ID: MARG_324_011

TitleEast Mersea Courte Leete 1559 Payments Penalties and Fines
AbstractCourte Leete Payments Penalties and Fines ERO D/DU 555 18 (003)

Transcribed by Jools Hoyle 5 June 2020
There is a translation to Modern English further down the page

Courte Leete [ Note 1 ] `

1. The Fines, forfeictures, amercements [ Note 2 ] etc
2. found by the Homage [ Note 3 ], to be due unto the
3. Lord of this mannor. /
4. 1. Sept[ember]. 1.Eliz[abeth] : [ Note 4 ]Imp[rim]is, the homage found that the Lo[rd]: is to have}
5.yearely of them and of their desiners5 for a co[m]mon} xixs
fine }
6.It[em] For suffring Cattle to straye in the highwaye }
7. Hie waies (highways)to the damage of the neighbo[ur]s, Tho[mas] Flowre } ijs
and divers }
8.other weare am[er]ced at xijd p[er] p[er]s[on]? & }
Pollard at ijs}
9. bloud sead (bloodshed)It[e]m for Bloodshed, Cowlson was amerced at iijs iiij d
10.It[em] for not working with his neighbours to } iiijs
11.mend the highewayes, Martell was amerced at}
12.It[e]m midleton was ordred by a daye limited, to } ijd
13.make vj rodds [ Note 6 ] of ditching upon paine of forfeiting}
14.for every rod ijd / & for xvj rod more iiijs} iiijs
15. no catell sofud (suffered)It[e]m it was ordeyned that no inhabitant of this}
16. one the Hie waiesmanno[r], should hereafter suffer their Cattell to } vjs viijd
17. 7. July. 3. Eliz[abeth] [ Note 7 ]:straye in the highe waye, otherwise then in dryving}
18.to their grounds, under paine for every offence }
19.It[e]m the ten[au]nt[es] w[hi]ch have Co[m]mon w[i]thin }
this mann[or] }
20.weare co[m]maunded, by a certeyne daye to make} vs
21.a gate in Brookemead under payne of forfeyting}
22. reparingIt[e]m J[oh]n Harvy gentleman was Co[m]maunded }
(by a day)}
23. Housesto repaire ij howses w[hi]ch now are ruyines, and } xls
24.are belonging to his tenem[en]t called Martells }
25.under payne of forfeycting}
26. 10. Sept[ember].10.Eliz[abeth] [ Note 8 ]:It[e]m that John Richmond had forfeicted xxs for }
receaving}
27. nobody to soudun (ie sojourn)one Thomas Butler to soiourne [ Note 9 ] with him in his howse}xxs
28. in this towne withw[i]thin this towne, contrary to the Bylawes of }
29. out leafethis towne
30. It[e]m that none should use any Gynnes [ Note 10 ], }
Lyure[?] pypes (lure pipe?) or }
31. no ginn to beFerretts to catch connyes [ Note 11 ] w[i]thin this manno[r] but onely } iijs iiijd
32. useadin their owne graunds upon forfeicting for ev[e]ry offence}
33. 27.Aug[ust]. 13. Eliz[abeth] [ Note 12 ]:It[e]m for not appearing at the Leete, Tho[mas]: Walden }iijd
34.being resident & dwelling w[i]thin the same, was fyned}
35. 3. Sept[ember]: 36.Eliz[abeth] [ Note 13 ]:The Co[m]mon fine was found this yeare & the yeare}
36.following to be xxs yearely }
37. Survay. A[nn]o. 3. Jacobi [ Note 14 ]The homage found that the Lo[rd]: had a court Leet or }
38.view of Franck pledge [ Note 15 ] to be held once yearely }
39.And that they give the Lo[rd]: yerely for a co[m]mon fine xixs
40.And that the King (being then Lo[rd]: of the s[ai]d mannor)}
41.Each right of Patronage of the parishe church of} xxvi
42.Eastmersy and that the Parsonage of Eastm[er]sy consisteth}acres
43.upon the Tenths of all & ev[e]ry kynds & conteyneth in it }
44.And that the Lo[rd]: was to have the rents & services of }
45.certeyne Customary Tennaunts p[er] Annu[m]}


Note 1  A court of record held periodically in a hundred, lordship, or manor, before the lord or his steward, and attended by the residents of the district.
Note 2 a penalty or fine at the discretion of the Lord, or of his court
Note 3 The Homage = a representative group of tenants known as the manorial homage, whose job was to make presentations to the court and act as a jury.
Note 4 1559
Note 5 a desiner = member of a tithing, or group of fellow tenants
Note 6 a rod is about 16ft 6ins
Note 7 1561
Note 8 1568
Note 9 sojourn/stay with
Note 10 'gin', a trap, see OED definition 4b
Note 11 rabbits
Note 12 1571
Note 13 1594
Note 14 1606 - a Survey of the Manor was carried out for new owners by Thomas Peachy (Peachie/Peachey)
Note 15  a court held periodically for the production of the members of a tithing, later of a hundred or manor. A court Leete 


