Ref: EDC 5/9/1

Catalogue Entry:

Libel in alimony (?) cause: Francis Buckley of Manchester co. L. v, Elizabeth Traves. 1548.

Summary:

Francis Buckley contra Elizabeth Traves.

Francis Buckley refused to acknowledge that he was the father of Elizabeth’s illegitimate child. His refusal to acknowledge the child centres upon the assumed date of the baby’s conception as the depositions in EDC 2/4 clarify.

 

 

Libel (image 1)

Original Document

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Translation

[5/9/1 image 1]

In the name of God Amen: before you, venerable Master George Wilmysley, Bachelor of Laws, lawfully deputed official principal […] for deciding spiritual and ecclesiastical causes within the diocese of Chester by the superior authority of our most illustrious prince in Christ and lord, our lord Edward the Sixth, by the grace of God King of England, France and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, and on earth head under Christ of the English and Irish church;  or your commissary or other judge whomsoever competent in this behalf; the party of the honest man, Francis Buckley of the parish of Manchester against Elizabeth Traves of the same parish, of Chester diocese and of your jurisdiction and also against any other whomsoever lawfully intervening before you for the same in the term judicially assigned to him to state […] and propound the reason or reasons why the child which the said Elizabeth bore and produced from her body […] to be decided nor adjudged as the child of the said Francis, says, alleges and in these writings propounds in law jointly and severally and in articles as follows:

Firstly, that the said child which the said Elizabeth Traves bore and produced from her body is not nor was fathered by the aforesaid Francis Buckley inasmuch as the same Francis Buckley never had sexual intercourse with the aforesaid Elizabeth Traves by reason of the begetting of this child […] only in Easter week in the 1547th year of our Lord; upon which he offers himself ready to purge himself […] number of his compurgators to be assigned by you; and he propounds jointly and severally and of every part thereof.

Also, that the aforesaid Elizabeth Traves bore and brought forth into the light the said recent child, about which the present suit is and is had, in the third week of Lent […] and current 1548th year of our Lord, for this reason if the said child might be or might have been […] begotten or fathered by the said Francis Buckley, the said Elizabeth would have given birth and brought forth the said child at […] weeks and more which can neither be true nor likely; and he propounds jointly and severally and of every part thereof.

Also, if the said child might or could have been […] fathered by the said Francis in the Vigil of the Ascension of our Lord in the 1547th year of our Lord according to the calculation of the said Elizabeth (which he does not admit but expressly denies) the said Elizabeth brought forth the child into the light and […] in the third week of Lent the said <Elizabeth> would have given birth and brought forth the said [child] at 43 weeks, or thereabouts; and he propounds jointly and severally and of every part thereof.

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

Whereupon, due proof being made as required by law in this regard, the party of the said Francis Buckley prays that right and justice may be done and administered to him in the premises. And also, that he, Francis, may be released, dismissed and absolved from the claim and presumptuous vexation of the said Elizabeth Traves. And that she, Elizabeth is also condemned in the lawful costs incurred 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 due payment of the same by your passing your definitive sentence or final decree in this matter, lord judge aforesaid. And otherwise, that what will have been of right and reason in the premises and anything whatsoever concerning them may be done, established and decreed; the aforesaid plaintiff propounds the premises 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, humbly imploring your office in all the premises, distinguished judge aforesaid.

Transcript

[5/9/1 image 1]

[In] dei nomine Amen: Coram vobis venerabili viri Magistro Georgio Wilmysley in legibus
[b]accallario supernia auctoritate Illustrissimi in christo principis et domini nostri domini Edwardi Sexti dei gratia
[A]nglie Francie et Hibernie Regis fidei defensoris et in terris ecclesie Anglicane et Hibernice sub christo capitis
[…] ad causas spirituales et ecclesiasticas decidendum infra diocesem Cestrensem Officiali principali legitime deputato
[vestr]ve Commissario seu alio Judice in hac parte competente quocunque Pars honesti viri Francisci Buckley parochie de
[Man]cestrie contra et aduersus Elisabeth Traves eiusdem parochie Cestrensis diocesis et vestre Jurisdiccionis Necnon contra quemcunque
[alium] coram vobis in Judicio legitime intervenientem pro eandem In termo sibi Judicaliter assignato Ad dicendum

