467 Norton v Buggs

The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640.

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'467 Norton v Buggs', in The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640, (, ) pp. . British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/no-series/court-of-chivalry/467-norton-buggs [accessed 1 March 2024]

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Richard Norton of St Michael, Cornhill, London, gent v John Buggs of St Andrew Hubbard, London, M.D.

April - October 1638


Norton complained that between February and April 1638 in the parish of St Peter's, Cornhill, London, Dr John Buggs gave him the lie and said that 'I was the sonne of a whore and a base fellow'. Dr Duck was required to prove the libel on 20 October following, but no further proceedings or sentence survives. [For Buggs' countersuit, see cause 81].

Initial proceedings

20/3q, Libel

1. Norton's family had been gentry for up to 300 years. Between February and April in the parish of St Peter, Cornhill, London, Buggs 'gave me the lye and said I did lye and that I was the sonne of a whore and a base fellow'. These contemptuous words were provocative of a duel.

Dated 28 April 1638.

Signed by Arthur Duck.

Summary of proceedings

Dr Duck acted as counsel for Norton and Dr Merrick for Buggs. Dr Duck was required to prove the libel on 20 October 1638.


John Buggs is unmentioned in the Visitations of 1633-5 and 1664, but Richard Norton may have been the Richard Norton mentioned in the 1633 Visitation of London as being the husband of Lettice, daughter of Luke Norton of Offley, co. Hertford, esq, and the son of William Norton of Sharpenhoe, co. Bedford. Richard Norton became a linen draper and the business partner of Richard Chaloner. He grew active in the peace movement during the civil war. He was a vestryman at St Michael Cornhill and he headed a list of 31 citizens suspected of royalist plotting in December 1642. His partner Chaloner was executed for royalist conspiracy the following year.

J. J. Howard (ed.), The Visitation of London in 1633, 1634, and 1635 (Publications of the Harleian Society, 17, 1883), vol. 2, p. 128; K. Lindley, Popular Politics in Civil War London (Aldershot, 1997), pp. 246-7, 341.


  • Initial proceedings
    • Libel: 20/3q (28 Apr 1638)
  • Proceedings
    • Proceedings before Arundel: R.19, fos. 434r-449v (20 Oct 1638)

People mentioned in the case

  • Buggs, John, M.D.
  • Chaloner, Richard
  • Duck, Arthur, lawyer
  • Merrick, William, lawyer
  • Norton, Lettice
  • Norton, Luke, esq
  • Norton, Richard, gent
  • Norton, William

Places mentioned in the case

  • Bedfordshire
    • Sharpenhoe
  • Hertfordshire
    • Offley
  • London
    • St Andrew Hubbard
    • St Michael, Cornhill
    • St Peter, Cornhill

Topics of the case

  • civil war
  • denial of gentility
  • giving the lie
  • royalist
  • sexual insult