Love Lost and Found in the Church Courts

by Peter Wilkinson

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5 Deposition of John Stempe.[1] Read over 28 January 1602/3.

Of Ringmer, gentleman, where he has lived for 10 months; before at Lewes for 30 years; born there; aged about 50 years [sic]. He is worth £100. Signature.

To the Libel [L1-6]

L1, 2. That he being at the house of Richard Bishoppe, then dwelling in Lewes, who married his sister, he sojourning with his brother in law and being at supper with Margaret Osborne and Richard Tayler and others and some communication being passed, there were some speeches used touching a marriage which was to be had between Margaret Osborne and Richard Tayler. John Stempe said unto Margaret, 'I understand that you shall take to husband Richard Tayler which is with you this day here at my brothers.' At which speeches she answered, 'Yes I mean so to do and will do so,' meaning she meant to marry and would marry and take to husband Richard Tayler. Then he said 'I will drink to you upon that condition' viz that she should marry and take to husband Richard Tayler. And then she took her glass and pledged him in the presence of Richard and Alice Bishoppe … and others. And many other speeches were then and there uttered by Margaret.


6 Deposition of George Osborne.[2] Read over 3 February 1602/3.

Of West Wittering, yeoman, where he has lived for 17 years; before at Gatcombe [Isle of Wight] 2 years; before at West Wittering; born there; aged about 44. He is worth £20. Signature.

To the Libel [L1-6]

L1-3. That he never knew of any contract of matrimony made by Margaret Osborne unto Richard Tayler; neither did he ever know what speeches or matters were betwixt them touching any marriage. But he very well knoweth that she received at the hands of Richard a new gown, a scarf and a silk apron and other things which for a time did remain at his house, but as he thinketh, Richard received the same back again at the hands of Margaret. But upon what condition she received the gown, scarf and apron he cannot depose, neither what covenants or agreements was [sic] betwixt them.

To the Additional Positions. [AP1-12]

AP 1. That Thomasine Osborne his wife did never entreat him to yield his consent that Richard should marry Margaret, neither did he know of any such thing betwixt them by means of his wife.

AP 2. Negative, saving that he was earnestly entreated of some of the friends of Richard after he had carried away Margaret to Lewes and other places that he would yield his consent that Richard might take to wife Margaret, and that Richard himself did divers times move the like. But he did at all times utterly refuse.

AP 3. That he believeth that Margaret did never agree to go in secret manner to any place with Richard either to contract herself in marriage or to marry; but rather that she was carried away by him against her will.

[1] EpI/11/9 f. 163v

[2] EpI/11/9 f. 164r

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