STAC 5/G18/19

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Court of Star Chamber:

John Grenewell v Parcyvall Harbotle, Nicholas Blacket, George Birde & Willm Kaye

Transcript: Dave King

(Note: this is related to suits brought in both Chancery & Exchequer courts, and detail is provided in the Chancery Decree C 78/110/6 of November 1599. Other references:

  • C 3/241/59
  • C 21/931/14
  • E 134/36Eliz/East3)


Bill of Complaint:

dated on reverse: ...s iij May Anno xxxv Elizabeth Regine Willm Mill

To the Quenes moste excellente Ma[jes]tye

In most humble mann[er] complayninge shewe unto your Highnes Your Ma[jesty] your supp[liant]e John Grenewell of Your Highnes Towne and Countie of Newcastle upon Tyne M[er]channte that whereas one Parcivall Harbotle was aboute Michaelmas laste seised of and in one Mesuage or tenem[en]te w[i]th dyverse landes tenem[en]tes & hereditam[en]tes therunto belonginge in Ravensworthe in the Countie of Durham for Terme of his lyfe. And likewise of and in one other mesuage or Tenem[en]te w[i]th dyverse landes tenem[en]tes & hereditam[en]tes theirunto belonginge in Kiblesworthe in the said Countie of Durham for terme of dyverse years yet induringe And so being seised, for money lente and wares boughte was indebted unto your said supp[lian]t in dyvers great somes of money, for and towardes the paym[en]t wheirof, and for satisfaction & paym[en]t of dyvers other somes of money w[hi]ch the said Parcivall Harbotle was then owinge unto dyverse other p[er]sons: All & sing[ular] the foresaid Mesuages landes tenem[en]tes & p[re]misses, and the whole Estate and Intereste of the said Parcivall theirin were by good & sufficient conveyances and assurances in the Lawe (redie to be shewed to this hono[rable] Courte) bargained solde and conveyed unto your said supp[liant] by vertewe wheirof he was theirof seised, and the same occupied & inioyed to his owne use accordinglye, untill in or aboute the thre and twentith daie of Februarie laste in the midnighte of the same daie, that the said Parcyvall Harbotle, one Nicholas Blackett George Birde & one Thomas Kaye servante of the said George Birde being accompanied w[i]th dyverse others to the number of twelve p[er]sons to Your supp[liant] unknowen, and being armes and arrayed w[i]th Lannces, Jackes pistolls, handgunnes, swordes daggers and other weapons aswell invasive as defensive and p[re]tendinge and constantlye affirminge them selves to have a Warrante from the Righte honorable the Lo[rd] Kep[er] for the doinge therof, (w[hi]ch indede they had not) riotouslye routouslie, and in most unlawfull mann[er] to the terror of all the Inhabitantes theiraboutes did breake upp the doores, and batter downe some p[ar]te of the walles of ... said howse in Ravensworthe aforesaid and then and their after entrie theirinto made in most cruell and barbarous mann[er] did beate wounde and evill intreate one John [?Craike?] & John Waster your said supp[liantes] servantes beinge then and their in gods and your Ma[jestys] peace then and their w[i]th their swordes gyvinge unto the said Crooke suche a depe wounde in the head that the blood issued forthe apace, and then and their allso givinge unto the said Waister w[i]th their weapons suche a stroke upon the backe, wheirbie he remainethe in greate danger of deathe, and is enforced ev[er] sythence to kepe his bedde for the same. And the said Riotors, and evill disposed p[er]sons not being so contente did then and their allso in most cruell and savage mann[er] beate twoe of your said supp[liantes] women serv[antes] the one of them then beinge greate w[i]th childe, who by reason theirof shortlie after was extreme sicke and very untimelye fell in labour. And the said malefactors then and theire pullinge the said women forthe of their beddes, most riotouslie, routouslie & unlawfullye did thruste them and all your said supp[liantes] other servantes forthe of the dores in the nighte tyme into the streates, wheirbie they were compelled to wander