Reading Mistress Elizabeth Bourne : Marriage, Separation, and Legal Controversies book cover
1st Edition

Reading Mistress Elizabeth Bourne
Marriage, Separation, and Legal Controversies





ISBN 9780367700362
Published March 29, 2021 by Routledge
204 Pages

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Book Description

The documents contained in Reading Mistress Elizabeth Bourne: Marriage, Separation, and Legal Controversies tell a story of Mistress Bourne’s petition for divorce, its resolution, and the ongoing dispute between Mistress Bourne and her husband about their marriage and separation, and subsequently between Mistress Bourne and Sir John Conway both for custody of her daughters and her financial security. The letters capture the contradiction between married women’s official legal limitations and the often messy and complicated avenues of redress available to them. Elizabeth’s narratives and desire for divorce challenge literary representations of patient endurance where appropriate feminine behavior restores a husband’s devotion. The Bourne case offers a unique set of documents heretofore unavailable except through the British Library, National Archives’ State Papers, and Hatfield House. Reading Mistress Elizabeth Bourne is tremendously important to early modern scholars and our knowledge about and view of women’s negotiations for legal autonomy in the sixteenth century.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements

Abbreviations

Editorial Principles and Notes on the Text

Introduction: The Marital Dispute of Elizabeth and Anthony Bourne: Femme Sole Status and Its Discontents

Letters and Documents

1. 13 February [1576/7], Master Anthony Bourne to Mistress Elizabeth Bourne (© British Library Board, BL,

Add. MS 23212, fols. 5–6)

2. 2 March 1576/7, [Indenture for the Marriage of Amy Bourne and Edward Conway] (© British Library Board,

BL, Add. MS 23212, fols. 71–72)

3. [Undated], Sir John Conway to Master Anthony Bourne (© British Library Board, BL, Add. MS 23212, fol. 83)

4. 14 May 1577, Master Anthony Bourne to Master Thomas Bromley (© British Library Board, BL, Add. MS

23212, fols. 32–33)

5. 28 January 1577/8, Master Anthony Bourne to William Cecil, Lord Burghley (HH, CP 160/117, fol. 186)

6. 6 February [1577/8], Master Anthony Bourne to Sir John Conway (NA, SP 12/198, fols. 36–37)

7. 15 January 1579, [Master Anthony Bourne to unknown Lord] (© British Library Board, BL, Add. MS 23212,

fols. 28–29)

8. 18 February 1579, Master Anthony Bourne to Sir John Conway (© British Library Board, BL, Add. MS 23212, fol. 51)

9. [Undated], Mistress Elizabeth Bourne to Mistress Morgan (© British Library Board, BL, Add. MS 23212,

fol. 187)

10. 25 June 1580, Master Anthony Bourne to Sir Thomas Bromley (© British Library Board, BL, Add. MS 23212, fol. 66)

11. 21 July 1580, Sir John Conway to Mistress Elizabeth Bourne (© British Library Board, BL, Add. MS 23212,

fols. 125–126)

12. [Undated], Mistress Elizabeth Bourne to Sir John Conway (© British Library Board, BL, Add. MS 23212,

fol. 127)

13. [Undated], Amy, Lady Mervyn to Mistress Elizabeth Bourne (© British Library Board, BL, Add. MS 23212,

fol. 195)

14. 8 December [No Year], Mistress Elizabeth Bourne to Amy, Lady Mervyn (© British Library Board, BL, Add.

MS 23212, fol. 180)

15. 3 July 1582, Amy, Lady Mervyn to Sir Francis Walsingham (NA, SP 12/154, fol. 85)

16. [Undated], Mistress Elizabeth Bourne to Sir John Conway (© British Library Board, BL, Add. MS 23212,

fols. 86–87)

17. 1 February [No Year], Mistress Elizabeth Bourne to Sir John Conway (© British Library Board, BL, Add. MS 23212, fols. 106–107)

18. [Undated], Mistress Elizabeth Bourne to Sir John Conway (© British Library Board, BL, Add. MS 23212,

fol. 118)

19. [Undated], Mistress Elizabeth Bourne to Sir John Conway (© British Library Board, BL, Add. MS 23212,

fol. 123)

20. 18 August 1582, Elizabeth Bourne to Master Julius Caesar (© British Library Board, BL, Add. MS 12507,

fols. 204–205)

21. [Undated], Wrongs Committed by Anthony Bourne (© British Library Board, BL, Add. MS 23212, fols. 7–8)

22. 6 December 1582, [Mistress Bourne’s Petition to the Privy Council] (© British Library Board, BL, Add. MS

38170, fols. 151–158)

23. [Undated], Master Julius Caesar’s Response to Mistress Elizabeth Bourne’s Petition (© British Library Board,

BL, Add. MS 38170, fols. 176–178)

