385 Lock v Grove

The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640.

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'385 Lock v Grove', in The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640, (, ) pp. . British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/no-series/court-of-chivalry/385-lock-grove [accessed 1 March 2024]

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William Lock of St Saviour, Southwark, co. Surrey, gent v Francis Grove of the same, esq

February 1638 - Easter term, 1639

Figure 385:

St Saviour's church, Southwark (also known as St Mary Overy) where, in early 1637, Francis Grove engaged in an exchange of insults with Susan, wife of William Lock, over the erection of Lock's pew.


Lock brought two actions against Grove in the High Court of Chivalry and Grove, in turn, brought at least two against Lock [see cause 265]. In 1635/6 Lock had promoted a suit which he lost, as a result of which he had had to pay damages and perform a submission. Undeterred, in February 1638 he brought a second action complaining that in St Saviour's church, Southwark, Surrey, between March and July 1637, Grove had called his wife Susan Lock a scold, and said that he 'wanted witt', and that he 'cared not what he said or swore'. Grove claimed that he had merely told her to go home and look to her servant, adding that if he had spoken uncivil words it was at the provocation of William Lock and his wife Susan. It appears that Lock lost the case, since Grove was awarded £20 in fines and damages and 20 marks expenses in his counter suit.

Initial proceedings

15/2s, Personal answer

1. He did not believe the first article in the libel to be true.

2. William and Susan Locke had been lawfully married for 7 years.

3. Mrs Locke was directing the erection of a pew when Grove 'in a mild and civil manner tolde her that her husband was able or wise enough to see the pew sett upp without her helpe, and that it was more fit she should be at home. Whereunto, Mrs Locke answered that she was her husband's servant, and would stay there; and thereupon' Grove 'replied to Mrs Locke and said your mother was a good woman and never strived for pewes, but was content where she was placed.'

4. Grove 'wished Mrs Locke to go home, for that it was dinner time and past twelve a clocke and wished her also to look to her maids. Whereunto, Mrs Locke answering that she had but one maid, then quoth [Grove] you had the more need go home, lest she should run away with your goods.'

6. 'Upon some foule and uncivil words' from Mr Locke 'importing that [he] was no gentleman', Grove replied 'you know I have had you once in the Court of Honour for words, and for your abusing of me, and made you pay for it; but now seeing you continue still abusing me I intend to question you there once againe.'

[The rest damaged]

Defendant's case

11/32/2, Exceptions

2. Locke's witnesses John Chevall and Richard Palmer were dependent upon him for work and 'otherwise soe obliged to him that they dare not displease him, and are such that may be easily drawne by Mr Locke to depose an untruth.'

3. Locke's witness Thomas Streepe 'hath his sole dependencie and livelyhood' from Locke 'and is such a one to whose testimonie no credit is to be given in this cause.'

4. At the time in Locke's libel, in 1636, Francis Grove was churchwarden of the parish of St Saviour's in Southwark 'and by vertue of his office having the charge of the church did at the time and place [mentioned in the libel] repaire to the church where he found Wm: Locke and his wife then causing a seate to be erected in the church verie inconvenient and discomodious to the parishioners. And Mr Grove finding fault, with the pewe, Mrs Locke did in a most uncivil manner abuse Mr Grove by very immodest speeches, and Mr Grove, thereupon, in a mild and civil manner wished her to goe home and looke to her house and her maid for fear she might convey her goods away, and that her husband had witt enough of himselfe to see the pewe sett up without her helpe and that it was far better for her to be at home; and that he marvailed that she being well placed was not contented, and alsoe told her that her mother was a good woman in the parish whilest she lived and was contented with the place she was placed in. and those words afore mentioned to be spoken by Mr Grove or the like in effect were all the speeches that Mr Grove used to Mrs Locke... and he used noe more words to her importing any other meaning then the former words carrie with them, as diverse witnesses then present did or could understand'. Mr Grove did not derogate from Mrs Locke or her late mother's reputation, 'as the witnesses did or could observe, they then observing all the passages then used. and if any words of disgrace and uncivill speeches had been used by Mr Grove towards or of her they must needs have heard it. and if any witness have deposed otherwise he hath deposed untruelie.'

