Thomas Philpott c. Margaret Frowyke

Another case of a man doggedly pursuing a woman, hoping to persuade her to marry him. The responses of Margaret Frowyke give us more details than other similar examinations: the man suing her was named as Thomas Philpott, and the two likely lived in Barnet, Essex. Frowyke,  like others, accepted gifts from him and in return sent him gifts, but denied that she intended these exchanges to be anything more than friendly, as she was already pledged to another man. It is always hard to know with these cases if the man simply wouldn’t take “no” for an answer, or if she was less whole-hearted in her rejection than she here suggested.

LMA, MS DL/C/A/001/MS09065, fol. 111v

Response of Margaret Frowyke, 8 Jun. 1492

Responses made personally by Margaret Frowyke, 8 June, before Master Richard Blodewell, doctor of laws, commissary of the lord official of London, in his dwelling house.

To the first position, she admits it. To the second position, she responds negatively, but she says that Philpott said frequently and many times to this witness in the presence of many people these words in English, “Well, Margaret, where so ever I meet thee I will challenge thee for my wife.” And then this witness answered and said in English, “I cannot be your wife, for I am sure to another man and I was five years gone.” And to its other contents she has nothing to testify. To the third position, she said that she sent him a set of beads by a servant of her father, but she did not send these for the sake of marriage; and Thomas Philpott gave this witness a pair of gloves and a silk belt called a ribbon, but she did not receive it for the sake of marriage, but she received it for the sake of being friendly. To the fourth position, she says that she never called Philpott her husband, nor did she ever propose to have Philpott as her husband, but she says that he often visited her father’s house and greeted this witness and called her his wife, and to its other contents she has nothing to testify. To the fifth position, she says that what she confessed above is true, and public voice and fame circulated and circulate concerning those things in Barnet and other neighbouring places and parishes, and it was Philpott who brought it about, and no one else, as this witness says. And about its other contents she has nothing to depose.


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