Petitions to the Westminster Quarter Sessions: 1620s

Petitions to the Westminster Quarter Sessions, 1620-1799.

This free content was born digital and sponsored by the Economic History Society and the Arts and Humanities Research Council, 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 photography and 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

Anne Jackson alias Dobinson. WJ/SR/NS/002/144 (1620)

To the right Worshipfull the Recorder and Justices for the City of Westminster

The humble peticion of Anne Jackson alias Dobinson

Most lamentably sheweth wheras she was grievously beaten by Anne Lacy yet she hath bene detayned in prison till she is like to perishe by an unjust complaint now above 2 monethes.

May yt please your worships to geve order she may have her liberty and not induer such a miserable death of famine And she as bound will daylie pray for your worships happines

Elizabeth Sandes. WJ/SR/NS/002/145 (1620)

To the right worshipfull the Deane and Chapter of Westminster and to the Judge of his Court here:

The humble petition of Elizabeth Sandes

Humblie sheweth That whereas your poore peticoner after her coming to London served first an apprenticeshippe of 6 yeres with one Mr Bonns in Bishopsgate Streete, and afterwardes served 7 yeres with one Mr Doctor Fisher belonging to the High Commission cort in both which places shee behaved her selfe in verie civell and honest manner, and upon the death of the said Doctor Fisher shee came from thence into St Martins Lane, where by the earnest and often ymportunyties of one Charles Chambers gentleman, and upon his many and deepe vowes and protestacions of mariage, at length your peticioner was drawen into follie and being nowe with child by him, hee the said Chambers doth not onlie refuse to marrie your peticioner, denying her anie meanes of reliefe being brought into great miserie onlie by his meanes, But alsoe absenteth himselfe contrarie to his former vowes and protestacions and contrarie to all humane honestie Soe as your peticioner is liklie to perishe and dy in the streetes unles your worships in meere comisseracion of her distressed estate vouchsafe her some reliefe, for that, shee being nowe with childe all people refuse to harbor or intertaine her

May it therefore please this honorable Courte for your peticioner is a woman much wronged and not able to speake in her owne behalfe, and her friendes not willing to bee seene therin, but hereupon all forsaking her, and shee ashamed to acquaynt others therewith, and wanting meanes to fee an advocate or proctor humblie prayeth, that such order may bee taken, that the said Mr Chambers may in some parte of satisfaction to your poore peticioner bee ordered to marry her according to his former vowes and protestacions, and forthwith to allowe her meanes for her present mayntenance and bee likewise ordered to put in aswell suerties for the same, as alsoe for discharge of the parishe concerninge the childe whereby shee may bee releeved in her tyme of trouble and misery as in equitie and conscience is most meete And shee as in duetie bounde shall daylie pray for your good worshipps in health and prosperitie longe to con- -tynewe.


Charles Chambers was sent comitted to the Gatehouse by mittimus from Mr Dobinson and carried thither by Richard Maunder the constable.

John Trencher. WJ/SR/NS/002/148 (1620)

To the right worshipfull the Justices of his Majesties Peace for the Citty and libertie of Westminster in the County of Middlesex

The humble peticion of John Trencher

Sheweth That whereas your poore petitioner and one John Baseley upon some fallings out betweene them. the said Baseley assaulted your petitioner who defended himselfe so well as he could. Yet soe it is that the said Baseley by gods visitacion hath had divers sicknesses which he imputeth to his falling out with this petitioner soe that he is likely to be utterly undone except your worships please to examine the truth of the busines and of such persons as see their fallings out

Your petitioner therefore most humblie beseeche your worships to call before you goodman Benfeild Thomas Clerke and John Welborne. who saw their said fallings. and soe to order the busines for your petitioners releife as your worships in your grave wisdomes shall seeme requisitt.

And he as by duty he is bound shall daylie pray for your worships

George Martyn. WJ/SR/NS/002/153 (1620)

To the right worshipfull Robert Townson Doctor in Divinity Deane of the Collegiatt church of St Peter in Westminster and of his Majesties Justices of Peace there.

The humble peticion of George Martyn.

Shewinge unto your good worship That whereas your peticoners wief was borne in this towne, and allwayes brought up to the trade of a chaundler which your peticioner nowe useth in the Bowlinge Alley where by reason for want of your worships tolleracion to utter and sell beere and alle as others of the like profession doe, he hath not such good tradinge as otherwise he might have,

His humble suite unto your good worship is. That yow wilbe pleased out of your accustomed goodnes to graunt him your worships tolleracion to utter and sell beere and alle as aforesaid. And hee with his wief and children as in all dutie bound shall daylie pray for your worships liefe and happienes longe to contynue.

Averie Easton, prisoner in the Gatehouse. WJ/SR/NS/002B/047 (1620-1621)

To the Right reverend Father in God Robert Lord Bishopp of Salisbury: to the Worshippfull the Recorder and the Justices of the Bench for the Libertie of Westminster.

