Complaints against Thomas Jacson, Victualler

STRO: Q/SR/72, item 36

single sheet–single sheet verso (Michaelmas sessions)

Articles to be obiected against Thomas Iacson of Ecclesall

Inprimis yat the said Iacson for his misdemeanores hathe beene expelled & dryven from sundry places before he came to make his abode at Ecclesall

Item yat since his comminge he was fownd gyltie by twelve men to haue broken into a barne of will mosse of the same towne & to haue taken both corne & hay as may appear by the recordes in Ecclesall Courte

Item yat ye said Iacson hath bene diuers tymes presented for selling malt & drinke at sermon tyme & so still continueth

Item that he hathe bene a resetter of fellonious persons & the same haue bene taken in his howse & executed

Item yat the said Iacson is a common drunkard and in his droncnes abuseth him self & all his next neyghboures

Item yat he is a great disturber of the queenes peace eyther by making of frayes or provoking others and very latly sowed seditione amongest the souldiers very like to bread a mutinie

Item yat he on the ascention day at nyght brought 3 minstrels & a hundred more to go to destroy the grasse in the churchyard & openly sayd yat he was ringleader & would be though the Lord Bishop his man forbad him from his lord so to doe

Item at the same tyme he called to the vicar beinge in his howse saying come out vicar come out vicar/ or els shutt thy dorre

Item at the same tyme when he had set the rowt on there mischefe he called for xxxvj pottes of drinke to make his companye drink and beinge reasoned therof by the Lord Bishop he confessed yat he was able to pay for them

Item he abused a minister called william Robertes shouldring him in the chancel of Ecclesal at the deans last visitacan gyving him foule speches & opprobrious wordes because the said minister spake in ye vicars case

Item in the monday at night after s Ihons day last very late when as the vicar came late home & sennt his servant & his daughter to gett grasse for his horse the said Iacson & kennent lightwode lay in wayte for them & by the way abused them & toke bothe the grasse & basketes from them makeing a great sturre when men were in bed and threting the vicar & all his people

Item the sayd Iacson boasteth to gagge the vicars cattell & inclose them if he put them into the churchyard to eat his grasse

Item he vseth to miscal the vicar to euery man & in open streete to the hearing of the townesmen & to torment him skurvie puritane ⸤or ch<.>g<..>t p<..>⸥

Item he vseth to call all men yat he falleth owt with & women also theves Rogues whores & queanes and so greatly disquieth the townsmen|

Item the 3 of Iuly he the said Iacson brake a locke with vincent lightwod & Thomas Dimmocke and Richard Booth very Ryotously contrary to the peace of our soueraigne Lady the queen

Item he vseth to hyde him selfe from from all muste<..> & very latly hid in him self 3 dayes an a rye mowe of william Rodons and was victualed by Rodons wife

Item he hath bene taken in the night stealing his cattell into his neyghboures pastures & feading them theere all the night as into Edwardes Waldrens and otheres


Rogerus Steventon clericus
Iuratiin plena Curia
Ricardus Addams

f<...> breve de ‸⸢Conceditur bene gerendum versus infranominatum Thomam Jackson de Eccleshall per Curiam qui postea in Curia invenit plegium prout pateat in libro Recognicionum istius Sessionis⸣/

(signed) George Boleyn

(signed) Edward ffowke subscriptus

(signed) Walter Chetwynd(signed) Iohannes Bowyer

  • Marginalia
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  • Footnotes
    • churchyard: ie, of Holy Trinity Church
    • visitacan: for visitacian; abbreviation mark missing
    • monday ... last: likely 25 June 1599, the Monday after the feast of the Nativity of John the Baptist
    • disquieth: for disquieteth; abbreviation mark missing
    • from from: dittography
    • muste<..>: letters lost to hole at right edge of leaf
    • Rogerus...Addams: braced, pointing toforeign xml:lang="lat">Iuratiin plena Curia
    • istius: 2 minims for iu
    • Roger...Addams: names braced, pointing tosworn in full court
  • Record Translation

    single sheet (Michaelmas sessions)



    Roger Steventon, clerk sworn in full court
    Richard Addams

    <...> a brief concerning (A bond for) good behaviour against the Thomas Jacson of Eccleshall who is named within is granted by the court, and he afterwards found a pledge in the court as appears in the book of recognizances of this session.


  • Glossed Terms
    • brake v inf, pa to break
    • droncnes n drunkness, drunkenness
    • ihons n poss in phr s ihons day St John's Day, possibly in error for 'Iohns'
  • Endnote

    This is the earliest extract from these records concerning Thomas Jacson, but not his earliest or only appearance therein. A brief digest will summarize his amazing fortunes with the quarter sessions. His name first appears in 1583, and in three other writs before 1589 he was ordered to appear at the sessions to answer touching various offences. He apparently moved to Eccleshall sometime between April 1587 and November 1589. He was fined for assault at the Epiphany sessions in 1592/3, and at the Trinity sessions of 1597 he was noted as being a victualler of Eccleshall. Following the present complaints, Jacson was named at the Easter sessions in 1601, in a petition from Roger Steventon, vicar, who asked to have an earlier action resumed against Jacson. At the same sessions a petition was entered against Jacson containing seven charges, some of which duplicate charges were made in the present document. At the Trinity sessions in 1601 it was noted that Jacson had again broken recognizances. The next information about him is extracted in the three following records, from the Easter 1604 and Epiphany 1604–5 session. Between these, at the Trinity 1604 sessions, Jacson was required to post recognizances; he was also summoned to post sureties to keep the peace at the Epiphany 1605/6 sessions and (twice) at the Trinity 1606 sessions – on all three occasions he was noted as 'not found.'

    There are striking similarities in the allegations against Jacson between the various petitions, complaints, and informations, and hence it is difficult to attach precise dates to the offenses. We cannot ascertain if Jacson was a repeat offender (although it seems unlikely that he would replicate his actions so exactly over a period of several years). More likely is that Jacson was a scofflaw, against whom complainants repeatedly filed their complaints in hopes of causing effective action against Jacson. The list of appearances, and the likelihood that the complainants were constrained to press their charges again and again, provides ample evidence that the quarter sessions was not totally efficient as an instrument of local justice. Appearances were delayed from sessions to sessions if a defendant was 'not found' or was absent on other business. Presumably the complaints and action against Thomas Jacson extended over more several years because the defendant, apparently being somewhat rebarbative, was not amenable to correction. To round off the story of Thomas Jacson, one is amazed to find that at the Epiphany sessions of 1608–9, item 23, details are given about two horse thieves who were examined at the sessions by Bishop Overton and held over for the assizes. En route to Stafford gaol, the constable of Eccleshall chose to detain his prisoners temporarily in the house of Thomas Jacson! However this came about, it is apparent that by 1608 Jacson had somehow made his peace with the complainants (including the bishop) whose names appear on this series of complaints.

  • Document Description

    Record title: Complaints against Thomas Jacson, Victualler
    Repository: STRO
    Shelfmark: Q/SR/72, item 36
    Repository location: Stafford

    Michaelmas 1599; English; paper; single sheet; 305mm x 200mm; written on both sides, no internal date to identify session or year; mounted on guard stub and preserved within blue folder.

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