Commuted Penances.

On 8th May, 1592, a corporal penance which had been inflicted on Thomas Sturton, gent., of Sturton, was commuted for a payment of five pounds to be used towards the repair and restoration of "Stafforde bridge" over a stream running along the boundaries of Sturton and Littleborough. Afterwards the judge, being informed that the repair of the said bridge was a matter of controversy between the inhabitants of the two parishes, decreed that the money should be devoted by himself towards other pious uses. On 9th June, 1592, the sum of three pounds received under a commuted penance was handed to Nicholas Wharton, gent, and David Watson, gent, to be expended by them on the repair of the pavement of the market place in Retford. On 20th June a further sum of five pounds was allocated and on 6th November a further four pounds was allocated for the same purpose.

"frere lane in Nott.
Md. wheras divers persons convicted in this courte of fornication and adulterie have obtained their publique penance to bee by authoritie of the same courte commuted and changed into money, which remaineth penes registrum to bee bestowed in and upon good and godlie uses : Nowe it is decreed this 23 of June 1592 by Mr Leigh Judge of this courte that twentie nobles [£6. 13. 4] of that money shalbee emploied in and upon the pavement of the frere lane in Nottingham beinge the high waie leadinge from the market place towardes the castle and notoriously needinge of the same pavement for the common good of the town and of them that have occasion that way to passe, and presuminge upon the fidelitie of Robert Alvy (sic) gent, one of the aldermen of the said towne, hathe committed the said summe of 20 nobles unto him for that purpose. Which he nowe hath receaved and is to make certificat of the same worke made upon tuesdaie next after Michas. next cominge or before under his (sic) hand of him self and two others of the alderman.
Robert Allvye.
Ita est Milo Leighe."

"Item of the said monney it is decreed this 23 of June 1592 by Mr Leigh judge of this courte that six poundes shalbee bestowed upon three poore schollers procedinge at the next acts or commencement at Oxforde by Mr Kinge Archdeacon of Nottingham him self, accordinge to his discretion from whome certificat is therof to bee returned into the courte, Which summe of six poundes the said Mr Kinge hath nowe receaved by thandes of the said Mr Leighe.
Ita est Milo Leighe.

Memorad, that I acknowledge my self to have receaved these sixe poundes.
John Kinge."

[Commencement as in the above entry relating to Friar Lane Nottingham], "and whereas the organes of the collegiate church of the blessed Marie the virgine of Sowthwell in this countie of Nottingham are notoriously knowen to bee much decaied and impaired, and (as the state of that church standeth havinge no head nor canonicall resedentiaries to order and reforme it as apperteyneth) unlike by ordinarie meanes of theim that are of the church to bee made such, as that ancient place and the solemnitie of gods service therin to bee done requireth : Nowe Mr. Leigh, judge of this courte remay ninge at Southwell (sic) aforesaid for the time, and findinge and seeinge the imperfection of the said instrumente and consideringe howe needfull it is to have all thinges decente in the churche to the glorie of god and the creditte and commendacion of that place, hath this first of August 1592 ordered and decreed that fourtie shillings of the said monney shallbee emploide and bestowed in and upon the repairc of the said instruments out of hande. Which xls. are theruppon delivered and paid to John Pendleton a man of that facultie conducted [employed] for iiij li. to repaire and perfecte the said instrumente in hope that the maisters [churchwardens] of the saicl churche moved with this example will discharge the rest.
Ita est Milo Leighe."

On 29th January, 1592-3 a sum of four pounds was allocated towards completing the pavement of the "frere lane" in Nottingham. On 15th February in the same year thirty shillings was paid to "Robert Kinge clerke" on account of his "povertie and wante" and on 21st November a further sum of twenty shillings was given to him.

"The barre lane in Sowthwell."
On the same 2nd day of April 1593 "it was considered by Mr. Leigh judge of this courte that where as in the barre lane at Southwell in the countic of Nottingham, beinge a way verie noisome and dangerous to men and carriages, there was the last yere not onely a foote causey of 18 score yardes or therabouts accomplished and paved with stone but also a pavement begon there for cariages to go upon, which remains unperfected at this day and is in great parte galled and spoiled by reason it was not sanded and wrought as it shoulde have beene ; in and upon which foote way and carte waye there was expended and bestowed by order geven by the said Mr. Leigh (for the good will hee had to that place) the summe of five poundes nyneteene shillings ten pence of lawful 1 English monney parcel of such monney as for the penaunce of incontinent persons was paid into this courte upon commutacions and rested therein, the particular paiments of which said summe appeareth in a docket remayninge in the register : The said Mr. Leigh, not withstandinge that the people by refusinge to set forwardes that worke have geven some cause of discouragement unto him, is yet minded to have the same go on and therfore hath nowe decreed that ten poundes of the said monney made by the said commutacions shalbee. withall convenient speede employed & bestowed in and upon the said pavement of and in the said lane by the order oversight and discretion of Jervase Lee Esquier to bee presently delivered to the said Jervasse for that purpose in the hope that hee will faithfully dispose the same and therof make such accompte to remaine in this courte as may testifie the due performance of this truste as apperteineth. In witnes wherof the said Mr Leigh hath herunto subscribed.
Myles Leiglie.

Md. that I Jervase Lee Esquier accordinge to the decree above written have receaved and had from John Martiall actuarie of this courte the summe of tenne poundes of lawfull English monney to bee bestowed and emploied by mee in & upon the pavemente of the said lane called the barre lane in Southwell. In witness wherof I have herunto subscribed my name.
Gervase Lee."

