Summary of Evidence: The “Puckering brief” (undated: late January/early February 1590)

This summary of evidence was compiled by John Puckering (1543/4-1596), at the time queen’s serjeant-at-law. He had prosecuted at the trial of Edward Abington and other Babington plot conspirators in 1586, and at the trial of Philip Howard, earl of Arundel, for treason in 1589; he would also be the prosecutor at the trials of Sir Richard Knightley, John Hales, and the Wigstons for sedition in connection with their role in the Marprelate project (document 19). In 1592 Puckering would be knighted and made Lord Keeper of the Great Seal, succeeding Sir Christopher Hatton. He likely had a hand in compiling the summary of evidence prepared (but not used) for the trial of John Penry (document 17).

Puckering’s brief draws on the same examinations and depositions as document 15 (compiled in late November or early December 1589) but adds the December 10 examinations of the printers Valentine Symmes and Arthur Thomlin (document 11), the mid-December examinations of the Knightley household members Lawrence Jackson, R. Jeffes, Peter Greye, Stephen Gyfford, and John Wright (summarized here, but not surviving separately), the mid-January examination of John Udall (document 12), and a preliminary examination of Elizabeth Crane (see document 13), which probably took place in December or January, after her servant Nicholas Tomkins had been examined in late November (document 9). Lawrence Wood, a tailor living on Fish Street in London, had also been examined, after being named by Henry Sharpe (document 10) as a participant in the project’s London distribution network. The result is an increasingly full narrative the movements of the press. Job Throkmorton now appears as an active participant in the project, and Puckering appears to suspect that more remained to be discovered concerning Throkmorton’s full role in the project: “It is to be noted,” he adds, in an unusually editorial comment, “that the sayd Hogdkinges in diverse of his examinacions went aboute to conceale his being at Mr Throckmortons for delivering or freeing of him from suspicion of any suche matter.”

The early eighteenth-century transcription made of this document made by the antiquary Thomas Baker reproduces the order in which the Martinist suspects appear in the original. In the version of that transcription published in his Introductory Sketch to the Martin Marprelate Controversy (1879), however, Edward Arber alters the order in which the names appear, without suggesting why or even indicating that he has done so. But the original follows the order as presented below, beginning with the socially highest of those who had soon be on trial for harboring the press (on February 13, 1590) before moving to the three suspected of writing seditious tracts, the printers, and the primary distributor. Elizabeth Crane, who appears last, was not tried at the same time as Knightly, Hales, and the Wigstons: the summary here suggests that she had not yet been willing to provide any evidence.

Source: British Library Lansdowne MS 238/11, fols. 327-33. Printed in Arber (1879), 119-36 from British Library Harley MS 7042, fols. 6-12, an early 18th-century transcription by the antiquary Thomas Baker.


[Endorsed] About the martinistes & printing of ther bookes

A brief of the proofes agaynst
Sir Richard Knightley

[Marginal note:] Sir Richard Knightley
In his owne examinacion he doth confesse that a little before Michelmas was twelmonth Penry came unto him and moved him that he myght have a rome in his howse to print a like booke to that which he had before made concerning the unlerned ministri of Wales [STC 19611], and that one Jeffes a Tennant or his sonne as he hard brought the printing presse to his howse at Fawlesley where a booke called the Epitome was printed from whence the presse was carried to his howse at Norton aboute Christmas last. And touching the author of the booke he knoweth not unlesse yt were Penry. And likewyse sayeth that Walgrave was the printer.

And further he confesseth that Newman the cobler had his lyverie and cognisance, and that Stephen his servant carried the presse and lettres from Norton to Coventrie to the howse of John Hales Esquire. And this much appereth by his owne confession.

It is deposed by witnesses against him as followeth
and first by Henry Sharpe

That Walgrave the printer had conference with Sir Richarde Knightley at a muster in Northampton, and shortlye after the presse was carried to Sir Richard Knightleys howse at Fawsley in Northampton shire by one Jeffes of Upton Tennaunt to Mr Valentyne Knightley where the Epitome which is the second booke of Martin was printed by Walgrave as Humfrey Newman toulde this examinate.

