Early Tudor Drama: Medwall, the Rastells, Heywood, and the More Circle

By A. W. Reed | Go to book overview

RASTELL: APPENDIX II RASTELL IN IRELAND

Among Rastell's many Chancery Suits is one of about the year 1534, in which he sought relief against his brother- in-law, Staverton and Dame Alice, the widow of Sir John More. The case belongs to the close of Rastell's life, when, as we have seen, he was estranged from his kinsfolk, but it carries us back to the year 1517, and shows us how he arranged for the care and maintenance of his family and servants during the three years of absence for which he made provision when he attempted his voyage to the New Found Lands.

It appears that Staverton in 1534 had taken action against Rastell for the fulfilment of outstanding obligations, and Rastell had counterclaimed against his brother-in-law and Dame Alice by submitting a reckoning that went back to the time when he "went over the seas into Yreland". It appears that he had arranged, by prepayment, with Sir John More to keep his wife and servants for three years--apparently the time he expected to elapse before he returned from the New Found Lands. After his departure his wife, Mistress Rastell, entrusted to Staverton the sale of certain goods of her husband's lying on a quay near Billingsgate, as well as the collection of certain rents in London and Middlesex. Staverton sold the goods and for two years collected the rents, paying the money to Sir John More, who, when Rastell (after two years) "came home and requyryd the seyde money" said that what he had received from Staverton was due from Staverton himself. Rastell claimed therefore that in any reckoning between them Staverton should deduct this amount. Further, seeing that he had agreed with Sir John More for the maintenance of his family for three years, but had in fact only been absent for two, he claimed from Lady Alice and Sir John's estate £30 due to him. These family arrangements undoubtedly refer to the period of the voyage. Rastell therefore, we gather, remained in Ireland from the summer of 1517 to some time in 1519, and seeing that he

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