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Archaeologia Cantiana -  Vol. 134  2014

A History of the Ecclesiastical Courts of the Diocese of Canterbury, 1566-86, based on the
   Cause papers bound within the Volume MS.F.4.12. By Karen Rushton

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Entry 25 f.55 verso – Libel, Defamation  - Transcription and Translation

Editorial Conventions
  
Each entry that has been selected for transcription is given with its entry number and folio number as well as the type of record and type of case. Directly following each transcription is a full translation of the entry, and the sections of entries that were originally in English are shown in italics in the translation. The transcription follows the original exactly in terms of spelling, punctuation and capitalisation. Also, capitalisation of certain words can be inconsistent or inaccurate but again it has been transcribed without corrections as not to do so would detract from the research value and would be wrongly influencing the record’s interpretation.
   All abbreviated words have been extended with the missing letters included in square brackets. Words and sentences that have been inserted later are indicated by a forward and backward slash to show where it has been inserted. In the same vein words that have been crossed out by the scribe are transcribed with a line running through them to illustrate the mistakes of the scribe and to try and remain true to the original. Where words have been seemingly joined together they are shown separately in the transcription apart from the occasions when the word ‘que’ has been added on the end of words to indicate ‘and’. Letters such as i and j and u, v, and n, which can often be indistinguishable from one another, are transcribed in the form they are written in rather than the letter they are supposed to represent when it is clear.
    In the translation Christian names have been anglicised but all surnames remain as in the original record. Correcting surnames to their modernised forms would not accurately reflect the meaning and is sometimes difficult to do, especially given the inconsistencies in the spelling of surnames, which is in itself a potentially interesting point. Similar to Christian names, all place names appear in the translation in their modern forms.

Transcription
In dei no[m]i[n]e amen, Coram vobis ven[er]abili viro mag[ist]ro
Thoma Lawse artiu[m] mag[ist]ro etc, P[ar]s honesti viri
Joha[n]nis byrch, p[ar]o[chi]e de eythorn contra et
adversus Edwardu[m] pyper de ead[em], etc,

1. In p[ri]mis vi[delicet] quod o[mn]es et singuli qui co[n]vicia vitup[er]ia
verbave contumeliosa co[n]viciosa Iniuriosa obprobriosa
scandalosa sive diffamator[ia] seu alia quecu[m]q[ue] ad
infamia[m] denigrac[i]o[n]em et lesio[n]em status bone fa
aut opinionis alicuius sonan[tia] sive tenden[tia] maliciose
p[ubli]ce contra bonos mores alicui sive de aliquo
dicunt emittunt asserunt proferunt seu p[re]dicant
fuerunt ac sunt iuxta iuris exigen[s] corrigend[um]
et puniend[um] necnon vt ab h[uius]mo[d]i vitup[er]iis verbisq[ue]
contumeliosis co[n]viciosis i[n]iuriosis obprobriosis scandalosis
et diffamator[ii] desistant et penitus se abstineant
infuturu[m] l[eg]itime de iure cogend[o] co[m]pelland[o] et
co[m]pescend[o], ponit con[juncti]m di[visi]m ac de quoli[be]t,

2. It[e]m quod p[re]fat[us] Edwardus pyper p[re]missoru[m] o[mn]iu[m] et
singuloru[m] satis conscius ip[s]is tamen non obstan[s]
sed post ac contra ea me[n]sibus octobris novembris
dece[m]bris Januarii Februarii et m[ar]cii a[n]no d[omi]ni, 1576,
iam p[re]terit[o], necnon me[n]sibus m[ar]cii ap[ri]lis maii et
Junii anno d[omi]ni 1577, iam curren[ti] eoru[m]ve me[n]siu[m] et
a[n]noru[m] quoli[be]t vno sive aliquo non[nu]lla verba
co[n]tumeliosa co[n]viciosa i[n]iuriosa obprobriosa sca[n]dalosa
et diffamator[ia] ad infamia[m] denigrac[i]o[n]em et lesio[n]em
status bone fame et opinionis p[re]fat[i] Joh[ann]is
Byrch sonan[tia] sive tenden[tia] eod[em] Joha[n]ni seu salt[e]m
de eod[em] falso nequiter et maliciose dixit emisit
asseruit et vociferavit dicend[o] et pu[bli]ce affirmand[o]
verba anglica sequen[tia] seu alia eisd[em] in effectu
co[n]simillia eundemq[ue] effectu[m] importan[tia] vi[delicet] that
the said John byrche had carnally to do w[i]th
w[illia]m toose his wyffe in malmaymes wood, or
that the said John byrche and w[illia]m toose
his wyffe were taken together in the act
of adultry in a wood called malmayneswood
i[n]nuend[o] p[re]fat[um] Joh[ann]em, et ponit vt supra,

