93 Carew v Hellin

The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640.

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Sir John Carew of Crowcombe, co. Somerset, knt v Hugh Hellin of Carew, co. Pembroke, yeoman

May - October 1635

Figure 93:

Pembroke in 1610. Hugh Hellin defamed Sir John Carew in the town in April 1635 and had to make his submission at the quarter sessions there in July (From, John Speed, Theatre of the Empire of Great Britain (1611))


Carew prosecuted Hellin for calling him 'a knave' at Pembroke on 23 April 1635, and saying that he 'would proove Sir John Carew to be soe', and that 'Sir John Carew was none of the right Carewes', and that 'he did not care a fart for Sir John Carew', and 'scorned that Sir John Carew should be his landlord'. Hellin claimed in May 1635 that he had already offered his submission to Sir John who had refused to accept it. Carew had been prosecuting him at law for six years and that there were two more suits in train in other courts. In spite of this, Carew won the cause and Hellin was ordered to perform three especially humiliating submissions.Clad in a white shirt, he was to stand bareheaded on a stool or table for four hours at Tiverton, Devon and at the quarter sessions at Haverfordwest and Pembroke. A written admission of his fault was to be pinned to his hat and his hat attached to a staff two feet above his head. Hellin was to beg Carew's forgiveness, acknowledge that he was 'a knight of an honourable family and eminent in his country' and promise to behave better towards him and 'the rest of the gentry of this kingdome'. Certificates signed by the mayors and local gentry recorded the performance of the submissions at Haverfordwest on 8 July 1635, at Pembroke on 18 July and at Tiverton on 17 August.

Initial proceedings

9/4/13, Libel

Carew had been a knight for 30 years, and had been sheriff of Pembroke in 1623 and sheriff of Somerset in the previous year, and that amongst his relations by blood were members of the peerage. On 23 of the last month, at Pembroke, Hellin had called him 'a knave' and said that he 'would proove me Sir John Carew to be soe, and that I was none of the right Carewes, and that Hellin would alsoe proove that. And that he did not care a fart for me Sir John Carew, nor he did not care a turd for me. And that he scorned that I Sir John Carew should be his landlord'.

Seeks justice against Hellin for the restitution and satisfaction of his honour.

Endorsed 9 May 1635.

Signed by Thomas Eden.

9/4/10, Defendant's petition

[With case papers for 30 May 1635]

'Uppon a petition exhibited by Sir John Carewe knight touching disgracefull wordes pretended to be spoken by your petitioner to his disparagement, your petitioner, by virtue of your lordship's warrant is called upp 200 miles from his dwelling to answer before your honour. And because he is a poor man, and is at this time prosecuted by Sir John Carewe in twoe severall suites of lawe, besides this complaint before your lordship, and the charge and trouble of those suits (causelesly comenced) doe tend to your petitioner's utter undoing, your petitioner, to free himselfe of this charge and to give Sir John Carewe all faire satisfaction concerning the pretended wordes complained on to your lordship, hath tendered his humble submission in writing to Sir John Carew which he denyeth to accept of. And meerlie for vexacon, and to putt your petitioner to great charges he threatneth and intendeth to have this cause transmitted into your honour's court, and to prosecute it there to publique hearing (having kept your petitioner 6 yeares in suit of lawe allreadie in other courts).

Now you petitioner's most humble suit is that your lordship, of your abundant favour and goodness, and in consideracon of your petitioner's poor estate and great charges sustained) will be pleased to sett some end to that cause, as your lordship in your grave wisdome shall thinke meet. And that it may not be transmitted unto your honour's court, your petitioner being readie in all humbleness to submitt himselfe to whatsoever order or submission your lordship will enjoyne him.'

Endorsed 9 May 1635.

Sentence / Arbitration

9/4/64, Plaintiff's sentence

No sentence recorded and no signature to authorise it.

[Endd. 20 June 1635]

9/4/1, Plaintiff's bill of costs

[No dates given for costs]

Total: £88-13s-4d

Taxed at £6-13s-4d

Signed by Arundell and Surrey.


