arrowcase: Elizabeth Brown, Marion Lauson  c. Laurence Gilis    p-link   Results Format: Summary Full

case detail
typeMarriage
date25 Oct., 4 Nov., 28 Nov., 22 Dec. 1491; 14 Mar., 16 Mar., 27 Mar., 21 May 1492
competitor suit
sourceLondon Metropolitan Archives, MS DL/C/A/001/MS09065: 1r-3v, 85r-86v, 89r-93r, 99v-104r, 105v-107r, 110v-111r
remarks:
depositions
1491-10-25: William Alston, Witness for Plaintiff
Testifies that he witnessed a present contract between Elizabeth Brown and Laurence Gilis, 10 August 1491, at the house of John de Grave, beermaker, in the parish of St. Boltuph without Aldgate. Responds to a series of interrogatories questioning him about the details and about his dealings with Elizabeth Brown`s proctors.

1491-10-25: John Waldron, Witness for Plaintiff
Agrees with previous witness, William Alston.

1491-11-04: Margaret Smyth, Witness for Plaintiff
Testifies that on 27 August 1491 she heard Laurence Gilis say that he and Elizabeth Brown had agreed to marry but that his friends and family objected, and thus that he thought it would not come about. Testifies that Brown and William Taylor (Alston?) told her Brown had received two shillings from Gilis as a marriage gift. Testifies that Gilis and Brown are reputed as husband and wife in some areas of London. Responds to a series of interrogatories questioning her about the details and about her dealings with Elizabeth Brown`s proctors.

1491-11-28: John Asshford, Witness for Competitor Suit
Testifies that he witnessed a present contract between Marion Lauson and Laurence Gilis, in Lauson`s house, around 18 October 1491. Testifies that he twice heard banns issued between them. Testifies that Lauson and Gilis are reputed as husband and wife in the parishes of St. Botulph and St. Andrew. Testifies he would rather Lauson win the case, as she is an honest woman, while Elizabeth Brown, as he has heard, is dishonest with many men.

1491-11-28: Sir William Walker, Witness for Competitor Suit
Agrees with previous witness, John Asshford, adding that the date was 22 October 1491. As chaplain, he says that he instructed them on how to contract using the correct matrimonial words.

1491-11-28: William Kyrkeham, Witness for Competitor Suit
Agrees with previous witness, John Asshford.

1491-11-28: Thomas Smyth, Witness for Competitor Suit
Agrees with previous witness, John Asshford.

1491-11-28: Godfrey Speryng, Witness for Competitor Suit
Testifies that he witnessed a promise of marriage between Laurence Gilis and Marion Lauson, 17 October 1491, and a present contract between them, 21-22 October 1491. Testifies that he would prefer Lauson win the case as he thinks she is a woman of “better opinion and fame” than Elizabeth Brown.

1491-12-22: John Harries, Witness for Competitor Suit
Deposing regarding the reputation of Elizabeth Brown`s witnesses, testifies in some detail, from his office as beadle of Langbourn ward, concerning witness Margaret Smyth`s past as a tapster, adulteress, and prostitute in various parts of London and environs.

1491-12-22: William Grene, Witness for Competitor Suit
Deposing regarding the reputation of Elizabeth Brown`s witnesses, testifies, by virtue of his office as constable at Stewside, to first-hand encounters with previous witness John Waldron`s disreputable past as a brothel-keeper.

1491-12-22: Ralph Bothumley, Witness for Competitor Suit
Deposing regarding the reputation of Elizabeth Brown`s witnesses, testifies to having witnessed the disreputable behaviour and living of previous witnesses William Alston and John Waldron. Both, he alleges, were adulterous and Waldron had run a brothel in Stewside and acted as a bawd for a prostitute in St. Katherine`s by the Tower. Testifies that around 24 June 1491 he hired Waldron to cart dung away and while working he stole a shovel and a gown from another worker.

