102 Chaloner v Heylin

The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640.

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Citation:

Richard Cust. Andrew Hopper, '102 Chaloner v Heylin', in The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640, (, ) pp. . British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/no-series/court-of-chivalry/102-chaloner-heylin [accessed 26 May 2024].

Richard Cust. Andrew Hopper. "102 Chaloner v Heylin", in The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640, (, ) . British History Online, accessed May 26, 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/no-series/court-of-chivalry/102-chaloner-heylin.

Cust, Richard. Hopper, Andrew. "102 Chaloner v Heylin", The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640, (, ). . British History Online. Web. 26 May 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/no-series/court-of-chivalry/102-chaloner-heylin.

In this section

102 CHALONER V HEYLIN

Henry Chaloner of Steeple Claydon, co. Buckingham, Esq v Edward Heylin of Minster Lovell, co. Oxford

July 1637 - February 1639

Figure 102a:

The parsonage house at Minster Lovell which Henry Chaloner leased from Edward Heylin in 1637 (Photograph: Richard Cust)

Figure 102b:

The notary's mark of Humphrey Jones on the depositions taken from Chaloner's witnesses in January 1638 (By permission of the Chapter of the College of Arms)

Abstract

Chaloner was the son of Sir Thomas Chaloner, the courtier and naturalist, and Edward Heylin the brother of Peter Heylin, the Laudian cleric. The case arose out of a letter written by Heylin to Chaloner's wife Ursula on 19 June 1637. In this, he recounted past episodes in which he had exposed Chaloner as a cowardly, blustering fool, unable to meet his debts or carry out his threats, and forced to beg Heylin's forgiveness on his knees. He described Chaloner in asides as 'your knight errant' and 'this proper squire (for he hath lost his spurs)', and concluded 'judge you if this be not the part of a knave, or if you will, of a giddie headed foole (for so you will finde him).' he also threatened to send similar letters to Chaloner's friend, Sir Francis Norris, and his antagonist in a chancery suit, Mr Giles.

The quarrel between the two young men had apparently begun over six years earlier at the house of John Butler in Witney when a game which involved pulling off each other's clothes got out of hand and Chaloner struck Heylin with a glass, cutting his face. A day or two later Heylin issued a challenge and came after him with his sword, whereupon, on his account, Chaloner went into hiding, offering his servant Thomas Wright £60 to fight in his place and, on another occasion, trying to get his friend Mr Osbaldeston to shoot him. This earlier dispute was settled by arbitration, arranged by Sir Matthew Carew, Sir Thomas Hord and William Trotman, gent, at the house of Thomas Cogan in Oxford. Chaloner begged Heylin's forgiveness on his knees, drank his health and promised him a 'yorkshire nag', worth £10 by way of compensation.

Around Easter 1637 Chaloner had also taken out a 3 year lease on the parsonage house and its contents at Minster Lovell which belonged to Heylin. He agreed to pay £80 p.a., with a half year's rent in advance, and also buy the contents of the house. But by June, having made an inventory of the contents and taken possession of the grounds for his horses, he was contesting the original agreement as too expensive. For Heylin, who claimed in his defence that a longstanding illness had made him 'teasty and forward', this was apparently the last straw. He admitted to writing the ill-judged letter, but insisted that at the last moment had decided not to deliver it to Ursula, but to her husband in the hope of getting him to fulfil his part of the bargain. However, due to a misunderstanding it had ended up in her hands.

Chaloner took out his bond to initiate proceedings in July 1637 and in November commissioners - who included two of the regular counsel from the Court of Chivalry, Dr Samuel Gardiner and Dr Giles Sweit - were assigned to hear witnesses on his behalf. The hearing took place on 13 January 1638 before Sir Thomas Hord and John French M.A., at the Cross Inn in Oxford. Heylin, who was still ill, tried to answer through his counsel, Dr Gwynn. But Chaloner insisted, for 'satisfaction in point of reputation', that Heylin be made to respond in person. the court, therefore, required a signed affidavit which Heylin made on 8 January 1638 at the white hart inn in Witney. Heylin's sixteen witnesses, including seven gentlemen, two clergymen and Sir Thomas Hord, were then examined on 2 April 1638, again at the cross inn. in spite of the evidence that both parties were to blame for the quarrel, judgement was given against Heylin. He was ordered to pay £200 damages and £20 expenses, and also perform a submission by 28 January 1639 before Sir Francis Norris, Sir Thomas Coghill, and three other persons appointed by Chaloner. Heylin was to acknowledge that his letter abusing Chaloner had been 'most foule and scandalous', and pray for his forgiveness, promising 'hereafter to behave myselfe towards him with all due respect.' in February 1639, however, the damages and expenses were still unpaid, and Heylin was charged with contempt of court.

Initial Proceedings

9/3/3c, Libel

Chaloner described himself as of the City of Oxford, and descended of a family reputed gentry for up to 100 years. He claimed that Edward Heylin had under his own hand written to his father in law Edward Napper of Holywell, co. Oxford, Chaloner having married his daughter Ursula Napper 3 to 4 years ago. Chaloner sought relief for the injury caused by the letter.

9/3/3c, Letter annexed to the libel

Edward Heylin to Ursula Chaloner, 'to be delivered to Mr Napper at his house in Holywell, nr. Oxford', Minster, 19 June 1637.

