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337 Jones v Wynn

The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640.

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337 JONES V WYNN

Richard Jones of Forden, co. Montgomery, gent v Nicholas Wynn of the same, gent

November 1639 - December 1640

Abstract

Jones, high constable of Cause Hundred, Montgomeryshire, complained that his neighbour Wynn had abused him in a field in Forden parish, Montgomeryshire, two weeks after Michaelmas 1639, giving him the lie several times, purposely to provoke him to duel 'who by reason of his office is to keepe and see the king's peace kept.' He also claimed that Margaret, wife of Nicholas Wynn, had called him 'whoreson'. Process was granted on 8 November 1639 and the depositions of Jones's witnesses were presented to the court on 17 June 1640. Witnesses for Wynn were examined by a commission of Robert Edwards, Humphrey Bowen, Charles Lloyd and Francis Griffith, gents, on the 29 December 1640 in the inn of Nicholas Purcell in Forden, Montgomeryshire. They testified that Wynn, who held the offices of sidesman, churchwarden, overseer of the poor and constable in Forden, and grand juryman at the Montgomeryshire quarter sessions, was 'a gentile, orderlie, civill man and of honest life and conversacon, and soe reputed and taken to be.' They also maintained that one of Jones's principal witnesses, Richard Glace, was related to him, the other, John James, was his servant, and that Jones had provoked him by assaulting him with a pitchfork and saying that he 'was but a beggar and a knave'. No further proceedings survive and the case was no doubt abandoned with the suspension of the court's proceedings.

Initial proceedings

2/132, Petition

Nicholas Wynn, a near neighbour to Richard Jones did lately abuse Jones without provocation 'with many reviling and uncivill words'. Wynn gave Jones the lie several times, saying 'thou lyest falcely', which Wynn did 'purposely to provoke' Jones to duel, 'who by reason of his office is to keepe and see the king's peace kept.'

Petitioned that Wynn be brought to answer.

Maltravers granted process on 8 November 1639

2/134, Plaintiff's bond

9 November 1639

Bound to appear 'in the Court in the painted Chamber within the Pallace of Westminster'.

Signed by Richard Williams [his mark] of the City of Westminster, gent on behalf of Jones.

Sealed, subscribed and delivered in the presence of John Watson.

Plaintiff's case

11/21b, Defence interrogatories

Was Richard Jones 'possessed of a fair estate of inheritance in Forden and elsewhere in the county of Montgomery'? What was his estate there? Had Jones 'been known and reputed to be a gent, and lived in the fashion of a gent; and hath he not borne manie and severall offices of charge in the comon welth as namely high constable; and is he not a man of quiet and peaceable demeanour and soe commonly accompted.'

No date.

Signed by Clere Talbot.

Cur Mil 1631-1642, fos. 191v-193r, Plaintiff depositions

fos. 191v-192 (Witness 1), Richard Glace of Chirbury, co. Salop, dyer, lived there for 10 years, born at Rushbury, co. Salop, aged about 24

16 June 1640

To Jones's libel:

1. He had known Jones for 4 years, during which time Jones 'had lived in the rank and fashion of a gentleman and is soe reputed'.

2. In the field in Forden parish, co. Montgomery, a fortnight after last Michaelmas he heard Nicholas Wynn say to Mr Jones: 'Thou lyest, thou lyest and thou lyest falsely'. Wyn's wife also then called Mr Jones 'whoreson'. John James and Francis Dunn were also present 'and who else he knoweth not'. He believed Wynn spoke the words 'with an intent to provoke Mr Jones to strike him and to break the peace'. Jones did not provoke him.

Signed by Richard Glace.

Repeated in court before Sir Henry Marten, knight, lieutenant, on 17 June 1640 in the presence of John Longland.

fos. 192v-193r (Witness 2), John James of Forden, co. Montgomery, husbandman, lived there for 6 years, born in Berriew parish, co. Montgomery, aged about 24

16 June 1640

To Jones's libel:

1. He had known Jones for 3 years, during which time Jones 'had lived in the fashion of a gentleman and is soe reputed'.

2. He was ploughing a field in Forden parish, co. Montgomery, a fortnight after last Michaelmas, when he heard Nicholas Wynn say to Mr Jones: 'Thou lyest, thou lyest and thou lyest falsely'. Wyn's wife 'in angrie manner' also then called Mr Jones 'whoreson'. Richard Glace and Francis Dunn were also present.

