Quarter Sessions Rolls (ERO Q/SR153/29)

26.2.1601 (Thursday 26 February 1601)

document 20401220

examination taken by Roger Harlakenden and Thos Waldegrave esquires concerning a bastard child begotten on the body of Mary Graunt spinster of which child she hath charged Thos Carter of White Colne to be the father matters and proof to charge the said Carter first the said Mary after she was known to be with child being examined who was the father refused to betray him for as she said he that was the father had promised to give her maintenance if she would conceal him but if she betray him he would yield her no manner of maintenance or relief but grow to utter defiance and dislike of her neither would he be bridled by any justices being a man both of wealth and stomach and therefore if he kept his promise with her she would never betray him and afterwards being persuaded especially by mr Adams minister of Earls Colne to deal truly and deliver the truth of this matter she did describe him that was the father by these circumstances viz that he namely mr Adams had within few years before buried the mother of him that was the father of her child from Colneford Hill who was a stout tall woman and was buried in Earls Colne and that the man himself had been a serving man and park keeper and butler and had but one eye afterwards the said Mary being again examined charged the said Carter to be the father on whom all the circumstances of the description abovesaid do very fitly fall out who as she said had had the use of her once the first week in clean lent last past and another time afterwards in the said lent and a third time shortly after easter and the acquaintance between them grew at the house of Robt Carter in White Colne uncle of the said Thos where he had his chamber and for the most part makes his abode and where the said Mary has a long time been much conversant upon which confession the said Thos prayed that certain women in whom he reposed confidence might be appointed to be with the said Mary at the time of her travail and delivery who were named and procured by him Margt Pullen widow Barbara wife of Jn Prentice Florence wife of Wm Forde Joan (may be Joan) wife of Robt Carter (may be Robt Carter) Jane wife of Thos Saunderson and Marge Edwardes widow who say upon their oaths that she being in the extremity of her pain and travail was charged by them truly to betray the father or else they would not help her and that then she cried out and said it was Thos Thos and the said Florence Joan (may be Joan) Jane and Marge say that even in the instant while she said Thos Thos she was delivered and then immediately said Thos Carter also the said Joan (may be Joan) being the aunt of the said Thos Carter confessed upon her examination that last summer she gave the said Mary credit for 8s for a petticoat cloth of which sum the said Mary doth yet owe her 3s and that she did likewise lend her a sheet about a fortnight before she was brought in bed Margt Claypoole of Earls Colne widow mother of the said Mary says upon her oath that since the said Mary had charged the said Carter to be the father Joan Carter (may be Joan Carter) did bring unto the said Mary "a cantle of bread and a cantle of cheese" and said that the said Thos Carter did utterly deny himself to be the father of her child and therefore willed the said Mary if it were any other man's to confess it and then she the said Joan (may be Joan) would be unto her as good a friend as she had been in times past and that she had heard the said Mary her daughter say oftentimes that if she did betray Thos Carter she should never have pence more of him Marge wife of Wm Tailor says that she was with the said Mary when she had lain in just a week and that she made great moan saying that now she had confessed the father she could have no relief and cried woe to the bones of him that ever she did know him but if he had kept promise with her she would never have betrayed him though she had been racked to death and that she might have had a child by him long ere this if she would have consented to him matters and presumptions suggested by the said Thos to excuse and clear him from the said child Carter's suggestion first that the said Mary being asked if he that was her father of her child came riding or on foot she answered he needeth not come riding he was not so far off for she saw him every day walking up and down in the street before her window proof Jn Warde produced to prove this said that he asked the said Mary if the father of her child came riding or on foot and she said he need not come riding he was not so far off and said no more Carter's suggestion that Mary went to Robt Reade to ask relief and money and said she must have relief of him for if he the said Reade had not been she had betrayed the father of her child proof the said Reade being examined upon this point denies it upon his oath Jn Dikes and Margt his wife produced to prove the aforesaid suggestion deny the same upon their oath Thos Henly produced also says upon his oath that he hath heard his wife say that she had heard the said Mary demanding relief at old Reade's say that now she had betrayed the father of her child she could get no relief Carter's suggestion that Agnes Kinge widow said that if Thos Allen was well examined he could betray the father of