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Indenture and Title to 253 Acres of Land

In Radnor Township, Pennsylvania

 

Conveyed by:

David Meredith of Plymouth Township, PA

And Rees Prees of Merion Township, PA

 

Conveyed to:

David James of Radnor Township, PA

April 14, 1718

 

Acknowledged in Chester County, PA April 12, 1749

Recorded in Delaware County, PA December 23, 1862

Transcription by Barbara James of Wilmington, NC

 

TRANSCRIPTION

FRONT PAGE:

Line 1:  “This Indenture made the fourteenth day of the Second month Called April In the fourth year of the Reign of our Sovereign Lord George”

Line 2:  “King of great Britain Anno Domi one Thousand Seven hundred and Eighteen Between David Meredith of the township of Plymouth in the county”

Line 3:  “Philadelphia the province of Pennsylvania yeoman and Rees Prees of the township of Merion in the Said County yeoman of the one part and David James of the town”

Line 4:  “Ship of Radnor in the County of Chester In the Said province yeoman of the other part.  Whereas William Penn absolute proprietary and governor in chief of the”

Line 5:  “Said province in and by his Letters Patents under the hands ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ of the Commissioners of properly and greater Seal of the Said province Dated the first day of the third month called May”

Line 6:  “anno Domi one thousand Seven hundred and four Did grant and confirm unto the Said David Meredith all that Tract or parcel of Land with the appurtenances beginning at a post at a”

Line 7:  “Corner of Steven ap Evans Land thence by the Same west South west two hundred and thirty perches to a post then by Richard Moores Land North North west one hundred and”

Line 8:  “Seventy six perches to a post then by the line of Henry Rees his Land East north East two hundred and thirty perches to a post then South South East by the Line of Rees Thomas”

Line 9:  “Land one hundred and Seventy Six perches to the place of Beginning Containing two hundred and fifty three acres To hold to him the Said David Meredith his heirs and assigns”

Line 10:  “For Ever as by the Said Letters patents Recorded in the Enrollmt office at Philadelphia In Patent Book A Vol 3 page 130 the the twelfth day of September anno Domi one thou”

Line 11:  “Sand Seven hundred and five It may and Doth more at Large appear By force and virtue whereof and of Some other good and effectual grants and assurances in Law he the Said”

Line 12:  “David Meredith Became Lawfully Seizd in his Demeasne as of fee of and in the Said two hundred and fifty three acres of Land with all the hereditaments and appurtenances”

Line 13:  “thereunto Belonging or appertaining; And the Said David Meredith being so thereof Seizd In and by his Indenture tripartite Dated the two and twentieth day of the month Called”

Line 14:  “May Anno Domi one thousand Seven hundred and Eight made between him the Sd David of the first part Robert Jones of Merion aforeto yeoman and Meridith Davies of”

Line 15:  “Plymouth aforeSd yeom of the Second part and the Said Rees Prees and Sarah his wife the only Daughter of the Said David Meredith of the third part for the Consideration therin”

Line 16:  “mentioned did grant and Confirme unto the Said Robert Jones and Meredith Davies all the Said tract or parcel of Land with all the hereditaments and appurtenances thereunto belonging”

Line 17:  “To hold to them their heirs and assigns to the Several uses therein Express’d and Declared among which Several uses one is Declared to Go to the Intent that the Said Robert Jones and Mere”

Line 18:  “dith Davies or the Survivor of them or the Exec’s or assigns of Such Survivor should at the Instance and Request of the Said Rees Prees and Sarah his wife or the Survivor of them”

Line 19:  “Make Sale of the Said tract of land and all appurtenances thereof and Cause the moneys Raised by Such Sale or Sales to be paid and Delivered as the Said Rees Prees and Sarah his”

Line 20:  “wife or the Survivors of them should order and appoint But until Such Sale should be made the one moyty of the profits of the Sd premises with the appurtenances should”

