STAC 5/E6/37

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Court of Star Chamber:

Nicholas Englebert v John Slade

Transcript: Dave King

Bill of Complaint:

(date tbc)

To the Quene her most Excellent Ma[jes]tie, ...............................................

In moste humble wyse Complayninge in lyke mann[er] sheweth unto your most excellent highnes, your ma[jes]ties very dewtyfull subiecte, Nicholas Engelbert, of Clementes Inne, in the Countie of Midd[x] gent, That where he hathe had very famylier acquentannce and but over muche mutuall conversacon of late w[i]th one John Slade, late of Rusheton in the Countie of Northt gent, wh[i]ch was ...sioned, aswell for that the said Slade hathe maryed the kinswoman of your Ma[jes]ties said subiecte A [?false?], by sundrey other honest respectes. And fyndinge hym farr to muche effectionat, or rather depely drowned in the dreges of popishe doctryne he did not only travell muche, by sundrey lawdable meanes, to remove hym from the same, and to reduce hym to the synceritye of Christian religion, but also, uppom hope of good successe therein, at the last throughe godes goodnes, he brought to passe, by his humble sute to sundrey honarable and godlye maiestrates that very m..che, and favorable tolleracon was used, of sundrey his parverse p[ro]cedinges therein, w.... yet altogether p[re]vayling so lyttell as the said Slade nev[er]theless, rane forthe, from evyll, to worst, untill he came to the usuall speaking of suche horyable blasphemyes, agaynste almightie god and his sacred word, to the p[ri]vye mutterynge, And of suche haynos and undewtifull matters against the supreme and Regall dignitie of your highnes Royall seate absolute and ymperiall power ov[er] this your Ma[jes]ties Realmes and domyn... And to the Coverte contryvinge (yf not conspiringe and practisinge) agaynst the same, as your highnes said subiecte, could not longer endure to here, muche lesse in any sorte to assyst, or to se effected (w[hi]ch god defend) he not only forthw[i]th absented hymselfe, from further frequenting, of the howse and Cumpany of the said Slade, but also, caused other of his brothers, and frindes (then mouche conversant there also) to do the like as of dewtie bothe they, and he, were bound to doe, wherew[i]th the said Slade, conceyvinge very great displeasure agaynst your hignes said Subiecte and his said brothers, and especyally agaynst one John Engelbert the young[er] ......... whome the said Slade had very longe labored, by many lewde p[er]swacons, and senyster meanes, to seduce, and p[]ervert, from his setled and sound faythe, in Christ and syncere love of his truthe, to the dely.... devyser, of popishe [?pekse?] the rather for that the said Slade wyst full well, that not only a mariage was Covertly contracted betwene the said John the young[er], and Elizabeth the only daughter and [?heer?] ....rannt, of the said Slade after she had accomplished, the age of x...jth yeares, and more, but that also, the very acte of mariage had byne many tymes Consumate betwene them, so as he thought ............. hym, to bringe the said John of ........ to the bent of his Crok... borne, and fearinge w[i]th all, that your Ma[jes]ties said subiect (seynge that, his good Indevor, to induce hym the Slade to Godlynes, ............. effecte) wold not fayle to seake .... reformacon, and Condinge Cor....con, by ordynarie and dewe meanes, To p[re]vent the same, and to ympoverashe, disturbe, and discredytt, your highnes said subiecte and his .......... as they showld wante, other powe..... tyme, or credyt, to accompli[she] any suche good p[ur]pose, he very Craftely (accordinge to the qua..tie of that gen[er]acon) and no lesse fawlcely fayned, that your ma[jes]ties said [subiecte and] his said brothers, had p[ri]vylie ........tized to steale awaye his said [dau]ghter, and heyer apparannt,to be maried to his said brother John and that they altogether forced her & covertly conveyed her, from [the said] Slade, to travell w[i]th them ... sundrey places, many myles [dist]ant, from his mansion howse, and that they, w[i]th lyke force, deteyned her, certeyne dayes, and uppon collor thereof, and of sundrey other ...... and devises, full Craftely contryv..... his malyious mynde, and bu.. brayne, he daunted not to exhibite a very slannderus, and falce Complaynte agaynst your highnes said subiecte and his said brothers .............. most Excellent Ma[jes]tie in to your highnes honorable p[re]sence, and Courte , of Starr Chamber to their very great disturbannce, and trowble, indeade even althoughe, his evyll mynde knewe very [well] and ev[er] muste knowe, bothe that the said mariage betwene the said young[er] brother John, and the said Elizabeth, was p[er]fectly contracted, and absolutly consumated, by thaccomplishm[en]t of the said acte of mariage many tymes as is aforesaid, And that she rode w[i]th his said brother to Ware, Cambridge, and to sundrey other places where yt lyked hym, and there remayned, makinge marry w[i]th hym, and w[i]th some of his said brothers, and frinds certen dayes, very volentarylye, w[i]thout all constraynt, or inforcement, throwghe w[hi]ch synister and subtylie practise, the said Slade, supposeth to supprese, and Informacon, and reformacon of his lewde lyffe, to be dewtyfullye [?pursued?], by your ma[jes]ties said subiecte, or by any of his said brothers (whome he well knoweth can best discipher and discover yt) so as he maye remayne in securite and (as yt were) lulled ov[er] slepe, in his dyvilshe dreames of Popishe undewtifull, and Contemptious devises, w[hi]ch nev[er]thelesse, th...ughtie wold not p[er]mytte, nether can your Ma[jes]ties said subiecte, any long[er] tollerate the same, but demethe yt his bounden dewtye, to enforme the same to your most Excellent highnes p[ar]ticulerly as followeth