Mary Graunt's child proof the said Allen and Helen his wife being examined on this point deny it and the said Robt Strutte being produced to prove the former suggestion says that he seeing the said Allen have store of money some of it being gold in his purse asked him how he came by it whereunto the said Allen answered that he always could have 10li at his commandment when he needed but said not for what cause neither did he speak anything of Mary Graunt Carter's suggestion that Robt Rooke the elder heard the said Agnes Kinge say that if Allen were well examined he could tell who was the father proof the said Rooke produced to prove this denies it and says that the said widow Kinge said that she thought on her conscience that Allen either was father of the said child or else knew who was because as she said always when Mary Graunt was sent for to be examined about the cause she went to the said Allen Carter's suggestion that the said Mary said that she had 12d a week and should have more at the time of her lying down and 12d weekly after until the child should be able to do somewhat which money should be paid her by him that was the father and said that she was afraid to walk in the streets for fear of some harm to be done to her by them that were of kindred to the father of her child proof Agnes Gillotte and Mary Randoll produced to prove this affirmed all that is said touching the maintenance to be yielded as aforesaid and say further that the said Mary said that if he that was the father kept promise with her she would never betray him but deny that they heard her say anything that she was afraid of any harm to be done to her by the kindred of him that was the father as is before suggested Carter's suggestion that Thos Turner said he would lay 40s that if he had Allen but three hours he would get out of him who was the father and that he thought in his conscience Thos Carter had wrong and that he knew somebody that took her on horseback behind him through Colchester and lay with her at Thos     house at Wivenhoe and that the said Turner asked the said Thos Carter if it would stand him in any stead if he could tell him of any man who gave the said Mary 12d or 7d or 4d by the week the said Turner produced to prove these things denied it and says he knows not of any man who gives any maintenance to her but afterwards said that one Mary Sparrowe told him from the report of the said Allen himself that when the said Mary Graunt went to the quarter sessions at michaelmas.last she had 30s of the said Allen and when she returned home again she said it was all spent and she must have more money of him and that Clem Turner brother of the said Thos told him that on saturday before xmas.last the said Allen coming home from sea where he had (part missing) the said Mary came where he was and fell down on her knees and said "oh are you come home if you had been gone I would have raised town and country after you" and further that the said Allen said she was to have of him 6d a week towards keeping her child and that she had of it 12d already and the said Thos Turner further says that both the said Clem and the said Allen himself did tell the said Thos Turner that he Thos Allen and Mary Graunt lay together at Donyland at the house of one Nich Grigges as he taketh and that the host and hostess asked them if they were man and wife and the said Mary answered "yea" the said Grigges says that the said Mary and a man with her whom he knoweth not came to his house about eight o'clock in the night about three weeks before michaelmas.last and there lay that night in a trundle bed under his own bed in his chamber where the said Grigges and his wife lay that night also Clem Turner and Cecily his wife examined whether they know who is the father say upon their oaths they never heard any other named to be father or anything that might tend to charge any man therewith
how they deny that which Thos Turner testified upon their report the said Mary Sparrowe says that the said Allen told her at home at her mother's house on monday 16.2.1601 that Mary Graunt had 30s of him the said Allen when she went to the quarter sessions at michaelmas.1600 and that on thursday night last the said Allen said he must borrow 20s for the said Mary Graunt must have more money and said further that he must money the said Mary Graunt again the said Allen examined upon these points denies that ever the said Mary Graunt had any money of him other that 3s4d which he owed her for spinning and says further that the said Mary Sparrowe told him within these 8days or 9days that Thos Carter had offered her 20s if she would say anything that might do him any good and says that he never said at Sparrowe's that the said Mary Graunt had money of him weekly and further he says that he had lent month to Mary Sparrowe and that whiles he had herrings lying there he did oftentimes lose many of them wherefore he removed them from whereupon he thinks the said Mary Sparrowe taketh occasion to speak thus against him that Frances Gargrave received money from the said Allen for the said Mary Graunt the said Frances produced to prove this says that the said Mary sent her to the said Allen for 3s4d which he owed her for spinning as they both affirmed and that she brought her no more but 12d and the said Allen confessed that he owed her more