Les reportes del cases in Camera Stellata, 1593 to 1609 from the original ms. of John Hawarde edited by William Paley Baildon Published 1894 Page 49-52
In Camera Stellata, 23 Junii, die Mercurii, termino 1596 trinitatis, Elizab. 38, coram consilio ibidem
The cause of hearing between Lady Davers, plaintiff, and Sir Walter Longe, Mr. Edmond Longe, procurers and comforters of a riot, and Seallman, Bosse, Hawarden, Sewell and others, defendants, for a riot, and against one Stumpe, Counsellor at Law, of the Inner Temple, for advising them, [Page 50] against one Mathewes, Coroner, for extortion and misdemeanour in his office.
The offences against Mathewes were, that he, being the Coroner, and a man being killed and buryed 6 or 7 weekes, directed his precept to another Hundred and not to the Hundred where the party was wounded, nor to the Hundred where he died; and before the appearance of the Jury, he [Mathewes] went to Sir Walter Longe and had conference with him and his friends, the Coroner being his servant, and the man who was killed being his servant also, and he did not take the body oute of the earthe, (which by law he ought to have done), but he examined witnesses, and returned the office super visum corporis se defendendo; and because the body was infectious, through lyinge 7 weekes in the earthe, he examined witnesses and caused the inquest [to be adjourned] to the Assizes, to be better advised by the Judges there, which they did. But the Court [of Star Chamber], because the day was wasted, and this matter having no affinity with the riot and therefore ought to be contained in another bill, awarded that another day should be determined if, on the understanding of the said cause, the Lord Keeper should think this [cause] apt to be sentenced here, for otherwise they would acquit them. The occasion and manner of this outrageous and great riot (now detested and abhorred and grievously punished, together with all manner of misdemeanours) was in this wise. The said Sir John Davers (otherwise called Danvers) now dead, was seised of a manor in Wiltshire; and the tenants of his manor, having a waste or common (voidable, unprofitable and overgrown with brambles and briars, and not worth twelve [? pence] each acre), and containing 100 or 120 acres, besought the said Sir John Davers to enclose this, and to grant them common in other lands. The which was accorded them, and thereupon the said Sir John, 17 years now passed, granted to the said tenants common [Page 51] in other lands and the profits of a certam wood, and enclosed the said voidable common with ditches, pales and quicksette hedges, and grubbed and enriched it, so that now it is worth 13s. each acre; and he continued in quiet possession of the said common for 17 years now passed without any interruption.
But the said Sir John dying, the tenants conspired together to regain this enclosed common as before, and to effect this they collected a common purse, and went to Sir Walter Longe, who advised them to go to one Stumpe, dwelling within five miles of the said common, who advised them, as they informed [the Court], to go two only together and to destroy the pales, ditches and quicksettes, which they did accordingly, and two only at a time went together and laboured to destroy the hedges, &c., and then another two, [and so on] to the number of 28, with bills and spades, and no weapons, and at no time but two together, and peaceably, without any force: therefore no riot. And Sir Walter Longe, three days before, at the Assizes, said, "You shall see the hedges, ditches & pales be pluckte downe as faste as ever they were set up" and at the time when [the tenants] were doing this, he rode there (there being no high way), and said " Well done. Masters ! This is the waye. If you doe not prevayle, I will gyve you as muche lande oute of my parke;" and " Holde together, for there was never multitude helde together & failled of there purpose." Edmond Longe to the like effecte. And then the tenants complained by petition to the Lords of the Privy Council, who wrote to the Justices of the Peace there to examine and certify this, which they did accordingly; and certified to the Lords a great and outrageous riot. Whereupon the Lords wrote to Koke, attornie generall, to prefer a bill in this Court with care and effect, which was done accordingly. And then the tenants delivered a petition to the Queen, containing very many falsehoods and suggestions, which petition she delivered to the present Lord Keeper, and it was this day read in Court. Upon the whole matter, it appeared that there was a great riot, and [Page 52] Sir Walter Longe was the author of it: but Edmond Longe was acquitted, because he was a witness against him. Sir Walter Longe was condemned because his words were mutinous, and would give occasion to rebellion; and for this he was sentenced by the whole Court.
