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Leicester Archdeaconry Court Proceedings

 

Case of Winter vs Petcher, 1597-98

 

Leicestershire Record Office 1D 41/4/673

1D 41/4/721

1D 41/11/30/121

 

 

The archdeaconry court proceedings and papers relating to this case were found wrapped in bundles in an old box of church records forming part of the Leicestershire Archdeaconry court archives. They show little evidence of having been opened or consulted in the last 400 years. Although some pages are damaged they appear to be more or less intact as originally filed. The case is outlined in ‘An Appleby Adulterer before the Archdeacon’, Leicestershire Historian Vol. 2 no. 11 (1980/1); republished on www.applebymagna.org.uk

© Transcribed by Alan Roberts, 1980

 

The Examination of John Petcher of Appleby L.R.O. 1D 41/4/673a

[Latin preamble] In dei noie amen… John Petcher of Appleby … in this judgement … says and alleges in these writings set out in law &c.

  1. Item testes … examinatum … witnesses produced in court varii … et vacillantescontrarij falsa et a veritate alsene deponentes … infames … &c. …
  2. Item … testes that Edward Taylor one of the … witnesses .. a man that hath noe land, lease, stocke or possessions wherewithall to maintain his wife and children; hath not maintained his familie by the trade of a blackesmith or anie other honest occupation or trade for [divers?] yeares past, but hath for verie povertie,ydleness, or some such other cause given over his occupation of a blacksmith wherein he was trained and broughte uppe and hath lived and doth live and maintain himself and his by badd, shiftie and unhonest practices and such a one is and hath bene accompted, reputed and taken as well in the town and parish where he dwelleth as in other places thereabouts …
  3. [Item] the said Edward Taylor all the time aforesaid, before … hath bene and is a man outlawed, and to divers persons … somes of monye indebted, hath not goods moveable [or] unmoveable in the view or comon esticacion of his neigh[bours] worth 10 … hath bene and is a comon defrauder of men by cosennage or coneycatching and thereby hath gotten and doth gett a great part of his maintenance: hath used and doth use manye sininster practizes to gett mony or other comodities, and hath divers and sundrie times effected these his practizes by the helpe of his …. William Taylor his sonne and Helene Taylor his wife, and by both or one of them …
  4. Item that the said Edward Taylor hath confessed before witnesses that he comitted adulterie with one … wife and with the wife of Roger Warrener and received of the said Roger to conceale a burglarie intended to be comitted by him, in mony 10s, yarne worth 20s and a cowe worth 4 …
  5. Item Edward Taylor … and upon the highway robbe one John W…………… called Lanceshaw the servannte of Edward Winter and likewise upon the highwaye robbed one Margaret Palm and threatened her that if she told any of his said Robberie he wold saie that she gave him the monye which he tooke from her that he should to be …with her. Also he stole candlesticke out of the house of Frannces Joyner of Ashby and stole from him a hatt band also…
  6. Item that the said Edward Taylor …cosened fower younge men of Appleby pretendinge that one whom he brought with him had authoritie to take souldiers and by that meanes extorted from the said younge fellowes 20s that they should not be taken for souldiers…
  7. Item that the said Edward Taylor … did take upon him falselie to be a prometer and thereby extorted of John Petcher 12s and also a certean summe of monye of one Crosherne of Measham by the same meanes… Wathew [?] of Applebie and made him… one horse, cosened him of a paire of bootes …John Snarston of a cloake ….
  8. Item that the said Edward Taylor with …. Bosworth of Normanton of a certene summe of mony or other goods to the valuee of seventie markes more or lesse, and after when he had delivered back againe unto the said Bosworth the summe of 20s in forme recompense of the by the order of one Mr Johnson then of Heither as the said Bosworth was going homeward he tooke from him the said 20s violentlie and by force …
