Court of Star Chamber:
Clement Delavale v William Fenwicke, Ephraym Wooddrington, Dorothy Wooddrington, Raphe Wallis and Roberte Stephenson
Transcript: Dave King
Bill of complaint dated 17 June 33Eliz:
To the Queenes most excellent Ma[jes]tie
Complayninge sheweth unto Yo[u]r Highnes your loiall subiecte Clement Delavale of Cowpen in the Countye of Northumberland gentleman That wheras Thomas Wodrington of Eshington in the County aforesaid gentleman beinge accompanied w[i]th Robte Stephenson and Ralfe Wallis his men and haveinge daggs and horsemen peaces did div[er]s and sundry tymes lye in waite to murder one Gawayne Milburne Father in lawe unto yo[u]r Ma[jes]ties said subiecte and especially at or about the xjth day of [?October?] in the one and thirtith yere of yo[u]r highnes Raigne the said Thomas Wooddrington did lye in waite & uppon horsebacke did ride and ... upp and downe Cowpen feilds to espye the said Gawayne Milburne to the intent to murder him as aforesaid whom that day accordinge to his expectacon aforesaid he did espye goeinge from thence to his sheerers in Bedlington w[i]thin the County Palatyne of Durham beinge accompanyed w[i]th Lamwell Ogle and did Cross his way & lighted of his horse g...einge ... said Gawayne Milburne very hard speaches and bent his pistoll against him and then the said Lamwell Ogle together w[i]th yo[u]r said subiecte who casually did meate w[i]th them as he was goinge towards Cowpen aforesaid w[i]th a Carte Lode of stones did rune betwixt them & desierd them to be quiet & to kepe the peace and so for that tyme pacified both the said p[ar]ties and ..ade them shake hands But they p[re]sently againe upon hard speaches used by the said Thomas Wooddrington fell againe to varianc.. & the said Thomas Wooddrington w[i]th his said two men did freshly assault the said Gawayne wherupon yo[u]r said subiecte seinge such mischeefe like to insue w[i]thout offeringe any strokes did kepe of the said Wallis for ioyninge w[i]th the said Thomas Woddrington to strike the said Gawayne Mylburne and the said Lamwell Ogle in like manner kept of the said [?Robt?] [Steph]enson untill they sawe that the said Gawaine Mylburne was by the said Thomas Wooddrington slayne and then the said Lamwell Ogle seeinge [?his father?] in lawe murderously slayne before his eyes as aforesaid and seeinge the said Thomas Wooddrington flyinge away did p[ur]sue him to the end to app[re]hend him to make him answerable to the lawe for the murder of his said father in lawe But the said Thomas Wooddrington resistinge to be so taken and the said Lamwell Ogle seeinge that he could not otherwyse be Conveniently app[re]hended [?roome?] him in the backe w[i]th a lannce staffe and willed him to stay wheruppon the said Robte Stephenson haveinge a horse mans peece in his hand charged w[i]th haleshotte by the Comanndem[en]t of the said Thomas Woodrington did therew[i]th shoote at the same Lamwell Ogle and him hurte in a dozen places of his body who p[re]sently fell downe to the grounde and to the sight of yo[u]r said subiecte and div[er]s others beinge there then p[re]sent was dead wherupon uo[u]r said subiecte did forthw[i]th rayze hue and crye ..... the said Thomas Wooddrington Robte Stephenson and Raphe Wallis for the Cruell murder comotted as aforesaid wh... were app[re]hended accordingly and afterwards the said Thomas Wooddrington w[i]thin three moneths ..erwardes dyed haveinge before that tyme div[er]s and sundry tymes and at the howre of his death before Willm Fenwick of Wallington esquier one of the nowe de... and others openly said that it was Lamwell Ogle that gave him the stroke and that yo[u]r subiecte was innoc.... .... ... that noth.. Could be laide unto his charge for the same After whose death the said Willm Fenwicke Ephraym Wooddrington Dorothy Wooddrington Robte Stephenson and Raphe Wallis malitiously and w[i]thout Cause conspireinge the death of yo[u]r said subiecte did ... ... an inditem[en]t of murder to be Framed against yo[u]r said subiecte and the said Lamwell Ogle touchinge the death of the said Thomas Wooddrington and an inquest beinge then impannelled for that p[ur]pose