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Oxford vs. Richard Payne, John Lennard, Edward Barthdell, Anthonye Barthdell, et al. (1587)

PRO STAC5/O3/35/2 (separate answer of Richard Whalley)

Iurat' xxixno Noue{m}br{is} A{nn}o xxxmo Elizabeth{e} Regine [29 November 1587]

The severall aunswere of Richarde Whalley one of the defend{an}t{es} to the Bill of Complaynt of the Righte honorable the nowe Earle of Oxford playntyffe

The said defend{an}t by and for himselfe sayethe that albeit by the Opynion of his Councell the said Bill and the matters therein Complayned of, agaynste this defend{an}t are in lawe insuffycyente and suche as this defend{an}t ys not Compellable by this Course of suyte to aunswere vnto in this honorable Courte, speciallye for that the same offences (yf this defend{an}t were Culpable of the same as he is not,) are to be called in question and punyshed in other degree then this honorable Courte vsethe to gyve sentence in as \\he// this defend{an}t{es} Councelll (vnder Correcc{i}on of the same Courte) dothe Conceyue yt Nevertheles for the full Clearinge of this defend{an}t frome the said supposed abuses and mysdemeanors in the Bill specified, of w{hi}ch he this defend{an}t by the said Byll standeth vniustlye accused. And for the better satysfyinge of this honorable Courte touchinge his entermedlinge in or w{i}th the sayd wrytt of Exigent, specyfyed in the said Byll, layde to his Chardge, he the sayd defend{an}t (savinge to himselfe ^\\nowe and att all tymes hereafter// the benefitt of Excepc{i}on to the vncerteyntye and insufficiencye of the sayd Byll) saythe, that as to the Cuttinge or paringe of the sayde wrytt of Exigent, or of the Retorne thereof, and as to all and everye suche other the mysdemeanors and abuses in the Byll specyfyed as are examynable in this honorable Courte and wherewithe this defend{an}t ys in enywyse Chardged or burthened in or by the sayd Byll, he this defend{an}t saythe that he is not Culpable or guyltye of the same or of enye of theme in manner and forme as in the sayde Byll is suggested, And for further aunswere saythe that true yt is that he this defend{an}t hayth ben reteyninge in and towardes the said offyce of Custos br{eu}iu{m} mencyoned in the sayd Byll by the space of these sixe yeares laste paste as he taketh yt, That ys to saye, firste Servaunte vnto Wyllyam fforrest decessed late deputye in the sayd offyce and afterwardes Clerke there vnto Mr Iohn Lennarde mencioned in the sayd Bill And that he this defend{an}t by and durynge all the sayd tyme, never harde or knewe of anye searche questyon or demaund to be had or made (to his knowledge) of or for the said wrytt of Exigent mencyoned in the said Byll vntyll about{es} [sic] the begynninge of Eastere Terme laste paste, att w{hi}ch tyme he this defend{an}t by the requeste of one Iohn Tanner of Clyfford{es} Inne made searche for the said writt of Exigente in the sayd Byll specyfyed att a place att Westmynster called St Stephens where greate nombers of wrytt{es} and Recordes p{er}teyninge to the Custos br{eu}iu{m} office are, and as he haith harde, of longe tyme paste haue ben kepte in Chestes, havinge then in his compagnye one David Howell servaunte vnto the said Mr Lennnarde and Booke bearer in the same office, And after suche tyme as he this defend{an}t had founde out the said writt of Exigente, he the same defend{an}t presentlye w{i}thout readinge over of the same or the retorne therof, Caused the said David Howell (as the Course is,) to bringe the whole bundel of the writt{es} of that Retorne wherof the said exigent was one frome the said place of Westmynster called St Stephens vnto his said M{aste}rs offyce of Custos br{eu}iu{m} then and yett beinge kepte at Lyncolns Inne where the sayd bundell was layde amongest other Bundels there accordinge to the vsuall manner thereof. And this defend{an}t sayth, that in what plyte state and degree the said wrytt of Exigent and the retorne thereof was att that tyme, when this defend{an}t founde out the same att Westmynster vpon the foresaid serche and firste vewe thereof, in the selfe same plyte state and degree and in noe other for anye thinge this defend{an}t haythe donne, or dothe knowe to the Contrarye thereof, the said wrytt of Exigent