37 Beale v Smith

The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640.

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'37 Beale v Smith', in The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640, (, ) pp. . British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/no-series/court-of-chivalry/37-beale-smith [accessed 19 April 2024]

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Amiell Beale of Barley, co. York, gent v Thomas Smith, alias Pears, of Carlton, co. York, yeoman

July 1640


Beale maintained that in January 1640 at Snaith, co. York, Smith had called him in the presence of several gentleman 'a rogue, a lyar, a base stinking fellow and no gentleman', adding 'nor that any of his kindred of the Beales were gentlemen'. In July 1640 Beale entered bond to prosecute the cause, but no further proceedings survive. [See case 36 for a cause involving his brother].

Initial proceedings

5/111, Petition

'In January last your petitioner was much abused at Snayth in the county of York by one Thomas Smyth alias Pears who in the presence of divers gent & others told the petitioner that he was a rogue, a lyar, a base stinking fellow and no gentleman, nor that any of his kindred of the Beales were gentlemen, with many other uncivill words then uttered by Pears to the petitioner's great disgrace and disparidgment.'

Petitioned that Smith be brought to answer

Maltravers granted process, 1 July 1640

5/110, Plaintiff's bond

5 July 1640

That he was to 'appear in the Court in the Painted Chamber within the Pallace of Westminster'.

William Pothan of Selby, gent acting on behalf of Amiell Beale.

Signed by William Pothan.

Sealed, subscribed and delivered in the presence of John Longland.


Amiell Beale was the fourth son of Oliver Beale of Woodhouse in the parish of Drax, co. York, and Anne, daughter of Thomas Lake of Barley, co. York.

R. Davies (ed.), The Visitation of the County of Yorke begun in 1665 and finished in 1666, by William Dugdale (Surtees Society, 36, 1859), p. 189.

Beale's attorney, William Pothan of Selby, later suffered a ritual of humiliation during the civil wars, when he was a wagonmaster for Sir Thomas Fairfax during the Cheshire campaign of January 1644. For having oppressed Cheshire civilians and having accepted bribes, Pothan was 'judged to stand in the Market place of Maxfield in Cheshire on a tubb with a paper on his breste declaringe his offence three market daies'. He was afterwards cashiered, but Sir William Fairfax pressed him to serve as a common trooper.

The National Archive, State Papers, 19/128/123.


  • Initial proceedings
    • Petition: 5/111 (1 Jul 1640)
    • Plaintiff's bond: 5/110 (5 Jul 1640)

People mentioned in the case

  • Beale, Amiel, gent
  • Beale, Anne
  • Beale, Oliver
  • Fairfax, Thomas, knight
  • Fairfax, William, knight
  • Lake, Thomas
  • Longland, John
  • Pothan, William, gent
  • Smith alias Pears, Thomas, yeoman

Places mentioned in the case

  • Cheshire
    • Maxfield
  • Middlesex
    • Westminster
  • Yorkshire, West Riding
    • Barley
    • Carlton
    • Drax
  • Snaith
    • Woodhouse

Topics of the case

  • denial of gentility
  • giving the lie