284 Hassall v Fletcher

The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640.

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William Hassall of Hankelow, co. Chester, gent v Henry Fletcher of Hatherton, co. Chester, tailor

July - October 1640


Hassall complained that Fletcher had called him 'base fellow, base rascall, and druncken fellowe', telling him that he was 'better bread and borne then ever your petitioner or any of his ancestors were'. Process was granted and bond entered on 16 July 1640, but no further proceedings survive.

Initial proceedings

5/124, Petition

'Your petitioner is a gentleman, and descended of an ancient family and gentry bearing armes, and that his ancestors have bin gentlemen for these three hundred years last past, and that he was about four months since much abused and scandalized by one Henry Fletcher of Hatherton in the county of Chester, tayler, who called your petitioner base fellow, base rascall, and druncken fellowe; and told your petitioner that he was better bread and borne then ever your petitioner or any of his ancestors were, with divers other provoking and scandalous speeches, whereby he did endeavour to provoake your petitioner to a duell. And your petitioner further declareth that Fletcher is a fellow that as he believeth will upon any judiciall process served on him runn cleane out of the country or subduct himselfe, whereby your petitioner shalbe hindred of a course of justice against him.'

Petitioned to be granted an attachment to sue Fletcher in the Court of Honour.

Maltravers granted process, 16 July 1640.

5/123, Plaintiff's bond

16 July 1640

Bound to 'appear in the court in the Painted Chamber within the Pallace of Westminster'

Signed by William Hassall.

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

Summary of proceedings

This case appeared on 10 October 1640 with Dr Exton as counsel.


William Hassall of Hankelow was the son of Ralph Hassall of Hassall and Hankelow (d.1622). Ralph had two sons both named William, one by each of his wives, Margery, daughter of William Leversege of Whelocke (m.1577), and Jane, daughter of Richard Frauncis of co. Derby (m.1594).

G. J. Armytage and J. P. Rylands (ed.), Pedigrees made at the Visitation of Cheshire, 1613 (Publications of the Harleian Society, 59, 1909), p. 120.


  • Initial proceedings
    • Petition: 5/124 (16 Jul 1640)
    • Plaintiff's bond: 5/123 (16 Jul 1640)
  • Proceedings
    • Proceedings: 1/11, fos. 56r-64v (10 Oct 1640)

People mentioned in the case

  • Exton, Thomas, lawyer
  • Fletcher, Henry, tailor
  • Frauncis, Jane
  • Frauncis, Richard
  • Hassall, Jane
  • Hassall, Margery
  • Hassall, Ralph
  • Hassall, William, gent
  • Howard, Henry, baron Maltravers
  • Leversege, Margery
  • Leversege, William
  • Watson, John

Places mentioned in the case

  • Cheshire
    • Hankelow
    • Hatherton
    • Hassall
  • Middlesex
    • Westminster

Topics of the case

  • comparison
  • denial of gentility
  • drunkenness