1649 - Jakeman to Sturch for £15 5 Shillings

By Anne O’Brien and Jon Malings



This Indenture of sale between Richard Jakeman and William Sturch made on October the 1st 1649 is the first of an almost unbroken chain of documents showing the transfers of ownership of Winmour Cottage to the present day. 

To put this into an historical context, King Charles the First was executed in January 1649 as the English Civil War ground to an end.  Seven years earlier the Deddington Parish Register had noted “October the 23, 1642, was Edgehill Fight”, Edgehill  being no more than than 12 miles away “as the crow flies”.  During the two years after the battle at least eight soldiers (often unnamed) were buried in Deddington.

The Indenture was written in “secretary hand”, a simple shorthand where some letters were ommitted to speed up writing.  The letter groups “ar” “er”, re” etc were often missed out after the letter “p” as in “pte”  for “parte”.  The tail of the p sometimes had different forms to indicate which letter group had been omitted.   Missing letters are shown as in “p[re]mises or “p[ar]te and p[ar]cell” a phrase which, incidentally, had been in common usage since at least 1540.

I've replaced “Ye”, so beloved of “Ye Olde Teashoppe” proprietors, with "the".  It’s a common misconception that “Ye” was an actual word rather than just a shorthand way of writing “the”. "Wth" has also been expanded to “with”, though I’ve remained faithful to “and” and “&” as well as punctuation, such as it is, arbitrary capital letters and spelling, which could and did vary through the document.

Secretary hand had all but died out by the second half of the 17th century.  

Click here to see a full transcription of the Indenture in PDF format.


“THIS INDENTURE made the first day of October in the yeare of Lord God One thousand sixe hundred forty and nine Between Richard Jakeman of Kertleton in the County of Oxon Baker of the one partie, and William Sturch of Dedington in the same County Yeoman of the other partie”

An interesting start in itself.  Well into the 18th century legal documents (like our 1699 Indenture) would date “the fifteenthe of January in the eleventh year of the reigne of our Sovereign Lord William III…”.  This was obviously not allowed in 1649 as you had just chopped off your king’s head.

As an aside, when Charles II came back to the throne it was assumed that his reign had started as his father died so documents drawn up in 1660 are dated “in the eleventh year of the reign…”

“WITNESSETH that…in consideration of and for the summe of fifteen pounds and five shillings of lawfull  English money to the said Richard Jakeman by the said William Sturch before the ensealing and  delivery…in hand well & truly paid as for divers other good Causes and considerations”

The “good causes and considerations “ is a standard phrase giving the purchaser and vendor a way of keeping the actual price, or consideration, a secret if need be, though in this case £15 5/- is probably the full price.

Richard Jakeman grants “All that his tenement containing fourteen foot of ground (both more or lesse) being parte of the cottage herebefore called or knowne by the name of Bunces together with a parcel of ground or backside thereunto belonging and adjoining lying & reaching from the north side of the said house or tenement unto the Widdow Jakemans pales or mound, the said house lying or being situate in Dedington aforesaid in a certain street or place called Phillcocke street on the north side of the house of John Tombs”

Those first few lines are the important bit.  What follows is mostly standard legal verbiage protecting everyone against everything!

Witnesses to the document: William Scroggs, William Aris
Witnesses to the payment of the purchase price and handover of the property: William Scroggs, William Aris (his mark), ?Cornelius Aris?,  Nicholas ?Reid (his mark), William ?Reid and John Manning (his mark).

Click here to see a large version of the receipt