Imprimis, he hathe often publyquely p[ro]nounced as his usuall phrayse of speche That there is not one wyse devyne or magistrate in England.

2 Itm he hathe also very often and publyquely spoken and daylie dothe, that he wold not beleve the gospell to be trewe, yf the Churche of Rome did not aprove yt.

3 Itm, he hathe Covertly used, and still dothe, many collerable corrupte and dyvelishe argumentes, tendynge to the savorynge, of the usurped power and sup[re]macye of the Buysshope of Rome ov[]er] thease your ma[jes]ties flurryshinge Realmes and domynons, w[i]th many wicked undewtifull and p[[ri]vye Intysementes sundrey of your highnes good subiectes, to accorde w[i]th hym, in his said falce concealed and trayte... opynion.

4 Itm, he hathe accustymably used and styll dothe, daylie disputacous, w[i]th suche p[er]sonnes, and in suche Company e.. as he thyncketh wyll not discrye hym, aswell for the mayntenannce of purgatorie prayeinge to Say..ctes dep[ar]ted this lyfe, Justificacon by workes, transubstanceacon, Corporall, and R... p[re]sence even to the unworthye Receyvor, and of all other of the grosest sorte of Popishe errous, as also, for the defacinge, and confutinge, or their contraryes, and of all other principall poyntes of Christian religion, daylie Invegrling, and p[er]swading, whome he can possiblye p[ro]cure, to Imb... the said p[er]verse, and Popishe opynions.

5 Itm, he very prevylye and Contemptiously kepeth and concealeth in secrett corners many Popishe [?hyrritticall?] preycious and forbidden bookes, bringing them forthe, and dispa..singe them to his [?affyes?] as he can covartly Compasse the same, and oftesones to sume good subiectes, whome he indevoreth to dyswade, from theyr syncere love & bounden dewties to god, and your highnes often affyrminge, that he hathe one booke, the readinge whereof, wyll p[er]swade any man, to deteste the religion, nowe used in the churche of Englond, and to forsake his Cuntrey, Father, mother, Frindes, lyvyng and lyffe, for the love of the Pope, and of his Catholicke faythe, and other booke, of the p[ar]ticuler portrature of heaven, and lastly, an other, conteyning only especiall prayers to every Sayncte there, but Cheyfely, to our blessed lady as he termeth the vyrgyn Mary.

6 Itm, he nev[er] Comethe to dyvyne service, exepte to the Churche, sume tyme once in one yere, then placynge hym selfe in the belfrey, emonge boyes, makynge a mocke of Comon prayer, [?yet?] mumblyng and numbrynge sume sup[er]sticious prayers, upon his fyngers, for that he dare not showe his bookes, or beades.