'Faire ladie, your husband having often traduced my name, and like enough to yourselfe, there having bin a former difference betwixt us, I cannot but in myne owne defence write yow the storie. Having done me wrong I sought him at Oxford for satisfaction who, hiding himself, offered his man Titus Wright £60 to fight with me. He refusing the money your knight errant (for he looking big and puffe) never came into these parts without 2 men and 3 gunnes untill he had made meanes by Sir Mathew Carew, Sir Tho Hord and Mr Trotman for a peace which, uppon his submission and asking me forgiveness upon his knees, with this promise of a Yorksheire nag, was graunted. Afterwards, theis things being denied, and he called and coming into company where I was, I made him there (notwithstanding his great hanger and his pistoll which he there shewed to my great terror as he thought) openly confesse that he did aske me forgivnes in the presence of those gentlemen uppon his knees, that he offered his man £60 to fight with me, and that he promised me a nag and having donne gave his pistoll to one Osbaston his companion to charge with a brace of bullets, being the second time he would have shot me. But being overheard by Mr William Birch he would have beaten him soundlie for that had not I forbad him. This nag being after supplied by his white mare, and I not satisfied with her, he tooke her againe and in lieu thereof freelie gave me £10 which he borrowed of Henry Wrench who laugheth at him to this houre. Now uppon this second busines you will find that a faint hart and a false go together. This proper squire (for he hath lost his spurrs) came to me about Easter last with open crie (for he was going [to] Dover's hunt) to take my horse with some other commodities, for which I sett him a peremptorie rent of £80 a year, half a year's rentbeforehand and withall that he should buy off my stuffe and procure me a conveiancie at my lower house to place my corne, to all which he presentlie, without the least demurring, agreed; and to that purpose agreed with my tenant there to buy him out for 20 nobles, paid him the money, sent me £10 part of my rent, tooke possession with his colt, brought you his mercer and upholsterer to praise my goods, disposed of the horses at night into such grounds as he thought fitt, appointed a day to weigh the bedding, and to bring over a scrivener to take direccons for the lease and to draw the foule suppe [sic] whiles the beds were a weighing. and now upon the close, having kept me in hand a quarter of a yeare, kicks upp his bargaine as to deare, which if it were so, had Mr Chaliner either witt or shame he would have scorned for as three yeares since to have so basely dishonisted himself and abused his friend, who hath allwaies untill nowe striven to salve his credit as for i might with myne owne, and so subjected himself to a publique clamor uppon both these occasions and a chancery suite. and so I conclude this storie with one of his: we being together at Witney, and he a little drunke, he told me a tale of his father that, having many thousands of money with his mother that very day that he made her joynture he passed it away to others before hand, and then concludes, judge yow if this were not the part of a knave. and so I conclude, judge you if this be not the part of a knave, or if you will of a giddie headed foole (for so you will finde him) or rather of both. and so I leave him, and bewailing yow, subscribe my name,

Edw Heylin

Sir, I thought to have sent this letter to your daughter but least it might grieve and wrong her more then him i have directed it unto yow; the second shall be to his friend sir Francis Norris; a third to his antigonist Mr Giles, et tria sequentur tria'

3/140, Plaintiff's bond

29 July 1637

Bound to appear 'in the court in the Painted Chamber within the Pallace of Westminster'.

Signed by Henry Chaloner.

Sealed and delivered in the presence of G. Sweit and Christopher Horner.

Plaintiff's case

9/3/3a, Letters commissory for the plaintiff

Letters commissory addressed to Samuel Gardiner Ll.D., John French M.A., Thomas Hide M.A. and James Chesterman gent, and also Sir Thomas Hord, Egidio Swett Ll.D., William Trotman esquire and Charles Trinder gent, to meet at the inn of Patrick Breese called the Cross Inn, in Oxford, from 11 to 13 January 1638, with Gilbert Dethick named as register.

Dated 20 October 1637.

Signed by Gilbert Dethick.

3/111, Defendant's bond

11 November 1637

Bound to appear 'in the court in the Painted Chamber within the Pallace of Westminster'.

Signed by Edw. Heylin.

Sealed, subscribed and delivered in the presence of John Hampshire, senior, and Wm: Woodrowe.

17/3f, Petition to Maltravers

'Whereas your petitioner hath commenced a suite in the Court of Honour before your lordship against one Edward Heylin for defaming your petitioner in his name and reputation by a most scandalous and libellous letter, whereunto Heylin hath not answered in person, pretendinge to be unable to travel, but by his advocate, who of course in his client's name hath denied the letter. Now for that denial of the letter by an advocate, and not by the partie himself, can be no satisfaction to the petitioner in point of reputation.'

Chaloner petitioned for a commission that would allow the commissioners to interrogate Heylin in regard to this letter, and ask him if he wrote it.

Maltravers ordered that Heylin personally should make answer, and not by his counsel. he granted the commission and also a monition to ensure Heylin performed this 'provided that Heylin be not urged to answer upon oath'.

Dated 2 December 1637.

Signed by Lord Maltravers.

Noted adjacent were the names:

James Chesterman, gent, John Smith, gent, John French, John Byrd, gent 'or any two of them'.

Cur Mil ii, fo. 44, Letters commissory for the plaintiff

Addressed to commissioners James Chesterman, John Smyth, John French and John Bird, gents, to meet between 1 and 3pm on 8 January 1637/8, at the White Hart Inn at Witney, co. Oxford.

Dated 2 December 1637.

Signed by John French and John Smyth.

Cur Mil ii, fo. 45, Letters commissory for the plaintiff

Addressed to commissioners James Chesterman, John Smyth, John French and John Bird, gents, to meet in a cause of scandalous words provocative of a duel on 27 January 1637/8, but no venue mentioned.

Dethick assigned Humphrey Jones as notary public.

Dated 2 December 1637.

Signed by Gilbert Dethick, registrar.

Cur Mil ii, fos. 41-42, Defendant's affidavit

Given on Monday, 8 January 1637/8, between 1 and 3pm in the White Hart inn, at Witney, co. Oxford, before John French, gent, commissioner, in a cause of scandalous words provocative of a duel, in the presence of Humphrey Jones, notary public.

'That the letter is of his own handwriting in every parte thereof, vizt. he did write the letter and did subscribe his name thereunto, he did write the date and all the other subscription, and he did write the subscription thereof. and he further confesseth that he did write the letter concerning Mr Challoner, but whereas he directed it by the subscription thereof to be delivered unto Mr Napper, meaning then the father in law of Mr Challoner, yet he having close sealed up the letter, did charge his servant Francis Dixe to deliver the same unto Mr Challoner himself, thinking that he would be perswaded and moved thereby to proceed in his bargain with this respondent menconed in his letter, and not out of any purpose to disparage him or to provoke him to a duel or further to publish the contents of the letter then to himself. And the cause which moved him to write the letter so bitter and invective was for that he had then a long time of sickness which in itself is teasty and forward, and before his recovery thereof receiving much wrong from Mr Challoner he thereupon out of the wayward and teasty disposicon of a sicke man writt the letter, the contents whereof he nevertheless affirmeth to be true, as he hopeth to make it appear unto this honourable court.'

