There is only one mention of Outlawry in the Records, viz.:

On 14th January, 1658-1659, the Traverse was respited between the Lord Protector and Richard Straw "because Theo Gee, a maine witness for ye Lord Protector cannot appeare to give evidence for feare of an outlawry against him."


There are two instances of the King's Pardon being obtained.

On 12th January, 1624-1625, Jacob Peary, alias Pearson of North Collingham, Clerk, and two gentlemen of North Collingham named Samuel Sheppard and Benjamin Sheppard, were tried by jury, found guilty and fined for "riot in Church."

On the 4th October, 1626, "Samuel Sheppard, of North Collingham, gentleman, attended and alleges to the Court that the lord the King by his letters patent under his great seal of England, &c. dated at Westminster 10th February in the first year of his reign has by special grace pardoned remitted and released Samuel Sheppard among other things all and singular the riots routs unlawful assemblies conventicles and trespasses by himself alone or with any other person or any other persons at any time or any times before the aforesaid 10th February in whatsoever way had done committed or perpetrated although the same Samuel Sheppard be or be not indicted adjudged outlawed convicted or condemned concerning the premises or any of the premises and all and singular the judgments outlawries imprisonments fines and forfeitures whatever for the same or any of them."

On the 3rd October, 1688, an order was made that Wm Kellett "bee discharged of his Imprisonment pleading ye benefit of ye King's Pardon."


The following records of Verdicts of "Not Guilty" are interesting:

On 13th January, 1653-1654, a laborer's wife charged with petty larceny proved herself not guilty nor did fly for it."

On 3rd October, 1655, Hellen Cookson indicted for stealing one sacke of the value of 6d was found 'not guilty thereof nor that she did fly for it." On 10th October, 1656, Richard Sample, prisoner at ye barre, was found not guilty of stealing a haberdine " nor that he fled for it."

It is not clear what is meant by the words "nor did fly for it."

It has been suggested that the words probably have reference to the ancient custom of refuge of sanctuary. This custom, owing to the uncertainty of trials in those days, was frequently resorted to by a person who had not committed any crime, if he found himself in peril of arrest; and when a person charged might have fled for refuge but did not do so, relying rather on the merits of his defence, such confidence on the part of the prisoner might have gone a long way to satisfy the Court of his innocence of the charge. The privilege of sanctuary was done away with before the date of the entries, but it is quite possible that the custom, which had prevailed for so many centuries, did not cease with the passing of the Statute.


In 1634 a sheep stealer claimed the benefit of Clergy:

On 18th April, 1634, Joell Sleeford was found guilty of stealing three sheep whereupon it was allowed to him if he has or knows anything to say for himself why punishment of death ought not upon him to be pronounced according to the Law and custom of this Kingdom of England And that Joell demanding a book is handed over to the ordinary who certifies to the Court here that the aforesaid Joel reads as a Clerk Thereupon it is ordered that the aforesaid Joel be branded in the right hand according to law, and may go quit."

This case is of interest as it indicates that at this date Quarter Sessions had jurisdiction to deal with capital cases, the prisoner being challenged by the Court to say why punishment of death should not be pronounced.

Privilege of Clergy consisted originally in the right claimed by the clergy to be free from the jurisdiction of the Lay Courts and to be subject to the Ecclesiastical Courts.

As a matter of fact the mode of trial in use in the Ecclesiastical Courts was so advantageous to the accused that benefit of Clergy was invariably claimed by all persons entitled thereto, and sometimes by persons who were not so entitled. The benefit was afterwards extended to everyone who knew how to read or had the slightest pretence to learning. It gradually became a mere farce and was abolished in 1827.

The following quaint old verse is worth quoting:

If a monk had been taken
For stealing of Bacon,
For Burglary, murder or rape;
If he could rehearse
(Well prompt) a neck-verse,
He never could fail to escape.

The "neck-verse" selected was the beginning of the 51st Psalm.


The following entries are interesting by reason of the claim of privilege set up by one of the defendants:

On 5th May, 1641, John Moseley. Doctor of Divinity, Robt. Moseley his sonne, Thos. Goodwin his household servant, and others, were indicted for forcibly holding a Messuage. Dr. Moseley came into the Court and declared he was a "Clark of the Convocacon during the present Parliament and therefore claymed by way of privilege to have the proceedings therein stayed." Notwithstanding, the evidence was given and the Indictment was found by the Jury. Thereupon restitution of possession was moved by the Counsel for the prosecutor but the Court thought fit to certifie the Indictment into the King's Bench.