Line 21:  “be and Remain to the use and behoofs of the Sd David Meredith during his natural life and the other moyty thereof Should be to the use of the Said Rees Prees and Sarah”

Line 22:  “his wife and their heirs And Whereas It is further declared In and by the Said Rented Indenture that if no sale of the Said premises Should be made within the term”

Line 23:  “of one year next after the date of the Said Indenture and that the Said Sarah or the Issue of her body by the Said Rees Prees begotten Should be Living at the End or Expiration of the Said”

Line 24:  “term of one year then the Said Robert Jones and Meredith Davies Should Surrender unto the Said Rees Prees his heirs and assigns all their Estate there of and in the Said tract of land and”

Line 25:  “premises aforesaid with all its appurtenances as by the Same Indenture Relation being thereto had It may and doth at Large appear And Whereas the Said Robert”

Line 26:  “Jones and Meredith Davies pursuant to the trust and Confidence In them put as aforesaid have by a certain Instrument In writing dated the fourteenth day of March Last”

Line 27:  “past before the Date hereof have surrendered and Delivered up all their Estate in the Said tract of land and appurtenances unto the Said Rees Prees his heirs and assigns By force”

Line 28:  “and virtue whereof and of the Statue for transferring of uses Into possession the Said Rees Prees now is in actual possession of the Said premises with all its appurtenances now this

Line 29:  Indenture Witnesses that the Said David Meredith and Rees Prees for and in Consideration of the sum of one hundred and fifty pounds Lawful money of the Said province”

Line 30:  “to them or one of them In hand by the Said David James well and truly paid at and before the Sealing and Delivery of these presents the Receipt whereof they do hereby acknow”

Line 31:  “ledge and thereof and of Every part and parcel therof Do Exonerate acquit and forever discharge the Said David James his heirs Executors and administrators by these presents”

Line 32:  Have granted alien’d bargained Sold Enfeoffed and Confirmed and by these presents Do absolutely give grant alien bargain Sell Enfeoffe and Confirm unto the Said”

Line 33:  “David James his heirs and assigns for Ever All and Singular the Said two hundred and fifty three acres of Land (be it more or Less) butted bounded Lying and being as”

Line 34:  “above Sd together with all houses Edifices buildings barns Stables out houses gardens orchards meadows Swamps cripples timber lumber trees woods underwood”

Line 35:  “waters watercourses wayes paths passages profits Commodities advantages Emoluments hereditaments and appurtenances whatsoever thereunto belonging or appertaining”

Line 36:  and also all the Estate Right title Interest property use Reversion and Reversions Remainder and Remainders Rents Claims and Demands whatsoever of them the Said David Meredith and Rees Prees their and”

Line 37:  “assigns therein and thereunto and all Deeds Evidences and writings whatsoever for touching or Concerning only the Said premises Except always the above Said tripartite Indenture and the Instrument of sur”

Line 38:  “render aforesaid To Have and to hold all and singular the Said two hundred and fifty three acres of Land and all the Said premises herby granted or mentioned to be hereby granted”

Line 39:  “and Every part and parcel thereof with the appurtenances unto the Said David James his heirs and assigns to the only and proper use and behoofe of the Said David James his”

Line 40:  “heirs and assigns for ever and the Said David Meredith and his heirs all the Said two hundred and fifty three acres of Land and all the hereditaments and premises aforeto herein and hereby”

Line 41:  “granted and Every part and parcel therof with all the appurtenances unto the Said David James his heirs and assigns against him the Said David Meredith his heirs and”

Line 42:  “assigns and against all and Every other person and persons whatsoever Lawfully claiming or who Shall or may claim by from or under him them or any of them Shall and will war”

Line 43:  “rant and forever defend by those presents and the Said Rees Prees and his heirs all the Said two hundred and fifty three acres of Land and all the Said premises herein and hereby”

Line 44:  “granted or mentioned or Intended to be hereby granted and Confirmed and Every part and parcel thereof with the appurtenances unto the said David James his heirs and assigns”

