406 Mantell v Sampson

The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640.

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406 MANTELL V SAMPSON

Henry Mantell of Hawkhurst, co. Kent, gent v Alexander Sampson of the same, clothier

Easter term, 1635 - October 1637

Abstract

Mantell complained that at Highgate Cross, in Hawkhurst, Kent, after a 'lawe day' on Easter Monday 1635, in the presence of fellow gentry and neighbours, Sampsonhad said that'I was no gentleman and that I was a threehalfepenny, or twopenny gentleman, and that men called me Master Mantell in mockery, but Goodman Mantell was my name'. He also claimed that in August 1635, coming out from morning prayer at Hawkhurst church, Sampson had jeered at his father, declaring 'I think he is ashamed to come to church, his coate is soe threadbare; but if I weare his sonne, I would give him a peece of cloath to make him a coate, rather then he should go in suche a threadbare coate'. Testimony was also given that on 22 March 1636, with regard to Mantell's prosecution, Sampson said 'in a boasting and scoffing manner that he knew how the suite would go betweene Mr Henry Mantle and him, for my lord had set down a decree that Alexander Sampson should pay 20 ld to the kinge and 80 ld to Henry Mantle, to pay John Robbins at midsummer'. Sampson claimed that he had initially been provoked by Mantell challenging him to fight. His witnesses deposed that on the Easter Monday Mantell had come into the house of George Gibbon, a clothier, and issued a challenge 'to play at sharpe or cudgells with anie...of the house', to which Sampson had retorted, 'Howe nowe Goodman Mantell, are you such a man to fight with one of us?' Mantell then, allegedly, called him 'base fellow' and invited him 'to fight...in the field at sharpe or certain other weapon.' As part of his defence, Sampson also made the point that Mantell's great grandfather, Walter Mantell, had been executed and attainted for high treason after Wyatt's rebellion in the reign of Mary which appears to have been an attempt to suggest that his family had forfeited their gentry status. More immediately, he maintained that Mantell was a clothier by trade and was, indeed, generally known as Goodman Mantell. Local opinion was divided on this. Mantell's witnesses deposed that, although he was known to be a clothier by 'trade and profession', they had always heard him called 'Mr'. One fellow gentleman testified that he had visited the house of his father, an esquire, and seen his coat of arms. Sampson's witnesses on the other hand, deposed that some called him 'Goodman', others 'Mr', and 'by repute of some [he was] a gentleman and of others noe gentleman.'

Proceedings began in April-May 1635 and witnesses for Mantell were examined by a commission headed by William Boys and Peter Courthope, esqs, on 13 January 1636 at the King's Head Inn, Cranbrook, Kent, and on 18 January 1636 in the King's Head Inn, Hawkhurst. Sampson's witnesses were examined on 4 April 1636 at the King's Head, Hawkhurst. Mantell won his case in June 1637 and Sampson was ordered to perform his submission at Highgate Cross on 10 July in the presence of Mantell and 'four or six persons such as [he] shall think fitt to bring'. He had to apologise for his 'rash and unadvised speeches', 'confesse that Mr Mantell is a gentleman of an antient family bearing armes' and promise to behave properly thereafter . A certificate of his performance was submitted to Sir Henry Marten in the court on 14 October 1637.

Initial proceedings

Acta (5), fo. 42, Libel

Mantell's family had been gentry for up to 200 years. Mantell complained Sampson said 'I was no gentleman and that I was a threehalfepenny, or twopenny gentleman, and that men called me Master Mantell in mockery, but Goodman Mantell was my name, and that he was as good a gentleman or as much a gentleman as I, Henry Mantell, was or is; and that my father's coate was soe olde that itt was threadbare.'

No date.

R.19, fo. 14r, Summary of libel

'Mantell and his ancestors for above 200 years past is and were gentlemen, and soe commonly reputed. And that Samson (att such a time and place) before many gentlemen and others, said that Mantell was noe gentleman and that he was a 3 halfe penny or twopenny gent, and that his father's coate was soe *old that it was* threadbare and thereby to provoke and c.'

1635

No signature.

R.19, fo. 16r, Personal answer

'Alexander Sampson, by way of exception against the libel of Henry Mantell, sayes that before the speaking of the pretended words, Mantell did challenge Sampson to fight with him and called him rogue, and divers other scandalous words, greatly provoking. Prayes to be dismist with his costs and c.'

1635

No signature.

Plaintiff's case

Acta (5), fo. 43, Letters commissory for the plaintiff

Addressed to commissioners William Boys, esq, Peter Courthop, esq, John Brown, gent and Lawrence Somers, gent, and also, [Thomas] Lord, [James] Perry, [Richard] Kilborne and [William] Plommer, in a cause of scandalous words provocative of a duel, to meet from 12 to 14 January 1636 in the King's Head Inn, Cranbrook, co. Kent.

Dated 12 November 1635.

Signed Gilbert Dethick.

Acta (5), fos. 40r-v, Defence interrogatories

1. The witnesses were warned of the penalty for perjury. What was their age, occupation and condition? What were they valued at in their own goods with their debts paid? Were they taxed in the last subsidy? Was the witness was a gentleman or subsidy man?

2. Was the witness 'kin or allied to Henry Mantel or his intimate and familiar friends, and in what degree of bloud or affinitye is he so'?