5. At the time and place in the libel William Locke 'by many disgracefull speeches derogated from Mr Grove's gentilitie saying that he was first an apprentice, then a journeyman and then a master, and soe came to his gentilitie by degrees; and that Locke was borne a gent and should soe dye. Mr Groves replied in these words that Locke was latelie punished by a censure in the Court of Honour for abusing him and that he meant to question him againe for then abusing of him.'

6. If Grove did speak uncivil words, he 'was first very much provoked thereunto by the uncivill, outragious demeanor of them towards Mr Grove.'

7. Mrs Locke said to Mr Grove 'in an upbraydeinge manner, that her father was noe pissepot maker, and bidding him goe home and sell his halfe penny worth of tobacco, Mr Grove said to her or her husband William Locke that shall not need I give more tobacco at my doore in a yeere then you give almes, and he used noe other wordes in answeare or replye to Mrs Locke's uncivil language.'

8. 'In the months of Aprill and May 1637 the Lo. Bishop of Winchester endeavouring to reconcile Francis Grove and William Locke, demanded of Locke whether he would referre differences and suites of lawe between him and Grove, as well in the High Commission court as elsewhere depending, unto the arbiterment and determination of the Lo. Bishop of Winton. Locke answered that the business in the High Commission promoted against Mr Grove concerned not him but one Tayler the promoter; and protested that he had no hand in the sute against Mr Grove either directlie or indirectlie, whereunto Mr Grove replied that [if] Locke would say he had noe hand in that sute he would say anything, for that Grove could prove he had reteined counsell and had given Dr Merricke 20s in that cause. And Mr Grove in that time and place used noe other words to of or against Mr Locke and if any witness hath deposed otherwise he hath therein deposed falselie.'

9. 'Locke is not principal Register to the Lo. Bishop of Winton as he unjustlie usurpeth that title.'

Dated 13 June 1638

Signed by Arthur Duck.

R.19, fo. 20, Summary of defence

Grove 'sayes that the witnesses, by reason of their dependence on Lock for work and otherwise, soe obliged to him that they dare not displease him and are such that may be easily drawne to depose an untruth. Sayes that if Grove did use any uncivil speeches against Lock or his wife, he was first very much provoked thereunto by the uncivill and outrageous demeanour of them towards him. Sayes that Lock is not principal registrar to the Bishop of Winton. as he unjustly usurpeth the title andc.'

First session, Michaelmas term, 1638.

No signature.

Sentence / Arbitration

18/1n, Plaintiff's sentence

In St Saviour's parish, Southwark, Grove had said that Mrs Lock was a scold and that he did honor the very place where her breech sat and that her husband (meaning Mr Lock) wanted witt, and that he had too much witt for Mrs Lock and her husband to deal with, and that Mr Lock cared not what he said or swore.'

Spaces for amounts left blank.

No date.

Signed by William Merrick.

18/1p, Plaintiff's sentence

The case was taxed at £6-13s-4d, but the damages were left blank.

No date.

Signed by Arthur Duck and Lord Maltravers.

18/1q, Plaintiff's bill of costs

Hilary term, 1637 - Easter term, 1639.

Sum total: £28-6s-8d

Signed by William Merrick.

18/1r, Defendant's bill of costs

Easter term, 1638 - Easter term, 1639.

Sum total: £28-12s-6d

Signed by William Merrick.

Taxed at £6-13s-4d

Signed by Lord Maltravers.

Summary of proceedings

Dr Merrick acted as counsel for Lock and Dr Duck for Grove. Francis Grove was warned to appear to hear the libel on 12 February 1638. On 20 October the depositions of Lock's witnesses were published and thereafter Dr Duck began preparing material for the defence. On 20 November 1638 Dr Duck was called to produce the defence witnesses Nicholas Hunt, gent, Thomas Crowder, Thomas Staunton and Humphrey Mills, and on 28 November and 5 December they were warned to submit to examination.