  9. Item that the said Edward Taylor…did entice and perswade one Elizabeth Prestwich to come from her father Thomas Prestwich and steale from him a gownecloth and divers other goods and then received her and the said goods into his house, lodged her there with a roage or vagrante person … cosened her of the gowne cloth and sente her away begginge …
  10. Item the said Edward Taylor… beinge comitted to the prison or common gaole in Leicester desired the underkeeper of the said gaole to give him leave to goe awhile into the towne and swore most deeplie that he would returne presentlie else wished that the Devell might take him bodie and soule, but having such leave hee came away (went his way) and retourned not at all neither presentlie nor at anie time since…
  11. Item that the said Helene one other of the presented witnesses was and is the wife of the said Edward Taylor and like him in …she did steale a paire of shoes in Ashby and was comonlie accompted to be light fingered, and of noe creditt or reputacion at all and easie to be corrupted or induced by her said husband to speake an untruth …
  12. Item William Taylor one other of the …witnesses the sonne of the said Edward and Helene and them and at their keepinge and easie to be persuaded ..by them and what would give him steale souse out of a Barne from Martin of Bosworth, steale Barlie sheaves out of Appleby field and brought them to his father’s house, stole Rye out of one Chandler’s Sacks of Nottingham and stole a horse out of George Smaller’s stable of Snarston, and was riding away with him, and had ridden soe away if the said Smaller had not mett him and stayed him…
  13. Item …Edward, William or Helen ….
  14. Item that the said Edward Taylor toto tempo …always ..was and is indebted unto Robert Winter the …and unto Thomas Winter, father of the said Robert and hath bene and is relieved from the house or houses of the said Winters with bread, mony and other victailes; and the said Edward & William his sonne both or one of them have bene and are most comonlie at the house or houses of the said Winters and there have bene and are releived with meat and drinke: the said Robert Winter did send out the said Edward by his said sonne in money 13s 4d and a loafe of bread atone time and divers loafes and other victails at other times since the beginning of this sute or a little before; and thereby meanes to procure the said Edward and his wife & sonne to be witnesses in this cause against the said John Petcher;…
  15. Item that the said Robert Winter before [Atherston] had putt away his wife Sara Winter …or made good this … promise a reward unto the said Edward Taylor ... to watch the said Sara and Petcher to take them in adulterie together; or gave or promised such reward if he could or should soe take them together…
  16. Item that the said Edward Taylor in consideration of the said reward did watch the said Sara and Petcher and went upon the fair Daie …unto the house of Hugh Draiton in Addeston ..where at his first meeting he asked who were in the said Draiton’s parlour and the said Draiton made answer that there were in the parlour Nicholas Taylor and his wife and two others naming or meaninge the said Sara and Petcher. Whereupon the said Edward Taylor replied and said …I am glad of this for I will gaine 40s by Petcher and Sara meaninge by this by there being there together. And thereupon the said Edward Petcher before he would come into that same parlour where… the said Nicholas Taylor and Sara [were] together: the said Sara and Petcher neither committing adulterie nor in anie unhonest state behaving themselves….
  17. Item that the said Helen Taylor and William Taylor neither at the time when the said Edward came into the said parlour nor at annie time that daie before or after specialle while the said Sara and Petcher were there together did come into the said parlour with the said Edward Taylor…
  18. Item that the said Nicholas Taylor and his wife both or one of them were put in the said parlour together with the said Sara and Petcher the daie …speciallie for a good space before and at the said Edward Taylor coming into the said parlour and saw noe adulterie neither by the said Petcher and Sara, and needs must have seene it if anie such thing had bene done….