The sayd Jeffes being examined upon this pointe sayth that the loade of stuffe which by Penries appoyntment he receved at Mistris Cranes howse in Mowlsey he carried by the sayd Penries direction to Fawlsley and left yt with one Jackson keper of Sir Richard Knightleys howse in Fawlsley.

Lawrence Jackson keper of the sayd howse deposeth that aboute a fortnight or thre weekes after Hollomas was twelmoneth Penry came unto him bringing a ring of three Gymawes [i.e., gimmals] of Sir Richard Knightleys this examinates Master with this message, that Sir Richard Knightley by that token willed [fol. 327v] this examinate to take in a load of stuffe into Fawlsley howse which loade one Jeffes within one hower or two after, broughte thither in basketes saving one thing like a black stone that was not in the baskettes and the same this examinate sayth he bestowed in the nurserye and delivered the keie unto Penry.

The stuffe being there placed there came to the howse within one or twoe dayes after naming him selfe Sheme or Shamuel or by such like name, and a servant with him whoe tolde this examinate that thei had Evidances of his masters to veiw and sorte: This Sheme Stephen Gyfforde an other servant of Sir Richarde Knightley nameth by his true name Walgrave.

Stephen Gyfford deposeth the carriage of the presse from Fawlsley aboute twoe or three dayes after Twelvetide last. And further sayeth that he conveyd the same first to a farme howse of the sayd Sir Richarde Knightleies in Norton where yt remayned aboute a fortnight but was not occupied in that tyme as he sayeth.

And after that fortnight ended the sayd Stephen Gyfford confessed that he conveyed the same presse to the howse of Mr Hales in Coventrye by the commaundement of the sayd Sir Richard and with his carte and horses.

Mr Hales being examined sayeth that Sir Richard Knightley shortlye after Christmas [15]88 sent him a lettre by Walgrave thereby requiring this examinate to suffer this bearer to have rome in this examinates howse in Coventrie for a tyme untill he could otherwyse provide.

Agaynst Mr John Hales gent:

[Marginal note:] Mr Hales
The sayd Hales upon the receipt of Sir Richard Knightleies lettre did admitt Walgrave to his howse at Coventrye and delivered unto him the keies thereof and was afterwarde brought by Penry to the place where the presse stood, and after the printing receved a booke there printed called the Supplication to the parliament [STC 19613, John Penry’s A viewe]. This much doth appere by his owne confession.

It is deposed by Henry Sharpe that the presse being settled at Mr Hales howse Walgrave there printed three bookes viz: the Minerall conclusions, the Supplication to the parliament, and Have you any worke for the cowper. [fol. 328r]

Agaynst Roger Weekston gent:

[Marginal note: Wigston] It appeareth by his owne confession that his wyef moved him that Hogdkings might doe a peece of worke in his howse which him selfe sawe not but harde afterwarde that Martin Junior and Martin Senior were there printed in a lowe parloure of his howse. Which bookes he did see and reade the titles thereof and also had one of them read unto him but he sayth he misliked yt.

Mistris Weekston sayeth that her husband had one of the sayd bookes: And one of the printers sayeth that Mr Weekston gave them ijs [2s] at theire departure.

Against Mistris Weekston wyef of
the sayde Roger Weekston

[Marginal note:] Mistris Wigston
She confesseth that Martin Junior and Martin Senior were printed in her howse: that her selfe was the mover of printing bookes in her howse by generall speches, but to whome she remembreth not: that the presse remayned in her howse many weekes, and the printing contynued about a forthnight.

The sayd Mistris Weekston further sayth that after the printing of those two bookes she wished the printers to staye to print some better bookes and that talke was for printing More worke for the cowper.

She further sayeth that her selfe had three bookes of Martin Junior and Martin Senior and that she gave meate and drinke to the printers whilest they were there, and at their departure gave them ijs vid [2s 6d] a peece as the printers depose.

Agaynst John Udall
late of Kingston minister

[Marginal note: Udall]
Henry Sharpe deposeth that Penry (whoe appeareth to be a principall dealer in all the action every where) toulde him that the sayd Udall was the Aucther of the Demonstracion of Discipline [STC 24499]. And Nicholas Tomkins deposeth that Udall him selfe so confessed unto him.

