Petitions to the Westminster Quarter Sessions: 1640s

Petitions to the Westminster Quarter Sessions, 1620-1799.

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Margaret Bennett. WJ/SP/1640/06/001 (1640)

To the right worshipfull the Justices of the Peace assembled
this quarter sessions

The humble peticion of Margaret Bennett


That your petitioner being bred up at the charge of the parish of Putney was
placed and putt apprentice, unto James Wright a tailor in Hartshorne
Lane in the Strand, for 7 yeres, and hath well and faithfully served him
these 4 yeres according to her indentures.

But may it please your worshipps notwithstanding the good service done
by your petitioner the wife of the said James Wright, hath often misused
your petitioner and hath beat her out of dores 3 or 4 tymes, and threatneth
her to kill her, and to make your petitoner stay with her, that she may be
revennged one your poor supplicant, and your petitioner is in bodily feare to
be mischeifed by them, so that she feareth to goe out of dores.

Your petitioner humbly beseecheth your worshipps to be pleased to
comiserate the distressed estate of your petitioner and to order
that your petitioner may be released from her said master and mistress
that so she may seeke for her living ells where. And to
order that they maie paye the monies back they had with her or
part therof. And your petitioner shall daily pray for your worships.

Right worshipful

this poore wenche was placed by the Chourch
wardens of Puttny Yow shall [perfor?] a very
charitable deed, to free her from the bon-
deun shee is in, and to order them to paye
or [perishe?] the monies they had Wee being
[formerly?] enformed howe they continually
have abused, all which I leave to your
wisedomes, London, 22d June 1640

[Annha?] Daves

William Deacon and Christofer Winlow. WJ/SP/1644/002 (1644)

To the right worshipfull his Majesties Justices of the Peace for the
Cittie and liberty of Westminster.

The humble peticon of William Deacon and Christofer Winlow.

Humblie shew

That your petitioner Deacon upon being bound over by Justice Edwardes to
appeare att this Sessions upon the complaint of Robert Wood, and
appeareing before your worshipps upon Satturday last; and after
they was come out of the hall, the said Wood followed your petitioners
witnesses almost to the upper end of King streete in Westminster
and clapped his handes att them, calling them whores to theire
great disgrace and disparagement being people of honest carriage, and well beloved amongst theire neighbours.

And upon the 25th: of June last the said Wood followed your petitioner Winlow
out of one pallace yard into the other, calling him roague, and many
other base names, and saith hee would make him an example to all
roagues, and used many other threatening speeches, whereby your
petitioner Winlow goes in danger of his life; notwithstanding the said
Wood is bound to his good behaviour by the said Justice Edwardes,

Wherefore your petitioners humbly beseech your worshipps
to take the premisses into consideracion, and to take such
order that your petitioners may goe about theire occasions
in quietnes, and alsoe to take such order with the said
Wood as to your worshipps shall seeme meete

And your petitioners shall pray etc

Henry Gethin. WJ/SP/1644/003 (1644)

To the right worshipful the Justices of Peace and Coram for the
County of Middlesex and Liberties of Westminster

The humble peticion Henry Gethin

Humbly sheweth

That your petitioner hath receaved many abuses and wronges from Thomas
Amaston a neighbour of his, And especially uppon Tewsdaie in Witson-
-weeke last, when your petitioner was gone to watch att the Bisshopp of Ely
his house The said Amaston (heareinge your petitioners wife say he was gone
thither to watch) said, the curse of god light uppon all such Rogues as
watched in such a way as he did, and said further that your petitioner
was a rogue to the Crown and a traitor to his Kinge, and said that
he was a condempned man for stealinge a kettle, and that in
Wales were fower men to be hanged, and he hanged three to save himselfe
and many other reprochfull and scandalous wordes which shalbe
approved if occasion require, to his great disgrace and blott of creditt

He most humbly beseecheth your good Worships to be
pleased to take such course in the premisses for
your petitioners releife as shall to your Worships wisdomes
shall seeme fitt, and agreable to justice and equity

And he shall ever pray.

Richard Keymer and Mary his wife. WJ/SP/1644/006 (1644)

To the right worrshipfull the Justices of the Honorable Bench

The humble peticion of Richard Keymer, and Mary his wife


That your petitioners have suffered many insufferable injuries, and
oppressions, by the unjust and malitious practises of Thomas Wells, who is for
the same bound to the good behavior, yet the said Wells hath not onely broken
his obligacion since by stopping their weekly pay, being their onely livelyhood, but
accuseth this Honorable Bench of injustice, done him, as by 5 or 6 witnesses will
appeare to this Honorable Bench.

Hee the petitioner Richard being a very weake, sickly, poore, aged,
and impotent man, humbly prayeth this Honorable Bench to be pleased
to settle such a course for their releife, and for the future quiett
of him, and his wife, as this Honorable Bench shall thinke fitt

And they shall ever pray for your Honors eternall

Alce Jacson, semster, a prisoner in the Gatehouse. WJ/SP/1644/007 (1644)

To the Right worshipfull the Justises of the Beench
of the Citty of Westminster.

