455 Napper v Bartlet

The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640.

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Robert Napper of Puncknowle, co. Dorset, esq v John Bartlet of Litton Cheney, co. Dorset, yeoman

November 1637


Napper complained that Bartlet claimed he was a better gentleman than Napper, that Napper was no gentleman, and that he knew where Napper came from 'and what his beginning was'. Napper entered bond to prosecute the cause on 24 November 1637, but no further proceedings nor sentence survive. [For another cause involving Napper while a student see 456].

Initial proceedings

3/96, Plaintiff's bond

24 November 1637

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

Signed by Robert Napper.

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

3/97, Petition to Arundel

'The petitioner being a gentleman of armes and antient family was in August last past much abused by many evill and base words given him by one John Bartlet of the parishe of Litton in the countie aforesaid, yeoman. Bartlet amongst other base speeches in a very opprobrious manner, sayed that he was a better man then the petitioner, that he was a gentleman, and that the petitioner was none, and that he knew from whence the petitioner came, and what his beginning was, without any provocation'.

Petitioned that Bartlet be brought to answer.

Duck desired Dethick to grant process, 25 November 1637.

Signed Arthur Duck.


Robert Napper was the second son of Sir Nathaniel Napper of Moor Crichell, co. Dorset, knt (d. 1635), and Elizabeth, daughter and heir of John Gerrard of Long Hyde in Steeple in the Isle of Purbeck, co. Dorset, esq. Robert was born in c. 1610 and still alive during the Visitation of 1677. He married three times. His son Robert (b. 1656) was created a baronet.

J. P. Rylands (ed.), The Visitation of Dorsetshire, 1623 (Publications of the Harleian Society, 20, 1885); p. 74; G. D. Squibb (ed.), The Visitation of Dorset, 1677 (Publications of the Harleian Society, 117, 1977), p. 49.


  • Initial proceedings
    • Plaintiff's bond: 3/96 (24 Nov 1637)
    • Petition to Arundel: 3/97 (25 Nov 1637)

People mentioned in the case

  • Bartlet, John, yeoman
  • Dethick, Gilbert, registrar
  • Duck, Arthur, lawyer
  • Gerrard, Elizabeth
  • Gerrard, John
  • Howard, Thomas, earl of Arundel and Surrey
  • Napper, Elizabeth
  • Napper, Nathaniel, knight
  • Napper, Robert, baronet
  • Napper, Robert, esq
  • Terrick, Humphrey

Places mentioned in the case

  • Dorset
    • Isle of Purbeck
    • Litton Cheney
    • Steeple
    • Moor Crichell
    • Puncknowle
  • Middlesex
    • Westminster

Topics of the case

  • comparison
  • denial of gentility