The sayd Tomkins further sayeth that he beleveth Udall was also the Aucthor of the dialogue called Diotrephes [STC 24505] because in a catologue of such bookes as the said Udall had made, this examinate sawe as well the sayd dialogue as the Demonstration mentioned. And besides that the sayd Udall resorted sundrie [fol. 328v] tymes to Mistris Cranes howse at Mowlsley whilest Penry and Walgrave were there.

It is confessed by Udall him selfe that he resorted somtymes to Mistris Cranes howse at the tyme of the printing presse being there, but sayth that yf he should answeare generally whether any bookes were there printed then peradventure he might accuse him selfe wherein he desired to be pardoned.

The sayd Udall being thenn asked in particular whether he were not acquaynted with the making of the Demonstracion of Discipline and Diotrephes answeared that he desired to be pardoned for any book towching Discipline. And being further asked whether those bookes or any other bookes were to his knowledge printed in Mistris Cranes howse or what Walgrave or Penry did there at such tymes as the sayde Udall was there with them he desired to be pardoned from answearing those questions and other answeare he woulde not make.

Stephen Chatfeild vicar of Kingestone deposeth that before the coming forthe of the first Martyn he sawe in Udalls studie certen written papers importing such matter as is contained in that lible and sayeth further that about a fortnight before Michaelmas [15]88 the sayde Udall in conference with the examinate sayed yt were best for the Bishopps not to stopp his mouthe, for if they did: he would then sett him selfe to writing and gyve them such a blowe as they never had the like in theire lyves.

Upon which poyntes Udall him selfe being examined confesseth that some thinges conteyned in the first Martine proceeded from his reporte but sayeth he knoweth not howe they came in writing. And yet being asked whether he made not collection of some thinges that are conteyned in that booke and whether he did not showe those his collections to Mr Feild and Mr Chattfeild or to either of them sayth that he did. [fol. 329r]

The sayd Udall further confesseth that he toulde Mr Chatfeild if the Bishopps restrained him and others from preaching then they sholde gyve them occasion to imploye them selves in writing the more agaynst theire goverment.

Against Job Throckmorton gent:

[Marginal note:] Throckmorton
John Hodgkins the printer and nowe prisoner in the Tower deposeth that when Newman sent him from London into the countrye to print he directed this examinate unto Mr Throckmortons howse and delivered this examinate a lettre unto Penry whome he sayed this examinate should finde at Mr Throckmortons.

The sayd Hogdkings further deposeth that after he had lyen at Mr Throckmortons one night and dyned there the next daye, in his departure from thence towarde Warwick aboute one birdbowe shott from the sayd Mr Throckmortons howse, this examinate walking with Penry sawe lying before him in the waye a Roll of paper wrapped up together and layed there of purpose by some other as this examinate thinks agaynst this examinate should come that waie which Roll this examinate tooke up conteyning the copie of Theses Martinae otherwise called Martyn Junior.

The sayd Hodgkins further sayeth that he receved a lettre at Mr Throckmortons howse by the deliverie of Penry for his enterteyment by Mistris Weekston.

Valentyne Syms deposeth that Mr Throckmorton coming with Penry to the printers in Mr Weekstons howse and loking upon the written coppye which was interlined in dyvers places he asked Syms if he could reade the same places poynting him unto them amonge which being twoe wherein Syms doubted the sayd Mr Throckmorton did presently read them distinctly and playnly and found fault with the orthography.

At the same tyme also Syms as he sayeth overhard Mr Thormorton asking Hogdkins sofetlye in his eare whether the same Syms and Tomlin were good workemen and able to serve the tornne [i.e., turn]. [fol. 329v]

It is to be noted that the sayd Hogdkinges in diverse of his examinacions went aboute to conceale his being at Mr Throckmortons for delivering or freeing of him from suspicion of any suche matter.

Agaynst John Penry

[Marginal note:] Penry
Nicholas Tomkins deposeth that Penry moved Mistris Crane that he might bestowe a loade of stuff in her howse in which loade of stuffe the printing presse and lettres were.

The same examinate further sayeth that the sayd Penry and Walgrave the printer were aboute three weekes at Mistris Cranes howse in Mowlsley after midsomer [15]88 and were there also about Michaelmas following at which tymes this examinate thinketh they were printing some bookes there.