The humble peticion of Alce Jacson gen: semster now
a prisonor in the Gatehouse:


That wheare as your peticonor is committed to the Gatehouse
for woords pretended, that your peticoner should speake against
Dockter Duxon, and for saiinge that the booke of Common prayer
was like to a masse booke, which your petitioner takes uppon hir corperall
oath as shee will answere before god, that as for Docter Duxon shee
is inocent of speakinge anie thinge of him, and as for the booke
of Common prayer shee doth not denie but sayde that it might som way
bee comparde to the mass Booke, out of anger being provockt, by
hir adversarie, one Jone Morese, which spake against the hounorable
house of parliament, saiinge, the were Rounde headed Roags and
Brownest fellowes, and beinge in the presents of your petitioner, your petitioner,
tooke houlde of hir words, and there uppon brought before Justise
Hoker, and proved againste hir, shee havinge noe baile, the ofence
beinge soe heavie, the constable became her baile, only and toe
maligne your peticoner and soe sett hir free, aand sent your poore
peticioner, too the prison where shee is in greate wante and meserye

The primisses concidered, your peticoner humbly begs
uppon hir binded knees, that your worships will bee gratiously
pleased, to admitt your peticioner, to come beefore your Worships,
to answere for hir selfe, and concider of hir cause
and to order it, as in your grave wisdom, shall bee
thought fitt, And your peticonor as bounde in dutie
shall ever pray etc:

Margaret Davies, a poor distressed young woman. WJ/SP/1644/008 (1644)

To the right worshipfull Knights steward and the rest of
the Justices of the Bench for the Citty and
Liberties of Westminster.

The humble peticion of Margaret Davies
a poore distressed young woman.

Humblie sheweth, that your poore petitioner not long since was
placed in service and hired with one Michaell Clarke a frentch
man for iiili. a yeare wages. Whear she had not beene above
3 weeks with him (at his howse in the Strand) but he daily sollicited
hir to incontinencie; but beinge resisted, he forced the doare and
locke of the roome whear she laie in the night season and violently
came into hir bed and swore deeply he would marrie hir if
she would yeeld to his desire. But being resisted unless hee first
showld make hir his wife, he by strength stop'tt hir mouth with
a cloath; and laie with hir whether she would or no.

Afterwards she findinge hirselfe to be with chylde acquainted
him thearwith and demanded his promise which he had oft reiterated
But the sayde Clarck most malityously to prevent hir complaint
charged your petitioner with stealinge some periwiggs from him
which (as she hopeth to be delivered of that she does with) she is free
from. Yet by his meanes she was cast into prison and hath wasted
all the money she had for wages; and now dares not walke abroade
by reson he sayth his brother hath bought a knife to kill hir.

Hir humble sute is. that you woulde be pleased to looke upon
hir with eies of pittie. and commiserate hir poore distressed estr estate. to her freinds she dare not goe; money she hath not
but what she makes of hir cloaths; lodginge she cannot gett;
So that what with his furious threats and hir owne wants she is in
a most desperate condicion. But hir hopes rests in your wisdome
and goodness that she shall eyther have him that hath thus disabled
hir for others to be hir husband. or be releived out of his meanes who
is ritch in money and estate as is well knowne. And she shall ever
pray for your worships health.

Thomas Hopper, joiner. WJ/SP/1644/009 (1644)

To the right worshipfull the Kinges Majesties Justices assembled this
quarter Sessions for the Cittie and Libertie of Westminster

The humble peticion of Thomas Hopper joyner

Humblie shewing That your petitioner being aged 70 yeares
and upwardes very indigent and weake both in sight and lymms
some 8 or ten daies since by Sir Silvian Parker was bound
over to appeare this Sessions for not appeareing in person to watch
(although he appoynted one for him) some 3 quarteres of a yeare

That he hath theise twoe daies attended this Sessions and was
never called to his trouble and charge being a very poore man
past his labor aad not able to watch in regard of th his age
being as he hopeth (and is informed) by the lawes of this
kingdome freed and discharged from the same by reason of his
impotencie and age.

In tender regard whereof he most humblie beseecheth
your Worships to vouchsafe to be pleased to take compassion
of his present estate and to discharge his saide
recognizance (soe acknowledged before Sir Silvian
Parker) without further fees or attendance haveing
paid iiis iiiid for his bynding over and none coming
against him. And your petitioner with his aged wief
shall daylie pray etc.

Dorothy Turner. WJ/SP/1644/010 (1644)

To the Right Worshipfull the Justices of the Peace
now sitting at the Sesions at Westminster

The humble petition of Eli Dorothy Turner

Sheweth unto your good worshipps that your petitioner
bein a very poore woman and destitute of all comfort
by reason of her husbands absence whome your petitioner
the wife of Robert Turner being a carefull honnest
laborious painefull woman takeing any honnest course
for her subsistance being at that time abroad keeping
a woman in child bed came home late in the night
and finding her adversary Alse Person in the
bed with her husband did presume to thrust her
out of her dore laying noe violent handes on her
but this Alce Person or some others in her behalfe
have taken an ocasion to indite and put to charges
your poore petitioner whoe being in former time a servant
to the worshipfull Mr Dixon in the Strand and can
if shee may have soe much time being suffitient
testimony for her civill life and behavieour

Your petitioner beseching your you worshipps to
tak it into consideration the miserie that
you petitioner is like to suffer by reason of
this great wrong done unto her falsly and
unjustly and she as in duty shall be ever
bound to pray etc

Mathew Smith and Bridgett his wife. WJ/SP/1644/011 (1644)

To the right worshipfull the Justices of peace for the
Cittie of Westminster etc.

The humble petition of Mathew Smith and Bridgett
his wife.

Humbly sheweth

That upon some triviall fallinges out betweene Anne Bonnett the wife of
William Bonnett and the said Bridgett being neighbours, the said Bridgett
only spittting at the said Anne; your petitioners hath been 3 severall times arrested
and put to such excessive charges, (being a poore tradesman,) that it hath been
his undoeing; besides your petitioner standes now indited before your worshipps for a battery
in the said cause, and is threatned by Bonnett, and one Briscoe
(who did beate your petitioners wife the said Bridgett) to be loaden with accions; and
(by Briscoes wife) to be fired out of the house:

Your petitioners humblie pray that their greivances of may be heard
and that your worshipps would be pleased to take of the said
Bennett and Brisco; who threaten them with fire and
imprisonment that the said Smith may followe his trade
to the maintenance of him and his familie.

And they shall pray.

