaid Coltsmore and xx
Bradnapp or in any of them in the said county of
Staff. And one Meadowe lyinge in Ffenton x
Vivian called Birch Meadow ald Poole meadowe
ald Stanley Croft meadow in the aforesaid xx
County of Staff. lately purchased of Luge Lewitt
Barnabie Lewitt and William Knight which ffyne
and ffines ffeoffment and ffeoffments recoverie
and recoveries and other appurtanances soe to bee
had and made shall bee and euvre and shall bee
had deemed adjudged and taken to bee and the
Sayd Raphe Wood and Richard Garrison and xx
Theine heires and the heires of the survivor of them
Shall by virtue thereof and of their presentes stand
and be seized of and in all and singular the sayd x
messuages lands tenements tythes and hereditaments
and premisses with theire and everie of theire x
appurtanances To the uses intentes and purposes x
and under the provisoes powers authorities condition
and limitations herein limited expressed and x
declared and to noe other use intent or purpose
whatsoever That is to saie off for and concerninge
all the said messuages lands tenements hereditaments
and premisses with theire appurtenanaces scituate
beinge in Ffenton Culvert aforesaid and of x
the sayd meadows scituate in Ffenton Vivian x
aforesaid with all waies waters libties profitts
and commodities thereunto belonginge To xx
the use of the sayd Richard Nicholls and his xx
assignes for and dureinge the terme of his x
natural life without impeachment of or for anie x
maner of waste and after the decease of the
Sayd Richard Nicholls to the use of the sayd x
Michaell Nicholls and his assigns for x

ff 6r

 

3 (6r)
And dureinge the term of the natural life of the sayd Michaell
Nicholls, And after the decease of the sayd Michaell
Nicholls to the use of the first sonne of the body of the x
said Michaell Nicholls lawfullie to bee begotten and
the heires males of the body of the said first sonne xx
lawfullie issueinge and for default of suchissen to
the use of the second soone of the body of the say xx
Michaell Nicholls lawfullie isseuinge ^ \ And the heires male of the body /And for x
Default of suchissen to the use of every other of the xx
Sonnes of the body of the sayd Michaell Nicholls lawfully
To bee begotten successively one after the another as the sayd
Soones shall bee in priority of birthe and senoritie of yeares
And the heires males of theine bodies respectively lawfully
To bee begotten preserving the elder sonne and the heires
Males of his body lawfullie to bee begotten allwaies before
The yonger sonne and the heires males of his body lawfully
To be begotten, and for default of suchissen to the use of
The sayd John Nicholls and his assigns for and ensueinge x
The terme of the natural life of the sayd John Nicholls and xx
After the decease of the sayd John Nicholls to the use of the
first sonne of the bodie of the sayd John Nicholls lawfullie
to bee begotten and the heires males of the bodie of the said
first sonne lawfullie issueinge and for default of such
issue to the use of the second sonne of the bodie of the sayd
John Nicholls lawfullie to bee begotten and the heires xx
Males of the body of the second sonne lawfullie the issueinge
And for default of suchissue to the sue of every other of
The sonnes of the bodie of the said John Nicholls lawfully
 to bee begotten successively one after another as the sayd
sonnes shall bee in priority of the birthe and senority of yeares
and the heires males of theine bodyes  respectively xx
lawfully to bee begotten preserving the elder sonne
and the heires males of his body lawfullie to bee begotten
allwaies before the yonger and the heires males of x
his body lawfullie to bee begotten and for default of
suchissen to the use of the sayd Joseph Nicholls and his
assignes for and ensueinge the terme of the natural life
of the sayd Joseph Nicholls and after the decease of
 the sayd Joseph Nicholls to the use of the ffirst sonne
of the bodie x of the sayd Joseph Nicholls lawfullie to bee
begotten and the heires males of the bodie of the sayd
first sonne lawfullie issueinge, and for default of
such issue to the use of the second sonne of the body