And he further sayeth that he harde Penry say to Mistris Crane (fearing some trouble by receving the load of stuff wherein the press was) that he would finde the meanes to carry the same awaye to Northampton shire.

And Henry Sharpe sayeth that Penry talked with him concerning the fetching of the presse from Kingston fearing yt was knowen to be there and afterwardes sent on Jeffes of Upton to fetche the sayd presse from thence in his carte.

The sayd Jeffes confesseth the fetching of a carriage at Mistris Cranes howse at the request of Penry about Hallowmas [15]88: at the loading whereof this examinate sayth appered to him smale things of lead or iron as they semed which Penry sayd were lettres.

Sir Richard Knightley deposeth that a little before Michaelmas [15]88 Penry came to him and moved him that he might have a Rome in his howse to printe such a like booke as he had before made, concerning the unlerned Ministri of Wales whereupon he sayth that the booke called the Epitome was printed in his howse. [fol. 330r]

Jeffes deposeth that the load of stuff which by Penryes appoyntment he receved at Mistris Cranes he carried by the sayd Penryes direction to Fawlsley.

And Lawrence Jackson keeper of Fawlsley howse deposeth that about a fortnight or thre weekes after Hallowmas [15]88 Penry came unto him bringing Sir Richard Knightleys Ring with messuage for the receving of a load of stuffe into Fawlsley howse which Jeffes within one howre or twoe after brought thither.

Mr Hales deposeth that Penry first brought him to the place in his owne howse at Coventrye where the presse was bestowed.

John Hodgkins deposeth that when Newman sent him from London into the contrye to print he delivered this examinate a lettre unto Penry then lying at Mr Throckmortons howse and coming thither he receved an other lettre from Penry or by his deliverie unto Mistris Weekston for the entertaiment of the print there. He furthur sayeth that Penry toulde him at Mr Throckmortons that a booke shoulde come to his handes ready for the printe and sayth that in the company of Penry walking with him on the waye from Mr Throckmortons towardes Warwick he found a Roll of paper conteyning the booke of Martyn Junior.

The sayd Hodgkins further deposeth that he receved the copie of Martyn Senior at Penryes handes in the howse of Mr Weekston and that the copy of More worke for the cowper was by agreement let fall in a voyed chamber in Mr Weekstons howse by the sayd Penry and Newman of purpose that it should come to this examinates handes.

The sayde Hodgkins further deposeth that the hande wherewith those bookes were written is the same of very like to the hande wherewth Penry corrected the print and that Symmes the composer fynding fault with a parte of one of those bookes as being with out sense, Penry toke upon him to put that out and to write that which should supplye the same. [fol. 330v]

The sayd Penry as Hogdkinges sayth payd him vli [£5] for the printing of Martyn Junior and Martyn Senior and Syms and Tomlyn depose that Penry gave his worde unto them for the paiment of their wages being workmen at the press upon condicion that they would be faythfull unto Hodgkins.

Sir Richard Knightley sayeth that he knoweth no author of the boke printed in his howse unlesse yt were Penry. And Mr Hales sayth that he thinketh Penry to be the author of the Supplication to the parliament printed in his howse.

Peter Greye servant to Sir Richard Knightley sayeth that he taketh Penry to be Martyn whoe went disguised in a longe skye coullored cloake or of a light couller and had the coller of the sayd cloake edged with goulde and silver and silke lace and a light coullored hatt with an arming sworde by his side.

Henry Sharpe sayth that Penry shewed him the Minorall conclusions in written hand before they were printed and that he thinketh Penry to be the Author of diverse of the other bookes for that certen thinges are conteyned in them which Penry uttered to this examinate before the bookes were printed, and for that Penry being tould by this examinate that he conjectured some of the bookes to be made by him denied yt not but laughed saving of the first Martin Penry sayde some notes were founde in Mr [John] Fyeldes studye.