Mary Luck, the wife of Robert Luck. WJ/SP/1644/012 (1644)

To the right Worshipful the Justices here assembled

The humble peticion of Mary Luck the wife of Robert Luck

Humblie sheweth

That your poore peticonor having kept a child of one Ellis Gwinn
and Elinor Barker the space of halfe a yeare and more and
being promised payment for the same by Justice Francis who
put the childe to keeping to your peticonor but but as yet
shee hath not received anie satisfaction for the same.

Her humble suite unto your Worships therefore is
that your Worships would bee pleased to aquite her of
the childe and to take order that shee may bee
paid for the keeping of it shee being a verie
poore woman not able to keepe and maintaine
her owne selfe and children, her husband being
a verie weake and sicklie man.

And your peticioner shall ever pray for your
Worships etc

Marthay Johnson. WJ/SP/1644/013 (1644)

To the worshipfull Justices for the Liberties
of Westminster now sitting on the bench

the humbley better of Marthay Johnson


to your worships that your pettitioner was a servant
in the house with one Willyam Carter a barber
they living in the countrie together being both
single wear contracted together whereuppon he
the said Willyam Carter got your pettitioner with child
and he coming to London befor your pettitioner and mar
ried to another and he after gave your pettitioner his bond
for to taike away the child after she was delivered,
and also to give her 40s to keepe her wwhile she lay in
your pettitioner mistrested him tooke Justises Edwards
warran to put in securitie to the parrish to dis
charge it and he bound him over to apeare heare
which he doth not

May it please the worshipfull bench to grant a war
ran for to taike the said Willyam Carter for
put in baile for the discharge of the parrish
and your pettitioner as dutie bindeth will pray:

Thomas Parsons and Hugh Cliffe of St Clement Danes. WJ/SP/1644/014 (1644)

To the right worshipfull his Majesties Justices of the
Peace for the Cittie and Liberties of Westminster.

The humble peticion of Thomas Parsons
and Hugh Cliffe of the parish of St
Clement Danes

Humblie sheweth That your petitioners att the request of one
Ringer were ball for his appearance att this Sessions uppon
the complaint of John Leyfeild, And afterwardes the said
Layfeild and Ringer were reconciled together and the difference
betweene them for which the said Ringer was bound over was ended
And since the said Leyfeild and Ringer are both gone for soldiers
and the said Ringer is slaine (as your petitioner is informed) And your petitioners
Parsons and Cliffe being ball for the said Ringer as aforesaid, have
attended here in Court and desired Mr Justice Hooker that they
might be discharged and have theire recognizance withdrawne
paying the fees thereof, but cannot as yet be discharged or freed

Humbly therefore beseeech your worshipps (in consideracion of
the premisses and for that your petitioners are very poore men and
have noe meanes of livelyhood b for themselves and familyes
but by theire hard labours) That your worshipps wilbe pleased
to discharge your petitioners and to give order for the withdrawing
of the said recognizance,

And your petitioner (as in duty bound) shall ever pray
for your Worshipps etc.

Richard Homan. WJ/SP/1644/015 (1644)

To the Right Worshipfull and others of the
Bench now assembled at the Sessions

The humble peticion of Richard Homan.

Humbly sheweth

That Elizabeth Screwthen being a very ill neighbor
a turbulent woman and a stirrer of striffe hath caused
a warrant to bee served upon your petitioner into the Court
to vex your petitioner upon mere mallice and noe just cause, and
that your petitioner is nowe remayneing in the Gatehowse
and hath a wife and 2 small children; and that noe neighbors
can live about her in quiett.

Your petitioners humble suite is, That your worshipps
would take his miserable estate into consideracion
And that hee may have his release and to bee
dismissed of his charges otherwise your petitioner must
bee constrayned to leave his wiffe and 2 children to
the parishe.

And as in duty bound, shall
he [illegible] shall ever pray for your worshipps

Richard Homan, prisoner in Bridewell. WJ/SP/1644/016 (1644)

To the right worshipfull his Majesties Justice of the
peace for the Citty and Liberties of Westminster.

The humble peticion of Richard
Homan prisoner in Bridewell.


That your petitioner on Tuesday last uppon the complaint
of his landlady Mistris Cherry and her daughter, was committed
by your worshipps to Bridewell, And being hartely sorry for
his offence, acknowledging your worshipps justice in his punishment

And for that he is a verie poore man, having a wife and 2
children to provide for, and nothing but his hard labor (as
a water bearer) to maintaine them.

Hee most humblie beseecheth your worshipps
to remitt his offenc, and give order
for his inlargment.

And he shall ever pray etc.

Walter Finch, apprentice to James Dodwell of St Clement Danes. MJ/SR/0960/150 (1645)

The worshipfull John Glynn Esquire and Deputy Stewart and the
rest of the worshipfull Bench here assembled

The humble peticion of Walter Finch apprentice to James
Dodwell of Saint Clementes Daynes in the Countie of MIddlesex Curier

Humbly Complaing Sheweth.

That wheras one Joane Proudglove was sometime servant with
your peticioner said master and for her light caridge and oft absenting her
selfe from his said service, was putt away upon the 4th. Aprill last
past; Sithence which tyme the said Joane by her lewd life
hath byn unlawfullie gotten with child; she the said Joane false-
accuseth your peticioner to have gott the said child.

