433 Monson v Ladd

The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640.

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'433 Monson v Ladd', in The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640, (, ) pp. . British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/no-series/court-of-chivalry/433-monson-ladd [accessed 29 February 2024]

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Sir William Monson of St Martin-in-the-Fields, co. Middlesex, knt, Sir Robert Hyde of Salisbury, co. Wiltshire, knt, and Thomas Sheppard, John Monson and Dr Maye, esqs v Henry Ladd

January - February 1638


Monson, Hyde and the others complained to the Earl Marshal that around November 1637, having been required by the King to summon Ladd before them, he had told them that they 'were all cheating fellows and sought to cheat and undo the country if there were no course taken with them'. At the time the five men were acting as commissioners for poor relief and the summons had been made in response to a petition from John Barnett to the king dated 3 January 1638. During February several witnesses made depositions supporting the commissioners' complaint, but one of them, Richard Marson, later withdrew his statement claiming that the words had only been directed against Barnett. No further proceedings survive.

Initial proceedings

EM84, Petition

'The humble petition of Sir Wm Munson and Sir Robert Hide, knts., and Thomas Sheppard, John Munson and Doctor Maye, esqs.


The petitioners, by vertue of his Majestie's reference (upon the humble petition of one John Barnett), did by a note of summons under their hands, require one Henry Ladd to attend them upon the reference; whereupon Ladd used these disgraceful and scandalous terms, saying that your petitioners are cheating fellows and go about to cheat the country, with many other opprobrious words, in contempt of his Majestie's gracious reference, and of the petitioners (as by affidavit annexed may appear). Whereby your petitioners do greatly suffer in their reputations.'

Petitioned that Henry Ladd be brought before the court.

No date

EM85, Affidavit

Richard Marson

'Richard Marson maketh oath that Henry Ladd being lawfully summoned by vertue of his Majestie's reference directed to the right worshipfull Sir William Munson and Sir Robert Hide, knights, Thomas Sheppard John Munson and Doctor Maye, esqs, upon the humble petition of John Barnett, bearing the date the third of January 1638 at the court at Whitehall, [said] that the commissioners are cheating fellows and goes about to cheate the cuntrey, with many other opprobrious words, in contempt of his Majestie's gracious reference and the worshipful commissioners. And upon further contempt arrested the poore peticoner the day that he was coming to attend the commissioners upon his own suyte, and did put irons upon his hands and sent him to the common goale saying, Now lett the commissioners fetch him out with their reference, to the utter undoing of his wyffe and 6 small children.'

17 January 1638.

Signed by Jo. Mychell.

EM88, Affidavit
Susan Hill

'Susan Hill maketh oath that Henry Ladd, having binn about three months sithence or thereabouts lawfully summoned to make his personal appearance before his Majestie's commissioners, upon references from his Majesty directed unto Sir William Munson knight, Thomas Shepheard, John Munson Doctor Maye esqs, and others, the commissioners for the relief of poor men, Henry Ladd often times said that they were all cheating fellows and sought to cheat and undo the country if there were no course taken with them. Of which, long sithence, this witness was ready to make oath had she been able to travaile so far as London.' She added that 'Ladd did speak the above words or more to the same effect in the presence of many other persons who for fear of the tyranny of Ladd are afraid, and as yet dare not to speake the truth.'

7 February 1638

Signed by John Mychell.

EM89, Affidavit Albinia Hill

'Albinia Hill maketh oath that since Henry Ladd was summoned to appear before his Majestie's commissioners, by vertue of his Majestie's gratious reference to them directed, she did go to the house of Henry Ladd to buy bread, who, being then within, asked [Hill] where her father was. [Hill] answered that he was gone abroad. Ladd replied, Abroad, he is gone to the commissioners, who go about to cheat the whole country, and your father is a cheater in following that cheating course. To whom she said, Then you were best to tell them so. Then Ladd answered againe, I say it, and you may tell them of it, if you will, for I care not who tells them of it.'

10 February 1638

Signed by John Mychell.

