STAC 5/A48/31r

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Les reportes del cases in Camera Stellata, 1593 to 1609 from the original ms. of John Hawarde edited by William Paley Baildon Published 1894 Pages 129-133

In Camera Stellata, coram Consillo ibidem, Mercurij, 5 Maij, 1602, Annoque Elizab. Rnae 44.

Coke, Queen's Attorney, informed on the relation of queen's Christofer Merrike of the Inner Temple, utter barrister, exparte against Robert Pye, defendant, of the Inner Temple, also utter barrister, for practice as to the life, lands and goods of the said Cristofer Merrike, for perjury touching the (p.130) execution of this, and for other misdemeanours, as follows, namely: —

Merrike, [blank] Febr. 1601, at the request of Pie, delivered to him £3 for a week; Pie did not repay this within three months, after Merrike had often demanded and sent for it, and at last threatened the arrest of Pie.

Whereupon Pie, on [blank] July, carried 56s. to Merrike's chamber in the Inner Temple, and offered payment of this; Merrike said that he had lent £3, and without acquittance, and therefore he would not deliver any acquittance. Pie replied that 4s. was to be abated for a wager, touching a case, that Merrike had lost to Pie, because Pie averred that when an infant enters upon the twenty first year he is of full age, Merrike on the contrary [said] that not before he had accomplished the twenty one years fully, days and hours. Whereupon Pie refused to pay the 56s., and Merrike with violence took the money and Pie's ink-horn [?; galiere], and beat him. Whereupon Pie indicted Merrike at Newgate, and gave instructions to one Grove, the clerk there, to fashion the indictment as follows: —

Pie himself was sworn to the indictment and gave evidence at the Grand Inquest [i.e. to the Grand Jury] that it was on the Queen's high way and that he [?Merrike] took to flight; whereupon a true bill was found. The Recorder, John Crooke, seeing the indictment and knowing the parties, demanded of the Grand Inquest who gave evidence, and what evidence he gave; they answered as above. Whereupon the Recorder conferred at the bar with Pie, and said that this could not be either robbery or felony, and therefore advised him to be careful how he proceeded. The next day Pie was enjoined to proceed to the indictment; Merrike, then present, was arraigned. Pie, confidently and impudently, gave the same evidence, (p.131) whereupon he was committed to the Sherifl and bound to appear in this Court the next term.

The same night after the indictment, Pie went to the court at Grenewige, and there acquainted Ferdinando, servant and musician in the Privy chamber, [see note infra] that one of good estate had committed felony and had forfeited his goods and lands, and demanded his letter to divers of the bench to have a gracious hearing by the Queen; whereupon [Ferdinando] wrote a letter to Sir Robert Wrothe and others, and so [the case] went to trial; and on the arraignment, Merrike was acquitted by the same Jury as indicted him on the Grand Inquest.

Then the Benchers of the Inner Temple examined this, and put Pie out of Commons, and referred him to the next Parliament; and they suspended Merrike in Commons for a time of forbearance, but in a short time restored him. But at the next Parliament they examined the matter at large, and put Pie out of the House [i.e. the Inner Temple], and degraded him from the Bar and from all practice: and in the same vacation the Queen's Attorney and the Recorder took Pie's examination in writing, when he confessed all, and subscribed his hand: and thereupon the Attorney in Michaelmas Term next following informed ore tenus on this confession against Pie, when Pie denied it to be his hand, and said that it was not rightly [dumente] taken, and prayed to have the benefit of the law, [25] Edw. III. cap. [4] quod nullus liber homo imprisonetur sans iudgmente, and that he should not be condemned before bill and and answer: Whereupon it was ordered by the Court that the Attorney should inform at once, because now Parliament is sitting [continue] and a pardon is expected, but if this cause be not heard before the pardon, the Lord Keeper would have care that this [case] should be excepted from the pardon if the bill was pending before the pardon: Phillips was assigned as Counsel with Pie, but when he saw Pie's answer, he moved for and obtained an order for his discharge: Pie was committed to the Fleete, and there remained until the (p.132) sentence of the cause was heard. Pie did not submit himself, but in substance confessed all in his answer, and did not excuse himself in a reasonable or sensible word, but audaciously and impudently scandalized with imputations not only the Attorney, the Recorder and Merrike, but all the Judges and Justices, without any colour of cause. And he examined no witnesses, but Merrike examined Grove and three of the Grand Jurors and those witnesses which Pie said he had for himself and for the Queen, and they all deposed plainly and directly against Pie. To which he answered nothing, but only [said], " God knows the truth of all, and they may as well depose any thing [else] against me as this; for may I be hanged, and my neck cut off if this be true." And at last he craved the benefit of the Statute of 20 Edward I., De defensione juris, that no one should be admitted to sue before he has found surety to answer the issues and damages, etc. And thus he would take away the jurisdiction of this Court (as in the former Statute that he vouched), the authority of the Queen, which is present here, of her Council, of all original writs, and of all Justice. Then he craved the consideration of the Court inasmuch as the bill and the offences in it were not particular, and he was not charged with committing them contrary to the statutes and laws of this realm. But this notwithstanding [the bill] was held good by the Court and these exceptions [were considered] frivolous, Pie having superficial knowledge or taste of this, but not intellect.

Merrike was commended by the Attorney as a good student and of as good conversation as any in the Temple: But Pie falsely scandalized him for coveting and beggaring his brothers, taking forfeitures, suing men without cause, and otherwise cruel and extorting 'courses' in general without cause or colour: And [Pie] also imputed falsely that the Recorder had taken £10 from Merrike for a fee before the commencement of this suit, and as to this he vouched Serjeant Woodde, who cleared the Recorder of this (p.133) imputation, and said of Merrike that he had intermeddled with Pie honestly, pitifully and conscionably.

Pie's offence was condemned by the whole Court to be horrible and odious, and the offence of robbery, murder and perjury against God; for, by the Bishops, the breach of all the law is comprehended in this: Diligies Deum toto corde, et proximum tuum sicut teipsum. And by the ancient law Voluntas reputabatur pro facto. By the law of God and the Civil Law, oculus pro oculo, dens pro dente, manus pro manu, etc., and also per legem talionis: And Pie had intended murder and robbery in his heart, which is an offence before God: And the offence is more odious and detestable in this, that he has made Justice a murderer and robber.

Pie was sentenced to a fine of 1000 marks, pillory at Westminster and there to lose one ear, papers, from [Westminster] Hall to ride with his face to the horse's tail to 'Temple gate,' and there to be pilloried and to lose the other ear, and perpetual imprisonment. As for Merrike, he was acquitted with great favour and grace, and delivered from all imputation of 'intemperancye' or 'heate.' And since they were both professors of the law, [the Court] exhorted them that have authority to admit to the bar, to have care to name those that were literate, honest and rehgious, and in the admittance of such to the House [Inn], for if they had had [such care], they would never have admitted Pie to the House, but he would have pursued his father's trade, who was a butcher; and [they should] not have calls by the dozens or scores, as now is the use: For the good and literate professors of the law are as good members of the Commonwealth as any others, but the ignorant and bad professors of the law are as 'daungerouse vermin' to the Commonwealth as 'Caterpillers,' etc.

See also STAC Pye

Note: Andrew Ashbee, HEYBOURNE alias RICHARDSON, FERDINANDO (c.1558-1618). Groom of the Privy Chamber, 1586 - 1611; [keyboard; composer] in A Biographical Dictionary of English Court Musicians 1485-1714 (Ashgate, 1998)