Historical Collections of Private Passages of State: Volume 3, 1639-40. Originally published by D Browne, London, 1721.
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Star-Chamber Reports. For the Years 1625, 1626, 1627, 1628.
The Defendant Nelson having conceived Malice against the Plaintiff, being an aged Minister, and of very small Estate, vowed to be revenged of him, and to beggar him; and to that end the Defendants riotously assembled themselves upon the Plaintiff's Glebe, and digged several Trenches therein; and the Plaintiff's Wife coming thither, and persuading them to desist, Nelson assaulted her, beat her, and dragged her on the Ground: And the Defendant Nelson, being an Attorney, sued out a Writ of Privilege against the Plaintiff for a pretended old Debt of forty Shillings, and procured Warrant thereupon to be directed to the Defendant Poppleton, who by colour thereof, by the procurement of the other Defendants, arrested the Plaintiff in his Parish Church upon Good Friday, when he and his Parishioners attended to receive and celebrate the holy Communion, and refused to accept any Bail for him; and the Plaintiff thereupon withdrawing himself into the Vestry, the Defendants round beset the Church, and vowed to pine and starve the Plaintiff there, unless he would presently render himself to them; and to that end they continued in the Church in disorderly manner day and night till Easter-day in the morning, and disordered themselves with excessive drinking, and did violently assault and beat the Plaintiff's Wise and Children in the Church-yard, as they were coming with Food to relieve him; and on Easter-day, before the Plaintiff had fully ended the celebration of the Communion, the Defendant Poppleton again arrested him, and refused Bail, and he and others of the Defendants forcibly carried him out of the Church in his Surplice to an Alehouse, and the next day to the Goal, and there charged him with an Outlawry for a supposed Debt for which he had an Acquittance, and there kept him eight days without Bail, tho sufficient Bail were offered. And for these Offences they were all committed to the Fleet; and Nelson, for beating the Plaintiff on the Glebe-Lands, fined twenty Pounds; Poppleton fined two hundred Pounds, and two others twenty Pounds apiece: and Poppleton to be set in the Pillory, with a Paper declaring his Offence, and there, as also in the Plaintiffs's Parish Church, to ask him forgiveness, and in like manner to ask God, his Majesty and the Plaintiff forgiveness in the Cathedral Church at York, kneeling upon his Knees in some eminent place in the Church, and the Decree to be read at both Churches after Service and Sermon ended, and the Defendants convicted to pay the Plaintiff one hundred Pounds Damages.
The Defendant Power meeting the Plaintiff in the High Way did spit in his Face, and at another time kickt the Plaintiff with his Spurs as he follow'd him up Sir James Leigh's Stairs in Lincolns-Inn, and for these Offences was committed to the Fleet, and fined 200 l. And for that the Plaintiff had charged the Defendants with other foul Crimes, whereof they made no manner of proof, but deserted it, at the hearing, the Court held it a meer Libel and Scandal, and fined the Plaintiff 500 l. and to pay 500 Marks Damages to two of the Defendants, and 100 l. Damages to three others who were charged to be Agents and Actors in the Conspiracy with the other Defendants.
The Defendants out of malice to the Plaintiffs, and by Conspiracy met together, and procur'd an Indictment of Barratry against the Plaintiffs, and devised and put in writing certain Articles against them, and agreed who should depose and swear to the same, and made a common Purse to maintain the said Indictment and Articles, and other necessary occasions at the Assizes, and at the next Quarter-Sessions they did prefer those Indictments and Articles to the Grand Jury, and desir'd their favours therein, and said they would be thankful unto them for it, and then the Plaintiffs upon the Defendant's Evidence were found guilty by the Jury, but traversed the same, and were thereupon acquitted, altho the Defendants did labour some of that Jury also for their Favours, and promised them to be thankful for it; and for this they were all committed to the Fleet, Chambers fined 200 l. and the others 300 Marks apiece.
Michael. 1 Car.
