STAC 5/P4/37 - B Dr - 38 Eliz - Lincolnshire - Francis Pickering v Richard Lolly see STAC Pickering
Transcribed by Helen Good
Bill of Complaint
[dated on verso Saturday 17 Dec Anno 38 Eliz - William Mill]
To the Queens most excellent Majesty
Humbly complaining showeth and declareth unto your most excellent Majesty your highness faithful true and obedient subject Francis Pickering of the city of Lincoln mercer that whereas your faithful subject was one of the Churchwardens of the parish of Saint Benedict in your said city of Lincoln in the thirty seventh year of your majesty’s most prosperous reign And he together with the other churchwarden namely Nicholas Bishoppe did labour and by earnest means endeavour according to the laws statutes and ordinances and injunctions of this your Highness realm of England to find out all offenders and present all and every such offences and misdemeanours as might or should be committed and perpetrated against the said laws statutes ordinances ordinances and injunctions by any person or persons inhabiting or dwelling within the said parish of Saint Benedict in the said city of Lincoln during the time and year Wherein your said subject and the said Nicholas Bishopp should be charged with the said office by the laws and customs of this your highness realm of England the search inquiry and presentment whereof did to them properly appertain by your said laws and customs and by reason of their office aforesaid by virtue of which office and charge your said subject and the said Nicholas Bishopp having not only heard by the credible report and common fame of others your majesty’s subjects dwelling and inhabiting within your said parish of Saint Benedict in Lincoln aforesaid but having of their own knowledge understood that one Anne Poole a single woman and never married being a notorious and infamous strumpet was as an hired servant in the house of one Richard Lollye of the city of Lincoln mercer and was by the unlawful haunt and resort of lewd company and evil disposed persons to the house of the said Richard Lollye within the said parish of Saint Benedict in the said city of Lincoln conceived of child to the great discredit of her said master being often warned by some of his friends neighbours and well willers to discharge that wicked [?naughelye] [?packe] of his service to put her out of his house and to procure that she might have condign punishment according to the ecclesiastical laws in the case provided. but so far was also Richard Lollye from giving care to that good counsel and from following the good advice of his good friends and neighbours that contrary wise he endeavoured by all means possible to save and withdraw the said Anne Poole from the danger penalty and coercion of the laws aforesaid and did give forth words of comfort to the said ungodly and shameless woman whereby she might be emboldened and hardened in her wickedness and also be encouraged to commit the same other like offences to the displeasing of god and the violation of the commendable laws and orders of this your Highness realm of England. And further although the said Anne Poole was three years ago or there about next and immediately before the said year of thirty seven brought in bed of a child begotten and born out of unlawful matrimony in the said house of the said Richard Lolly within the said parish of Saint Benedict in the city of Lincoln aforesaid yet the said Richard Lolly did now again also namely the tenth day of April in the said thirty seventh year of your majesty’s most happy reign labour and take great pains to find out some convenient house where the said Anne Poole might be lodged during the time of her second travail now growing upon her and until she should be brought in bed and well delivered of her misbegotten child and did provide a place for her accordingly within the said parish of Saint Benedict and near to the dwelling house of the said Richard Lolly at which place the said Anne Poole was not long after brought in bed and delivered of a child And your said subject and the said Nicholas Bishoppe having had certain intelligence and notice of the same did afterwards that is to say the first day of June in the said thirty seventh year of your majesty’s most gracious reign or there about fully purpose give out speeches and openly profess that they would present the said Anne Poole to the visitor or visitor’s officer or officers lawfully appointed and authorised by the Ecclesiastical magistrate who hath power to deal in the inquiry and punishment of this and the like offences for the said last offence committed by the said Anne Poole during this said year of their office aforesaid. But so it is if it may please your most excellent majesty that the said Richard Lollye hearing of the said purpose and intent of the said Churchwardens for the presenting of the said Anne Poole for the offence aforesaid did the sixth day of June in the year next abovesaid in great choler anger and rage come unto you said the subject as he was quietly and peaceably walking by his own house in the said parish of Saint Benedict and then and there in open assembly and in the presence of his neighbours uttered many bitter railing and threatening speeches against your said subject and told him expressly and in plain terms that if he together with his said companion in the office durst be so bold or should present to the Ecclesiastical officer or officers aforesaid the said