STAC 5/C3/4 - B A - Hil 34 Eliz - Nottinghamshire - John Clerk v Laurence Smoote, Christopher Turner, William Barton, Leonard Williamson, Thomas Wilson et al
Transcribed by Helen Good
To the Queen's most excellent Majesty
Most humblye Complenninge sheweth unto your most excellent majestie your highnes obedient and faythfull subject John Clerke of your heighnes towne of Nottingham in the Countie of the same towne Partchment maker That whearas your said subject by the space of xx yeares or thearabouts hath used and traded the Arte and and misterye of Partchment makinge So yt is if yt maye please your most excellent Majestie That about ix yeares now last one Christopher Turner William Barton and Leonard Williamson in the name of them selves and of one Thomas Wilson John Hanley Thomas Tomlinson Henrye Pybus John Pybus John Richardson Raphe Nutken and James Crosbye beinge as they affirme Partchment makers and dwellinge in the Cytie of Yorke did about the xxvth yeare of your majesties Reigne Come unto your said subject unto the said towne of nottingham and did thear tell him your said subject that they the said Christopher Turner William Barton Leonard Williamson and the other persons last beforenamed had a speciall grante and licens unto them granted by authorytie from your heighnes onelye to make partchment And that all such Partchment as your said subject made weare yt never so good and marchantable weare yet forfited unto them by Reason he had not the like licence to make the same as they had, and thearuppon the said Christopher Turner William Barton Leonard Williamson, in the name of them selves and all the other persons before named not having the feare of god before theire eyes nor Regard of your Majesties laws in such Cases provyded prohibetinge such disceytfull fraud and Cosonage did then verye earnestlye fraudulentlye and disceytfully threaten your sead subject to seale and take all such partchment as your said subject had Readye made in his howse weare yt never so good and marchantable, except your said subject would enter enter into an Indenture of Covenants to be made betwixt them the said Christopher Turner William Barton Leonard Williamson Thomas Wilson John Hanley Thomas Tomlinson Henrye Pybus John Pybus John Richardson Raphe Nutken and James Crosbye of thone part, and your said subject of the other part, and likewise would also enter into a bond of [xxli] for the performance of the Covenantes in the said Indenture Conteyned beinge to this effect, That he your said subject nether anye other person for him or to his use should att anye tyme after, during his natural liffe, make or Cawse to be made anye mannor or kind of Partchment whatsoever without thassent & Consent of the said Christopher Turner, and the rest of the persons bore named first had and obteyned in wrytinge for the same. Which licens by words they then faythfullye promised to make under their hands and seales unto your said subject whearuppon your said subject being an ignorant and unlearned man, and gevinge faythe unto their speaches did before he was aware, seal an Indenture of Covenantes and a bond of xx l with Condition for the performance of the same, made aswell in the name of the said Christopher Turner William Barton and Leonard Williamson as in the name of the other persons before named of thone part & your said subject on thother parte, notwithstandinge the said Indenture was sealed onelye by the said Turner Barton and Williamson, By reason whearof the said Christopher Turner William Barton Leonad Williamson Thomas Wilson John Hanley Thomas Tomlinson Henrye Pybus John Pybus John Richardson Raphe Nutken and James Crosbye espyinge thadvantage that your said subject stood bound to perfourme an Indenture made by them all whear as none such was, have thearfore now of late, that is to saye about Michelmas last Contrary to your majesties laws in such Cases provided very unlawfully Combyned and Confederated then selves togeather with one Lorence Smoote beinge a verye lewd and troblesome person to that end that he the said Smote for the gayne of one half of the said bond by them promised and [ . . . ] him in their names should arrest and impleaded your said Subject which said unlawfull Champertie and maintenance he the said Lorence Smote hath in some sorte heatherto Confessed, affirminge that if he Could Cast your said subject in the said sewt that he the said Lorence should have the one half of the said bond to him self and the other