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John Owen of Milverton, 1672 and 1675

Innholder and Bayliff of the Hundred of Milverton.

 

 

Q\SR/116 Quarter Session Rolls for 1672

 

Folio 56

The information of Robert Old and Richard More and William Staddon against John Owen, taken before John Turbervill.

 

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Q/SO/6 Quarter Session Order book. Date 1665-1676

 

Page 1041 The summary

 

John Owen is found guilty and a whole page of the Order Book is taken up with the record of the Sessions decision.

 

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Folio 18

The information of Mathew Warren and Katherine Farmer against John Owen.

 

The information of Mathew Warren aforesaid butcher taken as aforesaid.

Who sayeth that the said Charles Truly imployed him

this informant to compound for him with the said Owen

as aforesaid which he did accordingly and paid him and paid his him two shillings and six pence on the behalfe

of the said Truly, where upon the said Owen promised

to forward any furthur and secured agaignst the said

Truly with said two shillings and six pence the said

Truly had paid unto this informant.

Edward Clarke             the marke of

                              Mathew Warren

 

The information of Katherine Farmer of Milverton aforesaid spinster taken as aforesaid.

 

Who sayeth that about fyve weecks last past shee

heard the said John Owen agree with the said John

Courtine for fyve and twenty shillings to discharge him

xxx and secured against him the said Courtine in the

Exchequor and to provide a lycence for him the said

Courtine to buy and sell corne and other goods from one

market to another as he wished and that the said lycence

should continue as long as he the said Owen should like

and that he would give the said Courtine a Bill under his

hand for performance there of.

Edward Clarke     Katherine Farmer

    Esq

 

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Special thanks to Jane de Gruchy, Archivist, of Somerset Record Office for her invaluable help in transcribing this piece.

 

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Q/SO/6 Quarter Session Order book. Date 1665-1676

 

1672

For this series of misdemeanours he appears before the court and is fined £40

 

Folio 20

The information of George Triggs and  Robert Coram against John Owen.

 

The information of George Triggs of Milverton

aforesaid Searge weaver taken as aforesaid.

 

Who sayeth that he was sumoned by the said John

Owen about seaven of the clocke in the evening to appeare

at the sessions by eight of the clocke the next morninge

and serve as a freeholder there as aforesaid, and this informant

being a poore man and noe Freeholder and as he -----

not be able to serve in the said jury did not appeare at the

said sessionse whereupon, as he understands, he was

amerced, and that sometime thereafter the said Bulger and

the said Wey haveing broken open this informants doore to take

(distrement) for the aforesaid amercement he this informant

paid the said Owen and the said Wey six shillings and eight

pence for the said amercement and that the said Owen since

alsoe promised to repay the six shillings and eight

pence to this informant, if he would make noe further

question or complaint about it.

Edward Clarke                                    the marke of

               Esq                                George     Triggs

 

The information of Robert Coram of Milverton

aforesaid in the County aforesaid fuller taken as aforesaid.

 

Who sayeth that he was warned by John Owen to appeare

at Bridgewater sessions last to serve as a freeholder

there for the hundred of Milverton, whereuppon this

informant complaining that he was a poore man and noe

freeholder the said Owen replyed and told this informant

that if he would give him one shilling and six pence, the

said Owen would execuse this informant from goeing to the

said sessions and that this informant did thereupon give him

the said Owen one shilling and six pence to be excused from

the same which the said Owen tooke and accepted of accordingly

he further sayeth that the said Owen since warned this

informant to serve as a freeholder at Ivelchester sessions

last past as a jury man there for the Hundred aforesaid

and demanded of him six pence to excuse him as aforesaid

whereupon this informant sent the said Owen one horse

(ladinge of mores for fizing) worth six pence to be

excused from the same which the said Owen alsoe accepted of.

 

Edward Clarke                                           Signed

                Esq                                  Robert will Coram

 

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The information of John Courtine of Nynehead

in the county aforesaid labourer taken upon oath

the fifthe day of July Ano Domi 1675 before Edward

Clarke of Shipley Esq. one of his majesties Justices

of the peace for the county aforesaid.

Somerset

 

Who sayeth that sometime before Easter period last past John

Owen of Milverton summoned this informant to appeare

in his majesties courte of exchequor in easter period aforesaid

upon paine of one hundred pounds whereupon this informant

tooke order for his appearance accordingly, but in somme

tyme thereafter the said Owen meeting with this informant

did agree for fyve and twenty shillings to discharge his

and secured and secured against him this informant and to pruvide

him a lycence to doe the same things for which the said Owen

did and excuse him in the exchequor and that since that

tyme the said Owen sent to this informant for the said money

or else he the said Owen would and need in this and secured against

him as William Burdge of Nynehead told him.

Edward Clarke                                          the marke of

     Esq                                                   John Courtine

 

The information of Charles Truly of Oke in the said County labourer taken as aforesaid.

 

Who sayeth that about Christmas last past he imployed

one Matthew Warren of Milverton to compound with John

Owen of Milverton aforesaid, who sent him many threats

that he would yet presse against him this informant

out of the sessions or the exchequor, but for what

cause he knoweth not, whereupon to avoid trouble

that the said Owen might put this informant unto,

the said Warren did, as this informant understands,

compound with the said Owen for this informant and paid

him two shillings and six pence and thereupon the said Owen

promised he would forwarde further and secured against

him the said Truly with said two shillings and six pence this

informant sayeth he ad paid unto the said Warren.

Edward Clarke                                          Charles Truly

     Esq

 

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Even though he has been found guilty of taking money, without good reason, from the citizens of Milverton, he is not dismissed from the office of bailiff and continues with his work.

 

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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

 

Folio 17

The information of John Courtine and Charles Truly against John Owen.

Folio 19

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.

Somerset

 

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

 

* amercement

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.

 

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It seems strange to me that he was previously fined £40, for extorting money. Yet on his second appearance in court dismissal from his job would appear to be his only punishment.

 

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