Anne Poole for the offence aforesaid and that if he did use his wonted saucy dealing in threatening and procuring the punishment and correction of the said Anne Poole, And because heretofore he had been so sharp and eager against her in discrediting him and his house (there being no other occasion nor motive of grudge enmity and displeasure offered and done to the said Richard Lollye by your said subject, but only his faithful dealing and earnest pursuit in procuring the just and speedy execution of your majesty’s laws upon the said Anne Poole as worthily deserving it) that therefore he the said Richard Lolly would cause your said subject to have heat sitting and that he would enforce him to shut up his shop windows whereas your said subject may by the laws and customs of this your highness realm of and according to the private customs of the city of Lincoln aforesaid use and exercise that trade of mercery and hopeth still to continue it in such lawful manner as he hitherto hath done without any breach of duty or law of which he hath hitherto been more careful than the said Richard Lolly: but notwithstanding this said threatenings and hard speeches given for by the said Richard Lollye your majesty’s said subject and the said Nicolas Bishoppe preferring the public execution of your majesty’s laws injunctions and statutes before their own private profit and estate did afterward as Churchwardens of the said parish of Saint Benedict aforesaid in the said city of Lincoln according to [their former] intent and meaning above mentioned and according as by duty and oath they were bound present the said Anne Poole for the offence aforesaid by her committed during the said year of their office above said to the end that she might receive condign punishments according to [the] demerits and offence abovesaid After which presentment made and taken in form of law the said Richard Lolly taking great indignation and stomach at the said presentment did afterward at several times ensuing very maliciously and enviously quarrel with your said subject and use [. . .] contemptuous [. . .] and slanderous speeches against your said subject, whereas your said subject hath no manner of ways injured or deserved evil at the hands of the said Richard Lollye. In consideration whereof and for as much as the said abuse and reproachful dealing was done by the said Richard Lollye to your said suppliant during the year and time of his office abovesaid and for a matter solely and perfectly belonging to his office aforesaid contrary to the laws statutes and good orders of this is your highness realm of England and the said words of the said Richard Lolly (namely that your said suppliant should have heat sitting) do purport great danger by fire like to be done upon the houses or tenements goods and chattels of your said suppliant to his continual [. . .] and utter impoverishment and undoing and and to the hurtful and pernicious example of other evil disposed persons in like case to offend. May it therefore please your highness the premises considered to grant unto your said subject your gracious writ of Subpoena to be directed to the said Richard Lolly commanding him thereby to appear before your highness and the lords of your majesty’s most honourable Privy Council in your highness court of Star Chamber at a certain day and under a certain pain therein to be limited then and there to answer to the premises and to stand to such order and direction therein as to their honourable wisdoms shall seem expedient and necessary. And you said subject shall according to his power of bounden duty daily pray unto god for the preservation of your most excellent majesty in all happiness and felicity long to continue.
[Friday 6 February Anno 38 Eliz - William Mill]
The demurrer in law of Richard Lolly defendant to the Bill of Francis Pickeringe Complainant.
The said Defendant by protestation not acknowledging the matters and surmises of the said Bill to be true doth Demur in law upon the said Bill and demandeth Judgement of this honourable Court whether he shall be put to make any answer to the same. And for cause of Demurrer saith and will aver justify prove and maintain that the matters and pretended offences and misdemeanours in the said Bill alleged to be committed by this Defendant be no ways examinable or determinable in this most honourable Court, neither hath it been the usage or custom of this honourable Court to take knowledge of such vain and frivolous matters as be contained in the said Bill, For as by the said Bill appeareth this defendant is not thereby charged with any other matter or offence but that he hath given some hard and evil speeches to the complainant being a Churchwarden for just dealing in matters touching his office of Churchwardenship, which is if it were true a misdemeanour of small Importance to trouble so honourable a presence withal, and the Complainant might have had redress concerning the pretended misdemeanour of this defendant set forth in the said Bill either before the Ecclesiastical Judge or by way of binding this defendant to the keeping of her majesty's peace and had no cause (the quality of the said supposed offences considered) to seek for relief in this most honourable Court for which causes this Defendant doth as aforesaid demur in law upon the said Bill and to prayeth from this honourable Court to be dismissed with his costs and charges in this behalf wrongfully sustained.