moyetie should be to the use of the said Christopher Turner William Barton Leonard Williamson John Hanley Thomas Tomlinson Henrye Pybus John Pybus John Richardson Raphe Nutken and James Crosbye who had set him a worke thearin whearuppon the said Lorence Smoote did afterwards that is to saye about the first of November last past in the name of the said Christopher Turner William Barton and the rest of the said partchment makers arrest and impleade your said subject uppon the said bond in your heighnes said towne of Nottingham att doth att his owne Charges pursew the same in hope of havinge the one moyetie thearof to his own use Contrarye to your Majesties laws prohibitinge such unlawfull Champtie and maintenance in vexacion of your Heighnes subjects. And further also the said Lorence Smoote bearinge a malicious minde towardes your said subject being anymated and sett on by the procurement of the said Christophor Turner William Barton Leonard Williamson Thomas Wilson John Hanley Thomas Tomlinson Henrye Pybus John Pybus John Richardson Raphe Nutken and James Crosbye not havinge the feare of god before their Eyes nether Regarding your Majestes Laws and stutes in such Case provided, he the said Lorence Smoote about the third of November now last past being accompennyed with some other Ryotous persons to your said subject yet unknown did in the night season stand in the Church yard of St Peters in your Heighnes said towne of Nottingham, and did thear watch your said subjects Cominge bye. Att which tyme your said subject beinge in godes peace and your majesties and passing by that waye about his ordynarye business he the said Lawrence Smoote then standinge in the said Church yard and havinge in his hand a great staffe did suddenlye in the said Church yard strike your said subject as he passed bye, by Reason of which Batterye he your said subject was then not onelye stroken downe to the ground but also verye sore wounded & hurte by the said Smote who vaunting since in that lewd Act, did make his braggs that he had thought he had then made your said subject suer, And yet notwithstandinge the said Lorence Smoote not havinge the feare of god before his Eyes nether Regardinge your majesties laws prohibiting lewd and wilfull perjury, about two or three days after the same batterye he the said Lorence Smoote the better to excuse himself of the said Batterye did take his Corporall othee and geve evidence to an inquest before your Heighnes heriffes of the said towne of Nottingham that your said subject had then made an affrey & bludshed uppon him the said Lorence Smoote Whearas in truthe your said subject being then first stroken downe and wounded by the said Smoote did nothinge but what he Cold in his owne defence to Save himself from from furthere hurte, att which tyme if anye harme happened to him the said Smoote yt was in your said said subjects owne defence. Maye yt therefore please your most excellent Majestie That forasmuch as that those deceyts and Fraudes unlawfull mainteynance and Champerties in actions and also such forceable assalts batteryes and other misdemeanors in Churches or Churchyards, and also such lewd and Corrupt perjuryes practised by the said Lorence Smoote and procured Countnansed and mainteyned by the said Christopher Turner William Barton Leonard Williamson Thomas Wilson John Hanley Thomas Tomlinson Henry Pybus John Pybus John Richardson Raphe Nutken and James Crosbye are pernitious to the peace of your heignes subjects and tranquillitie of your Majesties Common welth, and also Contrarye to your Majesties good and godlye laws established for the preservacion thearof, if such offenders maye escape unpunnished Thearfore to grant unto your said subject your Heighnes most gratious wrytts of sunpena to be directed unto them the said Lorence Smoote Christopher Turner William Barton Leonard Williamson Thomas Willsone John Hanley Thomas Tomlinson Henrye Pybus John Pybus John Richardson Raphe nutken and James Crosbye Commaundinge them and everye of them thearby att a Certen daye and under a Certen payne thearin lymited to to be and personallye to appere in this your heighnes heigh Court of Starchamber, then and thear to answare the premisses and further to stand to and abyde suche other order and direction thearin as unto your graces most honorable pryvie Counsell shall be thought meete & Convenient and your said subject shall daylie praye for the preservation of your Heighnes estate longe to Reigne & Rule over us.