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June 23,
1612

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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.

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Creator: Court of Requests 
Title: Further interrogatories and depositions in Belott v Mountjoy, on behalf of Stephen Belott
Date: June 23, 1612
Repository: The National Archives, Kew UK
Call number and opening: REQ 4/1/4/3
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Item Creator
Court of Requests
Item Title
Further interrogatories and depositions in Belott v Mountjoy, on behalf of Stephen Belott
Item Date
June 23, 1612
Repository
The National Archives, Kew, UK
Call Number
REQ 4/1/4/3

REQ 4/1/4/3 [2]

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REQ 4/1/4/3 [2]
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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: Further interrogatories and depositions in Belott v Mountjoy, on behalf of Stephen Belott
Date: June 23, 1612
Repository: The National Archives, Kew UK
Call number and opening: REQ 4/1/4/3
View online bibliographic record

 

Item Creator
Court of Requests
Item Title
Further interrogatories and depositions in Belott v Mountjoy, on behalf of Stephen Belott
Item Date
June 23, 1612
Repository
The National Archives, Kew, UK
Call Number
REQ 4/1/4/3

REQ 4/1/4/3 [3]

View Image Assets
REQ 4/1/4/3 [3]
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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: Further interrogatories and depositions in Belott v Mountjoy, on behalf of Stephen Belott
Date: June 23, 1612
Repository: The National Archives, Kew UK
Call number and opening: REQ 4/1/4/3
View online bibliographic record

 

Item Creator
Court of Requests
Item Title
Further interrogatories and depositions in Belott v Mountjoy, on behalf of Stephen Belott
Item Date
June 23, 1612
Repository
The National Archives, Kew, UK
Call Number
REQ 4/1/4/3

REQ 4/1/4/3 [4]

View Image Assets
REQ 4/1/4/3 [4]
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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: Further interrogatories and depositions in Belott v Mountjoy, on behalf of Stephen Belott
Date: June 23, 1612
Repository: The National Archives, Kew UK
Call number and opening: REQ 4/1/4/3
View online bibliographic record

 

Item Creator
Court of Requests
Item Title
Further interrogatories and depositions in Belott v Mountjoy, on behalf of Stephen Belott
Item Date
June 23, 1612
Repository
The National Archives, Kew, UK
Call Number
REQ 4/1/4/3

REQ 4/1/4/3 [5]

View Image Assets
REQ 4/1/4/3 [5]
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 
Title: Further interrogatories and depositions in Belott v Mountjoy, on behalf of Stephen Belott
Date: June 23, 1612
Repository: The National Archives, Kew UK
Call number and opening: REQ 4/1/4/3
View online bibliographic record

 

Item Creator
Court of Requests
Item Title
Further interrogatories and depositions in Belott v Mountjoy, on behalf of Stephen Belott
Item Date
June 23, 1612
Repository
The National Archives, Kew, UK
Call Number
REQ 4/1/4/3

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: Further interrogatories and depositions in Belott v Mountjoy, on behalf of Stephen Belott
Date: June 23, 1612
Repository: The National Archives, Kew UK
Call number and opening: REQ 4/1/4/3
View online bibliographic record

 

Shown here is the third round of depositions, dated June 23, 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.” Stephen and Mary were married in the parish church of St. Olave Silver Street on November 19, 1604. 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 third round of depositions were to answer a list of seven questions, called interrogatories, on behalf of the defendant. Despite being ostensibly sympathetic to Mountjoy’s side of the argument, this third round does not portray him positively. This round also does not mention William Shakespeare.

The first witness in the third round of depositions was Christopher Weaver, of the parish of St. Olave, Silver Street, mercer. Weaver testifies that within the past three weeks he had tried to make peace between the litigants. Bellott hoped his father-in-law “would lett him dwell in one of his houses, which was nexte to his owne dwelling house payinge some Rent for yt, ” and would leave his daughter “in better estate then he ffound her whensoeuer god should be pleased to calle him” – meaning that he should remember Mary Mountjoy Bellott in his will. But Weaver found Mountjoy unwilling to comply because of “his sonne in lawes vsage towardes him.” Weaver was also interrogated in the second round, where his age is given as 38 years, although here he is identified as 36 years of age.

