233 Fursland v Friend

The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640.

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Walter Fursland of Bickington, co. Devon, gent v John Friend of Ashburton, co. Devon, bailiff

May - November 1640


Fursland complained that Friend, without any provocation said in the presence of several people that 'he was as good a man as your petitioner and that he had seene as good a gentleman as your petitioner strooke out of a horse arse'. Process was granted on 15 May 1640 and Friend entered bond to answer the charge on 27 November 1640; but no further proceedings survive.

Initial proceedings

5/171, Petition

'One John Friend of Ashburton in the county of Devon, being of meane quallitie and a common bayliffe, did publickly in the presence of divers people without any provocation given by your petitioner growe into comparison with your petitioner, of purpose to move your petitioner to a duell; and said that he was as good a man as your petitioner, & that he had seene as good a gentleman as your petitioner strooke out of a horse arse, with other provoking and disparageing speeches whereby your petitioner is much injured in his reputation.'

Petitioned that Friend be brought to answer.

Maltravers granted process, 15 May 1640.

5/170, Defendant's bond

27 November 1640

Bond to 'appear in the court in Arundel house in the Strand without Temple Barr, London'.

Signed by Ambrose Potter (of Lions' Inn, co. Middlesex, gent), acting for Friend.

Sealed, subscribed and delivered in the presence of John Longland.


Walter was the son of John Fursland of Bickington, co. Devon, and Margaret, daughter of Thomas Cole of Slade, co. Devon, esq. Walter married Katherine, daughter of Thomas Beare of Huntsham, co. Devon, esq. Walter's grandson, another Walter Fursland was born before 1620.

F. T. Colby (ed.), The Visitation of the County of Devon in the year 1620 (Publications of the Harleian Society, 6, 1872), p. 122.


  • Initial proceedings
    • Petition: 5/171 (15 May 1640)
    • Defendant's bond: 5/170 (27 Nov 1640)

People mentioned in the case

  • Beare, Katherine
  • Beare, Thomas, esq
  • Cole, Thomas, esq
  • Friend, John, bailiff
  • Fursland, John
  • Fursland, Katherine
  • Fursland, Margaret
  • Fursland, Walter, gent
  • Howard, Henry, baron Maltravers
  • Longland, John
  • Potter, Ambrose, gent

Places mentioned in the case

  • Devon
    • Ashburton
    • Bickington
    • Huntsham
    • Slade
  • London
    • Arundel House
    • Temple Bar
    • Strand
  • Middlesex
    • Lions Inn

Topics of the case

  • comparison
  • denial of gentility
  • inns of court
  • provocative of a duel
  • scatological insult