541 Price v Griffith

The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640.

This free content was Born digital and sponsored by AHRC and University of Birmingham. CC-NC-BY.


In this section


Thomas Price of Glanfred [Llanbraid], co. Cardigan, esq v Richard Griffith of Llangynfelin, co. Cardigan, gent

October 1634 - January 1635

Figure 541:

Ludlow castle, Shropshire, seat of the Council of the Marches where the quarrel between Thomas Price and Richard Griffith had begun.


Price, a J.P. and deputy lieutenant for Cardiganshire, complained that in March or April 1634 in Ludlow, Shropshire, and in September or October in Llangynfelin, Cardiganshire, Griffith called him 'vile and ignoble' in the presence of 'persons of dignity', which words were likely to provoke a duel. Griffith maintained he had been provoked by Price calling him a 'bankruptlie knave' after Griffith had obtained a recovery of lands against him in the Council of the Marches. Under this provocation, Griffith admitted he gave Price the lie. Proceedings were under way in October 1634 and a commission headed by David Parry, esq, was appointed to meet to examine Price's witnesses 12-14 January 1635 in the court house in Talybont, Cardiganshire. No indication of sentence survives.

Initial proceedings

9/4/48 Defendant's petition

'Your petitioner, havinge obtained a recovery of certaine lands before the Councell in the Marches of Wales against one Thomas Price, esq, Mr Price afterwards meeting your petitioner in the streets in Ludlow brake foorth into rayling tearmes against your petitioner and called him "bankruptlie knave," whereunto your petitioner being thus provoked, answered in this manner, "What you say is a lye". Hereupon Mr Price complayned to your lordship, and your petitioner being attached by your lordship's warrant and bound to answer before your honor, hath in all obedience accordinglie made his appearance, and confessing the words to be by him spoken in manner and forme and upon such provocacon, as aforesaid.'

'Most humblie submitteth himself to your good lop being willing to performe whatsoever your lop in this case shall thinke fitt to enjoyne him, beseeching your lop's favorable consideracon of the premisses; as also that the said Mr Price was an outlawed person at the time of the words spoken and soe remayneth at this present as by the writt extant to be seene appeareth. And that your lopp will vouchsafe to give a speedie end to this cause in regard of your petner's many occasions at home, and great charge here, being the father of many children, and 150 miles from his dwelling.'

[Endorsed: 'Exhibit in curia 30 October 1634']

9/4/29, Libel

Price was descended of a gentry family and had been for 7-12 years a justice of the peace in Cardigan, and deputy lieutenant to the earls of Northampton and Bridgwater, and had also served as sheriff for the county.

That March or April last past, in Ludlow, in the presence of various persons of dignity, and in September or October. in Llangynfelin, Cardigan, in the presence of persons of dignity Griffith asserted that Price was 'vile and ignoble' or other words likely to provoke him to a duel.

Endorsed 13 November 1634.

No signatures.

9/4/29, Instructions for Griffith

'Instructions for Mr Reece Griffith concerning the suit between him and Thomas Price in the Earle Marshall Court:

1. Repaire to Mr Dethick for a coppie of the libel of Mr Price.

2. To deliver these commissioners names to Dr Eden and to request him to drawe interrogatories, vizt. Theis being the commissioners names John Davies, clarke, of the parish of Clanvihanyellyn in the county of Cardigan, Rowland Hughes of Pennal in the county of Merioneth, clarke, Richard Piggott of Llanwrin in the county of Montgomery, to be examined in any convenient place within twelve myles to the parties' dwelling houses.'

No date.

No signatures.

Summary of proceedings

No counsel were mentioned. Price appeared before the earl of Arundel to prosecute the cause on 20 October 1634. On 13 November 1634 Price gave the libel and petitioned for it to be admitted. Upon repetition of the libel, Griffith challenged it and Price had to prove the same in the first session of next term. The commissioners appointed for examining Price's witnesses were David Parry, esq, Walter Lloyd, esq, John Pugh, esq, and David Griffith, gent, and also, John Davies, clerk, Rowland Hughes of Pennal, co. Merioneth, clerk, and Richard Piggott of Llanwrin, co. Montgomery. They were to meet from 12 to 14 January 1634/5 in the court house in Talybont, co. Cardigan, with Gilbert Dethick as notary public. On 24 January 1634/5 Price was required to prove his libel and transmit the commission.


Neither party appeared in M. P. Siddons (ed.), Visitations by the Heralds in Wales (Publications of the Harleian Society, new series, 14, 1996).

Thomas Price of Llanbraid, esq, was appointed high sheriff of co. Cardigan in October 1636.

J. Broadway, R. Cust and S. K. Roberts (eds.), A Calendar of the Docquets of Lord Keeper Coventry, 1625-40 (List and Index Society, special series, 35, 2004), part 2, p. 367.


  • Initial proceedings
    • Defendant's petition: 9/4/48 (30 Oct 1634)
    • Libel: 9/4/29 (13 Nov 1634)
    • Instructions to Griffith: 7/59 (no date)
  • Proceedings
    • Proceedings before Arundel: 1/1 (20 Oct 1634)
    • Proceedings: 1/13 (13 Nov 1634)
    • Proceedings before Maltravers: 1/2 (24 Jan 1634/5)

People mentioned in the case

  • Compton, Spencer, earl of Northampton
  • Davies, John, clerk
  • Dethick, Gilbert, registrar
  • Eden, Thomas, lawyer
  • Egerton, John, earl of Bridgwater
  • Griffith, David, gent
  • Griffith, Richard, gent
  • Howard, Henry, baron Maltravers
  • Howard, Thomas, earl of Arundel and Surrey
  • Hughes, Rowland, clerk
  • Lloyd, Walter, esq
  • Parry, David, esq
  • Piggott, Richard
  • Price, Thomas, esq
  • Pugh, John, esq

Places mentioned in the case

  • Cardiganshire
    • Clanvihanyellyn [Llanfihangel-y-Creuddyn or Llanfihangel Genau'r Glyn]
    • Glanfred [Llanbraid]
    • Llangynfelin
    • Talybont
  • Merionethshire
    • Pennal
  • Montgomeryshire
    • Llanwrin
  • Salop / Shropshire
    • Ludlow
  • Wales

Topics of the case

  • allegation of bankruptcy
  • Council of the Marches
  • denial of gentility
  • deputy lieutenant
  • giving the lie
  • high sheriff
  • office-holding
  • provocative of a duel