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554 Richardson v Hardwick

The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640.

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554 RICHARDSON V HARDWICK

Tobias Richardson of St Paul's Churchyard, London, gent v Francis Hardwick of the same, gent

April - May 1640

Figure 554:

St Paul's church in the late sixteenth century. Francis Richardson complained that Francis Hardwick had come into his shop in the churchyard in March 1640 and threatened to draw his sword on him.

Abstract

Richardson, a draper, complained that on 17 March 1640, Hardwick, a trunkseller, came into his shop in St Paul's churchyard, London, called him 'Base stinking knave, and rascall' and threatened to draw his sword, saying, 'Thou hast damned upp my lights and by God's wounds I will be revenged of thee'. The words were spoken in the presence of Richardson and several of his apprentices as work was taking place on Richardson's house which Hardwick claimed was cutting off the light into his house. The noise drew a crowd of onlookers and Hardwick was restrained from violence by his son. Process was granted on 16 April 1640 and depositions were taken from Richardson's witnesses before Sir Henry Marten from 17 to 22 May; but no further proceedings survive.

Initial proceedings

5/2, Petition

'Frances Hardwicke of London, trunkseller, hath most insufferably wronged and provoked the petitioner, by calling him base stinking knave, and rascall, and also by offring to drawe upon the petitioner and swearing he would be the death of the petitioner, as may appear to your honour by three severall affidavits annexed to this petition.'

Prayed that Hardwick might be brought to answer.

Maltravers granted process 16 April 1640.

5/1, Plaintiff's bond

16 April 1640

Bound to 'appear in the Court in Arundel House in the Strand, without Temple Bar, London'.

Signed by Tobias Richardson.

Sealed, subscribed and delivered by John Longland.

5/3, Defendant's bond

19 April 1640

Bound to 'appear in the Court in Arundel House in the Strand, without Temple Bar, London'.

Signed by Francis Hardwick [his mark].

Sealed, subscribed and delivered by John Watson.

18/4a, Libel

1. Richardson's family had been reputed gentry for up to 200 years.

2. In the parish of St Gregory's, Hardwick had said to Richardson, 'Thou art a base stinking knave. Thou hast damned upp my lights and by Gods wounds I will be revenged of thee', which words were provocative of a duel.

3. Hardwick drew a sword, 'and said & swore he would be the death of me at one time or other'.

No date but filed under Easter term, 1 May 1640.

Signed by Thomas Eden.

Plaintiff's case

Cur Mil 1631-1642, fos. 139r-142r, Plaintiff depositions

fos. 139r-140r (Witness 1), James Bunce of St Gregory's parish, London, household servant, born at Crowley, co. Kent, aged about 21

18 May 1640

To Richardson's libel:

1. 'He verily believeth that Mr Tobie Richardson, this deponent's master, is a gent and hath right to beare Armes for that he this deponent hath seene him use a seale att Armes which his Mr Richardson hath sayd hee had from the heralds.'

2. On 17 March last, Francis Hardwick came to Richardson's house in 'Pawleschurchyard', London, and said to Richardson 'in an angrie and violent manner', who was standing in his shop, 'Thou arte a base stinking knave. Thou hast damned up my lights and by God I wilbe revenged of thee'. Mr Fisher, this witness and others were also present.

To Hardwick's interrogatories:

1. He had known Richardson for 5 years, while serving as his apprentice. Richardson was a draper in 'Pawleschurchyard'. He 'wisheth right may take place.'

2. Negative.

3. He was Richardson's apprentice.

4. Negative.

5. The words were spoken at about noon.

6. At the time of the words, the witness stood with his master in the shop, and Hardwick stood in the street near the door. He believed the reason for Hardwick's speeches was Richardson 'had some joiners at work about his house; and Hardwick conceived that Mr Richardson did prejudice him in stopping his lights.'

Signed by James Bunce.

Repeated in court before Sir Henry Marten, 17 May 1640, in the presence of John Rainshaw.

fos. 140r-141r (Witness 2), Thomas Cowley, servant to William Jones of St Bride's parish, London, joiner, had served his master nearly 4 years, born at Cirencester, co. Gloucester, aged about 20

18 May 1640

To Richardson's libel:

1. 'He cannot depose anything of his own knowledge.'

2. At the beginning of last March, he was at work in an upper room of Richardson's house, when Hardwick came upstairs to Richardson 'and pulled his knife and sheath out of his pocket, and pulled his knife half out of his sheath, and swore by Gods wounds he would be the death of Mr Richardson one tyme or other; and then Mr Hardwicke his sonne took hold of Mr Hardwicke so that nothing more was done.' Thomas Colley was also present.

To Hardwick's interrogatories:

1. He was a joiner by trade, and had known the two parties for about a quarter of a year. Before he came to his current master, he served Mr George in Cirencester, where he was born. He 'wisheth right may take place.

2. Negative.

4. Negative.

5. The words were spoken in the forenoon.

6. At the time of the words, Richardson 'stood in the passage, up one pair of stairs in his house, leading toward his hall, and Hardwicke stood neere unto him, vizt. within two yards of him when he spake the words.' He and Colley were there because they were at work.

