Love Lost and Found in the Church Courts

by Peter Wilkinson

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10 Deposition of Nicholas Hoskin.[1] Read over 9 February 1602/3.

Of East Wittering, yeoman; born there; aged about 35. He is worth £10. Signature.

To the Libel [L1-6]

L1, 2. That about the last summer was two years, being at Lewes with Richard Tayler and Margaret Osborne, Nicholas Hoskin heard Richard say that he had bestowed a gown, a gorgett, a taffeta apron and some holland upon her; but upon what condition or wherefore he did bestow, he cannot depose. And he further saith that he did see her wear such a gown for she rid in the same gown from Lewes, and did wear the same gown and apron from Lewes unto her father's house. For the rest does not know.

To the Additional Positions. [AP1-12]

AP 1, 2. That he hath heard that Thomasine Osborne, the wife of George Osborne, did solicit her husband to yield his consent; but he did expressly refuse otherwise than thus: that if his daughter, when she came to lawful years, would make choice of him to be her husband, that he would not be against the marriage.

AP 3, 4. That he did not know of any secret pretence betwixt Richard and Margaret either to contract themselves in matrimony together or to solemnise the matrimony. He hath heard that they went both together to Hurst and from thence to Lewes, but whether their intent were at that time when they went to Lewes to be married or no, he cannot depose, only that he hath heard Richard say that his presents and meaning was, when he did carry or accompany Margaret to Lewes, that he meant to make her his wife.

AP 10. That George Osborne, Margaret Osborne, Richard Tayler, Nicholas Hoskin and others came together most part of the way from Lewes to the house of George Osborne.

To the Interrogatories [In 1-10]

In 2. That George Osborne is uncle unto Nicholas Hoskin's wife.

In 9. That Richard hath said that if George Osborne would choose two of his friends, he would choose two of his, and if Margaret did not confess before them four that he and she were man and wife, then he would never trouble her any further. But whether any such thing was done he cannot depose.

In 10. That Margaret told him that until she was distant from her father's house half a mile she did not know whither she should go otherwise than to a place about Birdham to dancing; but afterwards Richard and one William Hoskin, his brother, told her that their present[2] was to carry her to some place where she and Richard might be married. ….

To the second Interrogatories [In (2) 1-8]

In (2) 2. That he hath heard both Margaret, William Hoskin and others say that Richard should [sic] say unto her, she first asking him whither he would carry her, that he would carry her only to a place called Court Barn in Birdham where was dancing that night and where she should meet with Katherine Rassen now wife of William Hoskin.

In (2) 3. That he hath heard say that Richard and Margaret and William Hoskin ridd all together to Arundel the first night.

In (2) 5. Does not know, saving that Margaret was only in her petticoat or two petticoats at the most when she came from a wedding at West Wittering; and he believeth she went not to her father's house before she ridd along with Richard and William Hoskin; and that he thinketh the same apparel was neither fit for such a journey nor such a matter as they went about.

[1] WSRO Ep I/11/9 f. 174v

[2] Or 'pretence'. Difficult reading.

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