On 6th October, 1641, John Moseley and others indicted with him were called into Court to prosecute the traverse of three indictments to which he and they had formerly appeared pleaded and put themselves upon issue, and all three indictments were ready for triall, "whereupon he came into Court and claymed the privilege of the Parliament being the Clark of the Convocacon House And because this Court was not willing to trench upon the liberties and privileges of that Honourable Court" it was ordered that the same Indictments shall be proceeded in and tried at the first Sessions of the Peace at this place (Newark) for the sayd Countie 'after the first Session of this Parliament ended of which order both the prosecutor and the defendants now present in Court have knowledged."

There are several entries in regard to what is termed "a writ of Priviledge," for instance:

On 13th July, 1677, it was Ordered that a "Writ of priviledge issue out of this Court to ye Sheriffe for ye delivery of Mr. Flower." A later entry was as follows: "Fined for ye Riots at Carburton agst Mr. fflower and others 27/-."


Indictments for murder or attempted murder, were transmitted to Assizes. Among the many cases so transmitted are the following:

On 11th July, 1606, Sibill Gooder, of North Wheatley, spinster, for "poisoning and murder."

On 13th January, 1614-1615, Margaret Patrick, wife of Ralph Patrick, of Worksop, "for poisoning and murdering of Oliver Bray, clerk, deceased."

On 23rd April, 1623, a butcher of Car Colston "for homicide of the wife of a weaver at Car Colston."

Many cases of suspected murder were also sent to Assizes. For instance:

On 11th January, 1612-1613, Ewyn Grundy, of Burton Joyce, dishmaker "to answer for suspicion of killing a man in the County of Lancaster."

On 17th January, 1622-1623, a taylor of Budby, "on suspicion of murdering his Apprentice who has been for a long time absent."

On 14th January, 1652-1653, a laborer of Miston, "for the supposed murdering of a man unknown found dead in a ditch at Miston whereof he is suspected and accused in Court by Robert Milner and his wief."

On 16th July, 1658, Joseph Mimmock, of Gringley, miller, "for suspition of killing Martin Boswell, late husband of Anne Boswell, as the said Anne Boswell hath thereof charged him."

There were several Indictments for "suspicion of murdering an unknown person."

On the 20th April, 1655, Joseph Pinder was sent to the Assizes "for Manslaughter."

The following case was dealt with at Sessions:

On 9th January, 1627-1628, a laborer named Thomas Haughton, of Gunthorpe, was sent to gaol upon the testimony of the wife of John Waryn "that the same Haughton advised the said wife of the said John to murder the said John and showed her in what ways she could accomplish it."


There were several Indictments for Arson:

On 15th January, 1617-1618, Richard Lund, of Gringley on the Hill, miller, was charged with " burning the mill of . . . . . . . White Esqre "

On 10th October, 1623, a waterman at West Stockwith was charged with "setting a house on fire."

On 8th July, 1633, a woman from Bilborow was sent to gaol "on grave suspicion of setting the house of John Cowlishaw of Bilborow on fire."

On 11th July, 1683, Henry Cake of Gringley was indicted for "burning straw in his barn at night."

On 10th January, 1689-1690, several persons were bound over to prosecute and give evidence at the next Assizes "concerning ye burning of Gotham Winde Mill."

On 1st October, 1638, a man was committed for trial at Assizes " for offering money (twenty shillings) to another man for burning the barn of Master Gervase Tevery."


There are several cases recorded of poisoning of food:

On 1st October, 1610, Dorothy Brown, of Hickling, spinster, was sent to Assizes "on suspicion of giving bowls of poisoned milk to John Bosworth."

On 8th October, 1623, Thomas Butler, of Parklaythes, gentleman, was charged with "giving poisoned meat."

On 17th April, 1640, Bridget Archer was indicted "on suspicion of placing poison in her husbands broth."

On 5th October, 1640, Thomas Aynsworth, of Sutton Bonington, baker, was indicted "of suspicion of poisoning Elizabeth his wife quod venem anglice with Ratsbane in pease pottage by reason whereof the aforesaid Elizabeth is sick in body, but is still surviving."

On 7th October, 1614, a taylor of East Retford was bound over to appear at this Sessions "because it was said that he would have poysond his father."

On 5th October, 1657, Richard Hollingworth, of Lambley, was indicted "for laying poison in the townes street whereby his neighbours ducks and pullin were poisoned."


There were several Indictments for "voluntarie perjury" and for "suborning perjury." The punishment appears to have been a heavy fine or forfeiture. If the person charged had not goods to the value of the fine he was sent to gaol "without bail or mainprise," and on the termination of his imprisonment he was put in the pillory.

On 4th October, 1697, three men were indicted for "false and corrupt evidence given at the last Assizes before Sir Littleton Powyns one of the Barons of the Exchequer of the lord the King."


As in the present day, so in the seventeenth century most of the Indictments for felony were in respect of Larceny.

