STAC 5/W53/13r

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Les reportes del cases in Camera Stellata, 1593 to 1609 from the original ms. of John Hawarde edited by William Paley Baildon Published 1894 Pages 134-139

In Camera Stellata, coram Consilio ibidem, Veneris, 7° Maij, 1602, Annoque Elizab. Rnae 44. Term Pasche.

Sir Henry Winston informed against Sir Thomas Throckmorton for 'diverse heynouse offences,' in number now only nine, to all of which Sir Thomas pleaded Not Guilty. The first was for great extortion, namely: —

One Lewis in the County of Monmouth was barbarously murdered by his ‘Cosin Germain,' also named Lewse who was indicted, arraigned and executed for it; and another Lewis, brother to him who was murdered, being accessory to the murder, and the wife intending to proceed against him, he repaired to the said Sir Thomas Throckmorton, who assumed to acquit him and discharge him; and to this [end] advised and conferred with the said Lewis that money and large sums would have to be expended to procure this, and some great personages would have to be used to effect it. And therefore he imposed imputation on the Earl of Pembroke and his Lady, the Lord Admiral and the Chief Justice, without cause or probability of any colour. And therefore at the commencement [a I'entraunce] of the evidence, Phillips, of Counsel with the plaintiff, made apology that, notwithstanding the Earl of Pembroke and his Lady were by the said Sir Thomas injuriously scandalized, yet it would plainly appear that they were clear, and so proved by the Earl himself, by the depositions of others, and by the confession of Sir Thomas himself. The Attorney said, as to the others, that it was a great slander, for 'no harte in Englaunde did ever Conceave or had anye thoughte of Corruption in them; & if theise Fountaines be thus scandalized with Corruption, what shall wee poore brookes look for.' Sir Thomas Throckmorton, being a Justice of the Peace and one of the Council of the Marches, April 35 Elizabeth, took a statute for £1600 from the said Lewis without defeasance, but the intent and agreement was that the said Sir Thomas should (p.135) have £800 for freeing the said Lewes, which sum was paid to the said Sir Thomas; and to prove this he produced Sir Thomas's letters, and the depositions of Lewes and others.

Coventrie, Crue, Hutton, Toppam, and others, of Counsel with the defendant, did not defend the offence nor extenuate it, but they confessed that it was an offence in Sir Thomas, who submitted himself in all humility to the Court; and they all affirmed that in the first place it was not an offence of such a nature and quality as to receive sentence here, for it was not extortion, and so it was pardoned by the Statute of 39 Elizabeth, if it be outside or after the pardon of 35 Elizabeth; and Sir Thomas craved the benefit of Her Majesty's gracious pardon. And that it is not extortion is thus proved: Firstly, the said Sir Thomas is not a Justice of the Peace, nor ever was, in the County of Monmouthe, nor in any other County but in the County of Gloster only; and when one is of the Council of the Marches, their authority is only when they are appealed to and have instructions, and not otherwise; and Sir Thomas was never sworn, and so was not a Judge, Justice, or other officer in the County of Monmouthe, and therefore no extortion. And also the said Sir Thomas took and received the money, not to his own use, but to give and pay it to others; and thus he disbursed it to the use of Lewis, and therefore no corruption or extortion in him. Also the said Lewis intended bona fide to intermarry with the daughter of the said Sir Thomas, and he was never indicted or arraigned for the felony, but Sir Thomas thought in his conscience that he was innocent, and not guilty of [the crime]; and also the wife of the murderer had the indictment against her husband removed into the Queen's Bench, where it was quashed for insufficiency; therefore the accessory cannot be indicted; for by law, where the principal is not legitimo modo attinctus et convictus, the accessory cannot be [put] in jeopardy of his life.

And firstly, as to whether it was extortion or not, the Court seemed to be of opinion that it was, and also that it was (p.136) excepted from the pardon of 39 Elizabeth; but the consideration of this was reserved that the Judges might dehver their opinions on the next day.' And upon this was now much good matter dehvered touching extortion and its nature to devour him who uses it, and the difference between extortion and bribery in a Judge or Officer, the grievousness of the offence, as to the punishment of Sir Wilham Thorpe, Chief Justice of England, for adjourning the trial of a felon to the next Assizes following, for which offence he was indicted, arraigned, and executed for high treason; and this was confirmed by Act of Parliament, so heinous, grievous and odious is the offence of corruption and extortion in a Judge.

