Christopher Marlowe wasn't killed but banished...

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Inquest into the Death of Christopher Marlowe

image of the original Latin inquest Facsimile of original Latin inquest conducted by the Queen's Coroner, William Danby on June 1, 1593. Read the English translation below.

(translated by Prof. Leslie Hotson, who discovered the document and first published it in The Death of Christopher Marlowe, 1925)


KENT/INQUISITION indented taken at Deptford Strand in the aforesaid County of Kent within the verge on the first day of June in the thirty-fifth year of the reign of Elizabeth, by the grace of God of England France & Ireland Queen defender of the faith, etc thirty-fifth, in the presence of William Danby, Gentleman, Coroner of the household of the Queen, upon view of the body of Christopher Morley, there lying dead and slain, upon oath of [sixteen jurors] who say [upon] their oath that when a certain Ingram Frizer, late of London, Gentleman, and the aforesaid Christopher Morley and one Nicholas Skeres, late of London, Gentleman, and Robert Poley of London, Gentleman, on the thirtieth day of May in the thirty-fifth year above named, at Deptford Strand about the tenth hour before noon of the same day, [the four men] met together in a room in the house of a certain Eleanor Bull, widow; & there passed the time together & dined & after dinner were in quiet sort together there & walked in the garden belonging to the said house until the sixth hour after noon of the same day & then returned from the said garden to the room & there together and in company supped; & after supper the said Ingram & Christoper Morley were in speech & uttered one to the other divers malicious words for the reason that they could not be at one nor agree about the paymentof the sum of pence, that is, le recknynge, there; & the said Christoper Morley was then lying upon a bed in the room where they supped, & moved with anger against the said Ingram Frizer upon the words as spoken between them, And the said Ingram then & there sitting in the room aforesaid with his back towards the bed where the said Christopher Morley was then lying, sitting near the bed, that is, nere the bed & with the front part of his body towards the table & the aforesaid Nicholas Skeres & Robert Poley sitting on either side of the said Ingram in such a manner that the same Ingram Frizer in no wise could take flight: it so befell that the said Christopher Morley then & there maliciously drew the dagger of the said Ingram which was at his back, and with the same dagger the said Christopher Morley then & there gave the aforesaid Ingram two wounds on his head of the length of two inches & of the depth of a quarter of an inch; whereupon the said Ingram, in fear of being slain, & sitting in the manner aforesaid between said Nicholas Skeres and Robert Poley so that he could not in any wise get away, in his own defence & for the saving of his life, then & there struggled with the said Christopher Morley to get back from him his dagger aforesaid; in which affray the same Ingram could not get away from the said Christopher Morley; and so it befell in the affray that the said Ingram, in defence of his life, with the dagger aforesaid of the value of 12d. gave the said Christopher then & there a mortal wound over his right eye of the depth of two inches & the width of one inch; of which mortal wound the aforesaid Christopher Morley then & there instantly died;

And so the Jurors aforesaid say upon their oath that the said Ingram killed & slew Christopher Morley aforesaid on the thirtieth day of May in the thirty fifth year named above at Deptford Strand aforesaid within the verge in the room aforesaid within the verge in the manner and form aforesaid in the defence and saving of his own life, against the peace of our said lady the Queen, her now crown & dignity;

And further the said Jurors say upon their oath that the said Ingram after the slaying aforesaid perpetrated & done by him in the manner & form aforesaid neither fled nor withdrew himself; But what goods or chattels, lands or tenements the said Ingram had at time of the slaying aforesaid, done & perpetrated by him in the manner & form aforesaid, the said Jurors are totally ignorant. In witness of which thing the said Coroner as well as the Jurors aforesaid to this Inquisition have interchangeably set their seals. Given the day & year above named &

by William Danby, Coroner

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