Signed by Edward Heylyn.

EM55, Miscellaneous note

[undated; made alongside Heylin's affidavit?]

'The words were expressed in a passionate letter written in the defendant's sickness being then forward and violent, June 18 1637.

Occasioned by an extreame wrong done then by the plaintiff to the defendant lying sick.

The defendant being examined by commission...confesseth against himself the writing of the letter and then qualifieth that, which he hopeth shall receive the same verdict with the confession.

By his defence he certifieth part of the words proved, the rest he qualifieth...

The words proved are that the plaintiff about 6 yeares since cutt the defendant's face with a glass and then ran away; that he vowed to shoot the defendant with a gun or a pistol; that he offered his man Titus Wright 60 li. to fight with the defendant; and that he asked the defendant forgiveness kneeling on his knee.

The provocation to combat is answered by the defendant's being sick, not able to rise from his bed without help.'

9/3/3d, Plaintiff's depositions

Taken before commissioners Sir Thomas Hord and John French M.A. in the upper roome of the Crosse inn in Oxford, 13 January 1637/8.

(witness 1), Thomas French, M.A. of the University of Oxford, born in the parish of St Peter's, Oxford, aged 23

1. He had known Chaloner for the past seven years as well as various of his brothers and kin and for all that time he had been reputed to be the lawful son of Sir Thomas Chaloner deceased.

3-6. last June or July Chaloner told him that he had received a letter from Edward Heylin and giving him a copy of it he asked him to speak with Heylin to ascertain whether he had written and sent the letter. whereupon French went with William Palmer to Heylin's house in Minster Lovell and talked to Heylin who admitted that he had written the letter and asking whether 'certain particulars whereof he had written were true, vizt. whether he did knowe that Mr Chaloner had given to his man Titus three score poundes to fight with him; he answeared that he did knowe it and would justify it to be true. Also whether Chaloner did upon his knees aske him forgivenes; he answered that it was true that he had done soe, adding that he had made him since confesse as much openly before some companie.'

Signed by Thomas French and the commissioners Hord and French.

(Witness 2), William Palmer of Minster Lovell, yeoman, living there for 26 years, born at Eastleach, co. Gloucester, aged 67

Supported the testimony of French having overheard French in conference with Mr Heylin about the letter.

Signed by William Palmer with his mark and by the two commissioners.

(Witness 3), Edmund Napper of Holywell, co.Oxford, born there, aged 58

1. Chaloner was reputed to be the lawful son of Sir Thomas Chaloner deceased and he 'hath known him for theis last three yeares being now the huseband of Ursula', Napper's daughter.

2-6. Around last Whitsun 'a letter was delivered unto him by one Of his servants whoe told him that it was from Mr Heylin and that his man had brought it.' he opened the letter, 'and finding that it did concerne his daughter, beginning "fayre lady", he delivered it to her having not read above foure or fyve lynes thereof. And the letter annexed unto the commission being viewed by him att his examinacon he sayeth that he doeth verily beleeve the same to be that letter which was soe receaved by him from Mr Heylin (as aforesaid).'

Signed by Edmund Napper and by the two commissioners.

9/3/3d, Notary public's certificate

Certificate in Latin from Humphrey Jones, notary public, that the examinations had been completed and were now being returned.

No date.

Cur Mil ii, fo. 42v, Notary public's certificate

Certificate in Latin signed by Humphrey Jones, notary public, that the examinations had been completed and were now being returned.

No date.

Notary's mark.

Defendant's case

Cur Mil ii, fo. 25, Letters commissory for the defence

Addressed to commissioners William Raynton, esq, Ambrose Shephard, gent, John Palmer, gent, John Geering, gent, and also, Samuel Gardiner, Dr of Law, John French, M.A., Thomas Hyde, M.A., and James Chesterman, gent, to meet in a cause of scandalous words provocative of a duel from 2 to 4 April 1638, at the Cross Inn, in the City of Oxford.

Gilbert Dethick, registrar, assigned Humphrey Terrick as notary public.

Dated 12 February 1638.

Cur Mil ii, fo. 28, Defence [damaged]

1. Heylin admitted writing the letter mentioned in the libel.

2. The letter was delivered to Mr Napper, a gentleman who lived with Mr Chaloner, who promised to hand it over to Mr Chaloner.

3. 'Mr Challoner presentlie upon the deliverie received and read the letter, and that noe other person read the letter, [or] anie parte of the contents of the letter for which Mr Heilin is questionable in this honourable court or which did tend to the disgrace of Mr Challoner, or at which he might justlie take offence before such time as Challoner had read the same, in so much that Challoner might have concealed, and not have made knowne the contents of the letter had he been soe disposed.'

4. 'Mr Heilin had for some time before been, and was at the writing and sending of the letter and after, weake and troubled with a dangerous sickness being in itself testie and forward; so that the letter proceeded rather out of a forward disposition in a sick man (who had not long before been much wronged by Challoner) than out of an intent to disparage or disgrace Mr Challoner, or to provoke him to a single combate, for the which Mr Heilin was by reason of his sickness altogether then unfit and unable, but out of a purpose to induce Mr Challoner to stand to his bargaine menconed in the letter, and to stand to his promise made unto Mr Heilin.'

5. 'Not long before the writing and sending of the letter, Mr Heilin dwelling at Minster Lovell in Oxfordshire... [damaged] Mr Challoner came unto him and was an earnest suitor that he might hire and rent the house wherein Mr Heilin then dwelt... certaine grounds thereunto belonging, and the parsonage of minster aforesaid, for the term of three years, whereunto Mr Heilin...accommodate Mr Challoner did condescend upon condicon that Mr Challoner would buie his household stuff and some other com... [damaged] which Mr Heilin then had, which Mr Challoner then agreed to doe and accepted the same with manie thanks; and promised Mr Heilin 80 li a yeare, and halfe a yeare's rent before hand.'