7 Itm, he did nev[er] comunycate, nor was p[ar]ticipant of the Lordes supp[er] sythence your Ma[jes]ties begone this your blessed and most gracious reigne ov[er] us, nether hathe p[er]mitted his howsehold s[er]vanntes (whome he [?accompetithe?] of) to frequent devyne ...ce at any tyme.

8 Itm he is more than vehemently suspected to be a great ...... and a mayntayn[er] w[i]th money aswell of sundrye undewtyfull subiectes w[hi]ch ar fledd and do nowe remayne in the ..... as is also of souche as do name them selves Jeswyttes, and other lyke, p[er]nicious people w[hi]ch are p[ri]velye convayed from place to place w[i]thin your highnes domynions, lurkynge in Covert corners ........................................................................

9 Itm, he hathe used, many Covert Conferrences, open famylyareties and Conversacon, w[i]th sundrey very undetyfull subiectes, that have Contemptuously (yf not trayterously) fledd of late into the p[ar]tes [beyond] the seas, where they nowe remayne, as namely, w[i]th Mr Charles Arundell, Mr Treshame, Mrs Marye Dymocke, and w[hi]ch sundrey others, even very shortly before the said Contemptuos flyeinge and .. excedinglie suspected to be bothe of knowledge assystant, and aydinge, to their said undewtyfull dep[ar]tures.

10 Itm he was mouche suspected to be a Confederate, w[i]th one John Slade his kynsman, who was [?defuydly?] executed for highe Treason, towchinge the said usurped supremacye, w[i]thin the Countre of Southt almost one yeare last past

11 Itm he hathe not onely sowld sume parte of his lyvinge very lately, and hathe receyved the some of xvj Cl for the same havynge no other occaision to use the said money nor any parte thereof, but only to furnyshe hymselfe forward emonge his fawlse Coofellowes towardes thire p[re]tended myscheves, at thyr hoped for daye, (w[hi]ch thalmightie wyll assurydly dispose accordinge to their desartes) but he haythe also, made and faned sundrye p[ri]vye Conveyannces and covynyus assurannces, of all the rest, of his landes, ten[emen]tes, and heryditamentes, amountinge to the yerely valewe of CCl and more to sundrye other p[er]sones, to thend, that yf he showld happ[en] to fayle of his fowle hope and to fynd that, w[hi]ch is [?defuydly?] p[re]pared indeade for hym and all suche as he is by good Justyce your most excellent highnes, showld be Craftylie defrawded, of the said landes, ten[emen]tes, and hereditam[en]tes, w[hi]ch aswell by the forsse and vygoure of your Ma[jes]ties good lawes, and estatutes, as of anncient and mere righte, oughte to escheate forfayte and cume, to your highnes Imperyall Crowne.