[…] et proponendum causam seu causas quare proles quem dicta Elizabeth peperit et de corpore suo produxit
[…] decernanda neque Judicandi pro prole dicti Francisci dicit allegat et in hijs scriptis in Jure
[proponit] coniunctim et diuisim atque articulatim prout sequitur

Inprimis quod dictam proles que dicta Elizabeth Traves peperit et de corpore suo produxit non est nec fuit
[per] predictum Franciscum buckley genitam nec de corpore suo procreatam pro eo videlicet et ex eo quod ipse
Franciscus nunquam habuit carnalem copulam cum prefata Elizabeth Traves racione generacionis huismodi prolis
[…] solomodo in Ebdomada pashe anno domini 1547o super quo offert paratus ad purgandum se cum

[…] numero compergatorum suorum per vos assignandorum Et ponit coniunctim et diuisim ac de quolibet

Item quod prefata Elisabeth Traves dictam vltimam prolem de qua presens lis est et habetur in tercia septimana xl[1]

[…] et currenti anno domini 1548peperit et in lucem produxit quorum pretextu si dicta proles sit vet foret
[…] dictus Franciscus buckley genuit vel procreat dicta Elizabeth nicederet et perrexisset cum dicta prole
[…] ebdomadas et amplius quod non potest esse verum necque veresimile Et ponit coniunctim et diuisim ac de quolibet

[Item] si dicta proles esset vel foret per dictum Franciscum in vigilia ascencionis domini Anno domini 1547o
[…] procreata secundum computacionem dicte Elizabeth (quod non
[fatetur] pars ista proponens sed expresse diffatetur) dicta Elizabeth eundem prolem produxit in lucem ac
[…] in tercia septimana qudragesime dicta Isabella nicederet et perrexisset cum dicta xliij
[se]ptomanas vel circiter Et ponit coniunctim et diuisim ac de quolibet

Item quod premissa omnia et singula sunt vera publica notoria manifesta et famosa ac de
et super huiusmodi in
[paro]chia de Mancestr’ alijsque parochijs villas et locis circumvicinis laborarunt prout in presenti laborant publica
vox et fama.

Vnde facta fide in hac parte de Jure requisita petit pars dicti Francisci buckley
[J]us et Justiciam sibi in premissis fieri et ministrari Necnon ipsum Franciscum ab impeticione et temeraria
[ve]xacione dicte Elizabeth Traves relaxari dimitti et absolui. Ipsamque Elisabeth in expensis legitimis
[occ]asione huius litis factis et protestatur de faciendis insuper condempnari condempnatamque ad debitam solucionem earundem
[ca]nonice cogi et compelli per vos et vestram sentenciam diffinitivam siue finale decretum in hac parte ferendam domine Judex
[ante]dicte Vlteriusque fieri statui et decerni in premissis et ea concernentibus quibuscunque quod Juris fuerit et racionis premiss[a]
[prop]onit 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 obtinea[t]
[in] petitis Juris beneficio in omnibus semper saluo vestrum officium in premissis humiliter implorando Judex
[eg]regie antedicte.

[1] xl = 40 or quadragesima – the forty days of fasting or Lent

Libel (image 2)

Original Document

Click to view fullscreen

Translation

[5/9/1 image 2]

[Endorsement]

Libel Buckley against Traves in a cause of child support

[in pencil in a different hand]

1548 /1

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

Translation copyright ©2022 P J Cox All Rights Reserved

Transcript

[5/9/1 image 2]

[Endorsement]

Libellus Buckley contra Traves in causa alimentacionis prolis

[in pencil in a different hand]

1548 /1

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

Transcript copyright ©2022 P J Cox All Rights Reserved

People

Francis Buckley – Plaintiff

Elizabeth Traves – Defendant

John Cropper – Witness for plaintiff (see transcript from EDC 2/4 in Notes)

William Keir – Witness for plaintiff (see transcript from EDC 2/4 in Notes)

 

Officials

George Wilmysley

Notes

The baby was said to have been born on the Sunday of the third week of Lent, 1548, this was 10th March. According to Elizabeth’s representations the child was conceived in the Vigil of the Ascension of our Lord in 1547. Ascension Day, or Holy Thursday, was celebrated on the fortieth day of Easter. In 1547 that was 19th May.

Some rather questionable calculations are employed by both sides to support their arguments and although Francis does not deny ever having ‘to do’ with Elizabeth, he claims that this was not at the relevant time for the conception of this child.

Transcripts of depositions:

EDC 2.4 p. 38  

EDC 2.4 p. 39