Court of High Commission - East Drayton, Nottingham 1590 (Borthwick Institute HC.CP 1590/5)
In most humble and wise complaining unto your good lordship and the rest of your associates her majesty’s commissioners in causes ecclesiastical, we the inhabitants of the parish of East Drayton, within the county of Nottingham, having the fear of god before our eyes, and for the Discharge of our consciences in this behalf, being Desirous that virtue should be rewarded and vice punished, and therewithal understanding that you are appointed as instruments from god and from her majesty, by authority and law, to reform and mend, if with by no other means can be obtained, have thought good (for the considerations before alleged) to present unto you (according to our Duties) John Mynet of our said town as guilty in these causes here following.
First we present the said John Mynet as an Atheist, heathen, or Infidel who in the contempt of god and the blessed word, hath openly and manifestly reported that there is no god, no devil, no heaven, no hell, no life after this life, no judgement to come, where of he being persuaded as it seemeth, he thereupon rejoiceth in his sins and glorieth in his wickedness, saying that he cannot rest for covetousness, that he cannot sleep for Devising and Imagining with him says how he may join house to house land to land, and how he may Deceive his neighbour.
- we present the said John Mynet as a Brawler in the church of god and a disturber of divine service, by whom our minister hath been hindered in the execution of his office
- we present the said John Mynet, as an uncharitable contemner of our said minister.
- we present the said John Mynet, as a slanderer, backbiter, and common sower of dissention, Discord and Sedition, between person and person.
- we present the said John Mynet, as a charmer, Sorcerer, Enchanter, and conjuror, who taketh upon him, to set Down how long men shall live, and at what time they shall Die, to the marvellous Disquieting of the minds and consciences, of the poor ignorant people.
- we present the said John Mynet, as a fawtor, maintainer and Defender, of such manner of persons and such like Devilish devices who diverse and sundry times hath Resorted unto them, for counsel, help, and comfort contrary to the express commandment of christ, who cryeth generally unto all come unto me all that travel, and are heavy laden, and I will refresh you.
- we present the said John Mynet, for taking upon him to preach in the church and for preaching of false and erroneous Doctrine.
John Hutton clerk Anthonie Reyner Richard (?) Reynor John Panel Richard Bark[…] [Credit to Harriet Still who researched and forwarded this text]
This story is reported in greater detail in the book by David Cressy: Travesties and Transgressions in Tudor and Stuart England (Oxford Press);
Chapter 10 - The Atheist's Sermon: Belief, Unbelief and Traditionalism in Elizabethan North