4. How long had the witness known Mantell and Sampson? Did they know Mantell was a gentleman? Who were Mantell's father, grandfather, and great grandfather? Was the great grandfather of Mantell 'attaynted of and executed for high treason and in what King's or Queen's reign and by what meanes were the grandfather and father of Mantell bestowed to their bloud, title or degree of a gentleman'?

5. Was Mantell 'a clothier by trade', dwelling and trading in Hawkhurst? How long had he been so? Was Mantell called by his neighbours in Hawkhurst 'Goodman Mantell'? Had Mantell 'not found fault' with this? Was Alexander Sampson a clothier trading in Hawkhurst?

6. If the witness deposed of words in the libel they were to be asked exactly where and when the words were spoken and who else were present.

7. Did Mantell at the time of the words speak 'any disgracefull words or otherwise provoke Alexander Sampson'?

No date.

Signed Clere Talbot.

Plaintiff's depositions

Taken before commissioners William Boys, esq, Peter Courthop, esq, John Brown, gent and Lawrence Somers, gent, and William Langham, notary public, in the King's Head Inn, Cranbrook, co. Kent, on 13 January 1636, and in the King's Head Inn, Hawkhurst, co. Kent, on 18 January 1636.

fos. 23r-24r (Witness 1), John Willis of Staple Inn, co. Middlesex, gent, born in the parish of St Mary, Lombard Street, London, aged 24

To Mantell's libel:

On 30 or 31 March 1635, at Highgate Cross in Hawkhurst parish Alexander Sampson told Henry Mantel in the presence of several people, that 'he was no gentleman, and that he was worth but a two peny gentleman; and that men did call him Master Mantell, but it was in mockery, for Goodman Mantell was his name. And that Alexander Sampson was as good a man, as Henry Mantell'. The words were spoken 'in a jeering manner, with an intent to vilifie and disgrace Henry Mantell, and his familie'. Samuel Bealy and John Roberts were also present, along with several people he did not know.

Signed by John Willis.

To Samson's interrogatories:

1. He was worth £40 per annum, but was never taxed in the subsidy as 'there was no subsidie since he was stiled of the said lands.'

2. He and Henry Mantell married two sisters, but Willis was not married to his wife at the time when the words were spoken by Sampson.

3. Mantell had promised to pay his charges.

4. He had known Mantell and Sampson for about a year, 'and he hath generally heard Henry Mantell reputed to be a gentleman', because he had been to the house of Walter Mantell, esq, father to Henry Mantell, and had seen his coat of arms.

5. He believed Henry Mantell was a clothier by trade and dwelling in Hawkhurst. He knew not how long Mantell had used the trade, and he only heard Mantell called Goodman Mantell by Sampson. Sampson lived in Hawkhurst and was a clothier.

6. The words he deposed were spoken at Highgate Crosse in Hawkhurst parish.

Signed John Willis and by the above four commissioners, 13 January 1636.

fos. 24v-25v (Witness 2), Samuel Bealy of Hawkhurst, co. Kent, clothier, lived there for 5 years, born in Tilehurst, co. Sussex, aged 21

To Mantell's libel:

On Easter Monday or Tuesday, 30 or 31 March 1635, at Highgate Cross, Hawkhurst, in the presence of several men, he heard Sampson say to Mantell, 'Thow art no gentleman and that thou art but a three halfepeny, or two peny gentleman, and that he Sampson was as good a man as Henry Mantell'. Sampson spoke 'in a very scandalous and disgracefull manner with an intent to vilifie and disgrace Henry Mantell'. John Willis, gent, John Roberts, and 'divers others of good fashion' were present.

Signed by Samuell Bealy.

To Samson's interrogatories:

1. 'He is worth in his own proper goodes, his debts paid, one hundred pounds, but is no subsidy man.'

2. 'Henry Mantell is his neighbour.'

3. He had received nothing for his testimony and expected only his charges, which he was yet to receive.

4. He had known Mantell and Sampson since he came to Hawkhurst, about five years ago. Mantell was 'generally reputed to be a gentleman and borne of a gentle family; and he for his part never heard the contrary, until Alexander Sampson did call him Goodman Mantell.'

5. 'Henry Mantell is a cloathier by trade and profession, dwelling and useing his trade in Hawkhurst, and hath been of that trade about five years, but is not called Goodman Mantell by anie of Hawkhurst or others to his knowledge. And that Alexander Sampson is likewise a cloathier and dwelleth in Hawkhurst.'

6. The words were spoken at Highgate Cross in Hawkhurst at about noon.

7. 'Henry Mantell did not give anie disgracefull words to Alexander Sampson, or provoke him to anie anger to his knowledge at suche tyme when the scandalous words were spoken.'

Signed by Samuell Bealy.

Signed by the above four commissioners, 13 January 1636.

fos. 25v-27r (Witness 3), John Roberts of Hawkhurst, co. Kent, weaver, lived there for 10 years, born at Goudhurst, co. Kent, aged about 30

To Mantell's libel:

As witness 1.

John Willis, gent, Samuel Bealy and many others whose names he could not remember were also present.