On 30th May, 1593, a grant of five marks [£3.6. 8.] was made towards the repair and restoration of "Mereoll bridge "in East Markham, the restoration being urgently needed.

"Md. that of the monney made into this courte by commutation of penance Mr. Leigh judge of the same courte this 24 of December 1593 moved in peitie (sic) and compassion with the poore and miserable estate of William Whitfeld of Southwell in the countie of Nott. who hath a longe time & yet doth lie in extremetie of sickness thought good to decree & alot for the relief of the said William two shillings six pence and in dede delivered the same presently to thandes of the said Whitfeldes wief, testante me Johanne Martiall notario publico pro registrario."

"Item there is expended out of the said Monney in the defense of a complaint made into the Starre chamber by Robert Smith a fornicator against Mr Leigh judge of this court & his assistantes the summe of x li. vijs. viijd. as it appeareth by the sollicitors billes remayninge."

On 20th February, 1593-4, a commuted penance of five marks was ordered to be expended in repairing the public road at Laxton at the discretion of Peter Roos, Esq.

"for the poore of Nott.
3. 6. 8.
[Commencement as before] now Mr. Leigh Officiall &c tendringe the distressed estate of the town of Nottingham especially of the poore and needy people there by reason that god hath visited the town with plague and mortalitie hath this 20 of Febr. 1593 [-4] judicially decreed and apointed that five marks of the said monney bee presently sent to the maior of the said town to bee by him with thadvise of his brethren distributed amonge such of the said poore people as hee knoweth to stande in most neede at this time. And theruppon the said five markes were really delivered to thandes of George Harvy clerke to convey the same to the said maior for that purpose from whome this courte expecteth due certificat in writinge whereby it shall and may appeare that the same monney is erogated and bestowed accordinge to the true meaninge of this order.
Ita est Milo Leigh."

"Newark pavimentum.
3. 6. 8.
[Commencement as before] nowe Mr. Leigh Officiall and Commissarie of this Archdeaconrie of Nottingham understandinge that the pavement of some of the common waies or gates of Newarke upon Trent beinge a great thoroughfare ys decayed to the common annoyance of thinhabitantes & passengers that way and is like rather to bee worse then better without speedie helpe, for the common good of the town and countrey this first of March 1593 [-4] hath ordered and decreed that five markes of the said monney bee furthwith delivered to the Alderman of the said town to bee by him with thadvise of his brethren bestowed in and upon the repaire of the said decayed pavement and hee to return due certificat to the court of thimployment therof accordingly &c.
Ita est Milo Leigh."

"Newarke pavymentum.
Md. that this day [13 March] accordinge to a decree made for the purpose primo die Martii instantis the summe of five markes of lawfull English monney was by mee John Martiall actuarie of this courte delivered and paid to thandes of Christopher Jennyson gent, nowe alderman of Newarke upon Trente to bee emploied in & upon the decayned pavementes of Newarke &c."

On 18th March, 1593-4, a commuted penance of twenty shillings was ordered to be paid to Richard Herde, of Southwell, yeoman, who was well-known to the judge for his honest life and reputation, but who was in debt (aere alieno) and had no money of his own to release himself. On 30th March, 1594, five marks were allotted towards the repair of the public ways in Mansfield at the discretion of Matthew Chambers. On 14th May, 1595, a corporal penance on a woman residing in the parish of St. Mary, Nottingham, was commuted to a payment of thirteen shillings and four pence to be applied "towardes the price of a cuppe of silver for the administracion of the lordes supper in the church of St. Marie in Nottingham to remaine there for ever & to be provided by the Maior of the town of Nottingham," and the money was paid to Robert Alvye the Mayor. On 5th February, 1596-7, a commuted penance of four pounds inflicted on a Newark man was ordered to be used towards the repair of "Markham Bridges" near Newarke, which bridges were threatened with ruin and were very dangerous. On 4th June, 1597, a corporal penance inflicted on George Wood, of Barton in Fabis, was commuted to a payment of thirteen shillings and four pence as it was proved that he was a mercenary soldier (militem stipendarium) then setting out for Ireland.

"Leather buckets.
Memorand. that wheereas heeretofore divers pennance have binne commuted into small summes of monney at the request of divers of good estimacion in this Archdeaconrie and wheereas the Towne of Nottingham of the said Archdeaconrie hath of late binne divers tymes indaingered throughe casuall or scath fiers the said Towne wantinge necessarie and readie meanes for the better quenchings of such fiers it hath pleased Mr Pettie Officiall of the Archdeaconrie of Nottingham aforesaid to turne suche summes of money into twentie leather buckettes fitte to use for the easie carryinge of water to be used for the quenchinge of such scath fiers And he hath appointed the said leather buckettes to remayne in Sainte Maries Churche in Nottingham aforesaid by the Churchwardens of the said Churche to be looked into that theie maye be readie uppon anye such needfull occasion."

On 8th December, 1602, John Bilialde, of West Markham, was enjoined, in lieu of a corporal penance, to build a seat (sedile) in the chancel of the church of West Markham in which the parishioners there might receive the Lord's Supper decently. On 4th May, 1616, two corporal penances were each commuted to the payment of five shillings towards the repair of Edwinstowe Bridge.


