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The Evidence of the Servants

The Evidence of John Reynolds

John Reynolds of Kempston maltster, also gave evidence. He had formerly lived at Astwood and remembered John Draper and Mary Kins living together as man and wife. He remembered them having a child called John and later two more boys, Thomas and John whilst living at Stevington, the first John being dead by then.

A month or two after Mary's death Reynolds went to Stevington to live as a servant to Draper. About three months later Dorothy Kins, Draper's sister-in-law also began to live with them as housekeeper "and during her stay there he observed the said Dorothy to grow big and did suspect that she was with child and after this, so suspecting her, she the said Dorothy was early in a morning carried or conveyed away from Stevington, but by whom or whither this Deponent cannot certainly say". She returned to Stevington about three weeks later. He also deposed that she had, since then, continued to live with Draper.

The Evidence of Mary Crofts

Mary, wife of Richard Crofts of Bedford, cordwainer deposed that nineteen years ago she went to live as a servant with John Draper and stayed about four years.  "Within which time the said Dorothy Kins was often there, sometimes staying a fortnight, sometimes a months and sometimes six weeks at a time and during the last of the four years (Mr. Draper's mother being then dead) she, the said Dorothy, constantly lived in the house with the said John Draper, as she hath ever since done". Mary further testified that, after Draper's mother's death Dorothy "always went through the said John Draper's lodging room to her own room to bed, there being no room beyond that, and that the said John Draper usually made fast the outmost chamber door, after she was so gone into his said room. And farther that she, this Deponent, did once when she made the said John Draper's bed, find therein a thimble and another time a needle book belonging to the said Dorothy. And that she, this deponent, delivered them to the said Dorothy who owned them to be hers, and told this Deponent that she had been mending something there".

The Evidence of Constance Abbot

Constance, wife of Simon Abbot of Bedford, labourer testified that, fifteen or sixteen years before, she had lived a year as a hire servant to John Draper  during which time Dorothy Kins lived in the same house and every night went into or through Draper's room.

The Evidence of Elizabeth Tysoe

Elizabeth Tysoe of Stevington, spinster, testified that Draper hade moved out of The Vicarage about six years before. A week after he had moved, Elizabeth helped Dorothy, by then called Dorothy Draper, to do some brewing at the new house "and they being to sit up all night" Dorothy ordered Elizabeth to go up to Draper's bedroom and fetch her pillow from off his bed.

Elizabeth also testified: "The Deponent being in the Chamber where the said John Draper used to lie, asked the said Dorothy, being then there, if she had since heard any such noise as they heard when they sat up to brew as aforesaid. And the said Dorothy told this deponent that one night she, the said Dorothy, having a great cold, did set some stuff on a box near the bed's head (which box she then showed this Deponent) to take in the night and accordingly wanting it, she reached her hand towards the said box, but hearing a noise, she was affrighted and took her hand in again and withal told this Deponent that the man never heard it, by which man she, this Deponent, conceived that she meant the said John Draper, she, the said Dorothy, usually calling him by that name".

The Evidence of Ann Tysoe

Ann Tysoe of Stevington, spinster, testified that she lived at Stevington in Mary Kins' lifetime and was several time at the house and observed that she and Draper behaved together as man and wife.

When Draper moved from The Vicarage to another house in Stevington she assisted in the removal and "the same night, by the direction of Dorothy Kins, took up a pan of coals and carried them into a chamber where the said John Draper and the said Dorothy were, and there set the coals down and left the said John and Dorothy in the said chamber and shut the door after her. And she, this Deponent, with the said Mary (the same person that is now called Mary Draper) and the maid servant lay in another bed in the next chamber, those two being the only beds that were then set up in the said house and the next morning this Deponent did see the said John Draper and the same Dorothy come out of the same Chamber where she left them the night before and she, this Deponent, did afterwards help the said Dorothy to make the bed in the said chamber and did, by the prints in the same, observe that two persons had been in bed thee and the said Dorothy told this deponent that she, the said Dorothy, must make the man's side because he was difficult".

Finally, Ann deposed that she had seen a letter written by Mary Draper in which she was the daughter of a minister who preached at Banbury called John Draper. Draper also told Ann that when she spoke of Dorothy Kins she must call her Mrs. Draper.

The Evidence of Ann Barr

Ann, wife of John Barr, deceased, labourer, testified that she was hired as a servant by John Draper eleven or twelve years before and that she stayed with him for three years. During that time Dorothy Kins was in the habit if visiting and staying for two or three days at a time. She made and warmed Dorothy's and Draper's beds "but did never observe the prints of two people in either of the said beds". However: "And she further deposes that the said John Draper and the said Dorothy do now cohabit and live together in his house at Stevington and so have done for several years last past".

The Evidence of Ann Osborn

Ann, wife of John Osborn of Wootton, dairyman, testified that she had been hired as a servant by John Draper about seven years before and continued in his service for five years. During all that time Dorothy Kins lived at the house and Ann took them to be husband and wife. She had never seen them in bed together but saw by the prints that two people had shared the same bed.

The Evidence of Robert Stratton

Robert Stratton of Stevington, lacemaker, had been hired as a servant by John Draper five years before. He had continued to be so for three years during which Dorothy Kins had lived with Draper as his wife. He had seen the prints of two people in the same bed. He had also heard Mary Smart call John Draper father and he call her daughter.