247 Gill v Hale

The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640.

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'247 Gill v Hale', in The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640, (, ) pp. . British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/no-series/court-of-chivalry/247-gill-hale [accessed 2 March 2024]

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Philip Gill of St Dunstan-in-the-West, London, gent v Robert Hale of the same, gent

February - April 1640


Gill complained that Hale had abused him without provocation in Mr Cooke's chamber in Gray's Inn on 27 January 1640. Gill was a physician who had come to collect his fee for curing Mr Cooke who was dining with Robert Hale and Francis Goldsmith. When Gill demanded a £30 fee, Hale questioned his honesty and said that he 'was a rascall and should be pumped'. Process was granted on 1 February 1640 and Gill's witnesses, who included Mr Goldsmith, were examined in court by Sir Henry Marten in March. His apprentice deposed that when he had delivered the court's summons to Hale he had retorted, 'What a rogue is this, meaning Mr Gill.' No further proceedings survive.

Initial proceedings

2/54, Petition to Arundel

Gill was 'a gentleman. And that Robert Hale of St Dunstons in the west, London, gent, on the seaven and twentieth of January 1639, in Grayes Inn, did much abuse the petitioner in most opprobrious words and said the petitioner was a rascall and should be pumped, thereby provoking the petitioner to duell; your petitioner giving Mr Hale no provocation in that behalf.'

Petitioned that Hale be brought to answer.

Maltravers granted process on 1 February 1640.

2/53, Plaintiff's bond

3 February 1640

Bound to appear 'in the court in the paynted chamber within the Pallace of Westminster'.

Signed by Phillip Gill.

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

2/20, Defendant's bond

20 February 1640

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

Signed by Robert Hale.

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

Also signed by William Ellis.

[Note the possible mistake from the clerk noting the plaintiff as William Gill].

Plaintiff's case

14/3w, Defence interrogatories

1. The witnesses were warned of the penalty for perjury and bearing false witness.

2. What was the witness's age, occupation and condition? Where did the witness live and where had they lived previously? Did the witness know Gill or Hale. To whom would they give victory if they had the power? Was the witness instructed how to depose?

3. Was the witness related to, friends with, or servants of either Gill or Hale?

4. Were they under any obligation to appear?

5. At what time and place were the alleged words spoken by Hale against Gill? What were these alleged words?

6. Where were Phillip Gill and Robert Hale and the witnesses standing or sitting 'at the pretended tyme of the uttering and speakinge of any pretended words' by Hale against Gill, as is pretended'? Why were the witness and other witnesses present?

7. What provocation did Mr Gill give Hale to speak 'the pretended words'; and what words passed between them 'at that tyme both before and after'?

8. Speak the truth of what you know, believe or have heard.

No date.

Signed by Thomas Exton.

Cur Mil 1631-1642, fo. 46r, Plaintiff's deposition

fos. 46r-46ar (Witness 1), Francis Goldsmith of Gray's Inn, London, esq, lived there for 5 years, born at Crayford, co. Kent, aged about 25

23 March 1639/40

To Gill's libel:

2. He was at Mr Cooke's chamber in Gray's Inn, last January, where he heard Mr Gill demand £30 from Cooke for a cure he had of him. Cooke offered Gill £15, but Gill replied 'that a porter would have deserved as much at xiid a day in comeing soe often to Mr Cooke as Mr Gill had done, and that Mr Cooke did owe his life to Gill'. Mr Hale, standing, nearby asked Gill if he knew where he was, and told Gill 'that he was a rascall and that he would be pumped'. Mr Cooke, Michael Hale, and one Hall, a porter, were also present.

To Hale's interrogatories:

4. Negative.

5. The words were spoken at noon or 1pm.

6. The words were spoken in Mr Cooke's chamber in Gray's Inn, where Cooke, Hale and the witness were dining at the table, and when Mr Gill came in accompanied by a friend.

7. Referred himself to earlier testimony.

Signed by Francis Goldsmith

Repeated in court before Sir Henry Marten on 23 March 1639/40.