13 Oct. 1578. William Brookes, of Girton, "suspected of Usurye."

He pleaded not guilty. Then George Holmes swore "that for vij strike of Rie and a hoope of Pease geven unto him by the said Brookes he paid vjs. viijs. in money and ix strikes of Rie and he further claymeth one bushell more." Then the said Brookes swore "that he hath receved the sayd ix strike and vjs. viijd. and also mens wordes for the other bushell." Enjoined "to redelyver unto the said Holmes viij strike of Rie and xls. to the pore mans box."

7 March 1583-4. "James Elvishe [of South Leverton] suspected of usurey."

Admitted that "he taketh ijs. in the pound And hath xj li. and taketh xxijs. for the lone of yt." Enjoined "to acknowledge his fait in the church upon Sondaye nexte " and to give three pounds six shillings and eight pence to the poor box.

On 19th June, 1592, Grace Scot, of West Retford, admitted "that she did lend to a neighbour a noble [6s. 8d.] for the use therof shee receaved the value of ijd. in the week of the gifts of the borrower viz. Richard Barlles wief" by previous arrangement. On 18th September, 1593, Thomas Storer, vicar of Ruddington, was presented as "suspected to be a usurer" and pleaded not guilty. John Smith swore "that hee did heretofore borowe of the said Thomas Storer for two yeres ending at Candlemas next comingc the summe of ten poundes of lawfull English monney and contracted with him to geve him the said Thomas Storer for the use and occupacion of the said summe duringe the said terme after the rate of iijs. iiijd. the pound [per annum] amountinge in the whole to five markes [£3. 6. 8.] Whereof at the delivery of the monney the said Thomas Storer detayned thereof to him self xxvjs. viijd. and tooke this deponentes bill for xls. to be paid to the said Storer at Michaelmas next ensuinge the contracte." William Fillingham swore "that hee was privie to the said contracte as touchinge the said lone and was bounde to the said Storer with the borrower for the paiment therof at Candlemas nexte "Storer was sentenced to do penance in Ruddington Church but claimed the benefit of the Queen's general pardon and was dismissed.

3 March, 1598-9. Hugh Spencer, of East Bridgford, "suspected of usurie."

Admitted "that on Maye daye laste paste he did lend unto one Knutton v li. of lawfull money &c. which he was and is to have duringe the space of one whole yeare, provided that the said Knutton in consideracion of the loane of the said money doe divers dayes worke in tyllinge the ground and carienge manure of and for this examinate, which worke of the said Knutton he this examinatte doth valew at xxs. and for whiche worke he this examinate, besydes the loane of the said money, was to geve to the said Knutton xs.".
Dimissed with a warning.

5 Dec. 1601.Richard Clarke, of Hucknall, "for usurye."

Admitted "that aboute xij moneths since he did sell a bushell of wheate for xs. to be paid to him within xij moneths after, the price beinge then in the market xij groates a strike." He was ordered to give sixteen pence to the poor box.

On 22nd October, 1608, Adam Sutton, of Elston, denied "that he did take anye thinge more then accordinge to the rate of xli. in the hundred," and was dismissed.


5 June 1578. The Churchwardens and parishioners of Costock [in the margin, Thomas Buxam, John Duke, William Clarke, warden, John Collington, George Vynt, John Johnson, Lancelot Trentam, John Hunt, warden], "for not goinge the perambulacion accordinge to the quenes Injinccions."

The case was adjourned and there is no further entry but following extract is written after the above entry.

"Cortlingstocke above sayd
An agreement betwene the parson and parisheners.

The cause whie the parson discharged the Courte was for that they did agree and fully consent viz. betwene the parson and parisheners of a continuall division betwene the pease field and the fallowe field the same beinge made by church balkes and so was dowled out the viijth daye of June 1578 all the parties presently bye and so doth continewe marked out as severall.

The cause of their callinge into the Courte by the sayd parson was for three causes, Fyrst for that none of the parisheners went with the parson at the perambulacion, Secundly for that they retorned not whome with him And thirdly that they uttered evill wordes towardes the parson which offered occasion of discord and descension betwene them.


The names of the parties


John Duke.

Thomas Buxam.


John Collington.

George Vante (sic)


Lancelot Trentam.

Willm. Clarke.


John Hunt.

Jonh Johnson."

1 June 1584. "The churchwardens of Arnhall to shewe cause why the perambulacion ys not walked &c."

They affirmed "that theire Vicare dothe not goe because the compasse ys so greate." They and the vicar were enjoined "to walke yt the next year."

18 July 1584. "Thomas Broxbey [of Scarrington] presented for stopyng the perambulacion as yt. ys presented."

Said "that he never denyed them the same passage because they never before this yere demaunded the same passage." Enjoined "that herafter he make a sufficient passage (sic) that the perambulacion maye safely and quietly passe."

30 May 1593. John Allenson, vicar of Tuxford, "for not goinge the perambulacion last yere."

Said that he never omitted the perambulation except in case of necessity of health or on account of the intemperateness of the wind.

18 Sept. 1593. George Turvin, vicar of East Retford, "for not goinge in perambulacion the last rogacion weeke."

Said "that they (sic) no feldes nor cause for perambulacion nor can have company for that purpose," but he was warned" to keepe the perambulacion herafter."

25 June John Quippe, clerk, of Littleborough, "for that the perambulacion is not kepte."

Said "that he dyd walke the perambulacion untill he was resisted by Mr Thorneys men." 9 June 1610. John Goodale, of Gotham.

Pleaded guilty to "disturbinge the minister and the whole companye goinge the perambulacion in the rogacion weeke."

