Quarter Sessions Records


p 460 (7 April)


Iuratores pro domino rege super sacramentum suum presentant quod Edwardus Lister de Allerston in Northridding comitatus Eboraci weaver etatis quinquaginta et duorum annorum, Rogerus Lister de Buttercrambe in dicto Northridding comitatus predicti weaver etatis septem annorum et amplius Thomas Burdsall de Thornton infra libertatem de Pickeringlieth in Northridding comitatus predicti weaver etatis septem annorum et amplius Luca Burdsall de eadem weaver etatis septem annorum et amplius Marmaducus Paley de Bridlington in Eastridding comitatus Eboraci Talor etatis septem annorum et amplius Robertus marchant de eadem Tailor etatis septem annorum et amplius et Willelmus dickonson de eadem tailor etatis septem annorum et amplius sunt communes histriones vagabundi et mendici validi (anglice common playors of Enterludes vagabundes & sturdie beggars) hac illac passim vagantes ludicra ludentes (anglice playinge of Enterludes Et quod tertio die Ianuarij Anno regni domini nostri Iacobi dei gracia Anglie ffrancie et hibernie regis fidei defensoris &c. decimo sexto et Scotie quinquagesimo secundo Apud novam malton in dicto Northriding comitatus Eboraci vagati fuerunt et adtunc et ibidem ludicra ludebant et multis alijs in locis in dicto Comitatu Eboraci tam ante diem predictum quam postea hac illac passim vagati fuerunt et ludicra ludebant contra pacem diicti domini regis coronam et dignitatem suas./

  • Marginalia
  • Footnotes
    • Veredictum: in display script
    • Iuratores: in display script
    • Edwardus … dickonson: in display script
    • (anglice … Enterludes: closing parenthesis missing
    • tertio … secundo: ie, 3 January 1618/19
  • Record Translation

    p 460 (7 April)


    Jurors for the lord king present on their oath that Edward Lister of Allerston in the North Riding of Yorkshire, weaver, fifty-two years of age, Roger Lister of Buttercrambe in the said North Riding of the aforesaid county, weaver, more than seven years of age, Thomas Burdsall of Thornton with the liberty of Pickering Lythe in the North Riding of the said county, more than seven years of age, Luke Burdsall of the same, weaver, more than seven years of age, Marmaduke Paley of Bridlington in the East Riding of Yorkshire, tailor, more than seven years of age, Robert Marchant of the same, tailor, more than seven years of age, and William Dickonson of the same, tailor, more than seven years of age to be common entertainers, vagabonds, and healthy beggars – in English 'common playors of interludes, vagabonds, and sturdy beggars' – wandering here, there, (and) everywhere playing interludes – in English 'playing of interludes' – and that on 3 January in the sixteenth year of the reign of our lord James, by the grace of God king of England, France, and Ireland, defender of the faith, etc, and the fifty-second (year of his reign) of Scotland, at New Malton in the said North Riding of Yorkshire they wandered and there they played interludes and into many other places in the said Yorkshire both before that day and after they wandered here there (and) everywhere and played interludes contrary to the peace of the said lord king, his crown, and dignity.

  • Document Description

    Record title: Quarter Sessions Records
    Repository: NYCRO
    Shelfmark: QSM 2/3
    Repository location: Northallerton

    Itinerant performers in the North Riding ranged from individual pipers, fiddlers, jugglers, and others living close to or below the poverty line, to organized companies of travelling players. Most of these did not play under gentry patronage and so were vulnerable to arrest and punishment under the Elizabethan and Stuart poor laws governing 'rogues, vagabonds, and sturdy beggars' (39 Eliz c4; Great Britain, Statutes of the Realm, vol 4, pt 2 (London, 1819; rpt 1963), 899–902). Edward Lister and Richard Hudson, who figure regularly in the presentments of 1616, were the leaders of the small playing company. They were based in Hutton Buscel, just over four miles southwest of Scarborough, but they were active throughout the North Riding. The seven members of the company included three children, Lister's son and Hudson's two sons as well as Christopher Hutchinson, a boy of sixteen. The court is careful to note the ages of the boys in the company since those seven and under formed a separate category under the poor laws (The Workhouse: The Story of an Institution, http://www.workhouses.org.uk/education, accessed 8 October 2021). Between December 29, 1616, and February 18, 1616/17, the company played for thirty-two of the North Riding gentry and yeomen farmers, each of whom was fined 10s following their prosecution in the quarter sessions. Following this extensive tour, the company was arrested and appeared at the Hutton Buscel assize court on 4 April, 1616. They were convicted of being common vagabonds and were sent on for sentencing at the full sessions at Thirsk on 10 April, where Richard Hudson was sentenced to be whipped. This sentence seems to have convinced Hudson to disband his players and nothing further is seen of them.

    1616–20; Latin and English; paper; vol 1: i + 170 + i, vol 2: i + 172 + i; 300mm x 200mm; contemporary foliation (often damaged), modern pagination 1–340, 341–684 (used here); original in very poor condition; casebound 1979 in 2 volumes of tan double buckram with pages mounted individually (original calfskin binding on marbled paper boards slipped in case), original labels on spine of vol 1, upper red, lower black, with gold lettering, respectively: 'Minutes | and | Orders' and '1616 | to | 1620,' new labels (upper red, lower blue) with same text on vol 2.

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