Signed by John James [his mark]

Repeated in court before Sir Henry Marten, knight, lieutenant, on 17 June 1640 in the presence of John Longland.

Defendant's case

11/4, Defence [damaged and faded]

1. Were any words spoken by Nicholas Wynn to the scandal of Richard Jones?

2. Did Jones use 'opprobrious or injurious wordes' against Wynn or his wife at the time of speaking the words pretended in the libel? Did he 'lay violent hands' upon Wynn's wife so that she feared for her life?

3. Did Jones violently attack Wynn using 'a pitchfork or some other weapon and threatened to kill' Wynn at the time of the words pretended to be spoken?

4. Were Nicholas Wynn and his ancestors commonly taken to be gentlemen for 10-200 years last past?

5. Had Nicholas Wynn held the office of sidesman and other parish offices in the parish of Forden?

6. [Illegible]

7. At the time of the quarrel did Richard Jones threaten to carry Wynn to the stocks?

8. and 9. [Erased and illegible]

10. [Illegible]

No date.

11/21a, Letters commissory for the defence

[Document folded and stuck together - details given in the Latin proceedings]

11/21c, Defence depositions

Taken before commissioners Robert Edwards, Humphrey Bowen, Charles Lloyd and Francis Griffith, gents, on the 29 December 1640 in the inn of Nicholas Purcell in Forden, co. Montgomery, with William Roberts as notary public.

(Witness 1), Edward Price of Ginley, co. Montgomery, gent, aged about 54

To Wynn's defence:

1. If any words 'tending to scandal' were spoken by Wynn or his wife, they were said 'in the just defence' of 'their creddyt, good name, and reputacon, and not otherwise'.

2. At the time and place of 'the pretended words' he heard Richard Jones give the Wyns 'divers opprobrious words and speeches of provocacon', calling them 'base knave' and 'base woman'. He did not know if Jones spoke these words before or after Wynn spoke against him. He did not hear either of the Wynns give the 'opprobrious words or speeches' in the libel.

3. At the time and place he saw Jones 'in a terrifying manner hold a pitchfork or pikebill or a long bill' against Nicholas Wynn's breast. He believed that Jones assaulted Wynn 'with a pikebill or pitchfork, then with a long bill'. Jones did also 'lay violent hands upon Margaret' Wynn 'before the pretended words' spoken against him by Nicholas Wyn.

4. Jones and his ancestors 'lived and doe live in a gentile manner and had gent[lemen] that were their kinsmen, and were of their familie and kinrid'. Wynn lived 'in good, orderlie and gentile manner' since Price knew him.

5. Nicholas Wynn had held these offices in the parish of Forden: sideman, churchwarden, overseer of the poor, and constable. Wynn had also been a grand juryman at the Montgomery quarter sessions, and was 'reputed to be an honest, civil orderlie man and of good life and reputacon.'

6. The witness John James was a household servant or labourer to Jones. He believed the witness Richard Glace was 'allied to the plaintiff in the first or second degree'. Grace and James were 'familiar and intimate friends to the plaintiff and soe taken to be.'

Signed by Edward Price and by the four commissioners.

(Witness 2), Mary, wife of Reginald Corbett of Forden, co. Montgomery, gent, aged about 65

To Wynn's defence:

4. 'Nicholas Wyn and his ancestors have byn honest men and of good kinred and familie, for all the time of her remembrance and knowledge, vizt. for the space of l. [50] years last past and upwards.'

5. 'Nicholas Wyn is and always hath byn a man of civill honest and orderlie life and conversacon and he is taken and reputed to be.'

6. 'John James hath byn a servant or a workeman' to Jones.

Signed by Marie [her mark] and by the four commissioners.

(Witness 3), Richard Glace of Chirbury, co. Salop, gent, aged about 26

To Wynn's defence:

3. At the time of the quarrel, Jones held 'a pikebill, a bill or some other weapon at or towards the bodie of Nicholas Wyn, but Wyn had first given the lie' to Jones.