Signed by John Roberts [his mark]

To Samson's interrogatories:

1. He was a weaver, lived by his trade, and was worth £20 his debts paid. He was no subsidy man.

2. He testified at Mantell's request and was served by a warrant from the commissioners. He hoped Mantell would pay his expenses but as yet had received nothing.

4. He had known Mantell and Sampson for over five years. Mantell was 'generally reputed to be a gentleman and soe his father is reputed in those partes wherein he liveth.'

5. Mantell dwelled in Hawkhurst where he was a clothier but was not called Goodman Mantell by his neighbours, only by Alexander Sampson in mockery. Sampson lived in Hawkhurst and was also a clothier.

6. The words were spoken in public at Highgate Cross, Hawkhurst on Easter Monday or Tuesday at about noon. Mr John Willis, Samuel Bealy and several others were present, 'but upon what occasion he knoweth not.'

Signed by John Roberts and by the above four commissioners, 13 January 1636.

fos. 27r-v (Witness 4), Robert Spice of Hawkhurst, co. Kent, weaver, lived there for 20 years, born at Cranbrook, co. Kent, aged about 40

To Samson's interrogatories:

1. He was a weaver and lived by his trade. He was worth £40 his debts paid, and was neither a subsidy man, nor a gentleman.

3. He testified at Mantell's request; and he hoped Mantell would pay his expenses, but he expected nothing else.

4. He had known Mantell and Sampson for 6 years. Mantell was 'generally called Master Mantell, and reputed to be a gentleman.'

5. Mantell was a clothier in Hawkhurst as was Sampson. He never heard Mantell 'called Goodman Mantell, but Mr Mantell, generally by all his neighbours and others dwelling thereabouts.'

Signed by Robert Spice [his mark] and by the above four commissioners, 13 January 1636.

fos. 27v-28v (Witness 5), John Cray of Hawkhurst, co. Kent, broadweaver, lived there all his life, aged about 30

To Mantell's libel:

On Easter Monday last, 'he happened to be at a lawe daye held there at Highgate in the parish of Hawkhurst and about eleaven or twelve of the clock coming from the lawe day or court, did heare Alexander Sampson and Henry Mantell at some variance, and hot wordes'. He heard Sampson tell Mantell, 'that he was but a three halfpenny or two peny gentleman', speaking 'in a disgracefull manner, and with an intent to vilify and discredit Henry Mantell'. Mr John Willis, Samuel Bealy and many others of Hawkhurst parish were present whose names he could not remember.

Signed by John Craye.

To Samson's interrogatories:

1. He was a broadweaver and lived by his trade. He was worth £5 his debts paid, but was neither subsidy man nor gentleman.

3. 'Mr Mantell hath promised to paye him for the losse of his daye's worke, being a pore man.'

4. He had known Mantell and Sampson for at least seven years. Mantell 'is generally reputed to be a gentleman and commonly called Mr Mantell by them that know him.'

5. Mantell was a clothier who had dwelled in Hawkhurst for seven years. For all Cray heard, he was not called Goodman Mantell by any of his neighbours or others. Sampson was also a clothier in Hawkhurst.

6. As witness 3.

Signed by John Craye [his mark] and by the above four commissioners, 13 January 1636.

fos. 29r-29v (Witness 6), William Gibbon of Hawkhurst, co. Kent, clothier, lived there all his life, born there, aged 24

To Mantell's libel:

In August 1635 he was with Sampson going to London, when they 'had much talke and conference about the gentry or gentilitie of Henry Mantell'. Either 'at the Greyhound in Southwarke or in his journey downewards from London into the country' Sampson told him that 'Sampson should prove himselfe a gentleman, as well as Master Mantell'. There were several present, but whether they took notice he could not depose.

Signed by William Gibbon and by the above four commissioners, 13 January 1636

To Sampson's interrogatories:

Not examined by consent of Sampson.

fos. 29v-30r (Witness 7), John Wildishe of Hawkhurst, co. Kent, broadweaver, lived there all his life, born there, aged 44

To Mantell's libel:

On Sunday 9 August 1635 he came from morning prayer in Hawkhurst parish church with Alexander Sampson when Sampson, pointing out Mantell's sisters, who had been at church also, said, 'Yonder goes Mr Mantell's sisters. I wonder where there father is. I think he is ashamed to come to churche, his coate is soe threadbare; but if I weare his sonne, I would give him a peece of cloath to make him a coate, rather then he should go in suche a threadbare coate'. Sampson spoke in a 'taunting, geering manner with an intent to reproache and disgrace Henry Mantell, his father, and familie as he beleeveth.'

Signed by John Wildish [his mark] and by the above four commissioners, 13 January 1636.

To Samson's interrogatories:

Not examined by consent of Samson.

fos. 30r-31r (Witness 8), Edward Chittenden of Hawkhurst, co. Kent, broadweaver, lived there all his life, born there, aged 54

To Mantell's libel:

As witness 1.

Mr John Willis, Samuel Bealy, John Roberts, John Cray and 'divers others whose names he cannot nowe remember' were also present.

Signed by Edward Chittenden

To Samson's interrogatories:

2. 'Mr Mantell is his neighbour and a loveing man.'

4. 'Mr Henry Mantell is commonly reputed to be a gentleman in the parish of Hawkhurst where he nowe dwelleth, and in other parishes and places nere there or adjoining, and that his father is reputed a gentleman and called Mr Mantell.'

