Archive:STAC 5/L29/37

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Upper Swell Manor House, Upper Swell


Richard Lylley of Stow, Gloucester stated that William and Johan Foxe had leased the Manor of Overswell (Upper Swell), Gloucester which had previously been in the possession of the dissolved monastery of Evesham.

Lylley claimed that William Whitney, Gent., of Icomb along with his brother George Whitney, Gent. and many others (about 80 in total) had on 15 July 1567 assembled at the manor's mansion house with various weapons to try to gain entry. Richard Lylley, William and Johan Foxe, along with their children, servants, and friends were trapped inside. He claimed that the rioters had used mining instruments to try to undermine part of the house and had threatened to burn it down. The 'rioters' stayed for about three weeks, not letting anyone in or out, and Lylley suggested they were trying to starve them out. The group was forced to drink rain water and to eat verinyse (vermin?). The group in the house finally relented and left, leaving all of their possessions.

Richard Lylley complained to the Justices of Assize who then issued a warrant for the arrest of George Whitney, William Whitney, and Richard George. A bailiff attempted to arrest George Whitney and then Richard George, both of whom managed to slip away. Finally, he was able to arrest George Whitney, who grabbed the bailiff and beat him, then was able to escape.

Because of the social status of the individuals involved, Richard Lylley requested the Court of Star Chamber to subpoena the Whitneys. Because the Bill of Complaint is the only document in the suit which has been found, the results of the complaint are not known.


8 Elizabeth (1566 - 1567)


  • Stow, Gloucester
  • Overswell (almost certainly Upper Swell), Gloucester
  • Icomb, Gloucester


Whitney Alliance

  • George Whitney, Gentleman, of Icomb
  • William Whitney, Gentleman, of Icomb
  • Richard George, servant of William Whitney
  • Edward Ryley
  • Robert Hyett
  • John Pyke
  • John Freman
  • William Robinson
  • Richard Edwards
  • Roger Rose
  • William Trinder
  • John Granger
  • John Woodford
  • John Gladwin
  • John Glumbold

Lylley Alliance

  • Richard Lylley of Stow
  • William Foxe and his wife Johan


  • Sir Edward Saunders, Knight, Lord Chief Baron of the Court of Eschequer, Justice of Assize, Gloucestershire
  • Thomas Carns, Esq., Servant at Law, Justice of Assize, Gloucestershire
  • Richard Harris, yeoman, bailiff
  • Mr Thomas Smyth, of Campden, Justice of the Peace, Gloucestershire
  • Richard Trary, Esq., Justice of the Peace, Gloucestershire


