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June 19,
1612

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Creator:
Court of Requests
Title: Interrogatories and depositions in Belott v Mountjoy, on behalf of Christopher Mountjoy
Date: June 19, 1612
Repository: The National Archives, Kew, UK
Call number and opening: REQ 4/1/4/2
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Item Creator
Court of Requests
Item Title
Interrogatories and depositions in Belott v Mountjoy, on behalf of Christopher Mountjoy
Item Date
June 19, 1612
Repository
The National Archives, Kew, UK
Call Number
REQ 4/1/4/2

REQ 4/1/4/2 [2]

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REQ 4/1/4/2 [2]
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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: Interrogatories and depositions in Belott v Mountjoy, on behalf of Christopher Mountjoy
Date: June 19, 1612
Repository: The National Archives, Kew, UK
Call number and opening: REQ 4/1/4/2
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Item Creator
Court of Requests
Item Title
Interrogatories and depositions in Belott v Mountjoy, on behalf of Christopher Mountjoy
Item Date
June 19, 1612
Repository
The National Archives, Kew, UK
Call Number
REQ 4/1/4/2

REQ 4/1/4/2 [3]

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REQ 4/1/4/2 [3]
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Institution Rights and Document Citation

 

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: Interrogatories and depositions in Belott v Mountjoy, on behalf of Christopher Mountjoy
Date: June 19, 1612
Repository: The National Archives, Kew, UK
Call number and opening: REQ 4/1/4/2
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Item Creator
Court of Requests
Item Title
Interrogatories and depositions in Belott v Mountjoy, on behalf of Christopher Mountjoy
Item Date
June 19, 1612
Repository
The National Archives, Kew, UK
Call Number
REQ 4/1/4/2

REQ 4/1/4/2 [4]

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REQ 4/1/4/2 [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: Interrogatories and depositions in Belott v Mountjoy, on behalf of Christopher Mountjoy
Date: June 19, 1612
Repository: The National Archives, Kew, UK
Call number and opening: REQ 4/1/4/2
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Item Creator
Court of Requests
Item Title
Interrogatories and depositions in Belott v Mountjoy, on behalf of Christopher Mountjoy
Item Date
June 19, 1612
Repository
The National Archives, Kew, UK
Call Number
REQ 4/1/4/2

REQ 4/1/4/2 [5]

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REQ 4/1/4/2 [5]
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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: Interrogatories and depositions in Belott v Mountjoy, on behalf of Christopher Mountjoy
Date: June 19, 1612
Repository: The National Archives, Kew, UK
Call number and opening: REQ 4/1/4/2
View online bibliographic record

 

Item Creator
Court of Requests
Item Title
Interrogatories and depositions in Belott v Mountjoy, on behalf of Christopher Mountjoy
Item Date
June 19, 1612
Repository
The National Archives, Kew, UK
Call Number
REQ 4/1/4/2

REQ 4/1/4/2 [6]

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REQ 4/1/4/2 [6]
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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: Interrogatories and depositions in Belott v Mountjoy, on behalf of Christopher Mountjoy
Date: June 19, 1612
Repository: The National Archives, Kew, UK
Call number and opening: REQ 4/1/4/2
View online bibliographic record

 

Item Creator
Court of Requests
Item Title
Interrogatories and depositions in Belott v Mountjoy, on behalf of Christopher Mountjoy
Item Date
June 19, 1612
Repository
The National Archives, Kew, UK
Call Number
REQ 4/1/4/2

REQ 4/1/4/2 [7]

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REQ 4/1/4/2 [7]
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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
Title: Interrogatories and depositions in Belott v Mountjoy, on behalf of Christopher Mountjoy
Date: June 19, 1612
Repository: The National Archives, Kew, UK
Call number and opening: REQ 4/1/4/2
View online bibliographic record

 

Item Creator
Court of Requests
Item Title
Interrogatories and depositions in Belott v Mountjoy, on behalf of Christopher Mountjoy
Item Date
June 19, 1612
Repository
The National Archives, Kew, UK
Call Number
REQ 4/1/4/2