4 June 1616. William Westwood, of Mansfield.

Admitted "that at the time of the perambulacion he had certaine stuffe in the streete by meenes wheereof the minister & parishioners were hindred." 8 July 1623. Samuel Stamforth, of Bilsthorpe, "for not payinge an accustomed duetie to the procession."

He denied "that there was any such custom," but there are no further entries.

References to Sports and Pastimes.

On 25th January, 1583-4, nine men of West Markham, were cited "for playinge at foot ball in the church yard." Six of them were fined and another, who had also been cited for fighting in the churchyard (the heading states that he "bled "), is noted as having died.

16 Nov. 1584. "Robert Cave, William Brasse and William Blythe, of Tuxforth, for baytinge of a bull on the Saboath daye in service tyme."

Robert Cave affirmed "that they dyd bayte the bull but not in service tyme," and each of them was ordered to give twelve pence to the poor box.

On 16th October, 1585, Robert Dewyck, of Boughton, was cited because "he set up a maye pole in the church yard" and on 16th May, 1587, John Cartlyge, of Bulwell, was ordered to give twelve pence to the poor box "for maynteynynge pypyng and daunsynge in service tyme." On 27th April, 1605, Thomas Urrie, of Weston, admitted "that he was a looker on while there was foote bale playinge at Eveninge prayer uppon a Sundaye at Eveningc prayinge (sic)," and ten others were cited for the same offence. On 1st June, 1605, Francis Kighley and William Walker, of Radford, admitted "that theie weere at a cockfightinge uppon the Sabaoth daye," and on 11th October in the same year Peter Rosse [Roos] of Laxton, admitted "that upon a Sabaothe daye the tyme certaine he doth not remember he his examinate was amongest others of his neighbours in the maye game for the which he is called in question."

On 30th October, 1606, Thomas Reyner, of East Markham, admitted "that he did boule uppon the Sabaoth daye aboute Lammas daye laste paste," and on 13th December four parishioners of St Nicholas, Nottingham, pleaded guilty to the same offence. On 11th June, 1608, thirty-five Nottingham men were cited for "prophaninge the Sabaoth by theire beinge at the footebale in tyme of divine service." Eleven of them admitted "that theie weere in the meadowes lookinge uppon the footebale players uppon Maye daye last paste," and four others "that theie weere mett comminge from the footebale playe uppon the firste of Maye beinge the Sabaoth daye in tyme of divine service." On 31st January, 1608-9, Martin Boswell, of East Markham, was cited for profaning the Lord's Day "by setting up nyne holes [nine-mens Morris]." On 4th March, 1608-9, eleven men of Newark admitted "that uppon Candlemas daye laste paste [a Thursday] theie and everye of them dyd playe at footebale & that theie weere not at divine service the same daye." On 23rd February, 1609-10, three parishioners of St. Mary, Nottingham, two of St. Peter and four, two of whom are described as gentlemen, of Sneinton, admitted "that uppon a Sondaye within these eighte weekes laste paste theye & everye of them weere at a Bearebaitinge at Snenton," and on 26th January, 1610-1, Robert Warde, of Cropwell Parva, admitted "that he was at a bearebaitinge upon the Sabaoth daye in tyme of divine service at Eveninge prayer about a fortnighte after Michaelmas laste paste."

On 29th February, 1611-2, one of seven men of St. Mary, Nottingham, who had been cited admitted "that uppon Sainte Matthias daye last paste [a Monday] he did boule after the ringinge of the bells to divine service." On 26th January, 1612-3, six inhabitants of Warsop, admitted "playinge at footebale in the church (sic) and churchyard." On 5th May, 1613, Robert Nuton and his wife, of Balderton, were cited "for havinge companye in his house at Shovell a boorde in tyme of divine service," and twelve others were cited for playing at "Shovel a boord." On 22nd May in the same year, Nicholas Rutther, of Clifton, near Nottingham, was cited "for playinge at nine holes & also for meynteyninge the same upon the Sabaoth daye in tyme of divine service and sermon."

14 May 1613. Gervase Whitehead, of Ruddington, "for comminge to Clifton and alluring the people to prophane gods service by playinge upon a paire of bagpipes."

28 Sept. 1613. John Reeve, of Blyth, "for castinge a boule at John Walker in a quarrellinge manner."

Admitted "that he beinge stroken by John Walker did throwe his boule at him the said Walker in the churchyard." Pronounced to be. excommunicate "ipso facto."

26 March 1614. Griffin Divall, of St. Peter, Nottingham [and fourteen others from that parish and from the parish of St. Mary] "for beinge at a playe in tyme of divine service uppon the Sabaoth daye."

14 Sept. 1614. Stephen Elwis, of Newark, "for playing at tables uppon Whitsundaye laste paste."

3 Dec. 1614. Robert Lacie, of Attenborough, "for catchinge of larkes in tyme of divine service uppon the fifte daye of November."

3 May 1617. Richard Kernpe alias Augustine Brian, of Mansfield. "for ferritinge on the Sabaoth Day 16th March 1616 [-7]."

3 June 1617. Evan Breedon, of Edwinstowe, "for prophaninge the Sabaoth by keepinge of a piper in his house and dauncinge."

Admitted "that upon the firste Sundaye in Lente laste paste he had a piper in his house."

1 Aug. 1617. Richard Alsop, of Thurgarton, "for playinge at scales uppon the Sabaoth daye & drawinge others to do the like." [W. C. Hazlitt in his "Dictionary of Faiths and Folk-lore," says:— "Scales.—Rice, in his 'Invective againste Vices for Vertue,' " 1579, mentions this twice, but gives no further explanation.]

