375 Lewis v Jones

The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640.

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'375 Lewis v Jones', in The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640, (, ) pp. . British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/no-series/court-of-chivalry/375-lewis-jones [accessed 4 March 2024]

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Hugh Lewis of the city of Bristol, gent v Gilbert Jones of the same, LL.D.

November 1639 - February 1640


Lewis, a searcher of his Majesty's customs at Bristol, complained that Dr Jones, a civil lawyer and Chancellor of Bristol diocese, had offered him 'disgraceful language' and accused him of perjury. In turn, Jones accused Lewis of striking him. Maltravers ordered an attempt at arbitration by Mr Justice Jones, but this failed and he granted Lewis process on 19 November 1639. In answering the charges, Jones questioned Lewis's gentility, and maintained that he had lent him £10 which he had failed to repay. When he asked for repayment, Lewis gave him a provocative response which led Jones to write angry letters to him. Material for Jones's defence was required to be presented on 4 February 1640, but no indication of sentence survives.

Initial proceedings

2/159, Petition to Arundel

'Your petitioner comeing to your lordship of one Doctor Gilbert Jones for taxeing your petitioner with the brand of familiar perjury, with other disgracefull language, which your Lordship upon hearing thereof referred to the examination of Mr Justice Jones to end it, if he could; otherwise it was by your lordship ordered that your petitioner should proceed against Doctor Jones in the Court Military for the fowle language; and that Doctor Jones should be left at liberty to proceede at common lawe against your petitioner for the pretended blowes. Now, forasmuch as Mr Justice Jones hath convented Doctor Jones and the petitioner before him, but can not end the difference,' petitioned that Jones be brought to answer.

Maltravers granted process on 19 November 1639.

2/158, Plaintiff's bond

19 November 1639

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

Signed by Hugh Lewis.

Sealed, subscribed and delivered in the presence of [1st signature illegible] and Thomas Atkins.

2/154, Defendant's bond

25 November 1639

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

Signed by Gilbert Jones.

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

12/3f, Personal answer [damaged]

Lewis for some years has been 'a searcher... his Majestie's customes in the Cittie of Bristol, but whether hee and his auncestors be and were gentlemen he knoweth not... [but left it] to this hoble court to determine. And he further confesseth... [in] 1637 Hugh Lewis complayninge that he was in gr... [Jones] then lent him ten pounds wch he sayth... [he would repay] within a fortnight but fayled. Whereuppon... againe promissed to paye at a daye verie shortly after... severall dayes and tymes did sweare and protest to make... [Jones], whereuppon [Jones] spake the more... in regarde he was then presentlie to departe this citie... in an angrie manner replyed to [Jones] that if he we... and provoaked with such an answere wrote the first letter... it to Hugh Lewis. And the next daye, after the receipt,... Hugh Lewis wrote back to [Jones] and sent a letter... gave him manie contumelious words and amounge the rest terr... divers witnesses and alsoe before your honor) at which high... of himselfe and his... beinge exceeding injured and provoked... in his passion wrote the second letter mentioned in the libell and... it to Hugh Lewis. And he expressly denyeth that he... published that he wrote the letters at any tyme or tymes... called by Hugh Lewis before your honor, or the honourable... Maltravers, and soe farr forth as the writeinge of the... provocations and circumstances are injurious or censureable... he submitteth himself'.

No date.

No signatures.

Summary of proceedings

Dr Duck acted as counsel for Lewis and Dr Sweit for Jones. Material for Jones's defence was required to be presented on 4 February 1640.


Neither party appears in the visitations of Somerset and Bristol of 1623 and 1672: F. T. Colby (ed.), The Visitation of the County of Somerset in the year 1623 (Publications of the Harleian Society, 11, 1876); G. D. Squibb (ed.), The Visitation of Somerset and the City of Bristol, 1672 (Publications of the Harleian Society, new series, 11, 1992).


  • Initial proceedings
    • Petition: 2/159 (19 Nov 1639)
    • Plaintiff's bond: 2/158 (19 Nov 1639)
    • Defendant's bond: 2/154 (25 Nov 1639)
    • Personal answer: 12/3f (no date)
  • Proceedings
    • Proceedings before Maltravers: 8/31 (4 Feb 1640)

People mentioned in the case

  • Atkins, Thomas
  • Duck, Arthur, lawyer
  • Howard, Henry, baron Maltravers
  • Howard, Thomas, earl of Arundel and Surrey
  • Jones, Gilbert, Dr
  • Lewis, Hugh, gent
  • Sweit, Giles, lawyer
  • Terrick, Humphrey

Places mentioned in the case

  • Middlesex
    • Westminster

Topics of the case

  • allegation of perjury
  • arbitration
  • assault
  • denial of gentility
  • insulting letter
  • other courts
  • taxation