486 Officers Of Arms v Rivers

The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640.

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'486 Officers Of Arms v Rivers', in The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640, (, ) pp. . British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/no-series/court-of-chivalry/486-officers-of-arms-rivers [accessed 2 March 2024]

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Officers of Arms v Mrs Rose Rivers, widow of William Rivers, esq

May - June 1636


This was a cause of office on behalf of the Officers of Arms against Mrs Rivers, for refusing to pay the fees for the funeral certificates issued on the death of her husband, William Rivers, esq, and his uncle, Sir George Rivers, a Sussex J.P. The importance of the case increased when Rivers called on William Say, a Middle Temple barrister, to advise her and he denied the legality of the fees [See cause 487]. Process was granted against Mrs Rivers in early 1636, and Say appeared before the court on her behalf on 3 June. But no further proceedings survive.

Summary of proceedings

No counsel was mentioned. On 3 June 1636 William Say, esq, on behalf of Rose Rivers, had to appear and respond to the bill on behalf of the Officers of Arms.


William Say of Slinfold, Sussex, had been a barrister since 1631. During the Personal Rule he was fined as the ringleader of a group who drank a toast to a meeting of parliament. He was a staunch parliamentarian and friend of Bulstrode Whitelocke. He was elected as M.P. for Camelford, Cornwall in 1647 and signed the king's death warrant in 1649.

J. T. Peacey, 'William Say (1604-1666)', Oxford DNB (Oxford, 2004).


  • Proceedings
    • Proceedings before Arundel: College of Arms MS. 'Court of Chivalry' (act book, 1636-8) [pressmark R. R. 68C] (hereafter 68C), fos. 89r-100r (May 1636)
    • Proceedings before Sir Henry Marten: 68C, fos. 122r-124v (3 June 1636)

People mentioned in the case

  • Howard, Thomas, earl of Arundel and Surrey
  • Marten, Henry, knight
  • Rivers, Rose
  • Rivers, George, knight
  • Rivers, William, esq
  • Say, William, lawyer
  • Stuart, Charles I, king
  • Whitelocke, Bulstrode

Places mentioned in the case

  • Cornwall
    • Camelford
  • Sussex
    • Slinfold

Topics of the case

  • cause of office
  • funeral ceremony
  • justice of the peace
  • Long Parliament
  • member of parliament
  • parliamentarian
  • regicide