EM100, Affidavit

Marson affirmed on oath that Ladd said the commissioners 'were cheating fellows and went about to cheate the countrey'. Marson was persuaded by Henry Hill and his wife, and one Barnett, 'and would never be in quiett with them until they had persuaded me' to go to London to affirm the same. 'But the truth is the wordes which were spoken were spoken against Barnett, which I conceaved at that tyme to be one of the commissioners. Now I am very sorry that I was soe mislead by their meanes and doe desire that there maie be noe further trowble in the business.'

Signed by Richard Marson [his mark]

Witnessed by Robert Ringsteed, Dennys Colt, John Heath, Thomas Taylor, Richard Sowerbutts, William Chapman.

Dated 25 February 1638.


Sir William Monson was the son of Sir John Monson of South Carlton, co. Lincoln. He earned a reputation as a privateer during the 1580s and served against the Spanish Armada. In 1595 he married Dorothy, daughter of Richard Wallop of Bugbrooke, co. Northampton. He was knighted on the expedition to Cadiz in 1596 and appointed Admiral of the Narrow Seas in 1604. Stripped of office in 1616, he spent much time thereafter in writing. During 1635 he was lodging in Covent Garden, but he was still appointed Vice Admiral of the first ship money fleet. In 1637 he was appointed to the King's council of war. He died in the parish of St Martin-in-the-Fields, co. Middlesex in February 1643.

A. Thrush, 'Sir William Monson (1568?-1643)', Oxford DNB (Oxford, 2004).

Sir Robert was the second son of Sir Laurence Hyde of Salisbury (c.1562-1642) and Barbara Castilian. He was educated at Magdalen Hall, Oxford, and the Middle Temple. Called to the bar in 1617, he married Mary Baber in 1631. He was Recorder of Salisbury from 1635, and a justice of the peace for Wiltshire. He was M.P. for Salisbury in the Long Parliament and voted against Strafford's attainder. His cousin was Edward Hyde, later earl of Clarendon. He joined the King in Oxford in 1642.

W. Prest, 'Sir Robert Hyde (1595/6-1665)', Oxford DNB (Oxford, 2004)

In May 1638 Sir Lawrence Hyde and Robert Hyde, Recorder of Salisbury, was suspected of negligence in collecting timber for the King's ships.

CSP Dom. 1637-8 , p. 480.

On 5 November 1639 Sir William Monson took examinations of several mariners at Deal, co. Kent, concerning offences committed by the Dutch.

CSP Dom. 1639-1640 , p. 75.


  • Initial proceedings
    • Petition: EM84 (no date)
    • Affidavit: EM85 (17 Jan 1638)
    • Affidavit: EM88 (7 Feb 1638)
    • Affidavit: EM89 (10 Feb 1638)
    • Affidavit: EM100 (25 Feb 1638)

People mentioned in the case

  • Baber, Mary
  • Barnett, John
  • Castilian, Barbara
  • Chapman, William
  • Colt, Dennys
  • Heath, John
  • Hill, Albinia
  • Hill, Henry
  • Hill, Susan
  • Hyde, Barbara
  • Hyde, Edward, earl of Clarendon
  • Hyde, Laurence, knight
  • Hyde, Mary
  • Hyde, Robert, knight (also Hide)
  • Marson, Richard
  • Maye, Dr, esq
  • Monson, John, esq (also Mounson, Munson)
  • Monson, William, knight (also Mounson, Munson)
  • Mychell, Jo.
  • Ringsteed, Robert
  • Sheppard, Thomas
  • Stuart, Charles, king
  • Taylor, Thomas
  • Sowerbutts, Richard
  • Wentworth, Thomas, earl of Strafford

Places mentioned in the case

  • Middlesex
    • Covent Garden
  • Oxfordshire
    • Magdalen Hall
    • University of Oxford
  • Wiltshire
    • Salisbury

Topics of the case

  • allegation of cheating
  • civil war
  • contempt of court
  • Long Parliament
  • member of parliament
  • royalist