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STAC 4/6/7

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The following information adds to the details given in The National Archives' Catalogue for STAC 4/6/7

This bundle consists of

1. Complaint of John Corte and Raffe Woodwarde, yeoman 2. The Answer of William Barnes and others 3. Henry Vale deposes 4. John Court and Rafe Woodward reaffirm the truth of the complaint 5 The interrogatories to be ministered to William Barnes and others on behalf of , John Courte and Rauff Woodward 6. Further answers to the interrogatories

Associated material is at STAC 4/4/58, STAC 2/24/259 and the context at C 3/122/71.

STAC 4/6/7 Sheet One


Complaint of John Corte and Raffe Woodwarde, yeoman

Complainants on 8 July last [1555] were in God’s peace and your Majesty’s and in a highway near Shypston upon Stowre, co. Worcester, which leads from Shipston to Barcheston in co. Warwick, “over oon Ryver called Stowr which devideth yr Majesties said Counties of Warr. and Worc.” It happened that one William Barnes of Chemscot, gent. Richard Myddlemore of Barcheston, clerk, Rychard Proffyt of Shipston, yeoman, John Bate of Shipston, yeoman, John Carter of Barcheston, yeoman, John Botte late of Barcheston, yeoman, Thomas London of Shipston, weaver, George Bysshoppe of Oxhill, yeoman, Nycholas Kyngton of Barcheston, yeoman, Thomas Parkins of Barcheston, yeoman and Henry Vale of Edgbaston, yeoman, and other riotous persons to about the number of twenty-four, were assembled on the highway arrayed with swords, bucklers, crossbows, bills, staves and other weapons. These riotous persons made an assault upon the complainants “being in the said Ryver near to Barcheston and in the same Ryver did vyolentlie and forcyblie strike and assault” the complainants, some of them being on one side of the river in the county of Warwick and some on the other side in the county of Worcester. Rychard Myddlemore, gent, indeed “shote an arrowe out of a crossbowe at John Corte, being in the said river, “thinkinge to have stricken the said John Corte” and then Richard Myddlemore, clerk, with London and Bate, struck and grievously wounded Raffe Woodward “on the hedde and other placis of the bodie” who then and there “did fall downe in the said water…and had been utterly drowned…had not succour come whiche did pulle the same Raffe out of the said water”. John Carter, with a sword, made a sign and struck Corte through the thumb of his right hand and gave him and the others “other corporall hurtes” to their great fear, damage, loss and hindrance, and to their “great greiffe disease and unquietnes…being Sicke and Dyseased of the said wounds and corporall hurte a greate time after”.

They ask for a subpoena.

Sheet two

The Answer of William Barnes, Richard Myddlemore, Nicholas Kyngton, Thomas Perkyns and the other defendants to the complaint of Court and Woodward

The complaint is untrue. The real truth is that William Barnes, one of the executors of William Wyllington deceased with George Bysshopp and three of his (Barnes’) servants were all together bringing “one carte laden with certen woll” belonging to Barnes from a pasture called Dycheford, unto the house of Anne Wyllington, widow, mother in law to Barnes. They were quietly driving the cart through the river, being a “pryuate waye and passage” to Anne Willington’s house. Complainant, with one John Davye, being “ayded and comforted with one William Sheldon, esquyer” and his servants and friends did, with great force, having their swords drawn, assault Barnes and the others, and they would have seized and taken away the cart laden with wool, then being on the ground of Anne Wyllington, from Barnes. Proffitt, Carter and Bott, servants of Anne Wyllington, and Thomas London, being in the waye going towards Anne Wyllington’s house, and Richard Myddlemore being then within her house and hearing the assault at once came out to see the peace kept, and lawfully to aid Barnes to bring in the cart and the wool. If the complainants got hurt it was their own fault for their interference.

