Quarter Sessions Records


f 209v (9 January)

It is ordered by the Courte that Iohn ‸⸢GeorgeWhite Iohn Sympson Richard Sympson Cutbert Sympson & Nicholas Postgate Edward Concett Roberty Sympson and Robert Harbutt alias Cawdyner Indicted for Common players of enterludes vagabondes and sturdy beggers havinge nowe voluntaryly submitted themselves to the mercy of the Courte are and shalbe fyned every of them x.s


  • Marginalia
  • Endnote

    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 birthplace. 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).

  • Document Description

    Record title: Quarter Sessions Records
    Repository: NYCRO
    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.'

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