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of weak intellect, and was consumptive. John came of age in 1658. In the event of his death without will his heir would be his uncle John, his father's brother, who died in 1680. This latter John had a son Roger.

Now it happened that there was a great scamp of the name of Richard Weekes, born at Hatherleigh, son of Francis Weekes of Honeychurch, possibly a remote connection, but not demonstrably so.

He was a gentleman pensioner of Charles II., but spent most of his leisure time in the Fleet Prison. One day this rascal came down from London, it is probable at the suggestion of consumptive John's mother and sister, who could not be sure what he, with his feeble mind, might do with the estate.

Richard ingratiated himself into the favour of John, and urged him not to risk his health in so bleak and exposed a spot as South Tawton, but to seek a warmer climate, and he invited him to Plymouth. The unsuspicious John assented.

When John was cajoled to Plymouth, Richard surrounded him with creatures of his own, a doctor and two lawyers, who, with Richard's assistance, coaxed, bullied, and persuaded the sickly John into making a deed of settlement of all his estate in favour of Richard. The unhappy man did this, but with a curious proviso enabling him to revoke his act by word as well as by deed. Richard had now completely outwitted John's mother and sister, who had been conspirators with him, on the understanding that they were to share the spoils.

After a while, when it was clear that John was