STAC 5/P4/12 - B - Trin 38 Eliz - Yorkshire NR - Raphe Paycocke v Edward Medcalfe, John Sadler, Raphe Clarkson, Edmond Faucett see STAC Peacock
Transcribed by Helen Good
To the Queens most excellent Majesty
In most humble wise complaining showeth unto your most excellent majesty your highness humble and faithful subject Raphe Paycocke of Gonnaside [Gunnerside] in Swayldale [Swaledale] in the County of York, That whereas your highness said subject hath till of late for and during all his lifetime then past as becometh a true and faithful subjects lived in peace under your majesty’s wholesome laws.
Now so it is most gracious and sovereign lady one Edward Medcalffe of the Woodhall in the County aforesaid John Sadler of Bussopdall [Bishopdale] in the county aforesaid Raphe Clerkson and Edmonde Fawcett of Stonesdaile in the county aforesaid envying the quiet estate of your said subject not having the fear of god before their eyes, nor [. . .] care or regard of your majesty is good and wholesome laws and statutes in this your highness realm, in such cases made and provided but intending bodily harm hurt and displeasure unto your said subject and likewise seeking to kill or murder your said subject did upon or about the eleventh day of August last past in most unlawful and wicked manner assembled them selves together and did conspire confederate and practice together in some secret place (within your highness said County of York) as yet to your said subject unknown how to revenge upon your said subject some causeless grudge all displeasure which before that time they or some of them had conceived against him. And for the perfecting of their said wicked and unlawful conspiracy and confederacy they did amongst themselves fully conclude concord and agree to ride from their several dwelling places aforesaid to them then and now dwelling house of one George Napis at the Lodge Green at Swaildaile in your said county aforesaid being a common Inn or Alehouse where your said subject then remained about his lawful and necessary business and affairs, there to be done. And where also they did know your said subject to be, being at least ten or twelve miles distant from any the dwelling house aforesaid and that they would ride very well weaponed and armed (That is to say) with swords and daggers, long pikes, staves, pitchforks, iron forks, rapiers and divers other unlawful weapons and engines, As well invasive as defensive And that the said Edward Metcalffe being the principal and chief ringleader therein and the said John Sadler being both of them most desperate wicked and cruel persons should effect the same viz. either mischief or maim your said subject or otherwise kill and murder him, And that the said Raphe Clerkson and Edmonde Fawcett should hide themselves in some secret place near thereunto advising to aid and assist them if in any case they were letted rescued or any way hindered of their purpose aforesaid. And presently thereupon the said defendants did repair towards the Lodge Green aforesaid accordingly and the said Clerkson and Fawcett stayed a little off secretly from them and this said Metcalffe and Sadler went on and came to the said George Napis his house, and asked for him and sent two several messengers into the said house to desire him to come forth unto them to speak with them whereupon he your said subject not doubting any danger nor fearing any hurts to be done unto him by them but thinking that the said Metcalf had then and there come unto him to have paid him some money which he owed unto him: he your said subject did in friendly and quiet manner without any manner of weapon go forth unto them and walked alongest with them at the least thirty or forty foot from the said house unto the side of the said Green called Lodge Green where they intreated your said subject to sit down on the said green with them and betwixt them which he did accordingly not doubting or fearing any danger at all.
But so it is further dread sovereign lady That then and there presently so soon as you said subject did sit down betwixt them that said Metcalf and Sadler as aforesaid they the said motcalffe and Sadler being weaponed as aforesaid did not only most wickedly and unlawfully menace and threaten your said subject to beat mischief and maim him or otherwise to [. . .] and mistreat him, and did use him very hardly with speeches but also did then and there presently begin and make one great grievous and heinous assault and affray upon him and him then and there sore hurt beat bruised and wounded upon divers and sundry parts and places of his body. And especially the said Metccalffe, Did then and there the said Sadler being present and by aiding abetting and assisting him with his rapier hilts gave unto your said subject one cruel and grievous blows on the side of his face now unto his right eye with the vehemancy and cruelty whereof he the said Metcalf did not only sore bruise your subjects said face and made great abundance or blood to issue forth thereof but also did thereby sore darken your subjects said eye and the sight thereof did so sore blemish that he hath not the use thereof as before he hath had, And not so contented he said Metcalf did then and there most wickedly drawn forth his said said rapier and most forcibly did run at your said subject therewith and so he and said Sadler had them and there presently murdered your said subject if he had not gotten from them and run into the house of his father at Lodge Green aforesaid which as well the said Metcalf and Sadler as also the said Clarkson and Fawcett seeing did all of them then and there presently thereupon in most riotous and unlawful manner riotously and unlawfully aggregate and assemble themselves together being weaponed as aforesaid and went and rode up and down about the said house of your subjects said father and would have entered into the same and as they had done indeed if the doors and windows thereof had not been kept close shut but by your subjects father mother wife and some others being within the same. And the said riotous and evil disposed persons not so contented did then and there most wickedly and slanderously revile your said subject and miscalled him and threatened him and vowed his death wheresoever they could meet with him whatsoever became whereon with which said vehemence terrible and slanderous speeches threatenings oaths and vows your subjects said wife was driven into such a fear and astonishment as she have ever since been laid and still is in great peril and danger of death.
All which said wicked and unlawful conspiracy confederacy practice assault affray riots routs and all other the doings misdemeanours and offences aforesaid are not only contrary to divers and sundry of your majestys good and wholesome laws and statutes of this your Highness realm and dominions in such cases made and provided and tend to the utter overthrow and subjection of justice and to the breach of your majestys peace and to the great loss and damage of your said subject. But also to the most perilous and dangerous example of others to commit and perpetrate the like offences if condign punishment with due reformation be not here in shortly had and provided.
In tender consideration whereof the premises tenderly considered: may it please your highness to grant to your said subject your majestys most gracious writ of Subpoena to be directed to the said Edwarde Metcalffe, John Sadler, Raphe Clarkson, and Edmonde Fawcett commanding them and every of them thereby at a certain day and under a certain pain therein to be limited to be and personally appear in your Majesty's most Honourable Court of Star Chamber before your highness most honourable privy council to answer to the premises, and to be examined upon interrogatories and further to stand to and abide such order and direction herein as to the same honourable Court shall be thought meet and convenient, And your majesty’s said subject, shall daily pray to god, for the prosperous preservation of your majesty long to reign over us.