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434 MONSON V WELCH
William Monson, viscount Monson of Castlemaine, Ireland v Robert Welch of the city of London, esq
February - October 1640
Viscount Monson complained that he had been abused by Robert Welch in St Martin's Lane, London, during a game of cards at Welch's house on 9 February 1640. He described how Welch had cheated during a game of piquet by palming two of the cards and attempting to discard them when Monson was not looking. When Monson challenged him, the gentlemen bystanders, George Paschall, and George and Henry Colt, although all friends of Welch, backed him up. Welch lost his temper and, according to Monson, declared 'I will baffle you, and I will make every boy in the towne baffle you', adding 'you have been baffled by every boy in the towne'. He then threatened to strike Monson's head with a candlestick if he spoke any more, saying that he 'durst not fight with him nor with any body else'. When he left Welch followed him into the street, challenging him to fight and declaring, 'If you will fight I will lend you my sword, and I will have another.' Monson tried to calm the situation, replying, 'I beseech you Mr Walsh, let me alone until tomorrow...I will talk with you tomorrow.' The next day he went straight to the Court of Chivalry with his petition to Arundel and process was granted immediately. Depositions were taken from two of the servants present at the incident in June and in October proceedings were still under way; but nothing further survives.
2/44, Petition to Arundel
'Your petitioner, at the earnest intreaty of Mr Robert Welche, esq, the 9th of February last at night, he did play with Welch at a game at cardes called Pikcett. Mr Welch having plaid fowle play, taking upp seaven cards out of the stocke and putting out but 4, and your petitioner having shewen his raffe, and called the rest of his game, and plaid his first card, Welch did hold the two cards which he had to many in the palme of his hand, and put the same upon the stocke upon the 4 cards which he had formerly discarded, which being perseaved by your petitioner and he denying the same, the standers by, although his special friends, did justify the same against him. But he, being inraged that his foule play should be discovered, did use many disgracefull and provoking words your petitioner giving him no occasion or provocation thereunto, saying that he would baffell your petitioner, and make everybody in the towne baffell your petitioner, that if your petitioner did speak one word more he would strike and kill your petitioner, and the same words he did reiterate divers times and other provoking speeches; and all this done att his owne house and amongst his owne servants, your petitioner being brought thither at that time by Welch, and not having any friend there present to relie upon nor any servant there present.'
Petitioned that Welch be brought to answer.
Maltravers granted process on 10 February 1640.
2/48, Plaintiff's bond
10 February 1640
Bound to appear 'in the Court in the painted Chamber within the Pallace of Westminster'.
Signed by William Monzon.
Sealed, subscribed and delivered in the presence of John Watson.
1. Monson had been a knight for 20 years or thereabouts and Baron Monson of Bellingard in Ireland for 12 years or thereabouts, and was now Viscount Monson of Castlemaine in Ireland. His family had been gentry for up to 300 years.
2. Welch had said to him: 'I will baffle you, and I will make every or any boy in the towne baffle you; and you have been baffled by every boy in the towne; and if I spake one word he would strike me; and looking on a candlestick said if I spake one word he would strike me on the head with the candlestick; and sayd I durst not fight with him nor with any body else, and that I had beene baffled by many.'
3-5 items in Latin.
Signed by Arthur Duck.
Cur Mil 1631-1642, fos. 161r-v, Plaintiff deposition
fo. 161r-v (Witness 1), William Parker, household servant, born at Bletchingdon, co. Oxford
To Monson's libel:
1. Monson was styled and reputed Baron Monson of Bellingard and Viscount Monson of Castlemaine, in Ireland.
2-3. In one of the months in the libel, he accompanied Lord Monson to a house in St Martin's Lane, in the parish in the libel. He remained in a lower room, and 'heard a great noise above and after a while the Lord Monson came down and was going homewards along the street; and Mr Walsh ran in the street after the Lord Monson and would have had him goe to Walsh's lodging'. He did not hear Walshe use any of the words in the libel.
To Walsh's interrogatories:
1. He was a servant to Monson, from whom he received his wages.
2. He 'wisheth right may take place and careth not who hath the better in this cause.'
Signed by William Parker [his mark]
Cur Mil 1631-1642, fos. 170v-172r, Plaintiff depositionfos. 170v-172r (Witness 2), Alice Fuller of Covent Garden, London, spinster, born at Lemington, co. Hampshire, aged about 22
11 June 1640
To Monson's libel:
1. 'She cannot depose anything of her own knowledge'.