The humble peticion of Averie Easton Inhabitant within the Libertie aforesaid above 12 yeres: borne in the Citye of Salisbury and now prisoner in the Gatehouse

Most humblie sheweth whereas your poore peticioner hath heretofore covenanted with one John Denys for the drawing of beere and ale in his cellar, as servant to the said John Denys, for the terme of three yeres from the xixth. daie of October in the liith. yere of his Majesties raigne that of Scotland and of England the xvith sithence which tyme your poore peticioner about one moneth last past was (upon comand of the Worshippfull Justices Forsett and Justice Dawbynson)comitted to the Gatehowse and remaineth there to this daie in great misery: for what cause your poore peticioner doth not certenlie know.

In tender consideracion whereof your poore peticioner most humblie praieth that he maie appere at this Sessions: to answere unto such objeccions as shalbe alleaged against him and further to stand unto your honorable and worthie censure in this behalf according to equitie and justice and your poore peticioner (as in dewtie bownd) will dailie praie to god for your Lordshipp and the rest of the most Worshippfull Bench in health and prosperitie longe to continew.

Mary Etherington. WJ/SR/NS/002B/005 (1620-1628)

To the right worshipful Mr Whitlock Sergeant at Lawe and Recorder of the Cittie of Westminster

The humble peticion of Mary Etherington

Sheweth that your peticioner being questioned in the Court house at Westminster for divulginge some wordes that should proceede from Mary the wife one William Hawkins then your peticioners mistress whereby the woemen of Westminster should be scandalized in their reputacions for which your peticioner was bound over to the Sessions.

Forasmuch as your peticioner spoke ignorantly and rashly not intending her mistress should be any waies prejudiced or any other weomen of the liberty and therefore hartely penitent neither able to justify her owne innocency herein albeit she had one witnes at the Court house who could have testefied Mistress Hawkins to be the author of those wordes but spoke sparingly and to no purpose.

She most humbly beseecheth your worships to extend what favoure yow may to her for her release: And she shall ever rest bound to pray for your worships happines.

Robert Downes, prisoner in the Gatehouse. WJ/SR/NS/005/087 (1622)

To the Right worshipfull and worthie respected magistrates the Recorder and other his majesties Justices for the Cittie of Westminster

The humble peticion of Robert Downes a very much distressed poore carman prisoner in the Gatehouse.

Shewing to your worships

That the poore peticoner having long tyme lyved by taking great paynes for his lyving, it hapenned that by a stroke of a horsse hee became so hurt and maymed that hee was constrained to spend and consume all that ever hee had to bee cured and made able to worke agayne, wherin the peticoner being servant to one Rafe Smith a woodmungar to cary out wood it hapenned by casuall chance in a narrow way that the peticoners car being loaded in King Streete one Sir Edward Moores coachman came running upon his car being so loaded and casually broke his coach being very sore against the peticoners will as many there dwelling can depose as himself the peticoner is also redy to depose. In resspect wherof and for that it ys your worships plesuer that the peticoner shall bee for the said cause imprisonned in the Gatehouse to his utter undooeing being in extream poverty aged and layme

Hee most humblie intreateth your worships for gods cause that the truthe may bee examined and considered of to thend the matter being ordered [illegible] according to equity the poore peticoner may bee set at liberty to folow his labour, and hee therfore bounden will daylie pray for your worships

Elizabeth Tayler. WJ/SR/NS/005/089 (1622)

To the right worshipfull Mr Chambers Mr Man and to all the rest of the Justices of this Court

The humble petition of Elizabeth Tayler

Most humblie sheweth unto your good worshipps that your peticioner being sometymes a servant unto onr Mr Colwell a cooke dwelling att the signe of the Cock in the pallace in this Citty of Westminster, had her clothes wrong- fully kept from her by the said Mr Colwell her master, Wheruppon complaining unto your worships it was ordred amongst yow that Mr Colwell should deliver your peticoner her clothes which hee promised to doe ere this tyme, but hath nott beene soe good as his word wherby your peticioner is nott fitt for anie service for want of her clothes

Most humblie therfore (even for godes cause intreateth your good worships to cause her master Colwell to redi- liver to her, her clothes forthwith and shee as in bounden dutie shall daylie pray for your worships health and happines in this world and true felicity in the world to come.

William Danson. WJ/SR/NS/005/090 (1622)

To the right worshipful the Justices of Peace for the Cittie and liberties of Westminster

The humble peticion of William Danson

Sheweth: That one John Burges a seller of bacon in the markett place not only on the markett daies, but on other daies also makes a stall before your peticioners dore, whereby he not only fowles the streete, but keepes your peticioner and his servantes for from making the same cleane at those tymes that are fittinge; as on Thursdaie last was seven night your peticoners servant sweeping the dore, desired the said Burges to remove his thinges, which he not doing, the boy sweeping still, and the broome sprinckling on some of his ware, he fell on your peticioners servante and beate him, and with a knife cutt him through the hand, and Burges emulating your peticioner, and knowing him to be in danger of arrestes, hath not only done this, but by divers other waies practised to drawe your peticioner out of his house, whereby he might be taken in arrest to his utter undoinge; and to drawe your peticioners custome and trade from him as he standes in the streete disables and discreditts your peticioners ware to his greate prejudice and with throwing of durte into your peticoners shop hurt his child and spoiled his wares.

His most humble suite therefore unto your worships is: That yow wilbe pleased to take such course for the reforminge of theis thinges as in your wisdomes shalbe thought fitt, and that on such daies as are no markett daies your peticioners may have his dore free to make cleane without his inconvenience: And he will ever praie for your worships happines.