Sir Walter Longe, imprisonment and £100 fine. Sealmann, Bosse, Hawarden, Sewell, each £100 fine and imprisonment. All the other tenants were fined 100 marks and imprisonment.
The Lord Keeper wished to have some exemplary punishment on those who preferred the said suggested and false petition to the Queen: For it is a sinne againste allmighty god to instille any untrothe into her Majesteys sacred eares, who delightes onely in truthe, & her hole care is that truthe, equitye & justice showld be with equalle hand ministred unto all her subjectes, & therefore it is our partes to punishe these offences, & to kepe all Cawses from her sacred Majesty that maye harbor disquiete thoughtes in her divine breste.
Les reportes del cases in Camera Stellata, 1593 to 1609 from the original ms. of John Hawarde edited by William Paley Baildon Published 1894 Page 61-62
In Camera Stellata, coram consilio ibidem, 13 Octobris die Mercurii termino Michaelis, Elizabethae 38 & 39, Anno domini 1596.
A cause was heard and sentenced between the Lady Davers, plaintiff, and Mathewes, attorney at law and now Coroner in Wiltshire, and Sir Walter Longe and Mr Edmonde Longe defendants.
The cause was a misdemeanour in returning an inquest of office upon view of the body of [a man] killed by a servant of Sir Walter Longes, when the body had not been viewed and the office was taken five weeks after the body was buried, and also for directing a warrant for the Queens service generally (making no mention of the man who was killed, but of one who hanged himself), and for summoning twenty-five [men] of other Hundreds where Sir Walter Longe commands and is a Justice of the Peace, and no juror of the Hundred where the murder was done, nor [of the Hundred] where the body lay, the said Mathewes, the Coroner, being Solicitor and Steward of the Courts to the said Sir Walter Longe, and knowing the Hundreds, for he was an attorney at Davies Inne for twelve years, Undersheriff often, and Collector of Subsidies and Fifteenths in the same Hundred; and the [Page 62] inquisition also was returned se defendendo, the blowe [being] behinde the eare, most absurde. Agreed for law by the Court that a Coroner by his oath ought to have his return super visum corporis, and when it is not super visum corporis, he acts wrongly and corruptly, & oughte by the lawe [to] retourne those nexte adjoyninge within the hundred where the murder was or the bodye lyes; for the Coroners office is in some kinde a conviction, & no other Coroner can dealle with it after office retorned, but at the Assize or Quarter Sessions by indictment or otherwise, as was done [in this case]; and the jury inquired of Lord Anderson what manner of verdict they ought [to give], and he said "Follow your evidence," for which he was greatly commended. But Serjeant Harris and Glanvill advised the jury to find it se defendendo, which was grievously condemned; for they should not have advised them, not being a matter of law but of fact, and the jury ought not to take advice in such matters.
So as to the sentence of the Court, Longe and Mr Edmonde Longe were dismissed but not acquitted by the sentence; but Mathewes was condemned per totam curiam for his subtle carriage, and so he was sentenced by all to be imprisoned, to pay a fine of £500, to lose his post of Coroner (which is in the Lord Keeper to do), to be removed from the under-sherifesship, and never to be in ofiice there, to be disbarred by Lord Anderson from his attorneshipe, and by the Lord Keeper to be expelled from Davies Inne, and to have a paper, and to go through Westminster Hall, and to be impilloride there, and to be impilloride with the paper on his head at the Assizes in the County where this was done; which was the sentence of the Court, as I conceive.
Hide, Counsellor at the bar, moved for a dismissal; to which the Lord Keeper answered that the clerk had orders that dismissals should go before him without motion; which is a good order to save clients very much money, as declared before in this book.
Case Book BL Harley MS 2143 fo. 66v. Riot committed by two at a time and yet punished. Elizabeth Danvers, plaintiff; Sir Henry Long et al: for a riot in pulling open enclosures and quick set hedges which the defendants intended to have avoided by reason they did the riot but by 2 at a time and when those who had wrought themselves weary then two others came, by which sleight they thought to have escaped the the danger of the law but £200 fine and Fleet for it was a palliated riot. Trinity 38 Elizabeth (kk)
See also STAC Danvers