446 Morres v Turner

The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640.

This free content was Born digital. All rights reserved.

'446 Morres v Turner', in The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640, (, ) pp. . British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/no-series/court-of-chivalry/446-morres-turner [accessed 1 March 2024]

In this section

446 MORRES V TURNER

Thomas Morres of Coxwell, co. Berkshire v Richard Turner of Langford, co. Berkshire

October 1639 - June 1640

Figure 446:

Faringdon, Berkshire, where Richard Turner defamed Thomas Morres and his son in August 1639, showing the seventeenth century town hall.

Abstract

Morres complained that Turner publicly defamed him and his sons on 24 August 1639 in Faringdon, Berkshire, saying that Morres 'was a base fellow and not a gentleman' and that Turner 'was a better gentleman himselfe' than Morres 'or his three sonnes; and that hee did hope to see them all goe a begginge; and wished that he might be soe happye as to meet any one of them in the field to fight with them'. Process was granted on 31 October 1639 and by February 1640 testimony had been taken from Morres's witnesses. Morres won the case in June 1640 and was awarded £50 damages and expenses.

Initial proceedings

6/3, Petition

'Your petitioner is a gentleman of auncient descent and good repute, yett on[e] Richard Turner, of Langford, of meane condicon, upon 24 August last past, being Bartholomew's day, used these fowle and reprochefull wordes and languadge of your pet[itio]ner and his sonnes, vizt. That your pet[ition]er was a base fellow and not a gentleman; and that hee was a better gentleman himselfe then your peticoner or his three sonnes; and that hee did hope to see them all goe a begginge; and wished that he might be soe happye as to meet any one of them in the field to fight with them which wordes were spoken publiquely in the towne of Faringdon, in the county of Berks., before many credible persons without any provocacon of your peticoner or any of his sonnes.

These are therefore humbly to pray your honor that you would be favourably pleased to grant your process to call Turner in your honorable Court Military that your petitioner may bee repaired in his creditt and reputacon.

And he shall be bound to pray'.

2 November 1639

Maltravers granted process on 31 October 1639.

Defendant's case

11/11, Defence

2 items in Latin.

Signed by Thomas Ryves.

No date.

Sentence / Arbitration

18/5c, Plaintiff's sentence [damaged]

Turner was sentenced for having called Morres a 'base fellow and noe gentleman and that he was a better gentleman himself and that he did hope to live to see him and his three sonnes goe a begging and wished that he might be so happie as to meet with anie one of them in the field to fight with them.'

Morres was awarded £50 damages and expenses. The amount the case was taxed is in the missing corner of the document.

No date marked, but filed under Trinity term, 1640.

Signed by Charles Tooker.

18/5d, Plaintiff's bill of costs [damaged]

Michaelmas term, 1639: £6-7s-8d

Hilary term, 1639/40: £12-8s-6d

Easter term, 1640: at least £6-0s-0d

Sum total in missing corner of the document, but at least £25.

The amount the case was taxed and the signatures are in the missing corner of the document.

Summary of proceedings

Dr Duck and Dr Tooker acted as counsel for Morres, and Dr Ryves for Turner. On 4 February Dr Tooker was to publish the testimony of the witnesses for Morres, and Dr Ryves was to relate Turner's defence.

Notes

Thomas Morres was the son of Thomas Mores of Coxwell and Dowsabella, daughter of Thomas Dennis of the Isle of Wight. Thomas married Bridget, daughter of William Wilmot of Wantage, co. Berkshire.

W. H. Rylands (ed.), The Four Visitations of Berkshire, 1532, 1566, 1623, and 1665-6, vol. I (Publications of the Harleian Society, 56, 1907), p. 247.

Documents

  • Initial proceedings
    • Petition: 6/3 (2 Nov 1639)
  • Defendant's case
    • Defence: 11/11 (no date)
  • Sentence / Arbitration
    • Plaintiff's sentence: 18/5c (Tri 1640)
    • Plaintiff's bill of costs: 18/5d (no date)
  • Proceedings
    • Proceedings before Maltravers: 8/31 (4 Feb 1640)

People mentioned in the case

  • Dennis, Dowsabella
  • Dennis, Thomas
  • Duck, Arthur, lawyer
  • Howard, Henry, baron Maltravers
  • Morres, Bridget (also Mores)
  • Morres, Dowsabella (also Mores)
  • Morres, Thomas (also Mores)
  • Ryves, Thomas, lawyer (also Rives)
  • Tooker, Charles, lawyer
  • Turner, Richard
  • Wilmot, Bridget
  • Wilmot, William

Places mentioned in the case

  • Berkshire
    • Coxwell
    • Faringdon
    • Langford
    • Wantage

Topics of the case

  • challenge to a duel
  • comparison
  • denial of gentility