  19. Item the Daie upon the adulterie …[allegedly] committed was a faire daie in Addeston wherein was an alehouse or victualling at the time of the daie when, was about two or three of the clock in the afternoon; the window of the parlour before mentioned did open out into the street where the faire was kepte; the faire was then at the chiefest …the house of the said Draiton was about the hours aforesaid greatlie frequented with guests coming in and out continualie; the hall of the said house had one, two or three companies of people which sat there eating and drinking; the door of the said parlour opened into the said hall and was at the time aforesaid shut noe otherwise but with a latch onlie …
  20. Item that divers or most men cominge into a victualling house on a faire day speciallie if the[y] lacke a place to sitt in , do usuallie looke into a parlour or anie roome in the house where guests use to be, to see whether there be anie roome that there or any of their acquaintannce and will not sticke to drawe a latch for that purpose …
  21. Item that the parlour aforesaid …was and is a guesting room or place where guests did before usuallie sat or drinke. .…
  22. Item that the window of the said parlour opening onto the streete or highwaie being … was lettized or borded with carved bordes, or bordes cutt through for letting in light or verie thicke latthed…
  23. Item that the said Edward, Helene and William the presented witnesses … about 2 or 3 of the clocke of the daie arlate or at the time of that daie before or after, were neither severallie nor all three together at the windowe of the parlour before mentioned, nor did looke into the said windowe or profered soe to doe …
  24. Item that William Granger, William Dudlie and Richard Dudlie of Swepstone and his servant or one of them …speciallie about 2 or three of the clocke..[were] at the said parlour windowe in the streete [awaiting?] there beastes to be sold, and must needs have presented witnesses if they had bene at the said and had looked in or profered to looke in but neither they nor anie other that kept beasts there saw them or anie of them that daie, speciallie at or about the houres aforesaid …
  25. Item that the said Edward Taylor before presented the time of adulterie speciallie before the beginning of this suit did openlie before witnesses slander John Petcher articulate and called him whorem[aster] and therefore hath deposed against him in such sort as is contended in his examination, to help or releive or excuse himself, and not for anie truth that is in the matter …
  26. Item that if the said Sara and Petcher had comitted adulterie the place, daie and time before mentioned then Hugh Drayton the goodman of the house, his wife, servant or guests or at least some of them must in all probabilitie have seene the fact committed, but none of them sawer anie such fact or any likelihood thereof though they were in the said house continuallie and always going up and about from parlour to parlour to place and into the said parlour all the daie aforesaid speciallie about the hours of 2 or 3 of the clocke in the afternoon…
  27. Item that the said John Petcher since or about the feaste of St Margaret 1597 was presented into this court upon a common fame or vehement suspicion of the pretensed adulterie nowe objected against him, and was by the judge of this court or his lawfull deputies [permitted] his purgation thereupon. And a summons or proclamation was made openlie in the parish church of Applebie ….
  28. Item that the said Robert Winter …and knowinge of the ..for as before inioyned, and did expose himself ... in the said purgation and sought by all means to finde … the same…
  29. Item that the said John Petcher after his purgation so enioyned and did dewlie and lawfullie purge himself as well by his owne oath as by the oather of fower of his honest neybours and thereupon and … was declared and promised and have lawefullie and dewlie p[urged himself and restored againe to his good name, and was also thereupon finallie discharged and dismissed out of this court, and this was done in the presence of the said Robert Winter or his lawful deputie …
  30. Item [in Latin] ….. parish de Applebie, Swepston, Adderston, Newton ….&c &c.