That the said Joane hath formerly had a bastard but re-
ceaved not condigne punishment for her said offence by reason
she procured some such person as her selfe to make oath that
she had a husband and that he was gone to sea; but sithence
that tyme she hath justified her selfe to be a made maide
and that she never had husband nor child, the trueth where
of he shall gladly make appeare unto your worships by sufficient

The humble suite of your peticioner unto your worships that
his fortunes may not be overthrowne upon the scandolous
report of soe vild a liver: And that upon your baile
he may have tyme untill the next Sessions to bring
in his wittnesses for the clearing and freeing him
from this false accusation;and for his principall witnes
is out of towne; your peticioner is freed from this accusation
by the jusges of the civill law; as by certificate under
their hands may appeare: And he hopeth noe les from
your worships

And as in dutie bound he shall daylie pray

Abigaill Goddard, wife of Richard Goddard. MJ/SR/0960/151 (1645)

To the right Worshipfull his Majesties Justices of
the Peace for the Citty and liberties of Westminster

The humble peticion of Abigaill Goddard
the wife of Richard Goddard

Sheweth That your petitioner being deluded by one Christopher Stevenson
upon pretence of marriage was seduced to lye with him whereupon
she did for prevention of the shame, marry with the said Goddard, butt
it proving otherwise and she being bro with child, the said Stevenson
perswaded her to take drinkes to make away that she went with and
promysed then to be very generous to her.

Butt now soe it is may it please your worshipes that since her being
married she is brought to bedd with two children and the said
Stevenson being the man that begott them, which her husbond
knowing of, hath utterly forsaken her, soe that she and the
children are like to perish.

In tender consideracion whereof and for that the saide
Stevenson hath said he car'd not etc for your worshipes what
you cold doe to him. that your worshipes wold be pleased to
take course with him for the taking away and maineteynance
of the children otherwise she and they must perish And
she shalbe bound to pray etc.

Jane Painter. MJ/SR/0960/154 (1645)

exhibita 9th Januarij


To the Worshipfull the Justices
of the Peace for the Citye
of Wetsminster

The humble peticion of
Jane Painter

May it please your worships to be advertised
that there was one Charles Protheruth, brought
before Justice Hooker by vertue of my Lord
Chiffe Justice warant for incontinancie,
wher he then entred baille for his apperans
in this court this Sessions, and to save the
Ch parishe harmeles from the childe, but
may it please your worshipes for it is that your
petitioner is already delivered, and the childe is dead
and she nowe lyes inn, without any healp or
reliffe, therfore she humbly prayth your
worships to take it in to your worthy
consideracion of the poore estate she nowe
lyeth in, and to commaunde the bayle to
give her present satisfacion for her months
lyeinge inn, and what other damadge this
worthy benche will thinke fitt for to defray
those chardges she hat bine formerly
at and not to suffer the deffendant to
delaye the cause any longer, by reason
of your petitioners povertie, all which she humbly
prayeth off your worships for gods Love.

Johan Hoyt, widow. MJ/SR/0960/155 (1645)

To the Worshipfull Mr Glin and the rest of the Worshipfull

the humble pettition of Johan Hoyt widdow:

In all humility complayning to this worshipfull bench
that your poore pettitioner hath most greivosly beine wronged by
one Plumer and Yates, tow counstables, first in ther
watch night they being both together broke open your
pettitioners hatch, that was before her doore, and your pettitioner
and Yaits having some wordes about the said doore,
the said Yaits areasted your pettitioner into the Kings Bench, contrarie
to the order of the Court of Westminster, and ever since hath from
since, searched your petttioners house, and caused it to be
searched, and also threatneth your pettitioner, that he will lay her
in prison that it cost him 40li. and now hath caused your
pettitioner to be bound over by reconesten to appeare heare for keeper
a disorderes house, and your pettitioner hath none in her house
but her selfe and a child.

May it please your worships to taike it into your wise
consideration, that what this said Yaits Constable
doth doe is out of meare now

So now your pettitioner humbley besechet that you will
be so please, cause the said Yaits from trobleing
your pettitioner any further, and him also to compell to
withdraw his accion and in so doing your poore pettitioner
will dayly praay for your worships eternall felecitie

William Heathe. MJ/SR/0960/167 (1645)

To the right worshipfull his Majesties Justices of peace for the
Citty and Liberty of Westminster assembled

The humble peticion of William Heathe

Sheweth That by the certificate annexed it appeareth your poore
peticoner with his wife have manie yeres in good and orderlie
manner lived in this Citty without any ympeachment, Yett
neverthelesse one Richard Davis and his wife most maliciously chardged
your peticioner with the takeing away of a chamber pott out of the said
Davis his backside, and for the manifestacion therof his wife being
a weeding in the garden made her said husband take his oath your
petitioner had the same, By meanes whereof he is bound over to answere
the same before your good worshipps.

Now inasmuch as your petitioner in his owne conscience knoweth
himselfe clere of this notorious fact, and that hee never did
entertaine or harbour the least thought of doeing wronge in
this the like or anie other waie whatsoever, And for that the said
Davis his wife threatenes the undoing of your petitioner and that
that they will have his life, May it please your worships for your
petitioners releife and dischardge of this unjust taxacions and
chardge, to take such order as in your grave wisdomes shall
seeme meete, the rather for that the petitioners wife hath receaved
many stripes and blowes from the said Davis his wife, And
they shall ever pray for your good worships.

Matthew Barrett and Richard Wilton. MJ/SR/0972/1 (1645)

To the Right worshipfull the Justices of the Bench

The humble peticion of Matthew Barrett and Richard Wilton.

Sheweth That your petitioners being bound over by Sir Edward Powell
for buying a nagg and mare of John Nicholls and Peter Cooper
whoe (it appeares now) had felloniously taken the same abroad yet
they being released uppon bayle and your petitioner still attending
upon this buisnesse to theire great detriment.

Most humbly pray that the said Nicholles and
Cooper or theire bayle may bee forthwith
called to answere the same

And your petitioners will pray etc.

