405 Mansergh v Moore

The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640.

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'405 Mansergh v Moore', in The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640, (, ) pp. . British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/no-series/court-of-chivalry/405-mansergh-moore [accessed 1 March 2024]

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405 MANSERGH V MOORE

William Mansergh of Middleton, co. Westmorland, gent v James Moore of the same, yeoman

May 1639 - October 1640

Abstract

Mansergh, who was undersheriff to the earl of Cumberland, high sheriff for Westmorland, complained that when he went to arrest Roger Moore at his house in November 1638, in accordance with a warrant from Sir Francis Windebanke, Secretary of State, James Moore, his son, threatened to 'lay violent hands on him', and called him 'base stinking shitten sheriffe'. Some witnesses also noted that Moore threatened Mansergh with a cudgel. Roger Moore was being apprehended for saying in a conversation with his neighbours in April 1636 that 'if the King should command him to turn Papist, or do a thing contrary to his conscience he would rise up against him and kill him.' Process was granted on 31 May 1639 and Mansergh's witnesses were examined by a commission headed by George Warde, gent, on 26 March 1640 at the house of Peter Huggens in Kendal, Westmorland. On 10 October 1640 Mansergh was required to prove his gentility. Dr Duck produced several indentures to support this; he was vouched for by Sir Philip Musgrave and Sir Henry St George, Norroy King of Arms, was assigned to provide a certificate in confirmation. The sentence does not survive.

Initial proceedings

6/122, Petition to Maltravers

'Sir Francis Windebanke, knt, principall Secretary of State to his Majestie having in November last, directed his warrant under his hand and seale to your petitioner for the apprehension of Roger Moore, gent, your petitioner by virtue of the warrant did repair to the dwelling house of Mr Moore and apprehended him accordingly. Which warrant Moore refused to obey or to go along with, whereupon your petitioner required one James Moore, being then and there present, to aid and assist your petitioner in the service. But James Moore did not onely refuse to assist your petitioner, but offered to lay violent hands on him and called your petitioner base stinking, shitten sheriffe, with many other opprobrious and provokinge speeches, and said that he scorned to be at your petitioner's command.'

Petitioned that James Moore be brought to answer.

Maltravers granted process on 31 May 1639.

6/121, Plaintiff's bond

31 May 1639

Bound to appear 'in the Court'.

Signed by William Mansergh.

Sealed and delivered in the presence of Humphrey Terrick.

6/21, Defendant's bond

16 October 1639

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

Signed by James Moore.

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

Plaintiff's case

10/3, Defence interrogatories

1. The witnesses were warned of the penalty for perjury and bearing false witness.

2. Did the witness live of their own or depend upon another? How much were they worth in goods with their debts paid? How much were they taxed at in the last subsidy for the King?

3. Was the witness a household servant, retainer or relative to Mansergh, and if so, by what degree? Whom did they favour in this cause and to whom would they give the victory if it were within their power?

4. Had they spoken with anyone concerning this cause? Had they been directed or instructed how to depose? If so by whom and how?

5. How had they come to testify? Had they been compelled? Had they received or been promised expenses?

6. Had there been discord or controversy among the witnesses?

7. What provocation did Mr Mansergh give James Moore to speak the pretended words in the libel? What words passed between them at that time before and after?

Signed by Thomas Exton.

Cur Mil 1631-1642, fos. 25r-31r, Plaintiff's depositions

Taken before commissioners George Warde, gent, Thomas Wilson, gent, James Duckett, gent and Giles Moore, gent, at the house of Peter Huggens in Kendal, co. Westmorland, on 26 March 1640, in the presence of John Rainshawe, notary public.

fos. 26r-27v (Witness 1), James Wilson of The Biggins, co. Westmorland, yeoman, born at Kirkby Lonsdale, co. Westmorland, had known Mansergh for 30 years and Moore for 12 years, aged about 53

To Mansergh's libel:

1. Mansergh was under sheriff to the earl of Cumberland who was high sheriff of Westmorland. He knew Mansergh's father, Brian Mansergh who was reputed a gentleman of an ancient family. James Moore was a plebeian.