Moreover the sayd Henry Sharpe deposeth that he never sawe nor knewe any other man to busye him selfe so much aboute the bookes as Penry did for he was the dealer with men to print them the presse was his wherein they were printed he had the bookes with the first he coulde talke of them before they were printed and of the tymes of their coming forth he devided stakes with Walgrave the printer and allowing Hodgkins after vijs [7s] a Reame for printing had the commoditie of the sale of the bookes as this examinate hath harde and beleveth. [fol. 331r]

Against Robert Walgrave printer

[Marginal note:] Waldgrave
Nicholas Tomkins deposeth that shortely after Walgraves owne lettres were defaced (which by a Record of the Stationers apereth to be done the xiijth [18th] of Maye [15]88) the sayd Walgrave brought a case of lettres to Mistris Cranes howse in London.

And the same being after fett [i.e., fetched] from thence by Walgraves wyef a load of stuffe was layed in Mistris Cranes howse at Mowlsley wherein this examinate beleveth these lettres were.

And Jeffes deposeth that at the carriing of that stuffe from Mistris Cranes appered unto him smale thinges of leade or iron which Penry sayd were lettres.

The sayd Nicholas Tomkins further sayeth that the sayd Walgrave was with Penry about three weekes at Mistris Cranes howse in Mowlsley after midsomer [15]88 and also about Michaelmas following at which tymes this examinate beleveth Walgrave and Penry were printing some bookes there for the first booke of Martin being printed Walgrave offered to this examinate the sale of a nomber of them.

Henry Sharpe to this agreeth whoe sayeth that Penry tolde him that Walgrave printed the first Martyn and that at Kingston as he gathered by Penries wordes.

The sayd Henry Sharpe sayeth that Walgrave had conference with Sir Richard Knightley at a muster in Northampton. And shortlye after this presse was carried to Sir Richard Knighleys howse at Fawsley where the Epitome was printed by Walgrave as Humfrey Newman tolde this examinate which is confirmed by Sir Richard Knightley him selfe whoe confesseth that the booke called the Epitome was printed in his howse by Walgrave. And by Lawrence Jackson keper of Fawsley howse whoe sayeth that Walgrave wrought there under a fayned name of Sheme or Shamuel and under pretence of sorting Sir Richard Knightleys Evidances. And by Edwarde Sharpe the minister of Fawsley whoe goying to visit Walgraves man being sick in Fawsley house found new printed papers of Martin Marprelate lying in the chamber and also a printing press there standinge. And sayeth that the tytles of the bookes [fol. 331v] or papers which he founde so printed was the Epitome whereof this examinate tooke one booke and carried it to Sir Richard Knightley advertising him what was done in his howse.

Mr Hales deposeth that the person which brought him Sir Richarde Knightleys lettre to have a rome in his howse at Coventrie was the same person that printed there whome he thinketh to be Walgrave. But Henry Sharpe directlye seyth that the presse being setled at Mr Hales howse Walgrave there printed first the Minorall Conclusions which came forth in February last: next the Suplicacion which came forth in midlent, and afterward the booke intitled Have you any worke for the cowper which came forth aboute Palme Sunday. And further sayeth that of the first sorte of bookes Walgrave sent to this examinate a thowsand to be bounde for him, of the second sorte Newman brought him the like nomber and of the third Newman brought him aboute vij C [700].

The sayd Henry Sharpe moreover deposeth that in Easter weeke last Walgrave tolde him that then all was dispatched and the mill was not then goying for that was the phrase of their printing and further sayde that he would no longer deale in that course for that he had gotten Mr [Thomas] Cartewrightes Testament against the Jesuites [STC 4709, not published until 1618, though Waldegrave published the preface in 1602 (STC 4716)] which he sayd he would printe in Devonshire. And being asked by this examinate howe chaunced he looked so pale he the sayd Walgrave answeared that one of Mr Hales men kept him so closely at worke that for a tyme he had lyved as in a prison.

Against John Hodgkins Valentyne Syms
and Arthure Tomlyn

[Marginal note:] Hodgkins, Syms & Tomlin
Henry Sharpe deposeth that after Walgraves departure Penry procured Hodgkins nowe prisoner in the Towre to supplie Walgraves place in printing and sayeth that within a fortnight after Midsomer last this examinate founde Hodgkins at worke in Mr Weekstons howse printinge of Martin Junior and Martin Senior and working there privatly under the name of an Embroderer. [fol. 332r]

Hodgkins him selfe examined confesseth that being moved by Newman to print he consented thereunto receved Newmans lettres directed to Penry lying at Mr Throckmortons howse tooke Penrys lettres there to Mistris Weekston and then repayred to the howse of Mr Weekston in Wollaston where he and his twoe men Symes and Tomlyn printed the bokes of Martyn Junior and Martin Senior with the presse and lettres which they found at Mr Weekstons and his twoe men also confessed they printed the sam bookes at the same place though hardly they could be perswaded to confesse so much because as they declared in the end Hodgkins had taken an oath of them not to reveale the bookes which they shuld print for him.