4 (6v)
of the said Joseph Nicholls lawfullie to bee begotten
and the heires males of the body of the sayd second
sonne lawfullie issueinge, and for default of
suchissen to the use of everie other of the sonnes
of the body of the sayd Joseph Nicholls lawfullie to bee
begotten successively one after another as the sayd
sonnes shall bee in priority of birthe and senority
of yeares and the heires males of theine bodyes xx
respectively lawfullie to bee begotten preserving
the elder sonne and the heires males of his body
lawfullie to bee begotten, allwaies before the
yonger and the heires males of his body lawfullie
to bee begotten And for default of the issue to the
use of the ffourth sonne of the body of the said xx
Richard Nicholls upon the bodie of the said Joane
Lawfullie begotten onto bee begotten and the x
Heires males of the body of the said ffourth sonne
Lawfullie issueinge, And for default of such x
Issue to the use of the every other sonne of the sayd x
Richard Nicholls upon the bodie of the sayd Joane x
Lawfullie begotten to bee begotten successively
One after another as the said sonnes shall bee
In senoritie of age and prioritie of birth and x
Lawfullie to bee begotten peservinge to elder
 sonne and the heires males of his body lawfully
to bee begotten allwaies before the yonger sonne
and the heires males of his bodie lawfullie
to bee begotten and for default of such issue to the use of
all and everie the daughters of the bodie of the
said Richard Nicholls upon the body of the x
sayd Joane lawfullie begooten and to bee begotten
 and the heires of the bodie of the said daughters
lawfullie issueinge, And for default of such
issue to the use of the right heires of the sayd x
Richard Nicholls for ever, [And off] for and
Concerninge all the said Messuages xx

5 (7r)
Lands and premisses with theine appurtenances in Coltsmore
And Bradnapp afore said with the usuall and couvenient waies
And passages in to and from the same. To the use of the sayd
 Joan Nicholls and her assignes for and dureinge the terme
Of her natural life without impeachment of waste and after the
Decease of the sayd Joane Nicholls, to the use of the sayd Michaell
 Nicholls and his assignes for and during the terme of
His natural life, and after the decease of the sayd Michaell
Nicholls to the use of the first sonne of the body of the sayd
 Michaell Nicholls lawfullie to bee begotten and the heires x
Males of the body of the said first sonne lawfully issueinge x
And for default of suchissen to the use of the second sonne x
Of the body of the sayd Michaell Nicholls lawfully to x
second sonne lawfullie issueinge, and for the default of
suchissen, to the use of everie other of the sonnes of the
sayd Michaell Nicholls lawfully to bee begotten sucess
-ively one after another as the sayd sonnes shall bee in
Priority of birthe and senority of yeares and the heires
Males of their body respectivelie lawfullie to bee x
Begotten preservinge the elder sonne and the heires
Males of his body lawfullie to bee begotten all waies xx
Before the yonger sonne and the heires males of his xx
Bodie lawfully to bee begotten, and for default of such xx
Issue to the use of the sayd John Nicholls and his assignes x
For and during the terme of his natural life and after the
 decease of the sayd John Nicholls to the use of the first sonne
of the bodie of the said John Nicholls lawfullie to bee begotten
and the heires males of the bodie of the said first sonne xx
lawfully issueinge and for default of suchissen to the
use of the second soone of the bodie of the said John Nicholls
lawfullie to bee begotten and the heires males of the bodie x
of the said second sonne lawfully issueinge, and for default
of such issue to the use of everie of ther of the sonnes of the
bodie of the sayd John Nicholls lawfullie to bee begotten xx
successively one after another as the said sonnes shall bee
 in prioritie of birth and senority of yeares and the heires

6 (7v)
males of the theine bodies respectively lawfullie to bee x
begotten preserving the edler sonne and the heires xx
males of this bodie lawfullie to bee begotten allwais
before the yonger sonne and the heires males of his
bodie lawfullie to bee begotten and for default of
such issue to the use of the said Joseph Nicholls x
and his assignes for and during the terme of his
natural life and after the decease of the said Joseph x
 Nicholls to the use of the first sonne of the body of
the said Joseph Nicholls lawfullie to bee begotten
and the heires males of the bodie of the sayd first
sonne lawfully issueinge, and for default of such
-issen to the use of the second sonne of the bodie of x
the said Joseph Nicholls lawfully to bee begotten
 and the heires males of the bodie of the sayd second
 sonne lawfullie issueinge and for default of such
issue to the use of every other of the sonnes of the
bodie of the sayd Joseph Nicholls lawfullie to bee
begotten successively one after another as the sayd
sonnes shall bee in priority of birth and senority
of yeares and the heires males of theine bodyes x
respectivelie lawfullie to bee begotten peservine the
 elder sonne and the heires males of his bodie law-
fully to bee begoteen, allwaies before the yonger xx
and the heires males of his body lawfullie to be begotten
and for default of suchissen to the use of the ffourthe
sonne of the sayd Richard Nicholls upon the body x
of the said Joane lawfully begotten and to bee xx
begotten and the heires male of the bodies of the sayd
 ffourth sonne lawfully issueinge, and for default
of such issue to the use of everie other sonne of the
sayd Richard Nicholls upon the body of the sayd
Joane lawfully begotten and to bee begotten[1]success
-ivelie one after another as the sayd sonnes shall
bee in seniority of age and priority of birthe and

