39 Bellwood v Suckling

The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640.

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Mark Bellwood, Doctor of Physic v Sir John Suckling of Twickenham, co. Middlesex and Barsham, co. Suffolk, knt

No date


Bellwood, a doctor of physic, complained that after he had cured Suckling's servant, Suckling had denied him payment and given him 'many uncivill termes, as Fellow, by God you lie; base mountibancke; God's wounds, I'le kicke you; begon, by God's harte, I'le breake your pate'. No further proceedings survive.

Initial proceedings

EM269, Petition

'Whereas Sir John Sucklin commended his servant, being dangerously diseased, unto the cure and care of the petitioner, when his servant was recovered and the petitioner repaired to Sir John to certifie him as much, but instead of payment Sir John did carie himself most insolently and threatened the petitioner with many uncivill termes, as Fellow, by God you lie; base mountibancke; Gods wounds, I'le kicke you; begon, by God's harte, I'le breake your pate, etc'

Petitioned Arundel for redress.

No date.

No signatures.


Sir John Suckling (1609-1641) was the son of Sir John Suckling of Twickenham, co. Middlesex (1569-1627), and Martha, sister of Lionel Cranfield, earl of Middlesex. Descended from a prominent family of Norfolk and Suffolk, he matriculated at Trinity College, Cambridge in 1623 and inherited large estates on his father's death in 1627. He served on the expedition to the Isle de Rhé and was knighted in 1630. He travelled in Italy and France, and was said to have joined the Swedish forces before Breitenfeld in 1631. During the 1630s he became an extravagant courtier noted for his wit, gaming, poems and plays. Sir John Digby assaulted him in his coach over his approaches to a daughter of Sir Henry Willoughby. In 1635 he sold his Barsham estate to his uncle. He accompanied Charles I north during the First Bishop's War and was ridiculed for the fine apparel with which he attired his troopers. During the Second Bishops' War he was engaged in the English defeat at Newburn Ford. He was also involved in the Army Plot to bring armed force to Strafford and the King's aid during 1641. He died in exile in Paris in July 1641.

T. Clayton, 'Sir John Suckling (1609-41)', Oxford DNB (Oxford, 2004).


  • Initial proceedings
    • Petition: EM269 (no date)

People mentioned in the case

  • Bellwood, Mark, physician
  • Cranfield, Lionel, earl of Middlesex
  • Cranfield, Martha
  • Digby, John, knight
  • Howard, Thomas, earl of Arundel and Surrey
  • Suckling, John, knight
  • Suckling, John, knight
  • Suckling, Martha
  • Stuart, Charles I, king
  • Wentworth, Thomas, earl of Strafford
  • Willoughby, Henry, knight

Places mentioned in the case

  • Cambridgeshire
    • Trinity College
    • University College
  • France
    • Isle de Rhé
    • Paris
  • Italy
  • Middlesex
    • Twickenham
  • Norfolk
  • Northumberland
    • Newburn Ford
  • Saxony
    • Breitenfeld
  • Suffolk
    • Barsham
  • Sweden

Topics of the case

  • apparel
  • Bishops' Wars
  • blasphemy
  • debt
  • denial of gentility
  • giving the lie
  • Thirty Years' War
  • threatened violence