f 201v (9 January)
Iuratores pro domino Rege super sacramentum suum presentant quod Thomas Best de Hornby in Northriding comitatus Eboraci gentleman sciens Georgium White nuper de Egton in Northriding comitatus Eboraci predicto weaver etatis xxiiijor annorum, Iohannem Simpson nuper de Egton predicto cordiner etatis viginti quinque annorum Ricardum Simpson nuper de Egton predicto cordiner etatis xxiiijor annorum, Cuthbertum Simpson nuper de Egton predicto cordiner etatis octodecem annorum Recusantes papales existentes, et Nicholaum Postgate nuper de Egton predicto laborer etatis tresdecem annorum, Edwardum Concett nuper de Egton predicto Tailor etatis triginta annorum Robertum Simpson nuper de Staithes in dicto Northriding comitatus Eboraci cordiner, etatis septem annorum et amplius, et Robertum Harbut alias Cawdmer nuper de Goteland in dicto Northriding comitatus Eboraci husbandman etatis septem annorum et Amplius esse communes Histriones vagabundos et mendicos validos (anglice common players of enterludes vagabundes and sturdy beggars) hac illac passim vagantes ludicra ludentes (anglice playing of Enterludes) octavo die Ianuarij Anno regni domini nostri Iacobi dei gracia Anglie ffrancie et Hibernie Regis fidei defensoris &c xijo et Scotie xlviijoin domo sua mansionali Apud Hornby predictam in Northriding comitatus predicti, predictos Georgium White Iohannem Simpson, Ricardum Simpson Cuthbertum Simpson Nicholaum Postgate Edwardum Concett, Robertum Simpson et Robertum Harbut alias Cawdmer hospitavit et predictis Georgio White Iohanni Simpson, Ricardo Simpson Cuthberto Simpson, Nicholao Postgate Edwardo Concet Roberto Simpson et Roberto Harbut alias Cawdmer adtunc et ibidem panem et potum voluntarie dedit et sinebat eos effugere sine deprehencione et sine supplicio in contemptu dicti domini Regis et contra formam diversorum Statutorum in huiusmodi casu provisorum et editorum./
f 201v (9 January)
Jurors for the lord king present on their oath that Thomas Best of Hornby in the North Riding of Yorkshire, gentleman, knowing George White, recently of Egton in the aforesaid North Riding of Yorkshire, weaver, twenty-four years of age, John Simpson, recently of the aforesaid Egton, cordwainer, twenty-five years of age, Richard Simpson, recently of the aforesaid Egton, cordwainer, twenty-four years of age, Cuthbert Simpson, recently of the aforesaid Egton, cordwainer, eighteen years of age, (all) being papal recusants, and Nicholas Postgate, recently of the aforesaid Egton, labourer, thirteen years of age, Edward Concett, recently of the aforesaid Egton, tailor, thirty years of age, Robert Simpson, recently of Staithes in the said North Riding of Yorkshire, cordwainer, more than seven years of age, and Robert Harbut alias Cawdmer, recently of Goathland in the said North Riding of Yorkshire, husbandman, more than seven years of age, to be common entertainers, vagabonds, and healthy beggars – in English 'common players of interludes, vagabonds, and sturdy beggars' – wandering here, there, (and) everywhere playing interludes – in English 'playing of interludes' – on 8 January in the twelfth 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 forty-eighth (year of his reign) of Scotland received the aforesaid George White, John Simpson, Richard Simpson, Cuthbert Simpson, Nicholas Postgate, Edward Concett, Robert Simpson, and Robert Harbut alias Cawdmer into his dwelling house at the aforesaid Hornby in the North Riding of the aforesaid county, and then and there he willingly gave food and drink to the aforesaid George White, John Simpson, Richard Simpson, Cuthbert Simpson, Nicholas Postgate, Edward Concett, Robert Simpson, and Robert Harbut alias Cawdmer and allowed them to flee without detention and without punishment in contempt of the said lord king and contrary to the form of various statutes established and ordained in a case of this kind.
Nicholas Postgate (c 1596–1679), aged thirteen at the time of the Quarter Sessions prosecution, entered the English College at Douai in 1621 and was ordained in 1628/9. He returned on the English mission on 29 June 1630, settling in the 1660s in Ugthorpe, North Riding, not far from his birthplaces. His parish extended between Guisborough, Pickering, and Scarborough. He was arrested during the anti-Catholic persecutions of 1679 and was executed at York on 6 August of that year. He was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1987 (William Joseph Sheils, 'Postgate, Nicholas (c. 1596–1679),' ODNB, accessed 8 January 2021; Godfrey Anstruther, The Seminary Priests: A Dictionary of the Secular Clergy of England and Wales 1558–1850. II. Early Stuarts 1603–1659 (Great Wakering, 1975), 249–50; 'Blessed Nicholas Postgate 1599–1679,' The Postgate Society, http://www.postgatesociety.org.uk/nicholas%20postgate.htm, accessed 8 January 2021).
Record title: Quarter Sessions Records
Shelfmark: QSM 2/2
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' (see the Introduction and 39 Eliz c4; Great Britain, Statutes of the Realm, vol 4, pt 2 (London, 1819; rpt 1963), 899–902). When these companies were apprehended, the court normally recorded not only the names of all the members but also prosecuted those who provided lodging and performance space for them, allowing us to map their touring routes. The Simpson company of Egton (North Riding) appeared before the court on several occasions (see the Quarter Session Records). These appearances give us considerable information on their local organization. Notably, however, Gouthwaite Hall – the site of their best-known performance on 2 February 1608/9 – was in the West Riding until 1974, when the county boundaries were redrawn. That performance brought their host, Sir John Yorke, before the court of Star Chamber; the documentation of that case will appear in the forthcoming Yorkshire West Riding collection. Documents presented here concern the local organization of the company, with special reference to the position of boy players.
17 April 1610–12 January 1615/16; English and Latin; paper; iv + 254 + iv ; 300mm x 180mm; contemporary foliation 1–221 (ff [4, 6, 12, 19, 22, 27–33] blank, ff 216–21 also blank); contemporary calfskin binding, 2 leather labels on spine, upper red, lower black, with gold lettering, respectively 'Minutes | and | Orders' and '1610 | to | 1615.'