344 Kingsmill v Kyte

The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640.

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George Kingsmill of Monewden, co. Suffolk, esq v John Kyte the younger of Ebrington, co. Gloucester, esq

January 1639 - February 1640


Kingsmill complained that Kyte had insulted and struck him. Kyte maintained that he had been provoked by Kingsmill who, whilst he was laying a bet at a horserace, said that Kyte 'would cracke and bragg of a great deal more then he would doe or performe'. Dr Merrick presented the libel on behalf of Kingsmill on 21 February 1639, and proceedings were still in progress in February 1640. No indication of sentence survives.

Initial proceedings

14/3h, Defence interrogatories

1. The witnesses were warned of the penalty for perjury and bearing false witness. What was the witness's age, occupation and condition? Where did the witness live? How long had he known the parties and to which would he give the victory if it were in his power?

2. Was the witness related to either of the parties and if so in what degree? Was the witness a household or liveried servant to either party?

3. Had the witness been compelled to attend? How much had the witness received or expected to receive in expenses?

4. If the witness deposed that any of the words in the libel were said by John Kyte or against George Kingsmill, they were to be asked when and where they were spoken, who was then and there present besides the witness, and upon what occasion were the words spoken? Was it upon George Kingsmill saying to Kyte, as Kyte laid a wager on a horse race 'that he would cracke and bragg of a great deal more then he would doe or performe'? What words were spoken before and after the uttering of the 'pretended words' in the libel?

5. If the witness deposed that John Kyte 'did thrust or touch Mr Kingsmill', they were to be asked 'what was the occasion or cause thereof'? Did Mr Kingsmill go to Keyt 'in an angrie manner as though he would have stroke John Keyt'? Did Kyte only act 'to keepe Mr Kingsmill from striking of him'?

No date.

Signed by G. Sweit.

Summary of proceedings

Dr Merrick acted as counsel for Kingsmill and Dr Sweit for Kyte. Merrick presented the libel on behalf of Kingsmill on 21 February 1639, and Dr Exton denied it two days later. There were still proceedings in this case in February 1640.


A grant of livery was made to John, son of William Keyt, esq, in June 1635, and John Keyt, esq, was placed in the commission of the peace for Gloucestershire in December 1635.

J. Broadway, R. Cust and S. K. Roberts (eds.), A Calendar of the Docquets of Lord Keeper Coventry, 1625-1640 (List and Index Society, 34 and 35, 2004), part 1, p. 72;

part 2, p. 334.


  • Initial proceedings
    • Defence interrogatories: 14/3h (no date)
  • Proceedings
    • Proceedings before Maltravers: 1/9 (28 Jan 1639)
    • Proceedings before Arundel: 1/6, fos. 20-33 (21 Feb 1639)
    • Proceedings before Arundel: 1/6, fos. 1-9 (23 Feb 1639)
    • Proceedings before Maltravers: 8/31 (4 Feb 1640)

People mentioned in the case

  • Exton, Thomas, lawyer
  • Howard, Henry, baron Maltravers
  • Howard, Thomas, earl of Arundel and Surrey
  • Kingsmill, George, esq
  • Kyte, John the younger, esq (also Keyt, Keyte)
  • Merrick, William, lawyer
  • Sweit, Giles, lawyer

Places mentioned in the case

  • Gloucestershire
    • Ebrington
  • Suffolk
    • Monewden

Topics of the case

  • assault
  • gambling
  • sport