7 (8r)
the heires males of theine bodyes respectivelie lawfully
to bee begotten preserving the elder sonne and the heires
males of his body lawfully to bee begotten allwaies before
the yonger sonne and the heires males of his body law-
fullie to bee begotten, and for default of suchissen, to
the use of the daughters of the bodie of the sayd Richard
Nicholls upon the bodie of the said Joane lawfully xx
Begotten and to bee begotten and the heires of the bodies x
Of the said daughters lawfully issueinge, and for default of
suchissen to the use of the right heires of the said Joane
Nicholls forever provided allwaies and it is agreed by and
Betweene the said parties to their presentes and the true intent
And meaninge of their presents is. And the sayd ffyne and
Ffynes ffeoffment and ffeoffmente recoverie and recoveries
And all and singular other assurances to bee executed of the
Sayd messuages lands and premisses shal bee and enued and
Shall bee had deemed and taken to bee and ensure and the x
Sayd Raphe Wood and Richard Garrison and their heires and
The heires of the survivor of them shall stand and bee seized
Of and in the messuages lands and premisses in Ffenton x
Culvert aforesaid to such use intent and purpose that if it
Happen that the said Joane Nicholls doe survive and over-
Live the sayd Richard Nicholls that then the sayd Raphe xx
Wood and Richard Garrison and theine heirs shall stand and
Bee seized off and in soe much of the sayd messuages lands x
and premisses scituate in Ffenton  Culvert afore said as shall
in yearelie value amount to the some of twenty poundes
that with the same and the rentes and profits thereof
the said Raph Wood and Richard Garrison and theire
heires shall yearlie well and truly content and pay to the
sayd Joane Nicholls the some of twenty poundes of law
-full money of England for and during the terme of the
Natural life of the said Joane Nicholls the same to be payd
at two usuall ffeastes in the yeare that is to saie att the
Annunciaton of Our Ladie[2]and St. Michaell the Archan-
gell[3]by equall portions the first payment thereof to begin
At such of the ffeastes as shall first and next happen x

8 (8v)
After the decease of the said Richard Nicholls x
And if it happen in the said Joane Nicholls to depart
this life the said Richard Nicholls and the sayd
Michaell Nicholls or any other sonne of him the
 said Richard by her the said Joane use shall bee
heire to them the sayd Richard and Joane for
 the terme beinge be then liveinge then the true
intent and meaning of their presentes is and
it is hereby agreed that the said ffyne and xx
ffynes ffeoffments and ffeoffmentes recoverie
and recoveries and other assurances to bee xx
executed of the sayd messuages lands pemisse
in Ffenton Culvert afore sayd shall bee and
ensure and shall bee confirmed adjudged and
taken into bee and the said Raphe Wood and
Richard Garrison and theire heires and the
Heires of the secessivor of them shall hand and
 bee seized off and in soe much of the sayd messuages x
landed and premisses scituate in Ffenton Culvert
afore sayd as shall in yearelie value amount to
the some of twenty poundes over and above all
charges and reprizes to the intent that with
the same and the rentes and profits thereof x
the sayd Raphe Wood and Richard Garrison and
 theire heires shall yearelie well and trulie con-
-tent and pay to the sayd Michaell Nicholls
Or to such other sonne who shall be heire as afore
-sayd the some of twenty poundes of lawfull
Mony of England for and duringe the terme
of the natural life of the sayd Richard Nicholls
the same to bee payd at the said ffeasts of x
The Annunciacon of our Ladie and St Michaell
The Archangell by equall porcons the first xx
Payment thereof to begin at such of the sayd feasts
As shall first and next happen after such the
Decease of the sayd Joane Nicholls as aforesayd

