306 Hopton v Bolton

The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640.

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'306 Hopton v Bolton', in The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640, (, ) pp. . British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/no-series/court-of-chivalry/306-hopton-bolton [accessed 2 March 2024]

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Ralph Hopton of Leeds, co. York, esq v Edmund Bolton of the same

October 1638 - February 1639


Hopton complained that Bolton called him 'an old cheating rogue', and 'an old cheating rascall', saying he would prove it so when asked to forbear from such words. Material for Bolton's defence was being related in October - November 1638; then, inFebruary 1639 both parties agreed to refer the case to Sir Thomas Danby for mediation. According to defence council Dr Talbot this was close to success on 23 February, after which no further proceedings survive.

Initial proceedings

R.19, fo. 3r, Summary of libel

'Hopton was, and is, an esq, and he and his ancestors for above 300 yeares past is, and have bin, gentlemen and c. And that Bolton and his ancestors is, and were, plebeians, and not gentlemen. Bolton (notwithstanding), before many persons in severall places, said that Hopton was an old cheating rogue, an old cheating rascall and, being wished to forbeare such ill speeches, answered he would prove it, and wished one then present to tell Hopton so much. Thereby to provoke and c.'


No signature.

Summary of proceedings

Dr Duck acted as counsel for Hopton and Dr Talbot for Bolton. On 20 October, 6 and 20 November 1638 Dr Talbot began relating the material for the defence. On 9 February 1639 it was stated that both parties had agreed to submit to the arbitration of Sir Thomas Danby. On 23 February the prosecution wanted to move to sentence but the defence claimed that the arbitration was close to success.


Ralph Hopton of Armley, in the parish of Leeds, esq (d. 1643), was the second son of John Hopton, esq, and Joane, daughter of Thomas Grimston of Grimston, esq. He married Mary, daughter of Roger Nowell. In 1619 he became a feoffee for Headingley chapel, and subsequently he gave a piece of land to build a chapel in Armley. His son was the royalist, Sir Ingram Hopton, slain at Winceby on 11 October 1643. [Ingram appears as plaintiff in cause 309 Hopton v Laicocke].

J. Foster (ed.), Pedigrees of the County Families of Yorkshire: The West Riding (London, 1874), vol. 1, unpaginated; J. T. Cliffe, The Yorkshire Gentry from the Reformation to the Civil War (London, 1969), pp. 270-1.


  • Initial proceedings
    • Summary of libel: R.19, fo. 3r (1638)
  • Proceedings
    • 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)
    • Proceedings before Maltravers: R.19, fos. 422r-428r (28 Nov 1638)
    • Proceedings before Maltravers:R.19, fos. 474r-484v (5 Dec 1638)
    • Proceedings before Maltravers: 1/9 (28 Jan 1639)
    • Proceedings: 1/7, fos. 36-47 (9 Feb 1639)
    • Proceedings before Arundel: 1/6, fos. 20-33 (21 Feb 1639)
    • Proceedings before Arundel: 1/6, fos. 1-9 (23 Feb 1639)

People mentioned in the case

  • Bolton, Edmund
  • Danby, Thomas, knight
  • Duck, Arthur, lawyer
  • Grimston, Joane
  • Grimston, Thomas, esq
  • Hopton, Ingram, knight
  • Hopton, Joane
  • Hopton, Mary
  • Hopton, Ralph, esq
  • Howard, Henry, baron Maltravers
  • Howard, Thomas, earl of Arundel and Surrey
  • Nowell, Mary
  • Nowell, Roger
  • Talbot, Clere, lawyer

Places mentioned in the case

  • Lincolnshire
    • Winceby
  • Yorkshire, West Riding
    • Armley
    • Grimston
    • Leeds

Topics of the case

  • allegation of cheating
  • arbitration
  • denial of gentility
  • provocative of a duel
  • royalist