257 Gresham v Robinson

The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640.

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'257 Gresham v Robinson', in The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640, (, ) pp. . British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/no-series/court-of-chivalry/257-gresham-robinson [accessed 4 March 2024]

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Sir Edward Gresham of Brockham in Betchworth, co. Surrey, bart v Henry Robinson of St Peter, Cornhill, London, mercer



Gresham, one of the king's gentleman pensioners for about 20 years, complained that between February and June 1637 in St Peter's parish, Cornhill, London, in the presence of several gentlemen, Robinson had said 'that I did cozen, cheate and deceive my eldest sonne of his landes or estate to settle or bestowe the same on my second sonne of my second wife.' Gresham accused Robinson of tricking Gresham's son out of his estate and had the matter referred by the Privy Council to the Lord Chief Justice which was what had, allegedly, prompted Robinson's remarks. In November 1638 Gresham again complained to the Privy Council that Mr Knight, haberdasher, Mr Bary, student at law, Dr Hinton, a physician, Parker, a goldsmith, and Cope, a victualler, had also been party to deceiving his son into conveying away his lands. No further proceedings survive.

Initial proceedings

EM124, Petition

The petition described Gresham as a baronet.

'Henry Robinson doth suggest to your Lordship that the matter of defamation complained on by the petitioner was involved in a former complaint referred from the hands of his Majestie's most honorable Privy Councell to the Lord Chief Justice.

May your lordship be pleased to understand that the whole matter of the petitioner's complaint to the Lords of the Councell was that Robinson had deceived the petitioner's son of his estate, and drawne himself to undertake 800li of other men's debts. Robinson exasperated by this complaint, took occasion to defame the petitioner with words of defamation the petitioner heard not of for many months after and therefore not possible to be involved in the complaint. Besides it is manifest by the petition itself presented to the Lords and their Lordships reference subscribed thereunto; and by certificate of the Lord Chief Justice latelie delivered to your Honor that the former complaint was only matter of estate, and no words of defamation mentioned.

Your petitioner therefore humbly prayeth that the said cause may proceed to a censure in this honourable court before your lordship, that as your petitioner hath had publique wrong soe he may receive publique satisfaccon as the merritts of his cause in your Lordship's grave judgment upon the hearing shall require.'

No date.

13/2k, Libel

Sir Edward Gresham had been a knight and one of the king's gentleman pensioners for about 20 years.

Between February and June 1637 in the parish of St Peter's, Cornhill, London in the presence of several gentlemen Robinson said 'that I did cozen, cheate and deceive my eldest sonne of his landes or estate to settle or bestowe the same on my second sonne of my second wife.'

No date.

Signed by Arthur Duck.


No Sir Edward Gresham appears in the Surrey Visitations of 1623 or 1662-8. Neither Sir Edward Gresham nor Henry Robinson appeared in the Visitations of London.

W. B. Bannerman (ed.), The Visitations of the County of Surrey, 1530, 1572 and 1623 (Publications of the Harleian Society, 43, 1899); G. J. Armytage (ed.), A Visitation of the County of Surrey, 1662-8 (Publications of the Harleian Society, 60, 1910); 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); J. Jackson Howard (ed.), The Visitation of London, 1633, 1634 and, 1635, vol. II (Publications of the Harleian Society, 17, 1883); J. B. Whitmore and A. W. Hughes Clarke (eds.), London Visitation Pedigrees, 1664 (Publications of the Harleian Society, 92, 1940).

On 26 November 1638 Gresham petitioned Archbishop Laud against Anthony Saunderson for assisting Thomas Gresham, his 20 year old eldest son, to marry Saunderson's niece, Margaret Wilby, without his parents' consent by making an oath that he was 'at his own government.'

CSP Dom. 1638-9 , p. 123.

On 17 May 1639 the Council ordered that Gresham should be free to prosecute those mentioned in the 19 November 1638 council order in Star Chamber or another court of justice.

CSP Dom 1639 , pp. 185-6.

Sir Edward Gresham of Betchworth, co. Surrey, his wife and four others were granted a licence on 6 March 1633 to eat meat in Lent and at other times forbidden by law.

J. Broadway, R. Cust and S. K. Roberts (eds.), A Calendar of the Docquets of Lord Keeper Coventry, 1625-1640 (List and Index Society, special series, 34, 2004), part 1, p. 169.


  • Initial proceedings
    • Petition: EM124 (no date)
    • Libel: 13/2k (no date)

People mentioned in the case

  • Bary, Mr, student at law
  • Cope, victualler
  • Duck, Arthur, lawyer
  • Gresham, Edward, baronet
  • Gresham, Thomas
  • Hinton, Dr, physician
  • Knight, Mr, haberdasher
  • Laud, William, archbishop of Canterbury
  • Parker, goldsmith
  • Robinson, Henry, mercer
  • Saunderson, Anthony
  • Wilby, Margaret

Places mentioned in the case

  • London
    • St Peter, Cornhill
  • Surrey
    • Brockham in Betchworth

Topics of the case

  • allegation of cheating
  • archbishop
  • debt
  • other courts
  • privy council
  • royal servant
  • Star Chamber