John Tailour c. Agnes Fry

In late June 1487, John Tailour sued the widow Agnes Fry to enforce a marriage contract he alleged they had made the previous April. Fry herself testified that when Tailour had first asked her to marry him, she had told him he would have to wait until her husband had been dead a year beforeContinue reading “John Tailour c. Agnes Fry”

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”

Margaret Niter and Agnes Skern c. Piers Curtes

This is a juicy case that brought in some of the highest in the land to pressure a reluctant man to go through with a marriage. In January 1488, widows Agnes Skern and Margaret Niter both sued Piers Curtes, each claiming that he had made a contract of marriage with them. Curtes was an importantContinue reading “Margaret Niter and Agnes Skern c. Piers Curtes”

Ann Styward c. Richard Styward

When Ann, the widow of tallowchandler Richard Alpe and mother of four underage children, married another tallowchandler, Richard Styward, in early 1488, something resembling a nightmare resulted. By Styward’s own admission, after their marriage was solemnized, he “violently and seriously beat” her and spent much of Richard Alpe’s (considerable) estate. As he noted, his assumptionContinue reading Ann Styward c. Richard Styward

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 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