George Benson of Layton, Essex. MJ/SR/0972/6 (1645)

To the right worshipfull the Justices of the peace for the Cittie of
Westminster att this present Sessions assembled

The humble peticion of George Benson of Layton in the
County of Essex


That Anthony Minshaw (sonn of Mr John Minshaw and of Ursula
his wife) borne in the Coven Garden in the parish of St Martin in the
Feildes and baptized there the 22th day of March 1643 was then putt
to nurse to your peticioners wife and hath been kept by her ever since, she
haveing been paid but for one halfe yere only, and the peticoner
being a very poore man no way able to keepe the said child
without payment therefore (in respect the mother is dead and the
father absent) addressed himselfe to the churchwardens of
the said parish where the said child was borne, desireing them to
provide for the said child, who (notwithstanding they were
comanded so to do, by warrant under the handes and seales of
3 Justices of the peace in Essex as thereby appeareth refuse to
obey the same, and the said child still remayneth on the poore
peticioners handes who is hardly able to putt bread into the
mouthes of his owne children:

In the due consideracion whereof he humbly de beseecheth your
worships to order that the said parishioners may satisfie the
peticioner his arreares due for keeping the said child and
may now receive him and discharge the peticion of him
or otherwise undertake to pay for his keeping as
they shall agree upon for the tyme to come

And he shall pray etc.

ailt super null

John King, Peter Slutter, Robert Foote and Hugh Wilson. MJ/SR/0972/15 (1645)

To the right worshipful the Justices of Peace for the Citty
and Libertyes of Westminster

The humble peticion of John King, Peter Slutter,
Robert Foote and Hugh Wilson


That the petitioners being all lycenced victuallers in their severall
dwellings in this Citty and Liberty; yet by the Wardmolts
enquest the last Christide are presented for victualling
without lycence, and for their fynes upon the same their goods
distreyned and carried out of their houses by the bayliffe which
are in the handes of John Camebridg.

Whereas in truth there is as the petitioners conceyve some
mistake in the busines; for the petitioners have been and are long
inhabitantes and many yeares together have been and are
lycenced as they can make appeare.

In consideracion whereof and that the petitioners are poore men
and have no other calling, yet paie all dutyes and imployed
daily upon the States service.

Most humbly praie their goodes may be restored
to them and they continued victualers as before

And they will ever pray etc.

Peter Woodstock and Ellen his wife. MJ/SR/0972/17 (1645)

To the right Worshippfull the Justices and Burgesses
for the Cittie of Westminster

The humble peticion of Peter Woodstock and
Ellen his wife:

That your petitioner being verie aged and haveing lived by the space of 55 yeares
last past within the said Cittie demeaning themselves honestlie and loveingly
amongst their neighbours takeing greate paines and hard labour to mentaine
themselves and your petitioner Peter through extreame old age being noe longer able to
worke is kept and mantained by the paines and dailie labours of your petitioner Ellen
whoe is above 70 yeares old:

But of late your petitioner Ellen being much wronged and abused by one George
Armestronge and Amy his wife the said Armestronge most cruellie did beate
your petitioner, and the said Amy charged your petitioner with fellonie; being thus insufferablie
injured by them; your petitioner to reight her selfe and to mentaine her good name (as
deare to her as life) tooke the benefitt of a freeborne subject (and commenced twoe
severall accions at Common Lawe against them, and being readie for triall and
refuseing to forbeare the prosecucion of the said just suites without satisfaccion
given to your petitioner; Thereupon the said Armestrong out of an inveterate malice that
he did beare to your petitioner charged your petitioner to have stolen a sheete and a halfe tubb
from his dore, Upon which malicious and false accusacion your petitioner was comitted
to prison untill she she found baile to appeare att this Sessions and put in baile

Now for asmuch as the said Armestronge did most
falslie accuse your petitioner as she is able to make it appeare
before your Worshipps by many of her neighbours, and by such his malicious
accusacion did hope to have terrified your petitioner and thereby stoped
her just proceedinges against him att Common Lawe; It is therefore the
most humble desire of your petitioner that your petitioner may produce her
wittnesses before yow that they may be fullie heard, and upon the
just proofe of your petitioner innocencie that the said Armestronge
may be punished for his soe unjust accusacion:

And your petitioner will pray etc:

the recognizance is respited till next sessions

Elizabeth Orme and Jane Orme her daughter. MJ/SR/0972/18 (1645)

To the Honorable the Recorder and the rest of his Majesties Justices
of Peace and Quorum and Justices of Peace att the Quarter Sessions
holden at Westminster

The humble petition of Elizabeth Orme and Jane Orme
her daughter


That your petitioners beinge now bound over the quarter
Sessions by one Mary Hodges who was taken and called by the
name of a spiritt by a soldier passinge by the White Harte
gate in Covent garden where your petitioner and her daughter hath
many yeares sold fruite and behaved her selfe honestly and justly
amongst her neighbours, not beinge burdensome in any kinde to the
parrish. The sayd Mary Hodges bound your petitioners over for
mere mallice as many of her neighbours can and will testifie.

The humble request of your poore petitioner is,
that this Honorable Bench wilbe pleased to heare
what your petitioners witnesses can alledge
in the way of equitie concerninge her accusation.

And your petitioner shalbe ever bound to pray etc.


Elizabeth Buck spinster. MJ/SR/0972/19 (1645)

To the Righte worshipfull his Majesties
Justices of the peace for Westminster etc

The humble peticion of Elizabeth Buck spinster


That whereas your peticoner hath beene a servant to
Abimalech Brewer of St Clementes Danes carman, for the
space of one whole yeare, for which service she was
to have the summe of 40s as will manifestly appeare
by wittnes

Now for asmuch as your peticoner is in a distressed case
by reason she hath neeither her father nor mother nor
any freind in London, but left destitute to the world,
and cannot receave her wages except your peticoner
will serve her master another quarter which your peticoner is not
able to undergoe the lyfe and labour she is put to,

And your peticoners mistress doth threaten her, that yf she doth offer
to take[illegible] any course for the recoverie of her wages, she
will spend 10li. before she shall have it.

Maye it therefore please your worships to consider
your peticoners weake estate and grant her
such releife for the recoverie of her wages
as in your grave judgementes shall seeme fitt

And your peticoner as in dutie bound shall etc

Margery Evans. MJ/SR/0972/20 (1645)

To the right worshipfull the Justices sitting
upon this worshipfull Bench.

