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Pleas at Bedford in the Fourth Year of the Reign of King John

Hundred of Flitt

1 The jurors say that Elias, Stanard's son, slew Roger Geoffrey's son, and fled to church, confessed the death and abjured the realm, and he had no chattels.

To judgment against Robert of Marsh, the serjeant, for not summoning the hundred and the townships to sit upon the dead man.

Stanard of Eye is in mercy for not raising the hue when his son was found dead and slain.

2 Henry Bussel and Osbert his brother appealed Roberrt Fletcher and Peter his son and Gilbert of Flitton and William Maugis for the death of John Bussell. And Robert and Peter are outlawed by their suit for the said death, and were in the frank-pledge of Robert Pudras in Flitton, which therefore is amerced, and they had no chattels. And William fled to church and abjured the realm; his chattels worth three shillings, for which Robert of Braybrook, the then sheriff, must account.

And Henry Bussel came and appealed the said Gilbert, for that he in the king's peace and wickedly slew the said John his brother, so that Gilbert confessed to [Henry] that he slew [John]; and this he offers to prove against him etc. And Robert the Dean of Bedford craved [cognizance for] court christian, for Gilbert is a clerk and a subdeacon.

Walklin Bussell appellor and Henry Bunum appellee in an appeal of battery put themselves in mercy that they may have leave to compromise. Walklin's pledge, Henry Bussell; Henry Bunum's pledge, Pirot Bunum his brother.

3 The market of Luton is removed from Sunday to Monday. It belongs to the Earl of Albemarle, who is therefore in mercy. Let it be held on Monday.

4 To the other articles, [the jurors say] nothing.


Town of Luton

5 The jurors say that Peter Vintner of Dunstaple, William, Jordan's man, and Henry, Henry's son, have sold wine at Dunstaple contrary to the Assize. So they are in mercy.

6 To all the other articles, [the jurors say] nothing.


Hundred of Redbornstoke

7 The jurors say that Simon son of Simon of Elstow, appeals William, brother of Robert Daubeny, and Simon of Ampthill, for that they assaulted him while at his plough and cut off his thumb, and this they did by the counsel and advice of William Bunum.

And William Daubeny was not found, but had gone to Jerusalem, and Simon [Simon's son] never made suit against him, and therefore awaits his return. And Simon of Ampthill is a clerk and Robert the Dean has claimed [cognizance] of him [for] court christian: and this has been granted. And William [Bunum] comes and denies that they did this by his counsel. And Simon [Simon's son] on being asked how he knew that they did this by [William's] counsel, said that he knew this because [William] wished him ill because he had not been able to bastardise him. And for that he does not allege sight and hearing and alleges no ground for an appeal, it is considered that the appeal is null, and that William do go quit and Simon be in mercy for a false appeal.

8 William of Morton and Simon Carpenter are outlawed for the death of Walter of Leigh at the suit of Juliana his wife, and htey had no chattels, and they were nowhere in frank-pledge but were servants of the Abbot of Woburn. The presenter of Walter's Englishry afterwards died, and no one was presented in his place until the case came before the justices. Therefore to judgment whether this be a murder. It is considered that this is a murder.

9 Aubrey, wife of Peter Crawe, appealed Oliver and Roland, brothers of the parson of Cranfield, for that they wounded Peter her husband. And she has not prosecuted her appeal. And because Peter died, the jurors are asked whether he died of those wounds. They say that he did not die of those wounds. Let Oliver and Roland go quit thereof.

10 The house of certain woman at Shelton was burgled by night. Robert Fale is suspected of this and other crimes by the jurors and the four neighbouring townships. Let him purge himself by water.

11 As to the other articles, [the jurors say] nothing.


Hundred of Clifton

12 Robert of Sutton appeals Bonefand the jew of Bedford, for that he in the king's peace and wickedly procured the shameful mutilation of Richard, [Robert's] nephew, whereof he died, so that [Bonefand] had him carried to [Bonefand's] land at Acton which he holds in gage, and there he died; and this he offers to prove etc. And Bonefand comes and defends the whole and offers the king a mark for an inquest whether he is guilty thereof or no. The jurors being questioned, say that he is not guilty thereof. So let Bonefand be quit and Robert in mercy for his false appeal.


Hundred of Wixamtree

13 Aubrey of Willington appealed William Russel, Adam his brother, Geoffrey Reeve, Nicholas, Gervase's son, Godwin Gardener, David Espeke, and Robert of Hawnes, for that they in the king's peace and wickedly by night came to his house, and broke his gates and fences, and broke his house doors in hamsoken, and entered and took his goods, to wit, fowls, and carried them off, and would have killed him, had he not fled. And they have come and defend all of it. And the sheriff, shom Aubrey vouched to warrant that he showed him this the next day, says that he came not to him, but to a county [court], but to which [session of the] county [court] he cannot say, and his complaint being heard in the county [court], the sheriff under its judgment sent lawful men to his house [to see] what had happened, and they at a later court said that they found no breakage of gates or fences, nor were any of the chattels carried away. And because of this testimony and because [Aubrey] named no chattels and no price, it is considered that the appeal is null, that Aubrey be in mercy for his false appeal, and the appellees be quit. Pledges for Aubrey's amercement: Humphry of Huntingdon and Wimund Reeve.


Borough of Bedford

14 Maud, wife of Hugh, was taken with a false gallon of which she sold beer, so that the keepers of the measures testify that they took her selling beer with it. And since she cannot defend this, it is considered that she be in mercy. She made fine with two marks, for which the pledges are William, son of Ascelin, William de Solar, Osbert, William's son, Ralph Clerk.

Lambert Miller complains that Clarice, wife of Lawrence, Walter's son, sold him beer by a false gallon, and thereof produces suit, which testifies that it was present when she sold by that gallon, to wit, three gallons for a penny. And Clarice comes and defends that she sold by a false gallon, nor did she sell by the gallon which he says is hers, as being a gallon, but as being a half-gallon. let her defend herself twelve-handed [i.e., with eleven compurgators] on the [next] coming of the justices. She has waged her law. Pledge for her law: William, Ascelin's son. Lambert's pledges to prosecute: William Sanguinel, Richard, Geoffrey's son, Denis, Lambert's son, Walter Miller.


This text was taken from:
Maitland, F. W., ed. Select Pleas of the Crown: Volume 1--A.D. 1200-1225. London: Bernard Quaritch, 1888.

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