Manuscripts and Special Collections

Mi 5/168/23/1: Extract from bill of complaint relating to the abduction and forced marriage of Jane Sacheverell (1485, English)

Transcript

to the nombre of an C persones and moo Riotously and disensibily arraied in Maner of Warre the seid xj day
of nouembre felonously ley in a wayte in a wode called Boroweswode bytwene the seid Manoures of Hopwell
and Morley to RŠuysshe and to Robbe the seid Jane ayenst oure seid soueraine lordes lawes and his peace
then and there Made assaute vppon the seid Jane and her toke and bound her fast vnto a man on
horsbake and with grete violence and force led her by nygth tyme in to the Shire of Nothingham vnto a place
of Sir Robert Markham knygth and from thens to leycester Shire and from thens to a place of the seid Herry
Willoughby called Middelton in the Shire of Warrwick and putt her in Suche fere and manase that
she was in poynte to haue perisshed and distroied and then and ther toke from her a pece prece of
xl shillings and vj Spones of syluer prece xxvj shillings viij pence of the goodes of the seid Jane and ouere that the
seid Richard Willoughby violently and greuously manasseth and yete doth the same Jane to Cary her
in to Straunge Contrey to her vtter vndoyng and distruction and ther to do his plesure with her as his owen
will withoute that she well consent and be aggreable vnto his unsatiable and riotouse entent

Translation

[On the 11th day of November last, Jane then being at the manor of Hopwell, intended to go to the manor of Morley, but Henry Willoughby of Middleton, Richard Curson of Wollaton, Richard Willoughby of Wollaton, Henry Boson of Nottinghamshire, Hugh Willoughby of Risley, and others,] to the number of 100 persons and more, riotously and defensively clothed as if for war, feloniously lay waiting in a wood called Boroweswode [Burrow Wood, Spondon] between the said manor of Hopwell and Morley, to ravish and rob the said Jane [Sacheverell] against our said sovereign lord [the Kingĺs] laws and his peace. Then and there they made assault upon the said Jane, and took her and bound her fast to a man on horseback, and with great violence and force led her by night time into Nottinghamshire, to a place belonging to Sir Robert Markham, knight, and from thence to Leicestershire, and from thence to a place belonging to the said Henry Willoughby called Middleton in Warwickshire. They put her in such fear and menace that she was in a situation to have perished and been destroyed, and then and there they took from her a peace price of 40 shillings and 6 spoons of silver, priced at 26 shillings 8 pence, from the goods of the said Jane. And more than that, the said Richard Willoughby violently and greviously menaced and yet caused the said Jane to be carried into an unknown country, to her utter undoing and destruction, and there to do his pleasure with her at his own will, without her consenting and being agreeable to his insatiable and riotous intent.

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