The humble petition of Margery Evans


that your petitioner being a very poore woman, was lately but
for speakinge a word against the misdemeanor and lewd life of
one Mary the wife of John Jones, arrested at her suite
and put to 7s. charge for which your petitioner was forced to pawne
her cloathes. Now your petitioner understanding that by order of
this worshipfull Bench, all vexatious suites onely commenced to
impoverish poore people withall, are utterly prohibited

Therefore your poore petitioner humbly addres-
seth her selfe unto this Worshipfull Bench and
praieth your worships wilbe pleased to grant
a warrant for the said Marie Jones to
appere before this Worshipfull Bench to shew
cause for the arresting of your petitioner and to
answere unto such misdemeanors as your
petitioner shall give information of.

And as in duty bound your
petitioner, shall ever praye etc.

William O Coner, a prisoner in the Gatehouse. MJ/SR/0972/23 (1645)

To the Right Worshipfull the Justices of the Peace
for the Cittie and liberty of Westminster

The humble petition of William O Coner a prisoner
in the Gatehowse


That aboute 6 yeares since your petitioner was comitted to this prison
onley by a verball warrant from Secritary Windebanke upon
suspition of being a Roman Catholike where he hath ever scince
remayned and was brought to his answere.

May it therfore plese this Worshipfull Bench to comiserate
your petitioners long imprisoment being in great want and
mesary and that you would be plesed hee your petitioner may
be relesed and have leave to travell either into France
or Italy

And your petitioner shall ever pray etc

to d be discharged


George Armestronge, gentleman, aged 102 yeares. WJ/SP/1645/006 (1645)

To the right worshipfull the Justices of Peace for the Cittye
and liberty of Westminster

The humble peticion of George Armestronge gentleman aged 102 yeares

Humbly sheweth.

That your peticoner being prosecuted by one Hellen Woodstocke and Peter her husband a wicked malitious and
turbulant woeman in two suites at lawe begun only for wordes pretended to be spoke
by your peticioner He peticioned the right worshipful the Steward and Burgesses for this liberty
to cause her to referr the same to arbitracion of two honest men indifferently chosen
which they were pleased to doe accordingly but she afterwardes refused to stand thereto and would
not suffer them to proceed in arbitrating the same and hath (without your peticoners privaty still
followed on the same) whereby he's like to be utterly undone.

Now for that your peticioner being soe old and hath continued bed ridden
almost these two yeares soe that he is not able to helpe himselfe in
the said accions and she takeing advantage thereby hath caused him
to pawne and sell all he hath and still threatened to leave him not worth
a groat whereby he and his (if not assisted by your worshipps are like
to become a charge to the parish haveing nothinge left whereon to
subsist And alsoe for that her said accions are altogeather illegall
and unjustly prosecuted she being of a wicked lewd and troublesome
behaviour life and conversacion as by the articles and certificate of
diverse honest persons hereunto annexed may appeare

Hee therefore humbly prayes your worships to be pleased to
call the said Hellen Woodstocke and her husband before you, and to cause
them to put the same to arbitration whereby noe further
proceedinges may be therein, soe that your peticoner may depart
the world in peace and quiett without becomeing a charge to the
parish which he much desireth.

And shall ever peray etc.

Richard Pemberton, shoemaker. WJ/SP/1645/010 (1645)

To the right worshipfull the Justices of this Honorable Bench.

The humble peticion of Richard Pemberton. shoomaker


That about 3 moneths since, uppon the fast day at night one Nicholas
Ardoe a youth came to your petitioners house, about 8 of the clocke in the night to his
sonne, whoe and desir'd to be lodg'd with him that night, whoe contrary to your
petitioners knowledge tooke him in, the said Nicholas having then before come sicke
out of a house in Dunghill Alley, as hee himselfe confest, Afterwardes, though
it was unknowne, when he came into your petitioners house, and was lodg'd the
Wednesday night and Thursday night in the house, before your petitioner knew of it,
and afterwardes the said Nicholas desiring to returne to the house in Dunghill
Alley whence hee came, and to have one to goe along with him, your petitioner accordingly
sent one with him thither, whoe refused to entertaine him, and being brought back
againe to your petitioners house in the night, in that weake condition, your petitioner in
charity was constrayned to get him a lodging other where, at a womans house
whoe kept him 2 nightes and 2 dayes, in her house, till the paines of death came
uppon him and then turn'd him out of doores whoe with extremity of sicknes
run madd about the streetes, notwithstanding your petitioner paid for his being there and for
other necessaries for him.

That whilst the petitioner went to the officer, to seeke meanes to gett him
into the house where hee was turnd out in that extremity, the examiners
came, and by violence broke up your petitioners doores contrary to 2 Justices Orderes,
by which meanes your petitioners having lodgeres, they have deserted their lodgings,
and your petitioner wholly lost his trading and custome to his utter undoing.

Your petitioner humbly therefore prayeth the Honorable Bench to take
your petitioners sad condition into consideracion, his house having by
this occasion beene shut up 7 weekes, To order that hee may
bee freed of this insupportable charge, laid uppon him, And further
for his releife as in your wisedomes shalbe thought fitt

And hee shall ever pray etc

this buisnesse is referred to Mr Edwardes and
Mr Carter to heare and determine or certifie

Elizabeth Hunt, a poor servant. WJ/SP/1645/011 (1645)

To the Right Worshipfull Justices holding Sessions
of the Peace at WestMinster'

The humble petition of Elizabeth Hunt, a poore servant.

That your petitioner was a hired servant unto John Alsoone A French man
(who lived in the Crowne Court in Russell streete within this libertie) for the
yearly wages of 45s. That there is one yeare and a halfes wages
due to your petitioner her said master with her mistress and children being all dead of the
Plague and your poore petitioner after her sicknes and great danger undergone
turned out of dores, and the goods locked up by Mr Linxcome a cooke
who is one of the overseers.

