STAC 5/K4/25 - B A I D - 27 Eliz - Lincolnshire - James Kay v Thomas Seyer, Thomas Ratheby
Transcribed by Helen Good
To the Queenes most excellent Majestie
Lamentablye Complayninge sheweth to your Majestye your duetyfull and obedient subject James Kay of Ganton in the Countye of Lincolne clarke. That whereas Robert Atkynson late of Ganton aforesaid husbandman was seized in his demesne as of fee in free and Common Socage of and in one close or pasture in Ganton aforesayd called gote croft he beinge soe thereof seised about the eight and twentie day of Januarye in the five and twentie yeare of your Majesties Raigne devysed the same by his last wyll and testament in wrytinge unto Katheryn Goodwine his cosen to have and to hold to the sayd Katherine and the heires of hir bodye lawfully begotten, And did alsoe by his sayd last will and testament give and bequeathe to the sayd Kathereyn tenn poundes and by the same did appoint the landes and goodes soe devysed, and the bodye of the sayd Katheryn unto your subject untyll the said Katheryn accomplished hir Lawfull yeares of hir age or the daye of hir mariage whiche should first happen by force whereof your subject was possessed of the sayd Landes and goodes accordingly and hadd also by force of the said wyll as by the deliverie of Alice Goodwine mother of the sayd Katherin the bodye of the sayde Katheryn committed to his selfe safe custodye accordinge to the true meaninge and intent of the said last wyll and testament of the sayd Roberte Atkynson. But so yt is yf it should please your Majestie as that one Thomas Ratheby whoe intended to marye with the said Katheryn Confyderatinge with one Thomas Seyer about the fivetenth day of Februarie last past she beinge then under the age of twelve yeares not haveinge the feare of god before their eyes now regardinge your Majesties Lawes and statutes in that case provided but beinge caryed by wicked vile and incontynent desyre did not onely cause and procure a person unknowne to your sayd subject to resort to his house and theare in verie vyolent manner with with forse and and armes to ravishe and take awaye the sayd Katheryn but the saide unknown person having brought hir to the howse of the said Thomas Seyer within a verye short time after by lued wicked and horryble practyse inveglinge and alluringe of the sayd Seyer did cause or procure a mariage to be hadd and solempnised betwene the sayd Katheryn beinge than a Child and under the age of twelve yeares unto the sayd Thaomas Ratheby against the wyll of your sayd subject who by lawfull wayes and meanes then had the order kepeinge and educacion of the sayde mayden contrarye to her Majesties lawes and statutes in that case provided and the evill example of other suche badd disposed persons whiche matter wyll greatlye tende to the A[. . . ]ynatinge of suche leud and violent ravishinge of maydens the same offenders be not severly punnished. In consideracion of whiche premisses maye it please your Majestye to awarde your most gratyous wrytt of subpena out of this Honorable Court against the sayd Thomas Seyer and Thomas Ratheby commaunding them and eyther of them thereby uppon a certaine daye and under a certaine paine personally to appeare in this Heighe Court before your Majestyes Counsayle theare to Aunswere the premisses and to abyde suche order thearein as by your Majestyes Counsayle of this Court shalbe thought convenyent and your Majestyes poore subject accordinge to his bounden dewtye shall praye unto god for your Majestyes longe happye and prosperous raigne
The Joynt and Severall Answers of Thomas Sayer and Thomas Rathebye Defendantes to the bill of compleynt of James Key clarke Complaynant
All advantage and benefitt of exception unto the incerteinty insufficiencye and ymperfection of the said Bill of Compleint to these defendantes att all tymes hereafter saved and refynded, The said defendantes as unto any violent or unlawfull Ravishement or taking away or any maner of unlawfull procurement for the Ravishing or takinge away of the said Katheryn Goodwyn mentioned in the said bill of compleynt out of the order keping and educacion of the said complaynant and unto all and every offence contempt and misdemeanor supposed by the said bill of compleynt to be admitted Done or attempted by the said Defendantes against the Quenes Majestes peace or any the lawes or statutes specified in the said bill of compleint: The said Defendantes saye: That they nor either of them be not thereof giltye in maner and forme as in and by the said bill of compleint is expressed or declared. And for further answere unto the material thinges conteyned in the said bill of Compleint and for Due Declaracion of the trueth therein the said Defendantes say: And either of them for him self severally sairth: That true it is that Robert Atkinson late of Gaiton in the County of Lincoln Deceassed