 

 

 

 

The interrogation of Hugh Drayton, alehouse keeper of Atherstone

L.R.O. 1D 41/4/673c

  1. Imprimis interrogatur quilibet testis de ….
  2. Item interrogatur quilibet testis
  3. Item interrogatur quilibet testis
  4. Item interrogatur quilibet testis
  5. Item interrogatur quilibet testis
  6. Item interrogatur quilibet testis
  7. Item interrogatur quilibet testis
  8. Item interrogatur quilibet testis
  9. Item interrogatur quilibet testis wheather he know one Sara Winter wife of the said Robert Winter. Et ut supra.
  10. Item interrogatur quilibot testis …. that the said John Petcher hath bene apud bonos et graves infra parachar de Applebie suspectus crimen incontinentie fornicacois due adulterii cum eadum Sara ppetrasse. Et ut supra.
  11. Item on suit credit … that the said John Petcher was presented by churchwardens of Applebie aforesayd upon suspicion and public fame of the said ….
  12. Item interrogatur quilibet testis…that it is notorious publique and famous within Applebie aforesaid and thereabouts, that the said Petcher hath lived incontinentlie with the said Sara …
  13. Item wherath he beleeveth this publique fame to be scandalous and offensive to the religious and godlie in Applebie and also wheare thereabouts
  14. Item wheather he be perswaded in consciounce that Edward Taylor, William Taylor and Helene Taylor have sworne trulye in their depositions or purged themselves in this cause…
  15. Item interrogatur quilibet testis … that since the professed purgation made by the said Petcher at Leycester he the said Petcher hath bene familier and at sondrye times kept companye with the sayd Sara Winter at Leycester, Ashbye de la Zouch and other places…
  16. Item interrogatur quilibet testis … wheather Robert Winter articulate be owinge unto him. Et interrogatur ut supra ....
  17. Item wheather Edward Taylor, William Taylor or Elene Taylor or anye of them be owinge unto him or to anye of them. Et ut supra.
  18. Item si aliquis testis … deponere that Edward Taylor articulate is commonlie reputed to be a shifter or coosener or liver by sinister practises lett him declare by whom …
  19. Item interrogatur quilibet testis intens deponere de pusa confessione adulterii…nor any the pretended … cosenages, the concealemente of burglaries or other misdemeanors pleaded to have bene committed or done by the said Edward Taylor, William Taylor, or Elene Taylor or any one of them mentioned in the 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 articles … interrogatur quomodo hoc sciae
  20. Item interrogatur quilibet testis … wheather and howe much the adulterie proved against Petcher concerneth him, his creditt or house, et in puti ...
  21. Item interrogentum de apta et con
  22. Item interrogatur quilibut testis intens deponere that the said Edward Taylor, Elene Taylor or William Taylor have bene culpable in any the crimes mentioned in any [of] the articles exhibited in their behalf.
  23. Item whether … have lived honestlie and ….
  24. Item interrogatur Hugo Drayton et Johanna Drayton testis … wheather the said John Petcher and Sara Winter weare alone togeather without any companye in their parlour articulate at Atherston aforesayd upon the said fayre daye and howe many howres the towe wear so alone togeather. Et interrogetur ut supra.
  25. Item interrogatur dictus Drayton wheather at that time he so called the sayd Taylor the sayd John Petcher and Sara Winter weare alone togeather, and wheather the sayd Drayton stayd at the sayd alehouse after the sayd Edward Taylor departed from the sayd alehouse. Et interrogatur et supra.
  26. Item interrogatur dictus Drayton wheather upon his cominge from the sayd alehouse that … Taylor did publish to the others that he had taken the said Petcher and Sara Winter committing adulterie …
  27. Item interrogatur dictus Drayton wheather the sayd Petcher did give or offer 6d to the said Edward Taylor to be silent and not to speake of his adulterie. Et interrogatur ut supra.
  28. Item interrogatur Galfridus Meassen testis ….wheather he tolde Richard Aldrid of Applebie that he the sayd Meassen saw Petcher and Sara Winter togeather betwixt two rye landes in Measham fields and if he sayd so … wheather yt trew, ... lett him express ... in what maner he sawe them theare togeather. Et interrogature ut supra.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The examination of Edward Taylor L.R.O. 1D 41/4/673d