The second witness in the third 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 Christopher Mountjoy. He testifies that he had been involved in various discussions with plaintiff and defendant, but without a resolution. Noel Mountjoy was also interrogated in the second round.

The third witness in the third round of depositions was Thomas Flower of the parish of St. Alban, Wood Street, London, merchant-taylor, 38 years of age. Flower reports that, while alive, Mountjoy’s wife provided the couple with some assistance, but that Mountjoy was unsympathetic to their pleas: “I haue nothinge but that which I will keepe  And yf I owe him Any monney lett him com by yt as he Can.”

Twenty-six documents survive from Bellott v. Mountjoy. Twelve of these refer to Shakespeare explicitly or implicitly (including one with his signature), although the documents shown here do 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. 33-39.]]

[Image 1: REQ 4/1/4/3 [1]]

Depositiones Capte apud Westmonasterium xxiijtio die Junij Anno Regni
Jacobi Regis Anglie &c decimo et Scotie xlvto [23 June, 1612] ex parte Christopheri Mountioy
defendentis versus Stephanum Bellott querentem./

Christopher Weaver of the parishe of Sainct Olaves in Sylver Streete
London mercer of the Age of thirtye Syxe yeres or theraboutes
sworne and examyned the daye and yere abouesaid deposith
and saythe

1/To the ffirste Interrogatory this deponent sayth he knoweth the
plaintiff and defendant./

2/3/4/5/6 To the ijd iijd iiijth vth and vjth Interrogatory this deponent is not examined at
the Request of the defendant

7/ To the vijth Interrogatory this deponent sayth that about three weekes
synce he this deponent wishinge well to bothe the plaintiff and defendant went
of his owne voluntarye will and disposition to talke with the plaintiff
and to see yf he could bringe them to be frindes  And Questioninge
with the plaintiff About the same vnkindnes and shewinge him that he tooke
A wronge Course to sue his ffather in Lawe, the plaintiff Answeared him
this deponent  that he would never haue sued his ffather in Lawe
yf his ffather in Lawe would haue bene willinge to haue hadd
his Companye in ffamilliar manner as at his table./  And
said further he Could be contented the matter should be
Ended betwixte them, so that his ffather [in Lawe] would lett him dwell
in one of his houses, which was nexte to him his owne dwelling
house payinge some Rent for yt, And further said he could leave
his wyffe in better estate then he ffound her whensoeuer
god should be pleased to calle him, ^vnto which this deponent said he was
gladd of yt,  And said he this deponent would make yt knowne
to the defendant his ffather [in Lawe]. And do what he could to make them
ffrindes ^or woordes to that effecte  And soe did, but the defendant yt seemed had taken such
an vnkinnes [sic] at his sonne in lawes vsage towardes him that
he said he would never geue him Any more, As before he
hath deposed in his Answeare to the plaintiffes Interrogatory.  And more he
Cannott depose.
       (signed) Chr : Weauer

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

Nowell Mountioy of the parishe of Sainct Olaves in Sylver Streete London
Tyremaker of the Age of thirtye yeres or theraboutes sworne and
examyned the daye and yere abouesaid deposeth and saythe.

