279 Harford v Woodyatt

The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640.

This free content was Born digital. All rights reserved.

'279 Harford v Woodyatt', in The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640, (, ) pp. . British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/no-series/court-of-chivalry/279-harford-woodyatt [accessed 5 March 2024]

In this section

279 HARFORD V WOODYATT

Bridstock Harford of Hereford, gent v Thomas Woodyatt of Bosbury, co. Hereford, yeoman

November 1637 - November 1638

Figure 279:

The new market house in Hereford (c.1600) where Bridstock Harford's witnesses were examined in August 1638

Abstract

Harford, a bachelor of physic, complained that Woodyatt had said 'that I was a base slave or a base condiconed slave' on 6 September 1637 in the apothecary's shop of Thomas Seaborne in the city of Hereford. Woodyatt claimed to have been provoked by Harford calling him a 'dangerous fellowe' and saying 'that noe man would take his bond' for £10. Woodyatt also said that it was known that whenever Harford 'had a plot or project in his pate against any man' he would draw them to Seaborne's shop 'on purpose to intrapp him in words and to take advantage thereof'. Process was granted on 22 November 1637 and on 12 February 1638 Dr Duck presented the libel. Harford's witnesses were examined by a commission headed by Charles Booth, esq, from 28 to 30 August 1638 in the hall over the new market house in Hereford. On 6 November Dr Talbot began relating material for Woodyatt's defence. No indication of sentence survives.

Initial proceedings

3/82, Petition to Arundel

'Your petitioner is a gentleman descended of an ancient familie, as will appeare by the registrie of the Office of Armes; and that Thomas Wooddyatt of Bosburye yeoman in the countie of Hereford did, about August last, abuse your petitioner by many disgracefull speeches and said to, or of and concerning him, that he was a base condicon[ed] slave.'

Petitioned that Woodyatt be brought to answer.

Duck desired Dethick to grant process, 22 November 1637.

Signed Arthur Duck.

3/83, Plaintiff's bond

22 November 1637

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

Signed by William Bridges of Upleadon, co. Hereford, gent, on behalf of Harford.

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

11/23b, Libel

1. Bridstock Harford was a Bachelor of Medicine from a family that had been gentry for up to 200 years, whereas Thomas Wooddyatt was of plebeian stock.

2. Wooddyatt had said 'that I was a base slave, or a base condiconed slave' or words to that effect.

No date.

Signed by Arthur Duck.

Plaintiff's case

11/23a, Letters commissory for the plaintiff

Addressed to commissioners Charles Booth, esq, Thomas Young, gent, Jonathan Dryden, Walter Rogers, clerk, and also John Rackster, Dr of Law, Thomas Coxe, esq, Thomas Baldwyn, clerk, and John Webley, gent, to meet in a cause of scandalous words provocative of a duel, from 28 to 30 August 1638 in the hall over the new market house in Hereford.

Gilbert Dethick assigned Roger Griffiths as notary public.

Dated 2 June 1638.

Signed by Gilbert Dethick.

11/23d, Defence interrogatories

1. What was the witness's age, occupation and condition? Where had the witness lived for the last seven years? How did the witness know the parties?

2. What was he worth 'his debts paid and whether he be of kynne, servante or depending upon Mr Harford'?

3. Did he in August 1637 request 'Thomas Woodyate to pay to Mr Harford in the citie of Hereford for rent the sume of 23li 13s 4d, or some such like sume'?

4. Did Thomas Woodyate in 'August 1637 in the shop of one Seaborne in Hereford tender at least then say and declare that he came thither to tender to Bridstocke Harford the sume of £23-13s-4d, or some such like summe due to him, for land from one Mr Watts or his wife'?

5. Did 'Bridstocke Harford, at the apothecarie's shop, at the tyme aforesaid, refuse to accept of the money tendered by Thomas Woodyate'?