4/1, Submission

'An order of submission enjoyned by the right honourable Thomas Erle of Arrundell and Surrey, Erle Marshall of England, viz. Hugh Hellin of Carew in com. Pembroke, yeoman, to be performed by him in manner and forme and at the times and places hereafter specified.

Hugh Hellin shall attend at Tiverton in com. Devon upon Munday the seventeenth day of August next and likewise at the next generall sessions at Haverford west and on Wednesday in the sessions week there, and at Pembroke the Saterday sevennight after the sessions at Haverford west, between the hours of twelve and three o clocke in the afternoon of each of those days respectively, and standing bareheaded in his owne ordinary apparrell, but upon a stoole or table at least 3 foote high and elevated from the ground, shall after some one whom Sir John Carewe shall appoint to read the same unto him or, in case Sir John shall appoint none, after any other reading the same unto him, shall say as followeth: Whereas in a cause lately depending before the right honourable Thomas Erle of Arrundell and Surrey, Erle Marshall of England, between the right worshipful Sir John Carew, of Crocombe in com. Somerset kt, and myself, I, Hugh Hellin, stand convicted by my owne confession to have spoken disgracefull and unbeseeminge words of and against Sir John Carew kt, contrary to my duty, and the respect and concerne I ought to have had and carried to Sir John, being a knight of an honourable family and eminent in his country. I do hereby humbly acknowledge that in so doeing I did much forget my selfe and the duty I did and doe owe to Sir John Carew, kt, and the gentry of this kingdom; and do humbly pray Sir John Carew to remitt and forgive my offence and forgetfulness; and doe promise to carry my self hereafter withal reverence and respect due to himself and towards the rest of the gentry of this kingdom and never to offend in the like sort hereafter.

Hugh Hellin is to subscribe his name to this schedule then presently after the performance of the submission aforesaid and to certifie of his performance thereof the first court day of Michaelmas next, vizt. the 20th of October 1635

Hugh Hellinge to make his submission and acknowledge his falte in everie place in a white shurte; and to be written, pinned and sett in his hatt; and his hatt to stand uppon a staffe 2 ft above his heade at least, with more submissions to be written and sett up in the crosses or postes; and Hellinge to stand uppon the crosses or a sto[o]le 3 foot at least above the grounde; and Hellinge to stand bareheaded from 11 of the clocke until 3 of the clocke in the afternoon at everie one of these places the day that he maketh his submission

14 day of March being Saterday at Hav[er]ford

15 day of March at Carew being Sunday

21 day of March at Pembroke being Saterday

17 day of Aug at Tiverton being Monday

All to be done in anno domini 1635.'

30 June 1635.

10/10/4, Three certificates of submission

Submission recorded as above, except that the stoll or table was to be two foot rather than three foot high and the details of Hellin standing in a white shirt with his submission pinned in his hat etc. were omitted.

1. 'Right honorable lord, we whose names are subscribed have seene and taken knowledge that Hugh Hellin of Carew in the com. of Pembroke, yeoman, hath on Mondaie being the seaventeenth daie of August 1635 at Tyverton in com. of Devon performed the order of your lordship hereunto annexed punctuallie in all the parts thereof, which, being a trueth knowne to us, have Hellin's request made bould to certifie your honors thereof and humblie take our leave.

Will: Spurway, maior of the Towne of Tyverton

Ellis Bennett

George Hartnott

Hen: Newte, clerk of the peace

Richard Comincke of Carew'.

2. 'Right honorable, our humble duetie remembered, maie it please your lordships to be advertised that wee whose names are subscribed have seene and taken knowledge that Hugh Hellin of Carew in the com. of Pembroke, yeoman, hath on Wednesday in the sessions week at Haverfordwest being the eight daie of July instant 1635 performed the order of your lordship hereunto annexed punctuallie, in all the parts thereof, which being knowne and seen of us, we (at Hellin's request) have made bould to certifie your honors thereof and humblie take our leave from your good lordship.

