120 Constable v Carlyle

The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640.

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Richard Cust, Andrew Hopper, '120 Constable v Carlyle', in The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640, ed. Richard Cust, Andrew Hopper, British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/no-series/court-of-chivalry/120-constable-carlyle [accessed 22 July 2024].

Richard Cust, Andrew Hopper, '120 Constable v Carlyle', in The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640. Edited by Richard Cust, Andrew Hopper, British History Online, accessed July 22, 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/no-series/court-of-chivalry/120-constable-carlyle.

Richard Cust, Andrew Hopper. "120 Constable v Carlyle". The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640. Ed. Richard Cust, Andrew Hopper, British History Online. Web. 22 July 2024. https://www.british-history.ac.uk/no-series/court-of-chivalry/120-constable-carlyle.

In this section


John Constable of Catfoss, Sigglesthorne in Holderness, co. York, esq v Francis Carlyle of Brandesburton, co. York, yeoman

December 1637


Constable petitioned that in the last twelve months Carlyle, a yeoman, had challenged him to a duel, and had given him and his wife Mary Constable 'disgracefull and contumelious speeches' in public. Process was granted on 4 December 1637. No further proceedings survive which directly relate to this case; however, the depositions given in the case of Christopher Constable esq v John Constable esq [see cause 123] make it possible to reconstruct many of the details. According to William Allerton, minister of Brandesburton, who sat as a commissioner when depositions were taken at the Blue Bell Inn in Beverley in 1638, Carlyle had said of John Constable's father, Christopher, in late 1637 that 'he was a pannyerlye fellowe and that he carried or sould butter at Burlington' [Bridlington]. Wynsley Carlyle, Francis's brother, also deposed that a few months earlier, at the house of Henry Robinson in Beverley, Carlyle had encouraged his wife to stab Mrs Mary Constable in the stomach while she was pregnant. According to several witnesses in the later case, the matter was settled by an arbitration, arranged by Sir Marmaduke Langdale and William Carliell, gent.

Initial proceedings

3/61, Petition to Arundel

'The petitioner is heire, in present possession of the ancient house and familie of the Constables of Catfosse in the East Ridinge of Yorke, one Francis Carlisle at Bransburton in Holderness, in the County of York, being both in birth breeding and common repute but of the ordinary sorte of the yeomanry, hath within these 12 moneths last past, in the presence of divers, not onely by many disgracefull and contumelious speeches abused the petitioner and Mary Constable your petitioner's wife, but alsoe hath challenged the field of the petitioner.'

Signed by Thomas Eden.

Petitioned that Carlisle be brought to answer.

Duck desired Dethick to grant process, 4 December 1637.

Signed by Arthur Duck.

3/62, Plaintiff's bond

6 December 1637

Bound to appear 'in the Court in the painted Chamber within the Pallace of Westminster'.

Signed by Christopher Jackson of North Dalton, co. York, yeoman, on behalf of Constable.

Sealed, subscribed and delivered in the presence of Humphrey Terrick.


John Constable (d.1659), son of Christopher Constable of Catfoss, Frismarsh and Holmpton, co. York, esq, and Averill, daughter of George Fowberye of Newbald, co. York, esq. John married Mary, daughter of Ralph More of Beswick and Frances, daughter of Richard Hildyard of Louth, co. Lincoln. Mary's previous husband, Philip Constable (c.1584-1618), son of Marmaduke Constable of Wassand, was killed in a duel by Edmund Percy on 15 May 1618. John and Mary had four sons and five daughters. John Constable's sister, Ellyn, married Sir Francis Cobb of Beverley, knt.

J. W. Walker (ed.), Yorkshire Pedigrees (Publications of the Harleian Society, 95, 1943), p. 289; R. Davies (ed.), The Visitation of the County of Yorke begun in 1665 and finished in 1666, by William Dugdale (Surtees Society, 36, 1859), p. 323.


  • Initial proceedings
    • Petition: 3/61 (4 Dec 1637)
    • Plaintiff's bond: 3/62 (6 Dec 1637)

People mentioned in the case

  • Allerton, William, minister
  • Carlyle, Francis, yeoman (also Carlisle, Carlile)
  • Carlyle, William, gent (also Carlisle, Carlile)
  • Carlyle, Wynsley (also Carlisle, Carlile)
  • Cobb, Ellyn
  • Cobb, Francis, knight
  • Constable, Averill
  • Constable, Christopher, esq
  • Constable, Ellyn
  • Constable, John, esq
  • Constable, Marmaduke
  • Constable, Mary
  • Constable, Philip
  • Dethick, Gilbert, registrar
  • Duck, Arthur, lawyer
  • Eden, Thomas, lawyer
  • Fowberye, Averill (also Fawbery)
  • Fowberye, George, esq (also Fawbery)
  • Gardnar, Richard
  • Grimston, Francis, gent
  • Harrison, Michael, gent
  • Hildiard, Richard (also Hillyard, Hiliard, Hildyard, Hilliard)
  • Jackson, Christopher, yeoman
  • Langdale, Marmaduke, knight
  • More, Mary
  • More, Ralph
  • Percy, Edmund

Places mentioned in the case

  • Yorkshire, East Riding
    • Beswick
    • Beverley
    • Brandesburton
    • Bridlington
    • Catfoss
    • Frismarsh
    • Holderness
    • Holmpton
    • Newbald
    • North Dalton
    • Sigglesthorne
    • Wassand
  • Lincolnshire
    • Louth
  • Middlesex
    • Westminster

Topics of the case

  • allegation of tradesman status
  • challenge to a duel
  • threatened violence
  • pregnancy
  • volence against women