was seased in his Demeane as fee of and in the close or pasture called gote Crofte mentioned in the said bill of compleint, which close the said Defendantes are very well able to prove to be holden of Sir Foulke Gryvell knight as of his mannor of Tottle in the said County of Lincoln by Knight service. And so being seased by his last will and testament bearing date the Eight and twentith Daie of January in the fyve and twentith yere of the Quenes Majestes Reigne that now is Devised to the said Catheryn Goodwyne being nothing att all of consanguinity or allyaunce to the said Robert Atkinson but a mere straunger unto him the Somme of Tenne Poundes And Did thereby lykewise gyve and bequeath to the said James Key now complainant the said close of pasture called Gote Crofte with a willowe Gare belonging thereto: To have and to hold to the said James Key and to his assignes till the said Katheryn should accomplishe and be att her lawfull yeres of age or be maryed which should first come: And then he did gyve and bequeath the said close with the appertenances to the said Katheryn Goodwyne To have and to hold to the said Katheryn and to theires of her body lawfully begotten with Remaynder over to Robert [ . . . ] and Robert Thornton and theires of their bodyes lawfully begotten Imediately after death of the said Catheryn Goodwyn for ever. And further more willed that the said now complaynant should have the bringing upp of the said Katheryn and her porcion of goodes till she should come to lawfull age or be married whither should first come which he could not do as touching the body of the said Katheryn being but an estraunger unto him. And further by the said last he ordeyned Alice mother of the said Katheryn and now wief of the said Thomas Sayer his sole and lawfull executrix and some after dyed. After whose Decease the said complaynant entered into the said close of pasture called gote croft with the apperteinances and was thereof possesed accordingly and toke to him the said Katheryn whome he kept a while in homely sort and during that tyme made good benefitt to him self by cutting downe of the heades and loppe of the willowe trees growing in a gare adjoyning to the said pasture which being perceyved by the said Alice Goodwyne being naturall mother to the said Katheryn and that the said complaynant had a more covetous desyre to serve his owne torne then he had to preserve or worke benefitt to the inheritaunce of the said Katheryn, the said Alice being natural mother to the said Katheryn as is aforesaid toke into her charge and custody the said Katheryn with consent and luking of the said Thomas Sayre now defendant being husband to the said Alice As the said Alice in the said Defendantes opinion might lawfully do For so muche as she was her mother and next of her kynne And it lay not in the power of the said Robert Atkinson to appoint the custody of the body of the said Katheryn unto any person or persons from the mother And after the taking home of the said Katheryn into the charge of the said Alice her mother by and throughe the will good lyking and consent of the said Alice the said Katheryn was affyed and maryed unto the said Thomas Raithbye one of the now defendantes being a man of an honest stock and a convement mariage for the said Katheryn as the same might lawfully be done and the consent and good will of the said complaynant was not thereunto requisite or nedefull by any lawe or statute of this Realme as these defendantes are verily perswaded But the matter that the said complaynant taketh in greatest greiffe, as the Defendantes Do verily thinke is for that the interest of the said Complaynant of and in the said Close of pasture is determyned and ended by and upon the said Mariage and espowsells had and made. Without that, that the said close of pasture ground mentioned in the said Bill of compleint was or is holden in free and commen socage Or that the said Robert Atkinson could appoynt or dispose the custody or governement of the said Katheryn to any person or persons from the said Alice her mother Or that the said now complaynant had ever any suche lawfull possession or government of or over the said Katheryn as is intended or ment within the wordes or intent of any lawes or statutes made touching Ravishyng or takinge away of women children or maydens being under thage of sixtene yeres as by the said complaynant is surmysed And without that that any other matter or thinge in the said bill of compleint conteined materiall or effectuall in lawe to be answered unto And herein before not sufficiently confessed and avoyded trav'sed or denyed is true All which matters the said Defendantes are Ready to averre and prove as this moste Honorable Courte shall award And pray to be dismissed out of the same with their reasonable costes and charges in this behalf wrongfully borne and susteyned.