To the Quenes most excellent ma[jes]tie

In most humble wise shewyth and complayneth to yo[u]r hyghnes yo[u]r true faythfull & obedient subiect & dayly orator Richard Lylley of Stow in the Olde in yo[u]r Countie of Glocestre yoman; That where yo[u]r ma[jes]ties said subiect was rightfully & by good true & lawfull conveyance posessyd for terme of dyvers yeres yet contynnyng & to cum of & in the Syte of the mannor of Overswell in the Countie aforesaid w[i]th all the howses barnes stables & other edifyces therupon standyng & beyng togyther w[i]th dyvers other lande[s] tenemente[s] & hereditamente[s] in Overswell aforesaid to the said Syte belongyng w[i]th said p[re]mysses were p[ar]cell of the possession of the dyssolvyd Monastery of Evesham in yo[u]r Countie of Worcestre, and dysmysed & leassyd by the late Abbott & covent of the said late Monastery by Indenture sealyd w[i]th the com[m]on Seale of the said late Monastery to Wyllyam Foxe & Johan hys wyf for terme of many yeres yet to cum as by the said Indenture of Leasse doth & may more playnly appere Thestate right tytle & terme of yeres to come of w[hi]ch said Wyllyam & Johan of & in the said p[re]mysses togyther w[i]th the said Indenture of Leasse, ys to yo[u]r said hyghnes subiect well & lawfully conveyed as afore ys declaryd & he therof possessyd accordyngly as of hys p[ro]pre goode[s] & catelle[s] And yo[u]r said hyghnes subiect so beyng possessyd So yt ys most gracyous sovereigne Lady, that one Wyllyam Whytney of Icombe in the Countie of Gloucestre aforesaid gentleman beyng a man of great allyance & power in the said Countie George Whytney of gentleman Richarge George servant to the said Wyllyam[,] Edward Ryley[,] Robert Hyett[,] John Pyke[,] John Freman[,] Wyllyam Robynson[,] Richard Edwarde[s][,] Roger Rose[,] Wyllyam Trynder[,] John Granger[,] John Woodford[,] John Gladwyn & John Glumbold togyther w[i]th dyvers other ryotous com[m]on barettours & other evyll dysposyd p[er]sons to yo[u]r said subiect unknown to the nu[m]bre of fowre score p[er]sons & moo [more?] the xvth day of July last passyd beyng in the eyghtth yere of yo[u]r said ma[jes]ties reigne w[i]th force & armes that ys to wyte bowes bylles pykestaves javelyns sworde[s] bucklers daggers & other kynd of weapons both of invasyve & defensyve in man[n]er of tumult & comoc[i]on most ryotously & unlawfully dyd assemble them selves at Overswell aforesaid and then & there so beyng unlawfully & tumultuously assembled the ma[n]syon howse of the said Syte of the said Mannor w[i]th lyke force dyd assayle & assault to thentent w[i]th vyolence & strong hand to entre the same, and yo[u]r said subiect togither w[i]th the said Wyllyam Foxe & Johan hys wyse & dyvers other the frynde[s] & servante[s] of yo[u]r said subiect then & there beyng in the peace of god & of yo[u]r ma[jes]tie dyd terrybly menace & put in feare, and w[i]th Crowes of yron [iron crowbars], Mattocke[s] & other mynyng instrumente[s] dyd undermyne p[ar]te of the sayd mansyon howse, & dyvers doores & wyndowes of the said mansion howse brake & threw downe And the said Wyllyam togyther w[i]th other the ryotours aforenamyd contynnyng their said malyce & ryotous demeannre aswell the said xvth day of July afore mencyoned as dyvers dayes after by the space of three wekes togyther & more w[i]th lyke force of armes lay in contynuall awayt abowte the said mansyon howse cruelly menacyng & threattenyng yo[u]r said subiect hys wyfe chyldren & servante[s] and all other then beyng in the said mansyon howse, & puttyng them in great feare of losse of their lyves or lym[m]es And so contynually duryng the space aforesaid in lyke ryotous & forcyble maner, & gatheryng dayly unto them the most ryotous unruly & mysgovernyed p[er]sons of all the Countrey in great trowpes & flocke[s], lay as yt were in sege abowte the said mansyon howse threattenyng to burne the same and dayly & nyghtly kepyng watch & ward & makyng cabous abowte the same for their lodgynge[s] in such strayte & dreadfull maner as they would not p[er]mytt & suffer any p[er]sone or p[er]sones to cum nygh or approch the said mansyon howse to bryng any bred drynk or other vytayles thyther for the necessary susten[e]nce & relefe of yo[u]r said subiect hys wyfe chyldren servante[s] or any other beyng w[i]thin the said howse, but utterly ment & entendyd there to famysh & hungersterve them so farforth as yo[u]r said subiect hys folke[s] & servante[s] were dryven by dyvers dayes to susteyne their lyves w[i]th rayne water & verinyse. By reason of w[hi]ch owtragyous force menacyng strayt & hard kepyng, and lykewyse of the detestable dryste[?] of the said Wyllyam practysed and wrought aswell w[i]th open force, as also secretly by synystre suggestyons & most untrue informac[i]ons made to yo[u]r hyghnes & yo[u]r honorable counsell attendant on yo[u]r p[er]son, & p[ar]tly also by the ayde & assystance of dyvers gentlemen in the Countrey beyng men of great powre & most assured frynde[s] to the said Wyllyam by reason of kyndryd & otherwyse: Yo[u]r said subiect was at the last by such extremytie enforcyd to remove & dep[ar]te w[i]th hys wyfe chyldren frynde[s] and famylye from & owt of the said