174 Duck v Hanslopp

The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640.

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Arthur Duck, LL.D., King's Advocate v Thomas Hanslopp of Aynho, co. Northampton

September 1638 - February 1639


This was a cause of office promoted by Dr Duck, king's advocate, against Thomas Hanslopp of Aynho in September 1638 for wrongfully assuming the title and arms of a gentleman. Dr Merrick and Dr Roane presented a detailed case on Duck's behalf on 28 January 1639, and sentence was appointed to be heard in February; but no

further proceedings survive. [For a case brought by Hanslopp at the same time, see cause 275].

Initial proceedings

15/1p, Articles (Necessary Promotion)

Dr Duck argued that Hanslopp's ancestors had been plebeians and not gentlemen over the past 200 years, and that Hanslopp for the past seven years had wrongfully assumed to himself the arms and title of gentleman.

[Overleaf] '20 September 1638'

Summary of proceedings

Dr Merrick and Dr Roane acted on behalf of Duck and Dr Sweit for Hanslopp. On 20 November 1638 Dr Duck delivered the articles against Hanslopp, and on 5 December Dr Sweit while acknowledging that Hanslopp described himself as a gentleman refused to accept that he was a plebiean. On 28 January 1639 the prosecution alleged that Hanslopp had lived in Aynho, co. Northampton, and his father before him, and that the family were plebeians, despite Hanslopp having been an overseer of the poor in Aynho in 1638. Sentence was appointed to be heard in February 1639.


P. Stein, 'Arthur Duck', Oxford DNB (Oxford, 2004).

For another summary, see G. D. Squibb, Court of Chivalry Case Reports, 1623-1672 (London, 1956), p. 27. For a transcription of Duck's Latin articles, see G. D. Squibb, The High Court of Chivalry (Oxford, 1959), appendix XVII.


  • Initial proceedings
    • Articles: 15/1p (20 Sep 1638)
  • Proceedings
    • Proceedings before Maltravers: R.19, fos. 400v-412v (20 Nov 1638)
    • Proceedings before Maltravers: R.19, fos. 422r-428r (28 Nov 1638)
    • Proceedings before Maltravers: R.19, fos. 474r-484v (5 Dec 1638)
    • Proceedings before Maltravers: 1/9 (28 Jan 1639)
    • Proceedings: College of Arms MS. 'Court of Chivalry' (act book, 1636-8) [pressmark R.R. 68C], fos. 125r-v (28 Jan 1639)
    • Proceedings before Arundel: 1/6, fos. 1-9 (23 Feb 1639)
    • Proceedings: (Draft copy) 1/11, fos. 13r-16v (30 Oct 1640)

People mentioned in the case

  • Duck, Arthur, lawyer
  • Hanslopp, Thomas (also Hanslope, Hanslap)
  • Howard, Henry, baron Maltravers
  • Merrick, William, lawyer
  • Roane, William, lawyer
  • Sweit, Giles, lawyer (also Swett)

Places mentioned in the case

  • Northamptonshire
    • Aynho

Topics of the case

  • cause of office
  • coat of arms
  • office-holding
  • overseer of the poor
  • self-assumed arms