5. 'Henry Mantell is by trade a cloathier and dwelleth in Hawkhurst where he useth his trade, and hath soe done by the space of sixe or seaven years, and is commonly called Mr Mantell'. He never heard Henry Mantell called Goodman Mantell. Alexander Sampson was also a clothier who dwelled in Hawkhurst.

6. The words were spoken at about 11am.

Signed by Edward Chittenden and by the commissioners Boys, Couthorpe and Somers, 18 January 1636.

fo. 31v (Witness 9), George Ballard of Hawkhurst, co. Kent, clothier, born at Firle, co. Sussex, aged 25

To Mantell's libel:

'About the feast of Whitsonday 1635 he met Alexander Sampson and Thomas Gibbons, the son of George Gibbons of Hawkhurst, at Highgate Crosse in Hawkhurst, where he heard Sampson tell Gibbons that Mantell 'was but a two peny gentleman, which words he verily believeth were spoken by Sampson in disgrace of Henry Mantell, being none present at that time, but Alexander Sampson, Thomas Gibbons and [Ballard].'

Signed by George Ballard [his mark] and by the above three commissioners, 18 January 1636.

fo. 32r (Witness 10), John Thorpe of Hawkhurst, co. Kent, tailor, born at Firle, co. Sussex, aged 20

To Mantell's libel:

As witness 1.

Mr John Willis, Samuel Bealy, John Roberts, Robert Newman and many others were present.

Signed by John Thorpe and by the above three commissioners, 18 January 1636.

fo. 32v (Witness 11), Robert Newman of Hawkhurst, co. Kent, clothier, lived there for 12 years, born at Goudhurst, co. Kent, aged 26

To Mantell's libel:

At Highgate Cross on Easter Monday, Sampson told Mantell 'in a scoffing and geering manner', that Mantell 'was but a two peny gentleman'. Sampson called him 'Goodman Mantell', which Newman believed was 'spoken with an intent to disgrace and discredit Henry Mantell and his family'. There were present Mr John Willis, gent, Samuel Bealy, John Roberts, Edward Chittenden, John Thorpe and many others whose names he could not remember.

Signed by Robert Newman [his mark].

Acta (5), fo. 34, Notary public's certificate

Certificate in Latin signed by William Langham, notary public that the above examinations had been completed and were now being returned. Also signed by commissioners Williams Boys, Peter Courthorpe and Lawrence Somers.

Dated 18 January 1636

Notary's mark.

Defendant's case

Acta (4), fo.186, Defence

Henry Mantell's ancestor, Walter Mantell was 'attaynted and convicted of high treason, and for high treason executed' during Mary's reign'.

'He did not say that Henry Mantell was no gentleman, or a threehalf penny gentleman or two penny gentleman or that men called him gentleman in mockery; but good man Mantell was his name, or that he was as good a gentleman as Henry was or is or that his father's coat was threadbare...him Henry Mantell [damaged] the speaking of any the produced words did challenge me to fight with him and called me rogue, base rogue and divers scandalous words...'

Dated 11 February 1636.

Signature unknown [too tightly bound]

Acta (4), fo. 187, Letters commissory for the defendant

Addressed to commissioners Thomas Lorde, clerk, James Perry, gent, Thomas Plomer, gent, Richard Kilburne, gent, and also, William Borse, Peter Courthop, esq, John Brown and Lawrence Somers, gents, in a cause of scandalous words provocative of a duel, to meet from 4 to 6 April 1636 at the King's Head Inn, Hawkhurst, co. Kent.

Gilbert Dethick assigned William Langham as notary public.

7/89, List of commissioners' names for the defendant

Mr Lorde

Mr Perre

Mr Kilburne

Mr Plummer

Acta (4), fo. 184, Plaintiff's interrogatories

1. How did he come to testify? Was the witness a household servant, tenant, or relative to either party, and if so, in what degree? Which side did they favour and to whom would they give the victory if it were in their power?

2. 'Did you upon Monday in Easter week 1635 in Highgate streete within the parish of Hawkhurst heare Alexander Sampson say that Henry Mantel was no gentleman, or a threehalf penny or two penny gentleman, and that men called him gentleman in mockery, but Goodman Mantle is his name, and that his father's coate was threadbeare'?

3. 'Do you know John Willis, Samuel Bealy, John Roberts, Robert Spice, John Craye, William Gibbon, John Wildish, Edward Chiddenden, George Ballard, John Thorpe and Robert Newman, witnesses in this cause or any of them? How long have you known them'? Were they 'honest men and such as live in good credit and reputation, and accompt amonge their neighbours, and would not, nor will, for favour, or any sinister respecte testify any untruth upon theire oaths; and whether for such they were and are commonly accompted by you and others that know them and their conversation'?

4. If any witness deposed of injurious words or deeds by Henry Mantell against Sampson, they were to 'declare the very particulars thereof, and whither did Sampson first speake the words before interrogated against Mantell'? If Mr Mantell called Sampson 'rogue, or base rogue', did he say he was so merely for abusing Mantell 'and not otherwise'?