REQ 4/1/4/2 [8]

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REQ 4/1/4/2 [8]
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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
Title: Interrogatories and depositions in Belott v Mountjoy, on behalf of Christopher Mountjoy
Date: June 19, 1612
Repository: The National Archives, Kew, UK
Call number and opening: REQ 4/1/4/2
View online bibliographic record

 

Item Creator
Court of Requests
Item Title
Interrogatories and depositions in Belott v Mountjoy, on behalf of Christopher Mountjoy
Item Date
June 19, 1612
Repository
The National Archives, Kew, UK
Call Number
REQ 4/1/4/2

REQ 4/1/4/2 [9]

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REQ 4/1/4/2 [9]
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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
Title: Interrogatories and depositions in Belott v Mountjoy, on behalf of Christopher Mountjoy
Date: June 19, 1612
Repository: The National Archives, Kew, UK
Call number and opening: REQ 4/1/4/2
View online bibliographic record

 

Item Creator
Court of Requests
Item Title
Interrogatories and depositions in Belott v Mountjoy, on behalf of Christopher Mountjoy
Item Date
June 19, 1612
Repository
The National Archives, Kew, UK
Call Number
REQ 4/1/4/2

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: Interrogatories and depositions in Belott v Mountjoy, on behalf of Christopher Mountjoy
Date: June 19, 1612
Repository: The National Archives, Kew, UK
Call number and opening: REQ 4/1/4/2
View online bibliographic record

 

Shown here is the second round of depositions, dated June 19, 1612, given 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.

Witnesses in the second round of depositions were to answer a list of five questions, called interrogatories, on behalf of the complainant. This second set of interrogatories makes no mention of William Shakespeare in their internal language, but his name occurs in a marginal note against the fourth interrogatory.

That Shakespeare was not one of the deponents in the second round of depositions requires an explanation. The accompanying list of interrogatories indicates that article 3 is directed to Humphrey Fludd, article 4 to William Shakespeare, and article 5 to George Wilkins. Accordingly, in the resulting depositions, Humphrey Fludd is interrogated only on articles 1, 2, and 3, while George Wilkins is interrogated only on articles 1, 2, and 5. One would therefore expect that William Shakespeare would have been interrogated on articles 1, 2, and 4. Not only does no second deposition from Shakespeare survive, his name does not occur in the associated Witness Book.

The most obvious explanation for Shakespeare’s absence from the second round of depositions is that he had already deposed in the first round, whereas Humphrey Fludd and George Wilkins had not.

The first witness in the second round of depositions was Daniel Nicholas, gentleman, of the parish of St. Alphage, Cripplegate. He testifies to the defendant’s wealth as measured by the ownership of properties in London and Brentford (“Brainford”). He mentions Christopher Weaver, Humphrey Fludd, and George Wilkins, three other deponents. He testifies that by the intervention of William Shakespeare the young couple were “made sure” and agreed to marry, giving “eache others hand to the hande”; and “did marrye.” The expression “hand to the hande” suggests “handfasting,” the equivalent of an engagement, leading to their marriage in St. Olave Church on November 19. However, the “hand to the hande” phrase is crossed out, suggesting some degree of uncertainty. Nicholas was also interrogated in the first round, where he is identified as 52 years of age, although here he is identified as 62 years of age. As in the first deposition, Nicholas’s second testimony is hearsay, though based on face-to-face conversations with William Shakespeare (“Mr William Shakespeare tould him this deponent that …”).

The second witness in the second round of depositions was William Eaton, apprentice of Bellott, nineteen years of age. Eaton had known Bellott for five years and Mountjoy for four and a half years. Eaton testifies that Mountjoy owned two properties, “A house in Muggle streete & in Silver Streete ^London and another at Branforde,” thus confirming the site of the Mountjoy residence and Shakespeare’s lodging. Though Eaton claims to know little from his own experience, he testifies that he “herd” Mr. Shakespeare speak about his involvement in the events of 1604. The fact that William Eaton had been apprenticed to Bellott for five years as of 1612 may suggest that his hearsay testimony from William Shakespeare occurred in or after 1607, and that Shakespeare remained at the Silver Street residence up to 1607 and perhaps beyond.

