Love Lost and Found in the Church Courts

by Peter Wilkinson

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AP 9, 10.That George Osborne came to Lewes shortly after the writing of the letter and he told unto him what speeches had passed betwixt Richard and his daughter before many witnesses; and he told him he might do well to consent that they might marry. And further he saith that he told him that if Margaret were his daughter he would not hinder the marriage for £1000, for they were man and wife before God in his judgement. Unto which George Osborne answered he would consider of the premises but at that time did neither consent thereto nor dissent therefrom. For the rest does not know.

AP 11. Knows nothing to depose beyond the 1st and 2nd articles of the libel.

AP 12. Deposition is true.

To the Interrogatories [In 1-10]

In 1. Satisfactory.

In 2, 3. Negative.

In 4. That he doth not know what his estate is, every man paid because he hath much dealings with many persons, and he hath many debts owing unto him and some debts he oweth to others. For the rest negative.

In 5. That he cometh to testify what he knoweth at the charges of Richard Tayler, and that he came at the request of Richard Tayler hearing that there were processes decreed to compel him to testify if he would not otherwise come without compulsion. And there is nothing neither given nor promised.

In 6-10. Does not know.


4 Deposition of Alice Bishoppe.[1] Read over 28 January 1602/3.

Wife of Richard Bishoppe of Portsmouth, Hants, where lived for 9 months; before at Lewes; born there; aged about 50 years. As she has a husband she can give no value for herself. Signs with a mark.

To the Libel [L1-6]

L1, 2. That about two years ago Richard Bishoppe, this examinant's husband, being constable and going about in the service time upon some Sunday or holiday from one alehouse and inn to another in Lewes to see what order was kept in time of divine service, her husband found Richard Tayler and Margaret Osborne together in an inn being the sign of the Star. And first examining them and finding there might grow some trouble about their being together, Richard Bishoppe brought Margaret to his own house and commanded Richard to stay in the town till he did hear from the father of Margaret. And after the coming of Margaret unto the house she heard her oftentimes say that she and Richard were contracted together, and that they were man and wife before God, and that they had proposed to have been married within one day or two if they had not been prevented. And further she heard her say that Richard was her husband and that she did mean to marry him, and that she took a gown and an apron of him and said that she would never marry with any man but him. And Alice Bishoppe and others asking whether she had her parents' goodwill or no, Margaret answered that she had her mother's goodwill but not her father's; but she was in good hope to have her father's goodwill. And she also saith that she divers times did hear Richard say that Margaret was his wife before God and that he would marry her and no other. All which speeches were spoken in the hearing of Richard Bishoppe, Marie Stempe the wife of John Stempe, Alice Bishoppe and divers others whose names she cannot now remember.

[1] EpI/11/9 f. 162r

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