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Archaeologia Cantiana -  Vol. 134  2014  page 269

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

out in the libels or articles and were known as depositions and that the interrogatories were questions formulated by the defence to be put to those same witnesses, a process then repeated in reverse with the witnesses of the defence.20 This is agreed upon entirely by both Tarver and the guides produced by the Borthwick Institute at the University of York.21
   Seemingly Woodcock is alone in suggesting there was no cross-examination, leading one to believe that interrogatories could well have been a method for which the defence could question the prosecution’s witnesses. MS.F.4.12, helps further as the only two related entries, entry 25 and entry 28, show the responses of witnesses in the depositions of entry 28 to follow the individual items set out in the original libel of entry 25 exactly, indicating that interrogatories were produced later for further questioning or as a form of cross-examination.

Exceptions and Additional Articles

The defendant could then attack the credibility of the prosecution’s witnesses in records known as articles of exception.22 Several examples can be found in MS.F.4.12 – entry 59 is quite clear in its discrediting of witnesses accusing them of being adulterers and therefore undermining the value of their testimonies. However, looking to other papers labelled as exceptions in MS.F.4.12 it is clear that they were not solely concerned with discrediting of witnesses but, as in entry 58, could be a method for the defence to submit evidence or refute certain claims. In this case Peter Chittenden is able to defend himself against accusations made by Lord Francis Rawson claiming that he had not paid his tithes by stating that there was an agreement in place between the two of them that Chittenden would only pay a certain amount for the 8 acres of land he held in Headcorn on which he grew apples. These records are similar in structure to libels and articles, being set out item by item, but one noticeable difference is that they begin with the words ‘In quodam causa’. Whilst the cause type and the names of the parties are given in exceptions it is difficult to understand the details surrounding the original charge, as in entry 58 when the document concentrates entirely on discrediting witnesses and does not give any details about the case itself. The plaintiff could also submit additional articles for which the process of witness testimonies would be undertaken again and the lawsuit would continue.

The Sentence

The sentence was the final record produced marking the end of proceedings. An example of such can be found in MS.F.4.12 in entry 67, where a sentence is given from the Court of the Archdeacon. Sentences are immediately recognisable from the opening words ‘auditis, visis,

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