STAC 5/W6/38 - B - 16 Eliz - Buckinghamshire - John Weston v Stephen Gurnye, James Long, Matthew Chamberlain, Miles Langley, Anthony Rookes, Jane Gurnye see STAC Weston
Transcribed by Helen Good
To the Queens most excellent Majesty
In most humble wise showeth and complaineth unto your most excellent Majesty your humble faithful and obedient subject John Weston of Byshopston Bishopstone] within the parish of Stone within the county of Bucks, day labourer. That whereas your said subjects with his wife and many poor children were without all inhabitation and dwelling and for want of relief and succour were like utterly to perish and whereas one Ursula Lee of Morton within the parish of Dynton [Dunton] in the county of Bucks aforesaid widow who did hold for them of her life certain land in Byshypston aforesaid, wherein the tenants of the said hamlet of Byshypston do claim to have common of pasture when the crop of the said ground is carried off and when the same ground doth lie fallow, of her charitable devotion and pity towards your said subject his wife and poor children at her own proper costs and charges did erect and build a certain small cottage upon the said land and did licence also your said subject to enclose three acres of the said land which the said Ursula did as well for charity as is aforesaid as also by the common consent and agreement of the most part of the Inhabitants of the said town of Byshopton to whom this place seemed most fit and convenient to build the said cottage on, whereby there might be some body there abiding and remaining to save and keep the said field when it was sown from the peril and hurt of such cattle as should break into the same field, but most especially and chiefly from the beasts and cattle of one Steven Gurnye who was a continual and daily wilful offender there in and a great disturber of his neighbours. Which said cottage together with the said three acres of ground your said subject quietly had and enjoyed and for the better maintenance of the same did enclose the said three acres leaving forth sufficient and convenient way for such parties as ought to have common of pasture as is aforesaid which in the same to go and come in to the same and have free egress and regress to bring and drive to and from their cattle to use and enjoy the said common at their will and pleasure when and as often as they ought to have common there, in which said ground so enclosed your said subject did peaceably and quietly hold and enjoy until the eighth day of March last past or thereabout at twelve of the clock of the night of the same day or thereabouts one James Longe, Mathewe Chamberlyn, Myles Langlye, and Antony Roockes servants to the said Steven Gurnye and Jane Gurnye wife to the said Steven Gurnye with divers other naughty malicious and disordered persons to the number of twelve persons or thereabout unto your said subject being yet unknown, being arrayed with bowes and arrows bills long piked staves mattocks shovels and spades as other weapons as well invasive as defensive by the instigation procurement and setting on of Steven Gurnye and Jane his wife aforesaid, in most riotous manner at Byshopston in the parish of Stone in the county of Bucks aforesaid did assemble & congregate them selves together and then and there thus arrayed with the said shovels mattocks and spades did not only cast and hurl down the bounds of the said enclosure but did then pluck ope the quick set which your said subject had set upon the said enclosure in contempt of your majestys laws crown and dignity and to the great loss manifest hinderance and utter undoing of your said subject. And whereat also Elizabeth Weston wife to your said subject had heard by the report of divers credible persons that the said Steven Gurney had divers times uttered in his common talk that your said subject being her husband should have an unquiet life if he dealt by him, pitifully moved and requested the said Steven Gurnye to stand good master unto your said subject being her husband and to suffer your said subject to use in quietness the said ground, he not withstanding being moved with rancour malice and raging fury the third day of the month of November last past did come unto the cottage of your said subject and then and there did not only revile the said wife of your said subject with most manifest shameful and slanderous words of reproof and infamy but moved with evil intent and purpose then and there with his bill did beat wound and evil entreat the said Elizabeth wife to your said subject in such violent wise and manner that the said Elizabeth doth lie and remain in great peril and danger of life. And the said Steven Gurnye is not only moved likewise with like anger and fury towards the said Ursula Lee but also towards all such the inhabitants of Byshopston aforesaid as gave their consent to the to the building of the said cottage and of his malicious mind purpose and intent doth daily seek to endamage hinder and molest not only the said Ursula therefor but also all the said inhabitants of Bishopston aforesaid especially by defacing the mere stones or mere stakes set and pitched in the fields of Byshopston aforesaid for the tending and limiting the ground of the said Ursula Lee from the ground of her neighbours by the continual driving of his laden carts of set purpose and intent over the said mere stones or mere stakes and by altering of her mere bounds but also by plucking up or procuring the plucking up of divers other mere stones between divers others. Which said riot rout unlawful assembly battery and other misdemeanours will be to the dangerous and pernicious example of all such offenders to commit the like here after unless some condign punishment be here instantly had. It may therefore please your most excellent majesty to grant forth her most gracious writ of subpoena to be directed to the said Steven Gurnye, James Longe, Mathewe Chamberlen, Myles Langlye, Anthony Roockes and Jane Gurnye commanding them and either of them personally to appear before your said Majesty in your highness most honourable Court of Star Chamber at a certain day in the said writs to be appointed to answer to all and singular the premises upon a certain pain in the said writ to be limited.