MENU
May 15,
1612

REQ 1/26, page 270 verso

View Image Assets
REQ 1/26, page 270 verso
Click image to enlarge

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: May 15, 1612
Repository: The National Archives, Kew, UK
Call number and opening: REQ 1/26, p. 270v

 

Item Creator
Court of Requests
Item Date
May 15, 1612
Repository
The National Archives, Kew, UK
Call Number
REQ 1/26, p. 270v

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: May 15, 1612
Repository: The National Archives, Kew, UK
Call number and opening: REQ 1/26, p. 270v

 

Shown here is the first of three orders given by the Court of Requests, dated May 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 entirely procedural: the case was to be published, or announced, on the following Wednesday, May 22, and was to be heard on the second day of the following term, apparently June 4.

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: pp. 23-24.]]

Decimo quinto die Maij Anno Regni Regis Jacobi Anglie ffrancie et hibernie decimo et Scotie xlvto./


Bellot
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 yt is
ordered that the same matter shalbe published vpon Wednesday next if then
or in the meane time no matter sufficient shalbe shewed in this
court in stay thereof, and it shalbe heard in this court vpon the second day of the
next terme (the defendant having convenient notice of this order before the
saide day of hearing).

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): 23-24.

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

Last updated September 17, 2018