f. 55 recto
3. It[e]m quod p[re]textu et occasione p[re]dict[o] verboru[m] p[ro]lac[i]o[n]is
assertionis et pu[bli]ce affirmac[i]o[n]is status bona fama et
opinio p[re]fat[i] Joha[n]nis byrche apud bonos et graves
enormiter leduntur et gravantur, boniq[ue] et graves
habuerunt et habent eund[em] in minore reputacione
et favore, et ponit vt supra,

4. It[e]m quod idem Edwardus pyper me[n]sibus et a[n]nis
p[re]dict[is] aut ip[s]oru[m] me[n]siu[m] quoli[be]t vno sive aliquo
ac post et citra p[re]missa se h[uius]mo[d]i verba de p[re]f[ato]
Joha[n]ni byrche vt p[re]fertur maliciose dixisse
emisisse et affirmasse cora[m] non[n]ullis testibus
fidedignis sepius ac iterat[us] vicibus seu semel
fassus est et recognovit ac iactitavit, et
ponit vt supra,

5. It[e]m quod p[re]fat[us] Edwardus pyper fuit ac est p[ar]o[chi]e de
eythorn cant[uariensis] diocesis et eo p[re]textu iurisdictioni vestre
no[to]rie subdit[us] et subiectus et ponit vt supra,

6. It[e]m quod p[re]missa o[mn]ia et sing[u]la fuerunt ac sunt
vera pu[bli]ca no[to]ria manifesta p[ar]iter et famosa ac
de et sup[er] eisd[em] labora[ve]runt pu[bli]ca vox et fama, etc,

Translation
In the name of God amen. Before you the venerable man master Thomas Lawse, master of arts etc. The part of the honest man John Byrch of the parish of Eythorne, against Edward Pyper of the same etc.

1. Firstly, namely, that all and singular who says, publishes or declares insolent, abusive, wrongful, opprobrious, scandalous or defamatory words, reproaches or insults or whatsoever others for the dishonour, denigration or harm to the good standing or reputation of anyone, sounding or extending publicly or maliciously against good morals to anyone or concerning anyone, were and are to be corrected and punished according to the law. And also that from these insolent, abusive, wrongful, opprobrious, scandalous and defamatory insults and words they should have desisted and completely restrained themselves, to be proven, called to account and restrained lawfully in the future according to the law. He seeks jointly, separately and concerning each one.

2. Item, that the aforesaid Edward Pyper is aware enough of all and singular aforementioned things. Yet this not withstanding but after and against it for the months of October, November, December, January, February and March in the year of the lord 1576, now past, and also for the months of March, April, May and June in the year of the lord 1577, now current, or by any one or all of these months, he said, published, asserted and loudly announced several insolent, abusive, opprobrious, scandalous and defamatory words, for the dishonour, denigration and harm of the good standing, fame and reputation of the Said John Byrch, falsely, wickedly and maliciously uttering and extending against the same John, or at least concerning the same. By saying and publicly asserting the words following in English or by others with similar effect, causing the same effect, namely That the said John Byrch had carnally to do with William Toose his wyffe in malmaymes wood, or that the said John Byrche and William Toose his wyffe were taken together in the act of adultry in a wood called malmaymeswood, implicating the aforesaid John. And he produces as above.

3. Item, that by the pretext and occasion of the aforesaid words, proof, assertion and public affirmation, the good status, fame and opinion of the aforesaid John Byrch amongst the good and weighty are enormously reduced and lowered. And the good and weighty held and hold the same in lesser reputation and favour. And he produces as above.

4. Item, that the same Edward Pyper, for the months and years aforesaid or any, one or some of their months often publicly certified and boasted, or himself was acknowledged before several trustworthy witnesses, to have maliciously said, published and publicly proclaimed by himself this kind of word concerning the aforesaid John Byrche. And he produces as above.

5. Item, that the aforesaid Edward Pyper was and is of the parish of Eythorne of the diocese of Canterbury and by this pretext falls under and is subject to your jurisdiction. And he produces as above.

6. Item, that all and singular aforementioned things were and are true, public, notorious, equally evident and famous and a public voice and fame has circulated concerning the same, etc.

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