Types of Cause: Defamation – sexual slander

Suits for sexual slander became increasingly common in ecclesiastical courts during the sixteenth century, and Chester was no exception.


Christopher Haigh, ‘Slander and the church courts in the sixteenth century’, Lancashire and Cheshire Antiquarian Society, vol 78 (1975).

J. A. Sharpe, Defamation and sexual slander in early modern England : the church courts at York, Borthwick Papers no. 58.

Woman accused of sexual misconduct

EDC 5/1/7 – Agnes Rosbothom contra Robert Haryson
EDC 5/17/4 – Isabelle Holden contra Roger Rishton
EDC 5/1566/9 – Ellen [Helen] Smith contra Katherine Moseley
EDC 5/1566/10 – Ellen [Helen] Smith contra John Moseley [Mosteley], Katherine Moseley [Mosteley], Isabelle Croft and Margery Powell.
EDC 5/1575/1 – Jane Shepherd contra Francis Sefton and his wife, Margaret
EDC 5/1575/2 – Ellen Bamvile contra Rose Smith

Man accused of sexual misconduct

EDC 5/1575/4 – Urian Bowdon contra William Charlton and Ellen Lether