5 Andrews v Morris

The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640.

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Michael Andrews, esq, Surgeon to the King v Richard Morris of St Dunstan-in-the-East, London, barber-surgeon December 1637 - February 1639


Andrews, one of the surgeons to the king, accused Morris of having used insulting language against him at a meeting of the Court of Assistants in the hall of the Company of Barber Surgeons in London in September - November 1637. His libel alleged that Morris had given him the lie and claimed he was 'a better man than I... and had spent more money in the company and had done more good', and that 'he did no more care for me than the shoestrings of his shoes'. Morris countered that nothing in the libel was true and that Andrews had first provoked him by calling him an 'old viper' before the Company of which Morris had been three times governor. Morris also pointed out that the Company's Court of Assistants that had met to resolve the matter voted that Andrews was in the wrong, although the verdict had not been entered in the court's register because the clerk, Richard Turner, had sided with Andrews. [For further details of the quarrel, see Morris's counter suit, cause 449]. Arundel held a preliminary hearing on the complaint of Andrews and John Woodhall against Morris, in the Court of Chivalry on 12 December 1637 and, having decided that there was a case to answer, committed Morris to the custody of the messenger until he could find sureties. [For Woodhall's cause against Morris, see 727]. Morris lost the case, and on 28 November 1638, Andrews was awarded £30 damages and 20 marks expenses. Morris was ordered to perform his submission in the parlour of Barber Surgeons' Hall on Mogwell [Monkwell] Street, in the city of London, before the master and wardens on 1 February 1639.

Initial proceedings

18/3m, Order for directions

'December 12th

Whereas Richard Morris one of the company of Barber Chirurgions of the City of London was this day brought before me to make answer to two several complaints made against him, the one by Michael Andrews one of his majesties Chirurgions for uncivil and provoking language used to him by Morris in an open court held in Barber Chirurgions Hall, London, and particularly for giving him the lye; the other by John Woodhall an antient master and assistant of the company for a blowe given him by Morris with his fist as they sate together in a court within the hall. Both which complaints being proved upon oath, forasmuch as the offences were publiquely committed, in the face of a court and to so principal members of the Society, I conceive it most proper to be brought to a publique triall. And doe therefore order that the plaintiffs do jointly or severally as their councell shall advise them put in their libels into the Court Marshall against Morris for the aforesaid abuses. And that Morris give bond with good sureties to appear and answer the complaints and to stand to and performe such order as shalbe made by the Courte and pay such fines, costs and charges as shalbe assessed or awarded against him in the causes, and till that security be given to remaine in the custody of the messenger.'

Signed by Arundel and Surrey.

Exhibited 6 November 1638.

Another copy of this is at 17/3d, dated 13 December 1637, and signed by Arundel and Surrey.

13/1c, Libel

Andrews was an esquire descended from a gentry family and for 5-15 years was one of the Master Surgeons to the king. The previous September Morris was in the Surgeons' Hall of the city of London and at a meeting of the Company of Surgeons Morris said that he was a better man than Michael Andrews 'and had spent more money in the company and had done more good then ever Michael Andrews had done or ever should be able to doe hereafter'. Morris gave Andrews the lie and said that he cared no more for him 'than for the shoostrings of his shoes'.

No date.

No signatures.

19/5b, Personal answer

'Michael Andrewes is a Chirurgion of the Company of Chirurgions in London and one of the Chirurgions to the kings Majestie... Michael Andrewes having first provoked Richard Morris, by saying that Morris was a viper and of a viperous disposition and that he had been an old viper to his company meaning the company of the Chirurgions in London *and that he would prove him to be so*. Richard Morris answered and said to Michael Andrewes that that which Andrewes had then said was an untruth and that Morris had spent more money in that company and had done so much good to that company as ever Andrewes had done, whereunto Andrewes then and there replied thus or to this effect vizt you were best give me the lye. And saving that which he hath now confessed he doth not believe anithing in the pretended libel conteyned to be true in any part thereof.'

No date.

Signed by Thomas Eden.

Plaintiff's case

14/1a, Defence interrogatories

1. The witnesses were warned of the penalty for perjury and bearing false witness. What was the age, occupation and condition of the witness? Where did the witness live now? Where had the witness lived previously?

2. Was the witness related to Andrews and if so in what degree? Was the witness indebted to Andrews and if so for how much? Had the witness been instructed or informed how to depose, and if so specify in what way?

3. If the witness deposed of words spoken by Morris they were to be asked exactly where and when such pretended words were spoken and in whose presence?

4. Had Andrews said to Morris that he 'was a viper and of a viperous disposition, and that he was an old viper to the Companie *and that he would prove him soe*'? Were these words spoken immediately before the words spoken by Morris?

5. Had Morris been master or warden of the 'Company of the Chirurgions, and whether he be not a man that hath lived and doth live in good credit and estimation'?

6. Speak the truth of what you know, believe or have heard.

No date.

Signed by Thomas Eden.

14/1b, Defence interrogatories [damaged]

1. [Damaged] Referred to a meeting of the 'Barber Chirurgions hall'.

2. 'Whether the company or the chief thereof by the master and counsel of assistance had not [held a] meeting lately in or near their common hall concerning some differences between Andrews and Morris; did the assistants and company or the greater of them upon debate of the differences return their votes and opinions that Andrews had done the wrong to Morris or to that effect'?

3. 'Whether he were not appointed to enter an order concerning the premises into the booke to that purpose, by the company of assistants or the greater number of them there present'? 'Declare how many of them met then and there and how their votes went; whether such order were by you entered; if not upon what reason did you not enter it'?

No date.

Signed by Thomas Eden.