Much good matter was delivered by the Lord Keeper and others touching the authority of the Council of Wales, under the Statutes of 26 Henry VIII., cap. 4 & 6, and 84 Hen. VIII., cap. 26, [by which] the President and Council were created. And therefore if a man be made a Judge by patent and be not sworn, still he is a Judge, and shall be punished for extortion or corruption as a Judge: and that he is not sworn is his own fault, and he shall be punished for this. So is the case of the Council of Wales, who are made by patent, and, within all the Marches of Wales, each has good and equal authority; but if they are not named to the Council and [do not] receive instructions from the Queen, they cannot sit nor have an allowance for their ' dyete ' at the Queen's charge. This point also was referred to the Judges to consider.

(p.137) By the Lord Keeper: If a defendant in this Court be charged with several offences and is a delinquent in his defence, then all manner of proof is to be extended, with any kind of favourable and gracious interpretation, to charge and condemn him; and this is the use and rule of this Court.

Also a use or rule observed in this Court, if the plaintiff has examined witnesses on interrogatories which are published, the defendant shall not re-examine them or other witnesses on new interrogatories, but on those first ones only.

In Camera Stellata, coram Consillo ibidem, Mercurij, 12 Maij, 1602. Elizab. 44. Termino Pasche.

The same cause between Sir Henry Winston and Thomas Throckmorton. It was opened now that in Michaelmas Term, 43 and 44 Eliz., Sir Henry Winston was plaintiff against Sir Thomas Throckmorton, who was sentenced and fined 1000 marks for a fraudulent deed, pronounced by two verdicts to be fraudulent; and after those verdicts, the said Sir Thomas bargained for this deed secretly and subtilely that he had not notice of this and that he purchased this and to whom the assignment was made. And in Hilary Term, 44 Eliz., Sir Thomas Throckmorton was plaintiff against the said Sir Henry, who was fined £1000 for ' intemperancye et batteryes ' as Justice of the Peace, in resisting warrants, and principally for procuring an indictment for felony and burglary to be made and found petty larceny.

The Judges resolved that the offence of the said Sir Thomas was extortion and not excepted in the pardons of 35 or 39 [Elizabeth], and that he was a justice of oyer and terminer in this county.

The second offence with which they charged the said Sir Thomas was that he by his bailiff seized the sheep of one (p.138) Mason on suspicion that he was guilty of the death of one who [had been] eight months buried. After [which time, Sir Thomas] procured the Coroner to raise him, and by a jury of his tenants to inquire concerning his death; and he spoke to the Coroner and the Jurors for the favour that they would not acquit so evil a man, so that as lord of the Manor, he should have chattels of felons. And he bound [Mason] over at three Assizes, when he was discharged by proclamation; and then he was pressed, through the information of the said Sir Thomas, and sent after the Captain to Bathe for service in Ireland. And he returned without his Captain's warrant, and was then committed by the said Sir Thomas: but the time of this offence was uncertain, and so was pardoned by 35 Elizabeth.

Whereupon good matter was resolved by all the Judges, the Attorney and the Lord Keeper, that if a man take money as 'presse-monie,' and be in charge of his Captain, and then depart without warrant, it is felony by the statute of 3 Henry VII., which is not repealed but continues in force. (And therefore the Attorney advises students of the law to read the Statutes at large, and not to trust to the Abridgements.) And it is good discretion in any Justice of the Peace to commit such a person, and for the like offence divers [persons] were executed at Mildende, and now it is necessary to publish this.

The third offence. One [blank] Neste, was seised of land in tail, having issue two sons; both the sons were accused of murder; the said Sir Thomas took a bond from the younger son of £200 for the payment of £100 after his father's death, to condemn his elder brother of the said murder, and another bond of £200 for the payment of £100 after his father's death, to discharge himself of robbery and felony.

The fourth offence. In taking money to discharge pressed soldiers; but this was against Garlike and other two servants of the said Sir Thomas, and not against Sir Thomas himself.

(p.139) And so on the whole matter, the said Sir Thomas was, for the first offence only, the extortion, fined 2000 marks, with imprisonment and public confession at the next Assizes.

Garlike, for taking money to discharge pressed soldiers, was fined £40, with imprisonment and restitution to the parties: and the others were fined £20, with imprisonment and restitution.


see STAC Winston