Marion Masterton (app 1580 - aft 1645)

Marion Masterton (app 1580- aft 1645)

Mother of Archibald Moodie, defendant

Marion Masterton is mentioned in a family dispute that reached the Privy Council of Council and as mother of the defendant in a case recorded in the parliamentary records of Scotland from 1645. The entire written parliamentary record of 858 words is in only seven sentences. That comprising the second paragraph must be a candidate for one of the longest sentences in the English language!

Genealogy

All that I can find from the records is the marriage of Marion Masterton to Archibald Mudie (Moodie) on 9 April 1600 in Edinburgh. This fits with the relationships described in the records of the court case between their son Archibald and his brother-in-law John Williamson.


Register of the Privy Council of Scotland

Second Series, Vol VII. 1638-43.

3 Feb 1642, Edinburgh

Complaint by Mr John Williamesone, as follows:-Marion Mastertoun, his mother-in-law, the widow of John Murrey [sic] of Sandfurd, and Archibald Mudie, her son, his brother-in-law, "having conceaved ane unjust malice aganis the compleaner thir 14 yeeres bygane or thereby, have devised and practised all means to ruine him, speciallie by their unnaturall withdrawing of the heart and affectioun of his wife and childrene frome him. And first in a subtle way, pretending his weale and the preservation of his estat, they moved him to denude himselfe of his haill meanes in favors of the said Archibald Mudie, upon twa severall backbands givin be the said Archibald, one in favours of his wife for the maintenance of her and her familie during all the dayes of her lifetime so far as sould extend to the annualrent of the principall soume renunced, which sould have been registrat or delivered to the compleanner for that effect, but wes not done, and another in his own favors for maintenance of him and his famile after the deceasse of his wife in maner foresaid.

But, being once maisters of the compleanners estat, they wrought such inmitie betuix his wife and him that she would not suffer him to come in her companie, and so brought him to that desperate and miserable condition that, having intented actioun aganis thame upon the said backbond competent to his wife and aganis her for adherence, he wes forced by povertie, not being able to be at the expence of law, to pas from his pursute and to consent to a voluntarie sequestration for seven yeeres and that for the soume of viijc merks, quhairof he onelie receaved the soume of 230 merkes in hand, they alledging that arrestments wer layed upon the rest, but procured be thamselves, and nather payed him nor his creditors.

Lykeas before they would give him the 230 merkes they urged him to subscribe a band, obliging him at the expiring of the saids seven yeeres of sequestration to compeir judiciallie and consent to another seven yeeres sequestration and so furth so long as he lived, thereby to divorce him for ever frome his lawful wife. And diverse times since, taking advantage of his distresse and miserie, they have urged him for a small support of his meanes to grant new bands of the same qualitie tending ather to divorcement or banishment aganis all law, and in end forced him to goe out of the countrie sometimes to England, Holland and other parts, to seeke his living, where being pinched with necessitie, he wes forced to come back and have recourse to thair commisseratioun and compassioun of his distresse, which they have most unchristianelie refused and would not looke upon him nor his pitifull desires when he went severall times to thair hous of Sandfurd, where his wife is deteanned frome him, but closed the doores, denying him accesse to her and his childrene to make his meane to thame."

Charge having been given to the said Marion Mastertoun and Archibald and Jonet Mudie to compear and see order taken anent their unchristian conduct, and for the complainer's wife's adherence to him, at least "for a sufficient meanes to be given him out of his owne estat whereby he may live," and the pursuer compearing personally and the defenders by the said Archibald, who answered for his mother and sister, both parties agreed to submit the matter to the arbitration of Sir Alexander Gibson of Durie, Clerk Register, and to accept his decision, and Sir Alexander accepted the reference and promised to give his judgment at "his best convenience."

The Register of the Privy Council of Scotland

Second Series, Vol VII. 1638-43
P Hume Brown (ed)
pp 194-195
HM General Register House
Edinburgh, 1906


Register of the Privy Council of Scotland

Second Series, Vol VII. 1638-43.

22 January, 1642, Edinburgh

135. Supplication by Mr John Williamesone as narrated (ante p. 194). Only the wording of the petition has been in some places toned down and shortened. The supplicant writes "They wroght sic divilische inmitie betuix my wyff and me"; and in reference to the sequestrations, "for sevin yeiris and sua furth frome sevin yeiris to sevin yeiris till the worldis end." So in reference to his going abroad "sumtymes in Ingland, sumtymes in holland and uther partis of the world, quhair finding myself pinched withe povertie and nakednesse I was forcit to come hame agane and creip unto thame for mercie and support who ar the causes of my miserie."

