Quarter Sessions Records


ff 61v–2 (8 July)


Iuratores pro domino Rege super sacramentum suum presentant quod Robertus Simpson de Staithes in Le Northridding Comitatus Eboraci Shoemaker Ricardus knagges de Moorsham in dicto Northriding Comitatus Eboraci Willelmus ffetherston de Danby in dicto Northridding Comitatus predicti et Iacobus Pickering de Bowlby in dicto Northridding in dicti Comitatus Eboraci maison sunt Communes histriones hac illac passim vagantes, Ludicra ludentes Anglice Comon players of Interludes wandring vp & downe playing of Interludes Et quod | Quarto die martij Anno regni domino nostri Iacobi dei gracia Anglie francie et hibernie Regis fidei defensoris &c. Nono et Scotie xlvto. ApudMarton in dicto Northriding Comitatus Eboraci vagati fuerunt et Ludicra Ludebant et multis alijs in Locis in dicto Northriding Comitatus Eboraci hac illac passim vagati fuerunt et Ludicra ludebant contra pacem dicti domini Regis ac contra formam diuersorum Statutorum inde provisorum et editorum Et vlterius quod Willelmus Blackborne de Marton predicto in Northridding Comitatus predicti Laborer tunc ibidem Constabularius existens sciens prefatus Robertum Simpson Ricardum knagges Willelmum ffetherston et Iacobum Pickering modo et forma predictis esse Communes histriones hac, illac, passim vagantes, ludicra ludentes, eosdem tamen Robertum Simpson Ricardum Knagges Willelmum ffetherston et Iacobum Pickeringe dicto quarto die martij Anno supradicto in domo mansionali ipsius Willelmi Blackborne apud Marton predictam in Northridding Comitatus predicti hospitauit et eos sinebat effugere sine deprehencione sive supplicio in contemptu dicti domini Regis ac contra formam statutorum predictorum

per homagium


  • Marginalia
  • Footnotes
    • Robertus Simpson: in display script
    • Ricardus Knagges: in display script
    • dicti: i corrected from o
    • Willelmus fetherston: in display script
    • Quarto … xlvto: ie, 4 March 1611/12
    • Iacobus pickering: in display script
    • Et vlterius: in display script
    • Willelmus Blackborne: in display script
  • Record Translation

    ff 61v–2 (8 July)


    Jurors for the lord king present on their oath that Robert Simpson of Staithes in the North Riding of Yorkshire, shoemaker, Richard Knagges of Moorsham in the said North Riding of Yorkshire, William Fetherstone of Danby in the said North Riding of the aforesaid county and James Pickering of Boulby in the said North Riding of the said Yorkshire, mason, to be common entertainers, wandering here, there, (and) everywhere, playing interludes – in English 'common players of interludes wandering up and down playing of interludes,' and that | on 4 March in the ninth year of the reign of our lord James, by the grace of God, kind of England, France, and Scotland, defender of the faith, etc, and the forty-fifth (of his reign) of Scotland, in Marton in the said North Riding of Yorkshire they wandered and played interludes and in many other places in the said North Riding of Yorkshire they wandered here, there, (and) everywhere and played interludes contrary to the peace of the said lord king and contrary to the form of various statutes established and ordained concerning that (sort of thing). And further that William Blackborne, laborer, of the aforesaid Marton in the North Riding of the aforesaid county, then being constable there, knowing the aforesaid Robert Simpson, Richard Knagges, William Fetherston, and James Pickering in the aforesaid manner and form to be Common entertainers wandering here, there, (and) everywhere playing interludes, nevertheless received the same Robert Simpson, Richard Knagges, William Fetherston, and James Pickering on the said 4 March in the abovesaid year in the dwelling house of himself, William Blackborne, at the aforesaid Marton in the North Riding of the aforesaid county and allowed them to flee without detection or punishment in contempt of the said lord king and against the form of the aforesaid statutes.

    by the homage

  • Document Description

    Record title: Quarter Sessions Records
    Repository: NYCRO
    Shelfmark: QSM 2/2
    Repository location: Northallerton

    Itinerant performers in the North Riding ranged from individual pipers, fiddlers, jugglers, and others living close to or below the poverty line, to organized companies of travelling players. Most of these did not play under gentry patronage and so were vulnerable to arrest and punishment under the Elizabethan and Stuart poor laws governing 'rogues, vagabonds, and sturdy beggars' (see the Introduction and 39 Eliz c4; Great Britain, Statutes of the Realm, vol 4, pt 2 (London, 1819; rpt 1963), 899–902). When these companies were apprehended, the court normally recorded not only the names of all the members but also prosecuted those who provided lodging and performance space for them, allowing us to map their touring routes. The Simpson company of Egton (North Riding) appeared before the court on several occasions (see the Quarter Session Records). These appearances give us considerable information on their local organization. Notably, however, Gouthwaite Hall – the site of their best-known performance on 2 February 1608/9 – was in the West Riding until 1974, when the county boundaries were redrawn. That performance brought their host, Sir John Yorke, before the court of Star Chamber; the documentation of that case will appear in the forthcoming Yorkshire West Riding collection. Documents presented here concern the local organization of the company, with special reference to the position of boy players.

    17 April 1610–12 January 1615/16; English and Latin; paper; iv + 254 + iv ; 300mm x 180mm; contemporary foliation 1–221 (ff [4, 6, 12, 19, 22, 27–33] blank, ff 216–21 also blank); contemporary calfskin binding, 2 leather labels on spine, upper red, lower black, with gold lettering, respectively 'Minutes | and | Orders' and '1610 | to | 1615.'

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