6. 'That after the premises Mr Challoner did take possession of the grounds and paid tenn pounds as part of the rents and... [damaged] Mr Heilin his goods to be preized, appointed a day to weigh the bedding and to bring a scrivener to drawe the lease... notwithstanding Mr Challoner upon a sudden matter that he had kept Mr Heilin in hand about a quarter of a yeare... and forsake the bargaine, and break his word and promise to the great prejudice and damage of Mr Heilin.'

7. About 7 years ago in John Butler's house in Witney, co. Oxford, Heylin, 'being held fast by Titus Wright, Mr Challoner's then servant, and making a shew that he... [damaged] Heilin in love, did strike him in the face with... and therewith cutt the veines of his forehead, and having so done... selfe away and afterwards swore with many oaths that he would shoot Mr Heilin if he came within the reach of his pistol... he would kill him whensoever he should meet him and offer Titus 60 li as Challoner hath confessed to fight with... Heilin. and he did deliver a pockett pistol to one...charged with a brasse of bullets intending therein to shoote ... as Osbaston and others did then believe...'

8. 'That after the premises Mr Challoner... [damaged] Thomas Cogan in oxford came unto Mr... said that he was come to submit himself unto him ... knee and promised him a Yorkshire nag to be frinds...'

9. After this Chaloner did at Witney 'in the presence of divers credible witnesses... and say that he had promised Titus Wright 60li to fight with Mr Heilin, that he had asked Mr Heilin for... on his knee and had promised him a Yorkshire nagg... to be friends with Mr Heilin or used words to the...'

10. Heylin contested this cause not out of malice but for his own just defence.

Second session, Easter term, 1638

Cur Mil ii, fos. 26-7, plaintiff interrogatories

1. The witnesses were warned of the penalty for perjury and bearing false witness. How much were they worth in goods with their debts paid?

2. Was the witness related to Heylin and if so in what degree? Which party did the witness favour and to whom would they give the victory if it were in their power?

3. Had the witness conferred with any of the other witnesses, and what about? Had the witness been instructed how to depose, and by whom, where and when, or had the witness instructed others?

4. Had the witness tried to persuade Chaloner to reconcile himself to Heylin, and had Chaloner responded 'he cared not for such friendship that was soe easily broken on Mr Heylin's part'?

5. Whether Heylin and Chaloner had agreed to meet in the parlour of the King's Head Inn, in Oxford, where they both were to deliver their weapons to the master of the house?

6. If the witness deposed that Chaloner had offered a submission to Heylin, they were to be asked, when and for what cause, and in whose presence?

7. For how long was the witness present, did they see Heylin tear Chaloner's clothes, assault him and strike him in the face, 'whereby blood came from or followed from the nose and face of Mr Challoner'. Who else was present?

8. If the witness deposed that Chaloner had promised to give to Heylin a Yorkshire nag, they were to be asked 'whether the same was done for and in consideration of courtesies formerly done by Mr Heylin to or for Mr Challoner when he sojourned in the house of him, Mr Heylin'.

9. Did the witness or any one else bring a challenge to fight by word of mouth from Heylin to Chaloner, 'and had a sword ready for that purpose?' was Chaloner told, and what answer did he give?

10. Was the witness or any other in a house in Witney, and did they call out of the window to Chaloner to come inside? Did they do this by Heylin's direction?

11. Did Heylin not reveal himself until Chaloner was in the room? Did Heylin then shut the door and detain Chaloner in the room with him against his will?

12. Did Heylin have a dagger, and threaten violence to Chaloner who had no friends there, whereby 'Challoner was constrained to speake and confess that which he would not have done at another tyme if he had not been terrified and threatened'?

13. If the witness deposed anything about the pistol in article 7 of the defence, they were to be asked if it was charged, and whether Chaloner had any powder or shot upon his person, 'and what were the words and speeches he then used and upon what occasion'?

14. If the witness deposed anything about Chaloner saying he would shoot Heylin if he came within range of his pistol, 'and that he had offered Titus Wright 60 li to fight with Mr Heylin and that he hath confessed so much, then where were the words spoken and confessed to be spoken by Mr Challoner, how long since', and who was present?

Signed by G. Sweit.

Cur Mil ii, fos. 1-21, Defence depositions

Taken before commissioners John Palmer and John Geering, gent, on 2 April 1638 at the Crosse inn, in the City of Oxford with Humphrey Terrick as notary public.

fos. 5r-v (witness 1) Ursula Adams of Bourton, co. Oxford, spinster, lived there for 6 months, born at Thrup, co. Berkshire, aged about 26

To Heylin's defence:

1. Around last midsummer at Heylin's house in Minster, co. Oxford, she attended Heylin who was then sick. She saw him write a letter to Chaloner and give it to his servant Francis Dixe, ordering Dixe to deliver it only to Chaloner himself.

5-6. She had heard that Chaloner had bargained with Heylin for his household goods and some grounds. She heard Chaloner say to Heylin 'that he would not differ with him Mr Heylin for rent'. She heard Heylin say to Chaloner 'you know our bargain is that you are to pay half a year's rent beforehand. I have occasion for x li; now pray let me have so much in part of payment of that halfe yeare's rent'. Chaloner answered 'I have not so much about me, but will send it to you by my man'. She saw Robert Palmer, Chaloner's servant deliver this money to Heylin within a day. She saw Chaloner 'appraise Mr Heilin's goods', Heylin take his cattle away, and Chaloner bringing his horses into Heylin's grounds. Afterwards 'Mr Chaloner did send for his colte out of Mr Heilin's grounds, and did not proceed with Mr Heilin for his goods or grounde; and she saith the letter was written about a month after Mr Chaloner had sent for his colte as aforesaid.'