6, 7. At the time of the quarrel, after Wynn's words, Jones threatened to put Wynn in the stocks, commanding several onlookers to do so. Glace was 'cosen german or cosen in the first kynde to' Jones's wife.

Signed by Richard Glace by the four commissioners.

(Witness 4), Mary, wife of Edward Purcell of Forden, co. Montgomery, esq, aged about 52

To Wynn's defence:

4-5. She believed Wynn had born the offices in Forden mentioned in the article. Wynn had always been in the 30 years she had known him 'an honest, orderlie, civile man and of good and honest life and conversacon, for ought she knoweth or hearde to the contrarie, and hath soe byn taken and reputed to be.'

Signed by Mary Purcell and by the four commissioners.

(Witness 5), John James of Forden, co. Montgomery, labourer, aged about 28

To Wynn's defence:

4, 5. Wynn was 'a man of honest life and conversacon and soe reputed and taken to be.'

6. He had been an household servant and then a waged workman to Jones for several years before the time of the quarrel.

Signed by John James [his mark] and by the four commissioners.

(Witness 6), George Whittingham of Forden, co. Montgomery, yeoman, aged about 66

To Wynn's defence:

4. Wynn and his ancestors 'were honest, orderlie men and of good name and honest life and conversacon', and so 'held, taken and reputed to be.'

5. Wynn had been sideman, churchwarden, overseer of the poor and constable in the parish of Forden.

Signed by George Whittingham [his mark] and by the four commissioners.

(Witness 7), Richard Jones of Chirbury, co. Salop, yeoman, aged about 30

To Wynn's defence:

4. Wynn was 'a gent for ought he knoweth to the contrarie and is reputed to be an honest *gentile* man and is of good friends and kinred.'

6. The witness John James had been 'a servant in husbandrie' to Jones for 3 years, and Jones's servant 'within these xii moneths last past.'

Signed by Richard Jones and by the four commissioners.

(Witness 8), John Lloyd of Woolstanwinde, co. Montgomery, gent, aged about 62

To Wynn's defence:

4. Wynn 'and his ancestors were always gentlemen and of good friends and kinred and soe reputed and taken to be'. Wynn was 'an honest, civil orderlie man and of good life and conversacon.'

Signed by John Lloyd and by the four commissioners.

(Witness 9), Edward Price of Forden, co. Montgomery, gent, aged about 44

To Wynn's defence:

4. Wynn was 'a gentile, orderlie, civill man and of honest life and conversacon and soe reputed and taken to be' for over 30 years.

5. As witness 6.

6. In the last 2 years, the witness John James was a servant to Richard Jones.'

Signed by Edward Price and by the four commissioners.

(Witness 10), Humphrey Matthews of Forden, co. Montgomery, husbandman, aged about 32

To Wynn's defence:

2. At the time of the quarrel Jones gave Wynn 'divers opprobrious and *provoking* contumelious words and speeches', and called Wynn 'base fellow and beggar', saying that Wynn 'was not able to answere him in lawe'. This was done by Jones before Wynn gave him 'any ill words' at the time and place where the quarrel happened.

6. The witness John James was a waged servant to Jones.

Signed by Humphrey Matthews [his mark] and by the four commissioners.

(Witness 11), Thomas Edwards of Forden, co. Montgomery, gent, aged about 55

To Wynn's defence:

4. Wynn, his uncles and 'his father's brethren were and are gentilemen and lived gentlemen like, in good creddyt and reputacon.'

5. Wynn had been sideman, churchwarden, overseer of the poor, and constable in Forden, and a grand juryman at quarter sessions and 'at the greate sessions holden for the com of Montgomery.'

Signed by Thomas Edwards and by the four commissioners.

(Witness 12), Edward Dacks of Forden, co. Montgomery, labourer, aged about 17

To Wynn's defence:

1-2. At the time of their quarrel, Jones called Wynn 'beggar', saying 'that he was but a beggar and a knave', and 'I knowe nott howe thou canst answeare me'. Jones said this before Wynn gave him any ill words at all. Jones also laid 'violent hands upon' Wynn, before Wynn gave him 'any ill language or ill words'.

