John Jenyn c Alice Seton and John Grose

In a complicated three-cornered case that ran over more than a year, two men, John Jenyn and John Grose, each claimed to be married to Alice Seton. Jenyn’s claim was that he and Seton had married in May 1489, exchanging consent in the George tavern on Fleet Street before a number of witnesses. Several whoContinue reading “John Jenyn c Alice Seton and John Grose”

Henry Kyrkeby c. Eleanor Roberts

Testimony in this case gives us fascinating insights into women’s employment conditions and the arrangement of marriage in rural Essex. Henry Kyrkeby’s witnesses claimed that Eleanor Roberts, a servant, agreed to marry him after meeting him once, exchanging binding vows of marriage with him at the four elms at the Hornchurch crossroads. Kyrkeby’s witnesses didn’tContinue reading Henry Kyrkeby c. Eleanor Roberts

William Calverley and William Case c. Joan Brown

The recently widowed Joan Brown lived in Stratford Langthorne, in a house large enough to have both a hall and a parlour. Widows with property were attractive marriage prospects, and in the summer of 1490 two men, William Calverley and William Case, sued her in the Consistory court, each presenting witnesses claiming to have beenContinue reading “William Calverley and William Case c. Joan Brown”

Robert Woode c. Joan Patryk

In 1491 Joan Patryk accused Robert Woode, a shearman, of having “cut her purse,” literally cutting the cord from which a woman’s pouch or purse hung from her girdle or belt. She alleged this had happened while they, their spouses, and several other people had been socializing and drinking in the house of Joan andContinue reading Robert Woode c. Joan Patryk

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”

Margaret Shewyn alias Howsyn c. Adam Bagby

This is a case of disputed inheritance and whether legacies made by oral bequest were to be honoured even when not specified in the testament. Margaret Shewyn’s witnesses testified that Elizabeth Smyth had several times orally bequeathed to her a bed, a blue gown, and a blue girdle or belt decorated with silver, but Elizabeth’sContinue reading Margaret Shewyn alias Howsyn c. Adam Bagby