Ref: EDC 5/1582/11

Catalogue Entry:

EDC 5/1582/11. TILSTON Richard Masie of Grafton c John Brereton claiming a pew in right of Grafton Hall – libel.

Summary:

Richard Massey contra John Brereton

At service time, John Brereton had tried to sit in a certain pew in Tilston church, but Richard Massey contended that he was not entitled to do so because use of the pew belonged exclusively to him and his family, as owners of Grafton Hall.

There are two copies of the libel and images of both are included.

There is also another libel filed at this reference which is unrelated to this matter. It is referenced on this website as EDC 5/1582/11a

Year

1582

Type of Cause:

Violation 0f church rights – pew dispute

Cause Papers:

Libel

Libel (image 1)

Original Document

Click to view fullscreen

Translation

[1582/11 image 1]

In the name of God, Amen: before you, the venerable Robert Leche, Doctor of Laws, lawfully deputed official principal of the Chester consistory court, or any other judge whomsoever competent in this regard; the party of the distinguished Richard Massey of Grafton, gentleman, of the parish of Tilston, of the archdeaconry of Chester and the diocese of Chester, against John Brerton of the parish and diocese aforesaid, and against any other person or persons whomsoever lawfully intervening before you in judgement for the same, by way of complaint and complaining to you in this behalf says, alleges and propounds in these writings in law jointly, severally and in articles as follows:

Firstly, namely that the aforesaid Richard Massey, the precursors and predecessors of the aforesaid Richard Massey, gentleman, each and every one of them in their successive times, for 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 and 60 years and also before and since, from the time and throughout the time of the beginning or to the contrary of which there exists no memory of men were, just as they should have been, in peaceful possession of a certain pew or seat in the church of Tilston aforesaid, and in the same pew or seat his precursors and predecessors, as aforesaid, had the right and authority of sitting, kneeling, praying and burying and interring, just as they should have had and the said Richard, the present plaintiff, always peacefully and quietly had, possessed and occupied for himself and his household until the time of this trouble;  and he propounds jointly, severally and concerning any of these points.

Also, that the aforesaid pew or seat always belonged and appertained both to the precursors and predecessors of the aforesaid Richard Massey in their time by reason of the principal residence of the aforesaid Richard called ‘the hall of Grafton’ and controlled by the aforenamed Richard now possessing and inhabiting the same house of Grafton; and he propounds as above.

Also, that the aforesaid John Brereton, who did not have or ought to have any right in the said pew or seat wrongfully, against the requirement of law, to the bad example of other parishioners claiming to expel the aforenamed Richard Massey, gentleman, from the aforesaid seat or at least to sit in the same pew or seat with the same Richard against the wishes of the said Richard saying of the same seat ‘he would sitt there in spyte of his head’[1] or at least wrongfully in some part of the same, to the serious detriment and disturbance of and no small trouble to the said Richard; and he propounds as before.

[1] In spite of his head = in defiance of him

Transcript

[1582/11 image 1]

In dei nomine amen coram vobis venerabili viro Roberto Leich legum doctori Curie consistorialis Cestrensis officiali principali legitime deputato aut alio Judice in hac
parte competenti quocunque pars discreti viri Richardi Massie
de grafton generosi parochie de Tilston Archidiaconatum Cestrensis
Diocesis Cestrensis contra et aduersus Johannem Brereton parochie et
diocesis predictis ac contra quemcunque alium seu quoscunque alios pro
eodem coram vobis in Juditio legitime intervenientem per viam querele
et vobis in hac parte querelando dicit allegat et in his scriptis
in iure proponit articulatim pro vt sequitur

Inprimis videlicet Quod <predictus Richardus Massie>  precessores et predicessores predicti Richardi Massye
generosi omnes et singuli eorum temporibus successiue existentes a
x xx xxx xl l et lx annos necnon vltraque et citra
a tempore et per tempus cuius initij siue contrarij
memoria hominum non existit fuerunt prout esse debuerunt in
pacifica possessione cuiusdam <scamnum> siue sedilis in Ecclesia de
Tilston predicte in eodemque scamno siue sedili Jus et potestatem
sedendi genuflectendum orandi et sepeliendi et inhumandi
{habuerunt} eius precessores et predicessores vt predicitur habuerunt
prout habere debent dictus Richardus pars iam agens semper habuit
et possedit et occupavit per se et suos pacifice et quiete
vsque ad tempus huius gravamenius et ponit coniunctim diuisim et de
quolibet

Item Quod predictum Scamnum siue sedile semper spectabat et
pertinebat tam ad precessores et predicessores prefati Richardi
Massie pro tempore existentes Ratione domicilij principalis predicti Richardi
vocati the hall of Gradton quam ad prelibatum Richardum
moderamen eandem domum de Grafton iam possidens et
inhabitans et ponit vt supra

Item quod predictus Johannes Brereton qui nihill iuris in dicto scamno
siue sedili habuit aut habere debet iniuste contra iuris
exigentiam in malum exemplum aliorum parochia-
norum prenominatum Richardum Massie generosum a predicto scamno
expellere vell saltem in eodem scamno et sedili cum
eodem Richardo sedere contra voluntatem dicti Richardi
dicendo he would sitt there in spyte of his head eandem
sedem vell saltem aliquam eiusdem partem iniuste sibi vendicando
in gravem iniuriam et disturbationem atque gravamen
dicti Richardi non modicum
et ponit vt supra

Libel (image 2)

Original Document

Click to view fullscreen

Translation

[1582/11 image 2]

Also, that the said John Brereton was and is of the parish of Tilston of Chester diocese and for that reason notoriously subordinate and subject to your jurisdiction; and he propounds as before.

Also, that it was and is on the part and behalf of the said Richard Massey rightly and lawfully complained to you, lord judge aforesaid, and to your Chester consistory court; and he propounds as before.

Also, that all and singular the premises were and are true, public, notorious, manifest and equally well-known, and regarding and concerning the same public voice and fame were and are circulating.

Whereupon, due proof being made as is required by law in this regard, the party of the said Richard Massey prays that right and a complement of justice may be done and administered to him in all and singular the premises, and that the said pew or seat, held by his precursors and predecessors in peaceful possession as thus set out above, is adjudged, decreed and declared as his and his family’s and that he, John Brereton, will be punished on account of his wrongful and presumptuous nuisance and disturbance and also that the party of the said John Brereton will be condemned in the lawful costs incurred on the part of the said Richard Massey in this behalf, and he protests those to be incurred, and, having been condemned that he will be obliged and compelled to the real payment of the same by you passing your definitive sentence in that behalf, lord judge aforesaid; not obliging himself to prove all and singular the premises, nor to the burden of superfluous proof, concerning which he protests, but so far as he will have proved in the premises, thus far may he obtain in the petitions,

Transcript

[1582/11 image 2]

Item Quod dictus Johannes Brerton fuit et est parochie de
Tilston Cestrensis diocesis et eo pretextu vestre Jurisdiccionis notorie
subditus et subiectus Et ponit vt supra

Item Quod fuit et est ex parte et per partem dicti Richardi Massey
ad vos dominum Judicem antedictum et ad curiam vestram consistorialem Cestrensem
Rite et legitime querelatum Et ponit vt supra

Item Quod  premissa omnia et singula fuerunt et sunt vera
publica notoria manifesta pariter ac famosa atque de et super
huiusmodi laborarunt et laborant publica vox et fama

 Vnde facta fide de iure in hac parte requisita petit pars
dicti Richardi Massy ius et Justiciam complementum sibi
[in premissis] omnibus et singulis fieri et ministrari dictumque Scamnum
siue Sedile sic vt premittitur a suis precessoribus
siue predecessoribus habitum in pacifica possessione sibi
et suis adiudicari decerni et declarari Ipsumque Johannem
Brerton propter suam Iniustam et temerariam vexacionem
et perburbationem puniendum fore necnon in expensis legitimis
per partem dicti Richardi Massy in hac parte factis et protestatur
defiendis parte dicti Johannis Brerton condempnari condempnatumque
ad realem solucionem earundem cogi et compelli per vos et vestram
Sententiam diffinitivam in hac parte ferendum domine Judex antedicte non
arctans se ad omnia et singula premissa probanda nec ad
onus superflue probacionis de quo protestatur sed Quatenus
probauerit in premissis eatenus obtineat in petitis Juris

Libel (image 3)

Original Document

Click to view fullscreen

Translation

[1582/11 image 3]

always reserving the benefit of law in all things; and he asserts the right of amending this libel; humbly imploring your office in the premises, distinguished judge aforesaid.

 

Transcript

[1582/11 image 3]

beneficio Ac protestatur de Addendo hunc libello In omnibus semper
saluo vestrum officium in premissis Judex egregie antedicte
humiliter Implorando

Libel (image 4)

Original Document

Click to view fullscreen

Translation

[1582/11 image 4] 

[Endorsement] 

Libel on behalf of Richard Massey, gentleman, against John Brereton in a cause of seating. Exhibited 1582. 

