300 Hobart v Ward

The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640.

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'300 Hobart v Ward', in The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640, (, ) pp. . British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/no-series/court-of-chivalry/300-hobart-ward [accessed 5 March 2024]

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Sir John Hobart of Norwich and Blickling, co. Norfolk, knt and bart v William Ward of Martham, co. Norfolk, yeoman

May - November 1640

Figure 300:

Blickling Hall, Norfolk home of Sir John Hobart.


Hobart complained that Ward had said of him between September and December 1638 in Yarmouth, Norfolk, that 'it is well knowne whence he came', that he 'did come from the divell' and that he 'must or will goe to the divell againe'. In addition, Hobart complained Ward had said in the parish of Martham 'that he cared not a turd for my worship'. Process was granted on 19 May 1640 and Dr Eden was required to respond to the libel on behalf of Ward in October - November; but no further proceedings survive.

Initial proceedings

5/50, Petition

'About a twelvemonth since, one William Ward of Martham in the county of Norfolk a rich yeoman, before divers persons of credit, with an intent to derogate from your petitioner, did in a reproachfull manner say of your petitioner that it was well knowne from whence your petitioner came, for your petitioner, and what he had, came from the divell, and that your petitioner, and what he had must go to the divell agayne. And further (speaking of your petitioner), sayd in scorne, I care not a t[urd] for his worship, to the great contempt, disdayne, and scandal of your petitioner, and his family.'

Prayed that Ward be brought to answer.

Maltravers granted process, 19 May 1640.

5/49, Plaintiff's bond

21 May 1640

To 'appear in the court in the Painted Chamber within the Pallace of Westminster'

John Ridcot of Furnifold's Inn, London, gent, acting for Hobart.

Signed John Ridcot.

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

20/2f, Libel

1. Hobart was from a family that had been ancient gentry for up to 100 years and more.

2. From September to December 1638 in Yarmouth, co. Norfolk, Ward had said of Hobart 'it is well knowne whence he came', that he 'did come from the divell' and that he 'must or will goe to the divell againe'.

3. In the parish of Martham, Ward said 'that he cared not a turd for my worship'.

No date.

Signed by Just. Lewin.

Summary of proceedings

Dr Lewin acted as counsel for Hobart and Dr Eden for Ward. Dr Eden was required to respond to the libel on behalf of Ward on 30 October and 20 November 1640.


Sir John Hobart, knt and 2nd bart, as the son of Sir Henry Hobart of Blickling, co. Norfolk, knt and 1st bart, Lord Chief Justice of the Common Pleas, and Dorothy, daughter of Sir Robert / Edmund Bell, knt, Lord Chief Baron of the Exchequer. Sir John married Phillippa, daughter of Robert Sidney, earl of Leicester, but she died in 1620.

W. Rye (ed.), The Visitation of Norfolk of 1563, 1589 and 1613 (Publications of the Harleian Society, 33, 1891), p. 166; A. W. Hughes Clarke and A. Campling (eds.), The Visitation of Norfolk, anno domini 1664, part I (Publications of the Harleian Society, 85, 1933), p. 101.

Sir John Hobart was appointed high sheriff of Norfolk in November 1632.

J. Broadway, R. Cust and S. K. Roberts (eds.), A Calendar of the Docquets of Lord Keeper Coventry, 1625-40 (List and Index Society, special series, 35, 2004), part 2, p. 365.


  • Initial proceedings
    • Petition: 5/50 (19 May 1640)
    • Plaintiff's bond: 5/49 (21 May 1640)
    • Libel: 20/2f (no date)
  • Proceedings
    • Proceedings before Maltravers: 1/11, fos. 19r-30v (30 Oct 1640)
    • Proceedings: 1/11, fos. 5r-9r (20 Nov 1640)

People mentioned in the case

  • Bell, Dorothy
  • Bell, Edmund, knight
  • Bell, Robert, knight
  • Eden, Thomas, lawyer
  • Hobart, Dorothy
  • Hobart, Henry, knight and baronet
  • Hobart, John, knight and baronet
  • Hobart, Phillippa
  • Howard, Henry, baron Maltravers
  • Lewin, William, lawyer
  • Ridcot, John, gent
  • Sidney, Phillippa
  • Sidney, Robert, earl of Leicester
  • Ward, William, yeoman
  • Watson, John

Places mentioned in the case

  • London
    • Furnifold's Inn
  • Middlesex
    • Westminster
  • Norfolk
    • Blickling
    • Great Yarmouth
    • Martham
  • Norwich

Topics of the case

  • Court of Common Pleas
  • Court of Exchequer
  • high sheriff
  • inns of court
  • office-holding
  • other courts
  • scatological insult