9 (9r)
Provided alsoe and it is conditioned covented concluded
And agreed upon and betweene the the sayd parties to their
presentes and the true intent and meaninge of the sayd
partyes and of their presents are that from and imedi-
-atelie after the respective deathes of the sayd Richard
Nicholls and Joane his wife as the sayd estates shall
respectively determyne the sayd ffyne and ffynes xx
ffeoffment and ffeoffmentes comon recoverie and
recoveries and all and singular other assurances for
bee executed of the sayd messuages landes and premisses
shall bee and enure and shall be had deemed adjudged
and taken to bee. And the sayd Raphe Wood and Richard
Garrison and theire heires and the heires of the survivoe
of the them shall stand bee siezes off and in all and xx
singular the sayd messuages landes and premisses with
theire appurtances in Ffenton Culvert and of the
said meadowe called Birch meadowe and Stanely
Croft meadowe in Ffenton Vivian aforesaid and of the
sayd Messuages landes and premisses in Coltsmore
and Bradnapp as the said estates shall respectivelie
determyne by the deathes of the said Ricahrd Nicholls
and Joane his wife to such further use intent and x
purpose as is herein hereafter mencined that is x
to saie to the use of the sayd Raphe Wood and Richard
Garrison and theire heires and assignes untill the sayd
Raphe Wood and Richard Garrison and theire heires
and the heires of the survivor of them shall have had
levyed and receved the some of 500li of currant mony
of England out of the rentes issues and profitts of the
sayd messuages landes and premisses to bee dissposed
in such maner and forme as the sayd Richard Nicholls
by any writinge in his lifetyme or by his last will x
and testament in writinge shall limitt declard x
dispose of appoynt the same, soe that the same bee
disposed to the use and behoofe of the yonger children
of the sayd Richard Nicholls begotten uppon the body

10 (9v)
of the said Joane and not other wife, and in case the
said Richard Nicholls shall make noe such declaraton
or dispositon of the said ffive hundreth poundes then
the said ffive hundreth poundes to bee devided equally
amongst the yonger children of the sayd Richard
Nicholls begotten uppon the body of the sayd Joane
and that in the meane tyme as well the sayd heire
as the sayd yonger children shall be maynetayned
educated and kept by and of and with the profitts
rentes and recemes of, the said landes and x
premisses untill the said 500li shall bee raysed and
payd as aforesayd an d noe parte of that charge
of the said maintenance to bee abated out of
the sayd 500liprovided allwaies neverthelesse
and it is the true intent and meaninge of their x
presentes and soe shall bee adjudged and taken x
to bee that if such person or persons to  whome the
said messuages landes and premisses are xx
herein formerlie appoynted to remayne and
come after the respective deathes of the sayd
Richard Nicholls and Joane his wife shall x
within one yeare^ \more/ after the decease of the sayd
Richard Nicholls and Joane his wife or either
of them pay and satisfie the sayd Ffive hundreth
poundes to bee disposed in maner and forme
afore sayd that then and from thence forth
the sayd ffyne and ffynes ffeoffment and ffeoffmte
comon recoverie and recovierie and other x
assurances shall bee and [envor] and shall bee had
deemed adjudged and taken to bee and the x
said Raphe Wood and Richard Garrison and theire
heires and the heires of the surivore of them
shall stand and bee seized of and in all and singular

