513 Perkinson v Pemberton

The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640.

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John Perkinson of Ampthill, co. Bedford, gent v John Pemberton of St Albans, co. Hertford, gent

Michaelmas term, 1635 - June 1637


The cause of Perkinson's complaint appears to have been scandalous words spoken by Pemberton that were provocative of a duel. Perkinson's witnesses were examined around April - May 1636 and included William Humfrey, the mayor of St Albans. Pemberton alleged that he had been provoked by Perkinson, but lost the case and Perkinson was awarded £50 damages and £20 in costs.

Plaintiff's case

14/1x, Defence interrogatories

1. Was the witness related to the parties in this case and if so in what degree? Was the witness indebted to the parties and if so for how much?

2. Was the witness a servant or retainer of either of the parties? Was the witness a tenant or farmer to either of the parties and if so for what property?

3. When and where, and in whose presence and hearing were the words spoken?

4. Let the witness set down the formal words spoken by Pemberton.

5. Upon what occasion were Pemberton's words spoken? What had Parkinson said first, and who provoked who first?

6. Speak the truth of what you know, believe or have heard.

No date.

No signatures.

Sentence / Arbitration

EM3147, Plaintiff sentence

Common form document with amounts simply filled in:

Fine of £50 damages awarded to Perkinson, and £20 costs

Signed by Duck and Maltravers.

EM3148, Plaintiff's bill of costs

Michaelmas term, 1635 - Trinity term, 1637: £38-13s-10d

Taxed at £20.

Summary of proceedings

Dr Duck acted as counsel for Parkinson and Dr Eden for Pemberton. Around April 1636 the commissioners were required to send the examinations of Parkinson's witnesses, which included those of William Owen, Robert Hattersley, Roger Hunt and William Humfrey, gent, mayor of St Albans. Dr Duck then produced these witnesses on 7 May. In June he petitioned for their testimony to be published and Dr Eden began the defence.


John Parkinson of Ampthill was the son of John Parkinson of Lincoln's Inn and Margery, daughter of William Dimmock of Chester, gent. He served as a captain of foot in the expeditions to Cadiz, the Isle de Rhé and La Rochelle and married Frances, daughter of John Graunt of co. Sussex, gent. John Pemberton of St Albans was the son of Roger Pemberton of St Albans and Elizabeth, daughter of Raffe More of St Albans. He married the widow of a Mr Audley, and his eldest son was also named John. He was nominated to the parliamentary committee for Hertfordshire during the civil war.

F. A. Blaydes (ed.), The Visitations of Bedfordshire made in 1566, 1582 and 1634 (Publications of the Harleian Society, 19, 1884), p. 131; W. C. Metcalfe (ed.), The Visitations of Hertfordshire made in 1572 and 163 4 (Publications of the Harleian Society, 22, 1886), p. 81; A. Kingston, Hertfordshire during the Great Civil War and the Long Parliament (London, 1894), p. 28.


  • Plaintiff's case
    • Defence interrogatories: 14/1x (no date)
  • Sentence / Arbitration
    • Plaintiff sentence: EM3147 (no date)
    • Plaintiff's bill of costs: EM3148 (Jun 1637)
  • Proceedings
    • Undated proceedings: College of Arms MS. 'Court of Chivalry' (act book, 1636-8) [pressmark R.R. 68C] (hereafter 68C), fos. 64r-67r (c. Apr 1636)
    • Proceedings before Arundel: 68C, fos. 89r-100r (May 1636)
    • Proceedings before Maltravers: 68C, fos. 74r-83v (7 May 1636)
    • Proceedings before Sir Henry Marten: 68C, fos. 84r-88v (9 May 1636)
    • Proceedings before Maltravers: 68C, fos. 112r-121v(Jun 1636)
    • Proceedings: 68C, fos. 105r-110v (8 Nov 1636)
    • Proceedings before Arundel: 68C, fos. 51r-59r (28 Jan 1637)
    • Proceedings: 68C, fos. 70r-73v (c. 1636-8)
    • Proceedings: 68C, fos. 100v-101v (c. 1636-8)

People mentioned in the case

  • Audley, Mr
  • Dimmock, Margery
  • Dimmock, William, gent
  • Duck, Arthur, lawyer
  • Eden, Thomas, lawyer
  • Graunt, Frances
  • Graunt, John
  • Hattersley, Robert
  • Howard, Henry, baron Maltravers
  • Howard, Thomas, earl of Arundel and Surrey
  • Humfrey, William, gent
  • Hunt, Roger
  • Marten, Henry, knight
  • More, Elizabeth
  • More, Raffe
  • Owen, William
  • Pemberton, Elizabeth
  • Pemberton, John, gent
  • Pemberton, Roger, gent
  • Parkinson, Frances
  • Parkinson, John, gent
  • Parkinson, Margery
  • Perkinson, John, gent (also Parkinson)

Places mentioned in the case

  • Bedfordshire
    • Ampthill
  • France
    • Isle de Rhé
    • La Rochelle
  • Hertfordshire
    • St Albans
  • Middlesex
    • Lincoln's Inn
  • Spain
    • Cadiz
  • Sussex

Topics of the case

  • civil war
  • inns of court
  • mayor
  • military officer
  • office-holding
  • parliamentarian
  • provocative of a duel
  • Thirty Years' War