1491-12-22: William Forster, Witness for Competitor Suit
Deposing regarding the reputation of Elizabeth Brown`s witnesses, testifies that John Waldron operated a brothel for two years at Stewside, and that he was present at the court there when Waldron launched suits for trespass and debts against men and against women who are prostitutes. Testifies that, as a result of those suits, this witness arrested many people in Waldron`s name.

1491-12-22: John Travers, Witness for Competitor Suit
Deposing regarding the reputation of Elizabeth Brown`s witnesses, he agrees with previous witness, William Grene, adding that while he himself was constable, he arrested John Waldron for his fines as a brothel-owner and for suits brought against him by his prostitutes and others. Testifies that while Waldron lived at Stewside, he had a reputation for fostering lechery and for associating with “the knights of the Post,” notorious perjurers at Westminster.

1491-12-22: John Colyns, Witness for Competitor Suit
Deposing regarding the reputation of Elizabeth Brown`s witnesses, testifies that as John Waldron`s landlord at the inn at the sign of the Rose in Stewside, he witnessed Waldron`s disreputable behaviour and living as a brothel-keeper, bawd, and adulterer. Testifies to Waldron`s breaking of oaths, and to his reputation as a perjurer, vagabond, bawd, adulterer, and as a man who associated with the most notorious of perjurers.

1491-12-22: Richard Keys, Witness for Competitor Suit
Deposing regarding the reputation of Elizabeth Brown`s witnesses, agrees with previous witness Ralph Bothumley regarding Waldron, adding that he often cited William Alston to appear at court for adultery and incontinence (with Alston himself frequently admitting to being an adulterer) and that Alston is reputed as an adulterer and vagabond. Testifies that Margaret Morgan (Smyth) was reputed a prostitute during the three years she lived in the precinct of the hospital of St. Katherine, and was forced to leave along with the other prostitutes on 24 August 1491. Testifies that John Waldron never had a household of his own within the hospital precinct and that he was a vagabond who it was commonly said frequently committed adultery with Elizabeth (Margaret) Dymmok and stayed with her in her house.

1491-12-22: Peter James, Witness for Competitor Suit
Agrees with previous witness, Ralph Bothumley, except that he knows nothing of William Alston`s admissions regarding adultery. Testifies that John Waldron consorted with prostitutes and “dishonest women” in the hospital precinct, and was reputed to be a man of ill fame, a vagabond, and a bawd.

1492-03-14: Reginald Redemayn (a Redemayn), Witness for Plaintiff
Deposing regarding the reputation of Laurence Gilis`s witnesses, testifies that he was present 24 June 1490 at the court at the precinct of the Hospital of St. Katherine when Ralph Bothumley admitted stealing a hat and a hood and around March 1491 when Bothumley was found guilty of bawdry, and that for the past five or six years within the precinct of St. Katherine he has been considered a disreputable man and a bawd. Testifies that John Waldron is a man of good reputation who has been living honestly as a carpenter in the precinct of the Hospital of St. Katherine. Testifies that he was present around 1479-80 when Richard Keys gave false testimony in the court at Lewisham and was recognized by the steward and jury as a perjurer. Testifies that on 25 December 1491 Keys received payment in kind for his testimony in this case. Testifies that William Alston is a man of good reputation within the precinct of St. Katherine who lives honestly as a tailor. Testifies that around 1479-80 Peter James was elected proctor of the guild of St. Anthony in the monastery of Graces; he stole the mass chalice and other ornaments from the fraternity and spent them “overseas,” causing the fraternity`s dissolution.

1492-03-14: William Barker, Witness for Plaintiff
Deposing regarding the reputation of Laurence Gilis`s witnesses, agrees with previous witness, Reginald Redemayn, regarding Bothumley. Testifies that Richard Keys is reputed a bawd and that he heard one of his neighbours call him such; he believes Keys is a man of “ill fame and light conscience” and a perjurer who if bribed will swear for anyone in court. Testifies that he has heard that Keys was convicted of perjury in the court of Lewisham. Testifies that on 25 Christmas 1491 Laurence Gilis gave Keys a “kilderkin of double beer” as, he believes, payment for his testimony in this case. Testifies that John Waldron lived honestly and industriously as a tenant within the precinct of St. Katherine.