6. Did 'Bridstocke Harford at the tyme and place aforesaid revile and abuse Thomas Woodyate in words, and call him knave, and say that Thomas Woodyate was a dangerous fellowe and that noe man would take his bond for xli. And whether Thomas Woodyate did at the tyme and place and especially before the speakinge of the words aforesaid demeane and speake to Bridstocke Harford in a civill and mannerly fashion.'

7. Had Harford 'since the tender aforesaid, received the sume of money soe tendred him as before, and not more'?

8. Had he told any of Harford's servants that 'Harford had abused Thomas Woodyate for tendering him his rent aforesaid, and what answer did the servant make him'?

9. Did he 'by the appointment of Bridstocke Harforde send Thomas Woodyate in or about August 1637 to the house of Seaborne'?

10. Did Mrs Watts tell you that Harford 'had drawen Thomas Woodyate to Seaborne's, Mr Harford's apothecary, on purpose to intrapp him in words and to take advantage thereof'? 'Did you thereupon reply and say it was an ordinary trick with Bridstocke Harforde, when he had a plot or project in his pate against any man, he would drawe them to the apothecaries and serve them as he had served Woodyate, if he could'?

11. Had 'Bridstocke Harford drawen you or any other that you know or have heard of to Seaborne's shop or other place; and whether Bridstocke hath at such tyme or tymes used evill abusive words and termesto, or against, you or any other, and thereby endeavoured to provoke you or some other to give him cause of suite'?

12. Had Harford 'severall tymes termed and called divers men of good qualitie knaves; and used other unfittinge termes against such persons as you knowe, believe or have heard'?

13. Had Thomas Woodyate 'for many years last past and now doth live in a faire and honest course of life; and whether he doth behave himself fairely civilly and mannerly towards the gentrie of the countrie where he liveth'? 'And whether he is held and reputed *to behave himselfe as aforesaid*'?

14. If the witness deposed of any of the words in the libel, they were to be asked where and when were the words spoken? Was it at or in Seaborne's house? Who were present'?

15. What 'other words were spoken before and after the premised words he shall depose of <were spoken> and by whome; and what did occasion Woodyate to use the words, and whether Bridstocke Harford did, then and there, revile and abuse Woodyate in words'?

16. If the witness deposed of any of the words in the libel, they were to be asked whether Harford 'did then and there revile and abuse Thomas Woodyate in words and specifie what words'?

No date.

No signatures.

11/23c, Plaintiff depositions

Taken before commissioners Charles Booth, esq, and Thomas Baldwyn and Jonathan Dryden, clerks, from 28 to 30 August 1638, in the hall over the new market house in Hereford.

(Witness 1), Thomas Seaborne of the city of Hereford, apothecary, aged about 31

To Harford's libel:

1, 2. He had seen the licence of Mr Harford 'to practise physicke, by which he is stiled a bachelor in physicke, and hath been, and is, for the space of five or six yeares last past for such a one commonly reputed and taken'. On 6 September 1637 he heard Woodyatt call Harford 'a base conditioned slave', 'in the presence of Humfrey Hereford and divers others'. Woodyatt spoke the words as he left Seaborne's shop.

Signed by Thomas Seaborne and by commissioners Booth and Baldwyn.

To Wooddyatt's interrogatories:

1. He was an apothecary in Hereford and was aged about 31. He had known Harford for 7 years. He did not know Woodyatt 'until the tyme deposed of to the libel.'

2. 'He hath not costed up his estate and therefore doth not know the certentie of his worth and saith that he is an apothecary to Harford as he is to other men'. He denied that he was related to Harford or his servant.

4. In September 1637 he heard Harford and Woodyatt talk of some money 'concerning one Watts in the interrogatory named.'

6. At the first meeting between Harford and Wooddyatt at his shop 'there were faier and mild words past between them.'

Signed by Thomas Seaborne and by commissioners Booth and Baldwyn.