Cases of petit larceny were dealt with at Sessions, and the punishment was usually that the offender be stockt, stript and whipt. Petit larceny was a theft under the value of a shilling. It must be remembered that the value of a shilling was greater in the seventeenth century than it is to-day.

The more important charges, viz., Grand Larceny were transmitted to the Assizes for trial.


There were many Indictments for "horse stealing," and several "on suspicion of horse stealing," occasionally the owner of the horse stolen being unknown.

On 6th October, 1626, Giles Tompkinson, of Walkeringham, labourer, was indicted "on suspicion of stealing a horse of a black color and a horse of a bay color the property of a man unknown."

There were two Indictments "for vouching" stolen horses:

On 9th January, 1625-1626, "for vouching a stolen mare at Newmarket"
[quoere—Newark market.]

On 15th July, 1640, a yeoman of Weston "for vouching a horse sould at Newark Markett by Richard Myers to John Danks wch horse is challenged by one Richard Johnson of Wellingoer in the County of Lincoln to be stolne from him."

All the Horse Stealing cases were transmitted for trial at Assizes.


There were many cases of sheep stealing, many of which were sent for trial at Assizes. One of the Indictments is for stealing "a wether and a bell." The value of "one weather sheep" stolen is stated to be 16/-. The value is sometimes placed so low as 10d. in order, probably, to make the offence one of petit larceny only.

On the 14th January, 1658-1659, "Humfrey Cooper of Budby laborer was this day acquitted of Sheepe Stealing, but ye Court not satisfied." He was bound over to be of good behaviour.


There were also Indictments for stealing of "cows," "bull calves," "a calf," "beasts," "geese," "a widgeon," "two hens and two pounds of feathers," "henns," "one bore pig, value 10d.," "cocks," "bullocks," "a black hen," &c, &c.


Among the articles stolen mentioned in Indictments are farm implements, &c, such as rakes, a ploughshare and coulter, sickles, a hoe, a fruit measure, plow irons, &c, &c.

There are also Indictments for stealing farm produce such as wheat, barley, rye, malt, ears of corn, wheat sheafs, unwinnowed barley and wheat, ground barley, straw, oatmeal, yeast, milk, eggs, green pease, fruit, &c, &c.

There were several Indictments "for taking wool from the body of a sheep" and for "milking the cows of others."

On 2nd October, 1605, Robert Moore, of North Collingham, was indicted "because the said Robert robbed the garden of a certain Richard Moore, gentleman, at North Collingham."

On 2nd October, 1605, Francis Woodesend and another were indicted "because they feloniously took certain first fruits."

On 8th October, 1613, a yeoman of East Drayton was indicted "for cutting down and carrying away two cartloads of growing corn."

On 6th April, 1635, a Chilwell man was indicted "for being a common destroyer of the grain of the neighbourhood."


There were Indictments for stealing the following articles:

Shirts, a smock, a sirples, a collar, an old doublet, an old frize, a ruff band, plaine bands, a paire of cuffs, Rayles (night dress), linnen vestments, a shirt band, a jerkyn, a paire of breeches, stockings, drawers, cotes, a petty coate, a waist coate, a vestis anglice safeguard, handkerchiefs, cross cloths, shoes, one blew flaxen apron, two pinners, a shift, a vest, a girdle, a womans dress, &c.

Cloth, lynnen cloth (18 yards valued at 5/-), Scotch or Scottish cloth, hempen cloth, skeanes of yarn, silke, flaxe.

Sheets, pillow beere.

A sheepskin, buck skins, calves skins, a pack of bend leather.

A piece of plate, silver spoones, a salt cellar, a copper brewing panne.

A pedlars pack.

Mill picks, a javelin, harrow teeth, a haberdine, a knife, a sawe, iron wedges.

One strike of seacole.

Purses, rings, and money,

&c, &c, &c.

On the 11th October, 1695, Lazarus Woodley was charged with stealing a collar and the order of the Court was that the Gaoler of this County of Nottingham do take into his custody " the body of Lazarus " and whip him.


There were Indictments for "Burglary":

On 7th October, 1625, a man was sent to the Assizes "for having divers pick-locks upon him"; and on 13th January, 1631-1632, a laborer of "Warksop" was sent to the House of Correction "because he was taken in a certain barn of the Noble William Earl of Newcastle, with a picklock key."

On 9th October, 1618, a man was charged with "entering secretly the house of Thomas Leycroft without notice to the said Thomas Leycroft."

On 8th January, 1615-1616, a cooper of Gedling was sent to the House of Correction "on suspicion of breaking into a house and stealing sums of money," and also "that he so ill controlled his course of life and did not apply himself to work."