On 17th January, 1617-8, Robert Hill, of Annesley, denied "that he did hunte uppon the sabaoth daye in service tyme," and Thomas Sutton and Edward Hill of the same place pleaded guilty to "playinge at tables on the Sabaoth daye in tyme of divine service." On 24th March, 1617-8, John Smithson alias Gardner, of Blyth, pleaded guilty to "boulinge and fishinge of the Sabaoth daye," and on 23rd June in the same year, Edward Fitzwilliams, gent., of Hayton, was cited "for playinge at tables in an alehouse in tyme of divine service" and was excommunicated for not appearing to answer the charge. On 26th September, 1618, Thomas Emerson, of Nottingham, who, with four others, had been cited "for huntinge on the Sabaoth daye" admitted "that he did hunte in Nottingham park uppon a Sabaoth daye within one moneth laste paste." On 10th October, 1618, Richard Lane and John Gadesbie, churchwardens of Costock, admitted "that Hughe Radford of Bonney and Thomas Berrie of Remstone did sette uppe nine holes uppon a Sabaoth daye about five or sixe weeke since & there was then playinge or looking on Hughe Barnet of Bonney and others." From a later entry this offence was committed "uppon Costocke Feaste daye" or "Costocke wake daye." It is quite evident from the following entries that Morris Dancing took place in the county at this period :—

24 Oct. 1618. William Hartley, "ley Cooper," of Wollaton, admitted "That uppon a Sabaoth daye since the feaste of Pentecost laste paste he went to Trowell in companie of Morris dauncers in tyme of divine service."

31 Oct. Richard Mee, of Wollaton, admitted the same offence.

4 Nov. Hugh Longley, Gervase Goldinge, John Butler, Hugh Foster, Harold Maples and Richard Robertes, of Bradmore, all admitted "prophaninge the Sabaoth by Morrice dauncinge."

Anthony Trewman, of Ruddington, and Ralph Lees, of Wisall, both pleaded guilty to "pypinge at the same."

On 11th July, 1620, John Cob, of Cottam, near Retford, in answer to a charge of "strikeinge Leonard Keaworthe in the Churche yard" said "that Leonard Keaworthe, Thomas Hadricke, William Browne and Edward Northerne were all at footeballe in the Churche yard upon Fastinge tuesdaie laste paste," and at the same court five parishioners of Rossington admitted "that theie did hunte on the Sabaoth daye."

5 May 1621. George Wighteman and John Roson, of Mansfield, "for trasinge of hares on the Sabaoth daye in service tyme."

Various Cases.

15 April 1573. John Ward, of South Scarle, at the promotion of Mungo Adison.

On which day the said Mungo appeared and objected against the said Warde that he had hidden and concealed certain papist books and missals. To which objection the said Warde answered that he had not any such books hidden or concealed or knew that there were or had been any such books in the parish. Then the said Warde produces as his compurgators Henry Smithe, William Poplington, Richard Eliot and Robert Kent, whom the said Mungo alleged to be related to and kinsmen of the said Warde, which they admitted. Wherefore the judge decreed that the said compurgators should not be admitted and enjoined the said Wards to purge himself at the next court at the hands of four of his neighbours, who should be loyal men and of exceptional esteem.

14 May. On which day the said Wards appeared and produced as his compurgators Henry Smithe, Richard Eliot, Laurence Hathill and Anthony Horner, whom the judge admitted. Then the said Warde swore "That hee never hid nor concealed neither knewe anie suche bookes to bee in the parishe of Southscarle sithens the quenes majesties reigne." And the said compurgators swore that they believe that he had spoken the truth. Wherefore the judge pronounced the said Warde to have purged himself in a satisfactory manner and to be innocent of the crime objected against him and dismissed him from further instance of the law in this matter.

On 2nd March, 1574, Joan Collyer, of Kneesall, should have certified that she had done her penance, but at the following court it was alleged on her behalf that she had sent the necessary certificate and the fees to the previous court but the messenger had taken to his heels (conjecit se in pedes) and fled with the certificate and the money.

25 June 1574. Thomas Cooke, of Mansfield.

On which day the judge objected against him that he had lately written a letter addressed to the judge [the Archdeacon] in derogation of a most laudable and learned exercise, which letter stated that the judge in the same exercise held at Mansfield on Monday 14th June pronounced and declared doctrine disagreeing with the word of God, together with other errors in the same letter contained. In answer to which objection the said Cooke admitted that he caused the said letter to be dictated and written and sent to the aforesaid Archdeacon. And then the judge asked him what he [the judge] had thus done in derogation and contempt of the said learned exercise. To which he answered as follows in English, viz., " That the said Mr Archdeacon in the said Exercise went manie by waies from the texte, bringing in a comparison of the butcher of St Nicholas Shambles being an unsavoured similitude in divine matters, for that in spirituall matters shoulde bee alledged spirituall comparisons and no other. Denyenge allso that ministers bee nowe made as in the primitive churche they were." Then the judge, seeing that the said Cooke was extremely obstinate, wished to charge him on oath to speak the truth concerning the Articles put forth against him by the Archdeacon by virtue of his office, but the said Cooke openly and publicly refused to take any such oath. Wherefore the judge pronounced him to be in contempt and in punishment of his contempt decreed him to be excommunicated. Then the aforesaid Cooke appealed to the Archbishop.