The Plaintiff against the hearing of the Cause, finding that he had but one positive Witness against the Defendant, and that the Testimony of his other Witness was but upon hearsay, did to bring about his ends, and to mislead the Court in Judgment, alter his Copies by striking out the words (that and did) and by that means made it a positive Deposition, and caused it to be so read in Court; and for this Offence he was committed, fined 500 l. to acknowledge his Offence in this Court, disabled to practise as a Counsellor at Law, referred to the Governors of Lincolns-Inn, to expel him the House, and to pay Mr. Nevil his Attorney's Clerk, on whom he endeavoured to lay the Offence, 100 l. damages.
The Plaintiff having with much labour gotten one Thomson arrested at his Suir upon a Bond of 400 l. the Bailiffs brought him to the Defendant Jordan's House, being a common Inn; and Jordan, being then also Constable, promised their Prisoner should be safe; yet about 11 and 12 of the Clock in the Night he and the other Defendants, one of them being a Minister, came armed to the Chamber where the Bailiffs and Prisoner were, and by Threats forced the Bailiffs to drink Healths excessively, and at length convey'd the said Thompson out of a Window or Hole, which they brake for that purpose, and down a Ladder, by them there placed for his escape, so as the Plaintiff could not after take him again; and for this the Defendants were all committed to the Fleet, fined 200 l. apiece; Jordan the Inn-keeper and Constable disabled to bear any Office of Constable, or the like, or to keep an Inn or Alehouse ever after, aud bound to his good Behaviour; Long the Minister left for further punishment, either by degrading him, or otherwise, to the Ordinary of the Diocess of Oxon, wherein he lived; and all the Defendants to pay the Plaintiff 40 l. for his Damages.
Hilar. 1 Car.
The Defendant Sir John York often gave direction to the Defendants Fenton and John York to hunt and kill Deer in Appletreewick-fields, and accordingly they with others in 19 Jacobi with a Gun shot one of the Plaintiff's Stags seeding in one of his Grounds, and pursued him with a Blood-hound; and being interrupted by one of the Keepers, Fenton bent the Cock of his Piece, and levell'd it at the Plaintiff's Servant; and John York said they would hunt and kill the Deer at their pleasure: And Fenton at another time in Sir John York's presence, and by his direction, shot with his Gun at ten of the Plaintiff's Stags in Appletreewick-fields, and Sir John in a haughty manner sent the Plaintiff word he would hunt and kill Deer there if he could: and for this hunting, and using braving and provoking Speeches they were committed to the Fleet, Sir John fined 200 l. Fenton 100 l. and John York 50 l. But the Title touching the Bounds of the Plaintiff's Chace of Skipton and Barden, and touching the Rights and Bounds of the Defendant's Mannor of Appletreewick, the Court would not meddle with, but left it to the Law, without prejudice on either side.
The Defendant John Jones Esq; taking notice of a Suit between John Thayer the younger, one of the now Plaintiffs, against John Thayer the elder, his Brother, upon a Bond, forfeited for not performing an Award, often and earnestly solicited one Wood an Attorney to follow the said Cause with Effect, and promised, and undertook to pay the said Wood all his Disbursements thereabouts, and gave Wood directions to sue forth a Latitate against him, and promised to procure Witnesses against the Trial, and to be thankful to them, and to gratify them for the same; and the Cause being brought to issue, Judgment was indirectly obtained, and an Execution sued out by the said John Jones his direction to levy a Debt of 40 l. and 9 l. for Charges; and the said Thayer the elder hearing of it, caused a Writ of Error and Supersedeas to be sued our, and a Supersedeas to be delivered to the Sheriffs Deputy, who gave notice thereof to the Sheriff; yet the Defendant John Jones having also notice of the said Supersedeas, and of the Sheriff's knowledge of it, very earnestly by Threats and otherwise laboured and persuaded the Sheriff to execute the said Writ, and to levy the said Debt and Costs, and offered to be bound to save the Sheriffs harmless; And the Defendant Gilbert Jones likewise laboured the Sheriff to execute the said Writ, although he knew of the Supersedeas; and the Defendant John Adams being Clerk or Deputy to the Defendant John Jones, Register of Gloucester, did by colour of his Place extort for the Probate of a Will 6 s. over and above the due Fees. And for this Maintenance and Endeavour to pervert Justice, John and Gilbert Jones were both committed to the Fleet; John fined 200 Marks, and Gilbert 20 l. and Adams for his Extortion was committed and fined 40 l.