The third witness in the second round of depositions was George Wilkins, of the parish of St. Sepulchre, London, vintner, 36 years of age. Wilkins testifies that Bellott and his wife Mary lived in a “chamber” in Wilkins’ house, presumably in of the parish of St. Sepulchre. Wilkins makes no mention of William Shakespeare. Nevertheless, Wilkins was the son of a poet, a poet and a writer himself, and has been identified as co-author with William Shakespeare of Pericles.

The fourth witness in the second round of depositions was Humphrey Fludd, trumpeter to James I, of the parish of St. Giles Cripplegate, 53 years of age. Fludd, who married Bellott’s mother in France, in or about 1594, was Bellott’s step-father. He apprenticed Bellott to Mountjoy. Fludd testifies that he kept Bellott in clothing during his apprenticeship, and paid to have his hair cut. Fludd’s testimony discredits Mountjoy, who as master was obliged to care for his apprentice in all respects.

The fifth witness in the second round of depositions was Christopher Weaver, of the parish of St. Olave, Silver Street, mercer. Weaver lived in a house owned by Mountjoy, though whether this was the Silver Street house itself is uncertain. Weaver testifies that Mountjoy has debts and obligations that apparently exceed his income. He also testifies that Mountjoy “hath A Soiourner in his house with him” – possibly William Shakespeare, but possibly a French Huguenot refugee. Weaver speaks well of Mountjoy as a master and a father, painting sympathetic portrait of a man so deeply in debt as to be incapable of generosity. Weaver was also interrogated in the third round, where his age is given as 36, although here he is identified as 38 years of age.

The sixth witness in the second round of depositions was Noel Mountjoy, tiremaker, of the parish of St. Olave, Silver Street, London, 30 years of age. He was the much younger brother of Mountjoy, and had known Bellott for fifteen years. He testifies that the Mountjoy residence is “devided into twoe tenementes”; that Bellott lived with the defendant one year before becoming his apprentice; that the defendant was a good master to Bellott even though friends may have provided supplementary support; and that one “Mr Shakespeare was Imployed by the defendant about that buysnes [of marriage]: in what manner or to what effecte he knoweth not.” Noel Mountjoy was also interrogated in the third round.

Twenty-six documents survive from Bellott v. Mountjoy. This is one of twelve documents that refer to Shakespeare explicitly or implicitly (including one with his signature). 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. 25-33]]

[Image 1: REQ 4/1/4/2 [1]]

Depositiones Capte apud Westmonasterium d decimo nono dei die Junij Anno
Regni Jacobi Regis Anglie &c decimo et Scotie xlvto [19 June, 1612] ex parte
Stephani Bellott querentis versus Christopherum Mountioye defendantem

Dannyell Nicholas of the parishe of Sainct Alphadge within Criplegate London
gentleman of the Age of threeschore [sic] and twoe yeares or thereaboutes
sworne and examyned the daye and yeare abouesaid deposeth and
saythe./

1/ To the ffirste Interrogatory this deponent sayth he hath knowne the
plaintiff about twelue yeares, and the defendant about twentye yeares.

2/ To the seconde Interrogatory this deponent sayth that the defendant
is Amongest his neighboures is thought to be A Suffitient
man in estate and abillitie, and Reporte is amongste the neighboures
that he hath diuerse leases neere about wheare he dwelleth
and at Braynforde woorthe by reporte thirtye poundes per Annum
or thereaboutes. And by reporte he hath latelie takne newe leases
of them./  but what yeares are yett to come in them his leases this
deponent knoweth not./  And sayth he thinketh in his Conscyence
the defendant Receiveth about thirtye poundes yerely Rent ^de Claro for the
same houses/  And sayth he herd one Christopher Weaver saye
that he herd the defendant saye that the estate of his est hadd
A good estate to paye euerye man his owne and to geue the plaintiff
his porcion yf he pleased./ but the defendant hadd made an othe
that Althoughe the Lawe gaue him ^the plaintiff his porcion, he the defendant
would Rott in prison before he would geue the defendant plaintiff
any ^one groate thereof. penny of his estate And more he Cannott depose