22 June 1574. William Ryshton, of Mansfield.

On which day the said Ryshton against whom the judge objected that he had violated and daily violates the ecclesiastical ordinances of this realm, living in the manner of the puritans (puretanorum more vivens), and holding of no account the learned man and upholder of the word of God, Master James Britten, vicar of Mansfield, but provoking and belittling him daily with malicious words. In very truth, among other things spoken contumaciously by him, the said William Ryshton had said " That hee himself is as fitte to bee a preacher as the said Mr Brittan, and that Mr Archdeacon knoweth no more what a puritane is then his ould hors, and that hee thinketh the same Mr Archdeacon dothe more hurte then good at all times when hee cometh to Mansfelde churche in makinge the textes jarre, goynge about rather to beate downe the worde of God then otherwise, and that hee buildeth hay and stubble upon godes worde. And further hee said that Mr Deane of Lincolne him self can not tell what a puretane is. And that Mr Archdeacon preached suche doctrine that by goodes worde yf hee mette with him hee aught not to bidde him good morrowe. Allso hee said that hee did not well to call him to suche an hole as Kirkebye churche [where the court was held] is, and wheare was so small audience." And then the judge seeing the said Ryshton to be so very pertinacious and contemptuous and for other reasons him moveing decreed the said Ryshton to be reported to the Archbishop and this case to the heard and determined by him or other Commissioners of our lady the Queen for ecclesiastical causes. And then the said William Ryshton then and there appealed to the same Reverend Father.

8 July 1577. Bonaventure Eaton, of Greasley, "presented for breakinge the chauncell dores."

Admitted that he "opened the chauncell dores for the scholmaster to teache in and for none other intent." To give six pence to the poor box.

8 July 1577. Roger Williamson, of Greasley, "Presented for quarrellinge in the churche."

[The original presentment is loose in the register and is as follows:—]

A presentment againste Roger Williamsone scoolmaister of Graysley as Followethe ye xxvth of June.



In primis the said Roger called the Vicar he[d]ger and said he was as honest as he and yt [that] he beg[g]ed buter mylk potage & way [whey].



Item the said Roger dyd oppen ye chancell dore ye xxvjth (sic) daie of June withowte anie key & sd. he would teache in ye churche whether he would or no for the parishe comaunded me.



Item ye same daie ye said roger said unto ye vicar he went a beginge with a testymonyel and gatherd in xl churches.



Item he sd. ye same daie yt [that] if i had right i had desarved to lose bothe my eares.



Item ye same daie he drew blowd of me in the churche.
Item ye sd. Roger (sic)

On which day the said Williamson appeared to whom the judge by virtue of his office of correction, objected certain Articles and charged the said Williamson to answer on oath. To the first "he answereth that he never spoke suche wordes to the vicar but unto the children." To the second "he sayeth he might teache in the church with the consente of the parishe." To the third "he sayth he went about with a lycence." To the fourth " he confesseth that he had almost lost one eare." To the fifth "he confesseth that he lost his hold but whether he drue blood or noe he knoweth not." Excommunicated.

On 21st November, 1577, the judge objected against the Bailiff of Mansfield, that he had disobeyed the order of the judge in

"that the sayd Baylyfe and others thenhabitantes of Mansfield dyd place and displace the scholemaster without the consent of my L. grace [the Archbishop]. Wherunto the sayd Baylyfe doth answer and sayth that they have authoritie by vertue of the Quenes Majestes letters patens to place and displace the scholmaster at their pleasure." [See pp. 59 and 61 of Transactions, 1925, for other references to this schoolmaster].

On 17th January, 1578-9, Robert Tottey, of Farndon, who had pleaded not guilty to beinge a "dronkerk" was ordered to pay "xs. towardes the repaireing of Markham Brigges [the bridge over the river Devon on the Fosse Road]." On 19th November, 1580, the churchwardens of Lenton being cited "for sufferinge fightinge braulinge and quarellinge in the church "answered" that they were my L. Bartlettes players "and there is no mention of any punishment being inflicted. On 5th February, 1582-3, the following entry occurs, "My mayster [the surrogate of the Official] did Lycence the wyffe of Peter Lowthe and two of his children to Eate fleshe accordinge to the Statute."

21 Feb. 1582-3. "Jervis Ansley gent, [of Ruddington] and two of his men dud violently pluck Rychard Arnall the Clarke of the church out of his place twyse in one daye viz. the tenth of February And Nicholas Taylor the Scholmaster."

He appeared and alleged " that the processes which were served upon hym were the wrong dated the others served on hym for a wrong daye." He, however, admitted "that he plucte the sayd Richard Arnall the clerke out of his place" He was excommunicated and appealed to the Archbishop. His two servants "did confesse that they were their maysters servantes and dyd as theyre Mr. dyd commaund them In plucking out the forsayd Rychard Arnall out (sic) of his seate." They were excommunicated under the Statute 5 Edward VI.

On 13th April, 1594, a John Verye who had been ordered to purge himself at Nottingham and, having failed to do so, had been pronounced to be guilty, appeared and alleged as an excuse that the plague was so bad in Nottingham that it would have been unsafe for him to have brought his compurgators there and his excuse was accepted.

21 Feb. 1594-5. Joan Bettyson, of Bilsthorpe, widow, publicly infamed (as it is said) for witchcraft.

Being examined on oath she answered "that shee divers times within two yeres last past when she was required to helpe cattle that were forspoken [bewitched] did for their recovery use 15 pater nosters, 15 aves and three credes in honour of the father and the son and of the holie ghoste, and that theruppon the cattle amended, and for everie of theim she had usually a penie, poore folkes excepted of whome she tooke nothinge, denienge that she used in that behalfe anie other ceremonie and was taught this by her late grandfather Robert Meakin late of Mansfield Woodhouse deceased, and otherwise shee saieth she cannot lawfully bee charged with anie unlawfull practices in this behalf, neither will hereafter use this anie more. And so enjoyned upon paine of lawe that shee hereafter do not take anie such matter upon her. Yt is thought good to the courte that shee bee dismissed without furder examinacion untill other matters shall lawfully come against her touchinge the premisses."

