Derbyshire Quarter Sessions: 1640s

Petitions to the Derbyshire Quarter Sessions, 1632-1770.

This free content was born digital and sponsored by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. The cost of photographing the petitions was funded by an Economic History Society Carnevali Small Research Grant: ‘Seeking Redress in Early Modern England: Petitions to Local Authorities, c.1580-1750’, the cost of transcribing eighteenth-century items was funded by a later Economic History Society Carnevali Small Research Grant: ‘Poverty, Taxation and Regulation: Petitions to local magistrates in Eighteenth-Century England’; and the other costs, including transcription of seventeenth-century items and editorial work, were funded by an Arts and Humanities Research Council Research Grant: ‘The Power of Petitioning in Seventeenth-Century England’ (AH/S001654/1). CC-NC-BY.


In this section

Gervase Turner of Brampton. Q/SB/2/662 (1647)

To the Right Worshipfull the Justices of the puplick peace for this County of Derby.

The humble Petition of Gervase Turner of Brampton in the said County


That your peticioner was sworne constable of Morton in this County (whereof parcell of Brampton is a member) in November 1645 for one yeare, which was a very busy and troublesome tyme by reason of the Scotch Armyes then in the contrey and your petitioners residence in Brampton five myles distant from the greatest part of his townshippe; whereby hee was many times constrayned for the fulfilling of soddaine and strict commandes for money or provision or both to sell his owne goodes to disburse for the townshipps use, not having tyme to make and levy assessmentes soone enough to satisfy the same

That he passed his accompt in Aprill 1647 (beeing foure monethes longer then his yeare by force) and hath the same allowed under the handes of his neigh- -bours, whereby it appeares hee was then out of purse xxiiii li. v s. v d. which money hee could neither then get, nor himselfe discharged of the sayd office.

That by reason thereof hee hath still since both received and disbursed moneyes, and that uppon a second accompt there wilbee due unto him still about fifteene poundes which is a great part of your peticioners estate, and as yet indebted either in money borrowed or provisions taken uppon trust, to severall persons for which hee is lyable to the law, and no remedy for the recovery of his owne dues but the assistance of this Court.

That hee now lyes uppon his bed of sicknesse from whence if it shall please god to call him before some releife bee granted to him it will much tend to the undoing of his poore children.

Your petitioner therefore most humbly prayes, that by the power and justice of this Court hee may bee releived herein, by order to the now officers for the assessing and levying of such moneyes as shalbee made appeare to bee due to him uppon his accompt, to bee allowed either by the next Justice of peace, the high constable of the hundred, or any other person of quality; that the Court shalbee pleased to depute and appoynt therein. And that the same order may bee with such penalty to the refusers, as shall begett obedience thereunto, that your peticioner bee not still disapoynted as hee hath often beene, And that the same may extend to his executors or administrators, in case it please god to call your peticioner before hee hath reaped the benefit thereof.

And your peticioner (as in duty bound) will dayly pray etc.




To assesse and pay yf ether refuse to bee bound over

Francis Harison of Belper. Q/SB/2/1387 (1649)

To the right Worshipfull the Justices of peace, at the Sessions houlden for the County of Darby

The humble petition of Francis Harison of Belper

Humbly sheweth

That where as youre petitioner was accused of fellonie for the takinge of certaine peices of wood of one Mr Mathew Bates and Pattrick Johnson and for the same was sent to the house of corection and afterwardes bound over to answer it at this Courte yet may it please you to be informed that if every man had his wright the wood was noe mans but youre petitioners owne as he can make it apeare by divers reasons and further if it was to the contrary yet youre petitioner not taking it of the ground nor denying it when he was asked for it but only taking it by way of claime or title to the same youre worships I hope will finde it but matter of trespas and not fellony besides the said Pattrick Johnson and men that he hath brought hath comitted far greter trespases upon youre petitioner both by abusing his wife and trespasing upon his ground as if you please to heare he can make good upon oath by sufficient wittnes

Youre petitioners humble request therefore is that your Worships will be pleased to take it into consideration and either to let him have a faire hearing of his buisnes now or else in regard that will be something tedious that you will be pleased to apointe some one or two of the worshipfull bench to here wittnesses and both sides and soe to determin the matter and then youre petitioner doubts not but you will say that he hath suffered much wrong from the party aforesaid and will likewise be pleased some way to remedy the same and youre petitioner shall ever pray

for youre worships per pettuall preservations

Richard Bennet of Ashburne. Q/SB/2/107 (1649)

March 13 1648

To the Right honorable the Judge of Assizes at Derby and to the rest of the Justices appoynted for the said County The humble Petition of Richard Bennet of Ashburne: Humblely sheweth that that the said the poore petitioner hath kept a poore lame child for the space of seven yeares which child is called by the name of Elizabeth Sheepee daughter to one George Sheepee who tooke up armes under the comand of Sir Edward Fitton & at the time hir father went She was put to your poore petitioner by one John Allin who was then one of the overseers of the poore for the said towne who promised your poore petitioner eyght pence a weeke dureing his time of continuance in the said office of overseer whoe continued in the said ofice neere uppon twoe yeares & yet the said John Allin never paid your petitioner but one 6s 0 for nine weekes and neyther he nor the rest of the officers that have bin since would pay your pettioner anie more monies paid but onely those that are nowe in that office have paid me 7s 0 soe that your petitioner hath had but the some of 13s 0 for the space of seven yeares and althogh your petioner cann hath manie times complainened both to the head menn of the said towne of Ashburne and the officers allsoe Yet he can get noe satisefaction: Your poore petitioner therefore Humblely Intreateth that you will be pleased to grant such order that your poore petitioner maye have satise faction for the time past and that he may be discharged of the keepeing the said child anie longer and that there may be some course taken for her releefe: for she is both lame and fatherles & motherles: and both she and I your poore petitioner shall pray for you etc.


