Star Chamber Case: Skarth v. Glover

TNA: STAC 8/267/28

single membrane (11 July) (Bill of Complaint of Francis Skarth)

To the Kynges most excellent Maiestie

In most humble manner complaining sheweth and informeth your most excellent Maiestie your highnes most loyall faythfull and obedient subiect ffrancis Skarthe of the Cittie of London Marchantayler That whereas your highnes hathe ever more had a most royall respect and Princlie Regard of the peaceable and quiett government of your highness Realmes and Dominions and that your Maiestes subiectes within the same might lyve in tranquillitie peace and vnitie one towardes another and in a godlie and Christian like manner secure and free from all Civill warrs quarrels disentions and debates, and whereas for the better explanacion of your highnes Princelie Pleasure & therin it hath pleased your highnes sithence your highness comeing to the Imperiall seate and Crowne of this your highnes most Happie and well governed Realme of England As well by your highnes Publique Proclamacions as by other your highnes Princelie edictes and special Comaundementes signifies to all your highnes subiectes to prohibitt and forbidd all manner of Duells Challenges discentions debates and quarrells amongst your highnes said subiectes within this your highnes said Realme of England and that noe person or persons within the same should doe or presume to make anie Challenge or Comitt any Duell vppon certane paynes and penalties in the said Proclamacions expressed to be vppon the offenders in such Cases inflicted which Notwithstanding soe it is if it shall please your most excellent Maiestie That one Iohn Glover of Whitbye in your highness Comitie of yorke Marchant being a man of a most prophane life and Conversacion and of an haultye & turbulent spirit and disposition, a Common quarreler and brabler amongst his neighboures and a Continuall disturber of your highnes Peace contemning both all royall aucthoritie and humane societie and bearing causles Malice and displeasure towardes your said subiect and nothing at all waying or regarding your Maiestes Proclamacions edictes and Comanndes aforesaid did in execucion & Revenge of his said malice, and in more contempt of your highnes said Proclamacions edictes & Comanndementes vpon or about the °forth daie of Maye° in this Nynetenth ⸢eightenth⸣ yeare of your maiestes most happie Raigne ever this your highnes said Realme of England meeting with your said subiect in the Towne of Whitbie aforesaid being a Markett Towne and in the open Markett-place of the said Towne did then & there in most furious manner assalt your said subiect and maliciouslie vse him with most base barbarous and vncivill speeches and wordes of provocation terming him Rogue; rascall base fellowe Coward and by dyvers other such like names and termes of purpose to provoke your said subiect to Coller and distemperature and thereby to haue comitted the breach of your maiestes Peace if it had beene Possible By meanes whereof there was a great tumult and vprore raised within the said Towne the same daye by the inhabitantes there flocked together within the said Towne vpon the hearing of the said Iohn Glovers outrageous base and rayling speeches & termes vsed against your said subiect to the great scandall & disgrace of your said subiect whereby much blood might have beene shedd yf your said subiect being peaceablie given had not patientlie indured his the said Glovers outragious intemperat vncivill Carriage then & there towardes him and the said Iohn Glover perceiving that he could by noe meanes provoke your said subiect to the breache of your Maiestes Peace still continewing his rayling and reviling termes towardes your said subiect did then & there suddenlie and desperatlie laye violent handes vppon your said subiect and did with force and violence Pull of a Peece of his beard from of his face and dare & Challenge your subiect to fight with him in the field your said subiect being then lame and carrying his arme in a stringe And your said subiect in noe sort interteyning or accepting of his said Challenge but vtterly refusing to accept or intertaine the same departed from him, and goeing vpp and Downe about his necessary occasions within the said Towne the second daye the said Iohn Glover having a malicious intent to have slayne or murdered your said subiect did for that purpose pursue your said subiect from place to place within the said Towne and dyvers & sondry tymes then & there in most insolent and desperate manner dare and challenge your said subiect to fight with him to the great terror and amazement of dyvers of the inhabitantes of the said Towne who beheld the same and ⸢when⸣ he perceived that for ought he could doe; your said subiect having a dutifull regard of your Maiestes said proclamacions edictes and Commaund would in noe sort intertaine his said Challenges, hee the said Iohn Glover ‸⸢meeting with your said subiect in the said Towne within three or fower dayes after⸣ did in most furious & desperate Manner assalt your said subiect and soddaynlie & desperatelie and forciblie with a great keye which he then had in his hand strike your said subiect vpon the head that by meanes thereof your said subiect fell to the ground being greevouslie astonied with the said strowke in mere contempt of your Maiestes said proclamacions edictes and Comaundementes and Contrary to the lawes and statutes of this your highnes said Realme & the said Iohn Glover had then & there murdered your said subiect if dyvers of your Maiestes peaceable subiectes the inhabitance of the said Towne had not prevented the same In tender Consideracion whereof and for asmay as the said rayling speeches wordes of provocation Challenges and duell & other the offences and misdemenours aforesaid are Contrary to your Maiestes lawes ordinantes Proclamacions edictes and Comaundmentes aforesaid worthie of severe punishment in terror of others to comitt the like offences were prosecuted committed and donne sithence your Maiestes most gracious last generall and free pardon May it therefore please your most excellent Maieste to graunt vnto your said subiect your Maiestes most gracious Writt of subpoena to be directed vnto the said Iohn Glover thereby comaunding him at a certaine daye & vnder a certeine payne therein to be lymitted personallie to be & appeare before your Maiestie and your highnes most honorable Counsell in your Maiesties most honorable Court of Starchamber then & there to answere the premisses and to stand to & abide such further order decree and sentence therein as to your highnes said Counsell shall be thought meete and agreeable with Justice. And as most bound your said subiect shall ever more Praye for your highnes long & prosperous Raigne/

