74. A PETITION OF THE PARISHIONERS OF DIDCOT TO THOMAS STONOR [c. 1465]
Unto oure worshipfull and reverent Maister, Thomas Stonor, esquier, or to such as it plesith him in this behalf to assigne.
Besechethe lowly and mekely unto youre gracious Maistership youre pore bedemen and tenauntes off youre lordeship off Dudcote, wich beth gretly wronged and ungodely entreted by the parson off Dudcote fore|said: wich parson desired off the Township foresaid, that is to say off Thomas Frocwell, Richard Colleman, Williham Harries, and off other mo, to go to scole to Oxonford, and the said parson to fynde his depute and his attorney for alle sacramentes and necessaries in his absence there treuly to be observed and kept. Herapon this was graunted to the said parson, and then the parson yeed to Oxford, and the dyvyne service and other sacramentes wer not kept as thei aght to be, to gret unese to the parish. Ferthermore the chirchemen of Dudcote wer in bargenyng off a ryke off weete for the welfare and help off the chirch: the seid parson undirstode this, and unkyndly labored to Doctor Bulkley, that was awner off the reke, and prively bargened with and put the chirche|men aparte. And when the parson com home he declared in the polepitt openly, that it was the Doctor wille the parissh shuld by the straw off the reke, because thei had but litell stuff among hem this yere: God knoweth full evell penyworthes thei had and sharp. And but because off him the parish wer like to have more favor off the straw, the said parson toke to him Richard Colleman and Williham Harries to be parcenars with him after the price he bought itt, and fully agreed: and the next day after the parson denyed it, and wrongly to put hem from the bargeyne. Also the said parson yeed to Oxonford, and graunted to Williham Harries a dayes thress off straw off the same for ix. d. And he remembred him, and wold not let him have it after under xvj. d. a daies thress, and ever sold so and derrer: he myght have do better, for the straw was not his, and it was the Doctoures will that the parish shuld have penyworthes better then he shewid: ffor this unkyndnes the parish wer displesid, and thought greet unkyndness; for what that ever he wer to by straw, he must pay in honde or fynde surete as it wer a straunge man. And mo this langage and contenciones is betwix the said parson and his parishioners, with other maters moo, to greet heveness off the parish the parson to be so unkynde. Item, Robert Dobson, the parson's man, repreved and ungodely in the moost unhonest wise called diverse men knaves and harlettes and charles, and said thei wer so everychon. And the said parson mayntened him therin. Thei wer so bold that tweyne off the parson's men lay awayte apon John Pepwite in Bagley; and ther thei bete him, and, except Page 69, vol. 1 pepull of Abendon, likly to have kylled [him]: this man rekevered and come home. And apon a Sonday after evensong the moder of [this] same man, Bett, and the man also, made an oute cry apon the parson amonge all the parisshe . . . whiche were hevy to here off, iff it shuld be written. Item, Richard Browne com, and openly [declare]d afore the parson and the parisshe that Richard Colleman shuld have be beet, iff he had come . . . . . wey: the parson said he wold put on aventure the valure off his parsonage, but at the last . . . . . vjs. viijd., that Browne wold nat awow this: and Browne at all tymes will . . . [awo]w itt, and testifie it at alle tymes. The parisshones, for goode tranquillite, reest, and . . . [fe]ryng the greet hurt off the chirch ale at that tyme, beside alle other offences . . . . . and his preest to go in to the parsonage to kepe peas, and the parson redde a greet . . . bully, and called Maister Stonors men, and said stonde, wich we, Williham . . . . . and off this, and come to Dudcote and made peas unto the tyme Maister . . . . . at. Wherfore we wyll beseche youre maysterschip to have knowleche how and . . . . . en yet to make a new dyvysion ayen. Ther was a mason wroght on the . . . . . the parson wold have sett his horse on the chirchyerd in the night tyme, and . . . . . it in his horse, and desiryd him to put hym noon there by cause off the . . . off the scafoldys that were aboute hytt.