Francis Grove of St Saviour's parish only contributed reluctantly to demands to contribute to parliament's war effort, and a Henry Grove of the same parish, possibly a kinsman, left London to join the royalist army.

K. Lindley, Popular Politics in Civil War London (Aldershot, 1997), p. 65.

William Lock of St George's parish, Southwark, co. Surrey was entered in the visitation of 1662-8 as an esquire and captain of the trained bands. By then, he had married Mary, daughter and heiress of Simon Cade of Syddenham, co. Kent, gent. He was the son of William Lock of Henley, co. Warwick, and Anne, daughter of Mr Stephens of Abingdon, co. Berkshire. The 1623 Visitation recorded the marriage of William Lock of Merton, co. Surrey, to Susan, daughter of Robert Cole of Sudbury.

Francis Grove does not appear in any of the Visitations.

W. B. Bannerman (ed.), The Visitations of the County of Surrey, 1530, 1572 and 1623 (Publications of the Harleian Society, 43, 1899), p. 134; G. J. Armytage (ed.), A Visitation of the County of Surrey, 1662-8 (Publications of the Harleian Society, 60, 1910), p. 77.


  • Initial proceedings
    • Personal answer: 15/2s (no date)
  • Defendant's case
    • Exceptions: 11/32/2 (13 Jun 1638)
    • Summary of defence: R.19, fo. 20 (Mic 1638)
  • Sentence / Arbitration
    • Plaintiff's sentence: 18/1n (no date)
    • Defendant's sentence: 18/1p (no date)
    • Plaintiff's bill of costs: 18/1q (Eas 1639)
    • Defendant's bill of costs: 18/1r (Eas 1639)
  • Proceedings
    • Proceedings before Arundel: 1/5, fos. 38-56 (12 Feb 1638)
    • Proceedings before Arundel: R.19, fos. 434r-449v (20 Oct 1638)
    • Proceedings before Maltravers: R.19, fos. 454r-468v (6 Nov 1638)
    • Proceedings before Maltravers: R.19, fos. 400v-412v (20 Nov 1638)
    • Proceedings before Maltravers: R.19, fos. 422r-428r (28 Nov 1638)
    • Proceedings before Maltravers: R.19, fos. 474r-484v (5 Dec 1638)
    • Proceedings before Arundel: 1/6, fos. 20-33 (21 Feb 1639)

People mentioned in the case

  • Cade, Mary
  • Cade, Simon, gent
  • Cole, Robert
  • Cole, Susan
  • Chevall, John
  • Crowder, Thomas
  • Duck, Arthur, lawyer
  • Grove, Francis, esq
  • Grove, Henry
  • Howard, Henry, baron Maltravers
  • Howard, Thomas, earl of Arundel and Surrey
  • Hunt, Nicholas, gent
  • Lock, Anne (also Locke)
  • Lock, Mary (also Locke)
  • Lock, Susan (also Locke)
  • Lock, William (also Locke)
  • Merrick, William, lawyer
  • Mills, Humphrey
  • Palmer, Richard
  • Staunton, Thomas
  • Stephens, Anne
  • Stephens, Mr
  • Streepe, Thomas
  • Tayler

Places mentioned in the case

  • Berkshire
    • Abingdon
  • Hampshire
    • Winchester
  • Kent
    • Sydenham
  • Suffolk
    • Sudbury
  • Surrey
    • Merton
    • St George, Southwark
    • St Saviour, Southwark
  • Warwickshire
    • Henley-in-Arden

Topics of the case

  • allegation of tradesman status
  • bishop
  • churchwarden
  • civil war
  • denial of gentility
  • High Commission
  • military officer
  • office-holding
  • other courts
  • pew dispute
  • royalist
  • taxation
  • tobacco
  • trained band