The sayd Hodgkins and his men also confess theire begining to print the booke called More worke for the cowper in Newton lane nere Manchester and that they had printed therof about a six quires of one side before they were apprehended.

The sayd Syms and Tomlyn depose that Hodgkins tould them the next booke or the next but one which they had to print should be in Latin and that there was another parte of More worke for the cowper which should serve them to print another tyme for this was but the first parte of the sayde booke and thother parte was almoste as big agayne.

The said Syms deposeth that while Hodgkins him selfe and Tomlyn were coming up to London Hodgkins tolde him that notwithstanding their presse and lettres were taken yet sayed he we have as you knowe a press at Mr Weekstons and some lettres and also two sortes of lettres at a marchantes howse in London which were bought of Walgrave. [fol. 332v]

Against Humfrey Newman alias Brownebread Cobler

[Marginal note:] Newman the Cobler
John Wright late servante to Sir Richard Knightley sayth that Humfrey Newman used to resorte to his Master his howse first in a greene cloake and a grene hat and within a shorte tyme after did were Sir Rich: Knightley his lyverye.

Which Peter Graye another servant to Sir Richard Knightlies also deposeth adding that he thinketh Newman was the disperser of the bookes.

Henry Sharpe deposeth that of the bookes printed at Mr Hales howse in Coventrye Humfrey Newman brought him on[e] thowsand intitled the Supplicacion to the parliament, and also about vij C [700] of the bookes called Hey you any worke for the cowper both which nombers of bookes the sayd Newman receved agayne except some fewe left with this examinate.

The sayd Henry Sharpe further deposeth that of the bookes intiled Martine Junior the sayd Newman carried from Mr Weekstons howse vij or viij C [700 or 800] and thother of Martyn senior were bound up for the carrier of Warwick to convey to London.

Lawrence Wood sayeth that Newman tolde him that there was a packe of leather at the Sarazins head in Friday streete which pack in deed was a packe of bookes that first cam from Warwick to Banbrie and from Banbrie to London. And further sayeth that Newman gave him vs [5s] over night to paye for carriage of that pack and gave him vid [6d] to paye a porter to carrie yt to a howse nere the tildte [i.e., tilt] yarde, and likewise that overnight Newman and he had conference toching the same pack. And that he this examinate did knowe at that tyme that Newman was a comon disperser and carrier of Martins bookes. [fol. 333r]

Agaynst Elizabeth Crane alias Carleton Widowe

[Marginal note:] Elizabeth Crane
Nicholas Tomkns deposeth that aboute Maye [15]88 Walgrave brought a case of lettres to Mistris Cranes howse in London and the same being taken from thence a load of stuff was laied in her howse at Mowlsey at the request of Penry wherein those lettres were as this examinate beleveth.

But Jeffes whoe aboute Hallotide following fett [i.e., fetched] that loade of stuffe from Mistris Cranes deposeth that at the loading thereof appered to him smale thinges of lead or iron as they semed which Penry sayd were lettres.

The sayd Tomkins deposeth that while the loade of stuff remained at Mistris Cranes howse Penry and Walgrave contynued there aboute three weekes after midsomer [15]88 and were there also about Michaelmas following. And that Mr Udall late precher at Kingston resorted sondrye tymes to the same howse within that space, when this examinate beleveth they were printyng some bookes there.

Henry Sharpe sayeth that the first Martin was printed at Kingston as he gathered by Penries words and that Walgrave printed yt there. And that the Demonstracion of Discipline was aboute that tyme printed there.

The sayd Mistris Crane being called before the Commission to be examined upon these matters refused to answere upon oath or without oathe to any question either concerning her selfe, for that as she sayd she woulde not be her owne hangman or concerning others for that she coulde not in her conscience be an accuser of others.

PDF Version of Document