393 Ludlow v Wilsheire

The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640.

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'393 Ludlow v Wilsheire', in The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640, (, ) pp. . British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/no-series/court-of-chivalry/393-ludlow-wilsheire [accessed 2 March 2024]

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Humphrey Ludlow of Allington, co. Hampshire, gent v William Wilsheire of Winchester, co. Hampshire

Easter term, 1636 - February 1637


Ludlow complained that Wilsheire had defamed him in the presence of many gentlemen, calling him 'a base rogue, a base rebellious rogue, and rascall', adding that 'he would prove him soe, and that he would cutt off his head, and would cutt his throate; and that he reckoned no more of it than a dogg; and would carry chaines to Winchester and hang them on the rogue's leggs'. Soon after the libel was entered Lord Maltravers decreed that Wilsheire was to pay £20 damages and 20 marks costs. Wilsheire was ordered to make a submission that acknowledged Ludlow's gentility, begged Ludlow's forgiveness for the 'rashe and unadvised speeches', and promised to behave himself 'towards him withal due respect hereafter and never to offend him in the like'. On 11 February 1637 Dr Duck accused Wilsheire of non payment of the damages.

Initial proceedings

R.19, fo. 8r, Summary of libel

'Humphrey Ludlow is the son of Sir Edmund Ludlow and his ancestors [who] for up to 300 yeares past is and was gentlemen, and that Humphrey is an utter barrister; and that Wiltsheir and his ancestors is and were plebeians and not gentlemen. Wiltsheir (att such a time and place) before many gentlemen and others said that Ludlow was a base rogue, a base rebellious rogue, and rascall, he would prove him soe; and that he would cutt off his head, and would cutt his throate, and that he reckoned no more of it than a dogg; and would carry chaines to Winchester and hang them on the rogue's leggs, thereby to provoke and c.'

Second session, Easter term, 1636

No signature.

R.19, fo. 9v, Decree

Repetition of same libel on fo. 8r, then:

'Decree against Wiltshere to pay 20 li damages, 20 marks costs, both the decretall order and bills costs signed by the Lord Maltravers Lieutenant of the Court'.

Second session, Easter term, 1636.


4/26, Submission

No time or place appointed

'Whereas I, William Wilsheire, by sentence diffinitive... have used certayne scandalous and disgracefull speeches of and against Humfrey Ludlowe of Allington in the county of Southampton, gent, and amongst others to have said that Humfrey Ludlow was a base rebellious rogue and that I would cutt his throat, and that I cared no more for the cutting of his throat then for the cutting of a dog's throat or the like in effect. I do humbly confess and acknowledge that I am hartely sorry for my such rashe and unadvised speeches, and do confess that Ludlow is a gentleman descended of an ancient family, and that I did him great wrong in using against him the words aforesaid. And, therefore, I do humbly pray Mr Ludlow to forgive my such rashe and unadvised speeches and do promise to behave and demeane myself towards him withal due respect hereafter, and never to offend him in the like.'

Signed on 2 June [1636] by G. Dethick.

Further signature illegible.

Summary of proceedings

Dr Duck was counsel for Ludlow and Dr Eden for Wilsheire. Wilsheire was sentenced in May 1636 but on 28 January 1637 he was reminded and warned to pay the £20 damages and £13-6s-8d expenses. On 11 February 1637, Dr Duck accused Wilsheire of non payment of the damages and he was required to do so by 16 February thereafter.


Humphrey Ludlow claimed to be the son of Sir Edmond Ludlow, but did not appear in the Hampshire Visitations of 1622-34 and 1686. William Wiltshire may have been the William Wiltshire entered as married to Ellen, daughter of Richard Lapworth.

W. H. Rylands (ed.), Pedigrees from the Visitations of Hampshire, 1530, 1575 and 1622-34 (Publications of the Harleian Society, 64, 1913), p. 145; G. D. Squibb (ed.), The Visitation of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, 1686 (Publications of the Harleian Society, new series, 10, 1991).


  • Initial proceedings
    • Summary of libel: R.19, fo. 8r (Eas 1636)
    • Decree: R.19, fo. 9v (Eas 1636)
  • Submission
    • Submission: 4/26 (2 Jun 1636)
  • Proceedings
    • Proceedings before Arundel: College of Arms MS. 'Court of Chivalry' (act book, 1636-8) [pressmark R.R. 68C] (hereafter 68C), fos. 89r-100r (May 1636)
    • Proceedings before Maltravers: 68C, fos. 74r-83v (7 May 1636)
    • Proceedings before Maltravers: 68C, fos. 112r-121v (Jun 1636)
    • Proceedings: 68C, fos. 105r-110v (8 Nov 1636)
    • Proceedings before Arundel: 68C, fos. 51r-59r (28 Jan 1637)
    • Proceedings: 68C, fos. 23r-36v (11 Feb 1637)
    • Proceedings: 68C, fos. 14r-20v (16 Feb 1637)

People mentioned in the case

  • Dethick, Gilbert, registrar
  • Duck, Arthur, lawyer
  • Eden, Thomas, lawyer
  • Howard, Henry, baron Maltravers
  • Howard, Thomas, earl of Arundel and Surrey
  • Lapworth, Ellen
  • Lapworth, Richard
  • Ludlow, Edmund, knight
  • Ludlow, Humphrey, gent
  • Wilsheire, Ellen (also Wiltsheire, Wiltshire)
  • Wilsheire, William (also Wiltsheire, Wiltshire)

Places mentioned in the case

  • Hampshire
    • Allington
    • Chippenham
    • South Stoneham
    • Winchester

Topics of the case

  • denial of gentility
  • insult before gentlemen
  • threatened violence