Page:Devonshire Characters and Strange Events.djvu/278

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DEVONSHIRE CHARACTERS

the Communion, by blowes and afterwards with disgracefull words." Also, "Paule Ebsworthy for layinge of violent handes upon my wief in the Church yard: and his wiefs scouldinge, Katheren Ebsworthy using these wordes before the Parson unto her sister, Peter's wief, that her sister might be ashamed to suffer such to goe before her as my wief was."

It seems that Agnes Bidlake, the wife of William, sought assistance of her uncle, Sir Edward Giles, to bring these complaints before the Bishop. He replied to this by writing to William Bidlake:—

"I would intreat you and my niece your wife at the time of hearinge of these differences before his Lordshipp to be very temperate in your utterances. You know it is an old sayinge, A good matter may be marred in the handlinge; and I know if passion doe not overcome you all, it will be to my Lord's good likeinge."

Mr. Bidlake went up about the matter and interviewed the Bishop, who agreed to hear the case at Okehampton on the following Thursday.

The Bishop wrote to Parson Germyn: "Being credibly informed that Mr. Bidlake and his wief were lathe by your sonne Peter Ebsworthy and his wief verie disgracefully wronged at a Communion … as alsoe for your scandalous and indiscreete doctrine which you usually teach I may not att any hande suffer," he summoned him to appear before him at his approaching visitation at Okehampton.

On 13 May, 1613, the Bishop of Exeter summoned plaintiffs and defendants and witnesses before him for the following Friday at Okehampton.

The Rev. Gilbert Germyn indignantly denied that he had ever preached scandalous and indiscreet doctrine; but what was the result of the suit before the Bishop does not transpire.