Signed by Thomas Cowley

Repeated in court before Sir Henry Marten, 17 May 1640, in the presence of John Rainshaw, notary public.

fos. 141v-142r (Witness 3), Thomas Colley, servant to William Jones of St Bride's parish, London, joiner, had served his master for half a year, before that he lived at Wollaston, co. Salop, where he was born, aged about 21

18 May 1640

To Richardson's libel:

1. 'He cannot depose anything.'

2-3. As witness 2.

To Hardwick's interrogatories:

1. He was a joiner by trade, and did not know Hardwick beforehand. He 'wisheth right may take place.

2. Negative.

4. Negative.

5. As witness 2.

6. At the time of the words, Richardson and Hardwick, this witness and Cowley were up one pair of stairs in Richardson's house.

Signed by Thomas Colly

Repeated in court before Sir Henry Marten, 17 May 1640, in the presence of John Rainshaw, notary public.

Cur Mil 1631-1642, fos. 145r-146r, Plaintiff deposition
fos. 145r-146r (Witness 4), Edmund Fisher of Brentwood, co. Essex, gent, lived there for 8 years, born in co. Oxford, aged about 40

22 May 1640

To Richardson's libel:

2. In March last, he was at Richardson's shop in 'Pawleschurch yard', London, when 'an old man whom he did not then knowe, but hath since understood to be Francis Hardwick, came into the shop and in a violent and uncivil manner, without any provocation at all given him', said to Richardson, 'Thou arte a base stinking knave. Thou hast damned up my lights and by Gods wounds I wilbe revenged of thee'. Some of Richardson's apprentices were present 'and some others, but all strangers to him'. Hardwick departed, but came a second time before this witness left the shop, 'and again railed at and reviled Mr Richardson, so that divers people gathered together about the shop to see what the matter was'. Hardwick 'did thereby much provoke' Mr Richardson.

To Hardwick's interrogatories:

1. He had known Richardson for 7 years, but had never seen Mr Hardwick before.

2-4. Negative.

5. The words were spoken in Richardson's shop in the forenoon.

6. At the time of the words Richardson and the aforesaid parties were in the shop. The witness was in the shop to buy or pay for cloth.

Signed by Edmund Fisher.

Repeated in court before Sir Henry Marten, in the presence of Richard Meade, notary public.

Notes

Tobias Richardson of London, draper was the second son of Thomas Richardson of Whitchurch, co. Salop, and Mary, daughter of Thomas Ridley. Tobias married Frances, daughter of William Cooper of Church Stretton, co. Salop.

J. Jackson Howard (ed.), The Visitation of London, 1633, 1634 and, 1635, vol. II (Publications of the Harleian Society, 17, 1883), p. 199.

Francis Hardwick did not appear among the 1633-5 nor 1664 Visitations of London: J. J. Howard and J. L. Chester (eds.), The Visitation of London in 1633, 1634, and 1635 (Publications of the Harleian Society, 15, 1880), vol. 1; J. J. Howard (ed.), The Visitation of London in 1633, 1634, and 1635 (Publications of the Harleian Society, 17, 1883), vol. 2; J. B. Whitmore and A. W. Hughes Clarke (eds.), London Visitation Pedigrees, 1664 (Publications of the Harleian Society, 92, 1940); T. C. Wales and C. P. Hartley (eds.), The Visitation of London begun in 1687 (Publications of the Harleian Society, new series, 16 and 17, 2004).

Documents

  • Initial proceedings
    • Petition: 5/2 (16 Apr 1640)
    • Plaintiff's bond: 5/1 (16 Apr 1640)
    • Defendant's bond: 5/3 (19 Apr 1640)
    • Libel: 18/4a (1 May 1640)
  • Plaintiff's case
    • Plaintiff depositions: Cur Mil 1631-42, fos. 139-42 (18 May 1640)
    • Plaintiff deposition: Cur Mil 1631-42, fos. 145-6 (22 May 1640)

People mentioned in the case

  • Bunce, James, servant
  • Colley, Thomas, servant
  • Cooper, Frances
  • Cooper, William
  • Cowley, Thomas, servant (also Colly)
  • Eden, Thomas, lawyer
  • Fisher, Edmund, gent
  • Hardwick, Francis, gent (also Hardwicke)
  • Howard, Henry, baron Maltravers
  • Jones, William, joiner
  • Longland, John
  • Marten, Henry, knight
  • Meade, Richard, notary public
  • Rainshaw, John, notary public (also Rainshawe)
  • Richardson, Frances
  • Richardson, Mary
  • Richardson, Tobias, gent
  • Richardson, Thomas
  • Ridley, Mary
  • Ridley, Thomas
  • Watson, John

Places mentioned in the case

  • Essex
    • Brentwood
  • Gloucestershire
    • Cirencester
  • Kent
    • Crowley
  • London
    • Arundel House
    • St Bride's
    • St Paul's Churchyard
    • St Gregory's
    • Strand
    • Temple Bar
  • Oxfordshire
  • Salop / Shropshire
    • Church Stretton
    • Whitchurch
    • Wollaston

Topics of the case

  • blasphemy
  • denial of gentility
  • escutcheon
  • insult before subordinates
  • provocative of a duel
  • weapon