2-3. In December 1638 Mansergh had received a warrant from Sir Francis Windebanke, to arrest Roger Moore, the father of James Moore. Mansergh went to a house in Middleton and required James Moore to assist him in apprehending his father. Moore responded: 'I scorne to be at thy command... for thou art a base *fellowe and a base* stinking shitten sheriffe and used many threatening wordes to him; and endeavoured to have stricken him and would have done violence to him had he not been prevented by this deponent severall tymes'. Moore departed but 'returned with a cudgel wrapt in his cloak intending therewith [Wilson] verily believeth to have given some sodain blowe' to Mansergh.

4. Moore 'did very often utter the words... in a very disgraceful and reproachful manner, and did thereby very much provoke Mr Mansergh to duel'.

Signed by James Wilson and by the four commissioners.

To Moore's interrogatories:

2. The witness was a bailiff under the earl of Cumberland, 'but lyveth of himself and keepeth a familie of himself'. He was taxed five shillings for ship money, 'but saith he cannot answer what he is worth'.

3. He wished Mansergh the victory 'by reason he had great wronge offered him'.

4. Negative.

5. He expected Mansergh to pay his charges, and he testified at the command of the commissioner, Mr Atkinson.

6. Negative.

7. Mansergh did not provoke Moore.

Signed by James Wilson and by the four commissioners.

fos. 28r-29v (Witness 2), Thomas Benbrigg of Kirkby Lonsdale, co. Westmorland, yeoman, born there, had known Mansergh for 20 years and Moore for 12 years, aged about 35

To Mansergh's libel:

1. Mansergh was under sheriff to the earl of Cumberland who was high sheriff of Westmorland. Mansergh was reputed a gentleman of an ancient family, but Moore was not.

2-3. In December 1638 Mansergh received a warrant from Sir Francis Windebanke, to arrest Roger Moore, the father of James Moore. Mansergh went to a house in Middleton and required James Moore to assist him in apprehending his father. Moore responded: 'I scorne to be at thy command for thou art a base fellowe, and a base stinking shitten sheriffe, and used many threatening wordes to him; and repeated the words over verie often, and followed the said Mr Mansergh with a cudgel in his hand in somuch that [this witness] did verily think that Moore would have done some violence to Mr Mansergh had he not been prevented by some then present and especially by James Wilson'. William Ward, Thomas Otway, John Moore, James Wilson and were also present, along 'with many others whom he cannot name'.

4. As witness 1.

Signed by Thomas Bambrigge and by the four commissioners.

To Moore's interrogatories:

2. He was taxed for ship money, 'lyveth of himself, and knoweth not what he is worth'.

3. As witness 1.

4. Negative.

5. He expected to have his charges paid 'and something for losse of his time', and he 'came by virtue of a warrant to testifie'.

6. Negative.

7. As witness 1.

Signed by Thomas Bainbrigge and by the four commissioners.

fos. 29v-30v (Witness 3), Christopher Harlinge of Kirkby Lonsdale, co. Westmorland, gent, born there, had known Mansergh for 30 years and Moore for 10 years, aged over 50

To Mansergh's libel:

1. As witness 2.

2-4. Not examined by Mansergh's consent.

Signed by Christopher Harlinge and by the four commissioners.

To Moore's interrogatories:

2. He was taxed for ship money, was worth £40 per annum in land, 'lyveth of himself and depends of none'.

3. He wished 'right may take place'.

4. Negative.

5. He neither received nor expected to receive anything, and came at the command of the commissioner, Mr Wilson.

6. Negative.

Signed by Christopher Harlinge and by the four commissioners.

fos. 30v-31r (Witness 4), Edward Layfield of Casterton, co. Westmorland, born at Kirkby Lonsdale, had known Mansergh for 40 years and Moore for 20 years, aged about 74

To Mansergh's libel:

1. As witness 2, except he knew Mansergh's grandfather, William Mansergh, and father, Bryan Mansergh, who for 60 years had been accounted gentlemen descended of an ancient family.

2-4. Not examined by Mansergh's consent.

To Moore's interrogatories:

2. As witness 3, except 'what he is worth he cannot answeare'.

3. As witness 3.

4. Negative.

5. As witness 3.

6. Negative.

Signed by Edward Layfield and by the four commissioners.