1492-03-14: John Shreve, Witness for Plaintiff
Deposing regarding the reputation of Laurence Gilis`s witnesses, testifies to having witnessed William Grene`s dishonourable living, and that he is a man of ill reputation who operated a brothel at Stewside (as he himself witnessed while about his work as a carpenter). Regarding Keys`s previous perjury conviction, he agrees with previous witness, Reginald Redemayn, and adds that he was told by a man who witnessed the trial, Fissher, that the exact date was 6 July 1479. Testifies that Fissher and Elizabeth Brown also told him that Laurence Gilis gave Keys a barrel of beer on 25 December for his testimony. Testifies that John Waldron earns a living as a sawyer and has lived at St. Katherine`s for a year.

1492-03-15: Robert Harrison, Witness for Plaintiff
Deposing regarding the reputation of Laurence Gilis`s witnesses, testifies to having witnessed William Grene`s dishonourable living, stating that he married the bawd and landlady of the brothel at the sign of the Hart`s Horn; that they “foster[ed] bawdry” for a year after their solemnization while they lived at the inn; that even after having moved away he is still affiliated with the inn through his servants/prostitutes; and that he has been reputed a bawd since the time he lived at the inn. Agrees with previous witness, Reginald Redemayn, regarding William Alston, adding that Alston has been a man of “good and honest conversation” for the past twelve years. Testifies that William Forster is reputed to have committed perjury on juries at Westminster, the Marshalsea, and the Clink. Testifies that John Travers is a thief; goods that were stolen from a Franciscan house were later found in Travers` home at Stewside.

1492-03-15: Henry Bulman, Witness for Plaintiff
Deposing regarding the reputation of Laurence Gilis`s witnesses, agrees with previous witness, Robert Harrison regarding William Grene`s activities at Stewside; he knows about it because he used to sell cloth there. Testifies to the good reputation and positive character of John Waldron and William Alston, who earn their living as a sawyer and a tailor respectively.

1492-03-15: John Barton, Witness for Plaintiff
Deposing regarding the reputation of Laurence Gilis`s witnesses, agrees with previous witness, Henry Bulman, regarding Grene, Waldron, and Alston, adding that he witnessed first-hand over the last six or seven years John Colyns`s recruitment of prostitutes for his brothels at Westminster and elsewhere.

1492-03-27: William Butteler, Witness for Plaintiff
Deposing regarding the reputation of Laurence Gilis`s witnesses, testifies to William Grene`s poor reputation at Stewside as a bawd and as a man who “greatly delighted in speaking vituperative and joking words,” which he himself often heard directly. Testifies that Ralph Bothumley was arrested and imprisoned for theft. Testifies that previous witnesses John Waldron and William Alston are “men of good fame and honest disposition” and are reputed as such in the precinct of St. Katherine. Testifies that John Colyns owns two tenements in which “common bawds and receivers of prostitutes live.” Testifies that Richard Keys is reputed a perjurer in the precinct of St. Katherine, and that he was present in court at Lewisham both when Keys swore that John Totehyll`s testimony was true and when, during his own suit in the court the same day against William Sawyer, the judge commented that Keys was a perjurer. Testifies that Peter James, as recently elected warden of the fraternity of St. Anthony, stole the fraternity`s chalice along with some other ornaments and, having never returned them, caused the dissolution of the fraternity.

1492-05-21: Laurence Gilis, Response of Defendant
Admits that he contracted marriage with Marion Lauson and procured the solemnization of their marriage despite a court inhibition from doing so. Responds that he procured the solemnization at the church of St. Giles in the Fields at the advice of Master Ridon. Denies having contracted marriage with Elizabeth Brown. Responds that the solemnization took place on 12 February 1492.

1492-05-21: Marion Lauson, Witness for Plaintiff
Responds that she contracted marriage with Laurence Gilis before the court inhibition and that they procured its solemnization on the advice of Master Ridon on 30 January 1492 after the inhibition. Admits that she called Elizabeth a strong whore.