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



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ISBN 9780367700362
March 29, 2021 Forthcoming by Routledge
192 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

Letters and Documents

13 Feb [1576/7] Master Anthony Bourne to Mistress Elizabeth Bourne, (BL, Add. MS 23212, fols. 5-6), This copy of Master Bourne’s letter to his wife to persuade her to answereth a fine to the Lord Chancellor therein, Her Majesty’s Solicitor General.

2 March 1576/7, [Indenture for the Marriage of Amy Bourne and Edward Conway], (BL, Add. MS 23212, fols. 71-72).

[Undated], Sir John Conway to Master Anthony Bourne, (BL, Add. 23212, fol. 83), The copy of my letter sent to Master Bourne in dissuading him from Mistress Pagnam.

14 May 1577, Master Anthony Bourne to Thomas Bromley, (BL Add, MS 23212, fols. 32-33), To the worshipful Thomas Bromley, Esquire, her Highness’ Solicitor General, these.

January 28 1577/8, Master Anthony Bourne to William Cecil, Lord Burghley, (HH, CP 160/117, fol. 186), To the right honorable, my good Lord, the Lord Burghley, Lord High Treasurer of England, these.

6 Feb [1577/8], Anthony Bourne to John Conway, (NA, SP 12/198, fols. 36–37), To my dear good friend, Sir John Conway, Knight, these.

15 January 1579, [Master Anthony Bourne to unknown Lord], (BL, Add. MS 23212, fol. 28-29).

18 February 1579. Master Anthony Bourne to Sir John Conway, (BL, Add. MS 23212, fol. 51). To the right worshipful my good friend, Sir John Conway, Knight, give these.

[Undated], Mistress Elizabeth Bourne to Mistress Morgan, (BL, Add. MS 23212, fol. 187), To the worshipful Mistress Morgan, at Whetstone, give these.

25 June 1580, Master Anthony Bourne to Thomas Bromley, (BL, Add. 23212 fol. 66). To the right Honorable, Sir Thomas Bromely, Knight, Lord Chancellor of England, Be these, with diligence.

21 July 1580, Sir John Conway to Mistress Elizabeth Bourne, (BL, Add. 23212 fol. 125-126), [The] right worshipful owner at Sarsden, give these.

[Undated], Mistress Elizabeth Bourne to Sir John Conway, (BL, Add. 23212 fol. 127), To my very good brother, Sir John Conway, these.

[Undated], Amy, Lady Mervyn to Mistress Elizabeth Bourne, (BL, Add. MS 23212, fol. 195), To my loving daughter, Elizabeth Bourne.

8 Dec [No Year], Mistress Elizabeth Bourne to Lady Amy Mervyn, (BL, Add. MS 23212, fol. 180) To my very good mother, the Lady Mervyn, these, at the […]

3 July 1582, Amy, Lady Mervyn to Francis Walsingham, (NA, SP 12/154, fol. 85), To the Right Honorable Sir Francis Walsingham, Principal Secretary to her Majesty, these.

[Undated], Mistress Elizabeth Bourne to Sir John Conway, (BL, Add. MS 23212, fols. 86–87), To my very good brother, Sir John Conway, Knight, these.

[Undated], Mistress Elizabeth Bourne to Sir John Conway, (BL, Add. MS 23212, fols. 106–107) To the right worshipful my very good brother and friend, Sir John Conway, these.

[Undated], Mistress Elizabeth Bourne to Sir John Conway, (BL, Add. MS 23212, fol. 118) To my very good brother, Sir John Conway, Knight, these.

[Undated], Mistress Elizabeth Bourne to Sir John Conway, (BL, Add. 23212 fol. 123), My very good brother Sir John Conway, Knight.

18 Aug 1582. Elizabeth Bourne to Master Doctor Julius Caesar, (BL, Add. MS 12507, fols. 204–205), To the worshipful Master Doctor Caesar at his house in Paternoster Row or at Master Alderman Martin’s in Milk Street, give these in diligence.

[Undated], Wrongs committed by Anthony Bourne, (BL, Add. MS 23212, fols. 7-8), Articles of Mistress Bourne’s reasons.