28 May 1597. Anne Chester, of Langar, "she refuseth topaie corne to the Chappell."

Said "that for this fortie yeares she hath paid six-strikes of wheat and two Strikes of barley and no more to the said Chappell and so much she hath paid this yeare and more she oughte not to paye as she sayeth."

On 1st April, 1598, Dorothy Devell, of Carlton in Lindrick, denied

"that she doth or ever did use sorcerie or witchcrafte or doth knowe what yt dothe meane, but she saythe that she with her brother John Casson did make a jeasta [gesture] with a Syve and a payre of Sheeres which she never did but once." Her brother them admitted "that about thre quarters of a yeare since a weather beinge loste in their parishe aforesaid there was a device used to knowe what was become of the said weather by takynge a Syve and a payre of Sheeres and sayeinge, In the name of the father and of the sonne and of the holie ghoste, after which wordes the Syve would tourne aboute, which devise he and his Syster Dorothie Devell once without anie yll intent made triall of."

On 21st October, 1598, Adam Pacie, of North Collingham, admitted

"that he about six weekes sonce did speake to the Minister of North-collingham, he [the minister] beinge at divine service and sayinge that some came to church more for a sleepe than for the service of god and others had more mynde of goinge home to dynner then to heare gods word, as foloweth, viz. That ys more than you can tell."

On 28th May, 1608, John Homes, of Kneeton, in the parish of Orston, who had cited been "for disturbinge the Minister in tyme of service uppon good Frydaye laste" admitted "that uppon good Frydaye laste he this respondent cominge to receave the communion Mr Hargreaves demaunded his dueties of him this respondent who laide dovvne money & bid him take his dues & otherwise in no sorte disturbed him" and was dismissed.

26 July 1608. Katherine Foxegale, of Walesby, "for a daylie scolde & curser of her neighbours & for watching uppon Sainte Markes even at nighte laste in the Church porche to presage by divelishe demonstracion the deathe of somme neighbours within the yeere."

On 7th January, 1608-9, John Howet, of Flintham, admitted

"that he beinge at the funerall sermon of Mr Hotofte which was aboute a quarter of a yeere since did sowe woemens (sic) clothes togeather & that he was incouraged so to doe by Thomas Fryer of Carcolston who held theire garments whilest he this respondent did sowe them togeather."

In an action for defamation heard on 26th September, 1611, it was stated that it was not safe for the witnesses to come to Nottingham by reason of the plague and the case was adjourned to that day fortnight in Wilford Church. It was then adjourned for a further fortnight as the witnesses could not come owing to the floods (propter inundacionem aquarum).

20 June 1612. On which day Gervase Teverey Esq. and John Brodbent gent, appeared on person and produced certain letters containing the award of Thomas Gilbert, Wendesley Blackwall, Edward Holt and John Beresford gents, concerning the repair of the chancel of the church of Stapleford in the county of Nottingham and also the payment of six shillings and cightpence for every person buried in the chancel of the aforesaid church as in the same letters more fully appeared, and each of them consenting and assenting prayed that the said letters should be entered in the registry for the purpose of perpetuating the matter, to the which the judge so decreed. The true tenour of the said letters in all respects is as follows:—"Wheeras there hath binn some difference heeretofore Betweene Gervase Teverey Esquier & John Brodbent gent aboute the repaire of the chancell of Stapleford in regard that Mr Teverey holdeth in fee farme the tith corne wooll & lambes, & Mr Brodbent the fee simple of the parsonage house & gleabe lande & the tythe haye of Stapleford, & the same difference nowe referred to the order of Thomas Gilbert, Wendesly Blackwall, Edward Hoult & John Beresford gents, indifferently chosen by the foresaid parties to end the same: It is now ordered & awarded by the said arbitrators by & with the consent and good likinge of bothe the said parties that the said chauncell shalbe presentlye repayred & the charges thereof to be devyded into three equall partes wheereof Mr Teverey is to paye two partes & Mr Brodbent one parte. And the like contribucion in proportion to be ever heereafter contynued betweene them & theire heirs when & as ofte as the aforesaid chauncell shall want repaire. And further wheeras there hath bin by custome six shillings eighte pence due for everye one that was buried in the said chauncell excepte such as have binne owners & farmours for the tyme beinge of the tithe or gleabe theare. It is nowe further ordered by the consent, of bothe parties that the money heereafter to be due for such buryalls shalbe devyded into three equall partes wheerof Mr Teverey to have two & Mr Brodbent one. And it is also agreed that the said Gervicc Teverey & his heyres shall hence forward for everye buryall of anye of his familie in the chauncell paye two (sic) partes of six shillings eighte pence unto the said John Brodbent & his heyres and that the said John Brodbent & his heyrs shall likewise heereafter for everye buryall of anye of his familie in the chauncell paye two (sic) partes of sixe shilling eighte pence to the said Gervase Teverey or his heyres. And lastelye that this order shalbe decreed established and registered in the spirituall Courte before the tenth daye of Auguste nexte insuinge the date heereof Mr Teverey bearinge two partes of the charges and Mr Brodbent the third especiallye for the voydinge of all future controversies aboute the repaire of the said chauncell & buryals therein & for the continuance of the same in sufficient repaire. In confirmacion of which agreement as well the said parties as the said arbitrators have heereunto putte theire handes & scales dated the Fifteenth daye of June in the tenth yeere of the raigne of our soveraigne Lord James by the grace of God King of England Fraunce & Ireland defendor of the faith &c. of Scotland the five & fourtith and in the yeere of our Lord God one thousand six hundred & twelve."

