Prof. George Hewitt

Fanshawe vs Others (Dronfield 1609)


The transcription below follows the order of the vellum-pages bound together and kept at the National Archives (Kew) with the reference-number E 134/7Jas1/Mich35, relating to an accusation brought by Sir Henry Fanshawe against a set of defendants, including the vicar of Dronfield, Robert Topham, the presumed 9xg.grandfather of the transcriber, and his uncle William Topham. Various witnesses are asked to give their depositions in answer to a selection of questions (or interrogatories), which are listed at the end. There are two such lists, one being the questions on behalf of the plaintiff, the other being on behalf of the defendants. The charges include the irregular appointing of churchwardens by Robert Topham and the breaking open of a chest holding documents relating to the Free School of Dronfield. The margin notes whether each deponent is answering to the plaintiff’s or the defendants’ interrogatories, but I did not try to include these marginal notes when photographing the text. As Robert Topham remained vicar in Dronfield until 1614, it seems unlikely that the charges were upheld. [Robert Topham was transferred to North Wingfield in 1614, ending his clerical service as vicar of Wirksworth from 1630 (probably to his death in 1649), in which post he was succeeded by his son Martin, his oldest son, Francis, serving as vicar of Thorpe-by-Ashbourne for two decades from 1633 to his death in 1655.] Each page carries the signatures at the bottom of John Bullock and Robert Waterhous(e). No attempt is made to preserve the original spellings or punctuation.

The transcripts in PDF can be downloaded by clicking here

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