1/To the ffirste Interrogatory this deponent sayth he knoweth the plaintiff
and defendant./

2/ 3/ To the seconde and third Interrogatory this deponent Can saye nothinge
more touchinge any parte of the same Interrogatory

4/To the iiijth Interrogatory this deponent sayth that the plaintiff since his
marriadge with the defendantes daughter Marye tould this deponent
that the defendant had geuen them the plaintiff and his wyffe the some
of ten poundes in monney and Certayne houshould stuffe but
the valewe of the houshould stuffe he cannott declare, for that
he did not see the houshould stuffe deliuered./  And more he
Cannott depose

5 To the ffyfte Interrogatory this deponent sayth that the plaintiff sent for
him this deponent ^about A yere since which he thinketh is neere or about or synce this suyte beganne.  And asked this deponent
yf he knewe of the tenn poundes the defendant his ffather in lawe gaue
him and his wyffe synce there Marriadge./  And this deponent tould
the plaintiff he did knowe of yt, wherevppon the plaintiff tould him
this deponent that yf when he was called to depo Answeare
wherefore yt was ^geuen them, he this deponent might doe him the plaintiff
good yf he this deponent would Answeare that he the plaintiff
Receaved yt of the deffendant for woorke donne for him, sayinge
to this deponent that he the plaintiff was lykelie to be A better
ffrind to this deponent then the defendant would be, vrdginge that
the defendant was all for him selfe./  And further sayth that synce
that tyme the plaintiffes mayd [i.e., Joan Johson] lykewise vrdged this deponent that shee herd
him saye that he herd the defendant saye that he gaue the plaintiff that ten poundes
        (signed) nouel montioi

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

aforesaid for woorke: which was ffalse: ffor which this deponent rebuked
Rebuked the mayde. And more he Cannott depose./

6/To the vjth Interrogatory this deponent sayth that the herd plaintiff tould him
that the defendant came vnto him And desired him to Reccon with him
About monney And other thinges betweene them/  And the plaintiff
tould this deponent that he Answeared him the defendant that he
would not Reccon with him any thinge, sayinge he was sorry
he hadd not more in his handes to Reccon with him for then
he hadd ^sayinge [added in margin] he saies I owe him three poundes, & he oweth me fforty shillinges, yf all come to all tis but twenty shillinges difference./  And more he cannott depose touchinge the said
Interrogatory to his Rememberaunce./

7/To the vijth Interrogatory this deponent is not examyned at the Requeste
of the defendant
        (signed) nouel montioi

Thomas fflower of the parishe of Sainct Albons in Woodstreete London merchaunttaylor
of the Age of thirtye Eight yeres or theraboutes sworne and examined
the daye and yere abouesaid deposith and saythe/

1/To the ffirste Interrogatory this deponent sayth he knoweth the plaintiff and defendant

2/To the seconde Interrogatory this deponent sayth that ^he hath often herd Marye the defendantes late
wyffe did often in her lyffe tyme vrdge her husbond the defendant to
geue somthynge more vnto the plaintiff and his wyffe then he had donne ^before
wherevnto the defendant Mountioye would commonlye answeare her that
he would not promise them any thinge because he knewe not
what he should neede him selfe./  And soe he hath herd the defendant
often saye he would promise nothinge for feare of wantinge him
selfe or woordes to the lyke effecte./  And more he Cannott depose./

3/To the third Interrogatory this deponent sayth he hath herd the defendantes
wyffe in her lyffe tyme saye that her husbonde and shee hadd
geuen her daughter Marye and her husbond the plaintiff synce
        (signed) Thomas fflower

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

there marriadge togeather the some of ten poundes in Monney And
Certayne Implementes of houshould stuffe,  And that shee would haue
had her husbond Mountioye haue geuen them more./  but he would
not sayinge he knewe not what he him selfe might want or
woordes to the lyke effecte.  And more he Cannott depose/

4 To the iiijth Interrogatory this deponent sayth that he herd as aforesaid
that the plaintiff Receaved of the defendant ten poundes of in monney And
Certayne houshould stuffe./  but the valewe of the houshould stuffe
he knoweth not./  And further sayth that synce the plaintiffes goinge
from the defendant the defendant sent this deponent to the plaintiff to desire
him to Reccon with him for some Monney and other thinges which he
had takne with him when he went Awaye./  And the plaintiff did
answeare this deponent that he had but some fewe trifles of
his which he would not confesse in particuler nor deliuer.  And
more he Cannott depose/