Signed by Ursula Adams [her mark] and by commissioners John Geering and John Palmer.

fos. 6r-8r (witness 2) Francis Dixe of Brize Norton, co. Oxford, husbandman, lived there for 16 years, born there, co. Berkshire, aged about 20

To heylin's defence:

1. Around three weeks before last midsummer, at Heylin's house in Minster, co. Oxford, he saw Heylin, who was then sick, write a letter to Chaloner. Heylin sealed it and gave it to him to deliver to Chaloner himself at Mr Napper's house in Oxford, or if Chaloner was not present, to leave it with Mr Napper. Ursula Adams and Heylin's wife were also present. Dixe gave the letter to one Ebsworth, who delivered it to Mr Napper's man, who promised him he would deliver it to Mr Chaloner 'being then at Mr Napper's at dinner'. Ebsworth told Dixe he had waited for an answer, and saw Chaloner read it to his wife. Ebsworth asked Chaloner for an answer, but Chaloner's wife said it required none and he could depart.

5, 6. 'About a fortnight after Easter was twelve months' he heard Heylin agree with Chaloner for £80 per annum for a house, grounds and the parsonage for 3 years. Heylin desired £10 of the half a year's rent beforehand, which Chaloner sent through his servant, Robert Palmer, the following day. After this payment he saw Palmer bring a colt, and say that his master had sent him to see whether Heylin had removed his cattle from the grounds, so that he could put the colt into one of them, the hill close.

The colt stayed in that ground for about a month, and following his master's instructions, Palmer put other of his master's horses into that close. Chaloner 'did cause Mr Heilin's goods to be appraised by two indifferent men', and he heard Chaloner say he was willing to pay for them at the value appraised. Chaloner helped the witness take the colt out of the ground to be sent away and sold, and promised to pay Dixe for his service therein. 'and he saith after the colte was taken away [Dixe] heard that Mr Chaloner had broken of his bargaine with Mr Heilin.'

Signed by Francis Dixe [his mark] and by the above two commissioners.

fos. 8r-v (witness 3) John Kemble of Witney, co. Oxford, vintner, lived there for 20 years, born at Culworth, co. Northampton, aged about 45

To Heylin's defence:

7. That in his house at Witney 5 or 6 years ago, he heard Chaloner tell Titus Wright to charge his pistol 'and said that he himself would shoot Mr Heilin if he came within reach of his pistoll'.

To Chaloner's interrogatories:

13. 'He doth not know whether there was any powder or shott, and whether the pistol was charged; nor what caused Mr Chaloner to speak the words aforesaid for that he this deponent left Mr Chaloner and went out of the house.'

14. 'He thinketh it is six years since the words were spoken.'

Signed by John Kemble [his mark] and by commissioners john French, Thomas Hyde, John Palmer and John Geering.

fos. 9r-10r (witness 4) Francis Osbaldeston of Stanford-in-the-Vale, co. Berkshire, clerk, lived there for 4 years, born at Burford, co. Oxford, aged about 36

To Heylin's defence:

7. At Christmas 6 or 7 years ago at Witney, 'Mr Challoner *conceaving himself to be in danger* did deliver a pistol to this deponent to be charged'.

9. At the time and place in article 7, he heard Chaloner confess he had promised to pay Titus Wright £60 to fight Heilin, and that 'Mr Challoner had asked Mr Heilin forgiveness on his knee.'

To Chaloner's interrogatories:

10. Chaloner and the witness were desired to go into the house 'by one Mr Brice'.

12. 'At the time and place Mr Heilin had a dagger by his side and Mr Challoner had a shorte broade sworde upon him, and this deponent was his friend there. and being asked whether Mr Challoner was *terrified and* constrained to acknowledge as aforesaid he saith he knoweth not nor doth believe that he was terrified for that there was nothing but friendship amongst them.'

13. He believed Chaloner had no powder or shot, because Chaloner sent him to buy some. The pistol was not charged, and 'the words were spoken upon this occasion vizt Mr Heilin having had conference with Mr Challoner and this respondent coming to him Mr Heilin and saying that he desired that this respondent and Mr Challoner might departe thence Mr Challoner coming from Mr Heilin delivered the pistol' to this witness.

14. 'At the time and place aforesaid Mr Challoner did confesse that before that time he had confessed soe much as aforesaid. at the time and place aforesaid [Chaloner and Heylin], Mr Robert Brice, Walter Brice and William Brice [Osbaldeston] and divers others were then and there present whose names he now remembereth not. and saith the words were spoken in a lower room of the house.'

signed by Francis Osbaldeston and by commissioners Thomas Hyde, John Palmer and John Geering.

fos. 10v-11v (witness 5) William Brice of Cornbury Park, co. Oxford, gent, lived there for 2 years, born at Witney, co. Oxford, aged about 30

To Heylin's defence:

7. During winter, about 7 years ago at John Butler's house in Witney, 'Mr Challoner, making show *in love* that he would drink to Mr Heilin, did strike him on the face with a glasse and therewith cutt his face soe that blood issued out over his face, and upon the doing thereof went suddenly out of the same roome.' About a year later at John Kemble's house in Witney, Chaloner, 'with an oath, bad Mr Osbaldeston to charge the pistol with a brace of bullets, but to what intent he knoweth not.'

9. At another time at Kemble's house, he heard Heylin ask Chaloner 'whether he had not asked him forgiveness before some men that Mr Heilin then nominated'. Chaloner answered 'i did' and promised Heylin a Yorkshire nag, 'but upon what cause or reason he knoweth not.'

To Chaloner's interrogatories:

2. He favoured each party alike but had 'more cause to favour Mr Challoner.'

12. At Butler's house, Heylin had a dagger by his side, but he did not believe that Chaloner 'was then any ways terrified by Mr Heilin'.

13. 'He knoweth not why Mr Challoner did give his pistol to be charged.'

Signed by William Brice and by the above three commissioners.

fo. 12r (witness 6) Thomas Elzie of the city of Oxford, gent, lived there for 18 years, born at Southampton, co. Southampton, aged about 40

To Heylin's defence:

7. He could not depose.

not examined on the rest by Heylin's consent.

