Interrogatories to be ministered to John Gregory, Defendant to the Bill of Complaint of the Fellowship of the English Merchants for the Discovering of New Trades.
1. Imprimis do you know that a ship called the William of Hull having in her certain goods brought from Cola, or other former northerly parts from London, arrived at the port of Kingston upon Hull in August, September or October last past, and where, and by what means, did you first know or hear thereof.
2. Item did you not about the same time know, or were you not informed, and how did you know, or were informed, that a warrant or other process from Lewes, register or officer of the Admiralty there, was awarded to one Richard Jackling, Marshall or officer of that court, to stay or arrest the said ship and goods or any part thereof. And that the said process or warrant was executed, and in what manner, and upon what goods, and for what cause, and in what vessels, or places as you have known, or heard. And did not John Thorneton, William Wilson, John Fawether and Henry Cocknedge, or some of them, inform you thereof, and of what credit be such of these persons, as so informed you. And did you not know or believe the said information by them made to you to be true. And did not they, or some, or one of them, at, or before, that time show you an Act, or printed book of an Act, of Parliament for the corporation of Merchants Adventurers for the discovering of new trades. And did they not leave that copy with you to consider of, and how long did you keep it.
3. Did not the same Thorneton, Wilson, Fawether and Cocknedge, or some one of them, after such information made to you of seizure, attachment or arrest of part of the said goods, require of you that more of the said goods in the ship, and 4 lasts of oil discharged into a keel, might likewise be seized, attached or arrested, and what answered you. And did you not say you were contented, and willed them to proceed so far as they did nothing against law whereby you might be touched, or to like effect.
4. Item did you know or hear that the rest, or any more, of the said goods were, according to the said request, seized, attached or arrested by the said Marshall or any other, and how do you knew the same. And were you not informed, and by whom, that they which sued for the said arrest did lack aid to land the said goods. And by whose counsel, practice or means was it, or was it not by your counsel, practice, means, encouragement or consent that they could not get no help to land the said goods. And did they not, for lack of such help, require your aid and assistance, being mayor of that town and admiral in that port, for execution of the said Act and of the Letters Patent thereby confirmed. And what did you answer. And did you not say you were ignorant and that you would stay for more counsel and that you would not do it without good sureties to save you harmless against the law, or to like effect, or for what other cause did you deny or forbear to assist them.
5. Item did William Wilson or any other offer you to be surety to such effect as you desired, and of what value and credit did you then know, or believe, that the said Wilson was, to be taken surety in that case, and was he not then an alderman of Hull. And was it not also, for your further surety and assurance, offered unto you that the goods so seized, attached or arrested should remain in your own custody, or at your appointment, for your saving harmless, or to like effect, And by whose suit, procurement or means did you refuse or fail to give such assistance as was requested. And who did sue or labour to you, or advise or require you, so to refuse or fail. And did you not say precisely that you would not deal therein, come what come will of it, or to like effect And what did you answer.
6. And did not Cocknedge, or some other, afterwards complain unto you that the company of the said ship had discharged some of the goods into keels of York, or other, contrary to the said seizure or arrest. And thereon did require of you to cause the same to be stayed to answer to the law, either by ordinary Justice or by Dormant or process of Admiralty, as you thought best, And how oft was such request made unto you afore noon or after noon, or both, and before what witnesses. And did you not answer that you would not deal therein without special commandment from the higher power, or to such effect, or what did you answer, or to what effect.
7. Item did you not know, and specially did not the said Cocknedge afterwards also inform and complain unto you, that, where he had taken a Cellar, warehouse or place and therein bestowed 40 barrels and 3 hogsheads of oil, parcel of the said goods, or any parcel thereof, and two or any locks had been hanged thereon, that the locks were broken or taken off, and the the goods were in carrying from there by porters or others, contrary to the said seizure and arrest and was not request then made to you, and by whom, and before what witnesses, that the said goods might be stayed by Justice or Dormant to answer the law according to the arrest, and not to be carried away. And had you given any counsel, comfort or consent for the carrying away thereof, or did you, before that complaint or request, consent or hear that any such thing was in doing or intended to be done. And how did you know or hear, and what answer made you to the said complaint and request. And did you not say you would defer the stay of the same goods until you had talked with your brethren or to like effect. And what did you for administration of Justice in stay of the said goods. And have you not known or heard that the said goods were carried for lack of Justice or stay contrary to the said arrest.
8. Item had or have you, or any to your use, any part in the said ship or goods or moneys, or any to your use to have any part or profit therein, either by way of adventure, promise of bargain, or privilege of common bargain, or otherwise howsoever. Or came any of the said goods, or were any of them promised to come, to your use, by bargain, gift, reward or for, or by, any consideration or means sithence the arriving thereof. And for what consideration and by what means.
The depositions of John Gregory taken at Beverley in the County of York before Sir Christopher Hilyard knight and Lawrence Meres esquire the 6th day of June in the 22th year of the Queen’s Majesty that now is by virtue of the Queen’s Majesty’s commission to them directed as followeth.
1. Imprimis the said John Gregory of the age of three score years, or there about, sworn and examined, saith that he did not know of any such ship or goods, till one calling himself Cocknedge, as I do remember, with Mr Thorneton, John Fawether and William Wilson, or some one of them, did tell me of it, which was about three weeks after Michelmas last to his remembrance.