Cur Mil 1631-1642, fo. 25v, Notary public's certificate

Certificate in Latin signed by John Rainshawe, notary public that the examinations had been completed and were now being returned.

No date.

Notary's mark.

Summary of proceedings

Dr Duck acted as counsel for Mansergh and Dr Exton for Moore. On 10 October 1640 Mansergh was required to prove his gentility, and to do so Dr Duck examined six exhibits written on parchment, which included indentures dated 1554 and 1567, naming George Mansergh, William Mansergh and Brian Mansergh. Mansergh was also vouched for by Sir Philip Musgrave. Sir Henry St George, Norroy, was assigned to provide a certificate of Mansergh's gentility for the second session. On 30 October 1640 Dr Duck examined a warrant under the hand and seal of Sir Francis Windebanke.

Notes

Roger Moore had been reported by Thomas Layfield of Fellgarth, co. Westmorland, to Secretary Windebank after a conversation in April 1636 about conformity to the Church of England in which Moore, recently come from the Low Countries, was alleged to have said 'if the King should command him to turn Papist, or do a thing contrary to his conscience he would rise up against him and kill him'. Sir Philip Musgrave and Sir George Dalston investigated the matter further in January 1639 and took the testimony of witnesses from Middleton. In January 1639 Layfield was facing a Star Chamber suit from Roger Moore for conspiracy and a threat to his life from Moore's sons, and petitioned Windebank for further action.

CSP Dom., 1638-1639 , pp.167, 321, 360-1.

Alice, daughter of Richard Middleton of Middleton Hall married to a John Mansergh was mentioned in the 1615 Visitation of Westmorland.

J. Foster (ed.), Pedigrees recorded at the Heralds' Visitations of the Counties of Cumberland and Westmorland, 1615, 1666 (Carlisle and Kendall, 1891), pp. 88-9.

Documents

  • Initial proceedings
    • Petition to Maltravers: 6/122 (31 May 1639)
    • Plaintiff's bond: 6/121 (31 May 1639)
    • Defendant's bond: 6/21 (16 Oct 1639)
  • Plaintiff's case
    • Defence interrogatories: 10/3 (no date)
    • Plaintiff depositions: Cur Mil 1631-42, fos. 25-31 (26 Mar 1640)
    • Notary public's certificate: Cur Mil 1631-42, fo. 25 (no date)
  • Proceedings
    • Proceedings: 1/11, fos. 56r-64v (10 Oct 1640)
    • Proceedings before Maltravers: 1/11, fos. 19r-30v (30 Oct 1640)

People mentioned in the case

  • Atkinson, Mr
  • Benbrigg, Thomas, yeoman (also Bambrigge, Bainbrigge)
  • Clifford, Henry, earl of Cumberland
  • Dalston, George, knight
  • Duck, Arthur, lawyer
  • Duckett, James, gent
  • Exton, Thomas, lawyer
  • Harlinge, Christopher, gent
  • Howard, Henry, baron Maltravers
  • Huggens, Peter
  • Layfield, Edward
  • Layfield, Thomas
  • Mansergh, Brian (also Manser)
  • Mansergh, George (also Manser)
  • Mansergh, John
  • Mansergh, William (also Manser)
  • Middleton, Alice
  • Middleton, Richard
  • Moore, Giles, gent
  • Moore, James, yeoman
  • Moore, John
  • Moore, Roger
  • Musgrave, Philip, knight
  • Otway, Thomas
  • Rainshaw, John, notary public (also Rainshawe)
  • St George, Henry, knight
  • Terrick, Humphrey
  • Warde, George, gent
  • Ward, William
  • Watson, John
  • Wilson, James, yeoman
  • Wilson, Thomas, gent
  • Windebanke, Francis, knight

Places mentioned in the case

  • Middlesex
    • Westminster
  • Westmorland
    • The Biggins
    • Casterton
    • Fellgarth
    • Kendal
    • Kirkby Lonsdale
    • Middleton

Topics of the case

  • denial of gentility
  • office-holding
  • Roman Catholic
  • scatological insult
  • ship money
  • taxation
  • threatened violence
  • treasonous words
  • under sheriff
  • weapon