Summary translation from the Latin of Chancery File C142/266/99
Summary of Letter Patent with commission issued from Queen Elizabeth on 5th March 1601 to escheators and feodary of Suffolk and Daniel Godfrey, gent. to hold an inquest of enquiry because the Queen has been given to understand that Johanna Collett [Joan Collett nee Dameron = Ref. 18G5] widow, is mentally incompetent (fatua et ideota) so that she cannot govern her properties and goods and that in her imbecility she has alienated a great part of her lands and tenements and also dissipated a great part of her goods and chattels to her disinheritance and our manifest loss.
The jury is to determine whether Johanna is fatua et ideota as alleged, and if so whether from birth or another time, and if another time when and in what way and whether she enjoys lucid intervals and whether Johanna alienated any lands or tenements and if so what, where and to whom and in whose hands they are and what lands and tenements, goods and chattels now remain to her and of whom the lands and tenements are held and by what suit, and what they are worth per annum with all issues and who the nearest heir is and of what age.
Return of the Inquest held at Ipswich on 10th June 1601
A jury of 13 men was duly summoned who say that Johanna Collett is fatua et ideota and has been from birth so that she was incapable of managing her lands and goods but never alienated any lands or dissipated any part of her goods and chattels as far as the jury knows.
Further, they say that the late John Dameron, formerly of Westerfield, on 2nd February 1597 was seized in his demesne and in fee of and in a messuage or tenement with its appurtenances called Keelings, situate in Westerfield and Witnesham, at that time in the tenure of a certain Robert Man. †And also of a cottage with appurtenances in Westerfield in the tenure of a certain John Collett [Ref. 18G5], husband of the said Johanna, daughter of the said John Dameron and named in the commission, and now in her tenure.
John Dameron bequeathed Keelings in his Will to John Collett [Ref. 18G5] and his wife Johanna Collett for term of their lives with remainder to Philologus Collett [Ref. 18H13], one of the sons of John and Johanna, as in the Will produced to the jury in evidence.
John Dameron died at Westerfield on 1st March 1597, his sole heir being Johanna, then aged thirty and more.
John Collett died at Westerfield on 24th March 1600 and the said Johanna survived him and holds the messuage freehold with remainder to Philologus [Ref. 18H13] and the cottage in fee simple.
The messuage or tenement with appurtenances called Keelings is held, and was held at John Dameronís death, of Thomas Lord Wentworth as of his manor of Lowestoft in Suffolk by free socage for annual rent of 6 shillings 8 pence, and is worth annually with all issues except reprises, 40 shillings.
And the said cottage with appurtenances among others is and was held of the Bishop of Ely as of his manor of Bamford, Suffolk, in free socage for annual rent among others of 10 shillings and is worth per annum besides reprises, 6 shillings 8 pence.
And Anthony Collett [Ref. 18H8], the son of the said Johanna Collett is Johannaís heir apparent and now aged eighteen and more.
And further that at John Collettís death there remained, and now remain, to Johanna goods and chattels to the value of 53 shilling 4 pence as appears in a schedule attached to this inquest. †And Johanna has no other manor, messuage, land, tenement, goods or chattels nor ought to have as far as is known to the jury.