To Chaloner's interrogatories:

14. 'He saith it does not concern him'.

Not examined on the rest by Chaloner's consent.

Signed by Thomas Elzey and by the above three commissioners.

fo. 12r-13r (witness 7) Henry Heylin of Minster Lovell, co. Oxford, gent, lived there for 3 years, born at Hayes, co. Middelsex, aged 20

To Heylin's defence:

4. Heylin had been very sick for 2 months before last midsummer, and had been 'dangerous sicke and his phisitions had left him. and saith Mr Heilin was then altogether unable to fight with Mr Challoner.'

5. 'In lent was twelvemonths' Chaloner desired Heylin to rent out his house and grounds to him.

6. 'In Easter week last was twelvemonths', he heard Heylin say to Chaloner 'you know I am to have half a year's rent beforehand'. Heylin asked for £10 which Chaloner supplied the following day. Chaloner also came to Heylin's house and 'did cause most of Mr Heilin's goods to be appraised.'

Not examined on the rest by Heylin's consent.

To Chaloner's interrogatories:

2. He was the natural and lawful son of the defendant, 'and that he would give the victory to him that hath most right.'

Signed by Henry Heylin and by the above three commissioners.

fos. 13r-14r (witness 8) Thomas Grainger of Witney, co. Oxford, gent, lived there for 20 years, born at Eynsham, co. Oxford, aged 32

To Heylin's defence:

7. About 6 or 7 years ago he was with Chaloner at John Butler's house in Witney until about 6pm when he left Chaloner with Heylin. The next day Chaloner told him that after he had left, Chaloner and Heylin had quarrelled, 'and that Mr Chaloner had heard Mr Heilin was gone before him with his sworde; and that if he did offer to meddle with him he would shoot Mr Heilin; and Mr Challoner then bad his servant see that his gunn was charged and that he had his flinte ready.'

8. Sir Matthew Carew, Sir Thomas Hord and Mr William Trotman told him 'that Mr Challoner had *at Oxford* asked Mr Heilin forgiveness *on his knees* for some wrongs he had done him.'

Not examined on the rest by Heylin's consent.

To Chaloner's interrogatories:

2. He favoured both parties alike.

Signed by Thomas Grainger and by the above three commissioners.

fos. 14r-v (witness 9) Thomas Brice of Witney, co. Oxford, yeoman, born there, aged about 38

To Heylin's defence:

7. In the winter about 7 years ago at John Butler's house in Witney, Chaloner cut Heylin's face with a glass, which 'did bleede very much'. afterwards, Chaloner 'was soddainly conveyed out of the room'.

Not examined on the rest by Heylin's consent.

To Chaloner's interrogatories:

7. At the time and place above, 'a skirt of Mr Challoners clothes was torne, but by whom he knoweth not'. There were present, himself, Heylin, Chaloner, Butler, and Robert Brice.

Not examined on the rest by Chaloner's consent.

Signed by Thomas Brice [his mark] and by the above three commissioners.

fos. 14v-16v (witness 10) Robert Brice of Witney, co. Oxford, gent, born there, aged about 34

To Heylin's defence:

7. About 6 or 7 years ago at John Butler's house in Witney, he saw Chaloner assault Heylin who was held for him by Chaloner's servant, Titus Wright. 'Mr Challoner did then make show that he would drink to Mr Heilin in love and did strike him on the face with a glasse and therewith cutt the face of Mr Heilin insomuch that Mr Heilin did bleede very much.' after that Chaloner ran out of the hall into a chamber of the house. There were present himself, Titus Wright and a maidservant. About a year after at John Kemble's house in Witney, Chaloner confessed he had offered Wright £60 to fight Heylin. Chaloner delivered a pocket pistol to mr Osbolston and bade him to charge it with bullets and shoot Heylin. There were present Kemble and his wife, this witness and his servant Thomas Brice, Heylin and Chaloner and others whose names he did not remember.

8-9. At Kemble's house at the above time, Chaloner confessed he had promised Wright £60 to fight Heylin; 'and that he had asked Mr Heilin's forgiveness *on his knee in the presence of Sir Matthew Carew and others* at Oxford, at one Cogan's house there; and that he had promised Mr Heilin a Yorkshire nagg.'

Not examined on the rest by Heylin's consent.

To Chaloner's interrogatories:

1. He was worth £3,000 his debts paid.

2. He favoured the parties alike.

7. At the time and place first mentioned at Butler's house, 'Mr Heilin and [Brice] in a very merry manner pulling each others clothes, Mr Challoner [admonished] him...saying that he and [Brice] were neere home and had other clothes, but Mr Challoner had sent away his clothes, and therefore desired him to forbear; yet Mr Challoner did in jesting manner sport with [Brice] and Mr Heilin and in that sport mr Challoner did *teare [Brice] and Mr Heilin's clothes, and had his own clothes by [Brice] and Mr Heilin* torne. and saith the clothes of Mr Challoner were torne about a quarter of an houre before the difference at Butlers house aforesaid began.'

8. Not examined on the rest by Chaloner's consent.

10, 11. Negative

12. He believed that Chaloner was 'not then terrified, and threatened or constrained to confess'.

13. The pistol was not charged, and Chaloner had not then anything to charge it with. Chaloner said to Osbaston that 'he thought he should be wronged... and therefore bad Osbaston charge his pistol to shoote Mr Heilin.'

Signed by Robert Brice and by the above three commissioners.

fo. 17r (witness 11) Stephen Bridges of the city of Oxford, Bachelor in Medicine, lived there for 16 years, born at Harinshe, co. Wiltshire, aged about 30

To Heylin's defence:

4. That Heylin 'was very dangerous sicke from Whitsontide till Michaelmas last past', and was so 'chollerick' that 'those that were his intimate friends were not able to indure his passion'. Heylin was 'sicke of a dropsie and was so payned in his leggs, in his belly and most parts of his body that he went not to bed in a month's space, nor took any rest... and was not then able to fight with Mr Chaloner.'

