skip to content

1626: Thomas Hobson pursued for the debts of his son, John (died 1619)


Richard Litchfeild versus Thomas Hobson in the Commissary’s Court  

Thomas Hobson’s son John, also a carrier, died an indebted man in 1619. Over the next 11 years, indeed until the carrier’s death in January 1630/1, several townspeople came forward with the same story: Thomas Hobson had promised his son on his deathbed to settle what he owed1

Richard Litchfeild, barber surgeon2, was one such in 1626, pursuing a £10 bond John had entered into in 1613 to secure a debt of £5 5s. Before witnesses, Litchfield alleged, Hobson was heard to declare ‘Let not your debts trouble your mind for I will pay them’. The case was brought in the Commissary’s Court in contrast with the others in this digital collection. On occasion, routine business which threatened to overwhelm the Vice-Chancellor's Court was conducted there.

The case disappears from the records in January 1626/7 with no indication of resolution.

The records digitised here comprise:

• Act Book entries recording the progress of the case, 20 July-9 November 1626 (classmark: UA Comm.Ct.I17) and 16 November 1626-8 January 1626/7 (classmark: UA VCCt.I.50)

• Allegations of Richard Litchfeild, undated [1626] (classmark: UA Comm.Ct.III.15/35).

Except for entries in the courts’ Act Books, all records are transcribed. Latin abbreviations have been extended; spelling and punctuation transcribed as seen. Note that the exhibita bundle comprising the allegations of Richard Litchfeild has not been conserved and remains in its original 17th century format, i.e. as one of 195 items filed by means of a parchment tie as one bundle. To prevent any damage to the bundle, it was only possible to capture a partial image of folio 35, meaning about a third of the text is obscured.

For an outline of the jurisdiction and procedure of the University courts, and the methodology employed in presenting records online, see the introduction to this CUDL collection.



2 Possibly Richard Lichfield (d.1630) putative author of The Trimming of Thomas Nashe, Gentleman (London, 1597), literary participant in the pamphlet war between Gabriel Harvey (1552/3 – 1631) and Thomas Nashe (1567-1601). For many years, Richard Lichfield was thought to be the pseudonym of Gabriel Harvey. See also  and  J. Scott-Warren, Harvey, Gabriel (1552/3–1631), scholar and writer. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Retrieved 18 Aug. 2021, from