Viewing Event Record: Requests, Woodliffe vs Browne: Oliver Woodliffe states his case


Oliver Woodliffe countersues Robert Browne (who had earlier sued him in Common Pleas) in the Court of Requests in May 1603 for Browne's failure to pay him sums 'which amount to better than £200' as well as £5 a week since 22 August 1601. Woodliffe's bill outlines the terms of his original lease on the Boar's Head property (of 28 November 1594) and subsequent dealings related to the property. The original tenure of the lease was twenty-one years, at an annual rent of £40, due quarterly. The lease contained a special proviso that Woodliffe was to spend £100 in work on various buildings on the property. Woodliffe entered into a £300 bond to fulfill the terms of the contract. The bill of complaint outlines the terms of his sublease of the Boar's Head property to Richard Samwell of 13 April 1598. Woodliffe enumerates the parts of the inn of which Samwell was to take possession. He notes that Samwell was to pay him a yearly rent of £40, due quarterly, and to take responsibility for upholding and maintaining the premises. Woodliffe inserted special covenants to the effect that Jane and Henry Poley or their assigns were to be allowed onto the property twice a year to check on the reparations, and the Woodliffe and his wife were to be granted entry with a cart and carriage 'at all times convenient . . . for the building of the west part of the great yard of the said in [sic].' Woodliffe and his wife sold their interest in the Boar's Head to Francis Langley for £400 on 7 November 1599. Francis and Richard Langley were bound to Woodliffe for three bonds, each worth £200, for a payment of £300. Woodliffe regained his interest in the property before 28 January 1603, then filed this suit against Browne for holding without right the 'stage, tiring-house and galleries on the west side of the said inn.' Woodliffe accuses Browne of being 'directed & advysed in all his indirect dealeings & vlawefull Courses' by Israel Jordan, who had lent money to both of them.

Date Event Recorded

From: 20 May 1603 (Source of claim: original)

Date Event Happened

From: 28 November 1594 To: 20 May 1603 (Source of claim: transcription)


Boar's Head


Name Role
Browne, Robert (III) defendant
Woodliffe, Susan leaseholder
Samwell, Richard, the Elder leaseholder
Samwell, Richard, the Younger leaseholder
Woodliffe, Oliver plaintiff
Langley, Richard playhouse financier
Langley, Francis playhouse financier
Poley, Henry property owner
Poley, Jane property owner
Jordan, Israel scrivener

Event Type

  • court case
  • playhouse business
  • playhouse context