[in pencil in a different hand]

Tilston

[Produced with the permission of the Chester Diocesan Board of Finance.]

Translation copyright ©2022 P J Cox All Rights Reserved

Transcript

[1582/11 image 4] 

[Endorsement] 

Libellus ex parte Richardi
Massie generosi contra
Johannem Brereton
in Causa Scedilis
Exhibitus 1582

[in pencil in a different hand]

Tilston

[Produced with the permission of the Chester Diocesan Board of Finance.]

Transcript copyright ©2022 P J Cox All Rights Reserved

People

Richard Massey – plaintiff

John Brereton – defendant

 

 

Officials

Robert Leche

Subjects

Church seating

 

 

 

 

 

Places

Grafton

Tilston

Notes

Sentence was passed in favour of the plaintiff and survives at reference EDC 5/1587/35. The defendant appealed to York where his libel and Richard Massey’s response survive at reference CP.G.3064 and may be viewed online https://www.dhi.ac.uk/causepapers/causepaper.jsp?id=128125

The basis of John Brereton’s claim was that lands which he occupied under a three-life lease from John Heath of Overton, and which were situated in Grafton, gave him the right to sit in the contested pew, which Richard Massey continued to dispute.

There were two pews in dispute, both on the north side of the church, one being four back from the pulpit and the other behind it.

 

 

 

Ref: EDC 5/1580/12

Catalogue Entry:

EDC 5 1580. 12. MANCHESTER Robert Riding c Ralph Shalcrosse for saying he was a naughty man of his body – libel.

Summary:

Ralph Shalcrosse contra Robert Ridinges

 

Year

1580

Type of Cause:

Defamation – sexual slander

Cause Papers:

Libel

Libel (image 1)

Original Document

Click to view fullscreen

Translation

[1580/12 image 1]

In the name of God, Amen; before you, worshipful Master Robert Leche, Doctor of Laws, lawfully deputed official principal of the Chester consistory court, or any other judge whomsoever competent in this regard, the party of the distinguished Ralph Shalcrosse of the parish of Manchester of Chester archdeaconry against Robert Ridinges of the parish and archdeaconry aforesaid and against any other person or persons whomsoever lawfully intervening before you in judgement for the same, by way of complaint and complaining to you in this behalf says, alleges and propounds in these writings in law in articles as follows: 

1          Firstly, namely that all and singular subordinates and subjects of this realm of England who utter, assert or declare abuse, disparagements or opprobrious, scandalous or defamatory words tending or sounding to the injury or denigration of the good fame of any person with malicious intent and against public morals, were and are to be canonically and according to the due requirement of law in that behalf corrected and punished; and he propounds as before.

2          Also, that notwithstanding the premises the aforesaid Robert Ridings, not being ignorant of the premises but knowing well enough, in the months of April and May in the year of our Lord 1580, now current, within the parish of Manchester aforesaid, with malicious intent and against public morals seriously and grievously defamed the aforesaid Ralph Shalcrosse, previously in no way defamed, of and concerning the crimes written below and he uttered, spoke and published some abusive, scandalous and defamatory words openly and publicly against the aforesaid Ralph and especially the following English words namely ‘Thou art or he is, meaninge the said Rafe Shalcrosse a naughtie[1] man of thy bodie & hast had […] dealing with […]’

[1] Promiscuous or immoral in this context.

Transcript

[1580/12 image 1]

In dei nomine Amen Coram vobis venerabili viro magistro Roberto leche legum
doctore Curie Consistorialis Cestrensis officiali principali legitime deputato aut
alio Judice in hac parte competenti quocunque Pars discreti
viri Radulphi Shalcrosse parochie de Mancestr’ Archidiaconatus
Cestrensis contra et aduersus Robertum Ridinges parochie et
Archidiaconatus predictis ac contra quemcunque alium seu quoscunque
alios coram vobis pro eodem in Judicio legitime interuenientem
per viam querele et vobis in hac parte querelando
dicit allegat et in hijs scriptis in Jure proponit
articulatim prout sequitur

1          Inprimis videlicet Quod omnes et singuli huius Regni Anglie
Subditi et subiecti qui Convitia vituperia verbaue
opprobriosa scandalosa seu diffamatoria ad alicuis
bone fame lesionem seu denigracionem tendentia seu
sonantia animo malicioso ac contra bonos mores proferunt
asserunt seu predicant, fuerunt et sunt canonice
ac iuxta Juris in ea parte Exigentiam corrigendi et
puniendi  Et ponit vt supra

2          Item Quod premissis non obstantibus prefatus Robertus Ridinges
premissorum non ignarus imo satis sciolus predictum Radulphum
Shalcrosse de et super Criminibus infrascriptis prius
minime diffamatum mensibus Aprilis et Maij Anno domini
1580 iam currenti infra parochiam de mancestr’ predict
animo malicioso ac contra bonos mores grauiter et
enormiter diffamaui, nonnullaque verba convitiosa
scandalosa seu diffamatoria contra prefatum Radulphum
palam et publice protulit dixit et promulgauit ac
presertim verba Anglice sequentia videlicet Thou
art or he is, meaninge the said Rafe Sh[alcrosse]
a naughtie man of thy bodie & hast had […]
dealinge with […]

Libel (image 2)

Original Document

Click to view fullscreen

Translation

[1580/12 image 2] 

3          Also, that the aforesaid Ralph Shalcrosse, before the utterance of these defamatory words and until then, was a man of good fame, unblemished reputation and honest conversation and for such and as such openly, publicly and notoriously commonly called, held, considered, named and reputed among his acquaintances and neighbours; and he propounds as before.

4          Also that by reason and occasion of the utterance of these words the standing and good fame of the said Ralph are diminished, injured and harmed and the same Ralph was and is of less esteem after the utterance of these words than before; and he propounds as before. 

5          Also, that the aforesaid Robert Ridings was and is of the parish of  Manchester of the archdeaconry of Chester and notoriously subordinate and subject to your jurisdiction; and he propounds as before.

6          Also, all and singular the premises were and are true, public, notorious, manifest and equally well known and public voice and fame were circulating regarding and concerning the same, just as they are circulating at present.

Whereupon, due proof being made as required by law in this regard, the party of the aforesaid Ralph Shalcrosse prays that right and justice may effectively be done and administered to him in all and singular the premises and anything whatsoever concerning them and that that the said Robert Ridings will be punished according to the demands of the law in that regard on account of his reckless excess in pronouncing the defamatory words aforesaid; and also that he will be condemned in the costs incurred and to be incurred on behalf of the plaintiff in this cause by you and  your definitive sentence or final decree; and otherwise, that what will have been of right and reason in the premises may be done, established and decreed; this party propounds the premises and prays that they are done jointly and severally, not obliging himself to proving all and singular the premises, nor to the burden of superfluous proof, concerning […]

Transcript

[1580/12 image 2]

3          Item Quod predictus Radulphus Shalcrosse ante huiusmodi verborum
diffamatoriorum prolacionem et vsque ad ea fuit vir bone fame
opinionis illese et conuersacionis honeste proque tali et
vt talis inter notos et vicinos suos communiter dictus tentus
habitus nominatus et reputatatus palam publice et notorie Et
ponit vt supra

4          Item Quod pretextu et occacione prolacionis huiusmodi verborum status
et bona fama dicti Radulphi attenuanter leduntur et
gravantur fuitque et est idem Radulphus minoris
Estimacionis citra huiusmodi verborum prolacionem quam ante
Et ponit vt supra 

5          Item Quod predictus Robertus Ridinges fuit et est parochie de
Mancestr’Archidiaconatus Cestrie vestreque Jurisdiccioni notorie
subditus et subiectus Et ponit vt supra 

6          Item Quod premissa omnia  et singula fuerunt et sunt vera
publica notoria manifesta pariter et famosa Et quod de et
super eisdem laborarunt prout in presenti laborant publica
vox et fama 

Vnde facta fide de et super premissis
de Jure requisita petit pars predicti Radulphi Shalcrosse
Jus et Justiciam sibi in premissis omnibus et singulis ac
ea concernentibus quibuscunque fieri et ministrari cum
effectu dictumque Robertum Ridinges propter suum
temerarium excessus verba diffamatoria predicta proferenda
iuxta Juris in ea parte Exigentia puniri atque in Expensis
ex parte agentis in huiusmodi causa  factis et fiendis condemnari
per vos et vestram Sententiam diffinitiuam siue finale decretum
Ceteraque fieri statui et decerni quod Juris fuerit
et Rationis Premissa proponit et fieri petit pars
ista Coniunctim et diuisim Non arctans se ad omnia et singula
premissa probanda nec ad onus superflue probacionis de […]

Libel (image 3)

Original Document

Click to view fullscreen

Translation

[1580/12 image 3]

[Endorsement] 

Libel offered on behalf of Ralph Shalcrosse against Robert Ridinges in a cause of defamation, 1580

[in pencil in a different hand]

Manchester

[Produced with the permission of the Chester Diocesan Board of Finance.]