(signed) Robert Hill

single membrane (11 July) (Demurrer of John Glover)

Iovis vndecimo die Julij Anno vicesimo Jacobi Regis

The demurrer of Iohn Glover defendant to the Bill of
Complaint of ffrancis Skarth Complainant

The said defendant not confessing or acknoweledging anie of the matters in the said Bill of Complaint to be true, Saieth That hee verily beleeveth that the said Bill is onely exhibited in hope to gaine and extorte some vniust Composicion from this defendant it being an vsuall practize of the Complainant as this defendant hath heard to procure and serve his Maiestes processe out of this honorable Courte, and other his Maiestes Courtes of Iustice at Westminster vppon divers of his Maiestes Subiectes dwelling in remote partes of this Realme, and therevpon to receive gett extorte and obteyne Composicions. And this defendant further saieth, that the said Bill of Complaint is altogether vncertaine, and insufficient in the lawe to have to bee answeared vnto And therefore this defendant doth in all humblenes demurr in law vpon, and put vnto the said Bill of Complaint and humbly praieth the Iudgement of this ‸⸢most⸣ honorable Court whether hee this Defendant shalbe compelled to make anie Aunsweare to the said Bill. And for causes of demurrer, this defendant doth humbly shewe, and offer to this most honorable Court ffirst, ffor that whereas the said Bill of Complaint sheweth that it pleased his Maiestie as well by his Highnes publique Proclamacions, as by other his princelye Edicts and speciall Commaundementes signified to all his Highnes Subiectes to prohibit, and forbidd all manner of duelles Challenges, dissentions, debates, and quarrelles amongst his Highnes Subiectes in this Realme, and that noe person, or persons within the same should doe or presume to make any Challenge, or committ any Duell vpon certaine paines and penalties in the said Proclamacion expressed to bee vpon the Offendors in such cases inflicted, And that this defendant did in Yorkeshire make divers assaultes vpon the saide Complainant and struck, him and divers tymes challenged, and dared him to fight with this defendant in feild It doth not appeare by the said Bill of Complaint when or where the said proclamaicion or Edictes or anie of them did, or doe beare date nor how many of those proclamacions and Edictes were nor whether nor when nor where the same, or anie of them were proclaimed, in the said county of Yorke which if they were not, then could not this defendant take any legall notice thereof But the Bill saieth onely, that it pleased his Maiestye by his Proclamacions Edictes and Commaundementes signified to his Subiectes to prohibitt all manner of duelles Challenges, dissentions, debates, and quarrelles but doth not shewe how or in what manner the same were soe signified nor when nor where, Secondlye ffor that it is not probable nor doth this defendant knowe or beleeve that his Maiestie did make or publishe nor indeede did his Maiestie make or publish anie Proclamacions, or Proclamacion, Edictes or Edict prohibiting thereby all manner of duelles challenges, dissentions, debates, and quarrelles amongst his said Subiectes, ffor that the legall Challenges, and Combattes in or vpon writtes of right, and Appeales of Murder, and