24. 27 January [No Year], Master Anthony Bourne to Mistress Elizabeth Bourne (© British Library Board, BL,

Add. MS 23212, fols. 9–10)

25. 20 February [1582/3], Mistress Elizabeth Bourne to Master Anthony Bourne (© British Library Board, BL,

Add. MS 23212, fols. 11–16)

26. [Undated], [A written opinion by one Daffarne finding that Master Anthony Bourne has no right to “demand

or make title unto any the manors, lands, hereditary goods, or chattels conveyed to the said Sir John

Conway”] (© British Library Board, BL, Add. MS 23212, fols. 26–27)

27. January [1583/4], [Report of Arbitrators Appointed by the Privy Council] (NA, SP 12/158, fols. 140–146)

28. 18 January 1583[/4], [Arbitrators’ Report, Indenture of Award] (NA, SP 13/c, fol. 28)

29. 28 August 1584, Lucia, Lady Audley to Mistress Elizabeth Bourne (NA, SP 12/172, fol. 174)

30. November 1584, Mistress Elizabeth Bourne to Lucia, Lady Audley (NA, SP 12/175, fol. 24)

31. 1 June [No Year], Mistress Elizabeth Bourne to Eleanor, Lady Conway (© British Library Board, BL, Add. MS 23212, fols. 178–179)

32. [1585], Eleanor, Lady Conway to Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester (NA, SP 46/17, fol. 239)

33. [Undated], [Mistress Elizabeth Bourne’s Demands of Sir John Conway] (© British Library Board, BL, Add. MS 23212, fol. 68)

34. 3 February [1586/7], Mistress Elizabeth Bourne to Sir John Conway (© British Library Board, BL, Add. MS 23212, fols. 129–130)

35. 5 October 1587, Sir John Conway to Mistress Elizabeth Bourne (© British Library Board, BL, Add. MS 23212, fols. 81–82)

36. November 1587, Eleanor, Lady Conway to the Lords of her Majesty’s Privy Council (NA, SP 12/205, fol. 124)

37. 27 February [No Year], Mistress Elizabeth Bourne to Sir John Conway (© British Library Board, BL, Add. MS 23212, fols. 133–134)

38. 7 March [No Year], Mistress Elizabeth Bourne to Sir John Conway (© British Library Board, BL, Add. MS 23212, fols. 131–132)

39. [Undated], [Sir John Conway to Mistress Elizabeth Bourne] (© British Library Board, BL, Add. MS 23212, fol. 135)

40. [Undated], Mistress Elizabeth Bourne to [Sir John Conway] (© British Library Board, BL, Add. MS 23212, fol. 136)

41. [Undated], Mistress Elizabeth Bourne to [Sir John Conway] (© British Library Board, BL, Add. MS 23212, fols. 143–144)

42. [Undated], [Sir John Conway to Mistress Elizabeth Bourne] (© British Library Board, BL, Add. MS 23212, fol. 149)

43. [Undated], Sir John Conway to the Lords of the Privy Council (© British Library Board, BL, Add. MS 23212, fol. 183)

44. [Undated], Mistress Elizabeth Bourne to [Sir John Conway] (© British Library Board, BL, Add. MS 23212, fol. 157)

45. [Undated], Mistress Elizabeth Bourne to [Sir John Conway] (© British Library Board, BL, Add. MS 23212, fols. 165–166)

46. [Undated], Mistress Elizabeth Bourne to Sir John Conway (© British Library Board, BL, Add. MS 23212, fol. 169)

47. [Undated], Mistress Elizabeth Bourne to [Sir John Conway] (© British Library Board, BL, Add. MS 23212, fols. 153–154)

48 15 March 1589, At Greenwich, [Acts of the Privy .Council] (NA, PC 2/16, fol. 553)

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Author(s)

Biography

Cristina León Alfar is Professor of Shakespeare, Early Modern English drama, and Women's and Gender Studies at Hunter College, CUNY. Her first book, Fantasies of Female Evil: The Dynamics of Gender and Power in Shakespearean Tragedy, was published in 2003. Her second book, Women and Shakespeare’s Cuckoldry Plays: Shifting Narratives of Marital Betrayal (Routledge 2017) examines a structure of accusation and defense that unravels the authority of husbands to make and unmake wives. She is co-editor, with Helen Ostovich, of the series "Late Tudor and Stuart Drama: Gender, Performance, and Material Culture." Currently, her research focus is on women parrhesiasts in early modern English drama.

Emily G. Sherwood, Ph.D., is Director of Digital Scholarship at University of Rochester’s River Campus Libraries where she helps faculty and students incorporate digital tools and methods in their research and teaching. She is an alum of both the Council on Libraries and Information Resources (CLIR) Postdoctoral Fellowship Program and the EDUCAUSE/CLIR Leading Change Institute. Her research interests include digital pedagogy and scholarship, extended reality, and medieval and early modern marriage law.