Line 45:  “against the Said Rees Prees his heirs and assigns and against the Said Robert Jones and Meredith Davies and Either of them their and Either of their heirs Exet’s administrators and assigns and”

Line 46:  “against all and Every other person or persons whatsoever Lawfully & Claiming or who shall or may claim by from or under them or any or either of them or by from or under any other person”

Line 47:  “or persons whatsoever Shall and Will Warrant and forever defend by these presents and the Said David Meredith and Rees Prees for themselves their heirs Executors and administrators”

Line 48:  “and for Every of them Do Covenant promise grant and agree to and with the Said David James his heirs assigns by these presents In manner and form following that is to Say that the”

Line 49:  “Said two hundred and fifty three acres of Land and all the hereditaments and promises hereby granted or Intended to be herein and hereby granted and Confirmed and Every part and parcel there”

Line 50:  “of with their and Every of their appurtenances now are and be and from hence forth and forever hereafter Shall and may Remain Continue and be unto the Said David James his heirs”

Line 51:  “and assigns free and clear and freely and clearly acquitted Exonerated and discharged or otherwise null and sufficiently Saved and Kept harmless by the Said David Meredith and”

Line 52:  “Rees Prees their heirs Exec’t and administrators or by some of them of and from all and all manner of former and other gifts grants bargains Sales Leases Jointures donors Entails uses wills”

Line 53:  “Judgments Executions Rents and arrearages of Rents and of Land from all other Estates titles Demands troubles charges and Encumbrances whatsoever had made done Committed or Suffered or”

Line 54:  “to be had made done Committed or Suffered by them the Said David Meredith and Rees Prees Robert Jones and Meredith Davies or by any or either of them their or Either of their heirs Executors admi”

Line 55:  “nistratoars or assigns or by any other person or persons whatsoever Lawfully claiming or who Shall claim by from or under them or any or Either of them the Rents and Services from hence forth”

Line 56:  “to grow due to the Chief Lord of the fee of the Said premises In Respect of his Seigniory only Excepted and fore prized and also that they the Said Meredith and Rees Prees and either”

Line 57:  “of them heir and Every of their heirs and assigns and all and every other person and persons whatsoever Lawfully Claiming or who shall Claim by from or under them or any of”

Line 58:  “them or their Estate Right or title Shall and will at any and at all times hereafter upon the Request Costs and Charges In the Law of the Said David James his heirs or assigns make do”

Line 59:  “Execute and acknowledge or Cause to be made done Executed and acknowledged all and Every Such further and Reasonable act and acts Deed and Deeds thing and things Device and Devices”

Line 60:  “Appurtenance and appurtenances In Law Whatsoever for the further better and more perfect granting assuring Conveying and Confirming all the Sd tract or parcel of Land and all the hereditaments”

Line 61:  “and promises hereby granted and Every part and parcel thereof with the appurtenances unto the Said David James heirs and assigns for Ever Survived by the Said David his heirs”

Line 62:  “or assigns or his or their Council Learned In the Law Shall be Reasonably Devised advised or Required In Witness Whereof the Said parties to these presents have hereunto set”

Line 63:  “their hands and Seals Interchangeably Dated the Day and year first above written.”

Line 64:  “Sealed and Delivered with Livery and Seisur”  

Line 65:  “Duly Executed upon the premises hereby”

Line 66:  “Granted In the presence of”

Line 67:  “Edward Rees”

Line 68:  “Jno Rees”

Line 69:  “Rees ab Prees

Line 70:  “David James”

CENTER RIGHT BOTTOM OF FRONT PAGE:

Line 64:  “Be it Remembered that the twelfth Day of April Anno Domi 1749”

Line 65:  “Before me Joseph Bonfall one of his Majesties Justices of the Peace for”

Line 66:  “the county of Chester Came the Above named Rees Price in his &”

Line 67:  “Proper Person, And then & there Acknowledged this writing or”