Defendant's case

17/4g, Defence

1. Morris described himself as gentleman.

2. No credit was to be given to the depositions of Richard Turner. 'For that... the master and wardens at a Court of Assistance having taken into their consideration the falling out of Mr Morris and Mr Andrews, endeavouring thereby to reconcile the differences between them and to adjudge who received the wrong... when the major parte of the Court had declared themselves that Morris had received the wrong, Turner (being sworne clerke of the Barbar Surgeons Hall and ought by his oath to sett downe in his booke of orders, decrees and declarations of the Court) refused and denyed to sett downe the order, decree or declaration of the court for Mr Morris; but said he would help Mr Andrews with an oath in another place or uttered words to that effect.'

3. 'That Turner is a freeman of the City of London and free of the company of Barbar Chirurgeons, and by reason of his oath in that behalf taken at Guildhall is sworne not to make any apprentice free of his companie until he hath done him true and rightful service for the whole time and space of seven yeares; yet Turner regarding not his oath did make free of his companie *and of the Citie of London* one Arthur Tayler who had not done him such service and in such manner and for such time as by the oath is required.'

4. At the time and place of the alleged words, Mr Andrews gave the first provocation by saying Morris was 'of a viperous disposition and that he was an old viper to the companie and that he would prove him one'. Morris replied, 'but not in a provoking manner', that this was an untruth. Morris did not give Andrews the lie. There were 'divers persons of good credit' present, who were so near that they must have heard the words if they had been spoken, as they were much nearer 'than any of the above pretended witnesses.'

Dated 28 April 1638.

Signed by Thomas Eden and Thomas Exton.

14/2bb, Defence interrogatories

1. The witnesses were warned of the penalty for perjury and bearing false witness.

2. Was the witness present when Andrews and Morris fell out?

3. Did Andrews 'not give occasion of the provocation'?

4. Had Morris been three times governor and master of the Barber Surgeon Company 'and fined once to be excused'? How often had Andrews held this post?

5. Did the master and company ' not take this falling out into their consideration at their Court of Assistance and was it not then and there adjudged by the major parte of voices that Mr Morris had received the most wrong from Mr Andrewes'?

6. 'How in what manner and with whome was Mr Morris or hath he ever been contentious and what schisms or factions hath he ever raysed in the Companie and what hath he ever done in the Companie contrary to the rules and orders of the house'?

Introduced 4 May 1638.

Signed by Thomas Exton.


4/24, Submission

Morris was to perform his submission 'standing bareheaded' and 'with an audible voice' on Tuesday 1 February 1638/9 in the parlour of the Barber Surgeons' Hall on Mogwell Street, in the city of London before the Master and Wardens of that company.

'Whereas I Richard Morris stand convicted... to have spoken divers opprobrious words against Mr Michael Andrews esq, and in particular to have said that I was a better man then Michael Andrews and to have given him the lye, I do hereby humbly confess that I am hartily sorry for my such rashe and unadvised speeches given of and against Mr Andrews, whom I do hereby acknowledge to be a much better man then myselfe. And I do hartily pray Mr Andrews to forgive my such inconsiderate speeches and do promise to behave myselfe towards him hereafter withal due respects.'

Summary of proceedings

Dr Merricke acting as counsel for Andrews and Dr Duck for Morris. On 3 and 12 February 1638, the witnesses were summoned before the court. On 28 November 1638, Andrews was awarded£30 for damages and 20 marks for expenses, to be paid before the last session of next Hilary term (before 12 February 1638/9). Morris was attached and ordered to make a submission. On 21 February 1639, Morris was ordered to certify the payment of his fine and performance of his submission.


Richard Morris ap Evan Vaughan, barber surgeon, appeared in the Visitation of London of 1634, married to Ann, daughter of John Leonard, a niece of Sir Edward Peacock, knt.

J. Jackson Howard (ed.), The Visitation of London, 1633, 1634, 1635 (Publications of the Harleian Society, 17, 1883), p. 112.

See also CSP Dom. 1637 , pp. 46-7; CSP Dom. 1637-8 , p. 393, referring to a petition by Francis Norton that before April 1637 Richard Morris of Brentford and Thomas Smith, the constable, had violently obstructed him when he tried to take the lease of a house and then bribed an attorney to prevent him bringing a case in Star Chamber.


  • Initial proceedings
    • Order for directions: 18/3m (12 Dec 1637)
    • Libel: 13/1c (no date)
    • Personal answer: 19/5b (no date)
  • Plaintiff's case
    • Defence interrogatories: 14/1a (no date)
    • Defence interrogatories: 14/1b (no date)
  • Defendant's case
    • Defence: 17/4g (28 Apr 1638)
    • Defence interrogatories: 14/2bb (4 May 1638)
  • Submission
    • Submission: 4/24 (1 Feb 1639)
  • Proceedings

People mentioned in the case

  • Andrews, Michael, esq, surgeon (also Andrewes)
  • Duck, Arthur, lawyer
  • Eden, Thomas, lawyer
  • Exton, Thomas, lawyer
  • Howard, Henry, baron Maltravers
  • Howard, Thomas, earl of Arundel and Surrey
  • Leonard, Ann
  • Leonard, John
  • Merrick, William, lawyer
  • Morris, Ann
  • Morris, Richard, surgeon
  • Norton, Francis
  • Peacock, Edward, knight
  • Smith, Thomas, constable
  • Stuart, Charles I, king
  • Turner, Richard, surgeon
  • Woodhall, John, surgeon (also Woodall)

Places mentioned in the case

  • London
    • Guildhall
    • Mogwell Street
    • St Dunstan-in-the-East
  • Middlesex
    • Brentford

Topics of the case

  • apparel
  • assault
  • barber surgeon
  • city company
  • comparison
  • giving the lie
  • other courts
  • royal servant
  • Star Chamber