Beatrice Smyth c John Crote

In July 1487, Beatrice Smyth sued John Crote to enforce a marriage contract she claimed they had made around 1482 while Crote lay ill in a chamber in the tower of the parish church of St Michael Queenhithe, where he worked. Witnesses testified that after this bedside exchange of consent, however, the couple could notContinue reading “Beatrice Smyth c John Crote”

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

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”

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”

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

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

Office c. John Barle

Some amusingly passive-aggressive behaviour on the part of a parishioner in the payment of his tithes in an unspecified Essex parish. John Barle came before the Consistory likely after his parish vicar reported him for not paying his tithes as required. On examination, Barle claimed that he rendered his tithes as he was supposed to,Continue reading Office c. John Barle

Ellen Mortemer c. William Chowe

Ellen Mortemer of Bermondsey sued William Chowe in 1492; all we have of the case is Chowe’s response to her submission, which we can infer involved a claim that the two of them had contracted marriage three or four years before. Chowe admitted that she and he had made conditional vows of marriage: as longContinue reading “Ellen Mortemer c. William Chowe”