330 Jennyns v Wethered

The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640.

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'330 Jennyns v Wethered', in The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640, (, ) pp. . British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/no-series/court-of-chivalry/330-jennyns-wethered [accessed 5 March 2024]

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John Jennyns of Sandridge co. Hertford, esq v John Wethered of co. Hertford

No date


Jennyns complained that while he was out hunting hares on Rothamsted Manor, Hertfordshire, Wethered assaulted him with a pitchfork and wounded his horse, vowing he would kill him if he hunted upon his ground. Two unnamed Hertfordshire J.P.s sent examinations in support of his petition and the Earl Marshal committed Wethered to prison in the Gatehouse. However, on his release Wethered boasted that he had avoided making any submission to Jennyns, and also conspired with Jennyns' tenants 'to joine in a scandalous certificate' against him. Jennyns petitioned that the Earl Marshal order a public submission 'to repaire and right him in his credit and repuatcon' and also investigate the certificate; or if he was too busy to refer these matters to the two local justices. No further proceedings survive.

Initial proceedings

EM311, Petition

'Sheweth unto your lordship that your petitioner, in the company of divers other gentlemen, was lately hunting of a hare within the Manor of Rothamsteed in the countie of Hertford, and after theire sporte ended, comeing homeward through a comon field, one John Wethered (a fellowe of very meane condicon), purposely met your petitioner upon a parcel of land which Wethered held in the field (as this petitioner is since informed) who in a very insolent manner assaulted this petitioner with a pitchforke, vowing and swearing that if he came upon his ground, or that he found him hunting there any more he would runn his pitchfork into his sides. Whereupon your lordship's petitioner (being altogether unarmed) turned his horse homewards, then and presently did Wethered violently strick at this petitioner, missing his bodie (which he aymed att), he stroke his horse upon the heade, useinge many provoking and disgracefull speeches towards this petitioner, as by the examinacons hereunto annexed taken by two justices of the peace within the countie of Hertford will more at large appeare to your lordship.'

Petitioned that Wethered be sent for to suffer 'condigne punishment'.

No date.

No signatures.

EM312, Further petition

'Upon your petitioner's complaint against John Wetherhead for a rude and bold affront offered by Wetherhead unto your petitioner (and proved unto your lordship), your lordship was pleased to commit him to the prison of the Gatehouse, of which imprisonment he boasteth and giveth out (as your petitioner is given to understand) that he is absolutely freed, without any submission or acknowledgement of his precogitate and causeless abuse done unto your petitioner. For his imprisonment, if your lordship think it sufficient, your petitioner rests satisfied. Yet, forasmuch as Wetherhead, howsoever he dissembles the contrary to your lordship, persists in slightinge and scorning your petitioner behinde his backe, and hath combined with divers of his owne rancke and with some of your petitioner's own tenants (as he is credibly informed) to joine in a scandalous certificate.

May your lordship be pleased as you have justly and honorable begun, to repaire and right him in his credit and reputacon against so unequall a person (as he is) to order him to a publique submission in such manner as your lordship shall seem best, and that this lurking certificate may be produced, whereby it is most probable the ground of this affront will come out. But if your lordship's more serious affairs will not permit to order this matter yourself, if your lordship shalbe pleased to referr the forme of the submission and satisfaccon herein, unto those two justices of the peace that tooke the examination of the witnesses in the cause, or to any other persons of quality in the countie, and also the sifting out and producing this conspired certificate. And your petitioner shalbe content therewith. And will ever pray for your lordship andc.'

No date.

No signatures.


John was probably the son of Sir John Jennings of Sandridge, Hertfordshire, high sheriff of the county in 1627, who appeared in the visitation of 1634. Sir John Jennings (1596-1642) was M.P. for St Albans in the Long Parliament and a ship money resister and supporter of godly reform.

W. C. Metcalfe (ed.), The Visitations of Hertfordshire, 1572 and 1634 (Publications of the Harleian Society, 22, 1886), p. 148; M. F. Keeler, The Long Parliament, 1640-1641: A Biographical Study of its Members (Philadelphia, 1954), pp. 233-4.


  • Initial proceedings
    • Petition: EM311 (no date)
    • Further petition: EM312 (no date)

People mentioned in the case

  • Howard, Thomas, earl of Arundel and Surrey
  • Jennyns, John, esq (also Jennings)
  • Jennyns, John, knight (also Jennings)
  • Wethered, John (also Wetherhead)

Places mentioned in the case

  • Hertfordshire
    • Rothamsted
    • St Albans
    • Sandridge
  • London
    • Gatehouse prison

Topics of the case

  • assault
  • high sheriff
  • imprisonment
  • justice of the peace
  • Long Parliament
  • member of parliament
  • ship money
  • taxation
  • weapon