Line 68:  “Conveyance to be (as appears) his Deed and might be So &”

Line 69:  “Recorded.  In Witness whereof I have hereunto Set my”

Line 70:  “hand and Seal the Day and Year above written ~ ~ ~ ~ ~”

Line 71:  “Joseph Bonfall (SEAL)”

RIGHT BOTTOM CORNER OF FRONT PAGE:

Line 64:  “David Meredith (SEAL)”

Line 68:  “Rees Price (SEAL)”

BACK PAGE:

Line 1:  “Redorded in the Office for Recording Deeds Ye in and”

Line 2:  “for Delaware County in Deed Book K No 2 page 159 Ye”

Line 3:  “this twenty third day of December A.D. one thousand eight “

Line 4:  “hundred and sixty two  Witness my hand and Seal of Office”

Line 5:  “Fred Fairlamly”

Line 6:  “Recorder”

 

ANALYSIS

 

Date and Nature of the Contract:

 

Lines 1 and 2 set for the nature of the document, “Indenture” which is a legal contract that reflects a purchase obligation.  It specifically refers to an instrument used for commercial real estate transactions.  The date of the indenture is clearly identified as April 14, 1718 during the fourth year of the reign of King George I (1714-1727) of Great Britain.

 

Parties to the Contract:

 

Lines 2 and 3 identify the parties conveying the interest in the subject land, David Meredith who is presently residing in the township of Plymouth within Philadelphia County, in the Colony of Pennsylvania and Rees Prees who is residing in the township of Merion within Merion County, in the Colony of Pennsylvania.

 

Lines 3 and 4 identify the party to whom the interest in the subject land is being conveyed, David James who is already a resident of Radnor Township, Chester County, in the Colony of Pennsylvania at the time this indenture is made.

 

History and Description of the Property:

 

Lines 5 and 6 describe how on May 1, 1704 William Penn’s land commissioners “granted” this land to David Meredith of Plymouth township.

 

Lines 6 through 8 describe the property as two hundred fifty three (253) aces bordered to the south by the lands of Stephan ab Evan, to the west by the lands of Richard Moore, to the north by the lands of Henry Rees and to the east be the lands of Rees Thomas.

 

Lines 9 through 11 provide a description of when and where the May 1, 1704 grant was recorded, that is, at the “Enrollment Office” in the city of Philadelphia in Patent Book “A,” Volume 3 on page 130.  The patent was recorded on September 12, 1705.

 

Lines 11-12 describe how David Meredith, with consideration to this parcel of land, became “lawfully seized in his demeasne,” an archaic legal expression meaning he was proclaimed lord over these lands.

 

Beginning at Line 13, the indenture chronicles an agreement made on May 22, 1708 between David Meredith, of the first part, and Robert Jones of Marion Township and Meredith Davies of Plymouth Township of the second part for the benefit of David Meredith’s daughter Sarah and her husband Rees Prees who are described as being of the “third part.”  In this prior agreement, David Meredith agrees to “rent” this 253 acres of land to Robert Jones and Meredith Davies for a period of one year (1708-1709).  During this one year period Robert Jones and Meredith Davies were to act as real estate agents for David Meredith and sell the 253 acres with the proceeds of the sale to be given to David Meredith’s daughter Sarah and her husband Rees Prees.  An arrangement such as this may very well have served as Sarah’s “dowry” in consideration for her marriage to Rees Prees.

 

Beginning at Line 20, the 1708 agreement provided for a contingency in the event the property could not be sold, that is, if the property was not sold within the prescribed term, any monies generated by the property should be divided into two equal parts or “moyty” with one half going to Rees Prees and his wife Sarah and the other half or “moyty” going to David Mereidth.

 

Beginning at Line 22, it is explained that the agreement of May 22, 1708 required Robert Jones and Meredith Davies to turn the property over to Rees Prees by May 22, 1709 if the two men had not successfully sold it.

