John Reeve late of Bocking aforesaid deceased and surviveinge executor of the said John Reeve that whereas the said John Reeve was in his life tyme seised in his demesne as of fee of in ? messuages lands & tenemnts situate lyeing & being & in Bocking ? and Bumpsted att the Tower & Rdyewe parishes in the said County of Essex and was alsoe possessed of goods & chattells to the value of three hundred pounds & upwards & he beinge soe thereof seized & possessed as aforesaid in or about the Month of January in the yeare of our Lord one thousand six hundred fifty & eight did make his last Will & Testamt in writinge & thereof did nominate & appoint Abigaill his wife & your Orator executors & thereby devised to your Orator sevall farmes lands & tenemts of sevall...shortly after dyed in his said last Will & Testamt of the said John Reeve followes in these words...(see 1658/9 Will of John Reeve)
And your Orator further sheweth unto your Lordppe that the said Abigaill whoe was named executor in the said ...dyed in ...said John Reeve your orator testator And that in or about the month of February in the yeare of our Lord God one thousand six hundred fifty & eight the said John Reeve your orator testator att Bocking aforesaid...after his death your orator beinge the survivinge executor did take upon him the execuson of the said last Will and Testamt & hath entered into the seall farmes & lands to him devised in & by the said will & taken & ...thereof as he humbly conceiveth & is informed by his councell that is was & is lawfull for him soe to doe Butt nowe soe it is may it please your Lordppe that John Reeve in the will named who is Grandchild & he ....orators testator that is to say sonne & heire of John Reeve deceased, who while he lived was sonne & heire of your Orators father endeavoureing to over throwe the said will & defeate & pvent your orator of ...farms & lands & other advantages to him given & devised & intended unto him in & by the said Last Will & Testmt doth give outt & p? that your Orators father did not make in will att all but that he died intestate And in case...a will yett that he was not of pfect memory and understandinge all the tyme of the makeinge thereof whereas in truth the said John Reeve the Grandchild & heire doth very well know that your orators father did make a will...will heerein sett forth is his Last will and Testamt And alsoe that the said John Reeve your Orators father was of good understanding & memory and of a disposinge mind at the tyme of the makeinge & publishinge ...and thereof ...that the said John Reeve the grandchild & heire may discover & sett forth upon oath whether he doth not knowe or hath heard that the said John Reeve your Orators father did make a will ...whether the will therein menconed & specified be not the last Will & Testament of the said John Reeve your Orators father & Testator & whether att the tyme of makeinge & publishinge of the same will were not of a pfect disposed ...understandinge & of good capacitie soe to doe And to the end the said Last Will and Testamt soe made & published by your orators father & testator may be pformed & that your orator may examine wittnesses to pve the ...honorable Court And that he may enjoye the sevall farmes & lands & all such other benefitts & advantages as are given & intended to be enjoyed by him in & by the said Last will & Testamt And that the said John Reeve the Grandchild & heir maye ... & make to all & evrie the pmisses and your Orator be heerein relieved according to justice & equity may it please your honour to grante unto your Orator the ? of Subpa out of the hono? to be directed to the said John Reeve the Grandchild & heire there.. comandinge him att a a certeine daye & under a certeine paine therein to be limitted psonally to be & appeare before your Lordppe in the high & Hono Court of Chancery then & there upon his corporall oathe to answeare & sett forth the truth of all & evrie the pmisses And to stand to & abide such further order & decree therein as to your Lordppe shall seeme meett & agreeable to Equity & Justice And your orator shall pray.
The answer of John Reeve Defendt to the bill of Complaint of Jeremy Reeve Complaynt
The said Defendt saveing to himselfe now at all times hereafter all advantage of ? to the manifold inc?ein?ies & insufficiencies of the complaynt said bill of complaint for answere thereunto saith that he doth believe that John Reeve deceased the complaynte said bill of complaint named was in his life time seized on his demesne as of fee of and in sevall farms messuages lands & tenemts situate lyeing & being in the sevall townes places & parishes in the said bill specified and that he was possessed of goods and chattills to a good value but to what value the defendt doth not precicely knowe And that he the said John Reeve deceased being soe seized & possessed did on our about the time in the Complaynts said bill of Complaynt mecioed being of a good disposing minde & memory make his last will & Testament writing and thereof did nominate & appoint Abigail his wife and the Complaynt executors and thereby devised to the Complaynt sevall farmes lands & tenemts and shortly after died as by the Complaynt in his said bill is likewise sett forth for the more pleinty? of the contents of which said will & Testamt this Defendt referenceth himselfe thereto And this Defendt likewise beleiveth that the said Abigall who was named executor with the complaynt died in the life tyme of the testator and that the complaynt after the testators death did take upon him the execuson of the last will & Testamt aforesaid and hath entered into the sevall farmes & lands to him devised by the said will and hath taken and received the rents & profitts thereof as the complaynt in his said bill of Complaynt hath likewise sett forth But this defendt denyeth that he doth indeavour or goe about to overthrowe the said will or to defeate and pvent the complaynt of the enjoyment of the sevall farmes lands & other advvantages to him given devised and intended by the said will or doth give out or ptend that the testator did not make any will at all or if he did that he was not of pfect memory or understanding at the time of the makeing thereof without that that any matter cause or thing materiall or effectuall for this Defend to make answere unto & here us or hereby not sufficiently answered unto confessed & avoided ?sed or denyed to the knowledge of this Defendt is true All which this Defendt is ready to maintaine & prove as this honoble court shall award and humbly prayeth to be dismissed the same wch his reasonable costs & expenses in this behalfe wrongfully had & susteined.
Jeremy Reeve who is thought to possibly be the son of John Reeve.
National Archives, Kew - C 3/458/47
TNA Series C3