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Shropshire Eyre, A.D. 1203

Pleas at Shresbury in the Fifth Year of the Reign of King John

Hundred of Overs

1 Robert of Herthale, arrested for having in self-defense slain Roger, Swein's son, who had slain five men in a fit of madness, is committed to the sheriff that he may be in custody as before, for the king must be consulted about this matter. The chattels of him who killed the five men were worth two shillings, for which Richard [the sheriff must account].

Township of Ellesmere

2 To judgment concerning the jurors who have disavowed their writing.

Hundred of Munslow

3 The jurors say that one Richard Fowler lodged for a night at Ludlow in the house of Edelina of Ludlow, and it was said that he arose by night and collected the pelf and carried it off, and the hue was raised, and the township followed and slew him. And Walter de Muscegros appealed William Clerk of this; and William comes; and Walter essoins himself and has a day given him at Worcester. The jurors took William Clerk into their custody. And [on the said day at Worcester] came Walter and withdrew himself. And, William having offered eight marks for an inquest, the jurors say that [Richard] in manner aforesaid arose and carried off the chattels, and they do not suspect William of it. So let William go quit thereof.

4 Sibil, Engelard's daughter, appeals Ralph of Sandford, for that he in the king's peace and wickedly and in breach of the peace given to her in the county [court] by the sheriff, came to the hosue of her lord [or husband] and broke her chests and carried off the chattels, and so treated her that he slew the child that was living in her womb.

Afterwards she came and said that they had made a compromise and she withdrew herself, for they have agreed that Ralph shall satisfy her for the loss of the chattels upon the view and by the appraisement of lawful men; and Ralph has assented to this.

Hundred of Brimstree

5 William Pipin slew William [or John] Guldeneman and fled. He had no chattels. Let him be exacted. And Hugh Fuller was taken for this death and put in gaol because the said John [or William] was slain in his house. And Hugh gives to the king his chattels which were taken with him, that he may have an inquest [to find] whether he be guilty thereof or no. The jurors say that he is not guilty, and so let him go quit thereof. And William Picot is in mercy for having sold Hugh's chattels before he was convicted of teh death, and for having sold tham at an undervalue, for he sold them, as he says, for three shillings, and the jurors say that they were worth seventeen shillings, for which William Picot and those who were his fellows ought to account.

And William says that the chattels were sold by the advice of his fellows, and his fellows deny this.

6 Robert White slew Walter of Hugeford and fled. The jurors say that he was outlawed for the death, and the county and the coroners say that he was not outlawed, because no one sued against him. And because the jurors cannot [be heard to] contradict the county and the coroners, therefore they are in mercy, and let Robert be exacted. His chattels were [worth] fifteen shillings, for which R. of Ambresleigh, the sheriff, must account.

Hundred of Stottesden

7 Ralph Russiadic appeals Richard Old for that in the king's peace he slew Richard the man of [Ralph's] lord; and this he offers to prove against him as the court shall consider. And Richard comes and defends the death and the felony, and says that on a former occasion one Robert, son of Aier, was appealed of that death in the king's court at Westminster by Adam of St. Brides, brother of Robert, and Richard [the present appellee] and many others with him were then appealed as accessories, and the [then] appellor came and withdrew from his suit and quit-claimed Robert, so that [Robert] and those appealed as his accessories were adjudged quit thereof; and [Richard] craves that this be allowed in his favour. And Ralph could not deny this, and besides in his appeal he made no mention of sight or hearing; so it is considered that the appeal is null, and let him be in mercy.

Geoffrey Dilun appeals Alan of Pierpont of the said death. Alan is absent. And the jurors, on being asked to whom Alan returned and and who received him after the appeal was first amde, say that he was often received after that by William of Pierpont his brother, and William has confessed this. Afterwards came William and made fine in respect of this receipt [of his brother] with 100 shillings, for which John L'Estrange is pledge. Geoffrey's amercement, a half-mark. And let Alan return if he will, for the appeal is null for the reason aforesaid.

Hundred of Bradford

8 Elyas of Lilleshall fled to church for the death of a woman slain at Lilleshall. He had no chattels. He confessed the death and abjured the realm.

Alice Crithecreche and Eva of Lilleshall and Aldith and Mabel, Geoffrey and Robert of Lilleshall, and Peter of Hopton were taken for the death of the said woman slain at Lilleshall. And Alice, at once after the death, fled to the county of Stafford with some of the chattels of the slain, so it is said, and was taken in that county and brought back into Shropshire and there, as the king's serjeant and many knights and lawful men of the county testify, in their presence she said, that at night she heard a tumult in the house of the slain; whereupon she came to the door and looked in, and saw through the middle of the doorway four men in the house, and they came out and caught her, and threatened to kill her unless she would conceal them; and so they gave her the pelf that she had. And when she came before the justices [in eyre] she denied all this. Therefore she has deserved death, but by way of dispensation [the sentence is mitigated, so] let her eyes be torn out. The others are not suspected, therefore let them be under pledges.

9 Richard Wigun appeals William the Reeve of Ercall, for that he received in his house outlaws of the king, to wit, Fulk FitzWarin and his companions; and this he offers to prove etc. And William comes and defends all of it and offers the king one mark for an inquest. His offering is accepted; Hugh Pantulf is pledge [for its payment]. The jurors say, and the whole county testifies, that he is not guilty thereof, and that he is a lawful man, and that Richard appeals him out of spite that he may have certain land which he claims against him. So let William be quit thereof and Richard be in mercy. And be it known that this receipt [of outlaws] took place, according to Richard's story, three years ago and he never made mention of it until St. John's day last past.

Borough of Shrewsbury

10 Jordan, son of Warin, appealed Reiner Read, for that he in the king's peace and wickedly assaulted him and cutt off his fingers, so that he is maimed; and this he offers to prove against him as a maimed man. And Reiner comes and defends the assault and the felony and the mayhem, and says that on a former occasion this appeal came before Sir Geoffrey FitzPeter, Earl of Essex, and by his leave a concord was made between them, so that [Jordan] remitted him from that appeal for ten marks which [Reiner] paid him; and he offers the king two marks for an inquest by the county and lawful men of the town of Shrewsbury (to wit, the jurors), to find whether a concord was thus made between them by licence of Sir Geoffrey FitzPeter in consideration of the ten marks paid by [Reiner] to [Jordan].

The Abbots Hundred of Foregate

11 William, John's son, appeals Walter, son of Ralph Hose, for that when [William's] lord Guy of Shawbury and [William] had come from attending the pleas of our lord the king in the county court of Shropshire, there came five men in the forest of Haughmond and there in the king's peace and wickedly assaulted his lord Guy, and so that [Walter], who was the fourth among those five, wounded Guy and was accessory with the others in force ans aid so that Guy his lord was killed, and after having wounded his lord he [Walter] came to William and held him so that he could not aid his lord; and this he offers to deraign against him as the court shall consider. And Walter comes and defends all of it word by word as the court etc. It is considered that there be battle between them. The battle is waged. Day is given them, at Oxford on the morrow of the octave of All Saints, and then let them come armed. And Ralph [Walter's father] gives the king a half-mark that he may have the custody of his son, [for which sum] the pledges are John of Knighton and Reiner of Acton, and he is committed to the custody of Ralph Hose, Reiner of Acton, John of Knighton, Reginald of Leigh, Adam of Mcuklestone, William of Bromley, Stephen of Ackleton, Eudo of Mark.


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

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