3/ To the thirde Interrogatory this deponent sayth that ^the by reporte of the
plaintiffes ffather in Lawe Humphrey ffludd, reported in this deponentes
presentes & the presentes of others that he the plaintiff plaintiff was often
and ^seuerall many tymes Apparrelled by him the said Humphrey ffludd
and the plaintiffes mother and others of the plaintiffes ffrendes, to duringe the
moste parte of the
        (signed) Daniell Nicholas

[Image 2: REQ 4/1/4/2 [2]]

tyme of his his service with the defendant./  And more he cannott
depose touchinge the same Interrogatory./

4 To the iiijth Interrogatory this deponent sayth that the defendant did
never send him this deponent vnto the Complainant to make mocion
of  Marriadge betwixte the Complainant and the said ^Marye Mountioye
beinge the defendantes sole daughter and Childe, but Mr William
Shakespeare tould him this deponent that the defendant sent him
the said Mr Shakespeare to the plaintiff about suche buysnes
A marriadge to be hadd betweene them, And Shakespeare
tould this deponent that the defendant tould him that yf the plaintiff
would Marrye the said Marye his daughter he would geue him
the plaintiff A some of money with her for A porcion in Marriadge
with her./  And that yf he and the plaintiff did not marry with her
the said Marye and shee with the plaintiff shee should never coste
him the defendant her ffather A groate A groate, wherevppon And
in Regard Mr Shakespeare hadd tould them that they should
haue ^A some of monney for A porcion from the father they weare made suer by Mr
Shakespeare by geuinge there Consent, and ^agreed to Marrye, geuinge eache
others hand to the hande And did marrye.  But what some
yt was that Mr Shake Mountyoye promissed to geue them
he the said Mr Shakespeare could not remember, but said
yt was ffyftye poundes ^or theraboutes to his beste Rememberaunce./ And as he
Rememberith Mr Shakespeare said he promissed to geue them
A porcion of his goodes: but what, or to what valewe he
Rememberithe not/ And more he Cannott depose./

5 To the vth Interrogatory this deponent sayth that after the Marriadge
Solempnized betweene the plaintiff and Marye, one George Wilkins
tould him ^this deponent that the defendant gaue them some Implementes belonginge to
houshould, which goodes weare in his ^the said Wilkins Custody, which goodes the said Wilkins
        (signed) Daniell Nicholas]

[Image 3: REQ 4/1/4/2 [3]]

Reported he would not haue geuen ffyve poundes ffor./  And more
he Cannott depose
        (signed) Daniell Nicholas

William Eaton apprentice with the Complainant of the Age of nynteene yeres or theraboutes sworne and examyned the daye and yere abouesaid deposeth
and saythe./

1/ To the ffirste Interrogatory this deponent sayth he hath knowne the plaintiff
ffyve yeres or theraboutes.  And the defendant about ffoure yeares
and A halfe./

2/ To the seconde Interrogatory this deponent sayth he cannot ^certaynlie depose any
thinge touchinge the defendantes estate or habillitie. nor only sayth
he knoweth the defendant hath A house in Muggle streete & in Silver
Streete ^London and another at Branforde, but what they are woorth
by the yeare he knoweth not./  nor hath herd the defendant vse any
such speeches as in the Interrogatory is A vrdged/  And more he
Cannott depose.

