STAC 5/S6/7

From Waalt

Court of Star Chamber:

Henrie Smithe v Thomas Sympson

Transcript: Dave King

Bill of Complaint:

To the Queene oure Soveraigne Ladie./

Humblie Compleyning sheweth unto your Ma[jestie] your faithfull and obedient Subiecte Henrie Smithe of the Cittie of Durham in your highnes Countie of Durham, That whereas heretofore the late reverend Father in god, James, Bishopp of Durham in the eightenth yeare of your Ma[jesties] Raigne, did by his deede Indented, bearing date abowte the eighte daie of December in the same yeare, for the Consideracon therein mentioned demise and to farme lett emongest other thinges unto youre highnes saide Subiecte, all those his the saide Bishoppes Cole mynes or pittes called Grewborne in the saide Countie of Durham, adioyninge unto the River of Gawneles on the South, the Lordshipp of Softlie on the Northe, the [?Trowe?] loninge on the West & the rocke of stones called butter knowlle, and the west close on the Easte for the tearme of one and twentie yeares from the daie of the date of the saide Indenture, yeilding & payinge therfore yearlie during the saide terme unto the saide reverend Father and his Successors the yearlie rente of twentie poundes of lawfull englishe money at two tearmes or Feastes in the yeare by equall porcons. And if it did not [?sorton?] him or them to be stopped or letted so that he colde not enioye the foresaide Cole mynes, nor anie p[ar]te thereof, according to the true meaninge of the said demise. That then and from that tyme the saide rent to cease and not to be paide, as by the saide deede indented [m]ore at large appeareth. By vertue whereof your highnes saide suppliante was possessed thereof accordinglie. and he being thereof so possessed, did make speciall Choise of one Thomas Sympson inhabitinge in Grewborne aforesaide to be his Banckeman and Overseer of the saide Cole mynes and pittes, and from tyme to tyme as occasion shoulde require, to appointe hyer and sett on suche workemen as he thoughte meete for sinckinge and wynninge of the saide Cole myne w[i]thin the saide Bounderies in Grewborne aforesaide, and for the b[ette]r care and well doinge thereof, and also in respecte the saide Sympson was Coninge and exp[er]te in Collierie, your saide subiecte did give and bestowe yearlie upon him, great allowance for his diligence and true dealing therein, by whose meanes and procurement your saide Suppliante for divers yeares duringe the same Lease, did disburse besides the saide rente of twentie poundes by yeare in charges and sinckinge & other disbursementes thereunto belonginge, abowte the sinckinge of eleaven pittes in the grounde called Brakenhill w[i]thin the saide Bounderies in Grewborne aforesaide the somme of fowerscore poundes and more, All w[hi]ch pittes were marked owte digged and sett on worke by the saide Sympson, but in the end all the saide Eleaven pittes so digged were withe water surrounded and drowned/ By reason whereof your saide subiecte was greatlie impoverished and hindred so that he did utterlie surcease and leave of to worke anie more at the saide Brakenhill, during w[hi]ch tyme he the saide reverend Father died, after whose deathe, and the deathe of the Reverende Father in god Richard, late Bishoppe of Durham immediate successor of the saide late reverende Father, James late Bishopp of Durham, at such tyme as the temporallties of the same Bishopricke were seised for your Ma[jestie] in the vacationn of the saide Bishopricke, and the rente of the p[re]misses so reserved, then beinge demannded of your saide Suppliante, for and duringe the saide vacation, beinge one whole yeare rente of twentie poundes, by John Baithe gentleman, your Ma[jesties] Auditor of the same Temporallties, he the saide Simpson did not onelie unlawfullie and corruptlie procure one Thomas Sanderson, one Blackett and one Stevenson, three oulde workemen in digging coles all yett livinge to depose: but he himselff also tooke his corporall othe upon the holie Evangeliste before your highnes saide Auditor, w[hi]ch officer had alwaies used in suche Cases to take oathes, that there was no good drie Cole to be wonne nor gotten of anie Continuance w[i]thin all Greeneborne(sic), leased to your Subiecte as aforesaide, but suche as weare drowned and coulde not be recovered, meaninge Coles in the brakenhill aforesaide, p[ar]cell of Grewborne aforesaide and by reason of those others so made, your Ma[jestie] did lose the saide one yeares rente of twentie poundes due to your highnes for the p[re]misses in the vacation immediatelie after the deathe of the saide Richard, late Bishoppe of Durham. And furthermore so it is (if it maie please your highnes) that youre saide Subiecte beinge afterwardes sued in the Exchequer by quo [?minis?], by one John Barnes and others the Executors of the saide Reverend Father Richard, late Bishoppe of Durham in an action of debte, for the arrerage of seaven yeares rente of the saide Cole myne of Grewborne at twentie poundes by yeare, incurred duringe suche tyme as the saide late reverend Father Richard was Incumbent of the saide Bishopricke, All w[hi]ch tyme noe Cole was had in the saide mynes, of and for the plaine proff.. whereof, the saide Sympson and others by his procurement at the triall of the issue off the saide suite, betweene the saide John Barnes and your saide Subiecte, issue beinge Joyned betwene the saide Executors, and your highnes saide Subiecte whether anie Coles coulde be gotten in the cole mynes leased duringe the said seaven yeares or noe, by [?mittimus?] abowte seaven yeares now last paste, at the Assises then houlden at the Cittie of Durham before the Justices in Eyre ye said Sympson falslie wilfullie and corruptlie did again sweare, and take his othe before your highnes said Justices upon the holie Evangeliste .. givinge in Evidence to the Jurie sworne to trie that issue that there was no goode drie Cole to be gotten in all Grewborne aforesaide, duringe the incumbencie of the said late Bishopp Richard in that Bishopricke but onelie in one place p[ar]cell of the Cole mynes so leased called Brakenhill whiche then stoode drowned in water and doubtfull to be recovered. whereas In verie truthe the saide Sympson well knewe at the tyme of the saide depositions (as shalbe duelie proved) that there was goode Cole at that place easilie to be gotten, not onelie duringe suche tyme as the s[ai]de late Reverend Father Richard was Bishoppe of that Sea but also dureinge all the vacacon immediatelie after his deathe, and w[i]thin w[hi]ch Bounderies he hathe of late gotten greate store of goode Cole sithence suche tyme as he was first [?interested?] in the same and in w[hi]ch place he was sure to finde goode Cole of his owne knowledge, and that longe before he had so corruptlie taken his othe that he knewe not of anie Cole that were goode to be gotten in Grewborne aforesaide. In w[hi]ch depositionns the saide Thomas Sympson hathe committed wilfull and corrupte p[er]iurie, and deserveth the ponishemente provided by your highnes statutes or other l[a]wes againste p[er]iurie, w[hi]ch he himselff hathe moste willfullie Committed by false swearinge as aforesaide, touchinge the p[re]misses, givinge thereby an Incoradgemente and evill example to others hereafter to Committe the like if due ponishmente therein be not executed It maie therefore please your moste excellent Ma[jestie] to grante your moste gracious writte of Subpena to be directed to the saide Thomas Sympson commannding him thereby under a certaine payne therin to be lymited p[er]sonallie to appeare before your highnes honorable Councell in your highnes Cowrte of Starr Chamber at Westm[inster] then and theare to answer the p[re]misses, and further to stand to suche order for his .....ttes therein, as to your highnes saide Councell in the saide highe Cowrte shall seeme Conveniente, And your saide Orator shall daielie praie unto god for your Ma[jestie] in health and great prosperitie longe to reigne over us