143 Crompton v Audley

The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640.

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Thomas Crompton of Cresswell, co. Stafford, esq v. Ralph Tutchett alias Audley, gent

No date


Crompton complained that Audley had given him the lie, but Audley maintained that he had been provoked by Crompton calling him 'base fellow', to which he had responded, 'Itt is a lye. I am a gentleman descended as well as you'. The quarrel had arisen when Audley, who was a servant of Crompton's mother, Lady Crompton, reprimanded Crompton for saying that his mother had cheated him of £500. Audley petitioned that the cause be referred for arbitration to some senior Staffordshire gentry and nominated Sir Harvey Bagot, Ralph Sneade, esq, George Digby, esq, and Thomas Broughton, esq. He also indicated that he was happy to submit to the judgement of Sir John Lambe, a son-in-law of Lady Crompton and Dean of the Court of Arches, who knew the circumstances, including the fact that Crompton had been ejected from the commission of peace for 'great misdemanours.'

Initial proceedings

EM279, Defendant's petition

'That your petitioner standeth bound to appeare this daye before your lordship in the Court military to answer a complaint exhibited against him by Thomas Compton gent concerning words.

May it please your lordship to be informed that the said Mr Compton speaking of his mother the Lady Compton to your petitioner and saying that she had cheated him of 500li your petitioner answered that he was an unworthy son to speak so of his mother, whereupon he called your petitioner base fellow, and your petitioner being thus provoked replied saying Itt is a lye I am a gentleman descended as well as you and this is the whole state of the said cause; for which words rashly uttered the petitioner is now sorry; and for that the said parties do live in Staffordshire farr distant, and your petitioner is not able to defray the great charge of suit, and Mr Compton maliciously threatneth to undoe him.'

Petitioned for the cause to be determined by 'any gentlemen of the said Countie whom your honor shall thinke fitt', or for him to be allowed a private audience with Arundel.

No date.

EM280, Defendant's petition

'The defendant being a gent, and servant to the Lady Crompton the complainants mother, hearing Mr Crompton, use some uncivill and unbeseeming speeches towards his mother, told him he was an unworthy sonne, soe to use her, whereupon Crompton said Audley was a base fellow, which Awdley said was a ly. and that he was as well discended as Crompton.

This being the cause of suit, Audley desires to have the cause referred to the examynacon of any gent of the Country, and will submit himselfe to the Judgment of Sir John Lambe who marryed Cromptons owne sister and knows the condicons and qualitie of his brother in law, who hath been questioned for <blood> great misdemeanours and put out of the commission of the peace.

Gentlemen of the Countrie to whome there may bee a reference

Sir Harvey Bagot

Ralph Sneade, esq

George Digby, esq

Thomas Broughton, esq

No date.


  • Initial proceedings
    • Defendant's petition: EM279 (n.d.)
    • Defendant's petition: EM280 (n.d.).

People mentioned in the case

  • Bagot, Harvey, knight
  • Broughton, Thomas, esq
  • Crompton, lady
  • Crompton, Thomas, esq
  • Digby, George, esq
  • Howard, Thomas, earl of Arundel and Surrey
  • Lambe, John, knight
  • Sneade, Ralph, esq
  • Tutchett alias Audley, Ralph, gent

Places mentioned in the case

  • Stafford
    • Cresswell

Topics of the case

  • allegation of cheating
  • comparison
  • Court of Arches
  • denial of gentility
  • giving the lie
  • other courts