by one Robte Roddam then coroner of the said [Coun]ty of Northumberland and Coosin germaine unto the [sa]id Thomas Wooddrington and then and there Robte Stephenson & Raphe Wallis did sweare and give in evidence unto the said inquest amongst other things that the said Thomas Wooddrington being [as]saulted by the said Gawayne Milburne did f.. backe a hundereth foote and that the said Gawayne Milburne strickinge at him still that in the meane tyme the said Lamwell came in behinde the same Thomas Wooddrington and did strike him w[i]th a lannce ... the backe seaven ynches deepe between the third and fourth ribbe under the [?spale?] bone w[hi]ch was his death And the said Willm Fenwicke and Ephraym Wooddrington to the intent to prove that the said Gawayne Mylburne did malice the said Tho[mas] Wooddrington did then and there likewyse sweare and give in evedence u... the said inquest that Cuthbt Ogle did say unto him that Gawayne Milburne did say unto the said Cuthbt Ogle that there was a Contraversye betwixt Thom[as] Wooddrington and himsealf and that yf ever they did meete the one of them should lye on the grounde wheras in truth yo[u]r said subiecte is well able to p[ro]ve that the said Gawayne Mylburne did not make any such assaulte against the said [Thomas] Wooddrington but the said Thomas Wooddrington did furiously assault him and that the said Thomas Wooddrington did not flye backe nor the said Lamwell Ogle stryke him in the backe w[i]th a lannce untill the said Gawayne Mylburne was slayne and that the said Thomas Wooddrington was ..inge for the same in manner and forme as by the said Robt Stephenson and Raphe Wallis is falsely & wickedly deposed as aforesaid and wheras in truth the said Cuthbt Ogley never spoke any such words unto the said Willm Fenwicke and Ephraym Wooddrington in mann[er] and forme as by them was falsely deposed as aforesaid as by the othe of the said Cuthbt Ogle yo[u]r said subiecte is well able to prove But all this notw[i]thstandinge the said inquest suspectinge the said evidence to be only geven uppon malice did returne an [?Ignorams?] and would not fynde the said inditem[en]t wherupon the said Willm Fenwicke Dorothy Wooddrington and the rest of the said conspirators p[er]ceavinge that there p[re]tended p[ur]pose could take no effecte maliciously & uppon there revengeinge mynds as aforesaid begane to devise a newe Course [for] inditeinge of yo[u]r said subiecte and the said Willm Fenwicke (then beinge sherife of Northumberland and indeed [?never?] sworne for the due execucon of his said office althoughe by Sir John Forster yo[u]r Ma[jes]ties Comissioner in the behalf he is Certified to have byne sworne accordingly as by the lawes and statutes of this Realme he ought to be) for the better bringinge his & the foresaid p[ur]pose to passe and to spill the innocent bloude of yo[u]r said subiecte at a speciall [?....?] cessions only in that behalf appointed & holden by and before the said Sir John Forster then Justice of the peace and custos rotulorum of the said Countye and Father in lawe unto the said Thomas Wooddrington w[i]thout the notice privity or .... of any the other Justices did p[er]sewe an inditement of murder against yo[u]r said subiecte and the said Lamwell Ogle contayn[inge]in effect that Lamwell Ogle murderously gave the stroke unto the said Thomas Wooddrington and that [your] said subiecte was only p[re]sent and for the fyndinge therof did p[er]cially and Corruptly returne a pannell of sixtene p[er]sons wherof the first twelve were all of them ether cosin germayns by affinitye or Consanguinity unto the said Thomas Wooddrington or else servants or tenants unto the said Sir John Forsters uncle and father in lawe & a speciall freind unto the said Thomas Wooddrington and then and there the said Willm Fenwicke & the rest gave evidence to the same in effecte as before they had done unto the former Jury impannelled by the said coroner as aforesaid & thereupon the said Jury founde the said indi[emen]t accordingly wheruppon yo[u]r said subiecte was by the said Willm Fenwicke then shreiffe of the said County app[re]hended and most spitefully & in most cruell mann[er] comitted [Close] p[ri]soner amongst roges and theves in a most filthy prison w[i]thin the prison called the hye castell in the said County of Northumberland beinge the comon gaole for the said county although ther were div[er]s & sundry safe & convenient roomes in the said prison wher yo[u]r said subie... might have conveniently bene he offeringe sufficient securitye of 2000L to remaine true prisoner (as he did) w[hi]ch the said Willm Fenwicke refused sayinge no place was to badde for a murtherer & therupon comitted him as aforesaid layinge also upon yo[u]r said subiecte shakles & bolts as many or rather more as he was then able to beare and by noe intreaty of yo[u]r said subiect nor his freinds would be p[er]swaded to have any remorse or compassion of yo[u]r said poore subiecte in w[hi]ch pitifull case yo[u]r said subiecte remayned by the space of eight weekes till by you[u]r ma[jes]ties iustices of the court of Kings bench he was releaved & sett at libertye uppon the overthrowe of the said Inditem[en]t for div[er]s manifest imp[er]feccons therin uppon w[hi]ch imp[er]feccons the said conspirators beinge informed by ther learned Councell that the same inditm[en]t was of no validity about Lamas last at a generall gaole deliv[er]y there holden did uppon the like conspiracy unto the greate inquest of the said county p[re]ferre a newe inditm[en]t to the same effecte against yo[u]r said subiecte & the said Lamwell Ogle & did also for that p[ur]pose give in evidence in effecte as before they had doone & theruppon the said Inquest (three of the foremen thereof beinge cosin germans unto the said Thomas Wooddrington knoweinge the innocency of yo[u]r said Orator) did also returne an ignorams upon the same inditm[en]t w[hi]ch the said Conspirators espyinge & that there so often attempted parpose could not possibly take effecte at any open and publicke cessions they still Continuinge ther malitiouse & insatiable mynds against yo[u]r said subiecte as aforesaid & the said Willm Fenwicke still Continuinge in his said office of Shrifwicke about October last at an other speciall cessions appointed for that p[ur]pose by the said Sir John Forster only w[i]thout the privitye or consent of any other Justice of peace of the said County & holden only before him & one Richard Fenwicke of Sta[n]ton then another Justice of peace of the said County did p[ar]cially & corruptly impannell the same Jury w[hi]ch before that tyme before the said Sir John Forster had indited yo[u]r said subiecte & the said Lamwell Ogle as aforesaid & the said Conspirators did p[re]ferre unto them another inditm[en]t of murder against yo[u]r said subiecte contayninge in effecte that yo[u]r said subiecte mourderously gave the said stroke unto the said Thomas Wooddrington whereof he dyed & that Lamwell Ogle was only p[re]sent & abbettinge therunto But the said Willm Fenwicke by no meanes would p[er]mitte the said Richard Fenwicke to see or reade the same inditm[en]t althoughe he was very desierous to see the same but was very angry w[i]th the Clarke of the peace of the said County that he was so longe in p[re]ferringe the same and then & ther the said Willm Fenwicke did sweare and give in evidence unto the said inquest that he heard the said Cuthbt Ogle say that yf ev[er] Thomas Wooddrington and he did meete the one of them should lye uppon the ground & some of the said inquest demanndinge of the said Willm Fenwicke howe they should be induced to believe that Gawayne Milburne ev[er] spoke ... ... ... ... ... Cuthbt Ogle for it might be ... ... ... him an untruth wherunto he answered that he did take it uppon his othe & Conscience that Gawayne Milburne spoke such words unto Cuthbt Ogle & the said Stephenson and Wallis not regardinge there former othes made in that behalf unto the former Jurys aforesaid and Contrary to that w[hi]ch they themsealves had seene w[i]th there owne eyes & heard Thomas Woddrington confesse wittingly and willingly did then & there sweare & give in evidence unto the said Jury that yo[u]r subiect did give the said stroke unto the said Thomas Wooddrington in the backe & that