6 Dec 1582. [Mistress Bourne’s Petition to the Privy Council, Reviewed by Master Doctor Julius Caesar], (BL, Add. MS 38170, fols. 151–158).

6 Dec 1582. Julius Caesar’s Response to Mistress Bourne’s Petition, (BL, Add. MS 38170, fols. 176–178).

27 January, [No Year], Master Anthony Bourne to Mistress Elizabeth Bourne, (BL, Add. MS 23212, fols. 9-10). To the worshipful, my wished willing good wife, Mistress Elizabeth Bourne, be these.

20 February, [1582/3] Mistress Elizabeth Bourne to Master Anthony Bourne. Mistress Bourne’s letter to her husband, etc. (BL Add. MS 23212, fols. 11-16).

[Undated], [A written opinion by one Daffarne finding that 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."], (BL, Add. MS 23212, fol. 26).

Jan [1583/4], [Award of Arbitrators Appointed by Privy Council], (NA, SP 12/158, fols. 140–146), To the right honorable our very good Lordship: and the rest of her Majesty’s most honorable Privy Council. Signed by H. Godere and John Chamberleyn.

18 Jan 1583[/4], [Arbitrators Report, Indenture of Award], (NA, SP 13/c, fol. 28), Signed by [H]enry Unton, James Croft, H. Goodere, Esquire, John Chamberleyn, Sir John Conway[, Knight], Anthony Bourne[, Esquire].

28 Aug 1584, Lucia, Lady Audley to Mistress Elizabeth Bourne, (NA, SP 12/172, fol. 174), To my very loving sister, Mistress Bourne, give these.

Nov 1584, Mistress Elizabeth Bourne to Lucia, Lady Audley, (NA, SP 12/175, fol. 24), To my very loving sister, Mistress E. Bourne give this.

1 June [No Year], Mistress Elizabeth Bourne to Eleanor, Lady Conway, (BL, Add. MS 23212, fols. 178-179), To the right worshipful, my Lady Conway, these.

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

[Undated], Mistress Bourne’s demands of Sir John Conway, (BL, Add. 23212 fol. 68).

 

3 Feb [1586/7], Mistress Elizabeth Bourne to Sir John Conway, (BL, Add. MS 23212, fol. 129-130), To the right worshipful, Sir John Conway, Knight in Flanders, these.

27 February [No Year], Mistress Elizabeth Bourne to Sir John Conway, (BL, Add. MS 23212, fol. 133-134), To the right worshipful Sir John Conway, Knight, at Ostend, these. In Flanders.

7 March [1586/7], Mistress Elizabeth Bourne to Sir John Conway, BL, Add. MS 23212, fols. 131–132, To the right worshipful Sir John Conway, Knight, these, in Flanders. At Ostend.

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

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

5 October 1587. Sir John Conway to Mistress Elizabeth Bourne, (BL, Add. 23212, fols. 81-82).

November 1587, Eleanor, Lady Conway to the Lords of her Majesties Privy Council, (NA, SP 12/205 fol. 63).

[Undated], Mistress Elizabeth Bourne to Sir John Conway, (BL, Add. MS 23212, fols. 143-144)

[Undated], Sir John Conway to Mistress Elizabeth Bourne, (BL, Add. MS 23212, fol. 149). Kind letters Mistress Bourne.

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

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

[Undated], Mistress Elizabeth Bourne to Sir John Conway, (BL, Add. MS 23212, fols. 165-166).

[Undated], Mistress Elizabeth Bourne to Sir John Conway, (BL, Add. MS 23212, fol. 169), To my very good brother Sir John Conway, Knight, these. Pray you so soon as Androse, my man, comes take my money and send hit me for I have none.

[Undated], Mistress Elizabeth Bourne to [Sir John Conway], (BL, Add. MS 23212, fols. 153-154).

15 March 1589. At Greenwich, [Acts of the Privy Council], (NA, PC 2/16 fol. 553). Mistress Bourne's daughter released.

 

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Editor(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 by the U of Delaware P 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" for MIP. Currently, she is at work on women parrhesiasts in early modern English drama.

Emily Sherwood is Director of the Digital Scholarship Lab 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.

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Cristina León Alfar

Professor, English Literature, Hunter College, CUNY
New York, NY, USA

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