Mr. Arnold continued his researches to no avail until he consulted a Mr. William Boyd who referred him to a commission as to concealed lands in the Counties of Kent and Sussex dated April 28, 1581 of which the following is a translated copy and also the Certificate returned by the Commissioners.
As these are such interesting historical documents I reproduce them in full:
“ELIZABETH by the Grace of God of England France and Ireland Queen Defender of the Faith and to our very dear and faithful Sir Roland Clerke, Knight, Sir Thomas Shirley, Knight, George Harte Esquire, Henry Mervyn, Esquire, Henry Palmer, Esquire, Anthony Lewkenour, Esquire, Samuel Hales, Esquire and Michael Cobb, Esquire, greeting.
KNOW ye that we, putting very great confidence in your fidelities and provident circumspections to act in our affairs, have assigned you eight, seven, six, five, four or three of you to examine inquire and investigate as well by the examinations, relations, testimonies or depositions of whatsoever trustworthy men, of our Counties of Kent and Sussex, or by all other ways, means or manners by which you shall the better know or shall be able, or seven, six, five, four or three of you shall the better know or shall be able, concerning all and singular and lordships, manors, messuages, lands, tenements, rents, rectories, tithes and other possessions and hereditaments and emoluments whatsoever, in our aforesaid Counties of Kent and Sussex, which came or ought to come to our hands or to the hands of any of our late progenitors as well by reason of the dissolution, suppression, resignation, surrender or forfeiture of any late monasteries, abbeys, priories, colleges, chantries, free chapels, fraternities, guilds or such other like kinds of things, as by escheat in any manner whatsoever and by the Statute made and provided that lands and tenements are not to be put to Mortmain, and by reason of the attainder of any person or of any persons for high treasons felonies or murders and being concealed withdrawn and unjustly withheld from us and our aforesaid progenitors, in any way soever, in the Counties aforesaid, by whom, when how and for how long, and who received and had the issues and profits of the premises in the meantime issuing and as yet receive and have them, by what title, right or warrant, and how much they are worth by the year in all issues beyond reprises, also touching other articles and circumstances more fully concerning the truth of the premises in any way soever. And therefore we command you eight, seven, six, five, four or three of you that you do not omit on account of any liberty but that you enter into it or three of you enter into it and at a day and place, or days and places, which you shall have provided for this, or three of you shall have provided for this, and you shall diligently inquire in respect of and concerning the premises with their circumstances and you shall do and execute those things or three of you shall do or execute them, with effect. So that the certificates, examinations, testimonies or depositions touching the premises distinctly and openly taken and had before you (or three) of you, do you have, or three of you have, before the Barons of our Exchequer at Westminster, as quickly as you shall be able, and at the latest in three weeks from the day of Holy Trinity next to come, under your seals or the seals of three of you, and sealed with the seals of those by whom the premises shall have been made, remitting then and there this Commission. And also for the better execution we give and commit full power and authority to you eight, seven, six, five, four or three of you, at such time and (place) by you or three of you to be assigned, whatsoever persons whom you shall deem especially fitting for the testifying of the truth in the premises according to your wise discretions. And in respect of and concerning the premises, the Holy Evangelists being first touched by them before you or three of you, to examine and inquire and the examinations, testimonies and relations, and your enquiries and notices or those of three of you, are to be set down on parchment, together with your Certificate or that of three of you thereupon taken and to be written and verified with your hands, or (the hands) of three of you.
WITNESS Sir Roger Manwood, Knight, at Westminster, on the 28th day of April in the 23rd year of our reign (A.D.1581)
“BY the Roll of the Memoranda of this Easter Roll of Commissions and Letters Patent. “AND by the Barons. “Tho. Fanshawe”.