 

Beginning at Line 25, the indenture chronicles that by Mary 14, 1718, nearly ten years following the agreement of May 22, 1708, Robert Jones and Meredith Davies had neither sold the 253 acres or legally surrendered it to Rees Prees.  On March 14, 1718, just one month prior to the present indenture, Robert Jones and Meredith Davies signed a legal document surrendering and delivering up all their rights in the property to Rees Prees.

 

Terms of the Indenture:

 

At Lines 29 through 30 the first official term or provision of the indenture is set forth.  David James is agreeing to pay one hundred fifty (£150) pounds for two hundred fifty three (253) acres of land in Radnor Township which is the equivalent of £.59 per acre.  It is important to note that during the early 18th century the average selling price for land in Radnor Township was in excess of £1 per acre.  Hence David James is paying far below fair market value for 253 acres.  On the other hand, £150 for 153 aces would have been much closer to the average market price for land in Radnor at this time.  If David James could assert some prior legal claim over 100 of these 253 acres, then the selling price of £150 would make much more sense.

 

At Lines 29 through 31 the second official term or provision of the indenture is set forth.  Here David James Is being “exonerated,” “acquitted” and “forever discharged” of any obligations due David Meredith for David James’ prior use and occupation of the 253 acres.  In this term we find evidence that David James was not only a resident of Radnor Township prior to this indenture but was also an occupant of at least a portion of this land between 1704 when William Penn’s land commissioners declared David Meredith lord over the land and 1718 when the indenture is signed.

 

At Lines 31 through 36 the third official term or provision of the indenture is set forth.  Here, David James is being conveyed full and complete legal interest in the whole of the 253 acres of land described in the indenture.

 

At Lines 36 and 37 there is a final summation of the essential terms of the indenture.  Once again the indenture emphasizes that David James is receiving all the rights to the land as well as being forgiven of any “rent claims” or “demand” from David Meredith and his son-in-law Rees Prees for David’s prior occupation of at least a portion of the land.  The summation also indicates that David Meredith will hold on to the original documents concerning his prior 1708 agreement with Robert Jones and Meredith Davies as well as the legal instrument of March 1718 in which the two men surrendered their interest in the property to Rees Prees.

 

Declaration of Conveyance:

 

Lines 38 through 47 commencing with the emboldened language in slightly larger font, “To Have and To Hold” the indenture sets forth the official declaration of conveyance of the lands by David Meredith and Rees Prees to David James.  The indenture provides that the rights and interests conveyed by this indenture are to supersede any and all prior existing claims and or interests connected to the land.

 

Warranties of Sale:

 

Lines 47 through 62 set forth the warranties surrounding this particular transaction.  The indenture provides that David Meredith and Rees Prees are obliged to defend David James against any and all claims against this parcel of land.

 

Witnesses to the Transaction and Official Acknowledgement:

 

Lines 63 through 70 set forth signatures of the parties to the transaction:  Rees Prees on behalf of himself and David Meredith, and David James.  There are also two official witnesses to the transaction including Edward Rees and Jonathan Rees.  Although not a signatory to the Indenture, the official seal of David Meredith as well as Rees Prees is affixed to the bottom right had corner of the document in lieu of his signature.

 

The center bottom right of the Indenture includes an acknowledgement, akin to a modern day notary indicating that Rees Prees (a.k.a “Rees Price”) appeared before Joseph Bonfall, a justice of the peace (judge) for Chester County, Pennsylvania on April 12, 1749 and acknowledged his signature on the Indenture.

 

Recording of the Indenture:

 

On the back of the document is a certification by Fred Fairlamly, County Recorder for Delaware County that on December 23, 1862 the indenture was recorded in Delaware County in Deed Book “K”, No. 2 on page 159.  The entire language of the indenture would not have been recorded with the county, merely a synopsis of the interests conveyed.  Hence the information contained within the Delaware County Deed Book would not include the historical information included within the text of the indenture itself.

 

Analysis by Larry James