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 52-56
In Camera Stellata, coram consllio ibidem, 25 Junii, termino trinitatis, Elizab. 38, Anno Domini 1596, die Veneris.
There was a slanderous bill, in which Wheeler was the plaintiff (and not now ready) against the Dean of Worcester and others, who had sentenced him for incontinency and this bill contained 74 offences in the Dean, and others in the High Commissioners and others in authority. The Lords wished to see the depositions, and the next day sentenced the cause, a fine to the Queen, and costs and a fine to the defendants.
In Camera Stellata, 1 Julii,le jour apres le terme de trinitye, Elizab. 38, Anno Domini 1596, die jovis coram con [Page 54] silio ibidem, Lo. Keeper, I'archevesque de Cant., Lo. Hunsdon, Lo. Buckherst, ambideux Lo. Ch. Justices, Justice Clenche, Justice Gawdy et Justice Wamslowe, per proclamacion in Chauncery le jour devant.
The former cause was opened by Phillips, in which Wheeler is plaintiff and Dr. Willis, Dean of Worster, Dr. Puritie, Chancellor, and the Register, and others defendants. The hearing was tedious, and a slanderous libel, rehearsing all their lives, the interrogatories on the one side being 155, and on the other 125, and 77 witnesses were examined, interrogating things of doctrine and religion, over which this Court has no jurisdiction, and of which the Counsellor ought to be well advised, and of such tedious depositions. And so the Court gave sentence, and vouched Dr James case for slander of him, where the party was imprisoned, pilloried and fined 100 marks.
Justice Wameslowe, with great learning, reprehended the tediousness of the depositions of this honourable Court aud of such state, inasmuch as a subject could pay four subsidies, or find 20 horses furnished for the defence of the realm, rather than [pay] the charge of these depositions and in the Common [Pleas ? ] the processes are called brevia, briefes, for that they showlde be shorte, and if they conteine false, unnecessarye or superfluous matter, he shall be amerced: also we have De falso clamore, for deceite allwayes hathe manye Collors & seekes shadowes, & therefore conteines much frivolous matter; but truthe is allwayes short & plane. His speache was grave, wyse & learned, politike and savoringe of state, exceedingely well applyed to the time, & to his no smalle Commendacion. For the fine, he, Gawdy and Clenche agree at 500 marks only to the Queen, imprisonment, and pillory sans naillinge, and the depositions to be withdrawn from the Court. But both the Chief Justices agreed on fines of 500 marks to the Queen, £100 to the Dean, 100 marks to the Chancellor, 500 marks to the Register, imprisonment, and to be nailed to the pillory [Page 55] in the place where the Council of Wales should be resident, and in Worster at the general Assizes; they vouched Sir John Yonges case, and Smithes, fined £300. But Lord Buckhurst, being informed of the substance and good ability of Wheeler, would increase the fines to 1000 marks to the Queen, and to the parties as before; for on his conscience he deserved ransom rather than fine, for he was not worthy to live; he concluded erudite & effectuallye, with admiration Lord Hunsden agreed in everything with him. The Archbishop spoke entirely of his own knowledge of the plaintiff and of the defendants especially in their commendation. And he agreed with all the punishment of 1000 marks [fine], imprisonment during the Queens pleasure, nailing to the pillory in two places, and ingenious confession of their offences, and to aske forgyveness of the parties; and the depositions to be withdrawn from the Court; and the ecclesiasticall proceedinges against the plaintiff not to be stayed on account of the sentence of this Court, but to proceed with effect. The Lord Keeper disliked greatly the hugeness of the depositions of the slanderous bill, and condemned the plaintiff for a notorious villain; and his offence is the greater in this, that he made this Court (of such authority and state that I have not read nor heard of the like in the world) an instrument to publish of record his blasphemies, and to have the nobles of the land from her Majestys syde, upon whose sacred person they showld attende, to hear his slanders and libels, and thus a great shame to her Majesty and to this Court. And for this he agreed to fines of 1000 marks to the Queen, £100 to the Dean, 100 marks to the Chancellor, 50 marks to the Register, imprisonmente duringe pleasure, naillinge at the pillory in two places, the depositions to be withdrawn from the record; and he added that, for the shame done to this Court at Westminster, he should be pilloried there,or whipped from le Fleete: and for the Councellor whose name was to the bill, one Doynee, of Lincolnes inne, a man of the leste learninge of all lawyers, Mr Sollicitor [general] to examine [Page 56] whether his hands was forged, then the forgerer to be punished; if he himselfe did put it to, then to be disbarred for ever. For this faulte of sclaunderinge worde, seditio regni, was felonie, et in Kinge Canutus et Edgar dayes, Kinges of this realme before the Conquests, he showlde loose his tonge; a very juste lawe, & I doe wishe it might be executed in these dayes.
See Also STAC Wheeler