all the same nighte in the feildes, not w[i]thout extreme dannger of their lyves. And from that tyme unto the exhibitinge of this bill do in like riotous routous and disordered mann[er] forciblie kepe the possession of the said mesuage and other the p[re]misses w[i]th thapp[ur]tenances from your said suppl[iant] waistinge and consuminge all your said supp[licantes] corne vitailes and howsholde stuffe their remaininge. And the issues & p[ro]fites of all & singular the p[re]misses wrongfullye, and w[i]thoute anie Coloure of Righte convertinge to their owen use and behalfe, and will by no meane p[er]mitte or suffer your said supp[liant] to have and inioye the same or anie parte or p[ar]cell theirof, to his great losse damage and utter undoinge. And your said suppl[iant] further shewethe that imidiatelie before this outrage comitted the offendors aforesaid beinge armed as aforesaid came in like ryotous, and unlawfull mann[er] unto a woman dwellinge in a Cottage nere adioyninge unto the said Mesuage in Ravensworthe aforesaid and demannded of her who were in the said Mesuage and then and their threatned her, that if she tolde them not trulie or of she did ..nie waie descrye the said malefactors or their names, that then they wolde run her thorowe w[i]th their swordes by reason wheirof she was put in great feare of her lyfe And after wardes the said malefactors, came the same nighte and riotouslie routouslie and unlawfullie and w[i]thoute anie iuste cause, thruste her forthe of her said Cotage and as yet kepes her forthe of the same, by reason wheirof she is falne to suche extreme povertie, that she is compelled to begge The p[re]misses theirfore considered and forasmuch as Riottes Routes & unlawfull assemblies are not onelie contrarie to manie good & wholsome lawes & statutes of this your Ma[jesties] Realme; but allso a verie evil example & encoragem[en]t to dyverse & sundrie evill disposed p[er]sons to offend in the like nature yf the same shoulde escape unpunished. And forasmuche allso as the p[re]tending to have a Warrante from someof your Ma[jesties] moste honorable pryvie counsell for the doinge theirof as aforesaide (wheir in truthe their was no suche Warrante) is an intollerable abuse & misdemeanor offered unto your highnes: May yt theirfore please Your Ma[jestie] to grannte unto your said suppl[iant] your highnes most gracous p[ro]ces of Subpena to be directed unto the said Parcyvall Harbotle Nicholas Blacket, George Birde & Willm Kaye comanndinge them and ev[er]ie of them at a certaine daye and under a certa[in] paine theirin to be lymitted, p[er]sonallye to appeare before your moste honorable pryvie Counsell in your highnes Courte of Starre Chamber then & theire to answere the p[re]misses and further to stande to & abide suche order & Judgemente theirin as to your highnes & said Counsell shall seme to stande w[i]th Equitie & Righte, And your said suppl[icant] shall continuallye praye to god for your Ma[jesties] moste happie & p[ro]sperous Raigne longe to continue w[i]th Increase of all felicytie./

Ch: Shafto


Answer of Parcivall Harbottle:

... 11 Maij A[nno] 35 Elizabeth Regine Willm Mill

The Annswere of Parcivall Harbottle defendt to the Bill of Complt of John Greenwell Complaynant

The said defendant by p[ro]testacon not confessinge or acknowledginge any matter or thinge in the said Bill of Complaynt Conteyned to be true, And havinge thadvantage of excepcon to the incertentie and insufficiencie of the saide Bill nowe and at all tymes hereafter to this defendant saved. sayeth that as to the Ryotts Rowts unlawfull assemblies misdemeanors & offences in the said Bill of Complaynt menconed supposed to have been Comitted or done by this defendant That he this defendant ys not of them or any of them guiltie in such sort maner & forme as in the said Bill of Complaynt ys untrulie alledged, And humbly prayeth to be dismissed out of this honorable Court w[i]th his reasonable Costs & charges in this suite wrongfullie Susteyned

Bourne