Wee whose names are hereunder wrytten, doe hereby certifie your worships that this petitioner hath received theis wronges and disparagementes herein alleaged by the said Burges. And alsoe that the said John Burges doth comonlie accustom himselfe to fall out with, and abuse our neighbors without any occasion offered unto him.

  • Thomas Oldnoll
  • John [Dad?]
  • the marke of Ralphe Litle
  • Tho: Girton
  • the marke of Sam Shipard

Robert Payne, Elizabeth his wife, and Brigett and Sara, sisters of Elizabeth. WJ/SR/NS/005/091 (1622)

To the right worshipfull the Justices of the Peace assembled at the generall quarter Sessions in Westminster.

The humble peticion of Robert Payne Elizabeth his weif, and Brigett and Sara sisters of the said Elizabeth.

Sheweth that whereas your petitioners being brought before Justice Dobison, were upon the oath of Joane Nicholl bound to the peace. And the next Sessions after your petitioners appeared according to the recognizance, but could not be discharged by reason the said Joane Nicholls had gotten a supersedias, who was then also bound to the good behavior.

So it is that your petitioners (one of them being farr in the country and another of them then in childbed) could not appeare the last Sessions, So that they stand yet bound as aforesaid.

James Milton. WJ/SR/NS/008/133 (1624)

To the right worshipfull his majesties justices of the peace, within the cittie and liberties of Westminster

The humble peticion of James Milton.

Sheweth that wheras in January nowe last past your worships poore petitioner was arrested by Robert Playle a bayliff for the sanctuary liberty at the sute of William Coombes for a debt of xxxi shillings, and your petitioner having John Benson and George Uffman bricklayers readye to bayle him, the sayd Playle would not accept of them but perforce would dragg your petitioner to the Gatehowse wherupon divers persons (unknowen to your petitioner) tooke your petitioner out of Playles custodye, since which Playle hath got xvii shillings of the sayd Coombes for doing the arrest and bound your petitioner and Edward Williams his apprentice over to this session.

Nowe forasmuch as the sayd Playle hath not onlye abused your petitioner and dyvers other honest inhabitantes in this and such like sort as by the annexed paper appeareth, and for that your petitioners said apprentice is at this instant very secke and not able to come to make his personall appearance, may it please your worships to take such course for with Playle and as in your discretions shall seeme meete.

And he shall daylie pray for your worships

Richard Rawlin. WJ/SR/NS/008/135 (1624)

To the right worshipfull his majesties justices of the peace for the cittie of Westminster.

The humble peticion of Richard Rawlin

Humbly sheweth that wheras your peticioner was a hired servant as a coatchman unto one Lewis Harris at the rate of 4 shillings the weeke without either meate or drinke for the space of 3 weekes which cometh to 12 shillings and afterwards after the rate of 12 pence the weeke and meate and drinke for the space of 15 weekes which said wages in all amount to 27 shillings.

Soe it is that the said Lewis Harris refuseth to your pay the said wages or any penny therof to your said peticioner although your said peticioner did him due service duringe the time abovesaid but when your peticioner came to demaund the same of the said Harris he violently fell upon your poore peticioner and beate him without any just cause given him by your said peticioner.

His humble desire is for that your peticioner is a very poore man haveinge wife and children and litle or no meanes of maintenance but his sore labor that your worshipps would be pleased to take such course for your peticioners releefe herin as to your grave wisedomes shalbe thought meete. And your peticioner shall dayly pray to God for your worshipps in health and happines longe to continue.

William Danson. WJ/SR/NS/008/136 (1624)

To the right worshipfull his majesties justices of the peace for the cittie and liberties of Westminster.

The humble peticion of William Danson

Humblie shewing, that the petitioner with one John Tompson became bound in recognizance for the appearance of John Burges the last sessions:

Forasmuch as this peticioner hath made his appearance, and that the said John Burges absented himself the last session, and that your petitioner hopeth to bring him in this sessions.

This petitioner humblie beseecheth your worshipps to bee favorablie pleased for your peticioners releife, that upon the bringing in of the said Burges this sessions, hee maie bee discharged of the said recognizance, and for this great favour hee shall rest ever bound to praie for your worshipps healthes and happines.

Richard Lyon, John Loveledge, Edward Alley and others. WJ/SR/NS/008/137 (1624)

To the right worshipfull and worshipfull the justices of his majesties peace for the cyttie and liberties of Westminster.