2. Since last Christmas she was servant to Mrs Paschall of St Martin's Lane, London. Lord Monson ate at her mistress's house one night where he played at cards or dice with Mr Walsh. She was at the door to their room which was shut, but heard Walsh say to Monson, 'I could find in my hart to strike you'. There were also present in the room Mr George Paschall, Mr George Colt and Mr Henry Colt. After Lord Monson departed home, Walsh followed and she looked out of a window and heard Walsh say in the street, 'If you will fight I will lend you my sword and I will have another'. Lord Monson replied 'I beseech you Mr Walsh let me alone until tomorrowe, or I will talk with you tomorrow, or words to that effect; and the Lord Monson's man stood in the street holding a torch in his hand at the time aforesaid, but whether he heard the words before deposed she knoweth not.'
3-4. 'She referreth herself to what she hath before deposed and otherwise cannot depose.'
To Walsh's interrogatories:
2. She 'wisheth right may take place.'
4. 'The first words before by her deposed of were spoken in the dining room of the said house and the other words were spoken in the street in St Martins Lane.'
To Walsh's second set of interrogatories:
1. She had not received and did not expect to receive reward for her testimony.
Signed by Alice Fuller [her mark].
Summary of proceedings
Dr Duck was counsel for Viscount Monson and Dr Merrick for Walsh. There were proceedings in this cause on 10 October 1640.
William, viscount Monson of Castlemaine (c.1599-1673) was from a Lincolnshire family, the younger son of the courtier Sir Thomas Monson (d. 1641).
On 23 August 1628 he was created baron Monson of Bellingard and viscount Monson of Castlemaine. In 1625 he married Margaret Stuart, widow of the earl of Nottingham. His first wife having died, he married Frances, daughter of Thomas Alston of Suffolk in 1646. Frances had died by 1651 and he took for his third wife Elizabeth, widow of Edward Horner of Mells, co. Somerset. Viscount Monson was a ship money refuser who developed Independent religious sympathies. He was a parliamentary committeeman for Suffolk and M.P. for Reigate during the Long Parliament. Although he did not sign the King's death warrant he was stripped of his honours and titles in 1661, and imprisoned for life.
M. F. Keeler, The Long Parliament, 1640-1641: A Biographical Dictionary of its Members (Philadelphia, 1954), p. 275; G. E. Cokayne, The Complete Peerage (London, 1936), vol. 9, pp. 67-9.
- Initial proceedings
- Petition to Arundel: 2/44 (10 Feb 1640)
- Plaintiff's bond: 2/48 (10 Feb 1640)
- Libel: 11/13 (no date)
- Plaintiff's case
- Plaintiff's deposition: Cur Mil 1631-42, fo. 161 (no date)
- Plaintiff's deposition: Cur Mil 1631-42, fos. 171-2 (11 Jun 1640)
- Proceedings: 1/11, fos. 56r-64v (10 Oct 1640)
- Proceedings: 1/11, fos. 73r-78v (10 Oct 1640)
People mentioned in the case
- Alston, Frances
- Alston, Thomas
- Colt, George, gent
- Colt, Henry, gent
- Duck, Arthur, lawyer
- Fuller, Alice, spinster
- Horner, Edward
- Horner, Elizabeth
- Howard, Charles, earl of Nottingham
- Howard, Henry, baron Maltravers
- Howard, Thomas, earl of Arundel and Surrey
- Merrick, William, lawyer
- Monson, Elizabeth, viscountess Monson of Castlemaine (also Mounson, Monzon)
- Monson, Frances, viscountess Monson of Castlemaine (also Mounson, Monzon)
- Monson, Margaret, viscountess Monson of Castlemaine (also Mounson, Monzon)
- Monson, Thomas, knight (also Mounson, Monzon)
- Monson, William, viscount Monson of Castlemaine (also Mounson, Monzon)
- Parker, William, servant
- Paschall, George, gent
- Paschall, Mrs
- Stuart, Margaret
- Watson, John
- Welch, Robert, esq (also Walsh)
Places mentioned in the case
- Covent Garden
- St Martin's Lane
Topics of the case
- challenge to a duel
- Long Parliament
- member of parliament
- ship money
- threatened violence