Thomas & Henry Wilkins, infants vs John Wilkins - April 1763 - Final Decree - Transcribed by Gail M. Walczyk
Spelling remains the same.

Wlikins &c
vs . . . Bill & ansr Chanc
Wilkins
fild 15th Decem 1762 and Decree for Partition
Janry 1763 Contd
Febry Cont:
April Part. ret. & Final Decree

To the Worshipful the Justices of Northampton County Court sitting in Chancery Humbly sheweth unto your Worships your Orators Thomas Wilkins and Henry Wilkins Infants under the Age of twenty one by Obadiah Johnson their Guardian that a certain Stockley Wilkins of the county of Northampton the Father of your orators being in his Life Time and at the Time of his Death seized or possessed of the following Negroes to wit Nanny and Daniel as of his own Property on or about the third Day of may anno Dom 1752 duly made and published his last Will and Testament in Writing bearing Date the same Day and Year and thereby amongst other Things specifically devised unto your Orator and the said John Wilkins the Deft the aforesaid Negroes with all their Increase to be equally divided between them when the said John should arrive unto the Age of twenty one Years and that the said Testator soon after making and Publishing the said Will departed this Life have constituted and appointed Edith Wilkins the Mother of your Orator's his whole and sole Executrix of the said Will who duly proved the same and took upon herself the Burthen and Execution of the same as by the Record of the said Will in County Court of Northampton may more fully and at large at appear and to which for better Certainty your Orators beg leave to refer and that the same may be taken as Part of their Bill And your Orators further Sheweth your Worships that the said John is now of the age of twenty one Years and that the names and numbers of the said Negroes with their increase since the Decease of the said Testator are as follows, To wit Nanny Daniel Joe Will Jacob and Martha and that your orators are advised that the said Negroes with their increase ought to be divided between your Orators and the said Respondent But now so it is may it please your Worships that the said Defendant combing and confederating himself together to and with diver Persons at present unknown unto your Orators refuse to make Partition of the said Slaves with your Orators agree to the Will of the said Testator all which Actings Doings and Pretences are contrary to Equity and good Conscience and tend to the manifest Injury and Oppression of your Orators In tender Consideration whereof and for that your orators are properly and only relievable in a Court of Equity and upon Account of their Infancy are advised that no Partition of the said Slaves during the Minority of your Orators that will be binding unto them without the Aid and assistance of this Worshipful Court To the End therefore that your Orator may be relieved in that Premisses as may seem just according to the Rule of Equity & good Conscience and that Partition of the said Slaves may be made agreeable to the Testator's said Will and when made that your Orators may be enstituted to their equal Share or Dividend of the same And it please your Worships to grant unto your Orators his Majesty's most gracious Writ of Subpoena to be directed &c

Thos and Henry Wilkins p Obadiah Johnson their Guardn - The several Answer of John Wilkins to the Bill of complaint exhibited agt him by Thomas Wilkins and Henry Wilkins Infants under the Age of twenty one Years by Obadiah Johnson their Guardian This Defendant now and at all Times hereafter saving and reserving unto himself all and every Advantage of Exception to the manifold Incertainties Insufficiencies imperfections and Untruths in the said Complainants Bill of Complaint contain'd for Answer thereunto or so much thereof as he is advised is any way material for him to make Answer unto he answereth and saith That he admits and believes it to be true that the said Testator made and publish'd such last last Will and Testament as in the said Bill is set forth and that the same was duly proved and admitted to Record in the County Court of Northampton and admits the Names and Number of the Negroes to be as therein they are particularly set forth but denies that he ever refused to come to a Division of the said Negroes as the Complainant in their said Bill most unjustly have charged but are ready and willing to make such Division of the said Slaves as shall seem just and equitable to this Worshipfull Court wherefore they pray to be hence dismissed with their reasonable Costs in this Behalf most wrongfully sustain'd without that that &c
John Wilkins pr Se

Sources:

Walczyk, Gail M. Northampton County VA Chancery Causes, 1721-1816, Vol 2. Coram NY: Peters Row, 2009, 15, 16.

© Copyright 2010-2011 by Gail M. Walczyk