|1735 Village Meeting|
This record of a meeting held in 1735 shows that some of the senior villagers were trying to prevent one of their number from defaulting on his debts and potentially being made to provide for his brother, who they thought may be at risk of becoming chargable on the Poor Rate, which they would pay. They also appear to be trying to defend one of their number, the innkeeper Richard Cross, because they thought the brother may try to increase his rent.
The document also reveals that most of the senior inhabitants of the village who attended the meeting could write - at least to the extent of signing their own names. Of the twelve people signing only two of them made a mark rather than signed their names.
The original is in the Lilford Collection (DDLi 235) at Lancashire Records Office.
At a publick towns meeting in Coppull the day under written it is fully concluded and agreed upon by and betwixt us whose hands are hereunder written or [illeg] being inhabitants of or proprietors of the township of Coppull on the one part and Richard Cross of Coppull Innkeeper on the other part as followeth – viz whereas we are informed that William Howard late of Coppull aforesaid deceased hath contracted and at his decease owed a consider. Sume or sumes of monis to severall persons some of them to us unknown and that he the said William Howard did a little before his death execute a deed or instrument in writinge to his Brother Jno Howard of Standish not only as we aforementioned in order to settle him in possession of his effects lying in Coppull and thereby for the said Jno to gain a settlement in the said township but alsoe to deprive his creditors of there just deserts and demands – and whereas the said Richard Cross is now in possession of most of the said premises belonging to the said William Howard [illeg] upon a yearly rent we do promise and bind by these presents ourselves and heirs to stand by and support the said Richard Cross in possession of the same upon the same rent and conditions against the said unjust transfer to the said Jon. Howard and against him or any attempts that he shall make against the said Richard in order to dispossess him [illeg] we shall be advised by counsel learned in the law in order to see the said William Howards just debts paid and discharged provided the said Richard Cross aforesaid do no rasch or unjustifiable acct.
This is the mutuall agreement of us as written our hands this 20th of March 1734/5
John X Ellison
Jon X Biby