Cur Mil 1631-1642, fos. 49v-50av, Philip Gill of St Dunstan-in-the-West, London, gent v Robert Hale of the same, gent
Plaintiff's depositions
fos. 49v-50v (Witness 2), Joseph Binns of St Andrew's parish, Holborn, London, surgeon, lived there for 5 years, born at Dronfield, co. Derby, aged about 36

26 March 1640

To Gill's libel:

1. He had known Gill for 9 years and believed he had a coat of arms.

2. In January 1639, at 2pm one afternoon, he was in Mr Cooke's chamber in Gray's Inn with Mr Gill, Mr Cooke, Mr Goldsmith, Mr Hale and a porter. Mr Gill demanded money for a cure for Mr Cooke, but Mr Hale asked him 'if he demanded so much money for cureing a hole in Mr Cooke his thigh, or for making holes'. Mr Gill replied that he 'used no such action or dealing'. Then Hale told Gill 'in an angrie manner', that 'he would or should be pumped', and that 'he was a rascall'.

To Hale's interrogatories:

1. He was a surgeon and had never met Mr Hale beforehand. He believed Mr Gill had been wronged and desired the victory for him.

2. Negative.

3. He had long been friends with Gill, they had both served one master, and he was present at the speaking of the words.

4. Negative.

6. All the above parties were present and Mr Goldsmith was sitting while the rest were standing.

7. Mr Gill did not give 'any other words or provocation' to Mr Hale.

Signed by Joseph Bynns.

Repeated in court before Sir Henry Marten on 22 April 1640.

fos. 50ar-50av (Witness 3), George Wyat, apprentice of Phillip Gill, born in co. Worcester, aged 20

30 March 1640

To Gill's libel:

2. In January or February 1639, he was 'by his Majesty's appointment going to serve a monicon from this honourable Courte on Mr Hale, and going up into Mr Hale his chamber then neare Chancery Lane, and delivering a note of the contents of the monicon to him, Mr Hale read the note over and when he came to the wordes 'to answer to Mr Gill in a cause of complaint and provoking him to duell,' Mr Hale swearing an oath said, What a rogue is this, meaning Mr Gill, there being then present an ancient gentleman but what his name was [Wyat] knoweth not'.

To Hale's interrogatories:

1. He had been Mr Gill's apprentice for 2 years 'and wisheth right may take place and careth not who hath the better in this cause'.

2. Negative.

3. After serving the monition, he returned to his master and told him what Mr Hale had said.

4. Negative.

6. The above words were spoken in the forenoon.

7. Mr Gill was not present at the speaking of the above words.

Signed by George Wyat.

Repeated in court before Sir Henry Marten on 22 April 1640.


The plaintiff may have been the Philip Gill of London mentioned in the 1634 visitation as the son of John Gill of Sudborough, co. Northampton and Sarah, daughter of one Ward of London. Philip married Elizabeth, daughter of one Bateman of Thrapston, co. Northampton. Robert Hale did not appear in the Visitations of London.

J. Jackson Howard and J. L. Chester (eds.), The Visitation of London, 1633, 1634 and, 1635, vol. I (Publications of the Harleian Society, 15, 1880), p. 314.


  • Initial proceedings
    • Petition: 2/54 (1 Feb 1640)
    • Plaintiff's bond: 2/53 (3 Feb 1640)
    • Defendant's bond: 2/20 (20 Feb 1640)
  • Plaintiff's case
    • Defence interrogatories: 14/3w (no date)
    • Plaintiff's deposition: Cur Mil 1631-42, fo. 46r (23 Mar 1640)
    • Plaintiff's depositions: Cur Mil 1631-42, fo. 50 (26 and 30 Mar 1640)

People mentioned in the case

  • Bateman
  • Binns, Joseph, surgeon (also Bynns)
  • Cooke, Mr
  • Ellis, William
  • Gill, John
  • Gill, Philip, gent
  • Goldsmith, Francis, esq
  • Exton, Thomas, lawyer
  • Hale, Michael
  • Hale, Robert, gent
  • Hall, porter
  • Howard, Henry, baron Maltravers
  • Howard, Thomas, earl of Arundel and Surrey
  • Marten, Henry, knight
  • Terrick, Humphrey
  • Ward, Sarah
  • Watson, John
  • Wyat, George, apprentice

Places mentioned in the case

  • Derbyshire
    • Dronfield
  • Kent
    • Crayford
  • London
    • St Dunstan-in-the-West
    • Gray's Inn
  • Middlesex
    • Chancery Lane
    • St Andrew's Holborn
    • Westminster
  • Northamptonshire
    • Sudborough
    • Thrapston
  • Worcestershire

Topics of the case

  • debt
  • denial of gentility
  • inns of court
  • physician
  • provocative of a duel