Signed by Edward Dacks [his mark] and by the four commissioners.

11/21d, Notary public's certificate

Certificate in Latin signed by William Roberts, notary public, and the commissioners Charles Lloyd, Robert Edwards, Humphrey Bowen and Francis Griffiths that the above examinations had been completed and were now being returned.

30 December 1640.

Notary's mark.

Summary of proceedings

Dr Talbot acted as counsel for Jones and Dr Merrick for Wynn. The commissioners to examine Wynn's witnesses were to meet from 29 to 31 December 1640 in Nicholas Purcell's inn, in Forden, co. Montgomery. Wynn nominated as commissioners Edward Whittingham, Robert Edwards, Humphrey Bowen and Richard Morris, gents. Jones nominated Sir Edward Lloyd, knt, Rowland Pugh, esq, Charles Lloyd, gent and Francis Griffith, gent. On 30 October 1640 Dr Merrick entered material for Wynn's defence against opposition from Dr Talbot. On 6 November 1640 Dr Merrick was ordered to prove the articles of the defence by the first session of next term since Dr Talbot did not believe articles 1-7 and 10. The court warned the commissioners to send the depositions of Wynn's witnesses by then.

Notes

Neither party appeared in M. P. Siddons (ed.), Visitations by the Heralds in Wales (Publications of the Harleian Society, new series, 14, 1996).

Documents

  • Initial proceedings
    • Petition: 2/132(8 Nov 1639)
    • Plaintiff's bond: 2/134 (9 Nov 1639)
  • Plaintiff's case
    • Defence interrogatories: 11/21b (no date)
    • Plaintiff's depositions: Cur Mil 1631-42, fos. 191v-193r (16 Jun 1640)
  • Defendant's case
    • Defence: 11/4 (no date)
    • Letters commissory for the defence: 11/21a (no date)
    • Defence depositions: 11/21c (29 Dec 1640)
    • Notary public's certificate: 11/21d (30 Dec 1640)
  • Proceedings
    • Proceedings: 1/12 (Mic 1640)
    • Proceedings before Maltravers: 1/11, fos. 19r-30v (30 Oct 1640)
    • Proceedings before Marten: 1/11, fos. 39v-40r (6 Nov 1640)

People mentioned in the case

  • Bowen, Humphrey, gent
  • Corbett, Mary
  • Corbett, Reginald, gent
  • Dacks, Edward, labourer
  • Dunn, Francis
  • Edwards, Robert, gent
  • Edwards, Thomas, gent
  • Glace, Richard, dyer / gent
  • Griffith, Francis, gent
  • Howard, Henry, baron Maltravers
  • James, John, husbandman
  • James, John, labourer
  • Jones, Richard, gent
  • Jones, Richard, yeoman
  • Lloyd, Charles, gent
  • Lloyd, Edward, knight
  • Lloyd, John, gent
  • Longland, John
  • Marten, Henry, knight
  • Matthews, Humphrey, husbandman
  • Merrick, William, lawyer
  • Morris, Richard, gent
  • Price, Edward, gent
  • Pugh, Rowland, esq
  • Purcell, Edward, esq
  • Purcell, Mary
  • Purcell, Nicholas, innkeeper
  • Roberts, William, notary public
  • Stuart, Charles I, king
  • Talbot, Clere, lawyer
  • Watson, John
  • Whittingham, Edward, gent
  • Whittingham, George, yeoman
  • Williams, Richard, gent
  • Wynn, Margaret (also Wyn)
  • Wynn, Nicholas, gent (also Wyn)

Places mentioned in the case

  • Middlesex
    • Westminster
  • Montgomery
    • Berriew
    • Cause Hundred
    • Forden
    • Ginley
    • Woolstanwinde
  • Salop / Shropshire
    • Chirbury
    • Rushbury
  • Wales

Topics of the case

  • assault
  • churchwarden
  • constable
  • denial of gentility
  • giving the lie
  • grand juryman
  • high constable
  • office-holding
  • other courts
  • overseer of the poor
  • provocative of a duel
  • quarter sessions
  • sexual insult
  • weapon