Sheet Three Henry Vale deposes that he had nothing whatever to do with the affair; he was not even present, and only heard of it by report

Sheet Four John Court and Rafe Woodward reaffirm the truth of the complaint

Sheet Five The interrogatories to be ministered to William Barnes,

Richard Middlemore clerk, John Bott, Richard Profett, John Carter, Thomas London, George Bisshop, Nicholas Kington, Thomas Perkins, Henry Vale and other defendants named in a bill of complaint exhibited in the court of Star Chamber at Westminster by John Courte and Rauff Woodward upon the said William Barnes and others on the said defendants part to be administered

1. Did William Barnes on 8 July first and third yere of the king and queen majesties now being [1555] drive a carte with partly laden with wool from Ditchford in the county of Warr’ to the house of Anne Willington widowe late the wyffe of William Willington esquire deceased at Barcheston in the said county of Warr’ And how many were present at the dryvyng of the said cart and what were the names of them.

2. Whether Rauff Woodward the same day at any tyme as the said carte with the horses when the same were at a river or a forde called Stower nere Barcheston aforesaid being on the highway that doth divide the counties of Warr’ and Worcs’ the said Rauffe then standing in the river did in the name of William Sheldon esquire being his master gentilly and peaceably wyll and require the said Barnes and any others that did then dryve the said carte or any of them then and there to stay the said carte until such tyme as the said William Sheldon did come thither and speak with the said Barnes And whether the said Barnes did then deign to doe and what words did the said Barnes then speak to the said Woodward or Court.

3. Whether the said Woodward upon such denyall of the said Barnes did then and there in the said river with what he then had in his hands stay the said horses and carte.

4. And whether the said Barnes, Richard Middlemore gent and Richard Middlemore esquire or other of the said defendants or any of them upon the said staying of the said horses and carte by the said Woodward did then and there make forcible assault and affray upon the said Woodward and did they strike at them or either of them with any manner of weapons and with what weapons and what weapons had the said Richard Middlemore Richard Midlemore gent and the said Barnes and others of their company then and there with them And how many persons were then and there in conspiracie with them or did then come to them and what were the names of any of them.

5. What person did then and there stryke the first stroke and at whom it was stricken and where And how many persons were present at the striking of the first said strokes and what were the names of them.

6. Whether the said Courte and Woodward had then and there had any other weapons than the said Courte a sword and buckler only and the said Woodward a sword only.

7. Whether the said Richard Middlemore priest did then and there stryke the said Woodward in the said river or forde with a great bolt or any other weapon and how often he soe did and whether the said Woodward by any means or violent action of any such stryke did fall downe in the said river or forde and how often he did and whether the said Woodward so did before he drove his said sword.

8. Whether the said Courte and Woodward were then and there stricken and hurte by the said Richard Middlemore the carter or any other of the said defendants and by whom they were so hurte and where in what place and how and in what manner and whether the said Woodward was then sore hurt of the hedd and the said Courte then thrust up of his hand with a sword and by whom were they so hurt.

9. Whether the said Richard Middlemore gent did then and there shoot at the said Court and Woodward with a cross bow arrow or bolt out of a cross bow and whether he did then utterly bend his cross bow and put an arrow or bolte in yt to make a lyke shot.

10. Whether the said Middlemore or any other of their conspiracie did then and there crie or call aloud kyll them kyll them meaning the said Courte and Woodward and what words were then heard towards the said Court and Woodward.