(Witness 2), Humphrey Hereford of the city of Hereford, servant to Thomas Seaborne, aged about 20

To Harford's libel:

1, 2. About 6 September 1637, he was servant and apprentice of Thomas Seaborne and heard Woodyatt in his master's shop call Harford 'base conditioned slave' in the presence of his master 'and of divers market people that then were present at his Masters Shop to buy wares whose names this deponent now remembreth not'. He believed Harford was a gentleman by descent 'and a Bachelor in the art of phisicke, and so commonly reputed and taken.'

Signed by Humphrey Hereford and commissioners Booth, Baldwyn and Dryden.

To Wooddyatt's interrogatories:

1, 2. He was an apprentice to an apothecary and aged 20 years 'and a gent as he beleveeth'. He was Harford's brother-in-law, and had known him for about 7 years. He did not know Woodyatt 'till the tyme predeposed of.'

2-6. At the first meeting between Harford and Woodyatt in his master's shop 'there were faire and mild words past between them.'

Signed by Humphrey Hereford and commissioners Booth, Baldwyn and Dryden.

Summary of proceedings

Dr Duck acted as counsel for Harford and Dr Talbot for Woodyatt. On 12 February 1638 Dr Duck presented the libel on behalf of Harford. The 20 October 1638 was appointed to hear the verdict of Sir Henry Marten on Dr Talbot's petition concerning taxes and expenses. On 6 November Dr Duck was to publish the testimony of Harford's witnesses and Dr Talbot was to begin relating material for the defence.

Notes

Bridstock Harford of the city of Hereford, bachelor in physic, was the son of Henry Harford of Boreham, co. Wiltshire. Bridstock married Elizabeth, daughter of Richard Hereford of Sutton, co. Hereford, esq.

M. P. Siddons (ed.), The Visitation of Herefordshire, 1634 (Publications of the Harleian Society, news series, 15, 2002), p. 59.

Documents

  • Initial proceedings
    • Petition to Arundel: 3/82 (22 Nov 1637)
    • Plaintiff's bond: 3/83 (22 Nov 1637)
    • Libel: 11/23b (no date)
  • Plaintiff's case
    • Letters commissory for the plaintiff: 11/23a (2 Jun 1638)
    • Defence interrogatories: 11/23d (no date)
    • Plaintiff depositions: 11/23c (28 Aug 1638)
  • Proceedings
    • Proceedings before Maltravers: 1/5, fos. 1-15 (27 Jan 1638)
    • Proceedings before Arundel: 1/5, fos. 38-56 (12 Feb 1638)
    • Proceedings before Arundel: R.19, fos. 434r-449v (20 Oct 1638)
    • Proceedings before Maltravers: R.19, fos. 454r-468v (6 Nov 1638)
    • Proceedings before Maltravers: R.19, fos. 400v-412v (20 Nov 1638)

People mentioned in the case

  • Baldwyn, Thomas, clerk
  • Booth, Charles, esq
  • Bridges, William
  • Cox, Thomas, esq
  • Dethick, Gilbert, registrar
  • Dryden, Jonathan
  • Duck, Arthur, lawyer
  • Griffiths, Roger, notary public
  • Harford, Bridstock, gent (also Hartford)
  • Harford, Elizabeth (also Hartford)
  • Harford, Henry (also Hartford)
  • Hereford, Elizabeth
  • Hereford, Humphrey, servant
  • Hereford, Richard, esq
  • Howard, Henry, baron Maltravers
  • Howard, Thomas, earl of Arundel and Surrey
  • Marten, Henry, knight
  • Rackster, John, lawyer
  • Rogers, Walter, clerk
  • Seaborne, Thomas, apothecary
  • Talbot, Clere, lawyer
  • Terrick, Humphrey
  • Watts, Mr
  • Watts, Mrs
  • Webley, John, gent
  • Woodyatt, Thomas, yeoman (also Woodgate, Woodyate)
  • Young, Thomas, gent

Places mentioned in the case

  • Herefordshire
    • Bosbury
    • Hereford
    • Sutton
    • Upleadon
  • Middlesex
    • Westminster
  • Wiltshire
    • Boreham

Topics of the case

  • denial of gentility
  • physician