Archive:STAC 5/V3/8

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This document contains the depositions of Sir James Whitney, Eustace Whitney, Thomas Whitney, Robert Evans, and Roger Rosse, defendants in the bill of complaint by Roger Vaughan.

The National Archives dates the document to 20 Elizabeth I, which ran from November 1578 through October 1579. If the March 1st event described in the document happened the same year as the court case (it may not have), then it occurred March 21, 1579. The court case may have been several years after the event, however.

Folio 8 is a list of interrogatories to be ministered to (questions to be asked of) the deponents and these questions are very informative in telling Robert Vaughan's version of the events.

According to the questions put forth by Roger Vaughan, in the early afternoon of March 21st (1579 or a few years prior), Roger Rosse and Robert Evans visited an alehouse in Winforton run by John Thomas. While there, they had a disagreement with Howell Gwyn, an "ulliesman" of Roger Vaughan, and, agreeing to return the following day to fight with him, returned to the town of Whitney before nightfall. Apparently Rosse and Evans returned to the alehouse at about 9:00 that night, and Roger Vaughan implied that they did so with an agreement that Eustace Whitney and Thomas Whitney would follow them there. Leaving the alehouse to begin their journey home, the group saw William Griffith, a servant of Roger Vaughan on the streets and, after asking who he was, made a comment that they should carry him to the stocks. To this, Griffith stated that he was a "true man" and a member of the group, probably Roger Rosse, attacked him and greavously wounded him. Griffith cried out, and Roger Vaughan and his servant, coming to his rescue, were also attacked by the group. The group, leaving them for dead, then left for the home of Sir James Whitney, supposedly to save Roger Rosse. Roger Vaughan requested the help of the constable and together they apprehended the drunk Roger Rosse before the group could make it home. Roger Vaughan told the constable that he should hold Rosse until it was determined if those hurt would recover or not. The rest of the group made it to the house of Sir James Whitney, and Roger Vaughan implied that Sir James may have suggested that they go back to get Rosse. The group returned to Winforton and broke into the constables house. The constable stated that he was to keep Rosse till morning when he would bring him before Sir James Whitney or any other Justice of the Peace, and if any of the hurt men should die, that he was to be held accountable for their murder. The group instead took Rosse with them to the house of Sir James Whitney. Roger Vaughan wanted to know how much of this event Sir James was aware of and/or involved in personally. He wanted to know where Eustace Whitney had gone the following morning, and he wanted to know why the group had gone to the alehouse in Winforton so many times that day when there were other alehouses in Whitney and nearby Stowe.

Related Documents

STAC 5/V1/26 contains the Bill of Complaint, Answer of Sir James Whitney, Answer of the other defendants, Replication, and Rejoinder for this case.


  • Whitney - Home of Sir James Whitney
  • Winforton - Site of an alehouse owned by John Thomas


Whitney Alliance

Vaughan Alliance

  • Roger Vaughan, Esquire
  • Howell Gwyn, an "ulliesman" of Roger Vaughan
  • William Griffith, servant of Roger Vaughan


  • John Thomas, an alehouse keep in Winforton


Folio 1

not yet transcribed

Folio 2

not yet transcribed

Folio 3

not yet transcribed

Folio 4

not yet transcribed

Folio 5

not yet transcribed

Folio 6

not yet transcribed

Folio 7

not yet transcribed

Folio 8

Interrogatories to be mynistered to Sir James Whitney knight[,] Euston Whitney[,] Thomas Whitney[,] Robert Evans and Roger Rosse Defendants Uppon s[ai]d Bill of complaynt of Robert Vaughan esquier

