423 Michell v White

The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640.

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'423 Michell v White', in The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640, (, ) pp. . British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/no-series/court-of-chivalry/423-michell-white [accessed 2 March 2024]

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John Michell of Truro, co. Cornwall, gent v Michael White of the same

December 1637 - February 1638

Figure 423:

Truro, Cornwall, in the early nineteenth century. Commissioners were appointed to hear John Michell's witnesses at the Bull Inn in April 1638 (From S. Drew, The History of Cornwall (1824))


Michell complained that White had said that he was 'a base rogue, a base knave, and that he was not worth a groate his debtes being paid'. On 12 February 1638 Dr Duck presented the libel for Michell and a commission headed by John Trefusis, esq, was appointed to take examinations of Michell's witnesses 2-4 April at the Bull Inn, Truro, Cornwall, but no further proceedings survive.

Initial proceedings

3/39, Petition to Arundel

'Your petitioner is a gentleman descended of an ancient familie; and that Michaell White of Truro hath of late abused your petitioner by using some scandalous and disgracefull speeches against him, saying to him, or concerning him, that he was a base rogue, a base knave and that he was not worth a groate his debtes being paid, to the great dishonor of your petitioner.'

Petitioned that White be brought to answer.

Duck desired Dethick to grant process.

4 December 1637.

Signed by Arthur Duck.

3/40, Plaintiff's bond

4 December 1637

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

Signed by Henry Vincent of St Clement, Cornwall, gent, on behalf of Michell.

Sealed, subscribed and delivered in the presence of Humphrey Terrick.

Summary of proceedings

Dr Duck was counsel for Michell and Dr Parry for White. On 3 February 1638 Michael White was required to appear according to his bond. On 12 February Dr Duck presented the libel and the commissioners John Trefusis esq, John Tredinham, Edward Grosse and Henry Vincent, gents, and also Joseph May, William Smyth, Samuel Hill, Hannibal Gammon, clerks, were appointed to take examinations of Michell's witnesses from 2 to 4 April 1638 at the Bull Inn, Truro, co. Cornwall.


John Michell was the son of John Michell of Truro, co. Cornwall and Jane, daughter of John Killygrew. He married Cristabel, daughter of Richard Roberts of Truro. His son and heir Richard was aged 21 in 1620, while his second son was another John Michell.

J. L. Vivian and H. H. Drake (eds.), The Visitation of Cornwall in the year 1620 (Publications of the Harleian Society, 9, 1874), p. 142.


  • Initial proceeding
    • Petition to Arundel: 3/39 (4 Dec 1637)
    • Plaintiff's bond: 3/40 (4 Dec 1637)
  • Proceedings
    • Proceedings before Arundel: 1/5, fos. 23-35 (3 Feb 1638)
    • Proceedings before Arundel: 1/5, fos. 38-56 (12 Feb 1638)

People mentioned in the case

  • Dethick, Gilbert, registrar
  • Duck, Arthur, lawyer
  • Gammon, Hannibal, clerk
  • Grosse, Edward, gent
  • Hill, Samuel, clerk
  • Howard, Thomas, earl of Arundel and Surrey
  • Killygrew, Jane (also Killigrew)
  • Killygrew, John (also Killigrew)
  • May, Joseph, clerk
  • Michell, Cristabel
  • Michell, Jane
  • Michell, John, the younger
  • Michell, John, gent
  • Michell, Richard
  • Parry, George, lawyer
  • Roberts, Cristabel
  • Roberts, Richard
  • Smyth, William, clerk
  • Terrick, Humphrey
  • Tredinham, John, gent
  • Trefusis, John, esq
  • Vincent, Henry, gent
  • White, Michael

Places mentioned in the case

  • Cornwall
    • St Clement
    • Truro
  • Middlesex
    • Westminster

Topics of the case

  • allegation of bankruptcy
  • denial of gentility