Your petitioner being brought beefore Justice Carter by the landlord hath
upon her oath given a true accompt of the goods, and in all things
performed the duty of a faithfull servant

It is humbly prayed, That warrant may bee
given by this worshipfull Bench unto the high
constable of that ward, Mr Linxcome and the
landlord That they forthwith satisfye your petitioner her
said wages together with so much as is due to the
apothecary for phisick for your petitioner (which shee humbly
conceiveth) is not above 5s. Or that goods may
bee delivered unto your petitioner to a full value

And shee will praye

The neighbors subscribed doe testefye
the said wages to bee due with the other things
mencioned in the petition

  • And Barfot
  • Mary Hayes
  • Eliabeth Staker
  • And Alacine

The matters peticioned of are referred to Mr Edwardes aand Mr
Carter to heare and determine yf they can or else to certifie
and in the meane tyme the warrantes to be served and kept
by Mr Linxcome [illegible] and Mr Garrett [illegible].

Hellen Ricketts, a poor nursekeeper. WJ/SP/1645/012 (1645)

To the right worrshipfull the Justices of the Honorable Bench

The humble peticion of Hellen Ricketts a poore
nursekeeper a widdow


That your petitioner was 8 weekes a nursekeeping in a visited house of one
John Hance a bookbinder in Russell streete, the whole family dying out
of the said house, save onely the maidservant, and your petitioner your petitioner being
xls yet unsatisfied for her care and paines taken therein.

Shee humbly prayeth this Honorable Bench to take her into
consideracion, And to order that shee may be paid her wages
for her carefull diligent attendance, in the said visited house
As in your wisedomes shalbe thought fitt.

And shee shall ever pray etc.

This matter is allso referred to Mr Carter and Mr Edwardes
to be all in one order with that of Eliz Hunt

Elizabeth Lawley, distressed relict of Lancelott Lawley. WJ/SP/1645/013 (1645)

To the Right worshipfull Bench

The humble peticion of Elizabeth Lawley the miserable
distressed relict of Lancelott Lawley tailler deceased


Whereas hee formerly held a litle bulk under one Mr. Barnaby
grocer and by Godees blessing upon his indeavors procured a competent
livelyhood for the petitioner and her poore children untill one morning
having att request of a Member of Parliament gone upon a message
and then falling to work againe as a tailler, by the faire
promises of a further message and other inticementes of one Edward
Evans John Watkins and James Douglas was allured from
forth his shopp, and thereupon they with theire confederates
threw one another upon him till at last hee received a
fatall bruise in his body which stoppt his naturall
passages and thereof languishing neere 24 weekes in a
lamentable manner yeilded his life, the petitioner having
totally exhausted herself and freindes to prolong his life
soe long as the Lord permitted her. [illegible]

In regard whereof and that this his death was
occasioned by the said agentes confederacy as her said
husband on his deathbedd deposed before witness

Shee humbly prayeth That for such
conspiracy and losse shee may upon due
proof and examinacion heereof receive
such timely redresse for releif of her self and
litle ones as to your worships grave wisedomes
in equity shall seeme meete

And shee will pray etc

Edmund Wood. WJ/SP/1645/014 (1645)

To the Worshipfull Assembly of the Justices and others
for the Quarter Sessions holden in Westminster.

The humble peticion of Edmund Wood.


That your petitioners daughter Martha Wood, was covenante servant
to Richard Lambe attorney att 40s a yeare and lived with him
21 weekes and upwards which comes to 16s. 6d. or thereabouts,
whereof 5s. received.

And your petitioners daughter falling sicke, hee put her forth to
nursskeeping to one Widdow Wharton, aand sent her cloathes
thither, and promised to pay all charges dureing her sicknes who
is since deceased,

Your pettioner humbly pray that the said Mr Lamb may
be sent for and ordered to pay the said Widdow Wharton
whereby the said cloathes may be redelivered
to your petitioner The rather in regard your petitioner paid for his said
daughters buryall, and did send her money dureing her
sicknes, as alsoe that her wages may be paid unto
your petitioner.

And he shall ever pray for the happines
of this Assembly.

Robert Tedder, brewer. WJ/SP/1645/015 (1645)

To the right Worshipfull the Justices of his Majesties
Peace in this present Sessions assembled

The humble peticion of Robert Tedder brewer

Humbly sheweth

That your petitioner about 10 weekes since hired one Thomas Liddell for the
terme of 5 yeares, from that tyme to ymploy the said Lydell with a
dray to carry beare, the said dray by the negligence of the said Lidell or
other misfortune went over the toe of a bricklayer in the high way whereby
he lost his joint, whereuppon the said Lydall was apprehended and carried
before a Justice, and the petitioner became his baile

Butt soe it is may it please your worshipes that one Parradice unkle to the
said Lydall within short tyme after tooke away the said servant and
bound him apprentice in London, and yet notwithstanding suffereth your
petitioner (contrary to all equity and conscience) to answer for the fact of the
said Lydall done to the said bricklayer

In consideracion whereof hee humbly prayeth your worshipes to order
the said bricklayer to prosecute the said Mr Parradice for his
releife, and that your petitioner may be forthwith dischardged of and from
the same

And your petitioner shalbe bound to pray for your worshipes

John Battersby and Mary Parker. WJ/SP/1645/016 (1645)

To the right worshipful the Justices of Peace for the Citty
and Libertyes of Westminster.

The humble peticion of John Battersby and
Mary Parker.

Sheweth: That by the non residence of some person in Ebury
Farme in the parish of St Martins, the barnes and outhousing
there are so filled and infected with divers poore people some lame
blynde and impotent others sturdy beggers to the nomber of 60 and
above, who pretend they came out of Ireland; and many
children borne there, likely to prove very burthensome to the
parish, and to increase sicknes, and many other dangerous
consequences like to arise thereby.

