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 97-98
In Camera SteIlata, coram Consillio ibidem, Veneris, 26 May, 1598, Elizab. Regine 40. Termino Pasche.
Cause of hearing, Finche, merchant and Controller of the Customs of London, plaintiff. Annate, Poell and Berrye, defendants, for conspiracy.
Annate devised a letter in Finche's name, containing matter touching misprision of treason in 'coyninge doble pistolets,' and wrote this in Finche's name, being sealed; and he opened it and read it and took copies and published them; but the letter itself could not be viewed. The cause of this and the 'originalle' was malice, for Finche, being Controller of the Customs, would not suffer Annate's beer to pass 'transemare,' and therefore [Annate] devised this letter. And then when he had opened it and read it and published copies of the same, he took it to Sir Edward Hobby, a Justice of the Peace in Kent.
It was 'unhoneste' for him to open the letter, for if he doubted that it contained suspicion of treason, he ought to have carried it to the Justice of the Peace and delivered it to him. And this conspiracy was adjudged a great fault, and was sentenced by the whole Court:
First, Annate, fine £200, to be nailed to the pillory, to have papers and imprisonment. For the coining of 'doble pistolets ' is misprision of treason only, because it is a coin not allowed or stamped within this realm; otherwise if it were treason, he should lose his ears, and have perpetual imprisonment and should forfeit all his lands and goods for ever. Poell was adjudged accessory and procurer of this, and was sentenced to a fine of £100, pillory and imprisonment. Berrye was acquitted.
(p.98) It was said by the Court that the Controller ought not to be a merchant, but that this is punishable in another Court.
Ruled by the Court, that if any Judge, Justice, officer or subject of the realm shall go beyond his bounds and limits, and misdemean himself in any manner, this Court has power and authority to examine and punish this; and this is clear law without any doubt or question.
See also STAC Finch