5. 'If any witness deposed that Mantell challenged Sampson, they were to be asked if the pretended challenge was 'to take up cudgels or to play with him at the cudgels', and not to challenge him to fight? Was playing at cudgels a sport and exercise 'then, before and since frequently used in that parish and other places neare adjoining'?

6. Was Henry Mantell before the speech of the words by Sampson 'commonly reputed to be a gentleman borne and soe tearmed and called'? Was Mantell 'a man of very good worth and estate and soe accompted'?

7. Speak the truth of what you know, believe or have heard.

No date.

No signatures.

Acta (4), fos. 162r-174r, Defence depositions

Taken before commissioners Thomas Lord, clerk, James Perry, gent, Richard Kilburne, and also, William Boys, esq, and Peter Courthop, esq, in a cause of scandalous words provocative of a duel, on Monday 4 April 1636 at the King's Head Inn, Hawkhurst, co. Kent, with William Langham as notary public.

fos. 164r-165v (Witness 1), Anthony Gibbon of Hawkhurst, co. Kent, clothier, born at Salther, Sussex, aged 30

To Samson's defence:

He was present in Highgate Street, Hawkhurst at noon on Easter Monday, 1635, when he heard 'Mantell challenge anie of the house of George Gibbon [his] father to fight with him at sharpe, whereupon Alexander Sampson replyed, Howe nowe Goodman Mantell, are you such a man as to fight with one of us? (he Alexander Sampson being then of that household of George Gibbon)'. Mantell then called Sampson 'base fellowe', challenging Sampson 'to fight him in the field at sharpe or certain other weapon'. Gibbon could not remember Sampson saying any of the words in the libel, but he heard Mantell confess 'that his great grandfather Mr Walter Mantell was attaynted and executed in Queen Maries days'. George Gibbon the younger, his brother, John Chittenden, Edward Coutheman the elder and Edward Coutheman the younger, and several others whose names he could not remember were also present. Henry Mantell was 'a cloathier by occupacon, and soe reputed, and that some men doe call him Mr Mantell, and some Goodman Mantell, but for the most part he is called Mr Mantell by them that knowe him.'

Signed by Anthony Gibbon

To Mantell's interrogatories:

1. He testified at Alexander Sampson's request and was served by a warrant from the commissioners. He was 'not of affinite or consanguinity to Sampson as he beleeveth', except Sampson's father married Gibbon's mother's sister but had no issue by her. He favoured Mantell and Sampson alike, 'and wisheth the victorie to him that hath the right, and not the worse, and soe would give it if it laye in his power.'

3. He knew John Willis, Samuel Bealy, John Roberts, Rober Spice, John Craye, William Gibbon, John Wildish, Edward Chidington, George Ballard, John Thorpe and Robert Newman, 'and have knowne them all (saveing one John Wallis) by the space of two or three years, and some more and some lesse, and they and every of them have been and are reputed to be honest men and live in good credit and reputacon among their neighbours'. They were such 'as will not for favour or anie sinister respect testifie anie untruth upon oaths, and soe weare, and are commonly accompted, reputed and taken by them that knowe them'.

4. Mantell was before the quarrel with Sampson 'commonly reputed to be a gentleman borne and soe termed and called. And is thought to be worth £150 in estate.'

Signed by Anthony Gibbon, and by the above five commissioners.

fos. 166r-167r (Witness 2), George Gibbon of Hawkhurst, co. Kent, clothier, born there, aged 26

To Samson's defence:

He heard Henry Mantell say 'that his grandfather was arraigned, convicted and put to death in Queen Maries days for ryseing with Sir Thomas Wyatt.'

He was present in Highgate Street, Hawkhurst between 9am and noon on Easter Monday, 1635, where he heard 'Mantell make to challenge to play at sharpe or cudgels with anie of [his] father's house, whereupon Alexander Sampson (being then present and one of that house) replyed saye What Goodman Mantell are you such a man'? Then Mantell called Sampson, 'Base fellow'. His brother Anthonie Gibbon, Edward Coutheman the elder, Edward Coutheman the younger, Thomas Sloeman and several others were also present. He did not hear Sampson say any of the words in the libel. 'Henry Mantell is a cloathier by trade and is for the most part called Mr Mantell, and by some Goodman Mantell.'

Signed by George Gibbon.

To Mantell's interrogatories:

1. He testified at Alexander Sampson's request and was served by a warrant from the commissioners.

3. He knew John Willis, Samuel Bealy, John Roberts, Robert Spice, John Cray, William Gibbon, John Wildish, Edward Chiddington, John Thorpe and Robert Newman. They were 'honest men of good credit and reputacon and will not, as he beleeveth for anie favour, or time sinister respect testifie anie untruth upon their oaths, and soe are commonly accompted, reputed and taken.'

7. 'Before the speaking of the words before deposed, Mr Mantell is by repute of some a gentleman and of others noe gentleman, and is accompted to be worth about a hundred pounds.'