and the Retorne thereof nowe is and ever haythe ben, duringe al his tyme of beinge Seru{au}nte or Clerke in and towardes the said Offyce, and afterwardes the said Davyd Howell as this defend{an}t remembreth (vpon the daye of the Iurye retorned, or tryall hadd, in the Courte of the King{es} benche, of and Concerninge the Cawse then in variaunce ^\\touchinge land{es}// in the Byll specyfyed) by the appoyntmente or Commandem{en}t of the said Mr Lennard or of Wyllyam Stamforde the said Mr Lennardes deputye, brought the Bundell wherein the sayd writt of Exigente was fyled, to Westmynster Hall amongste other Bundells of writt{es}, and layde theme in or neare the Courte of Comon pleas in a e where suche said writt{es} are Commonly layde when theye are thyther brought. And the sayd Wyllyam Stamforde and this defend{an}t or the one of theme, by the appoynmente [sic] of the said Mr Lennarde there Mayster Caryed the said Bundell where in the said Exigente remayned soe fyled to the Iustices of the Kinges Benche, beinge then sittinge in Courte whoe (as he harde) had sende for the same, and theire shewed theme the said writt, And the nexte daye followinge the foresaid Bundell wherein the said Exigente soe remayned, beinge broughte to the said Hall, the same was in lyke manner Carryed and shewed, the same daye in the said Courte of King{es} Benche the w{hi}ch are all the supposed, Carryinge and Conveyinge of the said writt of Exigente frome hande to hande to sundrye p{er}son or p{er}sons att the will and pleasure of the said Richard Payne, w{hi}ch this defend{an}t ever made, of or w{i}th the said wrytt of Exigent, out of the said offyce, as in by the said Bill is surmysed, savinge that this defend{an}t and the said Wyllyam Stamford or the one of theme, att and by the ### requeste of the Right honorable the nowe Lord Treasurer of England Carryed and shewed ^\\to his Lordshipp// by theire said Maysters appoyntment the said writt of Exigente soe remayninge vpon the said Bundell or fyle as is aforesaid, Without that that he this defend{an}t did Confederate himselfe w{i}th the said Iohn Lennard Richard Payne Wyllyam Stamford Edward Barthlett Anthony Barthlett and Thomas Moore, or w{i}th everye or enye of theme, or w{i}th enye other for or Concerninge enye suche purposes or entent{es} as in the said Bill is alledged. And without that, that, this defend{an}t dyd by the willinge suffrance or delyverye of the said Iohn Lennard take or Convey out of the said Office of Custos br{eu}iu{m} the said wrytt of Exigent solye, or amonge manye other writt{es} together of one bundell, and the same Caryed, frome place to place att the will and pleasure of the said Richarde Payne, vnto suche p{er}son & p{er}sons as the same Mr Payne dyd appoynte, otherwyse or in anye other manner, then as is before trulye Confessed, vnles the same Bundell was Caryed into the Inner Temple and theire layde in a cheeste standinge in a Chappell att ^\\or neare the// Churche there amongste sundrye Bundells of other writt{es} p{er}teyninge to the said offyce of Custos br{eu}iu{m} vnto w{hi}ch said Chappell or Churche the said Bundell as he taketh yt might lawfullye be Caryed and remayne, and yet to this defend{an}t{es} knowledge, the said writt of Exigent or Bundell was never in his tyme in anye Cheste Chappell or other place in the said Inner Temple, And w{i}thout that that the said writt of Exigent became and soe was nere pared, or in p{ar}te Cutt awaye vpon the edge of the same as that the said number of xxj in the Byll specyfyed, was made but (xx) viz by Cuttinge awaye the l{ett}re j by or w{i}th the pryvytye, Consente knowledge or procurem{en}t of this defend{an}t in suche manner and forme as in the said Byll ys surmysed. And w{i}thout that that enye thinge els, in the said Byll specifyed, touchinge or Concerninge this defend{an}t and in this aunswere not sufficientlye aunswered, Confessed and avoyded, traversed or denyed is true to the knowledge of this defend{an}t, All w{hi}ch matters this defend{an}t is readye to aver and prove as this honorable Courte shall awarde, And prayethe that he maye be dismyssed out of the same w{i}th his resonable Costes in this behalfe wrongfullye susteyned:

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