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The rejoinder of Christopher Mountjoy
May
1612

REQ 4/1/3/4

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REQ 4/1/3/4
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Images reproduced by permission of The National Archives, London, England.

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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
Title: The rejoinder of Christopher Mountjoy
Date: May 1612
Repository: The National Archives, Kew, UK
Call number and opening: REQ 4/1/3/4
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Item Creator
Court of Requests
Item Title
The rejoinder of Christopher Mountjoy
Item Date
May 1612
Repository
The National Archives, Kew, UK
Call Number
REQ 4/1/3/4

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
Title: The rejoinder of Christopher Mountjoy
Date: May 1612
Repository: The National Archives, Kew, UK
Call number and opening: REQ 4/1/3/4
View online bibliographic record

 

Shown here is Christopher Mountjoy’s Rejoinder, the fourth of four pleadings 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 document is undated, but is clearly from May 1612. Here, Mountjoy reaffirms arguments made in his original Answer, and rejects arguments in Bellott’s Replication.

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. 16-17.]]

[No date.]
The reioynder of Christopher Mountioy defendant to the
Replicacion of Stephen Belot Complainant
The sayd Defendaunte not accknowledgeing any thing in the sayd Replecation materially alledged
to be trew in such sort as in and by the sayd Replication is aledged for reioynder thervnto sayth
in all thinges as in his Aunsweare he hath sayd and doth and will averr mayntayne and
prove his sayd Aunsweare and every matter Artickle and thinge therein Contayned
to be true Certaine and sufficient to be Replyed vnto in manner and forme as therein is sett forth
affirmed and Declared  with that that this Defendaunt will mayntaine and prove that
the sayd Complainnauntes frendes did promis to fynde the sayd Complaynaunte apparrell
as in and by this Defendauntes sayd aunsweare is affirmed and that this Defendaunt did
furnish the sayd Complainaunte with mony at the time of his travelles into Spayne and
that this Defendaunte and his then wife was then moved and and earnestly solisited by the sayd
Complaynaunte to Consente to his Maryage of theire Daughter and the Complainanaunte [sic]
not drawene therevnto by this Defendaunte, and that this Defendaunte did give vnto the
sayd Complainaunte houshould stuffe and other goodes and Did make such Conclusiones and
agreementes with the sayd Complainante as in and by the sayd aunsweare is truly affirmed
and this Defendaunte was also desiered by the Complaynaunte to pay vnto the Bruer three
poundes for the Debt of the sayd Complaynaunt and payd it as in this sayd Defendauntes Aunswer
is lykewyse most truly affirmed  without that that this Defendaunte did ever promis three score
poundes or any other somes of mony vnto the sayd Complainaunte either in marriage with
his sayd Daughter or after his Death or is indebted vnto the Complaynaunte in the
somme of fforty poundes or any other somme what soever as in and by the sayd Bill is and
Replication is falsly surmysed  all which matteres this Defendaunte is ready to averr
mayntayne and prove as this Honerable Courte shall award and humbly prayeth
as in his sayd Answeare he hath prayed.
[signed] George Hartoppe

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): 16-17.

Samuel Schoenbaum, William Shakespeare: Records and Images (New York: Oxford University Press, 1981), 23, 31-33.

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

Last updated September 17, 2018