310 Hopton v Milner

The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640.

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'310 Hopton v Milner', in The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640, (, ) pp. . British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/no-series/court-of-chivalry/310-hopton-milner [accessed 4 March 2024]

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Christopher Hopton of Wyther House, Leeds, co. York, gent v Robert Milner of Calverley, near Leeds, co. York, gent

May - November 1637


Hopton complained that Milner had said to him in the presence of many gentlemen 'you lye and you lye in your throate. I care no more for you then for a filthy thing', adding that Hopton would forswear himself 'as fast as a dogg will trott' and that any man could hire his word for two pence. Process was granted on 20 May 1637 and by July Hopton had also commenced proceedings for the same offence in the court of the Archbishop of York. In October and November 1637 the Court of Chivalry considered papers from the court at York, but no indication of sentence survives.

Initial proceedings

3/8, Letter and note from King's Advocate

Memorandum of scandalous words:

'Mr Hopton lied, and he cared not a farte for him; and that he would forswere himself as fast as a dogge trott on his way; and that any man might have him to forswere himselfe for iid'

Process desired for the defendant.

'Mr Dethick both these processes I moved for last court day (vizt 8 May) on my motion. Mr Hopton hath his process already. Now I pray lett Mr Griffith have the process for Mr Lowe.

May 20. 1637 Arthur Duck'.

R.19, fo. 28r, Summary of libel

'Hopton and his ancestors for above 300 yeares past is, and have bin, gentlemen of an ancient family of gentry before William the Conqueror. Milner before many gentlemen and others (such a time and place) publiquely said to Hopton you lye and you lye in your throate, I care no more for you then for a filthy thing. And that I will forswear myself as fast as a dogg will trott; and that any man may hire me to forsweare myself for 2 pence.'

Third session, Trinity term, 1637.

No signature.

3/198, Defendant's bond

12 June 1637

Bound to appear 'in the said Court in the painted Chamber within the Pallace of Westminster'.

Signed by R. Milner.

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

15/1q, Proceedings in the court of the Archbishop of York

'Robt Milner called Christopher Hopton lyer and lyeing fellow, and further said of and unto Christopher Hopton you will forsweare yourself as fast as a dogg will trot on the way, and you will forsweare yourself for any man.'

Signed by William Street, notary public, in addition to his notary's mark.

Dated: 6 July 1637

Exhibited: Hopton v Milner, 14 October 1637.

12/1a, Proceedings in the court of the Archbishop of York [damaged]

Hopton promoted his cause against Milner for Milner's scandalous words in proceedings before Dr William Easdall, chancellor to Richard Neile, Archbishop of York, and William Streer, notary public, between 9 and 11 a.m. at St Peter's Minster, York, on 23 June 1637.

Dated 31 October 1637

Signed by Thomas Thompson, notary public of the Archbishop of York.


Exhibited 18 November 1637

Summary of proceedings

Dr Duck acted as counsel for Hopton and Dr Eden for Milner. In October and November 1637 the court considered certain papers from the Chancellor's court at York concerning scandalous words.


Christopher Hopton (1589-1658) was a younger son of John Hopton, esq, and Joane, daughter of Thomas Grimston of Grimston, esq. He married Jane, daughter of a Mr Wright. His elder brother was Ralph Hopton of Armley, esq. [Ralph appears as plaintiff in cause 306]. His nephew was the royalist, Sir Ingram Hopton, slain at Winceby on 11 October 1643. [Ingram appears as plaintiff in cause 309].

J. Foster (ed.), Pedigrees of the County Families of Yorkshire: The West Riding (London, 1874), vol. 1, unpaginated.

Robert Milner may have been the Robert Milner, esq, who was the son of Samuel Milner of Pudsey (d. 1643) and Grace, daughter of Edward Oldfield of Calverley.

This Robert Milner, esq, purchased the manor of Pudsey in 1663, and married Sarah, daughter of Richard Richardson of North Bierley.

J. Foster (ed.), Pedigrees of the County Families of Yorkshire: The West Riding (London, 1874), vol. 2, unpaginated; J. W. Clay (ed.), Dugdale's Visitation of Yorkshire, with additions (Exeter, 1914), part 11, p. 301.


  • Initial proceedings
    • Letter and note from the King's Advocate: 3/8 (20 May 1637)
    • Summary of libel: R.19, fo. 28r (Tri 1637)
    • Defendant's bond: 3/198 (12 Jun 1637)
    • Proceedings in the court of the Archbishop of York: 15/1q (6 Jul 1637)
    • Proceedings in the court of the Archbishop of York: 12/1a (31 Oct 1637)
  • Proceedings
    • Proceedings before Arundel: 8/26 (14 Oct 1637)
    • Proceedings before Maltravers: 8/27 (14 Oct 1637)
    • Proceedings before Marten: 8/26 (18 Oct 1637)
    • Proceedings before Marten: 8/29 (18 Nov 1637)
    • Proceedings before Maltravers: 8/30 (28 Nov 1637)

People mentioned in the case

  • Dethick, Gilbert, registrar
  • Duck, Arthur, lawyer
  • Easdall, William, lawyer
  • Eden, Thomas, lawyer
  • Griffith, Mr
  • Grimston, Joane
  • Grimston, Thomas, esq
  • Hopton, Christopher, gent
  • Hopton, Ingram, gent
  • Hopton, Joane
  • Hopton, John, esq
  • Hopton, Ralph, esq
  • Howard, Henry, baron Maltravers
  • Howard, Thomas, earl of Arundel and Surrey
  • Lowe, Mr
  • Marten, Henry, knight
  • Milner, Grace
  • Milner, Robert, gent
  • Milner, Samuel
  • Milner, Sarah
  • Neile, Richard, archbishop of York
  • Oldfield, Edward
  • Oldfield, Grace
  • Richardson, Richard
  • Richardson, Sarah
  • Street, William, notary public (also Streer)
  • Terrick, Humphrey
  • Thompson, Thomas, notary public
  • William the Conqueror
  • Wright, Jane
  • Wright, Mr

Places mentioned in the case

  • Lincolnshire
    • Winceby
  • Middlesex
    • Westminster
  • York
  • Yorkshire, West Riding
    • Armley
    • Calverley
    • Grimston
    • Leeds
    • North Bierley
    • Pudsey
    • Wyther House

Topics of the case

  • allegation of perjury
  • giving the lie
  • insult before gentlemen
  • other courts
  • royalist
  • scatological insult