Signed by George Gibbon, and by the above five commissioners.

fos. 167v-168v (Witness 3), Richard Warren of Hawkhurst, co. Kent, broadweaver, born in city of Worcester, aged 40

To Samson's defence:

He was in Highgate Street, Hawkhurst, between 11am and noon, on Easter Monday, 1635, where he heard Henry Mantell challenge Anthony Gibbon 'or anie one of his father's house to play with him at sharpe, cudgels or at fists'. Alexander Sampson 'one of the said house being there replyed... sayeing that whoesoever did call him Master Mantell did mocke him'. But Warren did not hear Sampson speak any of the words in the libel. Neither did he hear Mantell give Sampson any scandalous words. Mantell was a clothier and 'more men doe call him Master Mantell then otherwise'. Mr Henry Mantell 'did this day say that his great grandfather was in Queen Marie's tyme attached for treason, but delivered in Queen Elizabeth's dayes.'

Signed by Richard Warren [his mark]

To Mantell's interrogatories:

2. He heard Sampson tell Mantell that 'whosever did call Henry Mantell otherwise then Goodman Mantell or Henry Mantel did mock him.'

3. He knew John Willis, Samuel Bealy, John Roberts, Robert Spice, John Craye, William Gibbon, John Wildish, Edward Chidingdon, George Ballard, John Thorpe and Robert Newman, witnesses on the behalf of Mantell. They were 'honest men, and live in good credit and reputation, and would not nor will for favour or anie sinister respect testifie anie untruth upon their oaths as he believeth, and are soe commonly accompted, reputed and taken.'

7. 'Some men do repute Mr Mantell to be worth £200 and some £100, but he doth not for his part knowe, what he is worth.'

Signed by Richard Warren [his mark], and by the above five commissioners.

fos. 169r-170r (Witness 4), John Sennocke of Hawkhurst, co. Kent, clothworker, born at Lamberhurst, Sussex, aged 34

To Samson's defence:

He heard Mantel say that his grandfather was attainted in Queen Mary's time. He was present in Highgate Street, Hawkhurst, at noon on Easter Monday, 1635, when he heard Mantell 'saye that he would play at cudgels or at sharpe with one of Goodman Gibbon's howse which words were spoken in the presence of Anthonie Gibbon, George Gibbon, Edward Coutheman the elder, and Edward Coutheman the younger and divers others then present'. He did not then hear Sampson speak the words in the libel. Mr Mantell was a clothier by trade, 'but is generally called Mr Mantell, and before his part never knew or heard the contrary.'

Signed John by Sennocke [his mark]

To Mantell's interrogatories:

3. As witness 3.

7. 'Henry Mantell is commonly reputed to be a gentleman born, but doth not know of what estate he is.'

Signed by John Sennocke [his mark], and by the above five commissioners.

fos. 170r-171r (Witness 5), John Chittenden of Hawkhurst, co. Kent, clothier, born there, aged 19

To Samson's defence:

He heard that day Henry Mantell say that his great grandfather was attainted and executed for treason in Queen Mary's time. He was present in Highgate Street, Hawkhurst at 11am or noon on Easter Monday, 1635, where he heard Mantell challenge one of George Gibbon's house to 'play at cudgels' with him, and heard Sampson reply 'will you Goodman Mantell?' He did not hear Sampson speak any of the words in the libel. Henry Mantell was a clothier by trade 'and is commonly called Mr Mantell by all that knowe him, unless it be Alexander Sampson.'

Signed by John Chittenden.

To Mantell's interrogatories:

1. He testified at the request of Alexander Sampson, and was served by a warrant from the commissioners. He 'favoureth both parties alike and would confer the victorie upon him that hath the right and not other wise.'

3. As witness 3.

7. 'Henry Mantell hath been and is commonly reputed to be a gentleman borne, and is thought to be worth £200.'

Signed by John Chittenden and by the above five commissioners.

fos. 171v-172v (Witness 6), Edward Coutheman, the elder, of Hawkhurst, co. Kent, clothier, born at Cranbrook, co. Kent, aged 50

To Samson's defence:

He was present in Highgate Street, Hawkhurst, between 10am and noon, on Easter Monday, 1635, where he heard Mantell say to Anthony Gibbon 'that he would play at sharpe or cudgels with Alexander Sampson or anie of George Gibbon's house if any durst goe out with him. Whereupon, Alexander Sampson (being one of George Gibbon's house), replyed answearing, Goodman Mantel, are you soe lustie; the tyme maye come, that you may be glad to worke with him. Thereupon, Mr Mantell said, Why sirrah I am a gentleman borne, to which Sampson replyed nothing in [Coutheman's] heareing'. Anthony Gibbon, George Gibbon, John Willis, John Sennock 'and divers others whose names he doth not remember' were also present. 'Mr Mantell is a cloathier by trade, and is sometimes called Master Mantell, and sometimes Goodman Mantell.'

Alexander Sampson did not utter any of the words in the libel.

Signed by Edward Couthman, the elder [his mark]

To Mantell's interrogatories:

1. He testified because he was 'served by a warrant from the commissioners'. He 'favoreth both parties alike and wisheth the victorie to him that hath the right, and not otherwise, and soe would give it, if it were in his power to give.'

3. As witness 3.

6. 'Henry Mantell was commonly called Mr Mantell, but whether he was a gentleman borne or not he knoweth not. Neither doth he know of what estate Mr Mantell is.'