Not examined on the rest by Heylin's consent.

Signed by Stephen Bridges and by the above three commissioners.

fos. 17v-18r (witness 12), Edmund Dickenson, of Minster Lovell, co. Oxford, clerk, lived there for 6 years, born at Eton, co. Buckingham, aged about 38

To Heylin's defence:

7. He could not depose of any promise made at Witney. but at Heylin's house at Minster Lovell, over 2 years ago, he heard Chaloner say he would give Heylin a nag worth £10. he heard Chaloner sent Heylin a mare soon after, but Heylin, not liking it, sent it back; so Chaloner gave him £10 instead.

not examined on the rest by heylin's consent.

to chaloner's interrogatories:

8. no conditions were then specified.

not examined on the rest by chaloner's consent.

Signed by Edmund Dickinson and by the above three commissioners.

fos. 18r-v (witness 13), Sir Thomas Hord of de Coate, co. Oxford, knight, lived there for 8 years, born at London, aged about 37

To Heylin's defence:

8. about 4 or 5 years ago Chaloner did submit himself to Heylin, 'kneeling on his knee', and desiring 'they might after that time be friends', at Thomas Cogan's house in Oxford. Sir Matthew Carew, Mr Trotman, Cogan, Chaloner, Heylin, and the witness were present.

Not examined on the rest by Heylin's consent.

To Chaloner's interrogatories:

3. Negative.

4. That himself, Carew and Trotman brought Chaloner and Heylin together at the time above to be reconciled.

5. Heylin and Chaloner agreed to leave their weapons with Cogan which they did.

6. He had heard that before that submission, Chaloner had cut Heylin's face with a glass, and that 'Challoner did then submit to Mr Heilin for some wrong he had before that time done to him, and saith the submission was done voluntarily on his owne accord'.

Not examined on the rest by Chaloner's consent.

Signed by Thomas Hord and by the above three commissioners.

fos. 19r-20r (witness 14), William Trotman, of Turten, co. Gloucester, gent, lived there for 2 years, born at Stinchcombe, co. Gloucester, aged about 50

To Heylin's defence:

8. about 4 or 5 years ago at Thomas Cogan's house in Oxford, Chaloner submitted to Heylin 'but whether on his knee or not he doth not certainly remember'. Sir Matthew Carew, Sir Thomas Hord, Thomas Cogan, Chaloner, Heylin and this witness were present.

Not examined on the rest by Heylin's consent.

To Chaloner's interrogatories:

2. 'He favoureth the parties alike and would give the victory to him that hath most right'.

3. Negative.

4. Along with Carew and Hord, he persuaded Heylin and Chaloner to be friends.

5. As witness 13.

6. Chaloner submitted himself for having wronged Heylin beforehand, but repeated those wrongs; 'but what wrongs were then repeated he remembereth not'. He did not know whether Heylin demanded the submission.

9. He carried a message from Heylin desiring Chaloner to meet Heylin at Swinbrook 'neere unto the forest of which name'. Chaloner replied 'he could not then attend it, but that he would soe doe some other time.'

Not examined on the rest by Chaloner's consent.

Signed by William Trotman and by the above three commissioners.

fos. 20r-v (witness 15), Thomas Cogan of Oxford University, gent, born there, aged about 45

To Heylin's defence:

8. About 4 or 5 years ago, Carew, Hord, Trotman, Titus Wright, Chaloner and Heylin came to his house. as they entered his street parlour they handed him their weapons. then 'Mr Challoner holding his hat under his arme, tooke a glass of beere in his hand, and *freelie and voluntarily on his owne accord*, kneeling on his knee, drank to Mr Heilin and desired to be friends with him'. Chaloner then promised Heylin a Yorkshire nag worth £10, or £10 in money.

Not examined on the rest by Heylin's consent.

To Chaloner's interrogatories:

3, 4. Negative.

8. Chaloner's submission was made for a wrong he had previously done to Heylin.

Not examined on the rest by Chaloner's consent.

Signed by Thomas Cogan and by the above three commissioners.

fo. 21r (witness 16), Gawen Champneys of North Moore, co. Oxford, gent, lived there for 25 years, born at Uffculme, co. Devon, aged about 58

To Heylin's defence:

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

Not examined on the rest by Heylin's consent.

To Chaloner's interrogatories:

Not examined on these by Chaloner's consent.

Signed by Gawen Champneys and by the above three commissioners.

Submission

4/7, Submission

The time and place of his submission was to be appointed by Sir Francis Norris and Sir Thomas Coghill, knts, before 28 January 1638/9. Heylin was to stand bareheaded before these two knights and three other persons brought by Mr Henry Chaloner.

'Whereas I, Edward Heylin, stand convicted by sentence diffinitive... by a scandalous and infamous letter by me written to have much abused, disgraced and scandalised Henry Chaloner of the city and county of Oxford, esq, i do hereby humbly acknowledge that I am hartily sorry for my such indiscreet and inconsiderate writing of the letter and my such scandalising and abusing Mr Challoner therein, whom I do hereby acknowledge to be an honest and worthy gentleman descended of an ancient and worthy family, and no such manner of man as is described and insinuated in the letter, which i do also hereby acknowledge to be most foule and scandalous. And I do hartily pray Mr Challoner to forgive my such rash inconsiderate and malitious writing of the letter and my such scandalising and abusing him therein and I do hereby promise hereafter to behave myselfe towards him with all due respect.'

No date.

No signatures.

Summary of proceedings

Dr Merrick acted as counsel to Chaloner and Dr Gwyn to Heylin. proceedings were under way by 14 October 1637. On 28 November Dr Gwyn responded to the libel and the commissioners nominated on 20 October 1637 were listed. On 2 December Chaloner exhibited his petition requesting that in spite of his plea of illness Heylin be made to answer in person rather than through his attorney. Two sets of letters commissory were, therefore, issued by the court to take an affidavit from Heylin either on 8 or 27 January 1637/8. on 12 February Dr Gwyn related material for Heylin's defence. on 3 December 1638 Heylin was directed to make his submission by Christmas before Sir Francis Norris and Sir Thomas Coghill. Heylin was to certify performance of this by the first session of the next term. On 9 February 1638/9 Heylin was charged with contempt of court and on 21 February he was required to pay the£200 damages and £20 expenses awarded against him. Dr Merrick accused Heylin of not paying these sums and requested an attachment against William Saunders, husbandman, a constable, for contempt in failing to assist Chaloner in recovering these expenses.