All w[hi]ch develyshe, und[e]wtyfull delynges, Covert Conspyracies, Contemptuous deades, and wycked speches, As they have byne publyshed, parpetuated, and indevored [?prevelie?] and daylye be to the very great offence of Almightie god, the no lesse haynous Contempt, p[ri]vye dyspyte and (as yt were) most horryble derogacon of your highnes power Regall (w[hi]ch the blessed god longe ..... and maynteyne) And to the manyfest and wylfull ...ryngyng Contempte and reiecting, of your ma[jes]ties moste nedefull, and godly lawes, very requysyghtly p[ro]vyded for the Condynge Correction, and restraynt, of souche detestable, obstynate, and wilfull malyfactors. So your highnes said subiecte, is absolutly p[er]swaded that he cannot by any meanes, accomplyshe a more Comendable service, to the glorie of god, the honor of your ma[jes]tie and to the benefytt of your highnes weale publyque, then to .... and further, the dewe examynacon sykinge owte, and unfowlding, of thaforesaid notoryous Crymes, So as by your Ma[jes]ties swerd of Justyce, not the said Slade onely, but many others also, of his hellyshe affynitie (whome throughe the soundynge of his hollowe hurte to the bothome, by ordynarie and dewe Course of Justyce, wylbe also dyscovered) maye be cutt of, and weded owte of and frome, this your ma[jes]ties Comon weale, as infectyve, rotton and p[er]nycous members in the same, to the great Comfort of your ma[jes]ties dewtyfull subiectes, and no lesse tyrror, to all souche haynous, and horryble malyfactors, In Consideracon whereof, and for so mouche as, this generacon of vypers are so craftie in their kynde, as their dyvillishe dryftes depe diseytes, covert Contryvinges, and p[ri]vy practizes, can nev[er] be thurrowly syfted owte, discovered, and manyfested to the world but by a severe sound and dyrect Course of Comon Justice. And for that also, that the said John Slade dothe upon the malycious mynd, and wicked intent aforesaid, contrarie to his owne knowledge, and Consceence, unchristianly deanye the said Contracte and concluded mariage, and dothe forcybly deteyne, his said doughter, from the said John Engelbert the [younger], her said husband, bothe in the sighte of god and the world (a metter mouche agre.... w[i]th the qualytie of his p[ro]fession) yt maye please your most excellent ma[jes]tie, of your habonndant grace, to grannt your highnes gracious wrytte of suppena to be dyrected to the said John Slade Comanndinge hym by the same, at a certayne daye, and under a certen payne, therein to be lymited, p[er]sonally to appeare before your highnes and your ma[jes]ties most honorable p[ri]vye Connsayle in your ma[jes]ties honorable Courte of Starr Chamber then and there to annswere to the p[re]misses and to abyde suche order and dyrection conc[er]ninge the same as shalbe agreable w[i]th your highnes most gracious & severe course of Justice, unyversally distributed to suche ....ious and most haynous malyfactors to the nedefull example of other lyke and the Comforte of your highnes dewtifull subiectes unyversally who shalbe even therefore yet more bound to our dewtifull and fay[th]full prayers for the y.. [pro]sperus estate of your highnes blessed reigne over us ........................................


The demurrer of John Slade deffendt to the insufficent untrue and slannderous bill of Complt of Nicholas Englebert Complt

The said deffendt saithe That the said bill of Complt against him exhibited in this moste honorable Courte is very imp[er]fect and insufficient in the lawe to be answered unto devized & sett fourthe not uppon any good or iuste cause but uppon a setled malice conceaved by the said Complt againste this deffendt and to thend therby to p[ro]cure the said deffendt to w[i]thdrawe or relinquishe a suyte w[hi]ch he hath uppon very good and iuste cause p[re]ferred in this Courte againste the said Complt and his brothers and others such like p[er]sons as the Complt is for the stealinge away of Elizabethe the daughter and heire of this deffendt and other greate misdemeanors and to that end and purpose the said Complt when he had framed the said infamous bill of Complt he caused this deffendt and someof his Frendes to be made acquainted therw[i]th shewinge the same to them ready ingrossed and by cunninge meanes offred that if this deffendt would relinquish his said suyte before menconed that then the Complt would not p[re]ferre the said bill of Complt againste him And the said Complt the rather to p[er]swade this deffendt to relinquishe his said suyte caused it to be geven out that the said bill of Complt should be p[re]ferred only in the name of the said Complt and that his foresaid Brothers {struckthrough - and others of his Faction} should be used as wittnesses therin for profe of the matters therin conteyned And the said Complt findinge that this deffendt would not leave the p[ro]secutinge of the foresaid suyte against the Complt hath theruppon p[ro]ceded against this deffendt in this Courte w[i]th the foresaid bill of complt w[hi]ch is altogether insufficient for that there is noe tyme layed in the said bill of Complt when the supposed matters therin conteyned should be comitted And besides the said bill of Complt is framed w[i]th such unrev[er]end and bad speches as ar moste unfitt to be used in this most honorable Courte and the name of one Willm Pole a Bencher and doble reader of the Inner Temple put to the said bill of Complt w[hi]ch was never acquainted therw[i]th For w[hi]ch causes this deffendt doth demurre and abyde in lawe and demanndeth iudgem[en]t of this honorable Courte whether he shalbe enforced to answere the said insuffycient & slannderous bill of Complt And prayeth that this honorable Courte will take order for the abuse offred to this Courte in the matters before alledged and prayeth to be dismissed out of this Courte w[i]th his resonable costes and charges for his wrongfull suyte and vexacon in this behalf susteyned

[?Thohonam Lectas?]