Translation copyright ©2022 P J Cox All Rights Reserved

Transcript

[1580/12 image 3] 

[Endorsement] 

Libellus ex parte
Radulphi Shalcrosse
contra Robertus
Ridinges in causa
diffamacionis oblatus
1580

[in pencil in a different hand]

Manchester

[Produced with the permission of the Chester Diocesan Board of Finance.]

Transcript copyright ©2022 P J Cox All Rights Reserved

People

Ralph Shalcrosse – plaintiff

Robert Ridinges – defendant

 

 

Officials

Robert Leche

Subjects

Defamatory words

 

 

 

 

 

Places

Manchester

Ref: EDC 5/8/1

Catalogue Entry:

EDC 5/8/1 – Libel in tithe cause: Richard Smyth LL. B. rector of Bury co. L. v. Arthur Caye of Bury 1547.

Summary:

Richard Smyth, rector of Bury, contra Arthur Cay

Although the libel specifies that Richard Smyth, as rector of Bury, was entitled to all the tithes of the parish, this cause seems to concern both personal tithes and offerings allegedly due from a man who had built a new dwelling house in the parish, although he attended a church in a different parish. The unpaid taxes comprised ‘offryng dayes, house peny, plough peny, hay’ 1d ‘wax’ halfpenny and ‘hene’ halfpenny’. Several of these items comprised fixed amounts and were, in effect modus payments in lieu of tithes. For example, the ‘hen halfpenny’ was presumably a tithe on eggs and chickens.

Year

1547

Type of Cause:

Tithes – other

Cause Papers:

Libel

Libel (image 1)

Original Document

Click to view fullscreen

Translation

[5/8/1 image 1]

In the name of God, Amen: before you, venerable Master George Wilmesley, Bachelor of Laws, by the authority of the most illustrious Prince in Christ and our master, Edward the sixth, by the grace of God King of England, France and Ireland, Defender of the Faith and on earth supreme head of the English and Irish church; by the same immutable authority vicar general in spirituals and lawfully appointed by the right reverend father in Christ, John, by divine permission bishop of Chester, official principal of his consistory to determine spiritual and ecclesiastical causes in the diocese of Chester or any other lawfully deputed competent judge; the party of the venerable Master Richard Smyth, Bachelor in Laww, rector of the parish church of Bury against Arthur Caye of the parish of Bury, of the archdeaconry of Chester and of Chester diocese and of your jurisdiction, and also against any other whomsoever lawfully intervening before you in judgement for the same says, alleges and propounds in these writings in law jointly and severally and in articles as follows:

Firstly, that the said Master Richard Smyth, present rector of the parish church of Bury, is canonically instituted to the same rectory and, the same having been thus attained, with its universal and singular rights and appurtenances, he has possessed peacefully and quietly for some time just as (saving what will be written below) he thus also possesses it at present and also was and is commonly called, held, had, named and reputed openly, publicly and notoriously as perpetual rector and canonical possessor of the same rectory; and he propounds jointly and severally and concerning any of these points.

Also, that as well by law, foundation, ordinance and endowment of the same rectory of Bury  as by ancient, laudable and lawful prescribed custom, hitherto from the time and throughout time of the beginning or to the contrary of which there exists no memory of men, and often upheld in judgment in a contested cause, the right of receiving and having all and all types of tithes, both greater and lesser, personal, mixed and minute and especially tithes of offerings and the Easter roll within the bounds and limits of the parish of Bury however proceeding and arising, belonged and belongs to the said Master Richard Smyth, present rector there, and to all and singular his precursors and predecessors, and should have belonged and should also belong in future; and he propounds as before.

Also, that the said Master Richard Smyth, present rector aforesaid, and all and singular his precursors and predecessors for the time being were and are in peaceful possession, or quasi-possession, of the right of taking and having all and singular tithes proceeding and arising within the parish aforesaid and the bounds and limits and tithable places of the same rectory in the manner and form specified and recited above for 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 and 60 years and before and since and also from the time and throughout the time of the beginning or to the contrary of which does not exist in the memory of man, and for the same time also peacefully and quietly took and had them and freely disposed of and with them at his own will and pleasure until the time of the trouble set out above; and he propounds as before.

Also, that the said Arthur Cay recently caused to be built, erected and constructed newly a certain new dwelling house on his tenement called ‘Cobholes’ in a certain field or close called ‘Creye’ otherwise ‘Cragh’, which house, as thus aforesaid, newly built, erected and constructed in the aforesaid field or close called ‘Cray’ otherwise ‘Cragh’ is situated and lies within the limits, neighbourhood, precinct and surrounds of the said parish of Bury and the tithable places of the same; and he propounds jointly and severally and concerning any of these points.

Transcript

[5/8/1 image 1] 

In dei nomine amen Coram vobis venerabili viro Magistro Georgio Wilmysley in legibus baccallario auctoritate
Illustrissimi in Christo principis et domini nostri Edwardi sexti dei gracia Anglie Fransie et Hibernie
Regis fidei defensoris et in terra ecclesie Anglicane et Hibernice supremi capitis ad causas spirituales et ecclesiasticas
decidendum diocesi Cestrensi per Reuerendum in Christo patrem et dominum dominum Johannem permissione diuina Cestrensis Episcopi eadem auctoritate
immutabile vicario in spritualibus generali ac eius Consistorij Officiali principali
legitime fulcito seu alio Judice in hac parte
competenti legitime deputato Pars venerabilis viri Magistri Ricardi Smyth in Jure Baccallarij Rectoris ecclesie parochialis
de Bury contra et aduersus Arthurum Caye parochie de Bury Archidiaconatus Cestrie Cestrensis diocesis et vestre Jurisdictionis Necnon contra
quemcunque alium coram vobis in Judicio legitime intervenientem pro eodem dicit allegat et in hijs scriptis in Jure
proponit coniunctim et diuisim Atque Articulatim prout sequitur

In primis quod dictus Magister Ricardus Smyth rector ecclesie parochialis de Bury modernus eandem Rectoriam canonice est assecutus
ipsamque sic assecutam cum suis Juribus et pertinentiis vniuersis et singulis per nonnulla tempora possedit pacifice et quiete
prout eciam saluus infrascriptis sic possidet in presenti Necnon pro perpetuo Rectore et canonico possessore eiusdem Rectorie fuit
et est communiter dictus tentus habitus nominatus et reputatus palam publice et notorie Et ponit coniunctim et diuisim ac de quolibet

Item quod tam de Jure fundacione <ordinacione> et dotacione eiusdem Rectorie de Bury quam de antiqua laudabili legitimaque prescripta consue-
tudine hactenus a tempore et per tempus cuius Inicij siue contrarij memoria hominum non existit ac in contradictorio Judicio
sepius obtenta Jus percipiendi et habendi omnes et omnimodas decimas tam maiores
quam minores <personales> mixtas et minutas et precipue decimas
oblacionium et Rotule pascalis infra fines et limites parochie de Bury qualitercunque provenientes et contingentes ad dictum
Magistrum Ricardum Smyth Rectorem ibidem modernum suosque precessores et predecessores omnes et singulos pertinuit et pertinet ac pertinere
debuit et debet eciam in futurum Et ponit ut supra

Item quod dictus Magister Ricardus Smyth Rector modernus supradictus suisque precessores et predecessores omnes et singuli per eorum temporibus
successiuis fuerunt et sunt in pacifica possessione seu quasi Juris percipiendi et habendi omnes et singulas decimas modo et forma
superius specificata et recitata infra parochiam predictam ac fines et limites locaque decimabilia eiusdem Rectorie provenientas
et contingentas a x ‧ xx ‧ xxx ‧ xl ‧ l et lx  annis anteaque et citra necnon a tempore et per tempus cuius inicij siue contrarij
in memoria hominum non existit easque per se et suos per idem tempus perceperunt et habuerunt ac de <et> cum eisdem pro ipsorum
libitis et voluntatis libere disposuerunt pacifice et quiete vsque ad tempus grauaminis infrascriptum Et ponit vt supra

Item quod dictus Arthurus Cay quadam <nouam> domum habitacionis tenamento suo vocato Cobholes in quodam
campo siue clausura vocato Creye alias Cragh nuper de nouo fabracari fecit erexit et
construxit que quidem domus sic ut prefertur de nouo fabricatam erectam et constructam in prefato Campo siue
clausura vocata Cray alias Cragh infra limites ambitam precinctam et circuitam dicto parochie de Bury
ac loca decimabilia eiusdem cituatur et Jacet Et ponit coniunctim et diuisim ac de quolibet

Libel (image 2)

Original Document

Click to view fullscreen

Translation

[5/8/1 image 2]

Also, that in the said parish of Bury, concerning the custom of paying tithes, both greater and lesser, mixed, personal and minute within the bounds and limits and tithable places of the same a method and custom have grown up for 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 and 60 years and before and since and also from the time and throughout the time of the beginning or to the contrary of which the memory of man does not reach such that all and singular inhabitants (called ‘householders’) within the bounds and limits of the aforesaid parish of Bury pay, or cause to be paid, to the rector or his deputy year by year, according to the most excellent royal statutes, either at the feast of Easter or at Easter time for his offerings  3d and at the same feast or time for lesser, mixed, personal or minute tithes namely ‘for offyng dayes’ 3d, ‘a house’ 1d, ‘a plough peny’, ‘a hay’ 1d, ‘a wax’ a halfpenny, and ‘a hene’ a halfpenny according to the laudable use and custom and lawful usage of the said parish used and observed from time immemorial, as will become clear and plainly appear in the outcome of this suit; and he propounds jointly and severally and concerning any of these points.