And when he went to Sanford he writes - "They maist violentlie, maisterfullie and maliciouslie closes thair dores and gaittis and will not suffer me to have acces to my owne wyff and childrene to mak my meane unto thame, fearing possiblie that shee sould have some remors upoun the sight and sense of my miserie, sa that efter I had made verie hard shiftis to borrow and beg a little money to transport me thair to speik withe my wyff thay have kepit thair entres so close upoun me that I have lyen as a miserable begger about thair dores quhill not onlye my haill maney hes beene spent bot also hes beene forcit to sell my cloke for payment of my expenses without the hous when thay in the meane tyme wer leving plentifullie upoun my meanes without ony regaird of my afflictioun. And seing my parents and frendis have desertit me for my simplicitie in suffering myself to be sa deludit, and I am destitute of all meanes to enter in civile process aganes thame," he craves that the defenders may be punished for their "violence, crueltie and oppressioun" and that he may be restored "to my christiane libertie and to the fruitioun of my said wyff, childrene and estate," or at least that he may have a competent proportion of his own means to live upon, and that the defenders should be obliged to produce his wife. [On the back] "Apud Edinburgh, 22 January, 1642. Fiat summonitio aganis the parteis within complained upon. M.A. GIBSONE, Durie."

The Register of the Privy Council of Scotland
P Hume Brown (ed)
Second Series, Vol VII. 1638-43
p 525
HM General Register House
Edinburgh, 1906


Judicial Proceeding: Decreet in Favour of John Williamson

Decreet Mr John Williamson and Archibald Moodie

Anent the supplication given in to the estates of parliament by Mr John Williamson against Archibald Moodie, his brother-in-law, and Marion Masterton, his mother, desiring the renunciation made and subscribed by the said Mr John Williamson to and in favour of the said Archibald Moodie of the sum of 7,000 merks money and others contained therein might be declared null for the reasons and causes contained in the said supplication, or otherwise the said Archibald Moodie decreed to renew to the supplicant his former bond of maintenance, as the supplication in itself more fully bears.

Which supplication and parties above-named (after that the parties complained upon were cited) being publicly called upon before the committee appointed for bills and supplications upon 15 January last, compeared personally the said Mr John Williamson, for himself, and also compeared personally the said Archibald Moodie, for himself and in name and on behalf of the said Marion Masterton, his mother, and Janet Moodie, his sister, spouse to the said Mr John Williamson, who being at length hereupon heard in presence of the committee anent what either of them could allege against the other against and in fortification of the said supplication and desire thereof, and the committee being well and ripely advised therewith and with the decreets and writs produced by the said Archibald Moodie against the said Mr John Williamson, the said committee for the bills and supplications, with consent of the said Mr John Williamson, personally present for himself, and of the said Archibald Moodie, also personally present for himself and in name and on behalf of his said mother and sister, ordain the said Mr John Williamson to have the sum of 6 Scots monthly for his maintenance; which sum the committee with consent aforesaid decree the said Archibald Moodie to pay quarterly to the said Mr John Williamson within the town of Dundee upon the first day of the month of each quarter, extending in money for each quarter to the sum of 18, beginning the first quarter's payment for the months of February, March and April 1646 instant, which the committee ordains the said Archibald Moodie presently to pay and deliver to the said Mr John Williamson for the three months above-written.

As also with consent aforesaid ordain the said Archibald Moodie to provide the said Mr John Williamson presently with all conveniency one suit of clothes for supply of his present necessity relating thereto, with hose and shoes, and decree the said Archibald Moodie to pay to the said Mr John the aforesaid monthly maintenance of 6 monthly for the months of May, June and July next to come 1646, extending to 18 Scots to be paid the first day of May next within the town of Dundee as said is and so forth quarterly thereafter in time coming.

And in respect that this is condescended to by the said Archibald Moodie at the desire of the said committee, notwithstanding of the former decreets both before council, session, commissaries and assemblies, and of the particular and general discharges granted upon the same by the said Mr John Williamson to the said Archibald Moodie whereby he is liberated in law of all that Mr John can ask or crave from him for any monies or means that pertains either to Mr John, his wife or children or otherwise, therefore the committee, with consent of the said Mr John Williamson, discharge him of all further troubling, pursuing or in any way vexing of the said Archibald Moodie and his said mother and sister directly or indirectly or others belonging to them in time coming.

Likewise the committee with consent aforesaid declare that if the said Mr John Williamson shall fail herein, then Archibald Moodie and all other whom it concerns shall not only be free of the payment of the said monthly maintenance, but that also it shall be permissible to the said Archibald, upon the said Mr John Williamson's failure in not resting content with the payment of the monthly maintenance and other premises aforesaid, to incarcerate the said Mr John within the tolbooth of any burgh of this kingdom at the option of the said Archibald Moodie, to be supported there at what rate the said Archibald Moodie shall think fit under and within the monthly maintenance above-named.

And the committee, with consent of the said Mr John Williamson, grant warrant to the said Archibald Moodie in case of the said Mr John's failure as said is to take and apprehend the said Mr John Williamson and incarcerate him within the tolbooth of any burgh of this kingdom at the option of the said Archibald Moodie.

Which decreet and determination above-specified, being this day reported by the said committee in audience of the parliament and the same being heard and considered by the estates of parliament, they ratify and approve the aforesaid decreet in all the heads and points thereof above-written, and interpose the authority of parliament thereto, and ordain letters to be directed hereupon at the instance of either of the parties against the other for fulfilling the aforesaid decreet in the appropriate form.

The Records of the Parliaments of Scotland to 1707
K.M. Brown et al eds
St Andrews, 2007-2009
1645/11/291.
www.rps.ac.uk
Date accessed: 5 August 2009.