Foras much as wee the inhabitantes of the said cyttie whose names are heere subscribed some of us that have [illegible] boorne office of constables, and such others as nowe are constables, have receaved att the handes of one George Ripputt divers most unbeeseeminge and uncivill beehaviour and usage, as allsoe most desperat assaultes not only by him made uppon us, but allsoe uppon divers others to the great indaungeringe of theyre lives, and where as alsoe of late hee hath divers wayes wronged without just cause and desperatlye assaulted the bearer heerof Thomas Whytakers a most peacable and quiet neyghbour amongst us, and one of good liefe and conversation, and by the said George Ripputt threatned to take his liefe from him, att whose request wee have graunted him this our certifficatt: wee therefore doe humblye request this worshipfull bench to understand that the said George Ripputt is one that is of verye badd liefe and conversation quarrellsome, and therein of a mynde desperatlye bent to the great daunger of the lives of his majesties loveinge subjectes, and disturbaunce of his majesties peace agaynst his crowne and dignitie, which wee humblye leave to your worshipps grave conside= rations to take such order with him, as in your grave wisedomes shallbee thought fittinge: for the savegard, peace and quietnes of all his majesties loveinge subjectes: certified under our handes the first daie of Aprill 1624:

  • The mark of Henerye HW Weekes sometime constable:
  • The mark of Richard Lyon by the said George Ripput assaulted desperatlye to the great daunger of his liefe:
  • John Loveledge somtyme constable
  • Edward Alley by him the said George Ripput without cause wounded in 2 severall places of his bodie.

The mark of R Richard Hoggines sometyme constable whoe willbee readie to testifie the daungerous assault that hee made uppon Richard Lyon

The mark of William W Cartwright to testifie his most villanous beehaviour and desperatt attemptes

Thomas Russell, one of the Prince's servants. WJ/SR/NS/011/19 (1624)

To the right honourable John Lord Bishop of Lincolne Lord Keeper of the Greate Seale of England.

The humble petition of Thomas Russell one of the Princes servantes.

Sheweth that wheras your petitioner was by one Smith accused for speaking of some uncivill words against his majestie upon which accusation the [illegible] petitioner was never yet examined and upon the accusation of the sayd Smith (whoe was not sworne to that hee did alleage) and was eight daies after they had benn together hee procured awarrant from one Master [Hyde?] one of his majesties justices of peace for Westminster whoe injoyned the petitioner to answer it at the quarter sessions for Westminster which was held ther the 7th of July 1623 from whence the petitioner was committed close prisoner to the Gatehouse by the sentence of Doctor Grant wher hee hath layen ever since upon commaund from your lordship as Doctor Grant alleaged but as yet your petitioner hath neither benn called to answer his fault hee is accused of nor his accuser bound to prosecute against the petitioner in any of his majesties courtes of pleas upon the petitioners commitment neither can the petitioner obtaine his libertie

His humble suite is unto your good lordship in regard the sayd Smith is a man defamd and that hee hath offered for mony to procure the release of the petitioner (which the petitioner can justifie to your lordship by the testimony of sufficient honest men) and which was the only end of his accusation that your lordship wilbee pleased the petitioner may bee either called to his answer or bee freed from his imprisonment upon sufficient bayle to answer beefore your lordship or his majesties privie councell or otherwise when and wher your lordship shall in your grave wisdome thinke fitt.

And hee according to his humble duty shall pray for your lordship longe life


1 August 1624 let Master Hyde or Master Doctor Grant take baile of the petitioner (soe [as they?] be [good?]) and this shalbe unto them a warrant soe to doe [J L C?]

I humbly desyre Master Okeley to take aunswere of this petition.

August 5o 1624 Thomas Russell Saint Margarets Westminster gentleman in [100?] pounds Sir Frances Clark in of little Saint All Hallows the Less London knight in [50?] pounds Arthur Squibb John Bennet of St Mary Westminster esquire in [50?] pounds Condition that Thomas Russel shall appeare at the next sessions to be holden for etc to answere such complaints shall shall then and ther be objected against him on his majesties behalf, and in the meane time shallbe of good behaviour towards the King and all his lieg people and not depart the court without licence

John Anthony. WJ/SR/NS/011/20 (1624)

Right worshipfull my service remembered unto you: havinge receaved a fowle abuse and an insufferable affront by a base and a lewd fellowe, who upon examinacion was comitted to the prison of the Gatehouse by the worshipfull Master Lymiter one of your associates for the said fowle abuse and since is delivered as I am informed upon bayle for his appearance at this present sessions: myself intendinge prosecucion but beinge nowe prevented in regard of my place of service and attendance upon his majestie have thought fitt to move you and the rest of your associates to be pleased to take the abuse offred me to your grave consideracions and to intreate you to doe therein for my safetye as to you shalbe thought mete in justice and for the preservacion of his majesties peace. Reservinge the further relacion of the wrong offred me to this bearer and my witnesses that shalbe produced. So not doubtinge of your worshipfull regards I take leave and rest

Yours to use in what I maye

  • John Anthony

From Whitehall this first of October 1624

Thomas Gooddyer. WJ/SR/NS/011/21 (1624)

To the right worshipfull Master Mann a justice of peace in the cittie of the liberties of Westminster and the rest of the justices there

The humble peticion of Thomas Gooddyer.

Shewinge that your petitioner for many wronges and injuryes done by one Thomas Weste procured him bounde to the peace: and for wrongfull arrestinge your petitioner into the Marshallseys your petitioner exhibited a petition to the right honourable the Lord Keeper and obtayned a [reference?] to your worship and to Master Justice Fassett as may appeare.

Your petitioner most humbly referreth him self to my lordes [referrence?] for the endinge all differences etc and lykewise desireth that the said West may stand bound over untill the hearinge of the matter in [reference?] and then to refer him self to your worships good consideracion.