Signed by Edward Couthman, the elder [his mark], and by the above five commissioners.

fos. 173r-174r (Witness 7), Edward Coutheman, the younger, of Hawkhurst, co. Kent, clothier, born there, aged 20

To Samson's defence:

He heard that day Mantell say that his great grandfather was attainted and executed in Queen Mary's days. He was present in Highgate Street, Hawkhurst, between 10 and 11 a.m. on Easter Monday, 1635, 'and sawe Mr Mantell come out of the King's Head Inn in Highgate Street, having a stick in his hand which he shaked over Sampson's head saying that he would fight with him or one of the Gibbons in Hawkhurst with that sticke or at sharpe, or at cudgels. Whereupon, Sampson said, I pray you Goodman Mantell be quiet, I was warned to come up this day, and I came not to quarrel. And soe Sampson goeing away, Mr Mantell followed him saying that he was a base fellow'. He denied hearing Sampson speak any of the words in the libel. Anthony Gibbon, George Gibbon, Samuel Bealy, John Willis and others were also present. Mantell was a clothier by trade, 'and for the most part called Mr Mantell, and sometimes Goodman Mantell.'

Signed by Edward Couthman, the younger [his mark]

To Mantell's interrogatories:

3. As witness 3.

Signed by Edward Couthman the younger [his mark], and by the above five commissioners.

Acta (4), fos. 175r-v, Notary public's certificate

Signatures and seals of the commissioners William Boys, Peter Courthop, Thomas Lorde, James Perry, Richard Kilburne.

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

Dated 21 April 1636.

Notary public's mark.

Submission

15/1w, Submission

The submission was to be performed between 9 and 11am on Monday 10 July 1637 'standing bareheaded near the crosse at Highgate, in the presence of four or six persons, such as Mr Henry Mantell shall think fitt to bring, if he shall bring any, shall reade or say as followeth: Whereas I, Alexander Sampson, doe stand convicted by proofe made against me in the Court Military in a cause prosecuted against me by Mr Henry Mantell of Highgate, gentleman, to have used divers disgraceful and abusive speeches of him being a gentleman and in particular to [damaged] said that Mr Mantell was a two penny or three halfe penny gentleman; and that he was no gentleman, but Goodman Mantell, and that his coate was grown old and thread bare and worne out, I do humbly acknowledge that I am hartily sorry for my such rash and unadvised speeches; and doe confesse that Mr Mantell is a gentleman of an antient family bearing armes and doe hartily pray him to forgive me my such rash and unadvised speeches, and do promise never to abuse him in the like, but to behave myself withal due respect towards him and the rest of the gentrie of this kingdome for ever hereafter.'

Signed by Gilbert Dethick, registrar

'This being reade or performed as above, Alexander Sampson is to set his hande unto it and some 2, 3 or foure of the witnesses present are to subscribe their names as witnesses of the performance; and Sampson is to take care that it be duly returned into this court on or before the first court day in Michaelmas terme next.'

Signed by Alexander Samson.

15/1w, Certificate of submission

'Right honourable we whose names are hereunder written do signifie that Alexander Sampson of the parish of Hawkhurst in the county of Kent, clothier, hath at Highgate publickely made his penitent and submissive confession (bareheaded) unto Henry Mantle, gent, according to the injunction and order of your honourable court therein commanded:

Peter Philpott

Thomas Crier

Richard Weekes

Willm. Grothall'

A true account of the submission was received by Sir Henry Marten in the court on 14 October 1637, signed by Gilbert Dethick.

15/1a, Plaintiff's bill of costs

Easter term, 1635: £4-10s-0d

Trinity term, 1635: £2-7s-6d

Michaelmas term, 1635: £5-1s-8d

Vacation: £15-3s-4d

Hillary term, 1635: £5-16s-8d

Easter term, 1636: £7-6s-8d

Vacation: £7-15s-0d

Hillary term, 1636: £2-10s-10d

Easter term, 1637: £4-10s-0d

Trinity term, 1637: £7-13s-4d

Sum total: £61-12s-0d

Signed by H. Marten.

30 October 1637.

Summary of proceedings

Dr Duck was counsel for Mantell and Dr Talbot for Sampson. Dr Duck produced witnesses in May 1636, and on 7 May Samuel Bealy testified that around 22 March 1636 Sampson said 'in a boasting and scoffing manner that he knew how the suite would go betweene Mr Henry Mantle and him, for my Lord had set down a decree that Alexander Sampson should pay 20 ld to the kinge and 80 ld to Henry Mantle to pay John Robbins at midsummer'. In June 1636 Sampson was warned to appear. On 28 January and 11 February 1637 Dr Duck gave the articles and warned to Sampson to appear in person to respond to them. On 16 February Sampson was again warned to appear in person to make his response, and was bound to the King for £100. On 29 April 1637, Sampson was again warned to appear and respond to the articles against him. A certificate of Sampson's submission was received by Sir Henry Marten in court on 14 October 1637. Proceedings on 30 October referred to the taxing of £6 as expenses.

Notes

For another account of the case, see G. D. Squibb, Reports of Heraldic Cases in the Court of Chivalry, 1623-1732 (London, 1956), pp. 21-2.

Henry Mantell (b. c.1607) was the second son of Walter Mantell of Monk's Horton, co. Kent, esq, and Catherine, daughter of Thomas Turney, esq. Alexander Sampson appeared in neither of the Kent Visitations.