Also, that the aforesaid Arthur Cay, layman, who had or has nothing of right in the said parish church of Bury or the tithes aforesaid in any way or, indeed, to them, but in contravention of that did nor tithe, pay or satisfy any tithes belonging or appertaining and which ought to belong and appertain to the rector of the said parish by right and in the name of his rectory, either greater or lesser, personal, mixed or minute coming or arising within the bounds and limits and tithable places of the said parish in the months of March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December, January or February in the one thousand five hundred and forty fifth year of our Lord, nor in the months aforesaid in the 1546th year of our Lord, or not even in the months of March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December, January or February in the present and current one thousand five hundred and forty seventh year of our Lord, nor in any one of those months and years whatsoever, in one or another or any other, against the will of the said venerable present rector, although bound by right he did not tithe, pay or satisfy namely ‘for offryng dayes’ 3d ‘a house peny a plough’ 1d ‘a haye’ 1d ‘a waxe’ halfpenny, and a hene’ halfpenny in the months and years aforesaid or in any of those months and years whatever, in one or another, subtracted, took and had them against the authority of the law to the grave danger of his soul, to no small prejudice and damage to the said rector and to the pernicious example of other Christian faithful; and also in addition because the said Arthur Cray takes and receives his Eucharist and other sacraments and rites in another church or parish; and he propounds jointly and severally and concerning any of these points.

Transcript

[5/8/1 image 2]

Item quod in dicta parochia de Bury circa modum et consuetudinem soluendi decimas tam maiores quam minores mixtas personales
et minutas infra fines et limites ac loca decimabilia eiusdem talis inoleuit mos and consuetudo a x ‧ xx ‧ xxx
xl ‧ l ‧  lx  annis anteaque et citra necnon a tempore et per tempus cuius Inicij siue contrarij memoria hominum
non tenet quod omnes et singuli habitantes <vocati householders> infra fines et limites parochie predicte de Bury soluant seu solui faciant
Rectori vel eius vicem gerentem singulis annis iuxta Regia excellentissima statuta seu saltem in festo paschali seu
tempore pashatis pro oblacionibus suis  iijd et in eodem festo seu tempore pro decimis minoribus mixtis personalibus
siue minutis videlicet <for offyng dayes iijd> a house jd, a plough peny, a hay jd, a wax obolus, et a hene obolus, iuxta moremque et consuetu-
dinem laudabilemque et legitimum vsum dicte parochie a tempore Immemorato vsitata et obseruata prout per probaciones
legitimas in eventu huius litis liquidabitur et plene apparebit Et ponit coniunctim et diuisim ac de quolibet

Item quod prefatus Arthurus <Cay> laicus qui nihil Juris in dicta ecclesia parochialis de Bury decimis ve predictis habuit aut habet
aliqualiter ve ad eas ipsis quoque non obstantibus sed post et contra ea nonnullas decimas tam maiores quam
minores personales mixtas et minutas infra fines et limites ac loca decimabilia dicte parochie provenientes et
contingentes Mensibus Marcij Aprilis Maij Junij Julij Augusti Septembris octobris Novembris  Decembris
Januarij seu Februarij Anno domini Millesimo quingentesimo quadragesimo quinto Necnon mensibus predictis anno domini
1546o seu saltem mensibus Marcij Aprilis Maij Junij Julij Augusti Septembris octobris Novembris
Decembris Januarij seu Februarij presenti et currenti anno domini Millesimo quingentesimo quadragesimo septimo eorundem
ve mensium et annorum quolibet vno aliquo siue altero ad Rectorem dicte parochie Jure et nomine sue rectorie spectantes
et pertinentes ac spectare et pertinere debentes preter et contra voluntatem dicti venerabilis viri rectoris moderni
prout de Jure tenetur non decimauit soluit aut satisfecit videlicet for offryng dayes iijd/ a house peny, a plough
jd, a haye jd, a waxe obolus, and a hene obolus, mensibus et annis predictis eorundemve mensium et annorum quolibet
vno aliquo siue altero contra Jurem disposicionem subtraxit percepit et habuit in anime sue graue periculum dictique rectoris
preiudicium nonmodicum et grauamen aliorumque Christifidelium perniciosum exemplum Necnon tam dictus Arthurus Cay quia
sui Eucharistam et alia sacramenta et sacramentalia in alia ecclesia siue parochia perceperunt et receperunt Et
ponit coniunctim et diuisim ac de quolibet

Libel (image 3)

Original Document

Click to view fullscreen

Translation

[5/8/1 image 3]

Also, that the true value or valuation of these tithes subtracted, taken and had by the aforesaid Arthur Cay and his men in his name in the months and years recited above, or in any of those months and years whatever, in one or another (as aforesaid), notoriously amounted to the sum or value of ten shillings; and the party of the above-mentioned venerable Richard Smyth, rector aforesaid, asserts a claim to any other intermediate sum or lesser value to the sum or value of 4d, and of such and so great a sum of what kind and amount in the common estimation of men notoriously extends by lawful proofs in the outcome of this suit will come to be declared or proved; and he propounds jointly and severally and concerning any of these points.

Also, that the said Arthur Cay, layman has been requested and asked to tithe, pay, give and deliver the tithes aforesaid by the aforesaid Master Richard Smith, present rector, or his deputy subtracted, taken and had in the manner aforesaid with the precincts of the said parish or tithable places of the same or otherwise to compound with the same in the months and years recited above, or in any one of those months and years whatsoever on the part and behalf of the aforenamed Master Richard Smith; and he propounds jointly and severally and concerning any of these points.

Also, that the said Arthur Cay, thus aforesaid asked and requested to do as in the premises or in any of them, he has not troubled but in the months and years specified above, or in any one of those months and years whatsoever, in one or another or any other (as aforesaid) he has expressly declined and refused or at least unduly delayed and delays at present, to no small prejudice and grievance of the aforesaid Master Richard Smyth, present rector; and he propounds jointly and severally and concerning any of these points.

Also, that all and singular the premises were and are true, public, notorious, manifest and well-known, and public voice and fame were circulating regarding and concerning it, just as they are at present, in the said parish of Bury and in other surrounding parishes, townships and places.

Transcript

[5/8/1 image 3] 

Item quod verus valor siue estimacio huiusmodi decimarum per prefatum Arthurus Cay et suos eius nomine mensibus et annis superius
recitatis eorundem ve mensis et annorum quolibet vno aliquo siue Altero (ut prefertur) subtractarum perceptarum et
habitarum ad summam siue valorem <decem> solidorum notorie se extenduit Et protestatur pars prelibati venerabilis viri
Richardi Smyth rectoris antedicti de qualibet summa inter media siue valore minori vsque ad summam siue valorem
iiijd deque tali et tanta summa et qualis et quanta per probaciones legitimas in eventu litis huiusmodi veniet declarandum
siue comprobandum Communi hominium estimacio notorie se extendunt Et ponit coniunctim et diuisim et dequolibet

Item quod dictus Arthurus Cay laicus ad decimandum soluendum tradendum et liberandum antefato Magistro Ricardo Smyth rectori
moderno siue eius <vicem> vigerentem decimas supradictas modo quo prefertur per ipsum et suos subtractas perceptas et habitas seu ad
aliter componendum cum eodem mensibus et annis superius recitatis eorundem ve mensis et annorum
quolibet vno aliquo siue altero ex parte et partem prelibati Magistri Ricardi Smyth infra precinctium dicte parochie vel loca
decimabilia eiusdem requisitas sunt et interpellatas Et ponit coniunctim et diuisim et dequolibet

Item quod dictus Arthurus Cay sic ut premittitur requitus et interpellatus premissa seu eorum aliquod facere non curauit
sed mensibus et annis superius specificatis eorundem ve mensis et annorum quolibet vno aliquo siue altero (ut prefertur)
renuit expresse et recusauit seu saltem plus debite distulit et differt in presenti in prenominati Magistri Ricardi Smyth
rectoris modernum preiudicium non modicum et grauamen Et ponit coniunctim et diuisim et dequolibet

