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Jury Duty: The Cases

Agecroft Hall was an important manor in Sanford Hundred, Lancashire County. Because of this, we know that leet or manorial courts would have been held there. Unfortunately, the records we have for the cases are incomplete. But it gives us a chance to have you think about and apply what you have learned during this event to make rulings in these cases!

First case: ”Nicholas Birdsall, a presentment hath been made that you did dig a pit or hole on the highway to Clifton Hall., the said hole being a common annoyance. A presentment hath been made that you have laid diverse and sundry dunghills along the Clifton highway and that said dunghills are at this present time a common and foul annoyance unto all passengers that have occasion to come that way.”


How might Nicholas Birdsall defend himself? What do you think the verdict in his case might be?


Second Case: “A presentment hath been made that Jane Bowker, a widow, hath of late erected a chimney in her house on the Pendleton road which chimney is thought to be very dangerous and likewise to be set on fire if speedy repair be not made.”


How might Jane Bowker defend herself? What do you think the verdict in her case might be?


Third Case: “A Presentment hath been made that John Key and Elizabeth his mother did make an assault upon George Man at the Packhorse Inn and did draw blood."


How might John and Elizabeth Key defend themselves? What might George Man say against them? What do you think the verdict in there case might be?


Sources:

Agecroft Court Leet Program


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