323 Hutchins v Lavingston

The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640.

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'323 Hutchins v Lavingston', in The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640, (, ) pp. . British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/no-series/court-of-chivalry/323-hutchins-lavingston [accessed 2 March 2024]

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Robert Hutchins of St Martin in the Fields, co. Middlesex, gent v Alexander Lavingston of the same, esq

February 1639


Hutchins complained that Lavingston had called him a rascall, rogue, and base fellow, and that Lavingston had taken away a ladder from Hutchins's workmen to prevent them working on his building. Lavingston maintained he had been provoked by Hutchins calling him 'base gentleman, base unworthy fellowe' and by Hutchins endeavouring to strike him. Lavingston vowed to make his case known to the Earl Marshal, otherwise Hutchins 'sword should give mee full satisfaction'. Dr Parry entered the libel on behalf of Hutchins on 23 February 1639. There is no indication of sentence in this case, but Lavingston won his countersuit against Hutchins in Michaelmas 1639 [see case 362].

Initial proceedings

12/3k, Personal answer [badly damaged]

'... said Hutchins was a base fellowe, or a base rascall, or that I Alexander... my sword on Hutchins... Levingston was thereunto provoked by Robert Hutchins for that I the... with him the same Robert Hutchins and expostulatinge with him whether... how hee had used mee Alexander Lavingston this day before in calling... base gentleman, and base unworthy fellowe with other disgracefull and opprobrious... up a brickeback and endeavoringe to strike Alexander Lavingston... Alexander Lavingstonhave formerlie complained in this hoble court... thereuppon answered Alexander Lavingston that hee did verie... that hee had done whereuppon and not before I Alexander Lavingston told... that hee was a base fellowe in usinge mee soe, or to the like effect, and further... I would make his abuse knowne to the master of Queen's Ma[jes]tie's horse or to his Ma[jes]tie... Or to the r[igh]t ho[noura]ble the Earle Marshall and if none of them would give mee the... or satifaction I then vowed and protested that H... sword should give mee full satisfaction, or to the like effect... Robert Hutchins is by byrth a Scottish man borne before'.

Summary of proceedings

Dr Parry acted as counsel for Hutchins and Dr Hart for Lavingston. Parry entered the libel on behalf of Hutchins, and Dr Hart denied it on behalf of Lavingston, before the earl of Huntingdon, earl of Bath and Lord Maltravers on 23 February 1639.


For Lavingston's counter suit see cause 362.

Neither party appeared in the 1633-5 Visitations of London or Middlesex pedigrees.

J. J. Howard and J. L. Chester (eds.), The Visitation of London in 1633, 1634, and 1635 (Publications of the Harleian Society, 15, 1880); J. J. Howard (ed.), The Visitation of London in 1633, 1634, and 1635 (Publications of the Harleian Society, 17, 1883); G. J. Armytage (ed.), Middlesex Pedigrees (Publications of the Harleian Society, 65, 1914).


  • Initial proceedings
    • Personal answer: 12/3k (no date)
  • Proceedings
    • Proceedings before Arundel: 1/6, fos. 1-9 (23 Feb 1639)

People mentioned in the case

  • Bourchier, Henry, earl of Bath
  • Hart, Richard, lawyer
  • Hastings, Henry, earl of Huntingdon
  • Henrietta Maria, queen
  • Howard, Henry, baron Maltravers
  • Howard, Thomas, earl of Arundel and Surrey
  • Hutchins, Robert, gent (also Hutchinson)
  • Lavingston, Alexander, esq (also Levington, Levingston)
  • Parry, George, lawyer

Places mentioned in the case

  • Middlesex
    • St Martin-in-the-Fields

Topics of the case

  • assault
  • challenge to a duel
  • denial of gentility
  • weapon