Notes

Henry Chaloner did not appear in the visitation of Buckingham in 1634, while Edward Heylin did not appear in the Oxfordshire visitations of 1634, 1669 and 1675.

K. L. Campbell, 'Sir Thomas Chaloner (1563/4-1615)', Oxford DNB (Oxford, 2004); A. Milton, 'Peter Heylyn (1599-1662)', Oxford DNB (Oxford, 2004).

W. H. Turner (ed.), The Visitations of the County of Oxford, 1566, 1574 and 1634 (Publications of the Harleian Society, 5, 1871); G. D. Squibb (ed.), The Visitation of Oxfordshire, 1669 and 1675 (Publications of the Harleian Society, new series, 12, 1993).

Documents

  • Initial Proceedings
    • Libel: 9/3/3c (no date)
    • Letter annexed to the libel: 9/3/3c (19 Jun 1637)
    • Plaintiff's bond: 3/140 (29 Jul 1637)
  • Plaintiff's case
    • Letters commissory for the plaintiff: 9/3/3a (20 Oct 1637)
    • Defendant's bond: 3/111 (11 Nov 1637)
    • Petition to Maltravers: 17/3f (2 Dec 1637)
    • Letters commissory for the plaintiff: Cur Mil ii, fo. 44 (2 Dec 1637)
    • Letters commissory for the plaintiff: Cur mil ii, fo. 45 (2 Dec 1637)
    • Defendant's affidavit: Cur Mil ii, fos. 41-3 (8 Jan 1638)
    • Miscellaneous note: EM55 (8 Jan 1638?)
    • Plaintiff's depositions: 9/3/3d (13 Jan 1638)
    • Notary public's certificate: 9/3/3d (no date)
    • Notary public's certificate: Cur Mil ii, fo. 42v (no date)
  • Defendant's case
    • Letters commissory for the defence: Cur Mil ii, fo. 25 (12 Feb 1638)
    • Defence: Cur Mil ii, fo. 28 (Eas 1638)
    • Plaintiff's interrogatories: Cur Mil ii, fos. 26-7 (no date)
    • Defence depositions: Cur Mil ii, fos. 1-24 (2 Apr 1638)
  • Submission
    • Submission: 4/7 (pre 28 jan 1639)

People mentioned in the case

  • Adams, Ursula, spinster
  • Birch, William, Mr
  • Breese, Patrick, innkeeper
  • Brice, Robert, gent
  • Brice, Thomas, yeoman
  • Brice, Walter
  • Brice, William
  • Bridges, Stephen, physician
  • Butler, John
  • Byrd, John, gent (also bird)
  • Carew, Matthew, knight
  • Chaloner, Henry, esq (also Challoner, Chaliner)
  • Chaloner, Thomas, knight (also Challoner, Chaliner)
  • Chaloner, Ursula
  • Champneys, Gawen, gent
  • Chesterman, James, gent
  • Cogan, Thomas, gent (also Coggan)
  • Coghill, Thomas, knight
  • Dethick, Gilbert, registrar
  • Dickenson, Edmund, clerk
  • Dixe, Francis, husbandman
  • Ebsworth, Mr
  • Elzie, Thomas, gent (also Elzey)
  • French, John, M.A., gent
  • French, Thomas, M.A.
  • Gardiner, Samuel, Dr
  • Geering, John, gent (Gearing)
  • Giles, Mr
  • Grainger, Thomas, gent
  • Gwyn, Dr, lawyer (also Gwynn)
  • Hampshire, John the elder
  • Heylin, Edward (also Heilin)
  • Heylin, Henry, gent
  • Heylin, Peter, minister
  • Hide, Thomas, M.A. (also Hyde)
  • Hord, Thomas, knight
  • Horner, Christopher
  • Howard, Henry, Baron Maltravers
  • Jones, Humphrey, notary public
  • Kemble, John, vintner
  • Merrick, William, lawyer
  • Napper, Edward
  • Norris, Francis, knight
  • Osbaldeston, Francis (also Osbaston)
  • Palmer, John, gent
  • Palmer, Robert
  • Palmer, William, yeoman
  • Raynton, William, esq
  • Saunders, William, husbandman
  • Shephard, Ambrose, gent
  • Smith, John, gent (also Smyth)
  • Swett, Giles, dr (also Sweit)
  • Terrick, Humphrey
  • Trinder, Charles
  • Trotman, William, esq / gent
  • Wrench, Henry
  • Wright, Thomas, servant
  • Wright, Titus
  • Woodrowe, William

Places mentioned in the case

  • Berkshire
    • Stanford-in-the-Vale
    • Thrup
  • Buckinghamshire
    • Eton
    • Steeple Claydon
  • Devon
    • Uffculme
  • Gloucestershire
    • Eastleach
    • Stinchcombe
    • Turten
  • Hampshire
    • Southampton
  • London
  • Middlesex
    • Hayes
    • Westminster
  • Northamptonshire
    • Culworth
  • Oxfordshire
    • Bourton
    • Brize Norton
    • Burford
    • Cornbury Park
    • 'De Coate'
    • Eynsham
    • Holywell
    • Minster Lovell
    • North Moore
    • Oxford, St Peter's parish
    • Witney
  • Wiltshire
    • Harinshe
  • Yorkshire

Topics of the case

  • allegation of bankruptcy
  • allegation of cowardice
  • apparel
  • assault
  • challenge to a duel
  • contempt of court
  • court of chancery
  • drunkenness
  • inn
  • insulting letter
  • sport
  • university of oxford
  • weapon