Item quod  premissa omnia  et singula fuerunt et sunt vera publica notoria manifesta et famosa ac de et super premissis omnibus
et singulis in dicta parochia de Bury alijs que parochijs villis et locis circumvicinis laborarunt prout in
presenti laborant publica vox et fama

Libel (image 4)

Original Document

Click to view fullscreen

Translation

[5/8/1 image 4]

Whereupon, due proof as is required, for the making of which according to the due requirement of law the party of the said venerable man offers himself to prove at a suitable and appropriate place and time, and in addition the same party prays that right and justice may be done and administered to him in the premises and in respect of his right, title and possession of quasi right of having and receiving the said tithes, namely ‘offryng dayes, house peny, plough peny, hay’ 1d ‘wax’ halfpenny and ‘hene’ halfpenny, and other greater, lesser, personal, mixed and minute tithes and that all other tithes coming and arising within the bounds and limits of the said parish of Bury will be adjudged, decreed and declared as his and of his rectory aforesaid in future successive times in perpetuity; and also that the aforesaid Arthur Cay and his men are rightly and canonically obliged and compelled to tithe, pay and deliver his tithes respectively aforesaid thus subtracted by him and his men without any, or any kind of, diminution, or the true value of the same, to the use of the said rector in the name of his rectory in the said parish; and also that he is condemned in the lawful expenses incurred by reason of this cause, and he protests those to be incurred, and, having been condemned, that he is rightly and canonically obliged and compelled to the real payment of the same by you passing your definitive sentence or your final decree in this respect, lord judge aforesaid; and otherwise, that what will have been of right and reason in the premises may be done, established and decreed; the plaintiff aforesaid propounds the premisses and prays that they are done jointly and severally,  not binding himself to prove all and singular the premises, nor to the burden of a superfluous proof, against which he protests but so far as he shall prove in the premises so much may he obtain of the petitions, always reserving the benefit of law in all things; in addition he prays that regarding the process in this cause it will be summarily and in a summary way, according to the requirement of law;  humbly imploring your office, distinguished judge aforesaid.

 

Transcript

[5/8/1 image 4] 

Vnde facta fide que requiritur ad quam faciendam iuxta Juris
debitam exigentiam offert pars dicti venerabilis viri se probaturi pro loco et tempore congruis et oportunis Petit insuper eadem
pars Jus et Justiciam sibi in premissis omnibus et singulis fieri et ministrari ac pro Jure titulo et possessione sua
seu quasi Juris habendi et percipiendi dictas decimas videlicet offryng dayes, house peny, plough peny, hay jd
wax obolus et hene obolus ac alias decimas maiores minores personales mixtas et minutas ac omnes alias decimas
infra fines et limites dicte parochie de Bury provenientes et contingentes sibi et rectorie sue predicte futuris temporibus
successiuis imperpetuum adiudicari decerni et declarari Necnon prefatum Arthurum Cay et suos ad decimandum
soluendum et liberandum decimas suas respectiue antedictas sic per ipsum et suos subtractas sine aliqua seu aliquali
diminucione vel verum valorem earundem ad commodum dicti Rectoris nomine rectorie sue in dicta parochia rite et cononice
cogi et compelli Atque in expensis legitimis occasione huius litis factis et protestatur de faciendis insuper condemnari
condempnatumque ad realem solucionem earundem rite et canonice cogi et compelli per
vos et vestram sentenciam diffinitiuam siue
finale decretum in hac parte ferendam domine Judex antedicte Vlteriusque fieri statui et decerni in premissis et
ea consernentibus quibuscunque quod Juris fuerit et racionis Premissa proponit et fieri petit pars actrix predicta coniunctim
et diuisim Non arctans se ad omnia et singula premissa probanda nec ad onus superflue probacionis de quo protestatur
Sed quatenus probauerit in premissis eatenus obtineat in petitis Juris beneficio in omnibus semper saluo Petit
insuper quatenus procedatur in hac causa summarie et de plano iuxta Juris debitam exigentiam vestrum officium implorando
Judex egregie antedicte

Libel (image 5)

Original Document

Click to view fullscreen

Translation

[5/8/1 image 5] 

[Endorsement] 

Libel of the venerable Master Richard Smyth, rector of Bury, against Arthur Cay in a cause of subtraction of tithes.

1547

[in pencil in a different hand]

/1

[Produced with the permission of the Chester Diocesan Board of Finance.]

Translation copyright ©2023 P J Cox All Rights Reserved

Transcript

[5/8/1 image 5]

[Endorsement] 

libellus venerabilis viri Magistri Ricardi Smyth Rectoris de Bury
contra Arthurum Cay in causa subtraccionis decimarum

1547

[in pencil in a different hand]

/1

[Produced with the permission of the Chester Diocesan Board of Finance.]

Transcript copyright ©2023 P J Cox All Rights Reserved

Ref: EDC 5/5/1

Catalogue Entry:

1544? Coddington tithe cause paper.

Summary:

John Fellowe, rector of Coddington, contra Jane Brereton

This document, concerning the tithes of Coddington, is badly damaged and about half is very difficult or impossible to make out so has been supplied from common form, where possible. In particular the type of tithe involved and the calculation of the amount unpaid is not entirely clear.

Year

1544

Type of Cause:

Tithes – other

Cause Papers:

Libel

Libel (image 1)

Original Document

Click to view fullscreen

Translation

[5/5/1 image 1]

In the name of God, Amen: before you, venerable Master George Wilmesley, Bachelor of Laws, by the authority of the most illustrious Prince in Christ and our master, Henry the eighth, by the grace of God King of England, France and Ireland, Defender of the Faith and on earth supreme head under Christ over the English and Irish church, by the reverend in Christ […] vicar general in spirituals […] by divine permission bishop of Chester to hear and determine ecclesiastical causes and lawfully deputed official principal of his consistory or any other judge whomsoever competent in that behalf; the party of the venerable John Fellowe, rector of the parish church of Coddington against Jane Brereton of Chester diocese and its archdeaconry and of your jurisdiction and also against any other whomsoever lawfully intervening before you in judgement for the same says, alleges and propounds in these writings in law jointly and severally and in articles in the manner which follows:

Firstly, […] John Fellowe, rector of Coddington abovesaid, was and is canonically instituted to the same rectory of Coddington with its universal and singular rights and appurtenances, and has possessed it peacefully and quietly for some time just as (saving what will be said below) he thus also possesses it at present and also was and is commonly called, held, had and reputed openly, publicly and notoriously as true rector and occupier of the same rectory of Coddington […].

Also, that as well by the common law as by ancient and laudable, lawful and prescribed custom hitherto from time and throughout time immemorial, and often upheld in judgment in a contested cause, the right of receiving and having all and all types of tithes, as well greater as lesser […] of grazing and pastures commonly called ‘teythar bage’[1] within the bounds and limits of the said parish of Coddington however proceeding, belonged to the said John Fellowe, present rector there, and to all and singular his precursors and predecessors, and should have belonged and should also in future; and he propounds jointly, severally and concerning any of these points.

Also, that the present rector of the parish church of Coddington and all and singular his precursors and predecessors for the time being were and are in peaceful possession, or quasi-possession, of the right of taking and having all and all types of tithes proceeding and arising within the parish aforesaid and the bounds and limits and tithable places of the same rectory in the manner and form specified and recited above for 10, 20, 30, 40 and 50 years past and before and since [and also from the time] to the contrary of which does not exist in the memory of man, and for the same time also peacefully and quietly took and had them himself or by his men and freely disposed of and with them at his own will and pleasure until the time of the trouble set out above; and he propounds as before.

Also, that all and singular parishioners of the said parish of Coddington as well as others from elsewhere who may hold or occupy any grazing or pastures within the bounds and limits of the same parish […] have continually paid, rendered and satisfied, or at least ought to have caused to be paid, rendered and satisfied to the above-mentioned rector and all and singular his precursors and predecessors from the time and throughout the time the contrary of which does not exist in the memory of men 8d of lawful money for the tithes of his grazing or pasture commonly called ‘teythar bage’ in any year in keeping with the annual rent of 6s 8d for the same grazing, as trustworthy and […] witnesses will sufficiently clarify and will appear in the settlement of this suit; and he propounds as before.

Also, that […] subordinates and subjects of our realm who maliciously presume to deprive […] the church […] or persons […] due by law are, by that fact, culpably […] in major excommunication […] punished and corrected according to the due requirement of law; and he propounds as before.

Also, that […] June, July, August, September, October, November, December, January, February, March or April, or in any of the same months, in one or several, in the present and current one thousand five hundred and forty […] year of our lord, the aforesaid Jane Brereton held, had and occupied a pasture called ‘the masons fyld’ at an annual rent of 40s […] 26s 8d being and lying within the bounds and limits of the said parish of Coddington, or of such a […] or intermediate of annual rent for the aforesaid pastures or grazing down to the sum of 20 shillings, and of such and so great a sum or value of such and so much […] as will become more clear and appear in the outcome of this suit; and as before.