mansyon howse, and relynquysh & leave hys goode[s] & lawfull possessyon of & in the same to the said Wyllyam & other hys adherente[s] & maynteyners And where as yo[u]r said subiect beyng in such unlawfull & owtrageous maner ____ryed & oppressyd by the said Wyllyam & hys complyces at the assyses holden at Glocestre in the Moneth of July last passed made hys grevous complaynt to the right honorable S[i]r Edward Saunders knyght lord chefe Baron of yo[u]r ma[jes]ties Court of Eschequer & Thomas Carns Esquyer yo[u]r ma[jes]ties Servant at the law beyng Justyces of Assyse in yo[u]r said Countie as well for reformac[i]on & redresse of some p[ar]te of the numryes wronge[s] & harmes to hym comytted & done as afore ys declaryd, as also for the safety & saufegard of the bodyes of yo[u]r said subiect hys servante[s] & frynde[s] beyng grevously threattenyd & standyng in dayly dannger of losse of their lyves or lymes & burnyng of their howses by the said Wyllyam Whytney & his unlawfull reteyners & adherente[s] & namely of the abovenamyd George Whytney gentleman brother of the said Wyllyam & Richard George hys servant two of the Ryotours abovenamyd Upon c[hi]ch complaynt beyng groundyd all upon trowth & nothyng but the trowth, & provyd also by good & suffycyent wytnesses sworne unto the same, yt semyd good to yo[u]r said hyghnes Justices of assyse aforementionyd that p[ro]cess of good abearyng should be awardyd agaynst the said Wyllyam Whytney[,] George Whytney __ Richard George & certyn others of the ryotours aforenamyd accordyngly w[i]th proffe beyng granntyd was delyvered ymedyatly to Richard Harrys yoman, beyng a baylyf knowne & sworne in the said Countie to be servyd & executyd upon the said Ryotours last namyd. W[i]th said baylyf in the p[re]sence of good & credyble wytnesses the xxviiith day of July last passyd came w[i]th the said p[ro]cesse to the said Wyllyam Whytney showyng the same to the said Wyllyam & chargyng hym in the Quenes Ma[jes]ties name to obey the same He nevertheles the said Wyllyam understandyng by the said Baylyf what the said p[ro]cess was, & also havyng syght thereof, Albeyt he made promyse to obey the same & to goo w[i]th the said baylyf to Mr Thomas Smyth of Campden beyng one of yo[u]r Ma[jes]ties Justices of yo[u]r peace in yo[u]r said Countie: yet in contempt of yo[u]r Ma[jes]tie & yo[u]r lawes, sodenly gatt to hys horse & lyke a lawles man fled upon the spurre, & after he had ones gotten owt of syght, came not at all to the said Mr Smyth. And afterwarde[s] that ys to say the xxxxith day of the Moneth aforesaid the said baylyf in lyke maner servyd the said processe upon the said Richard George chargyng hym in lyke maner to obey the same as he had afore done to hys said Mr, w[hi]ch Richard also w[i]th lyke contempte fled & made escape from the said baylyf And afterwarde[s] the said baylyf havyng styll the said processe in hys hande[s] & sekyng to fynde the said George Whytney, lastly that ys wyte the fowrth ~ day of August last passyd, founde the same George at Church Stanway in the Countie aforesaid in the howse of Richard Trary Esquier one of yo[u]r Ma[jes]ties Justyces of yo[u]r peace in the said Countie, at w[hi]ch day & place the said Baylyf servyd & executyd the said precesse of good abearyng upon the said George Whytney by p[er]sonall arrest of the body of the said George, He nevertheles the said George after the said arrest than & there cawght the said baylyf by the bosome & w[i]th hys fyst beat & buffett hym, so th[a]t why lest he the said baylyfe stoode all astonyed throwgh the multytude of hys blowes & strokes there receyved, he the said George founde the meanes to escape from the said baylyfe by the backsyde of the said howse, and so p[ar]tly w[i]th hys owne force & p[ar]tly w[i]th ayde of other Ryotours unknown rescowyd hym selfe. All & singular w[hi]ch Rowte ryotte[s] rescowes unlawfull assemblyes affrayes bateryes breches of yo[u]r ma[jes]ties peace contempte of yo[u]r law & other the mysdemeaners afore specyfyed are not only contrary to yo[u]r anncyent good lawes & statute[s] of yo[u]r Realme & agaynst yo[u]r peace crowne & dygnytie, but also most p[er]yllous p[re]cedente[s] & examples to styrre & anymate other malefactors to the lyke unlawfull attempte[s] & owtrageous acte[s] & mysedemeanors yf such & so heyghnous offences should passe unponyshed, May yt therfore please yo[u]r said ma[jes]ties the p[ro]mysses consyderyd to direct yo[u]r most drad severall wryttes of Subpena to the said Ryotours & other the malefactors before namys, com[m]andyng them & every of them by the same, not only to appere p[er]sonally before the most honorable Lorde[s] & other of yo[u]r hyghnes pryve counsell in yo[u]r Court of Sterre chamber at Westm[inster] ata certyne day & under a certyne payne to make answere unto yo[u]r p[re]mysses but also than & there to abyde & obey all such further order & dyreccyon as to the said most honorable shall seme convenyent for redresse of & in yo[u]r p[re]mysses And yo[u]r said poore subiect shall dayly pray to almyghty god for the long happy contynuance of yo[u]r most gracyous reigne.

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