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The replication of Stephen Belott
May 5,
1612

REQ 4/1/3/3

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REQ 4/1/3/3
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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 replication of Stephen Belott
Date: May 5, 1612
Repository: The National Archives, Kew, UK
Call number and opening: REQ 4/1/3/3
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Item Creator
Court of Requests
Item Title
The replication of Stephen Belott
Item Date
May 5, 1612
Repository
The National Archives, Kew, UK
Call Number
REQ 4/1/3/3

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 replication of Stephen Belott
Date: May 5, 1612
Repository: The National Archives, Kew, UK
Call number and opening: REQ 4/1/3/3
View online bibliographic record

 

Shown here is Stephen Bellott’s Replication, dated May 5, 1612, the third 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.

Here, Bellott reaffirms arguments made in his original Bill of Complaint, and rejects arguments in Mountjoy’s Answer.

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. 14-16.]]

Quinto die Maij Anno Regni Regis Jacobj
Anglie &c x° et Scotie xlv°/.

The Replicacion of Stephen Belot Complainant to the
Answer of Christopher Mountioye defendant

The said Complainant not Confessinge or acknowledginge anie matter or thinge materiall or effectuall in the said defendantes Answer conteyned to be true in suche sorte manner or forme as in and by the said
bill they are sett forthe and declared sayth that the said Answer is in all or the moste parte thereof vntrue incerteyne and insufficient to be replyed vnto for manie imperfeccions in
the same appearinge  All the advantages of excepcion to thincertaintyes and insufficiencies whereof nowe and at all tymes hereafter to this Complainant saued, This Complainant for Replicacion
sayeth in all thinges as in his said Bill of Complainte he hathe sayed, And dothe and will auer maynteyne iustyfie and proue his said Bill of Complainant and euerie matter article and allegacion
therein Conteyned to bee true Certayne and sufficient to be answered vnto set forthe and declared  without that that this Complainantes ffrends at the tyme of his Commynge to bee
Apprentice with the said defendant did promise to finde this Complainant Convenient apparrell while he shoulde Contynewe in the said defendantes service  Or that the said defendant at the tyme of
this Complainantes trauaile into spayne did furnishe this Complainant with six pounds or with any other somme of Money, but that this Complainant was only therein furnished by himselfe
without that that allsoe this Complainant moved the said defendant or his wyffe for theire Consentes to the Mariage of the said Mary, but that this Complainant was only drawen there vnto
by the said defendant,  And without that that after the Marriage of this Complainant with the said Mary there was any suche Conclucion or agreement made betwixt the said defendant and
this Complainant euer receiued any goods or howsehold stuffe of the said defendant or any things Concerninge theire trade, or desiered the said defendant to pay the somme of three poundes or any
other somme to the Brewer, or was soe indebted vnto the said Brewer as by the said Answere all soe is alleadged,  with that that the said defendant did promise vnto this Complainant the
somme of threscoore pounds in mariadge with the said Mary his daughter and did likewise promise to leaue vnto this Complainant and his wyffe the somme of two hundred poundes or
thereaboutes after his deceasse,  And that the said defendant is truely indebted vnto this Complainant in the somme of fforty shillinges  without that that this Complainant was desiered by
the said defendant to Come to anie accompte or gaue the said defendant any ill languages as in & by the said Answere is allsoe Alleadged,  And without that that any other
matter thinge or thinges Clause sentence, Article or allegacion in the said Answere Conteyned materiall or effectuall in the lawe to be replyed vnto, and not
heerein sufficiently replyed vnto Confessed and avoyded denyed or trauersed is true,  All and euery which matters hee this Complainant is ready to averr iustify mayntayne and
proue as this honorable Courte shall award,  And humbly prayeth as hee before by his said Bill of Complaynte hathe allready prayed./
     (signed) Rap: Wormlaighton
 

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): 14-16.

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