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1629-31: Thomas Hobson pursued for the debts of his son, John (died 1619)

Phillip Willyamson versus Thomas Hobson in the Vice-Chancellor's Court

This case began in November 1629 and was still ongoing at Hobson’s death in January 1630/1. 

Phillip Willyamson and Christian, his wife, brought a suit against Hobson for the £9 2s 9d debt they claimed his son John had run up with Alexander Jacklin. Both men were now dead1, but Christian had been married to Jacklin and, as his executor, required settlement. Hobson, she and her second husband now insisted, had promised his son as he lay dying that he would clear his debts. ‘Sonne let not your debts trouble you’, he had said, ‘or if they doe make a note of them and I will discharge them’. Their allegations included a transcript of an itemised bill of obligation from 1618, signed by John, listing, among other things, nearly £4 owed for gambling and rich dinners. 

Hobson refused to accept the debt. It was three months before he appeared in court despite frequent summonses. As a rich man, he suspected acceptance of the suggestion that he had committed to his son’s debts would encourage others to come forward. Indeed, several other suits for recovery of John’s debts had already repeated the claim2. He said as much in his interrogatories for the Willyamsons’ witnesses; named as William Empson, Susan Malyn and Cornelius Archer but not yet examined at the time of his death.

The documents digitised here comprise:

• Act Book entries recording the progress of the case, 20 November 1629-21 January 1630/1 (classmark: UA VCCt.I.11) and 28 January 1630/1 (classmark: UA VCCt.I.52)

• Allegations of Phillip and Christian Willyamson, [1629] (classmark: UA VCCt.III. 31A/199)

• Personal response of Thomas Hobson to allegations of Phillip and Christian Willyamson, [1629/30] (classmark: UA VCCt.II.27 ff.22v-23r)

• Pro forma documents appointing Thomas Hobson’s proctors, 1629 (classmark: UA VCCt.III.31A/200) and 1630 (classmark: UA VCCt.III.31A/201)

• Interrogatories of Thomas Hobson for witnesses of Phillip and Christian Willyamson, [1630] (classmark: UA VCCt.III.31A/202).

Except for entries in the Act Books and pro forma documents appointing lawyers, all records are transcribed. Latin abbreviations have been extended; spelling and punctuation transcribed as seen. 

For an outline of the jurisdiction and procedure of the University courts, and the methodology employed in presenting records online, see the introduction to this CUDL collection.

John was buried on 5 September 1619.