The debtors in the Gatehouse. WJ/SR/NS/012/133 (1625)

To the righte worshipful Master Justice [Limitare?], one of his majesties justices of the peace for the citty of Westminster.

The humble peticion of the prisoners beinge debtours in the Gatehouse

Sheweth that whereas one Hughe Copeland was committed by Master Justice Forsett upon suspicion of felony about 10 weekes sithence.

Soe it is that the said Copeland before his cominge in was infected with the pox and hath ever sithence concealed the same, untill by chance it was by some of us espied and a surgeon sent for to search him, who hath found him to be soe full of the same infectious disease, that unles some speedy course be taken for his the cure thereof, the whole prison wilbe in danger of infection, and the said pore prisoner (lyinge in the whole) in danger to loose his lief for lack of cure.

By reason whereof, and for that Master Justice Forsett intermedleth with noe busines apperteyninge to this liberty since his majesties decease, and in regard the said prison is soe close without yard or any other fresh ayre whereby such diseases may be avoided nor but one common house of office to come unto soe that there is noe waie to scape soe dangerous a disease.

We moste humbly beseech your worship to be pleased soe farr to tender the health of us the pore prisoners, as that some order may be taken by your worship for the inlargement of the said Copeland, that soe we may be freed from soe great danger of an infectious disease the rather for that Master Justice Forsett doth desire and give way to your worship or any other his majesties justices of this liberty to finishe the same as the bearer hereof beinge steward of the house can testifie.

For the which we shall ever pray for your worship etc.

William Symonds. WJ/SR/NS/012/134 (1625)

To the right worshippfull his majesties justices of the peace for the citty of Westminster, in the countie of Middlesex

The humble peticion of William Symonds

Humbly sheweth, that whereas your petitioner was borne in this libertie of Westminster, and hath ever sithence lyved therein; and by his labour and industry mainteyned himselfe his wife and children; but (the time having beene hard, and he overburthened with many children) he is not longer able by his sole labour to mainteyne them, without taking some other course of life

And whereas the house wherein your petitioner was borne, and nowe dwelleth neere Charing Crosse, hath for the space of 40 yeres and upwardes beene a victualing house, and standeth convenient to receave strangers being sufficiently furnished with roomes and necessary lodginges; soe that if with your worships favours he maie be licensed to continue victualling there, he doubteth not but therewith, and his endeavours he shalbe inabled to mainteyne himselfe, his wife and children in good sorte.

He therefore most humbly beseecheth your worships (even for Godes sake) to be pleased to vouchsafe him your license to victuall in the said house for the releif and maintenance of him, his wife and children. And (as in dutie bound) your petitioner shall daily praie for your worships in all health and happinis long to continue.

Katherine Shenley, widow. WJ/SR/NS/012/135 (1625)

To the honourable and right worshipful the gusticesse of his majesties peace for the cytie of Westminster and the liberties etc:

The humble peticion of Katherine Shenley widow

Most humblie sheweth: that whereas William Cartwright of Westminster yeoman beeinge a widdower, and takinge, as your pore peticioner did verilye beeleive, by his mannye vowes, oathes, indearinge speaches, and serious protesta tions, that hee would make her his lawfull wiefe, unwillinglye yealded to his dishonest desier beeinge by him thereunto forst, by and thorough which shee beecame with childe, and hee contrarie to all his said [vowes?] and protestations made to yoar poore peticioner) marrieinge with another woeman hath utterlye undonne your poore peticioner not only in her paynes takinge to gett her liveinge in good sorte as shee hath ever donne, but more especiallie her credditt, and which child nowe lieth uppon her charge haveinge more children of her owne to maynteyne, by her good endevor and handie labour as aforesaid

Maie it [therefore?] please the right honourable bench in charitable manner to commisserat her said [charge?] formerlye as alsoe the charge nowe shee hath by reason of his forcible proceedinges as aforesaid, to graunt unto her that hee maye take the said child from her, or otherwise soe to order him, that hee maie allowe mayntenaunce not onlye for the tyme past, but alsoe, for the tyme to come whereby your poore peticioner maie bee the better releved and the parrishe discharged and as in dutie bound etc:

Jeames Keyflen, Robart Brasnett and William Newsam. WJ/SR/NS/019/15 (1625)

To the worshipfull the steward and justices of this worshipfull bench

The humble peticcion of Jeames Keyflen Robart Brasnett and William Newsam of there abuses

Humbly sheweth unto your worshipps that one of your peticcioners, goeing to his watch, was violently assaulted by certaine roaring boyes as they termed themselves, saying they would doe some exploites afore they wentto sea because would be talked on when they were gon seased ofe one of your peticioners halbertes to have disarmed him, which your peticioners desireth to make them knowne unto the worshipfull bench, your peticcioners complaning to their constable whoe made slight of itt and said they were neighbours chilldren

One of your peticcioners that had the watch that night and seeing his neighbour assaulted by these parties, being in the night rescued his neighbour, beinge in danger of his life and the constable he beinge made accquanted would not comitt the offenders nor bee no waranty for your peticcioners safty, and one night they refused to watch unless they might be warranted for which your peticcioners were bound over to this sessions they never before nor since necleccte any watch or other dewty

And one Thursday night last beeinge our watch night your peticcioners cam to watch and to give there attendance, and they could nether find constable nor depeuty for him, but the beadell for there captaine

Itt is therefore most humbly prayed your worshipps would be pleased to comisserat your peticcioners cause in equity and to give them leave to speake whereby they may make knowne they offenders and your peticcioners shall for ever pray.

