Thomas Walker c. Katherine Williamson alias Walker

According to the witnesses in this case, Katherine Williamson married two men in quick succession in 1482 and early 1483. This case is likely a suit to annul the second marriage rather than to enforce it: the headings indicate that Thomas Walker was the plaintiff, but the first three witnesses, apparently called on his behalf,Continue reading Thomas Walker c. Katherine Williamson alias Walker

William Newport c. Isabel Newport

According to the testimony in this case, Isabel Newport was about as bad a wife as it was possible to be in late fifteenth-century London: she was violent, disobedient, sexually promiscuous, and dishonest. The legal basis for the lawsuit, apparently a petition for a judicial separation brought by William Newport against Isabel Newton, is somewhatContinue reading William Newport c. Isabel Newport

Robert Walsh and Mark Patenson c. Margaret Flemmyng

Margaret Flemmyng was evidently something of a marital catch, with youth, a substantial marriage portion, and probably also personal charm. Her parents evidently had one idea for her marriage – Robert Walsh, whom they encouraged in his attentions to their daughter – and she another. Margaret Flemmyng herself had initially been inclined towards Walsh (asContinue reading “Robert Walsh and Mark Patenson c. Margaret Flemmyng”

Francis [Unknown] c. Elizabeth Clerk

This is a fragment: someone named Francis evidently sued Elizabeth Clerk, alleging that she had made a contract of marriage with him, and (as below) on examination, she denied his allegations, most of which were implied rather than explicit in her answers, unfortunately. We get a few interesting things, such as that Clerk admitted receivingContinue reading Francis [Unknown] c. Elizabeth Clerk

Elizabeth Brown and Marion Lauson  c. Laurence Gilis 

This is one of the more complicated and interesting cases at the late fifteenth-century London consistory court. The basic case is straightforward: two women, Elizabeth Brown and Marion Lauson, each claim that they contracted marriage with Laurence Gilis. In the end, Gilis and Lauson circumvented the lengthy court procedures and went ahead and married; thoughContinue reading “Elizabeth Brown and Marion Lauson  c. Laurence Gilis “

Robert Warde c. Joan Qualley or Whalley

Within about five or six weeks of her husband William’s death in September 1491, London widow Joan Qualley or Whalley was receiving offers for her hand. She evidently considered Robert Warde, an ostler working for a local brewer, John Knap (likely the trade her late husband had also followed), but instead chose William Dichand. WhenContinue reading Robert Warde c. Joan Qualley or Whalley

Laurence Wyberd and John Austen c. Maude Gyll

In late 1491, two men – Laurence Wyberd of Essex and John Austen of Shoreditch or London – each claimed that they had made a contract of marriage with Maude Gyll of London. Wyberd’s witnesses (who included his father and brother) gave detailed testimony not only about a contract of marriage just after Christmas 1490 butContinue reading “Laurence Wyberd and John Austen c. Maude Gyll”

Marion Filders c. John Arnold

This may be an example of a stalled marriage process: according to the three witnesses, more than two years before, Marion Filders and John Arnold had contracted marriage in the house of John and Elizabeth Hayward in Stratford Langthorne, Essex. The only hint as to what had gone wrong afterwards is in the third witness’sContinue reading Marion Filders c. John Arnold

Agnes Eston c. John Crosby

In 1494, a young servant woman, Agnes Eston, sued John Crosby, a young man from London’s merchant elite. The two had been spending time alone in her chamber, with her employers encouraging the relationship and turning a blind eye to the impropriety. Eston alleged that the two had exchanged binding vows of marriage, but CrosbyContinue reading “Agnes Eston c. John Crosby”

Agnes Moyne and Margaret Broke c Christopher Kechyn

Christopher Kechyn, a carpenter of mature years, was busy in 1496, contracting marriage with at least three young women. This brought him in early 1497 before both the Consistory – where two of those women, Agnes Moyne and Margaret Broke, sued him to enforce the contracts they claim to have made with him – andContinue reading “Agnes Moyne and Margaret Broke c Christopher Kechyn”