R. Hovenden (ed.), The Visitation of Kent taken inthe years 1619-21 (Publications of the Harleian Society, 42, 1898), p. 87; G. J. Armytage (ed.), A Visitation of the County of Kent, 1663-8 (Publications of the Harleian Society, 54, 1906).

Documents

  • Initial proceedings
    • Libel: Acta (5), fo. 42 (no date)
    • Summary of libel: R.19, fo. 14r (1635)
    • Personal answer: R.19, fo. 16r (no date)
  • Plaintiff's case
    • Letters commissory for the plaintiff: Acta (5), fo. 43 (12 Nov 1635)
    • Defence interrogatories: Acta (5), fo. 40 (no date)
    • Plaintiff's depositions: Acta (5), fos. 20-32 (13 and 18 Jan 1636)
    • Notary public's certificate: Acta (5), fo. 34 (18 Jan 1636)
  • Defendant's case
    • Defence: Acta (4), fo. 186 (11 Feb 1636)
    • Letters commissory for the defence: Acta (4), fo. 187 (no date)
    • List of commissioners' names for the defendant: 7/89 (no date)
    • Plaintiff interrogatories: Acta (4), fo. 184 (no date)
    • Defence depositions: Acta (4), fos. 162-74 (4 Apr 1636)
    • Notary public's certificate: Acta (4), fo. 175 (21 Apr 1636)
  • Submission
    • Submission: 15/1w (10 Jul 1637)
    • Certificate of submission: 15/1w (14 Oct 1637)
    • Plaintiff's bill of costs: 15/1a (30 Oct 1637)
  • Proceedings
    • Proceedings before Huntingdon: 8/25 (20 Jun 1635)
    • Undated proceedings: R.19, fos. 390-399 (c. Jun 1635?)
    • Undated proceedings: College of Arms MS. 'Court of Chivalry' (act book, 1636-8) [pressmark R.R. 68C] (hereafter 68C), fos. 64r-67r (c. Apr 1636?)
    • Proceedings before Arundel: 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. 1r-11r (16 Feb 1637)
    • Proceedings: 68C, fos. 14r-20v (16 Feb 1637)
    • Proceedings: 68C, fos. 37r-41v (29 Apr 1637)
    • Proceedings before Arundel: 8/26 (14 Oct 1637)
    • Proceedings before Maltravers: 8/27 (14 Oct 1637)
    • Proceedings before Marten: 8/27 (14 Oct 1637)
    • Proceedings before Marten: 8/26 (30 Oct 1637)
    • Proceedings before Maltravers: 8/28 (31 Oct 1637)

People mentioned in the case

  • Ballard, George, clothier
  • Bealy, Samuel, clothier
  • Boys, William, esq (also Boyes, Borse)
  • Brown, John, gent
  • Chittenden, Edward, broadweaver (also Chidington, Chiddington, Chidingdon)
  • Chittenden, John, clothier
  • Courthop, Peter, esq (also Courthope)
  • Coutheman, Edward, the elder
  • Coutheman, Edward, the younger
  • Cray, John, broadweaver (also Craye)
  • Crier, Thomas
  • Dethick, Gilbert, registrar
  • Duck, Arthur, lawyer
  • Gibbon, Anthony, clothier
  • Gibbon, George, clothier
  • Gibbon, William, clothier
  • Gibbons, Thomas
  • Grothall, William
  • Hastings, Henry, earl of Huntingdon
  • Howard, Henry, baron Maltravers
  • Howard, Thomas, earl of Arundel and Surrey
  • Kilburne, Richard, gent (also Kilborne)
  • Langham, William, notary public
  • Lord, Thomas, clerk (also Lorde)
  • Mantell, Catherine (also Mantle)
  • Mantell, Henry, gent (also Mantle)
  • Mantell, Walter (also Mantle)
  • Mantell, Walter, esq (also Mantle)
  • Marten, Henry, knight
  • Newman, Robert, clothier
  • Perry, James, gent
  • Philpott, Peter
  • Plommer, Thomas, gent (also Plomer)
  • Plommer, William (also Plomer)
  • Roberts, John, weaver
  • Robbins, John
  • Sampson, Alexander, clothier
  • Sennocke, John, clothworker
  • Sloeman, Thomas
  • Somers, Lawrence
  • Spice, Robert, weaver
  • Stuart, Charles I, king
  • Talbot, Clere, lawyer
  • Thorpe, John, tailor
  • Tudor, Elizabeth I, queen
  • Tudor, Mary I, queen
  • Turney, Catherine
  • Turney, Thomas, esq
  • Warren, Richard, broadweaver
  • Weekes, Richard
  • Wildish, John, broadweaver (also Wildishe)
  • Willis, John, gent
  • Wyatt, Thomas, knight

Places mentioned in the case

  • Kent
    • Cranbrook
    • Goudhurst
    • Hawkhurst
    • Monk's Horton
  • London
    • St Mary Lombard Street
  • Middlesex
    • Staple Inn
  • Surrey
    • Southwark
  • Sussex
    • Firle
    • Lamberhurst
    • Salther
    • Tilehurst
  • Worcester

Topics of the case

  • apparel
  • challenge to a duel
  • coat of arms
  • denial of gentility
  • festival
  • inns of court
  • insult before gentlemen
  • nicknaming
  • weapon