The petitioners therefore humbly pray for some speedy course
may be taken for the removing of them.

And etc.

Jone Abram, wife of Henry Abram of St Martin in the Fields. WJ/SP/1645/017 (1645)

To the right worshipfull the Justices of Peace
for the Citie and liberties of Westminster

The humble peticion of Jone Abram wife of Henry
Abram of the parish of St. Martin in the Feildes.


That there being some differences in wordes betweene your petitioner and Jane Carvell
the wife of Thomas Carvell of the said parish victualler: the said Carvell and his
wife, onely for the said wordes, arrested your petitioners said husband three severall times, first
into the Marshalles Court, secondly into the Court of Kings bench, and thirdly on
Saterday last into the Marshalles Court againe, and yesterday (being the Lordes day)
carryed her said husband to the Marshalsey prison, where he remayneth in great
distresse and misery.

Forasmuch as your petitioners ssaid husband is a most miserable poore man, and hath no
other meanes of livelyhood to maintaine him selfe and her, and their two poore children
but by his hard labour with carrying water on his back, from the River of Thames
So that hee being now in durance, hee and they are all like to perish and starve
for want of sustenance being utterly unable, either to pay the fees of the prison
for her husbandes enlargement or to releive their necessities, so that shee and her poore
children must be burdensome to the parish.

Your petitioners humble suite therefore is. That your Worshipps wilbe pleased
to send for the said Carvell and his wife before you and take
such order with them for her said husbandes speedy enlargement
as your Worships in your grave wisdomes shall think meete.

And shee, her husband and children shalbe ever bound to
pray for your Worships eternall prosperities.

Ordered that Thomas Carvell to be sent for
to attend the Court about this buisnes forthwith

John Evans, locksmith. WJ/SP/1645/018 (1645)

To the worshipfull the Bench of Justices for the
Citty of Westminster.

The humble peticion of John Evans lockesmith an antiente
housekeeper and inhabitante there.


That the petitioner takeing a shopp of Walter Powell at the Windmill in
Peter streete in Westminster covenanted with him, that if hee would make
your petitioner a convenient chamber over the said shopp, your petitioner would then give
him 3li. per annum for the shopp and chamber, which the said Powell promised
forthwith to doe as by sufficient wittnesses may appeare,

That the petitioner upon the said promise entred into the said shopp or
shedd and there continued for the space of neere 6 yeeres duly paying
the said rent of 3li. for the same untill Midsummer last past,
notwithstanding hee could not obtaine his said bargaine from
Powell in all that time, whereby your petitioner was enforced to lye
at charge abroad at the said Powells and other victuallinge
howses to his great prejudice and detrimente, And at Midsummer
(as at divers other times before) your petitioner insisting upon his said
bargaine, demanded the same of Powell who with much
violence denyed the same, threatning (as still hee doth) to
arrest and trouble your petitioner and warning him out of the shopp
hath taken out writtes to arrest and trouble your petitioner with suites of
lawe for pretended rent due, when as by the said bargaine hee
ought to restore much of your petitioners moneyes (to him paid) backe
againe, as hee hopeth this worshipfull Bench will conceive.

Hee humbly therefore craveth that this worshipfull bench
would take the premisses into consideracion, and soe
to order, that the petitioner maie have justice done him, and not to bee overswayed by his adversaryes violence

And the petitioner shall pray etc.

Leonard Roades, constable of Knightsbridge. WJ/SP/1645/019 (1645)

To the Right worshippfull Enball Thelwall Esquire Deputy Steward of
the Citty and Liberties of Westminster and to the rest of his Majesties Justices of the Peace
Assembled at this Quarter Sessions.

The humble peticion of Leonard Roades Constable of

Humbly Sheweth

That wheareas your petitioner hath beene complayned on and feareth to be returned into
the Crowne office for not presenting the repayre of the high waye at Knightsbridge
which lyeth in twoe severall parishes, your petitioner being a man illerat and altogeither ignorant
howe or which waye to present the said defect, by reason there hath beene noe Surveyours
sworne for those partes these twoe yeares, whom your petitioner supposed to be only liable to be
presented for the same defect. In consideracion of the premisses

Most humbly prayeth this honorable Bench to be pleased to order
that there may be Surveyours sworne and to remitt to your petitioner his
said neglect in respect of his weakness.

And your petitioner shall daylie praye etc.

Hanna Lovering, widow, on behalf of her daughter Elizabeth Lovering. WJ/SP/1646/001 (1646)

To the right worshipfull the Justices of Peace
for the Citty and liberties of Westminster

The humble peticion of Hanna Lovering widdow in the behalfe
of her daughter Elizabeth Lovering a poore fatherles childe


That in November 1644 the said Elizabeth was bound in the nature of an apprentice to one
James Fuller and his wife for 3 yeares. Who were to teach her the art of a sempstresse and
for which they had at the sealing of the indentures 40s:

That the said apprentice lived with the said Fuller and his wife about a yeare, and never taught
in the said art, but used as a drudge to do the worke about the howse and fetch in water.
And the said Fullers wife not therewith content, most cruelly abused the said apprentice and
beate her with a candlestick about her shoulders, and made them black and blew, and so
did divers times formerly. So that the said apprentice, being in feare of her life, or losse of
her life limbs, was constrayned to leave her service, The said Fuller and his wife
keeping her clothes from her, and xxs. of the said 40s. which they were engaged to repay
upon any dislike: Which they denying to do, Mr. Justice Thelwall bound them over to
answeare the same before this Worshipfull Bench.

Your petitioners humble suite therefore is. That Your Worships wilbe pleased to
cause the said Fuller, and his wife to restore the said poore fatherles
childe her clothes, and to repay the said 20s. according to their
covenant in the said indenture

And your petitioner and her said childe shall daily pray etc.