[Latin preamble] Interrogatur John Petcher … Robert Winter …&c

  1. Imprimis …
  2. Item …
  3. Item …
  4. Item …
  5. Item …Adulterij apud Adderston Petcher uxore de Winter viz Sara Winter articlata …. viz. whether were in a hygher chamber or lower parlour what [doors]…. or windows the place had, and whether the doors and windows were open or shutte and if they were shutte how they were shutt …
  6. Item … whether the windows were glased or without glasse and whether anie number of windows speciallie the principall windowes did open into the streete or highwaye in Adderston, and whether a man standing in the streete or high way may see into the roome where the said parties were …
  7. Item …upon what day of the weeke was the faire articulate…whether it were a markett day or a faire daie, and whether it was at the beginninge, middle or end of the said markett daie or faire ….
  8. Item … whether the house in which the pretensed adulterie is said to be committed were at that time an ale house, victualling house or Inne, and whether there were great companies goinge and cominge in and to the said house and in and to all … the rooms thereof speciallie the nether roomes and that roome wherein the said Petcher and Sara are pretensed to have committed adulterie….
  9. Item … Edward Taylor … whether he … come to the house of Draiton articulate and asked the goodman of the house whether Petcher and woman were in the house or parlour and whether did the said Draiton answer that they were there and one Nicholas Taylor and his wife with them … whether did the said Edward Taylor then replye or at annie time after said that he would have 40s by that …
  10. Item interrogetur quilit testis where he was at the time of the professed adulterie committed; in what place and who was present with them …
  11. Item … Edward Taylor whether he hath called the said John Petcher whooremaster and when he did soe call him and howe often ….
  12. Item … whether he be outlawed ….
  13. Item whether he have acknowledged that he hath said the … of the bodie of one [Elizabeth?] wife…
  14. Item…

 

The evidence of Richard Dudley, William Chilwell and Thomas Burrowes

(30 March 1598) 1D41/4/721c

[Latin preamble]

  1. Imprimis that the professed witnesses … Winter viz Edward Taylor his wife and sonne upon Adderston faire daie last did not looke into the parlour window mentioned in their depositions before such time as Richard Dudlie, William Chilwell and Thomas Burrowes witnesses … Petcher and such other as kept their beastes against the said parlour window were gone to dynner.
  2. Item that the said Dudlie, Chilwell and Burrowes and others that kept beasts against the said parlour window the daie before mentioned, came directelie from their said beasts into Hugh Draitons house mentioned in the depositions and there dyned in the hall of the said house and sate hard by the dore of the said parlour …
  3. Item that the wife of one Nicholas Taylor cominge into the said parlour dore and peeped in at some hole or crevis of the dore while the said Dudlie and the others before mentioned were sitting at dynner as is aforesaid and had a desire and meaning to see whether the said Petcher and Sara were naughte together, but could not not did see them in anie such sort, and was reproved of the said Dudlie for her peeping in ….
  4. Item that the said Dudlie and the others before mentioned as soone as they had ended their said dynner returned directlie to their beastes and to the place where they were kept viz before the said parlour window; and then neither coming nor returning nor at anie time after did see the said Edward Taylor his wife or sonne or anie of them either looking into the said parlour window or nyghe unto yt or cominge from thence unto the said Draitons house, or in the same house …
  5. Item that the said Edward Taylor, his wife and sonne or anie of them that had bene at the said window or looked into … and after lookinge in had come into the said Draitons house … into the … there while the said Dudlie and the others before mentioned were at dynner or were coming thereunto or returning from hie then that said Dudlie, Chilwell Burrowes and the others before mentioned must needs have seene them ….
  6. Item that the said Dudlie, Chilwell Burrowes and others kept their said beasts against the said window, and had their faces always or most commonlie upon their beasts and upon the said windowe …
  7. Item that the beasts upon Adderston faire last were soe thicke against the said window that hardelie anie man, much lesse three together would come unto the windowe before mentioned …
  8. Item that the said Dudlie, Chilwell and Burrowes and the others that dyned with them did leave some to keepe their beastes while they were at dynner; which keepers nor anie of them did see the said Edward Taylor, his wife and sonne or anie of them looking into the said parlour window, nor at or about the same, which they muste needs have seen if it had beene soe …
  9. Item that the said Edward Taylor his wife and sonne and anie of them were knowne unto the said Dudlie, Chilwell, Burrowes and others and kept beastes as is aforesaid, as well upon as before the faire daie before mentioned…
  10. Item that the aid Petcher had not bene in companie with the articulate Sara at anie time within the space of 6,5,4, 3 or 2 weeks nighe before the said faire daie, nor knowe of her then being in Hugh Draitons house untill he was called in by the said Nicholas Taylors wife or some other …
  11. Item that the said Sara Winter had bene remaininge at the house of the said Nicholas Taylor one, 2, 3 or 4 dayes continuallie next before the faire daie; and was brought to Adderston faire by the said Nicholas, his wife or one of them and … without the … consent or procurement [?] of the articulate Robert Winter, his father or mother in lawe …
  12. Item that the said Sara was persuaded to come or was brought to the said faire of purpose that she might there be intrapped …
  13. Item that the said Edward Taylor and his wife and sonne and anie or one of them since the time of their presented depositions have bene dewlie gratified, rewarded or benefiited by the said Robert Winter and by his the said Winters father and mother or mother in lawe speciallie by carying of coales by bonding and giving of monye, by giving bread vitailes and such like ….