MODERN ENGLISH TRANSLATION by Jools Hoyle February 2021

Court Leet [Note 1]
1. The payments, penalties and fines etc
2. found by the Homage [Note 2] to be due to the
3. Lord of this manor.
4. 1. September 1.Elizabeth [Note 3]Firstly, the homage found that the Lord (of the manor) should receive}
5.annually from them and their fellow tenants by way of common fine [Note 4]}19 shillings
6.Item: For allowing cattle to stray onto the highway}
7. Highwaysto the detriment of the neighbours, Thomas Flowre and various} 2 shillings
8.others were fined at 12 pence (1 shilling) per person, & Pollard}
2 shillings}
9. bloodshedItem: For bloodshed, Cowlson was fined at3 shillings 4 pence
10.Item: For not working with his neighbours to} 4 shillings
11.mend the highways, Martell was fined at}
12.Item: Midleton was ordered, with a time limit of one day, to} 2 pence
13.make 6 rods [Note 5] of ditching on pain of forfeiting}
14.2 pence for every rod and for 16 more rods, 4 shillings} 4 shillings
15. no cattle allowedItem: It was ordained that no inhabitant of this}
16. on the highwaysmanor should hereafter allow their Cattle to}6 shillings 8 pence
17. 7. July. 3. Elizabeth [Note 6]stray onto the highway, other than for driving}
18.them to their land, on pain for each offence of}
19.Item: The tenants who have the right to use common land within this manor}
20.were commanded, by a certain date, to make} 5 shillings
21.a gate in Brookmead on pain of forfeiting}
22. repairingItem: John Harvy, gentleman, was commanded (by a certain date)}
23. Housesto repair 2 houses which are currently in ruins and}40 shillings
24.which are part of his property called Martells}
25. on pain of forfeiting}
26. 10.September. 10. Elizabeth [Note 7]Item: That John Richmond had forfeited 20 shillings for having}
27. nobody to sojourn [Note 8]one Thomas Butler to stay with him in his house}20 shillings
28. in this town withoutwithin this town, contrary to the bylaws of}
29. permissionthis town}
30.Item: That no-one should use any gin traps, (lure pipes) [Note 9] or}
31. no gin traps to beferrets to catch rabbits within this manor unless} 3 shillings 4 pence
32. usedin their own grounds, on pain of forfeiting, for every offence}
33. 27. August. 13. Elizabeth [Note 10]Item: For not appearing at the Leet Court, Thomas Walden}3 pence
34.being a resident and dwelling within the same (i.e. this manor) was fined}
35. 3.September. 36. Elizabeth [Note 11]The Common fine was found (i.e. decided) this year and the year
36.following to be 20 shillings annually
37. Survey. Year 3 James I [Note 12]The homage found that the Lord (of the manor) had a court Leet or}
38.view of Frankpledge [Note 13] to be held once a year}
39.and that they should pay to the Lord each year for the Common fine19 shillings
40.And that the King (being then Lord of the said manor)}
41.held each right of patronage of the parish church of} 26
42.East Mersea and of the parsonage of East Mersea consisting} acres
43.of one tenth of everything contained within it [Note 14]}
44.And that the Lord (of the manor) was to have the rents & services of}
45.certain customary tenants per annum}

Note 1 A court of record held periodically in a hundred, lordship, or manor, before the lord or his steward, and attended by the residents of the district
Note 2 The Homage = a representative group of tenants known as the manorial homage, whose job was to make presentations to the court and act as a jury.
Note 3 1st September of the first year of Elizabeth I's reign - she ruled from 17th November 1558, so this would be 1559
Note 4 not a penalty or fine, but a tax or payment due periodically to the lord of the manor
Note 5 a rod was an old English measurement normally equivalent to 16.5 feet, although it could vary from 9 feet to as much as 29 feet
Note 6 1561
Note 7 1568
Note 8 nobody to have visitors to stay
Note 9 this is unclear, but may refer to the practice of luring waterfowl into the "pipes" of a decoy pond
Note 10 1571
Note 11 1594
Note 12 1606 - a Survey of the Manor was carried out for new owners by Thomas Peachy (Peachie/Peachey)
Note 13 a court held periodically for the production of the members of a tithing, later of a hundred or manor. A court Leete 
Note 14 i.e he was entitled to receive tithes (tenths) in payment to the church and parsonage

Published1 September 1559
SourceMersea Museum
IDMARG_324_011