Love Lost and Found in the Church Courts

by Peter Wilkinson

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messenger, she did divers times at his house declare to divers there present, whose names are hereafter specified, that she and Richard were man and wife and that she would never forsake him and that she and he had intended to have been married the next day if Richard Bishoppe had not intercepted them. And he further saith that Margaret did receive at the hands of Richard one gown and an apron, and said that the same gown should be her wedding gown. And Richard Bishoppe saying unto her, 'You will be of another mind when your father cometh', she answered no never while she had breath in her body for she never meant to marry with any man but Richard. And Richard answered the like that he would not marry with any other woman. All which speeches were spoken divers time in the house of Richard Bishoppe or one at the least in the presence of John Stempe and Marie Stempe, Richard Bishoppe and Alice his wife and divers others.

L3 That he verily thinketh that Richard and Margaret were man and wife before God, by reason whereof he during the time Richard and Margaret continued in his house suffered him to come unto her which otherwise he would not have suffered.

L4. That he thinketh Margaret is of the Archdeaconry of Chichester and subject to the jurisdiction of this court for she told him that she dwelt near unto Chichester.

L5. Refers to his oath.

L6. Deposition is true.

To the Additional Positions. [AP1-12]

AP 1. That he being in Chichester about Michaelmas last was twelvemonth at the house of Mr Diggenson, Richard Tayler brought [blank] Osborne unto him and another woman whose name he doth not remember. And Richard said unto [blank] Osborne, mother of Margaret, 'Goody Osborne, this is the man that did apprehend me and your daughter at Lewes and made so much both of her and me, and if it had not been for him we had been married for he intercepted us in the same marriage'. Then Osborne gave him great thanks for his kindness and said unto Richard, 'I would to God it had not fallen out so but that you had been married there, and then all had been ended and past.' But who was present he cannot now remember.

AP 2. That when George Osborne came to Lewes to the house of Richard Bishoppe, he did not absolutely refuse to give his consent that Richard should marry neither expressly say he should not; but said he should go home with him and they would consider the same marriage and he should frequent his house as he had done in former times.

AP 3, 4. Deposes as previously to the 1st and 2nd articles of the libel.

AP 5, 6. Deposes as previously to the 1st and 2nd articles of the libel.

AP 7. That he heard Richard and Margaret say that they were determined to have procured a licence to have solemnised matrimony presently,[1] if they had not been hindered by him. And he further saith that Margaret did take a gown and apron and other things of Richard upon condition that she would be his wife; for she divers times said that the gown should be her wedding gown, for she had made a promise that she would be married with him, and that she would never forsake him during her life, God willing.

AP 8. That there was a letter written to George Osborne to certify him of Richard and Margaret being at Lewes and thereupon George Osborne came to Lewes. For the rest does not know.

[1] Or 'publicly'. Difficult reading.

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