3 To the thirde Interrogatory this deponent Can saye nothinge./

4 To the iiijth Interrogatory this deponent sayth he hath herd ^one Mr Shakspeare
saye that he was sent by the defendant to the plaintiff to move
the plaintiff too haue A marriadge betweene them the plaintiff and the
defendantes daughter Marye Mountioye, And herd Mr Shakespeare
saye that he was wished to make by the defendant to make proffer
of A certayne some that the defendant said he would geue
the plaintiff with his daughter Marye Mountioye in marriadge, but
he had forgott the some./ And Mr Shakespeare tould
the plaintiff more he cannott depose touchinge the same Interrogatory./

5/ To the vth Interrogatory this deponent Can saye nothinge of his owne
knowledge nor by Credible reporte./
        (signed) william Eyton

[Image 4: REQ 4/1/4/2 [4]]

George Wilkins of the parishe of Sainct Sepulchers London Victuler of the
Age of thirtye Syxe yeres or theraboutes sworne and examyned
the daye and yere abouesaid deposeth and saythe./

1/To the ffirste Interrogatory this deponent sayth he hath knowne the
plaintiff about Seaven yeres and the defendant as longe./

2. 3. 4./To the second, third and ffourth Interrogatory this deponent is not examyned
at the Requeste of the plaintiff./

5 To the vth Interrogatory this deponent sayth that after the plaintiff was
married with Marye the p defendantes daughter he the plaintiff and his
wyffe came to dwell in this deponentes house in one of his
Chambers. And brought with them A ffewe goodes or houshould stuffe
which by Reporte the defendant her father gaue them, the ^ffor which
this deponent would not haue geuen ^Aboue ffyve poundes yf he had bene
to haue bought the same./ And more he cannott depose
touchinge the same Interrogatory :/
       (signed) George Wilkins

Humfrey ffludd of the parishe of Sainct Gyles without Criplegate London
one of his Maiesties Trumpetores of the Age of ffyftye three yeres
or theraboutes sworne and examyned the daye and yere abouesaid
deposeth and saythe

1/To the ffirste Interrogatory this deponent sayth he hath knowne the
plaintiff about Eighteene yeares for he married his mother in ffraunce
And the defendant he hath knowne about Eighteene yeres for
he put the plaintiff to be the defendantes apprentice./

2/To the seconde Interrogatory this deponent is not examyned at the
Requeste of the plaintiff./
       (signed) Homfrey Fludd

[Image 5: REQ 4/1/4/2 [5]]

3/To the thirde Interrogatory this deponent sayth that whileste the plaintiff
was in service with the defendant, this deponent gaue the plaintiff
three suytes of Apparrell vz twoe Cloakes, And three
suytes of Apparrell.  And his mother gaue him good store
of Lynnen which ^apparrell and lynnen Could not sec serve him lesse then
three yeres, besides the defendant was so Stricte vnto him
that he this deponent and the plaintiffes mother weare fayne
manye tymes to ^geue him monney and to paye the Barbor for Cuttinge the hayre of
his heade./  And more he cannott depose./

4. 5/To the iiijth and vth Interrogatory this deponent is not examined at
the Requeste of the plaintiff./
       (signed) Homfrey Fludd

Christopher Weaver of the parishe of Sainct Olaves in Sylver Streete London
mercer of the Age of thirty Eight yeres or thereaboutes sworne
and examyned the daye and yeare abouesaid deposith and sayth

1/To the ffirste Interrogatory this deponent sayth he hath knowne the
plaintiff about twelue yeres and the defendant about Syxteene yeres./

2/To the seconde Interrogatory this deponent sayth he knoweth not the defendantes
Estate, but sayth he hath the lease of his house wherin he dwelleth
And A lease of A house in Braynford in the County of Middlesex
and  But he knoweth the defendant hath lyen at Intereste these ^three or ffoure
ffyve yeres for twenty poundes in one place, And hath neyther payed
the principalle nor Interest money dwe for the same./  And
Lykewise hath takne vpp other monney at Interest, And soulde
his plate ^and some houshould stuffe./  And further sayth that he hath herd that the defendant
payeth yerelye Rent for those leases some Seaventeene poundes
per Annum./  And sayth that he thinketh the defendant Receaveth some
        (signed) Chr: Weauer