11 (10r)
The said messuages landes and premisses to the use
of the sayd person and persons unto whome the same and heires
formerly appoynted to remayne and come after the
respective deathes of the sayd Richard Nicholls and
Joane his wife and for and duringe such estate and x
estates as are herein limited to the sayd persons any
thinge in their peseentes contayned to their contrary
not with standinge provided further nevertheless
and it is covemted graunted concluded and agreed
by and betweene all and everie the sayd parties to their
pessentes for true use intent and meanine of their pessents
and the sayd coveunted or intended conveyances
and assurances is and for forever hereafter shall
bee adjudged and taken to bee and alsoe the sayd Raphe
Wood and Richard Garrison and the survivor of them x
and his heires shall stand and be seized of in the sayd
messuages tentements landes hereditaments and premisses
and of everie partie thereof with the appertences to such
further use intent and purpose, that if shall and may
be lawfull to and for the sayd Michaell Nicholls
for and dureinge his natural life as alsoe after his decease
to and for all and everie the other person and persons before
menconed beinge inheritable of or to injoy the pemisse
and everie or any partie thereof by force or meanes of an
the uses aforesayd or of the sayd mencioned convey [tear]
-ces or assurances and beinge in actuall possession or
[pre] of the profitts thereof by any his or theire deed
or deeds in writing or his or their life tyme to x
be sealed and delivered in the presence of two witt-
-nesses at the least or by his last will and testament
in writinge severally and successivelie to graunt
convey limitt assure or appoynt such and soe much
of the sayd messuages landes tenements and heredi
-tments aforesayd not exceedinge in yearelie [valineo]
full third partie thereof the landes and premisses lymited

12 (10v)
to or for the use of the said Joane Nicholls for
 her life as aforesayd duringe the contimanment x
of  her estate therein and noe longer onely excepartied
and foreprised to or for the use of uses of any x
such wife or wishes and hee or they or any of them
now have or shall hereafter happen to marrie
for and durine the onely naturall life or lives
of such wife or wives for and in the name of her
or theire Joynture or Joyntures as to him or them
or any of them shall be thought meete and eppe
-dient, and it is agreed and the further use and
intent of their pessent and of the said coveinted
and intended assurances of and for such of the sayd
premisses as shall be limited for such Ioynt use and
Joyntures and aforesayd from and after the limitation
designacon and declaracon thereof respectivelie
is and soe for ever shall be as well to the severall
and respective use and uses of such person and persons
and for makinge good and effectuall of their
several estates accordine to the severall [tenoe]
thereof agreeable with thei pessentes as alsoe
of all and everie the remon_eppertant uppon x
such [seudall] lymitations of use or uses for Joynture
and Joyntures as aforesayd to the use of such person
and pfons before named and intended who shall
dureinge his naturall life and after his deceas
them to the use of such person and persons and for
such estate and estates as is an are herein x
formerlie by the true intent and meaninge
of theis presentes by mited declared designed
and appoynynted provided alsoe further and uppon

13 (11r)
condicon and the further use and intent of the sayd
ffine and of their pessent was and is and soe shall be
adjudged and taken to be that if the sayd Richard x
Nicholls and Joane his said wife parties –tothois xx
presentes shall at any tyme or tymes hereafter xx
dureinge their ioynt lives bee minded and deter-
-mined to after determine dyminish or enlarge
all and everie or any the use or uses of or in all or
any the heredytamte and premisses or of or in any
parte and parcell thereof formerlie in or by their presents
lymited declared and appoynted and shall or doe
at any tyme or tymes hereafter by any their deed
or deedes or by any their act or actes in writinge
by them hereafter to be sealed and delivered before
two sufficient wittneses or more signifie declared
expresses or published lymitt or appoyntye use or uses
of the heredytamente and premisses aforesayd or of any partie
or parcell thereof to anie other use or to any x
person and or persons [in ffoe] simple ffeetayle or terme
of life lives that then and from thence forth the
sayd Raphe Wood and Richard Garrison and the sus-
-sivore of them and his heire shall ffand and bee
seized of the heredytamente and premisse aforesayd
or soe much thereof as shall bee soe altered by lymitted
or disposed of with th’ appetementes to such and the
same uses as in such deed or deeds act or actes
in writinge to be sealed as aforesayd shall be
lymitted or appoynted published or declared x
and to none other use intent or purpose any
thine in their presents contayned to the contra
-rie not withstandinge in wittness gr/ [mcllnund] bradgh
[looks like an I and another letter signed below]


ff. 11r

[1] I believe this to mean that Joan was pregnant at the time of the indenture’s creation.
[2]The feast of the Annunciation of our Lady is celebrated on March 25.
[3]The feast of St. Michael the Archangel is celebrated September 29. 


Pennington, D.H. and I.A. Roots, ed. The Committee At Staffordshire 1643-1645. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1957.
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