295 Hide v Floyer

The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640.

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'295 Hide v Floyer', in The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640, (, ) pp. . British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/no-series/court-of-chivalry/295-hide-floyer [accessed 4 March 2024]

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Richard Hide of West Hatch, co. Wiltshire, gent v William Floyer of Whitchurch, co. Devon, gent

December 1638 - December 1639


The nature of Hide's complaint is unclear, but it was probably another case of scandalous words likely to provoke a duel. In his defence, Floyer maintained he had been provoked by Hide saying that he was no gentleman and that Hide was a better gentleman. Floyer also resented Hide calling him a boy and a drunkard, telling him 'goe sleepe childe'. Proceedings were under way by December 1638 and the commission for Hide's depositions was ordered to sit at the Swan Inn, Axminster, 18-20 April 1639. Hide won the case and by December 1639 Floyer had been sentenced to pay £20 damages, £13-6s-8d costs, and to perform a submission.

Defendant's case

13/3g, Defence

1. Richard Hide had said before several witnesses 'that William Floire was a boy' and that he would whip Floyer's breeches, and that Floyer 'played boys playes'. Hide bade Floyer 'goe home to sleepe for that he was drunke', and he would talk to him the next day.

2. Richard Hide also said 'that William Floyer was no gentleman, and that he was a better gentleman than Floyer, and that Richard Hide further said to William Floyer goe sleepe boye, goe sleepe childe; and Richard Hide then and there threatened William Floyer and sayd he would have some money of me before I went out of the house'.

No date.

Signed by William Merrick.


2/112, Defendant's bond of submission

7 December 1639

Arundel had passed a definitive sentence on Floyer to pay £20 damages and £13-6s-8d costs to Hide and to perform his submission 'in such manner forme and place as his Lordshipp shall injoyne'.

Floyer was to pay the first £10 of the damages by 12 February 1640, and the second £10 by the 11 May 1640.

He was further required to certify the performance of his submission and to continue to be of good behaviour.

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

Signed by Thomas Haydon of Lincoln's Inn, co. Middlesex, esq, John Farthing of Colyton, co. Devon, gent, and Thomas Holmes of Colyton, co. Devon, yeoman.

Summary of proceedings

Dr Duck acted as counsel for Hide and Dr Merrick for Floyer. William Floyer was warned to appear in person on 5 December 1638. Dr Tooker presented the libel on 28 January 1639 and on 23 February 1639 a commission to examine witnesses was proposed to sit at the Swan, in Axminster, co. Devon from 18 to 20 April 1639.


The defendant may have been William Floyer, eldest son of John Floyer and Jane, daughter of John Carew. This William married Elizabeth, daughter of Gilbert Kirk of Exeter. Their eldest son Anthony and their third son was also named William.

F. T. Colby (ed.), The Visitation of the County of Devon in the year 1620 (Publications of the Harleian Society, 6, 1872), p. 344.


  • Defendant's case
    • Defence: 13/3g (no date)
  • Submission
    • Defendant's bond on submission: 2/112 (7 Dec 1639)
  • Proceedings
    • Proceedings before Maltravers: R.19, fos. 474r-484v (5 Dec 1638)
    • Proceedings before Maltravers: 1/9 (28 Jan 1639)
    • Proceedings before Arundel: 1/6, fos.1-9 (23 Feb 1639)

People mentioned in the case

  • Carew, Jane
  • Carew, John
  • Duck, Arthur, lawyer
  • Farthing, John, gent
  • Floyer, Anthony
  • Floyer, Jane
  • Floyer, John
  • Floyer, William, gent
  • Haydon, Thomas, esq
  • Hide, Richard, gent
  • Holmes, Thomas, yeoman
  • Howard, Henry, baron Maltravers
  • Howard, Thomas, earl of Arundel and Surrey
  • Kirk, Elizabeth
  • Kirk, Gilbert
  • Merrick, William, lawyer
  • Terrick, Humphrey
  • Tooker, Charles, lawyer

Places mentioned in the case

  • Devon
    • Axminster
    • Whitchurch
    • Colyton
    • Exeter
  • Middlesex
    • Lincoln's Inn
  • Wiltshire
    • West Hatch

Topics of the case

  • comparison
  • denial of gentility
  • drunkenness
  • inns of court
  • threatened violence