Henry Bowen of Marloes, gent

William Cosin of Steynton, gent

Richard Rowe of Castlemartin, gent

George Rowe of Newgale

John Symonds of Martletwy, gent

John Dunsterfield of Tenby

Robert Williams of Haverfordwest, merchant

William Bowen of the same, esq

Wm Howell of Carew

Richard Comicke of the same

Henrie Hillin of the same

David Saunders of Wiston

Thomas Davies of Carew.'

3. 'Right honorable lord, we whose names are subscribed have seene and taken knowledge that Hugh Hellin of Carew in the com. of Pembroke, yeoman, hath on Saturdaie being the eighteen daie of July 1635, at the towne of Pembroke, performed the order of your lordship hereunto annexed punctuallie in all the parts thereof, which being a trueth knowne to us, have at Hellin's request, made bould to certifie your honors thereof and humblie take our leave.

George Cathmaid maior

Richard Hinton, clerk

James Barrett

John Robertes

William Vaughan

Richard Cominck

Henry Heilin.'


'Hugh Hellyn is to pay to Sir John Carew twenty nobles.'

Summary of proceedings

Dr Eden acted as counsel to Carew. On 9 May 1635 Hellin was to be taken into custody. The cause was examined before Arundel and Maltravers respectively on 9 and 20 June 1635. Hellin was in custody and ordered to pay expenses.


Sir John Carew of Crokam alias Crocombe, co. Somerset and Carew Castle, co. Pembroke, knt, married Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Southcote of Mohun's Ottery, co. Devon. Sir John's will was proved on 1 May 1637. For George Catchmaye, Mayor of Pembroke, see cause 422.

G. D. Squibb (ed.), The Visitation of Somerset and the City of Bristol, 1672 (Publications of the Harleian Society, new series, 11, 1992), p. 96.


  • Initial proceedings
    • Libel: 9/4/13 (9 May 1635)
    • Defendant's petition: 9/4/10 (9 May 1635)
  • Sentence / Arbitration
    • Plaintiff's sentence: 9/4/64 (20 Jun 1635)
    • Plaintiff's bill of costs: 9/4/1 (no date)
  • Submission
    • Submission: 4/1 (30 Jun 1635)
    • Certificates of submission: 10/4/4 (8, 18 Jul and 17 Aug 1635)
  • Proceedings
    • Proceedings: EM348 (9 May 1635)
    • Proceedings before Arundel: 8/24 (9 Jun 1635)
    • Proceedings before Huntingdon: 8/25 (20 Jun 1635)
    • Undated proceedings: R.19, fos. 390-399 (c. Jun 1635?)

People mentioned in the case

  • Barrett, James
  • Bennett, Ellis
  • Bowen, Henry, gent
  • Bowen, William, esq
  • Carew, John, knight
  • Catchmaye, George, mayor (also Catchmay)
  • Comincke, Richard
  • Cosin, William, gent
  • Davies, Thomas
  • Dunsterfield, John
  • Eden, Thomas, lawyer
  • Hartnott, George
  • Hastings, Henry, earl of Huntingdon
  • Hellin, Hugh, yeoman (also Hellyn, Hillin, Heilin)
  • Hillin, Henry
  • Hinton, Richard, clerk
  • Howard, Henry, baron Maltravers
  • Howard, Thomas, earl of Arundel and Surrey
  • Howell, William
  • Newte, Henry, clerk
  • Robertes, John
  • Rowe, George
  • Rowe, Richard, gent
  • Saunders, David
  • Southcote, Thomas
  • Spurway, William, mayor
  • Symonds, John
  • Vaughan, William
  • Williams, Robert, merchant

Places mentioned in the case

  • Devon
    • Mohun's Ottery
    • Tiverton
  • Pembrokeshire
    • Carew
    • Carew Castle
    • Castlemartin
    • Haverfordwest
    • Marloes
    • Martletwy
    • Newgale
    • Pembroke
    • Steynton
    • Tenby
    • Wiston
  • Somerset
    • Crowcombe

Topics of the case

  • apparel
  • denial of gentility
  • high sheriff
  • mayor
  • office-holding
  • other courts
  • previous litigation
  • quarter sessions
  • scatological insult