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June 15,
1612

REQ 1/26, page 343

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REQ 1/26, page 343
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Institution Rights and Document Citation

 

Images reproduced by permission of The National Archives, London, England.

Terms of use
The National Archives give no warranty as to the accuracy, completeness or fitness for the purpose of the information provided.
Images may be used only for purposes of research, private study or education.  Applications for any other use should be made to The National Archives Image Library, Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW9 4DU, Tel: 020 8392 5225   Fax: 020 8392 5266.

Document-specific information
Creator: Court of Requests
Date: June 15, 1612
Repository: The National Archives, Kew, UK
Call number and opening: REQ 1/26, p. 343
View online bibliographic record

Item Creator
Court of Requests
Item Date
June 15, 1612
Repository
The National Archives, Kew, UK
Call Number
REQ 1/26, p. 343

Institution Rights and Document Citation

 

Images reproduced by permission of The National Archives, London, England.

Terms of use
The National Archives give no warranty as to the accuracy, completeness or fitness for the purpose of the information provided.
Images may be used only for purposes of research, private study or education.  Applications for any other use should be made to The National Archives Image Library, Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW9 4DU, Tel: 020 8392 5225   Fax: 020 8392 5266.

Document-specific information
Creator: Court of Requests
Date: June 15, 1612
Repository: The National Archives, Kew, UK
Call number and opening: REQ 1/26, p. 343
View online bibliographic record

Shown here is the second of three orders given by the Court of Requests, dated June 15, 1612, in Bellott v. Mountjoy. The lawsuit, begun on January 28, 1612, was between Stephen Bellott and Christopher Mountjoy, head of a French Huguenot family living in Silver Street in Cripplegate Ward, just north of Cheapside and St. Paul’s Cathedral. Members of the household included Christopher and Marie Mountjoy, their only child Mary, and Stephen Bellott, an apprentice in the family business, the fabrication of elaborate and fashionable headpieces called “tires.” The lawsuit concerns negotiations which led to the marriage of Stephen and Mary on November 19, 1604. Bellott complains that his father-in-law subsequently reneged on an agreement to support the young couple financially. On May 11, 1612, William Shakespeare deposed as a witness. Depositions in the case reveal that Shakespeare, then a lodger in the Mountjoy household, had been engaged to persuade Bellott to enter the marriage.

This order is mostly procedural, with a slight change from the previous order of May 15: the two parties are given time until Saturday next (June 22), after which (and not before) the matter was to be published, or announced; and would be heard on the Saturday before the end of the present term, apparently July 6. In the meantime, further witnesses were to be examined.

Twenty-six documents survive from Bellott v. Mountjoy. Twelve of these refer to Shakespeare explicitly or implicitly (including one document with his signature), although the document shown here does not. The lawsuit is generally unremarkable and Shakespeare’s involvement is minor. However, the case does contribute to our understanding of Shakespeare's life: that in 1604 he was living in Silver Street with a family of French Huguenot tiremakers. In 1909 Charles William Wallace and his wife Hulda Berggren Wallace discovered Bellott v. Mountjoy in the Public Records Office, now The National Archives.

Semi-diplomatic transcription

[This transcription is pending final vetting. Transcriptions of Bellott. v. Mountjoy are based on Charles William Wallace, "Shakespeare and his London Associates, As Revealed in Recently Discovered Documents," University of Nebraska Studies, 10 no. 4 (1910), 260-360. This publication has a secondary pagination, followed here for individual entries: p. 24.]]

15° Junij Anno 10° et 45°

Bellott
Mountioy
In the cause at the sute of Stephen Bellot complainant against Xpofer
Mountioy defendant vpon the mocion of mr Wormeleighton of counsaill with
the said complainant it is Ordered (any former order notwithstanding) that
both the said parties shall haue further day to examine all such witnesses
as they intend to vse in this cause, vntill saterday next,  And then the
same matter shalbe published and not before  & it shalbe heard in this
court vpon the saterday next before thende of this present terme peremptorily.

 

To learn more, read Alan H. Nelson's essay on lawsuits in Shakespeare's England.

Co-written by Folger Shakespeare Library staff and Alan H. Nelson

Sources

Charles William Wallace, "Shakespeare and his London Associates, as Revealed in Recently Discovered Documents" University of Nebraska Studies 10, no. 4 (1910): 24.

A full list of sources for Bellott v. Mountjoy is given under Bellott v. Mountjoy: First set of depositions.

Last updated September 17, 2018