The overseers to pay it releive her according to necessity or else to

The inhabitants of Swarkeston. Q/SB/2/634 (1649)

July: 17th 1649

To the Right worshipfull the Justcies of the Bench at the Quarter Sessions

The humble petition of the inhabitantes of Swarkeston

Wheras the inhabitants of Swarkeston did about tenn yeeres agoe at ther owne paines and charyes build a scholhowse to have ther children taught in good litterature and it was imployed to that use till within this three yeeres and then it standing voyd a little space till another scholmaster could be provided In the meane on Robert Boocley that hath two howses of his owne at Weston upon Trent thrust himselfe into it without our consentes yet upon diverse demandes of it hath promised that he would avoyd and go to his owne But so it is right worshipfull that hee greves us keeps possession and will not out. So that to our greefe and prejudice our children want teaching and what an injury this is to us and then to want such a benefitt as a scholmaster and good learning wee leave to your gratious consideration

Humbly beseeching your worshipps, soe to do for us that hee may be cast out of the saied scholhowse that it may be imployed to that good use for which it was ordained

  • John Bould Clarke
  • John Fisher
  • Edmund Parker
  • Thomas Wright
  • Thomas Draper
  • Ralph Bankcraft his marke
  • Thomas Henisor his marke
  • William Robertes
  • Thomas Bould

To be removed upon due consideracion


The inhabitants of Maynell Langley. Q/SB/2/658 (1649)

To the right worshipfull the Justices of peace, at the quarter Sessions houlden att Derby.

The humble petition of the inhabitants of Maynell Langley


That your worships peticioners have bene sore burdened and oppressed with greate Taxes and payments and alsoe free quarter of souldiers, and whereas the parke is houlden by some, which never yealde or contribute any thing att all towardes the easment of your said Peticioners which being but a few and housekeepers that have continually daily extraordinary charges; wherras they that houlde the said parke at Langley have not the like, by reason they are no housekeepers there; soe that the whole charge lyeth very sore and heavy uppon your said Peticioners soe that they are like to bee greatly wronged thereby, without a speedy redress and remedy from your worships.

In consideracion and commiseracion thereof, your said peticioners most humbly intreate your worships wilbee pleased to sett downe an order whearby the houlders of the said parke, which are Mr. Robert Haywood, Mr. Henry Buxton, and Richard Warde, (they takeing it to inhaunce the poore, as your said peticioners can make it appeare) may be compelled to contribute with your said petitioners as in equity your Worships shall thinke fitting, for which your said Petitioners (according as in duty bounde shall daily pray etc.

Under our hands the 17th day of July 1649.

  • Thomas Jally
  • John Perkins
  • Richard Gravenor
  • William Gravenor
  • Widdow Holmes
  • Nicolas Harroulde
  • John Ridgate


That they pay proportionably for parke cann rea[illegible] for all taxes infra cognizance etc

John Mathew of Losco, p. Heanour. Q/SB/2/640/1 (1649-1659)

To the Right Worshippfull the Justices the Peace for this County of Darby now assembled in open Courte of Sessions

The Petition of John Mathew of Losco in the parish of Heanour

Humbly sheweth

That your petitioner was a soldier under the comand of Captaine Bagshaw and was plundred of all that hee had by the Earle of Newcastles forces And hath lyen lame above twelve moneths haveinge a wife and two small children in which tyme hee hath spent all his houshould goodes And is allmost starved for want of releife And upon complaint to this Courte your petitioner was ordered to have the allowance of twelve pence untill this Sessiones

May it therefor please this Courte the premisses considered to order that some competent mentaynance may be continued to your petitior otherwise hee and his are like to perish for want and your petitioner will ever pray etc.


12d per weeke more till the next Sessions

John Mathew of Losco, p. Haynor. Q/SB/2/640/2 (1649-1659)

To the Right Worshipfull the Justices of the Peace for the County of Darby

The Peticion of John Mathew of Losco in the parish of Haynor

Humbly sheweth

That your petitioner was a soldier under the comand of Captaine Bagshaw at Winfeild Mannour, and was then plunderd by the Cavileirs of all the goods hee had. Since which it pleased God to strike your your peticoner with lamenesse that hee is not able to helpe himselfe further then hee is carried, That hee hath two small children and his wife and have soulde theire cow and all theire househould goods and apperell to buy them their bread and other sustenance.

Your peticoner humbly prayes the premisses considered to order that your peticoner may have some competent allowance for himselfe and children otherwise they are like to perish for want and your peticoner will pray etc.


12 per weeke per present and it continue usque prochein Session and further usque another order

Cop Intr

John Hunter, a wounded souldier. Q/SB/2/642 (1649-1659)

To the right worshippfull the Justices now for this Sessions the humble peticon of John Hunter a wounded souldier under the command of Captayne Harstaffe

That wheras hee was wounded in the knee in the late warres, and hath layne under the chyrurgeans handes handes ever since for cure, to his greate damage and impoverishment: and yet is alltogather lame of the sayd wounded legge as may too playnly appear,

These be most humbly and ernestly to beseech your good worships iin pitty to consider the premises and to grant to him your poore petitioner such a pension annually for his mayntenance as to you shall seeme fit and your petittoner as by dewty bound will ever pray etc


Hee was under my hand for Cure of the said wound allmost ii years per me George Blagrave

The truth of the premises I can wittnesse Gervase Harestaffe

To be allowed 40s si etc