[Image 6: REQ 4/1/4/2 [6]]

Eighteene poundes per Annum de Claro besides his owne dwellinge and
hath A Soiourner in his house with him but what proffitt he
maketh therby he knoweth not./  And sayth the defendant hath said
in this deponentes hereinge that in Regard the plaintiff ^and his daughter had hath vsed him
so vnkindlie,  And in Regard he promissed them nothinge he
would Rather Rott in prison then geue them any thinge more
then he had geuen them ^before  And more he cannot depose./

3 To the thirde Interrogatory this deponent sayth he hath herd the
defendant saye that after the plaintiff came to be his apprentice
he ffound the plaintiff all his wearinge apparrell. And otherwise
he Cannott depose touchinge the same Interrogatory./

4 To the iiijth Interrogatory this deponent sayth he was never made an
Instrument betweene the plaintiff and the defendant by the defendantes appoyntment
for the moveinge of A marriadge betweene the plaintiff and defendantes ^daughter
And more he cannott depose touchinge any parte of the same
Interrogatory for that he never herd the defendant promise the plaintiff any
some of monney or other thinge with the his daughter Mary
in Marriadge with the plaintiff nor saye that yf she married
not the plaintiff shee should not coste him A groate/

5 To the vth Interrogatory this deponent sayth he hath herd the defendant
and his wyffe saye that they gaue the plaintiff with there daughter
Marye to the Complainant in marriadge the some of ten poundes
in monney and houshould Stuffe of moste sortes somthinge
viz in monney and goodes to the valewe of thirtye poundes
And more he Cannott depose to his Rememberaunce/
       (signature) Chr: Weauer:

[Image 7: REQ 4/1/4/3 [7]]

Nowell Mountioye of the parishe of the parishe of Sainct Olaves in Sylver Streete
London Tyremaker of the Age of thirtye yeares or theraboutes sworne and
examyned the daye and yeare abouesaid deposith and saythe./

1/To the ffirste Interrogatory this deponent sayth he hath knowne the plaintiff
about ffyfteene yeres and the defendant ffyfteene yeres or ther longer
for he is this deponentes brother./

2/To the seconde Interrogatory this deponent sayth that his brother the defendantes
estate is not muche, ^ffor he hath but the lease of twoe houses
one lease of the house wherein he dwelleth devided into twoe tenementes
and A lease of A house in Brainforde by which leases he gaineth
An ouerplus of Rent more then he payeth to the valewe of aboute
nyntene or Seaventeene poundes per Annum./  And hath A ^tyme in his lease
of the howse wherein he dweleth of some thirty yeres to come
which he renewed but latelie, but howe longe tyme he hath to
come in the house he hath at Brainford he knoweth not./
Albeyt the defendant is much in debte, And sould or pawned his
plaite A greate whileste [sic] synce so that his estate cannot be verry
greate./  And sayth that he herd his brother the defendant saye that
yf he weare Condempned in this suyte vndeserved he would
Lye in prison before he would gyve the plaintiff any thinge./  And
more he Cannott depose./

3/ To the thirde Interrogatory this deponent sayth that after the plaintiff
was A yeare A boorder in the defendantes house before he became the
defendantes Apprentice duringe which tyme he beleveth the defendant did
not apparrell the plaintiff: but after the plaintiff became the defendantes
servaunte the defendant apparrelled him  ^Albeyt his ffrindes might send him somtymes A Cloake or payre of Stockinges or such a thinge./ A which he knoweth to be true
for that he did serve the defendant when the plaintiff served him. And
knewe the truth therof:  And more he Cannott depose./
       (signed) nouel montioi

[Image 8: REQ 4/1/4/2 [8]]

4/To the iiijthe Interrogatory this deponent sayth he was never sent by the defendant
nor vnto the Complainant to make A mocion to him of A marriadge to be
hadd betwixte the Complainant and Mary Mountioy the defendantes sole
Child and daughter, nor knoweth of any other that was by the
defendant sent vnto the plaintiff vppon that messuage: [3 minims] but the plaintiff
tould this deponent that ^one Mr Shakspeare was Imployed by the
defendant about that buysnes : in what manner or to what effecte
he knoweth not: And sayth he never herd the defendant saye that
yf his daughter Mary married not with the plaintiff shee should never
haue groate from him./  nor knoweth that the defendant promissed to
geue the plaintiff  Any porcion of monney with his daughter Mary in marriadge
nor howe much he promissed yf he promissed any, nor knoweth
vppon what promise the Complainant contracted him selfe with
the said Marye/.  And more he Cannott depose.