2. Item the said examined saith that he did not know of any warrant or process was made by Lewes and awarded to Richard Jackling the officer for the admiralty to stay or arrest the goods and ships, or that the same was executed of any of the same goods until the said Richard Jackling told him that he had been to stay the said goods by the commandment of Mr Thorneton, Mr Wilson and Mr Fawether, but what goods or in what ship he doth not remember that he told him. And also Mr Thorneton and other the said parties, or some of them, did likewise tell him of the same (who notwithstanding their custody, because they seemed to make themselves parties to the matter) he did not credit, and especially for that he thought that Lewes neither could nor would make any such warrant or process making him, being mayor and admiral, first privy to it. And further touching the statute that was showed unto him by the said parties, whether he might by virtue thereof make any such arrest or seizure as they demanded, he stood in doubt of it, and therefore he willed them to proceed as they thought good according to law and statute, so they did save and defend and keep him harmless against all men. And to this effect and purpose he did answer as aforesaid to his remembrance.
3. The said examined saith that the said Thorneton, Wilson, Fawether and Cocknedge or some of them to his remembrance was in Hull with him, about the stay or arrest of the said goods and asked him if he would aid them or him about the seizure or stay of the said goods, unto whom he answered that if he might have such good and sufficient bonds with sureties to have warrant to defend and keep him harmless from all [?Injudemprites] and Incumberencies that should happen or be attempted against him at any time hereafter, touching the stay, seizure or arrest of the said goods, so he might incur no danger thereby, he would very willingly yield unto the arrest of the same by all lawful means that he could. Otherwise, because he knew not whether the goods were to be seized by law or not, he would not meddle therein, or to this effect to his remembrance. Further, touching an other speaking to him for the seizure, stay and arrest of four tuns of oil laid into a keel, whereunto he answered that they might proceed as they had begun, so that they did nothing but that which might be done by law, and presently enter into a bond to keep him harmless, in such order as no advantage might be taken against him by merchants or owners of the same, or any other. So he did answer to this as to the former, and to the like effect, to his remembrance.
4. Item the examined saith that, to his remembrance, he did hear, by some of the said parties, there was other goods stayed by the said Marshall, and that they looked to land the said goods and, as he doth remember, the said parties were to talk with him for or about aid therein, but by whose practise, counsel or means they wanted aid, he doth not know, but by his means, counsel, practice, procurement or consent it was not. And he doth think the said parties required aid of him, whereunto, to his remembrance, he answered that he was ignorant of the matter and without counsel what he might lawfully do, and therefore he would not deal in it without good sureties to save him harmless against the law, or to that effect, as he doth now remember. And for no other cause did he forbear the same, but for fear of doing wrong to any or running in danger of the law.
5. Item the said examined saith that William Wilson did offer to be bound in these words or to that effect viz. I will be bound for one, at which time and upon the speech of which words, John Fawether went presently out of the company, and then this examinate demanded of Mr Thorneton if he would be one other surety (that he would be bound) who answered that he would give him the best counsel he could, but to be bound he would not. And as touching the value and credit of William Wilson, being at that time an Alderman of Hull, he thought him not sufficient for that this examinate did not know of what value the ship and goods was of, neither did he offer himself to be bound but for one. And as he doth remember there was some talk by the same parties of the resting or remaining of the said goods so stayed or arrested, but how or in what direct manner it was, he doth not certainly remember. And he doth not remember that there was any that did sue or labour to him, or advise or require him, so to refuse or fail to aid them, saving one Raphe Aslabie, that bought most of the goods, who was with him, and requested at his hands Justice with favour, or to that effect, and said that the next day he would have the Queen’s Letters Missive from my Lord President for it. Which accordingly he brought and served it of the said Cocknadge, as he was credibly informed, neither did he to his remembrance use any such speech expresssedly that he would not deal therein, come what come will, use it, but did answer that he would not deal in it without other good bonds to save him harmless, or other lawful authority for his warrant or to that effect as he doth now remember.
6. Item the said examinate saith that, as he doth remember, Cocknedge, or some other of the said parties, did say that the company of the ship had discharged some of the goods into keels and thereupon required stay. But in what direct manner, how often, or whether it was before noon or after noon or both, and before what witnesses, he doth not remember, whereunto he answered that he would not deal in it without good and lawful authority, or upon good sureties, or to that effect, to his remembrance.
7. Item the said examinate thinketh, and to his remembrance, the said Cocknadge, or some other, did tell him that there was a cellar or warehouse wherein there was certain barrels and hogsheads of oil, parcel of the said goods, were in carrying from thence by porters or others, at which time he was again requested to stay the same by some ordinary means, but by what terms, by whom, or before what witnesses, he doth not remember. Neither did he give any counsel, consort or consent for the carrying away thereof, to his remembrance. Neither did he before that time consent or hear that any such thing was in doing or intended to be done but only by the same parties. To which words, to his remembrance, he answered that he would consider of it and take advice, whereupon he could not perceive that there was any ordinary action entered nor no lawful matter, as he thought, to warrant him therein, he did forbear to deal in it, neither hath he known or heard otherwise than by the said parties that the said goods were carried away for lack of Justice.
8. Item the said examinate saith neither he, nor any to his use, have or had any part in the said ship or goods, or that he, or any to his use, were to have any part or profit therein either by way of adventure, promise or bargain or otherwise, or that there came any of the said goods, or any of them promised to come to his use, by bargain, gift, reward or for, or by, any consideration or means, sithence the arresting thereof, by any ways or means to his knowledge.
C Hillyard Lawrence Meres