Wynifride Morgan. WJ/SR/NS/019/16 (1625)

To the right worshipful his majesties justices of the peace in and for the [com?] of Middlesex.

The humble peticion of Wynifride Morgan.

Shewing that where one Elizabeth Grymes a notorious scould and eftsoons convicted for her adulterous life and leawde conversacion severall tymes abused your supliant (amongst diverse others) with many scandalous and infamous reportes and speches whereuppon and lately did not only use and affirme the said reportes to your supliantes face in the hearing of many her neigboures that wondred thereat and since doe hould a worse oppynion then formerly they did both of your supliant her husband and theyre children by reason therof. But allsoe did violentlie and fiercely assallt her and had brayned her with stones yf rescue hadd not byn. And further by reason of the said speeches (which have byn proved by a credible wittnes before Master Justice Haward howebeyt the said Elizabeth seeking to avoyd her due punishment doth nowe deny them) your supliantes husband to whome she hath borne many children wherof severall are lyving and with whome she hath ever contynued in mutuall love befitting the holye state of matrymony hath conceaved displeasure against soe that she hath noe peace in her house or joy of her lif husband children or estate.

In tender comiseracion wherof and for example to such seditious instruementes may it please your worships to compell the said Elizabeth not only to make good satisfaccion for her said misdemeanours past but allsoe to fynd good security for her good behaviour and apperance from sessiones to sessions for one yeare to comme wherby your worships may have somme tryall of of her future reformacion and your supliant and others whose peace and neighbourly [illegible] love she hath much disturbed aswell by night as by day may have her foorth coming in case she abuse them in the like kynd hearafter. And your supliant shall pray etc.

Cassander Godwin, wife of James Godwin. WJ/SR/NS/019/20-20a (1625)

To the right worshipfull his majesties justices of the peace assembled to this quarter sessions.

The humble peticion of Cassander Godwin the wife of James Godwin.

Humblie shewing that your petitioner about a quarter of a yeare since was bound over to this quarter sessions for by Mistress Lucie for striking as her child (as shee alleaged) whereas in truth your peticioner did not strike her child but Mistris Lucies child strook your peticioners child and threw him downe and broke his knee that the child lay lame; and afterwardes the said Mistress Lucie sent for your peticioner by her maide, and when shee came to her howse one Chipp Mistress Lucies servant kicked your peticioner and said it were a good deed to kill such a woman all which Mistress Lucie hath done to vex your petitioner and to put her to charges.

The petitioner therefore humblie praieth your worships to be pleased to take her wronges into your grave consideracions and that shee may be discharged and the petitioner shall daily pray for your worships.


To the right worshipfull the steward and burgesses of the cittie and liberties of Westminster

Wee whose names are subscribed parishoners of the parish of Saint Margarett in Westminster att the request and desiere of the bearer hereof our neighbour Casander Godwin the wife of James Godwin, doe certifie and declare to your worships that the said Casander Godwin hath during the time shee hath inhabited amongst us, lived in a good and quiet sort, and for ought wee know to the contrary hath not abused herselfe or any of her neighbours in word or deed, thus much wee at her request have thought good to certify unto your worships as for truth, humbly recomending her and her cause, to your worships comisseracion given under our handes this 17th of A July anno domini 1627.

  • John Ayllife
  • Roberte Shearmane
  • John Maner
  • John [Hampton?]
  • Alce [Thorton?]
  • The mark of Mistress [Chilld?] widow
  • Robertt Marsh
  • John Lawes
  • Andrew Holdip
  • [Gor...?] [illegible]
  • Mari [Beacon?]
  • John Barrett

Elizabeth Thomas, a poor prisoner in the Gatehouse. WJ/SR/NS/016/14 (1626)

To the right woorshipfull his majesties justices of the peace for the cittie and liberties of Westminster

The humble peticion of Elizabeth Thomas a verie poore prisoner in the gatehouse.

Humblie sheweth: that your peticioner beinge lately comitted to the said prison of the Gatehouse for receivinge one silver bowle of the goodes of one supposed to be stollen by a person not nowe in these partes, wherof your peticioner was altogether [illegible] ignorant and never detected for anie such crime, at anie tyme formerlie

And therefore forasmuch as the complainante doth not in anie respecte charge your peticioner with the stealinge therof but is sencible your peticioner was misled by her good opinion of the delinquente, havinge formerly lived in house together, and forasmuch alsoe as your poore petitioner hath at this presente two small children and noe meanes to helpe them, but likelie to perishe for wante of food, unles your worships compassion be extended in this behalfe

Doth humblie beseech your worshippes for Godes cause to bee pleased to extend your wonted favours towardes your petitioner and her poore children and to grante unto your peticioner the benefitt of baile, or such lawfull favoure in this her misery as to your wisdomes, and in charetie shall seeme meete, and your peticioner shall ever pray for your worshipp health and happines.

John Bonner. WJ/SR/NS/016/15 (1626)

To the right worshipfull his majesties justices of peace at the generall quarter sessions holden for the cittie and liberties of Westminster.