the like are some manner of Challenges, and duelles and soe are challenges and Combattes by ffencers vpon publique stages, and Challenges to wrastle or fight att Cuffes, or att other games or exercises are some manner of Challenges, and all suddaine fallinges out assaultes & fightinges are quarrelles, and all fallinges out, and all suites in anie of his Maiestes Courtes of Iustice are some manner of dissentions, and debates None of all which, this defendant never heard, or knewe of, or doth beleeve were ever prohibited, nor indeede were any of them prohibited by anie of his Maiestes proclamacions, or Edictes nor are any person, or persons which are Actors, or others Prosecutors thereof or therein, anie Offendors against anie Proclamacion, or Edict whatsoeuer, howsoever some of the said quarrelles & fighting are, and may bee punishable by the Common lawes of this Realme, or remediable by accion at the Common Lawe, Thirdlye, for that whereas the pretended assaultes and challenges in the Bill of Complaint mencioned are layed to haue beene done and committed by this defendant contrary to the said Proclamacions Edictes in the said Bill of Complaint before mencioned which Proclamacions and Edictes being made, to haue been made in manner & form, as is aforesaid against all manner of duelles, Challenges, dissentions, debates, and quarrelles, and there being in truth noe such Proclamacion or Edict, as there is not nor hath beene which doth prohibitt all manner of duelles challenges, dissentions, debates, and quarrelles then there is no offence att all laied in the said Bill of Complaint to the charge of this defendant for nothing can bee saied to bee done contrary to anything which is not, nor hath had any being ffourthlie ffor that single Assaultes, and Affraies especially such as are mencioned in the said Bill of Complaint to haue beene committed by this defendant are, and haue bene merely & usually punished by accion ⸢or Indiction⸣ at the Common Lawe & not in this honorable Court Neither are any of the same Assaultes or Affraies as they are layed in the now Bill of Complaint worthie (as this defendant hopeth) the dignitye of this honorable Courte, to bee troubled with. ffor all which causes and for manie other incertainetyes imperfections, and insufficiences of and in the said Bill of Complaint hee this defendant doth in all humbleness demurr in lawe vpon, and vnto the said Bill and humbly praieth as formerlye hee hath done for the Iudgement of this most honorable Court, whether hee his defendant shalbee compelled to make anie annsweare to the said Bill, And humbly prayeth to bee hence dismissed with his costes, and charges in this behalf wrongfully susteyned.

(signed) fferrour

  • Marginalia
  • Footnotes
    • forth … Maye: written over erasure
    • indured: written over erasure
    • Comaundmentes: 3 minims for au
  • Document Description

    Record title: Star Chamber Case: Skarth v. Glover
    Repository: TNA
    Shelfmark: STAC 8/267/28
    Repository location: Kew

    Skarth and Glover were both common names in the Whitby area.

    11 July 1623; English and Latin; parchment; 2 items, both single membranes, sewn together on a tag; 515–525mm x 275–307mm.

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