[1] This is how the name of the land appears, supposedly in English, but it seems unusual. ‘Teythar’ may be ‘thether’ (OED) so this may be a generic term for a type of pasture. It may also perhaps be a corruption of ‘the herbage’, meaning here grass used for pasture. The name of the field in question (‘the masons fyld’) occurs later.

Transcript

[5/5/1 image 1]

In dei nomine amen coram vobis venerabili viro Magistro georgio Wylmysley in legibus baccallario auctoritate illustrissimi in Christo principis et domini
[nostri Henrici octaui dei gracia Anglie Francie et Hibernie Regis fidei defensoris] et in terris Ecclesie Anglicane et hibernie sub Christo capitis supremis per Reuerendi In Christo
[… permissione diuina] cestrensis episcopi ad causas ecclesiasticas decidendum et terminandum vicario in spritualibus generali Ac eius Consistorij Officiali
[principali … legitime deputato vel] Alio Judice in hac parte competenti quocunque Pars venerabilis viri Johannis felo Rectoris Ecclesie parochialis
[de Codyngton contra et aduersus Johannam Brereton] cestrensis diocesis ac Archidiaconatus eius et vestre Jurisdictionis Necnon contra quemcunque alium
[coram vobis pro eidem in Judicio legitime interuenientem] dicit allegat et in his scriptis
in Jure proponit coniunctim et diuisim Atque Articulatim modo pro vt sequitur

[Imprimis …Johannis felo] Rector de Codyngton supradicta fuit et est ipsamque Rectoriam de Codyngton canonice assecutus
[cum suis juribus et pertinentiis vniuersis et singulis] per nonulla tempora possedit pacifice et quiete provt Saluo infra scriptis sic etiam
[possidet in presenti necnon pro vero rectore et possessore] eidem Rectorie de Codyngton  fuit et est communiter dictus tentus habitus et reputatus palam publice
[…]

[Item quod tam de Jure communi] quam de antiqua et laudabili consuetudine legitima et prescripta hactenus a tempore et per tempus
[immemorato et in contradictorio] Judicio sepius obtenta : Jus percipiendi et habendi omnies et omnimodas decimas tam maiores            [quam minores …] pascurarum et pasturarum vulgo vocatarum teythanbage? infra fines et limites dicte parochie de Codyngton
[qualitercunque provenientes ad dictum Johannem] felo Rectorem ibidem modernum suos que precessores et predecessores omnies et singulos pertinvit ac pertinere
[debuit et debet etiam in futurum Et ponit coniunctim diuisim et] de quolibet

[Item quod rector ecclesie parochialis de Coddington modernus suisque precessores et] predecessores omnies et singuli per temporibus suis successiuis fuerunt et sunt in pacifica possessione
[seu quasi Juris percipiendi et habendi omnies et omnimodas decimas sub modo et] forma superius specificata et recitata infra parochiam predictam finesque et limites ac
[loca decimabilia eiusdem Rectorie provenientas contingentas] a x ‧ xx ‧ xxx ‧ xlta et lta  annis elapsis ultraque et citra cuius contrarij in memoria hominum non existit
[easque per se et suos per idem tempus perceperunt et habuerunt atque de et cum] eisdem pro ipsorum libitis et voluntatis libere disposuerunt etiam pacifice et quiete vsque ad tempus
[gravaminis infrascriptum et ponit vt supra]

[Item quod omnies et singuli parochiani dicte parochie de Codyngton quam alij extran]ei qui infra fines et limites eiusdem parochie aliquas pascuasve pasturas habuerint vel
[occupauerunt … soluerunt redderunt et satisfece]runt seu saltem fit soluisse reddidisse et satisfecisse debuerunt rectori perpetuo supradictus
[et precessoribus ac predecessoribus suis omnibus et singulis a tempore et per tempus cuius] contrarium in memoria hominum non existit pro decimis pascurarum seu pasturarum suarum
[vulgo vocatarum teythanbage anno quolibet vjs viijd secundum] annuales redditu eadem siue eiusdem pascuarum siue pascue viijd legalis monete provt testes fide-
[dignos et … sufficienter in fine huius litis liquidabitur et apparebit] et ponit vt supra

[Item quod … Regni nostro subditi et subiecti qui ecclesias …] ve personas suo Jure debito maliciose priuare presumunt et sunt ipso facto in maioris
[excommunicationis dampnabiliter … Juxta Juris debitam exigentiam] puniendum et corrigendum et ponit vt supra

 [Item quod … Junij Julij Augusti Septembris Octobris Novembris]  Decembris Januarij Februarij Martij seu Aprilis eorundemve mensium vno siue pluribus
[presenti et currenti Anno domini Millesimo quingentesimo quadragesimo  … prefata Johanna Brereton] tenvit habuit et occupauit vnam pascuam vocatam the masons fyld annvalis
[redditu xls … ] xxvjs viijd infra fines et limites dictam parochiam de Codyngton existentam et
[jacentam …vel intermedia] annvalis redditus predictarum pascuarum vel pascurarum vsque ad summam xxs ac de tali et tanta
[summa ve valore quali et quanta …] in eventu huius litis plenius liquidabitur et apparebit et vt supra

Libel (image 2)

Original Document

Click to view fullscreen

Translation

[5/5/1 image 2]

Also, that the aforesaid Jane Brereton, who had or has nothing of right in the said rectory of Coddington in any way, heedless of the health of her soul and not fearing to fall under penalty of the law […]  field or grazing land being and lying within the bounds and limits of the said parish of Coddington commonly called […] belonging and appertaining […] in the name of his rectory aforesaid contrary to and against the will of the same present rector […] subtracted and occupied for herself and retained and had and converted, ordered and acquired to her criminal use […] to the distinguished rector […] and he propounds as before.

Also, that […] of the abovesaid field or grazing land, commonly called ‘teythar bache’, as is thus aforesaid taken and […] by the aforesaid Jane Brereton in the present year aforesaid, according to the annual rate of rent of the aforesaid pastures and the custom of the said parish […] to the sum or value of 6s 8d; and this party claims and libels of such […] up to the sum of twelve pence, and of such and so great a sum of such and so much […] through trustworthy and […] witnesses sufficiently in the outcome of this suit; and he propounds as before.

Also, that and although the aforesaid Jane Brereton aforesaid on several occasions was duly requested and asked rightly and in due form of law, to give, pay, provide or deliver to the distinguished John Fellow, rector […] these said tithes of the aforesaid close, pasture or grazing as thus aforesaid taken and […] by the same Jane Brereton or to duly compound with him in that respect, yet she, Jane Brereton, has not wished to do so, but has wickedly and […] refused […] defers and refuses at present to no small and serious prejudice of the said present rector and his rectory; and […] example of other Christian faithful […] and involving himself; and he propounds jointly and severally.

Also, that […] of Chester diocese and notoriously subordinate and subject to your jurisdiction in that respect.

Also, that it was and is on the part and behalf of the abovesaid rector of Coddington that complaint is rightly and lawfully made to you and to Chester your consistory court.

Also, that all and singular matters were and are true, public, notorious, manifest and well-known, and public voice and fame are circulating about the same […] in the said parish of Coddington and other places surrounding the same.

Whereupon, due proof being made as is required by law in this regard, the party of the said rector of Coddington on behalf of his right, title and […] the tithes of the pasture, close or grazing aforesaid maliciously and unjustly had and subtracted by the said Jane Brereton in her […] by the aforesaid Jane Brereton belonging and appertaining to the said present rector by right and in the name of his rectory of Coddington […] and thus should be decreed and declared so to belong and appertain and the same Jane Brereton […] of the said pasture or grazing aforesaid specified in the manner as is aforesaid commonly called ‘teythar bage’ […] of Coddington judicially obliged and compelled and […] condemned in the lawful expenses incurred on behalf of the aforesaid rector of Coddington by reason of this suit, and he protests those to be incurred, and, having been condemned that she is canonically obliged and compelled to the real payment of the same and in the said sentence of major excommunication culpably incurred by occasion of the premisses […] by you and passing your definitive sentence or final decree in this respect, distinguished judge aforesaid; and otherwise, that what will have been of right and reason in the premises and anything concerning them may be done, established […]; which the party of the said rector of Coddington propounds jointly and severally, not obliging himself to prove all and singular the premises, nor to the burden of superfluous proof, concerning which he protests, but so far as he will have proved in the premises, thus far may he obtain in the petitions, always reserving the benefit of law in all things, humbly imploring your office in the premises and matters concerning them, lord judge aforesaid […] of amending […] and correcting this libel at a suitable and opportune time and place.

