Marriage E1316 A Tr
The defendant's plea: "And the abovesaid Seman in his proper person comes and defends force and injury and rape when etc., and says that he ought not answer the abovesaid William at this writ, because he says that the abovesaid Isabella, whom the abovesaid William asserts to be his wife, on the day and year on which he complains was the wife of the same Seman, coupled to the same Seman solemnly in matrimony, which certain Isabella at the time of the speaking of the contract of matrimony between him and the same Seman and for days and years before was single living at Great Yarmouth and was considered single, whereby after she and the same Seman mutually consented to matrimony to be contracted between them bans of matrimony were solemnly published between them thereof in the parish church of the town of Great Yarmouth, in which publication neither the abovesaid William nor anyone else reclaimed or contradicted, such that the same Seman after an interval of time married her publicly and solemnly in the face of the church. And he had and held her as his legitimate wife by pretext of that abovesaid marriage for one year and more until the abovesaid William came to those parts and moved a cause against the same Seman and Isabella to celebrate a divorce between them by reason of a precontract of marriage that he asserted the same William to have made with the abovesaid Isabella. That certain cause the same William so far prosecuted that a divorce thereof was celebrated between them etc. Therefore he seeks judgment if an action is suitable for the William against the same Seman by such a writ in this case etc.
And William says the the abovesaid Isabella on the abovesaid day and year was his wife dwelling in his company until the abovesaid Seman raped (seized) her with his goods, without this that the abovesaid Seman ever married her and also without this that the same William ever prosecuted the abovesaid cause of divorce etc, as the abovesaid Seman alleges. And he asks that this be inquired by the countryside; and the abovesaid Seman similarly."