The Ancient Brinsmeads


John Quirke v. Jasper Brinsmead from 1682

A Partial Transcription

John Quirke was the widower of Jasper’s sister Jane Brinsmead. A large parchment, setting out a statement of Quirke's claim, against Jasper Brinsmead of London arising out of his marriage to Jasper's sister Jane, is on file at the National Archieves in Kew; PRO Record # C/5/543/5.

The record tells us a little about the family.  There were two or more Jasper Brinsmeads, all related to the family from Bishop's Hull, although some had moved to London and environs. It tells us Jasper was a Tallyman, which was a person who sold goods on installments. It tells us they were not poor, since sixty pounds per year was not at the time, insubstantial. John Quirke lived in Devon, but the parish name is difficult to read. We have not been able to locate a marriage records, but it may have been a second marriage for Jane.

To the Right Honourable Sir Francis North, Knight, Lord Keeper of the Great Seal of England. Humbly complaining showeth unto your Lordship your orator John Quirke of Ewonton (?) in the County of Devon ------- your order heretofore (to witt) about five years and a half did intermarry with Jane Brinsmead sister to Jasper Brinsmead of London, Tallyman and in consideration of the said marriage and tho wonton with your orator------------- your orator did by good conveyance in Law settle the estate of about 60 pounds per annum to the life of the said Jane Brinsmead his late wife -------------better maintained in case she had outlived your orator And the said Jasper Brinsmead your orator’s said wife’s brother harbouring at or before the time of the said intermarriage a part of the said of the said Jane Brinsmead in his hands or power the said Jasper Brinsmead did upon your orator’s intermarriage with the said Jane Brinsmead make some settlement or conveyance unto your orator or to some other person or persons in trust for your orator of parts of his the said Jasper Brinsmead’s estate for securing (?) the portion or part of the portion of the said Jane Brinsmead to be paid to your orator at sometime thereafter and sometime past and in the said Security (?) particularly mentioned or if such securities are not given or entered into by the said Jasper Brinsmead brother (?) wife made this same was a fraud put upon your orator and the same ought to have been for payment of money to your orator and your orator further showeth that after the said intermarriage had and -----sormteyob (? - perhaps securities) given and entered into as aforesaid (to witt) about a year’s since your orator’s said wife Jane dyed before your orator had received satisfaction of the said Jasper for portion of the Low (?) Jane after whose----- for the said Jasper designating to suope (?) and renbort those portions of the said Jane to himself and to defraud your orator did raise a discourse and give out ------ that your orator was a moody person and in a low condition and by such reports and by keeping your orator’s --- said wife’s portion from him and by she being dead there was nothing due or payable to your orator did make to your orator’s creditors to come upon him and to arrest him in ------ by which means your orator was put into prison with the said Jasper having information of applied himself to your orator whilst in prison and pretended great friendship to your orator and that if your orator would entrust him with his affairs he would endeavour to get him out of his troubles and that he would with the -----in his hands (which should have been paid to your orator as the portion of the said Jane) make provision thereby for your orator and his children and to that purpose desired your orator to let him have all the aforesaid writings and securities by him before that time given that he might alter the same for your orator and his children’s greater benefit whereupon your orator, being in prison and under great necessity and relying on the said Jasper Brinsmead his brother in law did deliver all his boys (?) of his writings and securities whatsoever to the said Jasper and the better to enable him to assist your orator your orator did entrust him with and deliver to him-----took into his custody or those same to his hands possession or power several Erimas (?) with goods in them as also several poords (?) of plates several things of household stuffs and other goods and things of your orator to the value of one hundred pounds and ----- besides all the Deeds, writings and securities whatsoever which your orator at any time had either for the said Jasper Brinsmead or from any other person whatsoever and the said Jasper has made great advantage by them or some of them and converts all the benefit thereof to ownership without giving your orator any account or satisfaction therefore although he has promised several times to be faithful and just to your orator and that he would ------ and not diminish anything that was your orators or did belong to your orator and your orator further sayeth that whilst your orator was in prison and in great troubles as aforesaid and after your orator had committed the whole trust and possession of all that your orator had in the world to the said Jasper Brinsmead who the said Jasper --- to your orator that he was note (?) safe in the possession and keeping of your orator’s goods, estate and securities and also your orator would give him a general release so that he might show the same to your orator’s creditors for otherwise at their ------ the said creditors would suspect that he was indebted to your orator, it generally being known that he had not paid the said Jane’s portion that was in his hands and thereupon your orator did execute unto him some releases that he himself prepared and the said Jasper faithfully to make no use thereof against your orator by only to show the same to your orator’s creditors that he might thereby the better keep what he had of your orators in his hands for your orator’s own use and benefit and faithfully promised that he would make full satisfaction and be accountable at any time to your orator as if no such release had ever been made and also that he would cancel the same at any time upon your orator’s request and made several spoken petitions and promises how he would serve your orator and what he would do your orator beyond the money that was due from him to your orator But now sought If may it please your Lordship that the said Jasper Brinsmead having prevailed with your orator in the time of his troubles and confident to give him such release as aforesaid upon the trust and on the promise or promises aforesaid that he would make no ---thereof to your orator’s ------but to your orator’s advantage as aforesaid so the said Jasper having obtained the same no doth deny all the trust in him …

The story goes on at some length but ye Public Records Office waits for no man and were anxious to pack up the said parchment before your orator had duly finisheth his transcription as aforesaid – but the general idea is notwithstanding revealed, to witt  – Jasper’s brother-in-law felt he had been diddled by a scoundrel!