The Story of Heyford: Civil Justice in 1819 V3C17

In 1819 William West and Joseph Masters were employed by Thomas Adams to transport thirty-nine thousand bricks by boat from Heyford to Northampton. It appears that they performed the task but were not paid. So they took their case to the court in Northampton. The following pages are copied from the legal documentation which shows how the case proceeded.

The Agreement – 24th March, 1819. The agreement to transport the bricks consisted of the following hand-written note, written presumably by Thomas Adams.

March 24th, 1819. Mr Thomas Adams for Joseph Masters and William West of Lower Heyford for boating from Heyford to Northampton 39 thousand bricks @ 2s per thousand which comes to £3.185s.od. Due to the said Joseph Masters and William West.

The Complaint – 13th Novemer 1819. When they were not paid they took their case to court in Northampton:

Northamptonshire to wit. Be it remembered that this thirteenth day of November in the year of our Lord One thousand eight hundred and nineteen, William West and Joseph Masters of Nether Heyford in the county aforesaid, labourers, complaineth and maketh oath before me, one of His Majesty’s Justices of the Peace for the said county, that in March last the said William West and Joseph Masters were hired by Thomas Adams of Nether Heyford in the county aforesaid, yeoman, to be labourers in the business of removing bricks to him the said Thomas Adams for the wages of 2s per thousand, and that they the said William West and Thomas Adams did accordingly as aforesaid enter upon and afterwards perform the said service, and that he the said Thomas Adams hath refused to pay to them the said William West and Joseph Masters the sum of three pounds and 18s justly due for the said service, and thereupon they the said William West and Joseph Masters prayeth that justice may be done in the premises.

CivilJusticeMarks1819

The Summons — 13th November 1819. As a result of the complaint, the constable of Nether Heyford was commanded to summon Thomas Adams to appear before the court the following week.

County of Northamptonshire to wit. To the constable of Nether Heyford in the said county. Whereas information and complaint hath been made unto me ].S.W. Tamwell Esq. one of His Majesty’s Justices of the Peace in and for the said county , upon the oath of William West and Joseph Masters of Nether Heyford in the said county, that in March last they the said William West and Joseph Masters were hired by Thomas Adams of Nether Heyford in the county aforesaid, yeoman, to be his labourers in the business of removing thirty-nine thousand bricks for the wages of two shillings per thousand and that they the said William West and Joseph Masters have duly performed the said service and that the said Thomas Adams doth refuse to pay to them the said William West and Joseph Masters the wages justly due unto them for the said service amounting to three pounds and eighteen shillings. These are therefore to command you forthwith to summon the said Thomas Adams to appear before me at the Record House in Northampton in the said county on Saturday the twentieth day of November instant at the hour of eleven in the fore noon of the same day, to shew cause why the said wages should not be paid. And be you then there to certify what you shall have done in the premises. Given under my hand and seal the thirteenth day of November in the Year of Our Lord One thousand eight hundred and nineteen.

J.S.W. Tamwell

The Summons is delivered. The justice of the Peace heard from the Constable how the summons had been given:

County of Northampton to wit. William Robinson of Heyford in the said county stated on his oath that he is Constable of Heyford aforesaid and that he gave to Thomas Adams the summons now produced and saw him take and read it.

The Judgement – 20th November 1819. It seems that Thomas Adams didn’t turn up on 20th November for the hearing and the justice of the Peace gives his judgement.

Northamptonshire to wit. Whereas information and complaint hath been made unto J.S.W. Tamwell Esq. one of His Majesty’s Justices of the Peace in and for the said county upon the oath of William West and Joseph Masters of Nether Heyford in the said county that in March they the said William West and Joseph Masters were hired by Thomas Adams of Nether Heyford in the county aforesaid, yeoman, to be his labourers in the business of removing thirty-nine thousand bricks for him the said Thomas Adams. And that they the said William West and Joseph Masters hath duly performed the said service. And that he the said Thomas Adams doth refuse to pay to them the said William West and Joseph Masters the wages justly due unto them for such service as aforesaid. And whereas the said Thomas Adams was duly summoned to appear before me to shew cause why the said wages should not be paid to the said William West and Joseph Masters, but has not appeared and hath not showed any just cause as aforesaid, and hath not paid the same. We therefore having duly examined into the Truth and Matter of the said complaint, and upon due consideration had thereof, do hereby judge, determine, and order, that he the said Thomas Adams upon due notice hereof do pay or cause to be paid to them the said William West and Joseph Masters the sum of three pounds and eighteen shillings which appears to us to be just and reasonable to be paid by him the said Thomas Adams to them the said William West and Joseph Masters as and for their wages as aforesaid. Given under our hands and seals the twentieth day of November in the year of our Lord One thousand eight hundred and nineteen.

The order is delivered. Following the judgement, the constable of Heyford, William Robinson then served the order on Thomas Adams.

The above William Robinson on his saith that on the twenty third day of November last he served the order hereto annexed on Thomas Adams therein named and who read the same in the presence of this informant. Sworn before us this 18 December 1819.

The outcome. There are no further documents with these records so we don’t know if the debt was eventually paid or whether there was any further legal action. But these documents do give us an insight into the workings of civil justice in the early 1800s.

~~

Extract from “The Story of Heyford” – Local book series published in the late 1990’s

Volume 3 of 4 | Chapter 17 of 17 | Page 30 to 32

TheStoryOfHeyford_NetherHeyford_Footer

Heyford’s Historical Heritage  |  How the books were created

Index  |  Covers

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