Quarter Sessions Records


p 110 (9 July)


Iuratores pro domino Rege super sacramentum suum presentant quod Ricardus Levens de Aiton magna Northriding comitatus Eboraciyeoman sciens Ricardum Hudson de Huton bushell in Northriding in Northriding comitatus predicti weaver etatis xlixo annorum Willelmum Hudson de eadem labourer. etatis duodecem annorum Georgium Hudson de eadem labourer etatis vndecem Christoferum Hutchinson de eadem labourer etatis sexdecem annorum Edwardum Lister de Allerston in Northriding comitatus predicti weaver etatis xlvj annorum Rogerum w<....>nLister⸣ de eadem ‸⸢laborarium⸣ etatis septem annorum et amplius et Robertum Skelton de wilton infra Libertatem de Pickeringlieth in Northriding comitatus predicti labourer etatis septem annorum et amplius esse communes histriones vagabundos et mendicos validos (anglice common playors of enterludes vagabundes & sturdy beggars) hac illac passim vagantes ludicra ludentes (anglice playing of enterludes) sexto die ffebruarij Anno regni domini nostri Iacobi dei gracia Anglie ffrancie et Hibernie Regis fidei defensoris &c. xiijo et Scotie xlixo in domo sua mansionali apud Aiton magna predictam in Northriding comitatus predicti predictos Ricardum Hudson Willelmum Hudson Georgium Hudson Christoferum Hutchinson Edwardum Lister Rogerum Lister et Robertum Skelton hospitavit et predictis Ricardo Hudson Willelmo Hudson Georgio Hudson, Christofero Hutchinson Edwardo Lister Rogero Lister, et Roberto Skelton adtunc et ibidem panem et potum voluntarie dedit et sinebat eos effugere sine deprehencione et sine supplicio in contemptu dicti domini Regis et contra formam diversorum Statutorum in huiusmodi casu provisorum et editorum./

  • Marginalia
    • °Contra formam°
      °Ricardus Levens./°
    • °Contrary to the form (of the statutes)°
      °Richard Levens°
  • Footnotes
    • Veredictum: in display script
    • Iuratores: in display script
    • Northriding: for in Northriding
    • in … Northriding: dittography at beginning of line
    • vndecem: for vndecem annorum
    • sexto … xlixo: ie, 6 February 1615/16
    • magna: for magnam; abbreviation mark missing
  • Record Translation

    p 110 (9 July)


    Jurors for the lord king on their oath present that Richard Levens of Great Ayton in the North Riding of Yorkshire, yeoman, knowing Richard Hudson of Hutton Buscel in the North Riding of the aforesaid county, weaver, forty-nine years of age, William Hudson of the same, labourer, twelve years of age, George Hudson of the same, labourer, eleven years of age, Christopher Hutchinson of the same, labourer, sixteen years of age, Edward Lister of Allerston in the North Riding of the aforesaid county, weaver, forty-six years of age, Roger Lister of the same, labourer, more than seven years of age, and Robert Skelton of Wilton within the liberty of Pickering Lythe in the North Riding of the aforesaid county, labourer, more than seven years of age, to be common entertainers, vagabonds, and healthy beggars – in English 'common players of interludes, vagabonds, and sturdy beggars' – wandering here, there, (and) everywhere playing interludes – in English 'playing of interludes' – on 6 February in the thirteenth year of the reign of our lord James by the grace of God king of England, France, and Ireland, defender of the faith, etc, and the forty-ninth (year of his reign) of Scotland received into his dwelling house in the aforesaid Great Ayton in the North Riding of the aforesaid county the aforesaid Richard Hudson, William Hudson, George Hudson, Christopher Hutchinson, Edward Lister, Roger Lister, and Robert Skelton and then and there willingly gave food and drink to the aforesaid Richard Hudson, William Hudson, George Hudson, Christopher Hutchinson, Edward Lister, Roger Lister, and Robert Skelton, and allowed them to flee without detention and without punishment in contempt of the said lord king and contrary to the form of various statutes established and ordained in a case of this kind.

  • Document Description

    Record title: Quarter Sessions Records
    Repository: NYCRO
    Shelfmark: QSM 2/3
    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' (39 Eliz c4; Great Britain, Statutes of the Realm, vol 4, pt 2 (London, 1819; rpt 1963), 899–902). Edward Lister and Richard Hudson, who figure regularly in the presentments of 1616, were the leaders of the small playing company. They were based in Hutton Buscel, just over four miles southwest of Scarborough, but they were active throughout the North Riding. The seven members of the company included three children, Lister's son and Hudson's two sons as well as Christopher Hutchinson, a boy of sixteen. The court is careful to note the ages of the boys in the company since those seven and under formed a separate category under the poor laws (The Workhouse: The Story of an Institution, http://www.workhouses.org.uk/education, accessed 8 October 2021). Between December 29, 1616, and February 18, 1616/17, the company played for thirty-two of the North Riding gentry and yeomen farmers, each of whom was fined 10s following their prosecution in the quarter sessions. Following this extensive tour, the company was arrested and appeared at the Hutton Buscel assize court on 4 April, 1616. They were convicted of being common vagabonds and were sent on for sentencing at the full sessions at Thirsk on 10 April, where Richard Hudson was sentenced to be whipped. This sentence seems to have convinced Hudson to disband his players and nothing further is seen of them.

    1616–20; Latin and English; paper; vol 1: i + 170 + i, vol 2: i + 172 + i; 300mm x 200mm; contemporary foliation (often damaged), modern pagination 1–340, 341–684 (used here); original in very poor condition; casebound 1979 in 2 volumes of tan double buckram with pages mounted individually (original calfskin binding on marbled paper boards slipped in case), original labels on spine of vol 1, upper red, lower black, with gold lettering, respectively: 'Minutes | and | Orders' and '1616 | to | 1620,' new labels (upper red, lower blue) with same text on vol 2.

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