Lamwell Ogle was only p[re]sent & gave not the same upon whose evidence the said Jury beinge cosin germaines unto the said Thomas Wooddrington as aforesaid and conformable in all things to the said Willm Fenwickes will found the said inditem[en]t accordingly Afterwards the said Conspirators beinge againe advertized by the learned Councell that the said last inditem[en]t was also insuffici... in lawe About January last at an other & soeciall cessions appointed and holden by and before the said Sir John Forster Rafe Gray & other Justices of peace of the said County for that p[ur]pose & the said Willm Fenwicke then still remaininge sheriffe of the said county p[ar]cyally & corruptly returninge a newe pannell of all or the moste p[ar]te of the same p[er]sons that found the former inditem[en]ts as aforesaid they did p[re]ferre a newe inditem[ent] Contayninge in effecte as the last inditem[en]t did save only that the same was somewhat amended in forme and Course of lawe But nether the said Sir John Forster nor the said Willm Fenwicke nor the Clearke of the peace would by any meanes suffer the said Rafe Gray to see the same inditem[en]t though he did three sev[er]all tymes demannde of them the sight therof & then & there the said Willm Fenwicke secretly Callinge unto him .... the rest two of the foremen of the said inquest that is to say Thomas Bradforde & Richard Forster in whom he reposed greatest confidence conferred w[i]th them touchinge the said inditem[en]t & gave evidence unto them but to what effecte yo[u]r said subiecte knowethe not refusinge that the rest of the said Jury should knowe or heare what he said unto them inasmuch as some of the said Jury afterwards when they were assembled together & demanndinge of the said Thomas Bradford to have a view of the inditem[en]t & to heare it read the said Thomas Bradford utterly denyed the same sayinge it was not materiall for they were alreaddy resolved therin for it was the same that it was before ..einge only in forme wherunto the said Juror replied that notw[i]thstandinge the said Bradford were foreman yet the said Juror was sworne as well as he & he would give noe Consent thereunto unlesse he sawe the same But all this notw[i]thstandinge [th]e residue beinge the maior p[ar]te did finde the said inditem[en]t accordingly w[i]thout any farther debateinge of the matter & theruppon Dorothy Wooddrington wyffe of the said Tho: Wooddrington hath brought her appeale of murder against yo[u]r said subiecte beinge the marke wherunto all the said conspirators by all ther practises aforesaid did shoote intendinge to hazarde yo[u]r said subiects life & to put him to great expences & chardges and yet to be free from yeeldinge any damage when yo[u]r said subiecte shalbe acquitted of the p[re]misses considered & forasmuch as the innocence of yo[u]r said subiecte appeareth & that the said conspirators have left no ways nor meanes unattempted wherby the life of yo[u]r said subiecte might be indaingered or his lib[er]ty abridged nether for obtayninge there p[ur]pose have spared to sweare contrary to there owne knowledge for in that they have as aforesaid sworne they have comitted most willfull & Corrupte p[er]iury for noe ..e yf it is true And forasmuch as conspiracies p[er]iuryes & malicious p[ro]cedinges are very danngerous & not to be tollerated in any Christian Comon wealth But ought to be punished most severely and [to] the highest degree especially when the life [of] any man is thereby touched May it therefore please yo[u]r ma[jes]tie to grannt unto yo[u]r said subiecte yo[u]r ma[jes]ties most gratious writte of Subpena to be directed unto the said Willm Fenwicke Ephraym Wooddrington Dorothy Wooddrington Raphe Wallis and Roberte [S]tephenson comanndinge them and every of them at a Certeyne day and under a Certeine payne p[er]sonally to appeare before yo[u]r Highnes in yo[u]r ma[jes]ties Courte of Starchamber then and there to answere unto the p[re]m[iss]es and to stand to such further order as [your] ma[jes]tie shall sett downe and yo[u]r said subiecte shall dayly pray for the longe continuance of yo[u]r ma[jes]ties ... ... ... ...