Musicians' Court Examinations

HRO: W/K5/8

ff [1–1v] (23 February 1598/9)

Thexaminacion of Robert ffurn<....>
of Tichfeld Teyler./

He also professeth to be a Musician, vpon a harpe/ & saith yat on friday last he came to Bisshopswaltham & lodged at the howse of Nicholas Dyer/ & accompanied Thomas Monday there ⸢& he is skillfull vpon a base violl⸣ & William Noble of Portsmoth mett them there who plaieth vpon the violett/ And there they continued from friday last vntill Wenisday last/ & then came to the soke in Winchester & there lodged/ & had no other errand thither but to use there minstrelsy/ & to make merry/ & ‸to gett somwhat if they could/ But saith that they played not in Winchester with there instrumentes onely at there lodging the morning they tuned there Instrumentes & soe they brought them vp into the City entending to play amongst there friendes but did not play as he seith for he seith he was apprehended before/ This deponent ‸hath byin was acquainted with Thomas Monday these xx yeres past/ & with Noble he hath byn acquainted abowt one Moneth past/

Thexaminacion of Thomas Monday
of Bisshopswaltham shomaker/

He saith he hath skill to play on a base vyall & cam in company with Robert ffurnesse & William Noble to Winchester on Wednesday night last/ & lodged at William Warrens in the soke but saith they played not on there Instrumentes either in the soke or in the Towne/ They came this tyme to see there friendes & to gett somwhat if they cold/|

Thexaminacion of William Noble

He also sayth yat he is a Musician/ & came lately from sea, & fell acquainted with Dionise Tucker of Stockbridge whom he entendeth to take to his wife/ & is purposed to goe to sea againe as sone as the Rose Lion can be made redy/ He came on Wenisday night last to Winchester in the company of ffurnesse/ & Monday/ who also are Musicians/ & they brought there Instrumentes with them/ intending to gett some mony here ‸⸢by there minstrelsy⸣ to help bere there charges/ But this deponent saith that they did not vse or excercise there Instrumentes in this City/ in any place/ because they were apprehended before by the Officers/ He pretendeth that he was at Sea when the statute in this behalf was made/ and being now aduertized thereof he protesteth that henceforth he will not offend against the same

  • Glossed Terms
    • byin v pfp been
    • wenisday n Wednesday
  • Endnote

    This case could have been heard in the piepowder court but there is insufficient information in this manuscript to be sure. The statute mentioned by Noble was probably the Vagrancy Act of 1597, which reiterated the prohibitions against 'common Players of Enterludes, and Minstrelles' made in the statute of 1572. There seems to be no local statute ('An Acte for punyshment of Rogues Vagabond[es] and Sturdy Beggars,' The Statutes of the Realm, vol 4, pt 2 (London, 1819; rpt 1963), 899).

    A violett was a member of the viol family but more akin to the violin (Percy A. Scholes, The Oxford Companion to Music, 10th ed (London, New York, and Toronto, 1970), 1079–81). The Soke was an area outside the walls of the city, to the south and east, and under the jurisdiction of the bishop.

  • Document Description

    Record title: Musicians' Court Examinations
    Repository: HRO
    Shelfmark: W/K5/8
    Repository location: Winchester

    This document has been pasted onto p 8 and bound in a scrapbook with other manuscripts and press cuttings. The scrapbook is a large leather-bound book with the following title on the binding: 'City of Winchester A Retrospect of Civic Manners and Customs Elizabeth 1576 to Victoria 1888.' The introduction on the verso of the binding is signed 'W.H. Jacob 1888.' This is one of a series of scrapbooks containing a collection of miscellaneous manuscripts and press cuttings made by Alderman W.H. Jacob. It is impossible to determine from which of the courts this record comes.

    23 February 1598/9; English; paper; bifolium, writing on ff [1–1v]; 290mm x 395mm; originally unnumbered; endorsed on f [2v]: 'Thexaminacion of | Robert ffurnesse | Thomas Monday | William Noble | Minstrells | taken in Winchester & committed to Westgate by Mr Iohn White one of the Iustices of the City where they remayned 2. dayes & then enlarged by the Maior & the said Iohn White: 24 ffebuarij | 1598.'

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