Thomas Lak c. Ann Munden

This case has a dramatic allegation. It starts with an ordinary path to marriage: Ann Munden made a contract of marriage with Thomas Lak in early January 1482 and then banns were read in church on three successive Sundays prior to the planned solemnization of the marriage. But then a man named Richard Bulle cameContinue reading “Thomas Lak c. Ann Munden”

John Brocher c. Joan Cardif alias Peryn

In July 1487, John Brocher sued a young Essex widow, Joan Cardif alias Peryn, to enforce a marriage contract he claimed they had made the previous April. The witnesses – who included Cardif’s own mother and stepfather, both of whom testified against her – said that they had heard the couple exchange vows of marriage.Continue reading “John Brocher c. Joan Cardif alias Peryn”

Alice Billingham c John (or Thomas) Wellis

In 1488, Alice Billingam sued John Wellis, claiming that they had contracted marriage on Valentine’s Day 1486. The witnesses for the case had interesting things to say about how an employer might try to find a husband or wife for a servant; what a young man or woman on the market for a spouse wouldContinue reading “Alice Billingham c John (or Thomas) Wellis”

Robert Philipson c Joan Corney

This is a rural Essex case of lovers pledging their love over a fruit tart eaten in a field – until a father’s hostility split them up. In 1489, Robert Philipson sued Joan Corney to enforce a marriage contract he claimed they had made. Corney, when examined, said that she had agreed to marry himContinue reading “Robert Philipson c Joan Corney”

Thomas Hall and Thomas Salmon alias Miller c. Denise Pogger

In 1489, two men competed for the hand of widow Denise Pogger of Leyton, Essex, a woman who had her own house and perhaps more property. Both men presented a set of witnesses, each with a familiar-sounding story, the first of love thwarted by the materialist motives of the woman’s relatives and friends, the secondContinue reading Thomas Hall and Thomas Salmon alias Miller c. Denise Pogger

Richard Chevircourt and Margery Phillips c. Robert Dow

The making of a marriage in the fifteenth-century diocese of London was a process rather a single event. One common path was the making of the contract of marriage, an unbreakable bond, in a domestic setting with a few close friends and relations as witnesses, followed by several weeks or longer of preparations before aContinue reading “Richard Chevircourt and Margery Phillips c. Robert Dow”

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