Transcript

[5/5/1 image 2]

[Item quod prefata Joanna Brereton qui nihil Juris in dicta rectoria de Cod]yngton habuit aut habet aliqualiter animæ suæ salutis immemor in penam Juris cadere
[non formidans … pascuram ve pascurarum] infra fines et limites dicte parochie de Codyngton excistentium et Jacentium vulgo vocatarum
[…nomine] rectorie sue antedicte pertinentium et spectantium preter et contra voluntatem eiusdem Rectoris presenti
[…subtraxit et occupauit ac penes se] retinvit et habuit ac in vsum suum nepharium convertit mandauit et fecit dicto discreto
[rectori …] et ponit vt supra

[Item quod … supradictarum pascuram et pascurarum vulgo] vocatarum teythar betge sic vt prefertur predicta Johanna Brereton presenti anno predicto percepit et
[…secundum Ratus annualis redditus predictarum pascuarum] et consuetudinem dicte parochie ad summam siue valorem vjs viijd ac dat et libellat pars ista de quolibet
[… vsque ad summam duodecimi denariorum ac de tali] et tanta summa quali et quanta per testes fidedignos et […] sufficienter in eventu huius
[litis … et ponit vt supra]

[Item quod licet prefata Johanna Brereton antedicta ad ] dictarum decimarum cla<v>surarum pascuarum siue pascurarum sic vt prefertur per ipsam Johannam Brereton
[perceptarum et …ac iteratis temporibus] debite requisata et interpellata fuit ipse tamen Johanna Bereton dictas huiusmodi decimas
[dicto discreto Johnne felo Rectore … iuste et] indebite Juris forma traddere soluere prestare seu liberare aut cum eo in hac parte debite componere noluit
[sed nequiter et … recusauit … difert et recusat in presenti] dicto Rectoro moderno ac eius Rectorie preiudicium non modicum et graumen ac aliorum
[christifidelium exemplum … ] et se ipsum involuendum et ponit coniunctim et diuisim

[Item quod … cestrensis diocesis ac vestre] Jurisdictionis et in ea parte notorie subdita et subiecta

[Item quod fuit et est ex parte et per partem supradicti] Rectoris de Codyngton ad vos et Curiam vestram cestrensem rite et legitime querelatum

 [Item Quod omnia et singula fuerunt et sunt vera publica] notoria manifesta et famosa ac in dicta parochia de Codyngton et locis alijs eidem circumvicinis de et
[super eisdem … laborant publica vox et fama]

Vnde facta fide in hac parte de Jure requisitur petit pars dicti Rectoris de Codyngton pro Jure titulo et
[…] decimas pascuarum clausurarum seu pascurarum predictarum per dictam Johannam Brereton in sua
[… per predictam Johannam] Brereton maliciose et iniuste habitas et subtractas ad dictum Rectorem modernum Jure et nomine
[rectorie sue de Codyngton … spectauisse et] pertinuisse ac sic spectare et pertinere debere decerni et declarari ipsamque Johannam
[Brereton … dictarum  pascuarum] siue pascurarum predictarum modo vt prefertur specificatarum vulgo vocatarum teythar bage dicto
[… de Codyngton Judicaliter cogi et compelli et … in expensis legitimis] per partem predicti Rectoris de Codyngton occatione huius litis factis et protestatur
[de faciendis condemnari condemnatamque ad Realem solutionem earundem] canonice cogi et compelli ac in dictam maioris excommunicacionis sententiam premissis occatione damnabiliter incidisse
[… per vos et vestram] sentenciam diffinitiuam seu finale decretum in hac parte ferendam Judex egregie antedicte Vlteriusque fieri statui
[…quod Juris fuerit et rationis premissa] proponit et fieri petit pars dicti Rectoris de Codyngton coniunctim et diuisim
[non arctans se ad omnia et singula premissa probanda nec ad onus superflue] probationis de quo protestatur sed quatenus probauerit in premissis
[eatenus obtineat in petitis Juris beneficio in omnibus semper saluo vestrum] officium in premissis et ea concernentibus humiliter implorando
[…] domine Judex antedicte
[… de addendo … et corrigendo] hunc libellum pro loco et tempore congruis et oportunis

Libel (image 3)

Original Document

Click to view fullscreen

Translation

[5/5/1 image 3] 

[Endorsement] 

Libel of the rector of Coddington in a cause of tithes […]. 

[…] Jane Brereton in a cause of subtraction of tithes.

[in pencil in a different hand]

Tithes

[Produced with the permission of the Chester Diocesan Board of Finance.]

Translation copyright ©2023 P J Cox All Rights Reserved

 

Transcript

[5/5/1 image 3]

[Endorsement]

Libellus Rectoris
de Coddington
in causa decimarum
[…] 

[…] Janam Brereton in causa subtractionis decimarum

 [in pencil in a different hand]

Tithes

[Produced with the permission of the Chester Diocesan Board of Finance.]

Transcript copyright ©2023 P J Cox All Rights Reserved

 

People

John Fellowe, rector of Coddington – plaintiff

Jane Brereton– defendant

Officials

George Wilmesley – official principal

 

Subjects

Women

Places

Coddington

Field names (Cheshire) – The masons fyld

 

Notes

This dispute seems to concern an ‘agistment tithe’ which was a tithe levied on the owner of land which was let out for grazing cattle. This type of tithe was chargeable at the rate of one tenth of the rent for the pasture land. Of the figures which are clear in this cause, the amount of 8d represents one tenth of 6s 8d (80d) which is the rental mentioned. However, the extensive damage to the document makes it difficult to decipher.

Ref: EDC 5/4/1

Catalogue Entry:

EDC 5/4/1 Libel in defam. cause: Petronelle Danyell v. Joan Walton of Lower Knutsford. 1543.

Summary:

Pernell Danyell contra Joan Walton

Depositions in this cause may be found at CALS EDC 2/2 ff. 530v-531 (taken on 16 October 1543) and ff. 544v-545 (taken on 26 October 1543). The witnesses are not questioned as to the truth of the allegation, but only whether the defendant made the alleged statement.

 

Year

1543

Type of Cause:

Defamation – sexual slander

Cause Papers:

Libel

Libel (image 1)

Original Document

Click to view fullscreen

Translation

[5/4/1 image 1]

In the name of God, Amen: before you, venerable Master George Wilmesley, Bachelor of Law, by the authority of the most illustrious Prince in Christ and our master, Henry the eighth, by the grace of God King of England and France, Defender of the Faith […] and of Ireland and on earth supreme head under Christ […] lawfully appointed by the reverend in Christ, John, by divine permission bishop of Chester, to decide ecclesiastical causes within the diocese of Chester, by the same authority vicar general in spirituals, or any other lawfully deputed judge competent in that behalf; the party of the honest woman Pernell Daniel against Johanna Walton of the parish of Knustford of the archdeaconry of Chester of Chester diocese and of your jurisdiction, and against any other whomsoever lawfully intervening before you in judgement for the same says, alleges and propounds in these writings in law jointly, severally and in articles as follows:

1          Firstly, that all and singular subjects and subordinates of this realm of England who for the sake of gain, hatred or favour or any other […] speak, express, proffer or utter abuse, disparagements or calumnious or contumelious words sounding or tending to the discredit, blackening, injury or diminution of the good fame of any person against good morals, whereby among good and serious people […] should be, were and are to be canonically punished and are to be obliged and compelled to desist from these abuses and these other words.

2          Also, that the aforesaid Joan Walton not being ignorant of the premises but forgetful of the welfare of her soul, being induced, as it is believed, by an evil spirit, defamed the said Pernell Danyell, previously in no way defamed among good and serious people, in the township of Bexton, of and upon the crimes set out below in the months of January or February in the one thousand five hundred and 42nd year of our Lord and also around the feast of the nativity of St John the Baptist[1] […] in June or July in the present and current one thousand five hundred and 43rd year of our Lord, in one or other of the aforesaid years and months in the township aforesaid she expressed, spoke, uttered and declared the following scandalous, disparaging, calumnious, injurious words […] trustworthy and honest people of and upon the crime of incest or fornication, in the common tongue ‘Parnell and hyr brother Robert Danyell dyde lye to gether and dolt carnally[2] or bodily to ge[ther …] Parnell hade a childe beffor Cristmase a more or a lesse’ or by other defamatory words importing […]; and he propounds jointly and severally and concerning any part thereof.

3          Also, that by occasion and reason of this defamation and the aforesaid imposition of a crime, and the utterance and declaration of the aforesaid words, the standing and good fame of the said Parnell are injured and also she and her reputation are burdened, blackened and diminished and she, Parnell, was and is at no little expense and otherwise and elsewhere wearied, vexed, burdened, oppressed and perturbed in many different ways, and among and between good and substantial people she is of less reputation and favour and good and substantial people have ascribed and given, and ascribe and give, less trust and favour to the same Parnell by reason of the premises; and he propounds jointly and severally and concerning any part thereof.