5 To the vth Interrogatory this deponent sayth the plaintiff hath not at any tyme
vrdged nor perswaded this deponent to conceale his knowledge
nor otherwise to depose and speake ^Any thinge somthinge concerninge the matter
nowe in Question betweene them./  And more he cannot depose./

6/To the vjth Interrogatory this deponent sayth that by him this deponent the
defendant did ^longe synce desire the plaintiff to Reccon with him the defendant about
monney And other thinges due betweene ^them, wherevppon this deponent
moved him to A Recconinge, who Answeared th ^in manner ffollowinge vz wheare I
haue a penniwoorth of Any thinge, I would I hadd more of his
I haue nothinge but that which I will keepe  And yf I
owe him Any monney lett him com by yt as he Can./  ^which Answeare which this
deponent retorned [to] the defendant  And more he cannot depose.

7 To the vijth Interrogatory this deponent is not examned at requeste of
the defendant./
       (signed) Thomas fflowers

[Image 5: REQ 4/1/4/3 [5]]

Interrogatories to be ministred vnto witnesses produced on the parte and
behalf of Christopher Mountioy defendant to the bill of Complanyt [sic] of Stephen
Bellott Complainant./

1. Inprimis whether do you knowe the parties plantiffes and defendant./

2 Item whether did you not heare or knowe that Mary the late wief of Christopher Mountioy the defendant
did in her life tyme vrdge the said defendant to give somthinge more vnto Bellott the plaintiff./
and his wief then he had donn, and did not the said Mountioye the defendant aunswere her
that he would never promise them anie thinge: because he knewe not what he should neede
himselfe?  or what other speaches to that purpose did you heare her or anie other speake
and when were they spoken  declare the whole truth herein accordinge to your remembrance

3 Item have you not heard the late wief of Christopher Mountioy the defendant declare
what her then husband the said Christopher Mountioy and shee had given the said
Complainant and his wief after theire Marriage  and that shee would have had the said
Christopher Mountioy her then husband to have given them more, but he vtterly
refused and would not or what other speaches have you heard her say touchinge
that matter,  declare the whole truth in particuler as you remember?

4 Item do you knowe or haue you heard of anie monie or other goodes which the said Complainant
Bellott hath receaved of the said Christopher Mountioy the defendant or his late wife
and whether were those sommes of monie or other goodes delivered to them, and what was
the vallewe of them  declare your whole knowledge herein?/

5 Item hath not the Complaynant Stephen Bellott vrdged or perswaded you to Conceale
your knowledge or otherwise to depose or speake somthinge Concerninge the matter
nowe in question betweene him ^and the said Mountioy the defendant which you knowe
not to be true and what speaches hath he lately vsed, or spoken vnto you to
that or anie such purpose and when did he speake them  declare the premisses
thereof according to your knowledge?/

6 Item whether did you ever heare or knowe that the said Christopher Mountioy
the defendant did by himself or anie from him desire the said Stephen Bellott
the Complainant to reccon with him about the monie and other things due betweene
them and what aunswere did the said Bellott make therevnto and whether do
you knowe or haue heard that the said Bellott hath Confessed that he did
owe the said Mountioy anie monie or other thinges and what was that monie
and other thinges and when did he Confesse it, and what speaches have
you heard the said Bellott speake Concerninge the Recconinge or difference betweene
the said Mountioy and him and when did he speake them declare your whole truthe
herein?/

7 Item did not you of your voluntary will and disposition to make the plaintiff and defendant
frendes goe to the plaintiff about three weekes since and tould the plaintiff that he tooke a wronge
Course to sue his Father in Lawe  And that it weare better they weare kinde and
Lovinge frendes and what aunswere made the plantiff vpon your Conference
with him thereabout  declare your knowledge?/

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): 33-39.

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

Last updated September 17, 2018