STAC 5/C20/12 - B A - 33 Eliz - Devon - Robert Crosse v Robert Nordon, John Larder Jr, Edward May, Henry Stephens, John Larder Sr, Matthew Stephens, Elizabeth Stephens, William Norcot alias Nordon, Methany Norcott alias Nordon, William Tye, Thomas Tye, William Pownd, John Holway, Richard Baker, Collice Baker see STAC Cross
Transcribed by Helen Good
To the Queens most excellent Majesty
In most humble manner showeth onto your highness your faithful obedient and dutiful subject Robert Crosse of Plymptree in the County of Devon husbandman. That whereas one Robert Nordon of Plymptree aforesaid together with divers others stood bounden unto your said subject in divers great sums of money long sithence due and payable unto your said subject for the recovery whereof your said subject in or about Hilary term last past did purchase or procure out of your majesty’s court commonly called the King's Bench your highness writ or process directed unto your sheriff of your said county of Devon for the taking and arresting of the body of the said Robert Nordon to answer unto your said subject according to the order and course of your said court. And thereupon William Carewe Esquire then and yet sheriff of your said county did make or direct his warrant or precept unto Mychaell Crosse of Plymptre aforesaid husbandman Roberte Bartlett of Kentesbeare in the said county of Devon husbandman and William Browning of Kentesbeare aforesaid husbandman to arrest and to take the body of the said Robert Nordon according unto the effect and purport of your highness said process or writ who by virtue of the said precept or warrant did divers and sundry times endeavour and go about to arrest the said Robert Nordon which the said Robert Nordon hearing of and fearing withall to be arrested at others mens suits unto whom he stood likewise indebted did in such sort hide and absent himself that the said Mychael Crosse, Roberte Bartlett and Wylliam Browninge nor any of them could not any way come to arrest them as unto them was given in command by force of the said warrant but were always enforced to lose their labour to the great charge of your said subject
Whereupon the said Mychael Crosse, Robert Bartlett and Willyam Browning hearing that the said Robert Nordon did at some times resort unto the church of Plymptre aforesaid on the holy days And that there or by the way he was to be taken or not at all Therefore they the said Mychael Crosse, Roberte Bartlett, and Willyam Brownynge did on the third day of May last past or thereabout at the time all evening prayer repair onto the said church where they found the said Roberte Nordon And fearing to incur the danger and penalty of your majesty’s laws did determine to place themselves in some such place in the said church near unto the said Robert Nordon so as he might not escape from them, but that at the end of the said prayers they without the breach or contempt of your Highness laws might apprehend him by force of their said warrant so unto them directed as is aforesaid And to that intent they said Mychael Crosse, Roberte Bartlett and William Brownynge did get themselves places in the said church near unto the place where the said Robert Nordon did sit which being espied by one John Larder the younger of Plymptre aforesaid being one that did greatly favour that said Robert Nordon knowing him to be indebted and that there were warrants granted forth by the then sheriff of the said shire for the answering of him and suspecting their presence did upon the end of the first chapter of the same evening prayer and at such time as the minister did stay and not say any prayers approach near unto the place where the said Mychaell Crosse, Roberte Bartlett and William Browning being the bailiffs of your highness said shire as aforesaid were, and before any offer of arrest by them or any of them made, did with his hands thrust and draw the said bailiffs from the place where the said Robert Nordon did sit to the intent that was said Nordon should not be taken by them, but by such warning as he intended to give him might before any arrest made escape away, Whereupon the said bailiff fearing lest that the said Robert Nordon would by that means get from them they the said bailiffs did then presently and during that said remission of prayers as is aforesaid by force of their said warrent either arrest or offer to arrest the said Robert Nordon And they the said Mychaell Crosse, Roberte Bartlett and William Brownynge being then required by one Edward Maye who then was sworn your highness Tithingman for the said parish to show by what to warrants they did or would arrest the said Nordon they the said Michael Crosse, Roberte Bartlett and Willyam Brownynge showed forth their warrants unto them made by the said sheriff as aforesaid
All which notwithstanding they the said Robert Nordon, John Larder, and Edward May together with one Henrye Stephens parson or curate of the said parish, John Larder the elder, Mathewe Stephens, Elizabeth Stephens, William Norcott alias Nordon, Melany Norcott alias Nordon, William Ty, Thomas Tye, William Pounde, John Hotwaye, Richard Baker and Collice his wife with divers others whose names are unknowing to your said subject neither respecting the place neither the persons who had showed forth their warrant for the execution of your Highness process as aforesaid neither the breach of your Highness laws and ordinances did then in very riotous and routish and rebellious manner in contempt of your Highness said process contrary your Highness laws ordinances and statutes therefore made and ordained with daggers swords and staves as well in the said church and churchyard as also then presently after in the Common Green of the said parish near adjoining unto the said church assault beat wound and grievously hurt the said Mychael Crosse, Robert Bartlett and Willyam Brownynge to the great peril and hazard of their lives who were in god’s and your highness peace And did not any thing but execute or at least mean to execute your Highness process according as unto them was given in command as aforesaid and as lawful was for them to do To the perilous example of others if some condign punishment be not on then speedily extended And the said Henry Stephens being parson as aforsaid who in respect of his calling and function ought to have persuaded them to quietness and not to have misdemeaned themselves in such lewd and barbarous sort as aforesaid was one of forwards in the said action for being in ihs surplice he did not only give unto the said bailiffs many blows or buffets with his fists but the better to extend his forces cast off his surplice and so then fought and beat them the said Mychaell Crosse, Roberte Bartlett and William Brownynge whereby your majesty’s said laws statutes and ordinances were not only by the said lewd riotous and disordered persons most contemptuously broken and disobeyed but also the said bailiffs being your most loving and dutiful subjects in executing of your highenes process most dangerously assaulted wounded and hurt So that they the said Mychaell Crosse, Roberte Bartlett and Wylliam Brownynge not being able to withstand their forces by means of the outrageous misdemeanour of the said lewd desperate and lawless persons with others whose names are as yet unknown unto your said subject were enforced to suffer the said Robert Nordon to escape from them, by means of which escape your said subject is never like to recover any part of his said debts For that, sithence that time that said Roberte Nordon hath spoiled and spent all his goods and himself cannot be taken, to the very spoil and undoing of your said subject And will be also a great encouragement unto other malefactors to do the like outrageous acts, if this their foul odious lewd riot rout and misdemeanour be not severely punished
May it therefore please your highness the premises tenderly consider to grant your Majesty's most gracious writ of subpoena to be directed on to the said Robert Nordon, John Larder the younger, Edward May, Henry Stephens, John Larder the elder, Matthew Stephens, Elizabeth Stephens, William Norcot alias Nordon, Methany Norcott alias Nordon, William Tye, Thomas Tye, William Pownd, John Holway, Richard Baker, and Collice his wife commanding them and either of them thereby at a certain day and under a certain pain by your highness therein to be limited personally to be and appear before your majesty's most honourable council of Star Chamber then and there to answer to the premises And to stand to and abide such further order and direction therein as to your highness said honourable council of the said court shall seem meet and convenient in this behalf And your said subject according to his bounden duty shall daily pray to god for the preservation of your highness in most happy estate and felicity full long over us to reign.