5/To the ffyfte Interrogatory this deponent sayth that after the plaintiffes
marriadge with the said Marye, he this deponent went to see
them, And the plaintiff vppon some speeches betweene this deponent
and the plaintiff the plaintiff tould him that the defendant had geuen
him with his daughter in marriadge the some of ten poundes
and Certayne houshould stuffe, but the valewe ^of the houshould stuffe he knoweth
not./  And more he Cannott depose./
       (signed) nouel montioi

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Interrogatories to bee mynistred to witnesses to bee produced
on the parte and behalfe of Stephen Bellott
Complainant againste Christopher Mountioy defendant

1 Inprmis whether doe you knowe the parties plainant and defendant and
howe longe haue you knowen them and ither [sic] of them?

2 Item of what estate or abillity is the said defendant ^accompted to bee ofand what and what
Lease or Leases of howses or tenementes hathe hee, and where doe the said howses or
tenementes lye, and what is the yeerely vallue thereof? and what tyme or tymes
are to Come in the said Leases? and whether doe you not thinke that the
said defendant receiueth fforty pounds per annum de claro by his said Leases? or howe
muche dothe hee receiue by the same as you haue Credibly heard or verily
beleeue in your Conscience to bee true? and whether hathe not the said defendant
given forthe speaches that hee will rott in prison before hee will giue any
thinge vnto the said Complainant yf the Cause should ^bee decreed agaynste him in
this honorable Courte  declare the truthe of your knowledge herein as you
knowe verily beleeue or haue Credibly heard./

[Left margin:] Humphrey fflude

3 Item who apparelled the said Complainant duringe the tyme of his seruice
with the said defendant? whether [was it] not the ffrends of the said Complainant  and for
howe longe tyme did the said Complainantes ffrendes soe fynde him with
apparell? whether [was it] not duringe the Terme of two yeares or howe
muche longer? declare the truthe of your knowledge herein.

[Left margin:] William Shackspeare

4 Item whether did not the said defendant or some other by his appointment
send you or any other ^person to your knowledge vnto the said Complainant to make a
mocion of marriadge betwixt the said Complainant and the said Mary Mountioy
beinge the defendantes sole Childe and daughter, and what wordes did the said
defendant vse vnto you or to any other to your knowledge touchinge the marryage
of the said Complainant with the said Mary?  Whether did not the defendant then say
that yf shee the said Mary did not marry with the said Complainant, that shee the
said Mary should not Coste him nor haue a groate from him, and whether
did not the said defendant likewise promise that yf the Complainant and the said
Mary did marry together that then hee would giue a porcion with the said
Mary vnto the said Complainant?  howe muche was the said porcion that hee then
promised; whether [was it] not the somme of threescore pounds or what other somme
as you thinke in your Conscience to bee true?  and before whome did the
said defendant soe promise the same, whether before you or any other to your
knowledge, and whether vppon the said promisses and perswacions did not
the said Complainant Contracte himselfe with the said Mary?

[Left margin:] George Wilkins

5 Item whether after the marriadge betwixt the said Complainant and the said
Mary did the said defendant giue any goods or howsehold stuffe to the said
Complainant and his wyffe? yf yea, to what vallue did the said goods or
howsehold stuffe amounte vnto, whether vnto the somme of ffiue pounds
or to what other somme? declare the truthe of your knowledge herein./

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): 25-33.

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

Last updated September 17, 2018