Three years pass and John Owen’s previous fine does not appear to have made him alter
his ways. Edward Clarke accumulates a raft of evidence with which to confront John
Owen at the Quarter Sessions held at Bridgewater.
Q\SR/126 Quarter Session Rolls for 1675
The information of John Courtine and Charles Truly against John Owen.
The information of Justinian Milton and Thomas Peeke against John Owen.
The information of Justinian Milton of Milverton in
the county aforesaid serge maker taken upon oath the
second day of July in the 27th yeare of the raigne of
our soveraigne Lord King Charles the second ob er England
yr Ano(gz) Domi 1675 before Edward Clarke of
Chipley in the said County Esq. One of his majesties
Justices of the peace for the County aforesaid.
Who sayeth that a little before midsummer sessions last he
was warned by John Owen of Milverton aforesaid to serve as
a freeholder for the hundred of Milverton aforesaid at the
last generall sessions of the peace held at Bridgewater
and that he the said Milton complaininge that he was a poore
man and noe freeholder, the said John Owen demanded and
tooke one shilling of him to excuse him and strike him out of
his list and put in another. the marke of
Edward Clarke Esq Justinian Milton
The information of Thomas Peeke of Milverton aforesaid labourer taken as aforesaid.
Who sayeth that some time after midsummer last he was warned
by the said John Owen about fouer of the clocke in the afternoone
to appeare at Bridgewater sessions aforesaid the next day by
by eight of the clocke to serve the sessions as a freeholder
for the hundred of Milverton aforesaid, and that he the said Peecke
being aged about sixty six yeares, and a poore man and noe
Freeholder and thereby not able to appeare, he was amerced,
as he understands, and paid six shillings and eight pence
for the amercement* unto one Richard Bulger and William
Wey neer Woollavington, greenway men as they reported
themselves to be. And further sayeth that he the said
Owen since promised to return the said six shillings and eight
pence unto this informant, if he would not make any
further question about it.
the marke of
Edward Clarke Esq Thomas Peecke
Was the common punishment for most crimes of lesser gravity, since there was no extensive
prison system in the Middle Ages. Today we would use the term "fine", but in medieval
England this had a slightly different application, being a sum of money paid voluntarily
(although still with a compensatory connotation, and usually after some kind of formal
legal or quasi-legal proceeding) to some other individual – often the king – in return
for the grant of some right (e.g. freeman's status), benefit, or property.