286 Hawkins v Geare

The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640.

This free content was Born digital and sponsored by AHRC and University of Birmingham. CC-NC-BY.


In this section


John Hawkins of Dartmouth, co. Devon, esq v Humphrey Geare of Plymouth, co. Devon, merchant

February 1638


Hawkins complained that Geare gave him the lie several times and called him 'a base cheator', provoking him to duel. Process was granted on 16 February 1638, but no further proceedings survive.

Initial proceedings

8/10, Petition

John Hawkins petitioned that he was 'an esquire and descended of auncient and generous family', and that Humphrey Geare abused 'your peticoner and gave him the lye severall tymes and said hee was a base cheator thereby provoking your peticoner to duell'.

Petitioned that Geare be summoned to answer

'Mr Dethick, the peticoner being qualifyed as he informes I take his cause to bee fitt for my L. Marshalls court, Arth. Ducke, 16 Feb 1637/8'.


The defendant may have been Humphrey Geere, the fourth son of John Gere of co. Devon.

F. T. Colby (ed.), The Visitation of the County of Devon in the year 1620 (Publications of the Harleian Society, 6, 1872), p. 126.


  • Initial proceedings
    • Petition: 8/10 (16 Feb 1638)

People mentioned in the case

  • Dethick, Gilbert, registrar
  • Duck, Arthur, lawyer
  • Geare, Humphrey, merchant (also Gere, Geere)
  • Hawkins, John, esq

Places mentioned in the case

  • Devon
    • Dartmouth
    • Plymouth

Topics of the case

  • allegation of cheating
  • denial of gentility
  • giving the lie
  • provocative of a duel