The property remained in the ownership of the Martin family for 10 years, during which it is assumed John James Hough was the tenant. The members of the Martin family are not known in detail. It is thought that George and Elizabeth Martin had no children, certainly none were mentioned in George’s will. There is mention in the documents of Richard Martin, the elder and Richard Martin, the younger, both of Wheatenhurst. Was Richard a brother of George? There is also mention of Thomas Martin, of the Hayes in the parish of Standish, gentleman, who is recorded as being “the youngest brother and heir by the custom of Borough English”.
Borough English was an unusual custom whereby, if a father died intestate, his real estate went to the youngest son instead of the eldest. This custom was used in Gloucestershire in the 18th century and indeed lasted until it was abolished in 1924.
It would appear that there was some dispute over the ownership of these premises as the documents refer to “his Majesty’s Court of Common Pleas at Westminster” which dealt with disputes between people but not concerning the monarch, and one “Fine Sur Cognizance de Droit Come Ceo”, the latter being a compromise giving a fee simple to the plaintiff. The person mentioned in relation to this is one Robert Pleydell Wilton, a local attorney.
In 1816, on 2nd February, the final agreement made in the Court was produced. It referred to:
“Between Robert Pleydell Wilton, plaintiff and William Bishop & Mary, his wife, Elizabeth Martin & Thomas Martin, deforciants, of two messuages, one outhouse, three warehouses, two stables, two curtilages, two gardens, two ways & one half of one acre of land with the appurtenances in the parishes of St Mary de Grace & the Holy Trinity.”
William & Mary, Elizabeth & Thomas acknowledged the premises to be the right of Robert Pleydell Wilton. And for this acknowledgement Robert Pleydell Wilton gave to William & Mary, Elizabeth & Thomas the sum of four hundred pounds.
[It is not understood how this situation came about considering the conveyance of 1815 to Thomas and William Abell.]