On 19th October, 1613, Alexander Adcocke, of North Wheatley, made assurance on oath

"that it is a usual custom in the house of Hughe Bingham of North Wheatley to steepe clothes in the forenoone uppon the Saboath daye in the morninge & to make them readie for battinge at after Eveninge prayer for these xvj yeeres & speciallie uppon the Sundaye nexte after the feast e of St Bartholomew daye laste paste."

On 4th November, 1615, Thomas Heynes, of Sutton-in-Ashfield, paid into court "for eighte acres of land which he hathe in occupacion & is no parte of the gleabe land foure pence & for three beastes three halfe pence & for sixe sheepe a halfe penie "accordinge to the assessment made by the churchwardens.

[1616]. "To cure the scabbe or itch on a horse

Take Speereworte a hatfull stamped & straine it & & put into a panne to halfe a pounde of butter & melte them together & therewith rubbe her "

2 July 1617. Thomas Tailer, of Hawton, "for misbehavinge him selfe with his dogge in the Church in tyme of divine service."

Said "that his dogge beinge fightinge or quarellinge in the church with an other dogge he this respondent did take his dogge into his armes."

On 19th June, 1617, William Hodgkin, of Hoveringham, who was cited for being in an alehouse in time of Evening Prayer admitted "that he was in the alehouse & staied theare but whitest he boughte a cake & beere to the value in the whole of ijd.". On 2nd June, 1618, Thomas Sharpe, of Elkesley, was cited "for not payinge a maineport for the house which one John Cobbe did dwell in." According to Cowel's Law Dictionary (1708 edition) a "Maineporte is a small Duty which in some places the parishioners pay to the Rector of their Church in recompense of certain Tythes." On 14th July, 1618, Benjamin Dodgson, of Everton, who was cited "for speakinge unreverent wordes, &c." admitted "that he did use unreverent wordes to his mother" and was dismissed with a warning.

30 May 1620. Anne Wither, srvant to John Downes of Norton Cuckney, "for evill behaviour in the Churche yard."

Admitted "that she did sell bread for John Downes uppon the Sabaoth daye" and submitted herself. And she made assurance on oath "that Frauncis Moreland standinge in the Churche yard did strike her this respondent and did thruste her from of the Churche yard wale wheare she did sit." She was dismissed with a warning and John Downes was warned not to commit such an offence again.

"xxij Augusti 1620
Aboute the same tyme the wife of George Miriall of Carlton [in Lindrick] aforesaid broughte a most unquiet childe to the church to the greate offence of the whole congregacion who althoughe she was intreated by Mr Benson to send awaye the childe yeete she would not do so that he was inforced to give over prayers because he coulde not be hearde for the offensive noyce."

2 Dec. 1620. Humphrey Ayer [also " Eare "] ,of St Nicholas, Nottingham," for dressinge or killinge a beaste in the south porche of the same churche.

The following poem is written on the first leaf of the Register for the period 24th October, 1622 to 19th July, 1623. It is copied as written but, apparently, should have been written in long lines instead of short ones:—

"Farewell good Christmas adue adue due (sic)
For now wee must leave you & looke for a new
For whille [query " till "] thou returneth
Wee lingger in paine
Wee Carre (sic) not how
quickly thou comest againe
or eare (sic) thou departest
wee purpose to see
what pleasure & pastime
this daye will showe mee
the king of our wassel
this day wee must chusse (sic)
or else the whole (sic) costom,
wee Carelesly loves (sic) [query lose]
the Wassell well spiced
about shall goe round
thought [though it] cost my good master
best parte of a pound
the mede [maid] in the Buttrye
stands reddy to fill
with noping (sic) good licoure
with part & (sic) good will
to well commusse [welcome us] frendly
my Mr. stands by
& tells us in frendshippe
one tow three goes dry
His Beare (sic) to drincke freely
to pleasure a frend
& soe for the twelfte daie
my carlel [carol] doth end."

26 July, 1623. Robert Fitzrandolphe, of Selstone, "for drawinge water at the Coale pitts on the Sabaoth daye."

2 Aug. Gilbert Wimperie, Brian Dove and Robert 1623. Simpkinson, of Harby, "for traylinge of Katherine Smyth alias Colton up & downe by the heeles in the Chappell there uppon Sainte Stevens daye laste paste."

Are there any other records in existence which will throw any light on the following entries?

8 Nov. 1623. Ellen Backhous and three other women of Wollaton, "for goinge to the wise boye."
Agnes, the wife of William Greasley senr. and three other women of Lenton, "for goinge to the childe at Wisall."
Thomas Litster and his son, another man and a woman, of Broughton Soulney, "for goinge to the boye at Wisall."
Elizabeth Hardinge and Anne Wrighte, of West Bridgford, " for goinge to the boye at Wisall."

22 Nov. 1623. Richard Garton, of West Bridgford, "for carryinge his childe to Wysall to be cured by the stroaking boye."
Gabriel Eaton, of Trowell, "for resortinge to the boye at Wysall."