399 Madox v Crome

The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640.

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William Madox of Detling, co. Kent, gent v William Crome of Hollingbourne, co. Kent, yeoman

November 1639


Madox complained that Crome had, in the presence of several people of credit, called his wife 'a base woman, and a base Jade', saying to her 'God's wounds what are you? Some shitten tailed gentlewoman'. Madox's wife was daughter to Sir Henry Grimston, knt. Process was granted on 15 November 1639, but no further proceedings survive.

Initial proceedings

2/121, Petition to Arundel

'Your petitioner is a gent descended of an ancient familie of gentry, and Elizabeth Madox, wife of your petitioner, is daughter of Sir Henry Grimston knt. One William Coome in a violent and outragious manner, before divers of good qualitie and credit, did not onely say but sweare that your petitioner's wife was a base woman, and a base Jade, with divers other opprobrious speeches; and moreover used these or the like words, God's wounds what are you? Some shitten tailed gentlewoman, by all which the premises he endeavoured to disparadge and disgrace the house and familie of the Grimstones from which your petitioner's wife is descended; and likewise the house and familie of the petitioner into which she is marryed, endeavouring thereby to provoak the petitioner to a duell with him.'

Petitioned that Crome be brought to answer.

Maltravers granted process on 15 November 1639.

2/120, Plaintiff's bond

15 November 1639

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

Signed by Nicholas Chute of Gray's Inn, London, gent, on behalf of Madox.

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


William Madockes was the son of William Madockes of London, merchant, and Margaret, daughter of John Chappell. By 1663 William had married Margaret, daughter of Sir Henry Grimston, knt, and had styled himself as an esquire of Maidstone, and was a Justice of the Peace.

G. J. Armytage (ed.), A Visitation of the County of Kent, 1663-8 (Publications of the Harleian Society, 54, 1906), p. 101.


  • Initial proceedings
    • Petition: 2/121 (15 Nov 1639)
    • Plaintiff's bond: 2/120 (15 Nov 1639)

People mentioned in the case

  • Chappell, John
  • Chappell, Margaret
  • Chute, Nicholas, gent
  • Crome, William, yeoman
  • Grimston, Elizabeth
  • Grimston, Henry, knight
  • Howard, Henry, baron Maltravers
  • Madox, Elizabeth (also Maddox, Madockes)
  • Madox, Margaret (also Maddox, Madockes)
  • Madox, William, gent (also Maddox, Madockes)
  • Madox, William, merchant (also Maddox, Madockes)

Places mentioned in the case

  • Kent
    • Detling
    • Hollingbourne
    • Maidstone
  • London
    • Gray's Inn
  • Middlesex
    • Westminster

Topics of the case

  • blasphemy
  • justice of the peace
  • provocative of a duel
  • scatological insult
  • sexual insult