413 Martin v Wrottesley

The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640.

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'413 Martin v Wrottesley', in The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640, (, ) pp. . British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/no-series/court-of-chivalry/413-martin-wrottesley [accessed 1 March 2024]

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Robert Martin of Leigh Court, co. Worcester, gent v William Wrottesley of Wrottesley, co. Stafford, gent

May 1634 - June 1634


Martin complained that in May 1634 in the parish of St Clement Danes, beyond Temple Bar, London, Wrottesley called him 'a rascall and a base fellow' and challenged him to a duel, then later in the day drew his sword on him with the intent to kill. An attachment was granted by the court on 21 May 1634 and Wrottesley was taken into custody. Martin entered his libel on 7 June, producing William Harecot as a witness, and also the glove with which Wrottesley issued his challenge. Wrottesley acknowledged the glove was his and admitted making the challenge, but denied speaking evil words of Martin or drawing his sword. On 30 June Martin was given leave to produce additional witnesses to his libel and Wrottesley to prepare his defence; but no further proceedings survive.

Initial proceedings

9/4/58, Libel

Martin complained that in May 1634 in the parish of St Clement Danes, beyond Temple Bar, London, Wrottesley insulted him by calling 'a rascall and a base fellow'. At the same time Wrottesley challenged him to go into the field and fight with swords and wrote a challenge to this effect which Martin refused. A little later on the same day in the parish of St Dunstan-in-the-West, Wrottesley drew his sword on him and attempted to kill him.

Endorsed 30 June 1634

Summary of proceedings

On 21 May 1634 Dr Eden was granted an attachment against Wrottesley. On 7 June 1634 Martin and Wrottesley both appeared, the latter in custody. Martin delivered his libel in writing, accusing Wrottesley of the intention of fighting him. William Harecot was produced as a witness in support of the libel and gloves were exhibited as evidence. Wrottesley confessed to the glove and the challenge, but denied the evil words and drawing his sword. William Hare, a 19 year-old, was sworn as a witness. On 30 June Mr Martin was given leave to produce witnesses to his libel, and Mr Wrottesley to prepare his defence.


A Robert Martin, son of Mathew Martin of Barton (d.1613) and Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Knightley, appeared in the Visitation of 1634.

A. T. Butler (ed.), The Visitation of Worcestershire, 1634 (Publications of the Harleian Society, 90, 1938), p. 66.

William Wrottesley was the son of Sir Hugh Wrottesley of Wrottesley, and Margaret, daughter of Sir Edward Devereux of Castle Bromwich, co. Warwick.

G. J. Armytage and W. H. Rylands (eds.), Staffordshire Pedigrees based on the Visitation of that County made by William Dugdale, 1663-4 (Publications of the Harleian Society, 63, 1912), p. 258.


  • Initial proceedings
    • Libel: 9/4/58 (30 Jun 1634)
  • Proceedings
    • Proceedings: 7/15 (24 May 1634)
    • Proceedings before Arundel: 7/17 (7 Jun 1634)
    • Proceedings: 17/2c/vi (7 Jun 1634)
    • Proceedings: 8/23 (30 Jun 1634)

People mentioned in the case

  • Devereux, Edward, knight
  • Devereux, Margaret
  • Eden, Thomas, lawyer
  • Harecot, William
  • Howard, Thomas, earl of Arundel and Surrey
  • Knightley, Elizabeth
  • Knightley, Thomas
  • Martin, Elizabeth
  • Martin, Matthew
  • Martin, Robert, gent
  • Wrottesley, Hugh, knight
  • Wrottesley, Margaret
  • Wrottesley, William, gent

Places mentioned in the case

  • London
    • St Clement Danes
    • St Dunstan-in-the-West
    • Temple Bar
  • Staffordshire
    • Wrottesley
  • Warwickshire
    • Castle Bromwich
  • Worcestershire
    • Barton
    • Leigh Court

Topics of the case

  • apparel
  • challenge to a duel
  • denial of gentility
  • weapon