To my lady/
In most humble wyse/ att yorcke assisses all thinges haue proceded against master Basford with greate percialitie. We could retayne no Sergante agaynst my lorde. Soe we intertayned one master pepper a Iustis of peace in that Cuntry and one master heskethe./ vppon wedsenday in the morninge the proceded to tryall haueinge there, Soliciters, master Coplay, bayly Dickenson, Tomson and Ihon bouth. The Iury beinge cauled and full, master Basfordes Counsell put in the challenge, and pleded kinred betwne my lorde and the Shreffe, which my Lordes Counsell denyed to be trewe, wherevppon an Issue was Ioyned and tryeres apoynted, videlicett William Vesser and Thomas blowme, hearevppon master Basfordes counsell gaue in evidence the pedegree vnder master Somersettes hande, and I was Sworne it was made by the same harroulde, and sett downe as yt is in the harrouldes booke. and the kindred openly confessed by master Shreffe him self, beinge twyse publickly asked by master Iustis Clenche; wherevnto master Coplay very Impudently answered, that the herroulde had mistaken the Lycke, and soe might mistacke this. which was all that coulde bee sayde agaynst the pedegre: Notwithstandinge the tryers beinge without doubte determined before to fynd for my lorde. founde for his Lordshippe, contrary to the pedegre, and the Shreffes open Confession, whereatt the audience dide greatly wonder and some sayde that the tryers cane in noe wyse cleare them selues of wilfull periury. Afterwardes when the Counsell for master Basforde made Lawfull challenge to diueres of the Iury beinge my lordes one men and master Edwardes talbotes: The weare Lykewyse allowed as indifferent men. Then for the proufe of the wordes thate master Basford should speacke was produced Richarde and Robert Ridler onely, agaynst whom we offered to showe acertificatte vnder diuers Iustices handes of glocestershire to be red to the Iurours Declaringe the conversations and Lyfes with there beggery, which would not be Suffered to be shewed to the Iury. Then for the Creditt of the Ridlers too as vnhonest as them selues one Bayinarde and Byse weare deposed that the weare comitted very honest men in there Country and ether of them satte of iiij xxli rente, which as your Ladishipes knoweth the be thre yeare behinde for, to Sir Charles and William Cavendishe, for these thre years last past, and otherwayes indetted to them not able to paye, and promuised adischarge from my lorde: This was opened, but nothinge that we sayde stoode for reason, and Bayinarde and bysse sayd the harde master Basforde saye that his Lordshipe had reased twentie thousande men, to which was answered by one of oure Counsell that master Basford sayd where there was aspeach that the peacke wales should be pulled downe, that yf soe many should haue come thither as his lordshipe had directed his preceptes for there would haue bene to that number/ which preceptes master Coplay coulde not deny but sayde that the weare made for the someninge of Courtes. Vppon this the matter was referred to the Iury who haue founde agaynst master Basford, and haue giuen his lordship athousand pounde damages agaynste equitie and Concience: But after in the towne there was such speches of the manner of procedinge, as I will warrant in this part great men maye doe what the Lyste for meane men will not adverties nay the see thinges be proved that never was spoken. Shortly I shall wayte of your Ladishipp, and therefore now I touche all thinges but brefely. And thus with my dealy prayer to the almighty for your Ladishipes Lonnge & prosperous health with present quiettnes and Increase of honores I humbly cease Rawthorne the xixth of march

Your Ladishipes most humbly

Hercules Claye

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'Bess of Hardwick's Letters' was developed by The University of Glasgow with technical development provided by The Digital Humanities Institute at The University of Sheffield
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