121 Constable v Carlyle

The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640.

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Richard Cust. Andrew Hopper, '121 Constable v Carlyle', The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640, British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/no-series/court-of-chivalry/121-constable-carlyle [accessed 14 June 2024].

Richard Cust. Andrew Hopper. "121 Constable v Carlyle", in The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640, (, ) . British History Online, accessed June 14, 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/no-series/court-of-chivalry/121-constable-carlyle.

Cust, Richard. Hopper, Andrew. "121 Constable v Carlyle", The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640, (, ). . British History Online. Web. 14 June 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/no-series/court-of-chivalry/121-constable-carlyle.

In this section


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

June 1640 - January 1641


In a separate process from the previous case against Carlyle, John Constable followed his success against Christopher Constable [see cause 124] by revisiting his earlier grievance. He petitioned that at Hatfield, Yorkshire, in June 1638 Carlyle had said that he was as good a man as Constable and a few weeks later had declared that John was a 'gentleman but of the second or third head, or two or three descents at the most'. He also noted that in a Star Chamber bill in May 1639 Carlyle had styled Constable merely 'gent', even though he knew him to be an esquire. On 30 June 1640 Michael Harrison of Hull, gent, entered bond to prosecute the cause on Constable's behalf and in Michaelmas term a commission for examining Constable's witnesses, headed by Robert Leeds, esq, was ordered to meet 7-9 January 1641, at either the Blue Bell or Blue Anchor Inn in Beverley, Yorkshire. No further proceedings survive.

Initial proceedings

5/116, Petition

'Your petitioner and his ancestors have been and are descended of an ancient familie of knights and esquires, and have lived in the like repute and qualitie. Notwithstanding, one Francis Carlile of Bransburton in Holderness in the countie of York, in the month of June 1638 last past at Hatfield, in the countie aforesaid, before divers witnesses of good credit, uttered and said that he was as good a man as your petitioner, and in the months of July, August and September proceeding still to disgrace and vilify your petitioner, said that your petitioner was a gentleman, but of the second or third head, or two or three descents at the most or to that effect. And againe, at another time, after all the premises said that he tooke himselfe to be as good a man or better then your petitioner; and in the moneth of May last past, in a Starr Chamber bill, he stiled or caused your petitioner to be stiled gent. onely, he knoweing your petitioner to be an Esq.'

Petitioned that Carlile be brought to answer.

Maltravers granted process, no date

5/115, Plaintiff's bond

30 June 1640

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

Michael Harrison of Kingston-upon-Hull, gent, acting on behalf of John Constable.

Signed by Michael Harrison.

Sealed, subscribed and delivered in the presence of John Dynham and Richard Gardnar.

Summary of proceedings

In Michaelmas term 1640, Constable nominated as commissioners for examining his witnesses Robert Leeds, esq, and Francis Grimston, gent. Carlyle nominated John Robinson and Robert Manby, gents. They were to meet from 7 to 9 January 1641, in Elizabeth Simpson's inn called the Blue Anchor in Beverley, co. York or else in John Farbarne's inn, the Blue Bell in Beverley.


For another account, see G. D. Squibb, Reports of Heraldic Cases in the Court of Chivalry, 1623-1732 (London, 1956), p.48

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: 5/116 (no date)
    • Plaintiff's bond: 5/115 (30 Jun 1640)
  • Proceedings
    • Proceedings: 1/12 (Mic 1640)
  • Notes
    • .

People mentioned in the case

  • Carlyle, Francis, yeoman (also Carlisle, Carlile)
  • Cobb, Ellyn
  • Cobb, Francis, knight
  • Constable, Averill
  • Constable, Christopher, esq
  • Constable, Ellyn
  • Constable, John, esq
  • Constable, Marmaduke
  • Constable, Mary
  • Constable, Philip
  • Dynham, John
  • Farbarne, John, innkeeper
  • Fowberye, Averill (also Fawbery)
  • Fowberye, George, esq (also Fawbery)
  • Gardnar, Richard
  • Grimston, Francis, gent
  • Harrison, Michael, gent
  • Hildiard, Richard (also Hillyard, Hiliard, Hildyard, Hilliard)
  • Howard, Henry, baron Maltravers
  • Leeds, Robert, esq
  • Manby, Robert, gent
  • More, Mary
  • More, Ralph
  • Percy, Edmund
  • Robinson, John, gent
  • Simpson, Elizabeth, innkeeper

Places mentioned in the case

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

Topics of the case

  • challenge to a duel
  • other courts
  • Star Chamber