John Croke c. Agnes Hill

The surviving testimony for this suit is incomplete, but reveals some interesting things about a marriage between two offspring of London’s civic elite. In February 1487, John Croke sued Agnes Hill to enforce a marriage contract. The only complete testimony is from John Dawes, likely Agnes Hill’s cousin, and concerns a skuffle that took placeContinue reading “John Croke c. Agnes Hill”

Joan Austy c. William Codding

This case involves a complicated love quadrangle and allegations of poisoning in Whitechapel on the east end of London. We have in the Consistory records only the February 1487 examination of the defendant, William Codding, perhaps some months into the case (other records do not survive). Joan Austy had sued him, alleging that they hadContinue reading “Joan Austy c. William Codding”

John Pollyn and William Thaccher c Agnes Parker

This is a three-cornered suit: two men, John Pollyn and William Thaccher, sued Agnes Parker 1487, each claiming they had made a contract of marriage with her. Earlier testimony in the case outlining Pollyn’s case has evidently been lost; what we have here are Agnes Parker’s denials of marriage with Pollyn (she said that sheContinue reading “John Pollyn and William Thaccher c Agnes Parker”

Thomas Byrch c. Elizabeth Barker

The examinations in this case do not much concern the marriage case in question, in which (we can infer) Thomas Byrch claimed that he had made a contract of marriage with Elizabeth Barker three years before, which she denied; Christopher Rotherey, the first person examined, appears to have been organizing a solemnization of marriage withContinue reading Thomas Byrch c. Elizabeth Barker

Thomas Wulley c. Margaret Isot and John Heth

This is a fascinating case: witnesses give detailed stories about a local official, with a posse of neighbourhood elders, who burst in on a man and woman, Thomas Wulley and Margaret Isot, engaging in sex.  When questioned, the man claimed that the two were, in fact, husband and wife. Calling their bluff, the official askedContinue reading Thomas Wulley c. Margaret Isot and John Heth

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