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Chappell, James M. v. Meadows, Osborne and wife, etc: Chancery Cause, Halifax County

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The answer of Osbourne Meadows and Nancy his wife. Branch Drinkard, Edward Watkers and Martha his wife. John N. Drinkard, Wm.F. Drinkard Samuel B. Drinkard. Martha Fleming. Sarah Ann Drinkard. Francis Drinkard. John Drinkard. Francis Bailey, Martha Bailey. Mary Bailey. James Bailey. and Henry Bailey to a bill of complaint exhibited against them in the Circuit Court of Halifax by James M.Chappell. These respondents saving and reserving to themselves all benefit of exceptions that may be taken to the said bill by demurrer or otherwise. On account of the misjoinder of the defendants or otherwise. for answer to so much thereof as they are advised is material for them to answer. Say, that they are distributees of a certain Francis Drinkard who died in the county of Halifax about the beginning of the year 1841: that on the [blank] day of February 1841 the said James Chappell qualified in the county court of Halifax as administrator upon the estate of the said decedent. That the estate consisted of a parcel of slaves and the usual chattles of a plantation: that the said decedent was but little endebted at the time of his death, so that the proceeds of the sale of the perishable estate was considerably more than sufficient to pay all the debts owing by the intestate at the time of his death. That the administration of the estate might have been wound up and it distributed in twelve months from the death of the said decedent. and would have done so had the administrator been faithful and diligent in the discharge of his duties. That the distributees, after repeatedly urging the said Chappell for a settlement of his account to no effect, instituted a suit against him in the year 1845 for a settlement of his account and a distribution of the estate. This suit they prosecuted with due diligence and obtained a decree for a settlement of the account very soon after the commencement of the suit.. After they obtained a decree for a settlement of the account the said Chapell was with the greatest difficulty got to render his account before the commissioners neglecting and delaying to do so, and throwing every impediment in the way of a settlement. With much difficulty the account was at length settled. and after many obstacles interposed by the said Chappell in relation to the advancements, and to claims he had purchased up against a portion of the distributees, these repondents obtained a decree at the term of this court for the amounts therein specified. all which will appear by the various decrees pronounced in that cause which will be exhibited as a part of this answer. To the decree aforesaid, the said Chappell has obtained from the Judge of this court an injunction to prohibit them from enforcing the payment of the amounts decreed to them respectively. upon the grounds, if they can properly understand then from his bill. that the advancements were not taken into the account. and that said Chappell claimed to have purchased the shares of your respondents Meadows and wife, and to have