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In a court held at Hinderclay in November 1301, Nicholas was amerced the extraordinarily large sum of 4 [pounds sterling] because `he impleaded Robert the son of Adam, neif of the lord [villein], by a certain writ of trespass (per quoddam brevem de transgressione) and others of the lord's villeins and also that he had harvested and carried crops of seven rods of wheat against the express wish (defensum) of the lord'.
Jean Scammell notes that, by the end of the thirteenth century, villeins who paid a fine to the priest to avoid a punishment beating for some moral offence might also be amerced in the manor court for alienating their lord's goods.
The probability seems to be that Hinderclay villagers typically attended the chapter of the archdeacon's official; that said, there is no clear indication of the ecclesiastical court attended by Hinderclay villagers and where reference is made it tends to be ambiguous, as when Nicholas Wodeward was amerced for dragging one Walter le King `through the chapter of the official (in capitul' offic') unjustly'.
In the manor court held in June 1290 the chief pledges reported that both Robert and Alice had been `indicted in the presence of the ordinary', a reference to their appearance at an ecclesiastical court, possibly the rural chapter held by the archdeacon's official, and Nicholas was amerced for paying the ordinary 10s.
117) The facts of the previous plea were presented: namely that Nicholas had granted by licence of court five acres and five rods for a term of fifteen years; that Nicholas had pleaded that Robert had used Nicholas's own goods and chattels to lease this land, Robert having secretly received the goods and chattels from Nicholas's wife, Alice; and, finally, that it had been considered per iudicium that Nicholas should recover the lands and pasture and Robert had been amerced.
Robert initiated a process of attaint in response to an earlier successful plea of trespass made by Nicholas Wodeward in 1298, but the jury of twenty-four men confirmed the judgement of the previous twelve and Robert was amerced 13s.
37) In 1482 Oliver van Cach and John John were heavily amerced for coming to market with fish at Hythe and fixing the price at will without the bailiffs' licence.
66) In 1406 five men were severely amerced for forestalling fish in bulk and then refusing to allow a share to any townsman who would not invest 1s.
71) In 1408 John Bakere was amerced in Colchester for buying up wheat in the surrounding countryside at a price that was 1d.
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