The humble peticion of John Bonner.

Humbly sheweth that the petitioner in quiett and peaceable manner, going to bed at his chamber where he hath resided theis 4 yeares past about 10 of the clock at night, upon Tuesdaie the 30 of Maie last, suspecting no malicious assault nor splenish affront to have been putt upon him, and being almost unready, one Thomas Powell, accompanyed with Thomas Hamon constable, Allexander Manwaring and the ordinary watchmen, came under pretext of asking for your petitioners landlord, and useing many injurious wordes against him, assaulted the petitioner in his lodging, commaunded the said constable and watchmen to enter the house, and straight with often threates to pull him out of his chamber, and not contented with this then meeting with his landlord who went along with them, the said Thomas Powell did dismisse the said landlord homeward, to no other intent but that he might closely followe upon him towardes his house and privately surprise your petitioner, as imediatly he did, for accompanied as aforesaid, in most furious and barbarous manner, he charged the said Thomas Hamon and Allexander Manwaring, with certen others to laie handes on him, pull him with all shamefull extremitie from out of his lodging to the Gatehouse, without either cover to his head or any shooes to his feete, where he remayned that night, the petitioner having offered no wrong to his person or authoritie, but still with respect to the same demaunded often his warrant for so useing him as a fellon or traytour, and he having none but a splenish grudge conceived against the petitioner the Satterdaie afore in his owne shopp, where the said Thomas Powell in most inhumane sorte abused your petitioner in wordes, and thus hath both wronged his bodie and good name, who (as most of the parish knoweth all the sicknes time did willingly adventure himself upon the curing of that contagion upon above 500 and was never wanting in any good office of that nature, being a professor of phisicke.

In consideracion whereof, and that the said Thomas Powell hath both thus abused and disgraced your petitioner, and hath bound him over to this sessions, not withstanding out of his owne guiltines that he had done all this without warrant, as by his many intreaties for pacifying your petitioner maie appeare, he most humbly beseecheth this worshipfull bench, that such order maie be taken with the said Thomas Powell herein, and his associates as to your worships shall seeme fitt, and (as most bound) he shall ever praie etc.

Marey Beamount. WJ/SR/NS/016/19 (1626)

To the right worshipfull his majesties justices on the bench for the cittie and libertie of Westminster:

The humble peticion of Marey Beamount

That shee being the late wife of Edward Beamount, who was raker of the parrish of Saint Martin in the Feildes, hath owing unto her from William Brinckfeild and Samuell Mercer, the scavingers there for the soyle and the dirt of the streete, carried away by her said husband in his life time, 10 pounds - 1 shilling and 9 pence which was due at Midsomer 1625: which money shee cannot gett from the said scavingers, albeit she hath had them downe to the court house, but they being rich men, and she being a poore woman, they bid her come by the same, as she can.

In which respect, she appealeth to the justice and favour of this honorable bench, and humbly prayeth, that the said scavingers may be commaunded before you to thend such order may be taken with them, for the releife of this poore woman, as in your grave judgments shalbe held fitt, so shall she be especiallie bound to pray for your worshipps etc:

John Levingstone, Michall Andrews, William Walles and others of St Martin in the Fields. WJ/SR/NS/016/17 (1626)

Wee whose names are here under written inhabitantes of the parish of Saint Martins in the Feildes in the countie of Middlesex haveing [offered?] unto you the right worshipfull the justices of peace of the citty and [liberties of?] Westminster at your last quarter sessions divers greivances and [wrongs?] done to us by one Johnson of the same parish of Saint Martins, you were thereupon pleased to appointe at the bench that Sir Thomas Wilson knight and Henry Lyde esquire, two of the said justices should view and consider of the same and certifie unto you their opinions what they found to whose more certaine relation wee herein referre ourselves and desire you to be pleased to take notice that amongst divers other wronges, this Johnson hath lately enclosed and shut upp a plott of ground with a paile in Saint Martins Feildes [useing?] it for a bowling alley haveing noe licence either soe to doe or to keepe a bowling alley, and hath since thereupon built two severall cottages upon a new foundacion with intent to sell ale, and [beere?] there and hath stored them for that purpose, whereby divers rogues and theeves are there harboured and advantaged to robbe [our?] houses and gardens daie and night as by daiely experience wee feele, and to committ further outrages and felonyes upon passengers that shall come that narrowe waie, besides herein he hath committed [divers?] contemptes against the Earle of Arundells warrant against the justices of peace direccion and contrarie to the commaundes of my Lord of Salisburie his land=lord, and seconded by direccion of his lordshipps officers, and contrarie to lawe and the Kinges proclamacions, all which wee leave to your grave wisedome and consideracion and humbly desire from you such remedie as the lawe in such case provideth.

  • John [Levingstone?]
  • Michall Andrews William [Walles?]
  • H: Knollys Fr: Cartor [Scipio le Squyre?]
  • Laurence Lisle
  • William Pryce Patrick [illegible]
  • Edward [Browne?]