4          Also, that before this defamation and the aforesaid crime and injury and the aforesaid imposition, utterance and declaration of the abusive insulting, scandalous and calumnious words and until then, the aforesaid Pernell was a woman of good fame, unblemished reputation and honest conversation, and previously in no way defamed among and between good and substantial people; and he propounds jointly and severally and concerning any part thereof.

5          Also, that the aforesaid Joan Walton was and is of the parish of Knutsford of the archdeaconry of Chester of Chester diocese and notoriously subordinate and subject to your jurisdiction, and she is had, held and openly, publicly and notoriously known and reputed as such and for such; and he propounds as before.

Also, that all and singular the premises were and are true, public, notorious, flagrant and well-known and public voice and fame were circulating of and upon the same, just as they are circulating at present, in the parish of Knutsford and other parishes, townships and places neighbouring the same.

Whereupon, due proof being made, as is required in that respect upon all and singular of which matters the libelling party aforesaid prays for right and justice in the premises and that the aforesaid Joan has culpably sustained and incurred the sentence of excommunication by reason of the premises and that she will be excommunicated […] and should denounced as such and for such and will be pronounced, decreed and declared and for her imposition and assertion should be punished and duly punished according to the due requirement of law, and that she, Joan, will be obliged and compelled that she will desist from these disparagements, abuses, calumnies, dishonesties and injuries and these injurious, defamatory words; and also will be condemned in the lawful costs incurred on the part of the aforesaid Pernell Danyell in this matter, and he protests those to be incurred, and, having been condemned, will be canonically obliged and compelled to the real payment of the same by you and your passing your definitive sentence in that behalf, lord judge aforesaid; and furthermore that what may be of law and reason in the premises and matters concerning them may be done, established and decreed; this party propounds the premises and prays that they are done jointly and severally, not obliging himself to prove all and singular the premises, nor to the burden o a superfluous proof, concerning which he protests, but so far as he has proved in the premises thus far may he obtain in the petitions, always reserving the benefit of law in all things, humbly imploring your office in the premises, distinguished judge aforesaid.

[1] This feast is observed on 24 June.

[2] carnal dole = sexual intercourse

Transcript

[5/4/1 image 1] 

In dei nomine Amen Coram vobis venerabili viro Magistro Georgio Wilmysley in legibus baccallario Auctoritate Ill[ustrissimi in Christo]
principis et domini nostri Henrici octaui dei gracia Anglie et Francie Regis fidei defensoris ac et in terris […]
et Hibernie sub Christo capitis supremi ad causas ecclesiasticas decidendum infra diocesis Cestrensis per reuerendum [in Christo]
Johannem  permissione diuina Cestrensis episcopum eandem auctoritate vicario in spritualibus gen[erali legitime]
fulcito seu alio Judice in hac parte competenti quocunque legitime deputato Pars honeste
mul[ieris Petronelle Danyell]
contra et aduersus Johannam Walton parochie de knottisforth Archidiaconatus Cestrie Cestrensis diocesis ac vestre Jurisdi[ccionis ac contra quemcunque alium]
coram vobis in Judicio legitime intervenientem pro eadem dicit allegat et in hijs scriptis
in Jure proponit coniunctim et diuisim atque articulatim prout [sequitur]

1          Inprimis quod omnes et singuli huius regni Anglie subditi et subiecti qui gratia lucri odij vel fauoris seu quacun[que …]
convicia vituperia verba ve calumpniosa aut contumeliosa ad infamiam denigracionem lesionem vel diminusionem [bone fame]
sonancia vel tendencia contra bonos mores de aliquo dicunt emittunt proferunt seu predicant vnde apud bonos [et graves …]
fit fuerunt et sunt canonice puniendi ut ab huiusmodi convicijs et alijs verbis huiusmodi desistant cogendi et compellendi

2          Item quod prefata Johanna Walton premissorum non ignara Imo salutis anime sue Imemor spritu ut creditur maligno [ducta dictam Petronellam Danyell]
de et super criminibus infrascriptis apud bonos et graues per prius minime diffamata in villa de Bexton [mensibus]
Januarij siue februarij Anno domini  Millesimo quingentesimo xlijo Necnon circiter festum Nativitatis sancti Johannis Bapt[iste …]
Junij seu Julij presenti et currenti anno domini  Millesimo quingentesimo xliijo In villa predicta siue vno vel [alio predictorum annorum]
et mensibus verba scandalosa vilipendiosa calumpniosa Iniuriosa sequentia protulit dixit emisit et predicant […]
fidedignis et honeste personas de et super crimine incestus seu fornicacionis diffamauit prout in vulgari[s …]
Parnell and hyr brother Robert Danyell dyde lye to gether and dolt carnally or bodily to ge[ther …]
Parnell hade a childe beffor Cristmase a more or a lesse seu per alia verba diffamatoria hijs similia […]
importancia et ponit coniunctim et diuisim et de quolibet

3          Item quod pretextu et occasione huiusmodi diffamacionis ac criminis predicti imposicionis prefatorumque verborum prolacionem et [emissionis status]
et bona fama dicte Petronelle leduntur necnon ipsa et eius opinio grauantur denigrantur et attenuantur ipsaque [Petronella fuit et]
est in nonnullis expensis ac alias et aliunde mulipliciter fatigata vexata onerata grauata et perturbata ac a[pud et inter bonos et]
graues minoris reputacionis bonique et graues adhibuerunt et dederunt adhibentque et dant eidem Petronelle [minorem fidem atque]
favorem pretextu premissorum et ponit coniunctim et diuisim et de quolibet

4          Item quod prefata petronella ante huiusmodi diffamacionem et criminium ac conviciorum verborum contumeliosorum scandalosorum [et]
calimpniosorium predictum Imposicionem assercionem et predicacionem predictum et vsque ad eas fuit mulier bone fame op[inionis illese et]
conuersacionis honeste ac apud et inter bonos et graues pro prius minime diffamata Et ponit coniunctim et diuisim et de q[uolibet]

5          Item quod prefata Johanna Walton fuit et est parochie de knottisforth Archidiaconatus Cestrie Cestrensis diocesis ac [vestre Jurisdiccioni notorie] subdita et subiecta ac pro tali et ut talis habita tenta ac palam publice et notorie cognita et reputata et ponit [ut supra]

6          Item quod premissa omnia et singula fuerunt et sunt vera publica notoria manifesta et famosa ac de et super omnib[us et singulis]
in dicta parochia de knotisforth alijsque parochiis villis et locis eidem convicinis laborarunt prout in presenti laborant [publica vox et fama]

Vnde facta fide que requisitur in hac parte super quibus omnibus et singulis pars libellans predicta petit Jus et Justiciam [sibi in premissis]
ac predictam Johannam in excommunicacionis sententiam dampnabiliter incedisse et incurrisse premissorum pretextu atque excommunicatum [fuisse …]
pro tali et ut talis denunciandum fore debere pronunciari decerni et declarari ac pro imposicionem et assercionem suis [iuxta Juris]
debitam exigentiam puniendum fore et debite puniri ac ipsam Johannam ut ab huiusmodi vituperijs convicijs calumpn[ijs …]
vilipendosis inhonestis Iniuriosis verbisque diffamatorijs desistat cogi et compelli Necnon in expensis le[gitimis per partem]
prefate petronelle Danyell in hac parte factis et protestatur de faciendis insuper condempnari ac condempnatam ad [realem]
solucionem earundem canonice cogi et compelli per vos et vestram sententiam diffinitiuam in hac parte ferendam domine Judex a[ntedicte  Vlteriusque]
fieri statui et decerni in premissis et ea concernentibus quod Juris fuerit et racionis Premissa proponit et fieri [petit pars ista]
coniunctim et diuisim Non arctans se ad omnia et singula premissa probanda nec ad onus superflue probacionis de quo prot[estatur Sed quatenus]
probauerit in premissis eatenus obtineat in petitis Juris beneficio in omnibus semper saluo vestrum officium in [premissis humiliter]
implorando Judex egregie antedicte

Libel (image 2)

Original Document

Click to view fullscreen

Translation

[5/4/1 image 2] 

[Endorsement] 

Libel of Pernell Danyell against Joan Walton in a cause of defamation. 

[in pencil in a different hand]

/1

[Produced with the permission of the Chester Diocesan Board of Finance.]

Translation copyright ©2022 P J Cox All Rights Reserved

Transcript

[5/4/1 image 2] 

[Endorsement] 

libellus Petronelle Danyell contra Johannam
alton in causa diffamacionis 

[in pencil in a different hand]

/1

[Produced with the permission of the Chester Diocesan Board of Finance.]

Transcript copyright ©2022 P J Cox All Rights Reserved

People

Pernell Danyell – plaintiff

Joan Walton – defendant

Robert Danyell – brother of the plaintiff; named in the libel

 

 

 

Officials

George Wilmesley – chancellor of the diocese of Chester