Item that the said Nicholas Taylor and his wife or one of them before Adderston faire daie last did use perswasions unto the said John Petcher that he would procure a sute to be commenced by the said Sara against Robert Winter her husband …for that the said Robert Winter refuse to rehabite with her (as indeed he did then refuse) and that the said Petcher would laie downe monye for the charge of the said sute: and meante thereby to take some advantage against the said Petcher: and had therein the advise and counsell or direction of the said Edward Taylor: but the said Petcher expresselie refuted to yeild to such perswasions and said he would meddle therein for that it concerned not him or uttered other words of refusall to like effecte…

Item …

 

Inscription relating to Interrogatories

30 March 1598 [Latin translation] 1D 41/4/721a

On which day Walker …alleged ….in the case of Winter against Petcher … replied that he believes that the articles exhibited in the schedule were specified to be extracted from the Register of the court and to agree with the original and signed by the hand of Henry Palmer and the same Henry to have been and to be publically known and all and singular the things contained in the same schedule to have been and to be done as is contained in the same ... and otherwise he does not believe ...

Sworn Statements of Burrows, Dudley and Chilwell (6th April 1598)

L.R.O. 1D 41/4/721b

Thomas Burrowes de Swepstone in Co. Leicester cottyer ….

Ad pr arld dicit et depuit that the articulate Edward Taylor his wiffe nor sonne nor any one of them upon Adderston faire day last did look into the parlour window menconed in their depositions in this cause before such time as this deponent and his cotestes Richard Dudley and William Chilwell were gone to dyner … for that this deponent and his foresaid cotestes did keep beastes against the said window untill their going to dyner and needs have seene them if any said thinge had been …

Ad 2nd arld dicit et depouit…for that he this deponent is one of the [plaintiffs?] articulate and thereby knoweth the …. to be trewe

Ad 3rd arld dicit depouit …that the wife of Nicholas Taylor articulate came unto the door of the parlour articulate and peeped in at a hole or crevis of the same while this deponentt and his said cotestes were sitting att dyner togeather in Hugh Draytons house and was reproved of his cotestis William Dudley for the same aler … deponte.

Ad 4th arld dicit et depouit … for anything that this deponent knoweth to the contrary.

Ad 5th arcld dicit et depouit … his beastes were kept against the window articulate.

Ad 6th arcld dicit et depouit that this deponent had his face alwaies or most comonly upon his beastes and upon the windowe articulate …

Ad 7th arld dicit et depouit …for that the he this deponent was pute with his beastes his self the most part of the day.

Ad 8th arcld dicit et depouit that he this deponent and his said coutestes did leave one to look to theire beastes the day articulate while they went to dyner …

Ad 9th arcld dicit et depouit that the artculate Edward Taylor, his wiff and sonne are known unto this deponent and to his coutes Chilwell and Dudley …

Ad 10th arcld …&c &c.

Signed X Wm Burrowes

_________________________________________________________________Note Richard Dudley of Swepston, co. Leicester, yeoman and William Chilwell of Swepston, co Leicester, yeoman both swore to and signed similar statements

LIBER ACTORUM entry for this case in L.R.O. 1D 41/11/30/121

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