John Smewell. WJ/SR/NS/016/18 (1626)

To the right worshipfull the justices of the worshipfull bench

The humble peticion of John Smewell

Most humbly sheweth that your petitioner and his wife have lately suffred intollerable wronges by Edward Morley, (who beinge indebted to your petitioner 40 shillings or thereaboutes) the petitioner demanding the same, the said Morley doth dayly in a most outragious manner abuse them, and callet when the constables had warrantes for the said Morley he keepeth his doores lockte, and saith whosoever shall offer to come in, he will runn a spitt into him, soe that your petitioner is like to be defeated of his juste debte, unles your worships take some course herein for his releife, which he most humbly prayeth. And your petitioner shall pray for your worships

Tristram Adams. WJ/SR/NS/018/1 (1627)

To the right worshipfull his majesties justices of peace for the citty and liberties of Westminster

The humble peticion of Tristram Adams

Humbly sheweth that your petitioner being a poore ignorant man, never before any court or justices in his life, was yesterday uppon an indictment before your worships found guilty and the fyne of 5 pounds sett upon him, for which he is now prisoner in the Gatehouse

The petitioner most humbly acknowledgeth your worships goodnes and justice, and in respect he is a poore inhabitant of the liberty charged with a wife and fower small children, ignorantly fallen into this errour for which he is heartily sorrow, and unles he sell all that he hath, is in noe wise able to pay his fyne, but must continue [illegible] in prison therefore, whereby he his wife and small children wilbe utterly undone

That your worships would soe farr commiserate the distresse of your poore petitioner his wife, and children, as to mittigat your petitioners fyne to such a reasonable proporcion as he shalbe able to pay

And he shall ever pray for your worships.

Anne Coles, the wife of William Coles. WJ/SR/NS/018/2 (1627)

To the right worshipfull the justices of the peace for the cittie and liberties of Westminster

The humble peticion of Anne Coles, the wife of John William Coles.

Sheweth; that one Elizabeth Floud came into your petitioners house and demaunded a lodginge for her, which your petitioner refused to lett her have, she being of an ill life and conversacion, and thereuppon the said Elizabeth Flood violently said she would have lodginge for her money and that she would pay readily for the same, and therefore unles she had yt, she would putt downe the petitioners signe;

That your petitioner thereuppon was forced to lodge her, and that the said Elizabeth Flood and her husband did and doth owe the petitioner about 14 shillings; which your petitioner demaundinge, the said Elizabeth privately would have taken away the petitioners clothes and so escaped without payment, had not by chance the petitioner mett with her and tooke them away from her whereupon the said Elizabeth fell into most bitter and raylinge termes, and called your petitioners mother whore, and had 3 bastardes in Salysbury, and the petitioners kept a bawdy house, together with many other base wordes to the greate harme of the petitioner and of her mother, she being fearfull of her life of her

Therefore she most humbly prayeth your worshipfulls to be pleased to take such order with the said Elizabeth as both that the petitioner may be paied the money due unto them as also that the petitioner and her mother may recieve amendes for the scandalous speeches throwne uppon them.

And she and they will pray etc.

William Breman, labourer. WJ/SR/NS/018/3 (1627)

To the right worshipfull his majesties justices of the peace for the cittie and liberties of Westminster.

The humble peticion of William Breman laborer

Humblie shewing, that Jenkin Morris standeth bound by this worshipfull bench to the peace and good behaviour for his great abuse offred to your petitioner by breaking his head, treading on him, and kicking him, to his impairing of his bodie, as maie justly bee proved.

Since which time the said Jenkin Morris hath severall times broken his majesties peace since hee was last bound, by beating and striking of one Nicholas Kindlemarsh; together with his wife, and daughter to a great evill example; and hath threatned your poore petitioner to sue him at lawe, and to spend xx pounds to bee revenged on him.

Your petitioners humble suite to your worshipps is, that you wilbee favorablie pleased to take such order for your petitioners releife, and satisfaccion for the losse of his bloud, having bin greatlie charged for his cure and sicknes to his utter undoing, as in your grave wisdomes shalbee thought meete

And hee with his wife and children shall ever pray

Mary Hayward. WJ/SR/NS/020/6 (1628)


To the right worshipfull the justices and burgisses of this courte of [assessions?]. For the cittie and liberties of Westminster.

The humble peticion of Mary Hayward

Shewinge unto your worships that whereas the petitioner hath bound over one Master John Bird to this assessions to give satisfaccion to the cittie of Westminster for a child begotten on the body of the petitioner under cullour of marrage promised, and for as much as the courte hath bound the said Bird over unto this sessions, to thend that there maye bee a meanes prescribed for the bringinge up of the said child and some other satisfacion had for ament of this tax and defa= =mation hapned unto the said petitioner she therefore humbly beseecheth this worshipful courte, she may have the keepinge of the child, and such present satisfaccion as may tend to the preservacion boeth of her and the said child for that she never hetherto troubled the parrish for any maintenanc

Intender consideracion of the premisses, and that the petitioner is the naturall mother of the child that she may be admitted to have the keepinge of the said child with such maintenanc as shall seeme most expedient in your grave wisdomes

And as in dewtie most obliged she shall ever praye etc

And for as much as there was an order in courte made that the petitioner should have two shillinges a weeke dueringe such tyme as she kepte the said child whereof she received xxv shillings she humbly desiereth she may have satisfaccion for the rest of the tyme.