For archivists, historians, geographers, legal and literary scholars (etc.) with an interest in the Court of Star Chamber, its cases, and records.

Depositions

4 replies, 4 voices Last updated by Krista Kesselring 4 years, 2 months ago
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    • #27774

      Emily Kadens
      Participant
      @kadens

      Has anyone come across something that would explain this language from Hawarde’s report of Twyne’s Case (1602): “the depositions [liuers] in this Court [reach] to letter K”? I have the depositions, and I see nothing on them to suggest that they were catalogued. In fact, I’ve never noticed that on any depositions. And, there are many more depositions than 11, which is the number equivalent of K.

       

      By the way, the Hawarde MS is at the Harry Ransom Center in Austin, Texas. I talked to the archivist there last summer about digitizing it. The Baildon translation is very good, but not perfect, and he leaves out many of the intro sections listing the judges sitting that day, and the MS makes it much easier to distinguish the interpolations than Baildon’s edition does.

    • #27784

      Amanda Bevan
      Participant
      @amandabevan

      Hi Emily

      can you remember the format of the depositions? Might a-k have been used to record the separate packets as delivered into court? We have many unopened depositions in Chancery and Court of Wards which are still as tied up and sealed by the commissioners, and I can see that labelling them somehow on receipt would have been helpful.

    • #27786

      Emily Kadens
      Participant
      @kadens

      Ok, seriously you have unopened Chancery depositions? And they can’t be opened because they are sealed, and there’s no court approval? I love England. I take it no hidden STAC depositions lurking about?

      All the depositions I have are from the Court examiner in the booklet form. The Process Book indicates that one set of depositions must have been taken in the country, but I haven’t found those. Because the case documents are preserved under multiple reference numbers, I don’t know in what organization they would have come to the court. But what you are saying is plausible–that there might have been 11 separate packets. Thank you for your answer.

    • #27787

      Ian Williams
      Participant
      @ianwilliams

      Amanda’s suggestion seems sensible.

      I would have thought a reason to note the length of depositions was if they broke any of the rules about the length of the papers in cases. Those rules were often broken, but a breach might be something a reporter would consider noteworthy. If that is correct, might the “K” be an erroneous character for a number (perhaps “L” for 50?)?

      My impression is that reporters often had something of a blind spot for numbers (copyists even more so) and if memory serves, Hawarde wrote up his reports from notes taken earlier.Taken together, it might be that Hawarde made an error about a number related to the length of the depositions when writing up his reports.

    • #27790

      Krista Kesselring
      Participant
      @kristakesselring

      I’m afraid I have nothing to add to Amanda and Ian’s suggestions, but just wanted to say ‘yes, please’ to digitizing the Hawarde MS. Barnes’s intro to his reissue of the Baildon edition praised the text’s accuracy but also suggested that it might occasionally be worth checking the original. It would be good to have photos available online.

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