11. By what pretens or inducement did this deponent come to the said fraye ?

Sheet Six

Answers to the interrogatories

William Barnes of Barcheston, gent, says that accompanied by Thomas Bayker, Thomas Roos, John Bott, Richard Profett, John Carter and Thomas London, having some swords and staves, drove a cart laden with wool from the manor of Dytcheford to Barcheston, crossing through the river. As they were doing so Court, Woodward and John Davyes came up and Woodward struck the fore horse on the head and turned him back again. Barnes went up to him and asked him “What nowe ?” and Woodward replied that they were to stop with the cart until his master William Sheldon should come, who said he was at hand. Barnes remonstrated and said “Lett the cart come further out of the water and then I wyll staye”. However Woodward continued to turn the horses back “and so Barnes pulled them forward all that he mighte and so they contynewed striving therein.” Whilst they were thus striving John Courte fell at variance with Bayker and Profitt and others of the company and they all fought together, but he cannot say who struck the first blow because “he was then so busye with the said Woodward”. Whilst the affray was in progress Richard Myddlemore gent came up with a cross bow and Richard Myddlemore clerk with a bill and Nicholas Kyngton and Thomas Parkyns but he cannot say what weapons they carried. One complainant had a sword and buckler and the other a single sword. It is true that the said Woodward was knocked into the river by London with a staff “and so rysyng agayne and supposying that Myddlemore the prest had so stryken him he rechid after the said priest to have taken him by the bosome and then the said prest with his byll flately strake down the same Woodward agayne and felled him into the water whiche was before that the said woodward dyd drawe his sworde”. Woodward was hurt on the head by the said priest and London and Court were also hurt, but he cannot say where. “….and the said Myddlemore gent” had a cross bow bent with a bolt in it but he did not discharge it. He did not say to his knowledge “Kill them, kill them, downe with them” nor did any of his companye”.

Richard Proffett of Shypston glover deposes that he accompanied the cart. They set out with it armed with staves and swords. Kyngton had a club. He gives some details of the fight as already described. Woodward was first struck down by London and afterwards by the parson Myddlemore with a bill and that before he had drawn his sword Middlemore did discharge his cross bow but he does not think that he took aim at anybody. He was present because he had helped to shear the wool. He did not say that Parson Myddlemore began the affray. They were all together when he came up.

Thomas London of Shipston saw Richard Myddlemore with a cross bow bent and a bolt therein and Parson Myddlemore with a bill. He also describes the fight at the ford. Richard Myddlemore discharged his crossbow at a mark in the hill and not at any person. He (Proffett) was present there because he was coming from Mistress Willington’s who had just paid him his wages for shearing that day. He denies that he said Parson Myddlemore began the fight.

John Carter, servant to Mistress Willington deposes He carried a sword and the others had staves and bills and accompanied the cart. Ralph Woodward began the fight by beating back the horse even before they themselves were on the pathway above the river. Parson Myddlemore had a bill, Richard Myddlemore a cross bow bent, Nicholas Kyngton a club and two or three others came with them. He saw Parson Myddlemore strike down Woodward into the river. Some also struck him (the deponent) down, but he does not know who it was. He had been shearing too.

John Bott, servant to Gerard Croker of Hokenorton says he carried a short bill. William Barnes had a sword and buckler, Richard Profett a bill, John Carter a sword and the others had staves. The fighting between Barnes and Woodward etc had been going on for a quarter of an hour when the Myddlemores and the others came on the scene. Before they were fully come to the scene of the affray Carter said “Shall we strike or no ?” and Parson Myddlemore said “What ells.” So he (Myddlemore rushed in and struck Woodward on the head with his bill and felled hum under the water. This was the first blow given at this juncture. There were 8 or 10 people present when Parson Myddlemore struck Woodward into the water. He (Bott) was one of the shearers. It is true that he swore at the Sessions that Parson Myddlemore gave the first blow. Richard Middlemore of Edgbaston gent says that he was at the house of Ann Willington widow at Barcheston when he heard the noise of the affray and the cry of “They fight, they fight.” So he came out of the house carrying his crossbow bent and a bolt therein and came to the place of the affray where the cart of woll stood in the river about a bird-bolt shot from the house. When he came up Barnes ordered him to depart which he did “incontinently” and as he went he shot off his bolt at a hillock.

Henry Vales of Edgbaston servant to Robert Myddlemore says he was not there at all but was at Edgbaston 22 miles away.

Nicholas Kington of Barcheston says he had been at the shearing but at the time of the affray was in the house of Anne Willington widow about 10 score yards distant with Henry Cooke and William Totehill. They went to the scene of the affray and he (Kington) “applied all his diligence” to Sheldon.

Other articles which refer to this Catalogue reference