Viewing Event Record: London Consistory, Newton vs Waters: Ireland deposes


George Ireland deposes for John Newton in Newton's case against Joan Waters to enforce a matrimonial contract. Ireland refers to Newton as a player in the Duke of York's Men, who play at the Boar's Head. He reports Newton saying that he makes as much as five shillings a day as a sharer. Ireland affirms that he was present when William Duke solicited Waters on behalf of Newton, and that Waters desired to see and speak with Newton. Ireland was present at the Crown and Goat in Smithfield when Newton and Waters met in the company of Duke and Newton's sister, about a fortnight after Michaelmas. Waters and Newton were 'drinking one to another & kissing & embracing together very lovinglye' and Waters kissed Newton's neck so that three red spots arose. Ireland reports that Waters said these spots meant she marked Newton as her own. Newton and Waters left for a while, then reappeared at the tavern later that evening. Waters invited Newton back to her house and they, along with Ireland and Gregory Saunders, went there. After Waters and Newton kissed some more, Saunders suggested they join hands and marry each other. Saunders pronounced them man and wife and the newlyweds kissed. A few days later Newton and Waters met at the Queen's Head and signed marriage contracts which had been drawn up by Ireland (copied from the Book of Common Prayer), and witnessed by Ireland and William Addison. Ireland cannot remember exactly how much wine was drunk or money spent, but he does say that Waters was not overcome with wine, but 'of good capacitie' and she understood the note she signed. The two contracts were then exchanged by the spouses. Waters asked Ireland to procure a license to solemnize the marriage. Before the Queen's Head meeting, Waters had resisted Ireland's urgings to solemnize the marriage, saying she refused to marry before she delivered the child (from her deceased husband) she was carrying, in order to avoid scandal. Ireland, Newton and Waters met again at Waters' house about a week later to arrange a wedding. Newton and Waters again asked Ireland to procure a license, and they decided to get married at Burntwood in Essex. Ireland adds that he visited the house a number of mornings to find Waters and Newton in bed together.

Date Event Recorded

From: 17 February 1611 To: 14 June 1611 (Source of claim: transcription)

Date Event Happened

From: October 1610 To: February 1611 (Source of claim: transcription)

Date notes

This deposition was given on either 17 February 1611, 7 June 1611, or 14 June 1611. See Geise, 'Theatrical Citings and Bitings' p117.


Boar's Head


Name Role
Waters, Joan defendant
Ireland, George deponent
Newton, John plaintiff
Duke, William solicitor
Saunders, Gregory witness
Addison, William witness
Newton's sister, witness

Event Type

  • court case
  • player context