On 10th January, 1613-1614, Galfrid Mattersey was sent for trial at Assizes "for stealing two bells from Wyverton Church."

On 9th January, 1636-1637, a warrant was issued against two men "for suspicion of taking a cistam anglice a coffer, a gown (togam), books and nine pounds in money of the goods of . . . . . Bartram of Kingston, clerk, out of Kingston Church."

On 18th April, 1656, Henry Ridley a pedlar of East Retford, was bound over to answer " for ye suspicion of stealing a golden chalice or "cupp out of ye parish Church of Carlton in Lindricke."


On 28th April, 1606, there were several Indictments for stealing underwood as follows:

George Brooks was charged that "he took the underwood of Henry Chaworth Esq. out of the Wood of Aspley."

Hugh Brownall was charged that he "took the underwood of Sir John Byron out of the Wood of Hucknall."
Both were ordered to be whipped.

Richard Wyllynot was charged that he "feloniously took the underwood of . . . . . . . . Elwyse, gentleman, to the value of fourpence, out of the Wood of Broxtowe, and carried it away."
The said Richard to pay the said . . . . . . . Elwyse fourpence and upon this let him go hence without delay."

There were indictments in 1612 "For stealing from the woods of William Cooper Esqre. at fflintham Wood," and "for cutting down and carrying away from the Woods of William Cooper, Esqre."; in 1625 "for stealing two oaks from a place called Grove Wood of the value of six shillings the property of Edward North, Esqre."; and in 1632 "for taking and carrying away 40 shallow poles of the value of six shillings belonging to Humphrey Monax, Esq. out of Gonalston Wood."

The punishment was "whipping"; "stocks stripping and whipping"; or an Order to pay the value to the owner "or be whipped."

The stealing of trees and timber often took place in connection with acts of trespass.

On 9th January, 1632-1633, Edward Hynde, of Norwell, was charged with trespass and taking and carrying away one pole of the value of 6/6. He was ordered to pay 5/- to the owner or be whipped.

On 14th January, 1634-1635, a husbandman of Carlton on Trent was charged with trespass and for lopping the branches of an oak of Marie Knight.

On 9th January, 1636-1637, three persons of Wansley were charged with riotously entering into a close of Bonaventure ffellow and carrying away a broken oak tree in the said close being the property of Arthur Capell, Esq.; and a yeoman of Wansley and a cooper of Selston were charged with cutting in pieces an oak with a saw lying in a certain place there called Bent Close the property of Arthur Capell, Esq.

On 20th April, 1642, a miller of Cathorpe was charged with "cutting a willow tree."

On 16th July, 1678, Thomas Stowe was charged with trespass and taking 2 boards; for taking 3 firdaile boards; and for trespass and taking halfe a pounde of wool value 10d.

The following is an instance of the punishment of accessories to the offence:

On 7th October, 1653, two laborers were bound over to answer "for their misdemeanour in helping Joseph Stafford to cutt down an oake tree at Worksop which he afterwards stole away, they being privy to his intencon."


On the 6th October, 1699, Charles Rumley and Richard Wightman, of Mansfield, were indicted "for cutting ferns of the Most Noble John Duke of Newcastle."


On 15th April, 1629, a labourer of Etwall was sent to the House of Correction to be whipped, &c, "for being taken with his hands in the pocket of a certain William Maltby, of Bathley, in open Court."


There were a number of persons charged with counterfeiting and forging "letters of testimonial anglice a passport." The "testimonials" in question were probably in connection with the hiring of servants, as under the Statute 5 Eliz. c. 4, servants could not leave the Parish of their service without a testimonial or licence so to do. Persons taken with a counterfeit testimonial were to be whipped as vagabonds.

The following are instances of other forgeries:

On 12th April, 1616, Margaret Webbe was sent to House of Correction "for vagrancy and counterfeiting the handwriting of Lady Clifton wife of Gervase Clifton, Knight and baronet, and using certain false signs in the name of certain ladies of this Kingdom. She confessed the crime and there in Court was manifested to be a common wandering coosener* by certain letters shown to the Court sent by her to great personages."

On 18th April, 1642, three rnen were convicted for using counterfeit letters "and tokens whereby they got into their hands the goods of one John Brookes from the custody of Ralph Miller."


There were indictments: In 1640 "for putting away false coyne"; in 1659 "for uttering counterfeit silver and unjust money"; and in 1690 "for paying with false and counterfeit gold."


On 22nd April, 1653, Leon Hornshey of Ragnell, gentleman, was bound over to appear at Assizes to answer "for grannting letters of administracon and approving of will and testament without lawful authority and taking divers somes of money of several persons for fees to the great abuse of the Countrey."

* Cosening is an ancient expression which may be described in general as obtaining money by false pretences.