[1] [Impri]mis whether you knew or were geven to understande that Roger Rosse one of the defendanntes [acco]mpanied with Robert Evans in the howse of John Thomas an alehouse keep in Winforton about [folded]n of the clocke in the afternoone of the xxith daie of marche mentioned in the said [folded]ll had fallen out with one Howell Gwyn an ulliesman of the said p[laintif] and had appointed to fight on [t]he nexte daie followinge and whyther did the said Roger Rosse and Robert Evans come home unto whitney before nighte the same daye.
[2] Itm whyther dyd Roberte Evans or Roger Rosse signifie or declare unto Sir James Whitney to Eustace Whitney or Thomas Whitney or to any one of them that the saide Rosse had fallen out w[i]th the said Hoell Gwyn and uppon that declarac[i]on or speeche whither did S[i]r James Whitney, Eustace, or Thomas Whitney or any of them will or wishe the said Robert Evans and Roger Rosse to goe alone or take company withe them to Winforton againe about nyne of Clocke at night the foresaid daye and whyther did Eustace or Thomas or any one of them saye, that they would folow shortlie after them thither to the said Alehouse, and to what purpose did you or any of you goe in the nighte
[3] Itm whither did you the said Robarte Evans and Rosse repaire to the saide alehowse, what company had you, what weapons wore you, or those that were in your company, and what were their names, and whither did you Eustace or Thomas Whitney goe thither after them, what companye had you w[i]th you and what weapons did you or they were, and what was their names
4 Itm whither did you foure or any of you as you were passinge from Winforton aforesaid homeward on in the strates of the said Towne meete or see Willm Griffith servante to the p[laintif] bringinge one by his m[aste]r com[m]anded to be lodged in the saide alehowse, and whither did you or any of you aske, who was there, and whither did the saide Griffithe annswere that I Griffithe am heere, and whither did you or any of you then saye, thou Roger art thou there and afterwardes saie lett us carye him to the stockes
5 Itm whither did the said Griffith then annswere that he was a true man, and whither did you or any of you then assault or laye violent handes uppon the said Griffith beinge alone, and him grevouslie wounded & whither uppon that wounde receyved, was there an hue and Crye Levied, and whither uppon that hue and Crye Levied Did the said p[laintif] and his sonne come fourthe and what wordes did he use, what apparrell wore he, what weapons had he in his hande, and whither he did not [---- blurred ----] prove to be kepte
6 Itm whither the saide p[laintif] [folded] then hurte, and whither did you after the hurtinge of the p[laintif] and his servannte supposinge them to be slayne dep[ar]te awaye to S[i]r James Whitney howse savinge Roger Rosse who beinge fowly overcome with drinke, was apprehended by the p[laintif] and the Constable
7 Itm whither did the said p[laintif] in your heringe or presence give a chardge to the constable to be sure of Rosse untill yt might be knowen whether the p[ar]ties wounded might recover their hurtes or noe
8 Itm whyther you or any of you after this lewde enterprise committed did repaire unto S[i]r James Whitney howse, and whither did S[i]r James understand therof, and whether did he will you or any of you to goe thither againe to fetche the said Rosse home
9 Itm How many went to winforton afterwards w[i]th you, what was their names what weapons had they and whether did you or any of your company breake upp the constables howse, and violentlie take at the said Rose from his custodie, and afterward bringe him to S[i]r James Whitney howse and whither did the constable desiere you or any of you to rest contented, and that he would bringe Rose the morninge followinge, before S[i]r James Whitney or any other Justice of the peace
10 Itm whither did the Constable annswere that Rosse was to annswere the murtheringe of the p[laintif] and his servannte if any of them should dye
11 Itm whither did you the said def[endante] or any of you cary or ____ the said Rose to the howse of the said S[i]r James, and whether did you S[i]r James speake w[i]th any of the said offenders the same night, and what was the effect of your speache, w[i]th them or any of them, after they had taken Rose from the constable
12 Itm Whither did you Eustace dep[ar]te from the howse of your said brother the morninge followinge in your brothers favor, and what was the cause of yo[u]r dep[ar]ture from thence, and how longe taried you there after those ryottes most shamefullie com[m]itted, and when dep[ar]ted y[o]u thence, & what was the cause of ___ dep[ar]ture
13 Itm Whither did you S[i]r James, at any tyme sende for the said constable, what wordes had you w[i]th him, and whither did not he declare unto you how his two _____________ by yo[u]r Brother ___ that they __________ violen[t]lie from him, and nev[er] used yo[u]r authoritie, and whither did not you threaton the constable w[i]th the stockes for his playne speeche w(i)th you
14 14 Itm whither did not you S[i]r James declare _____ unto Charles Vaughan of ____ that yo[u] were previe to these lewde factes of yo[u]r brother, and _ you were utterlie in ____ ______ _ that you had turned yo[u]r brother awaie for that cause & if you _____ not these wordes or the like right communicac[i]on hadd you w[i]th the said Charles about that matter
15 Itm What induced you or any of you to make so many iourneyes to winforton the same daie... howse havinge _____ alehowses in Whitney and in Stow there and coming ___ how often were you there the same daie
[1]6 Itm whither did you or any of you beate or ____ ____ the said constable ____ ____________ _____ maye?

companye and what was his name

[17] Itm How longe did the constable keepe the prison[er] deteyned and
[18] Itm whtiher were Robert Evans, Thomas Whitney [------------------ blurred -----------------]

the _____ of this Ryott com[m]itted and how longe after did [----------- folded -------------]

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