1590-1 Allegations of William Bird against William Gibbons
It seems that:
aboute Midsomer day tyme last past (as he [Gibbons] remembereth a lytle before Misdomer day last past) being & standinge at the ffawlcon gate in the Petycurye in Cambridge here mentioned, did here the sayd William Bird (which Bird thn stode at his owen doare oueragainst the sayd ffawlcon, & then speakinge vnto one of the said William Gibbons his men or boyes,) saye & vtter of and against the sayd William Gibbon these words followinge or the lyke in effecte, viz: That the sayd Gibbon was banished oute of Oxford for his evell behavior, and yat he (Bird) could or would bring a testimonial or Certificate of yt, and yat his – the sayd Gibbons his – boys or men were whipped oute of Oxford where he dwelte. And sayth also yat the premisses were soe spoken & don by the sayd William Bird in the after noone aboute supper tyme.
the said William Gibbons in the streate in Cambridge about or nighe the church yarde wall and the churchyard gate of St Michaellis in Cambridge did malitiouslie contumeliouslee and iniuriouslie smite or strike the sayd William Birde vpon the head and vpon the face with his the sayd William Gibbons fiste And did then and there breake the staple of one instrument of the said William Birdes and the reede of the same instrument which instrument was in the hand of Iohn Chapman servaunt of the sayd William Birde And the sayd William Birde by reason that the said instrument was so broken as is aforesayd and his companie colde playe no more on his waites by the space of three dares then next followinge.
the sayd William Bird in this article named saye vnto Ioh Andrewe and his Cumpanye beinge then servants vnto the sayd Wylliam Gibbon here in this article mentioned, theyse wordes followeinge or the lyke in effecte, viz: your master (meaning & speakeinge of and by the sayd William Gibbon) was banished oute of Oxford for his evell behavior, and for a neede I can bringe a Certificate of yt, and some of you were whipped oute of Oxford (meaninge the Cittye of Oxford where the sayd William Gibbon had dwellt & where the sayd William Gibbon had ben the waites or waighte player.) and sayth that the sayd wordes were soe vttered & spoken as aforesayd by the sayd William Bird [a lytIe before Midsomer] vppon a Sundaye the xxjth daye of Iune last past aboute v. or vj. of the clocke in the after noone of the same dare the sayd William Bird then standinge at or bye his owne doare in the Petye Curye in Cambridge oueragainste the signe of the ffalcone there togither with one Richard Walker then Chamberlyn at the ffalcone aforesayd heareing the premisses. and sayth alsoe yat the aforesayd Iohn Andrewe & the rest of the of the cumpanye or noyse of the sayd William Gibbon, and Mr Harvye the grocer and mr Edward foxton, and diuerse others whose names he nowe remembreth not were then by and present or not far of & hard the woordes aforesaid.
There’s a lot more to this story, all in R.E.E.D. Cambridge, but that’s enough for now.
My interest is in William Bird/Birde/Byrd/Byrde (above) who was on of the University waits and elected Lord of the Tappes for Stourbridge Fair in 1582-3, Cambridge:
some musicion (whom they haue vsuallie called the lorde of the tappes) should for ye fayer should for ye safetie of the booths & profit of the merchauntes after sunne sett & like waies before the sonne rysyng by sounde of some Instrument gyve notize to shutt & open their shoppes
There is another – or the same? – William Bird who was a Cambridge (University?) actor.[http://shakespeareauthorship.com/bd/bio-b.htm: Pembroke’s 1597; Admiral’s-Prince Henry’s-Palsgrave’s 1598-1621, playwright. Husband of Mary Bird; father of Theophilus Bird.]