38 Belgrave v Farmer

The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640.

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'38 Belgrave v Farmer', in The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640, (, ) pp. . British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/no-series/court-of-chivalry/38-belgrave-farmer [accessed 13 April 2024]

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William Belgrave of Seaton, co. Rutland, gent v William Farmer of King's Norton, co. Leicester, gent

October 1637 - January 1638


Belgrave accused Farmer of giving him the lie, calling him 'base fellow' and striking him with a cudgel or stick. Process was granted and Belgrave undertook to prosecute the cause on 1 November 1637, although there is no indication of further proceedings beyond January 1638 [See cause 4 for an earlier case involving Farmer].

Initial proceedings

13/1t, Citation

Farmer was to appear at the suit of Belgrave for scandalous words provocative of a duel.

Dated 31 October 1637

By the special direction of Gilbert Dethick, registrar.

3/121, Plaintiff's bond with a note of scandalous words

1 November 1637

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

Signed by William Belgrave.

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

[Attached inside] Note of scandalous words:

'Farmer gave him the lye called him base fellow, and with a hand cudgel stick or swich stroke Mr Belgrave.'

Signed by Thomas Exton.

Summary of proceedings

The cause appeared before Lord Maltravers and the earl of Bath on 31 October 1637 and 27 January 1638, with Dr Exton as counsel.


The pedigree of Belgrave appeared in the 1619 Visitation of Rutland. William Farmer of King's Norton, co. Leicester, may have been the fifth son of Bartholomew Farmer of Ratcliff, co. Leicester, and Ursula, daughter of Robert Mottes of Whitchurch, near Aylesbury, co. Buckingham, who was aged fifteen at the time of the Visitation of 1619.

G. J. Armytage (ed.), The Visitation of the County of Rutland, 1618-19 (Publications of the Harleian Society, 3, 1870), p. 37; J. Fetherston (ed.), The Visitation of the County of Leicester in the year 1619 (Publications of the Harleian Society, 2, 1870), p. 179.


  • Initial proceedings
    • Citation: 13/1t (31 Oct 1637)
    • Plaintiff's bond, with note of scandalous words: 3/121 (1 Nov 1637)
  • Proceedings
    • Proceedings before Maltravers: 8/28 (31 Oct 1637)
    • Proceedings before Maltravers: 1/5, fos. 1-15 (27 Jan 1638)

People mentioned in the case

  • Belgrave, William, gent
  • Bourchier, Henry, earl of Bath
  • Dethick, Gilbert, registrar
  • Exton, Thomas, lawyer
  • Farmer, Bartholomew
  • Farmer, Ursula
  • Farmer, William, gent
  • Howard, Henry, baron Maltravers
  • Mottes, Robert
  • Terrick, Humphrey

Places mentioned in the case

  • Buckinghamshire
    • Whitchurch
  • Leicestershire
    • King's Norton
  • Middlesex
    • Westminster
  • Rutland
    • Seaton

Topics of the case

  • assault
  • denial of gentility
  • giving the lie
  • weapon