Excerpt from the Ely Act Book

After Tuesday’s post and my promise last month to include some medieval Latin and transcriptions on this blog, I thought it would be nice to show you a bit of the Act Book, first in the original spidery and highly abbreviated Anglicana, then transcribed, and then translated. It was the double puzzle of transcription and translation that first drew me to the Act Book, which I worked with for my final project in Paleography.

Original:

Detail of Ely Act Book (EDR D:2:1), 151v

Detail of Ely Act Book (EDR D:2:1), 151v

Transcription:

Acta coram nobis Officiali Eliensi [Ely] loco quo supra die Veneris proximo post festum sancte Trinitatis Anno domini supra dicto [21 June 1381], Et agenda ibidem die Jovis proximo post festum Exaltationis sancte Crucis [19 September 1381]

¶ Chapman ex ][1]  ¶ Willelmus filius Edwardi[2] Alderman de Ellesworth [Elsworth] citatus ad instanciam Roberte fil[-ia/-ius] Thome Chapman in causa diffamacionis parte actrice per procuratorem suum comparente parte rea nullo modo ideo ipsam partem ream ex[communicamus] et cetera

¶ Trinitatis ex ] ¶ Dominus Rogerus Moor Presbyter commorans in Cantabrigia [Cambridge] citatus ad diem et locum supra dictos ad instanciam Domine Thome de Wygenhalo [Wiggenhall] perpetu-[3] citatus ecclesiae sancte Trinitatis Cantebrigiae [Cambridge] in causa diffamacionis, parte actrice per Walterum de Sutton [Sutton] procuratorem suum comparente parte rea nullo modo sed comparere expresse recusante; ideo ipsum reputatum contumacem et manifestum offensorum, et pro huius contumacia et offensa ipsum ex[communicamus]

¶ Cotenham ] ¶ Richardus Wretil de Hokyton [Oakington] citatus ad diem et locum supra dictos ad instanciam executorum testi Simonis de Cotenham [Cottenham] in causa testamentaria


[1] In the manuscript, everything before the bracket is in the margin.  I will reproduce this with the bracket, as seen here.  In the manuscript, “ex” is written below Chapman.  It may stand for excommunicamus, showing that Chapman is excommunicated in this entry.

[2] The manuscript reads Edi.  While Edward was the more common name, this could just as well be Edmundi.

[3] This word goes into the gutter of the book and the end is illegible.

English Translation

The things done in the presence of the Official of Ely in the aforesaid place on the Friday next after the feast of the Holy Trinity in the aforesaid year of Our Lord [21 June 1381], and the things to be done in the same place on the Thursday next after the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross [19 September 1381].

¶ Chapman ex ] ¶ William son of Edward Alderman of Elsworth was cited at the instance of Robert(a), son/daughter of Thomas Chapman in a case of defamation.  The plaintiff appearing through his proctor and the defendant appearing in no way, therefore we excommunicate that defendant, etc.

¶ Trinity ex ] ¶ Lord Roger Moor, a priest staying in Cambridge, cited for the aforesaid day and place at the instance of Lord Thomas, perpetual vicar of Wiggenhall, was cited in the Church of Holy Trinity, Cambridge, in a defamation case.  The plaintiff appearing through his proctor Walter de Sutton and the defendant appearing in no way but rather expressly refusing to appear because of his reputed contumacy and great offense, for his contumacy and offenses we excommunicate him.

¶ Cotenham ] ¶ Richard Wretil of Oakington was cited for the aforesaid day and place at the instance of the executors of the will of Simon of Cottenham in a testamentary case.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Excerpt from the Ely Act Book

  1. Christopher McLean

    I’m not sure how I stumbled upon this “Analog” but you are definitely the only person I know that could translate that (or would want to! :)) Hope you are doing well 🙂

  2. Thanks? 🙂 All’s well here–hope things are going well for you too.

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