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JAMES COLE CHANCERY SUIT

This suit, filed against the sons of James Cole (1717-1798) is our primary source of information about him.

Images of the original are available online at the The Library of Virginia. (Caroline Chancery Suit 1111-006)

[Image 001 - File Folder]

Caroline County Chancery Cause:  Exr. Of William Richards vs John G. Cole & c      Goulden

(in possession of The Library of Virginia, image available online)

 

[Image 002 - Cover Sheet:]

Charge [not 100% intelligible]

 

Richards, Escecutor,

Vs.

Cole

 

Copy Bill & Amendment

 

Fee 92 cents

 

[Images 003-005 containing the bill & amendment]

 

To the worshipful the justices of the County Court of Caroline in Chancery.

 

Humbly complaining sheweth unto your worships your orator Thomas Richards only acting escecutor of the last will and testament of William Richards formerly of the County of King & Queen deceased, complainant.

 

That on the fourth day of January 1790, the said William Richards sold and delivered one black gelding to James Cole (Joiner) of the said County of King & Queen for the sum of twenty pounds, for which the said Cole did oblige himself to do as much carpenters and joiners work as should amount to the said sum in the course of the said year at ready money price as by a writing under the hand and seal of the said Cole on the day and year aforesaid hereby [annesces] and to which your orator begs lease to refer and hopes the same may be taken as part of this Bill. That in August of the same year 1790, the said William Richards departed this life having first made his last will and testament in writing and thereof appointed your orator escecutor who qualified as such in the court of the said County of King & Queen and your orator further sheweth that he as escecutor of the said William Richards did in the year 1793, commence suit on the writing aforesaid against the said James Cole in the County Court of King & Queen which suit abated in the year 1798 by the death of the said James Cole, who had previously moved to the adjacent County of King William. That the said James Cole died intestate as your orator has been informed and believed to be true and no person ever administered on his estate [or] was the same committed  into the hands of the Sheriff so that there was no representative against whom he could revive the said suit at law. That your orator resided up the County and was informed that the said James Cole left no visible estate and he considered the claim as lost, until about the year 1817, when being in the County of Caroline, he was informed and found from proceedings in the court of the said County of Caroline between John G. Cole and his mother plaintiffs, against James Cole an infant (two sons of the said James Cole deceased) in Chancery, a decree was obtained on the 11th day of March 1814, for dividing two negro slaves named [Judy] and Charlotte, as of the estate of the said James Cole deceased equally between his two sons the said John G. Cole and James Cole, which your orator has been informed was accordingly done by the commishioners named in the said decree reported or returned to Court which decree your orator prays may be taken as a part of his bill. And your orator further states that upon seeing the above decree and finding that the said James Cole had left the two slaves, he applied in a friendly manner to the said John G. Cole and the said James Cole his brother who was then of age, both of whom your orator prays may be made defendants to this his bill, and requested them to pay or secure the payment of the said claim of twenty pounds with interest, which in equity and [right] they were bound to play as more than sufficient of the estate of their father had descended & come to their possession, the principal sum of twenty pounds, at one time the said defendants consented to pay, but afterwards altogether refused, to pay any part of the said claim. And the said Defendant John G. Cole and your orator after the institution of this suit consented to arbitrate the said claim, and submitted it to the [award] of Reuben Broaddus, Thomas Dew and William Syne who having heard the parties and evidence did on the 10th day of August 1818 with their proper names subscribed thereto, award that the said defendant John G. Cole should pay to your orator the sum of eighteen pounds four shillings [being] his [morety] of the said claim after deducting one pound sixteen shillings for one half of the price of a coffin made by the said James Cole deceased for the said William Richards deceased to which award your orator for greater certainty begs leave to refer and is hereto[amended] as part of his bill that the said defendant John G. Cole [although] frequently applied to for that purpose altogether refuses to pay your orator any part of the money so as aforesaid awarded him and the other defendant James Cole doth also refuse to pay your orator any part of the said claim contrary to equity and justice. In [tender or under] consideration whereof and for that your orator has no remedy at law against the said defendants and can only be relieved in this worshipful court. To [the] and therefore that the said defendants John G. Cole and James Cole may be on oath true answer make to the premises and more especially that the said defendants may severally say whether they did not consent on application of your orator for payment of the said claim to pay the principal sum of twenty pounds?  Whether the said defendants did not after refuse to play any part of the said claim? That the said John G. Cole may set forth whether he did not agree to arbitrate the said claim and whether he was not present at the time and place when and where the arbitrators made up their award and then had notice of its contents? That the said James Cole may set forth whether he did not consent to or empower verbally his brother John G. Cole to agree to the said arbitration? Whether he the said James Cole did not consent to abide by any settlement his brother John G. Cole should make with your orator respecting the said claim? And that by decree of this worshipful Court the said defendants may be compelled each to pay to your orator as escecutor of the said William Richards the sum of eighteen pounds four shillings with interest on eight[een] pounds four shillings (being one [morety] of the principal debt after deducting one [moriety]

of the price of the coffin from the 10th day of August 1818 till paid or such other relief decreed to your orator as shall be agreeable to equity and justice.

 

May it please your worships to grant to your orator a writ or writs of Subpoena to be directed to the said John G. Cole and James Cole commanding them. [symbol that looks like “VC”]

 

To the Worshipful the justices of the County Court of Caroline in Chancery sitting. [recorder’s strike-through]. Your orator Thomas Richards as escecutor of William Richards deceased humbly complains by way of amendment to the bill eschibited in this worshipful Court against John G. Cole and James Cole Defendants that James Cole father of the defendants departed this life in or about the year 1798, intestate leaving Susannah Cole his widow and two children only, the said Defendants who were then infants of tender years. That the said Susannah the widow held possession of the estate left by the said James Cole deceased (no person having ever taken administration thereon) until the defendant John G. Cole came of age about the year 1814 when at the [instance] of the said Susannah, then the widow of Jessee Goulden and the said John G. Cole a friendly suit was commenced in Caroline Court in Chancery in their names against James Cole than an infant for a division of two negroe slaves between the said John & James to which the said Susannah relinquishes all right of claim whatsoever and the said two slaves were accordingly divided between the defendants pursuant to the said decree and on the [arrival] of the said James Cole to the age of twenty one years your orator instituted this suit against them upon the just and legal ground that either as escecutors in their own wrong or as having the personal estate of the intestate and debtor in their possession they were bound by the Rules and principals of law and Equity to pay the demand and claim of your orator the same not amounting to near the value of the said two negroe slaves. Your orator therefore prays that such a decree may be made as shall compel the Defendants to pay his claim & demand already stated in his original Bill.

 

Copies,

 

Teste,

 

John [S.] Pendleton, Clerk.

 

[Image 006]

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