BHO

549 Pudsey v Wharton

The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640.

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549 PUDSEY V WHARTON

Ralph Pudsey of Stapleton, co. York, gent v Michael Wharton of Bentley, co. York, esq

April - November 1640

Abstract

Pudsey complained that at Mr Robert Manby's house in Beverley, Yorkshire, in September 1639, Wharton had challenged him to a duel, offering to bring another man to fight Pudsey's friend, Edward Nelthorpe of Gray's Inn, gent. The challenge was issued during a meeting of Pudsey's friend, Thomas Beckwith, esq, with a Gray's Inn lawyer, Edward Haldanby, esq, and various Beverley worthies and friends of Wharton, including Richard Pearson, esq, Robert Manby, gent, Thomas Clarke and William Johnson, aldermen, and William Johnson of Cherry Burton, a yeoman whom Pudsey had successfully prosecuted in December 1638 in the Court of Chivalry [see cause 546]. They were engaged in an attempt to reconcile the various differences between the two men which led Wharton to bring a suit against Pudsey in the Court of Chivalry in November 1639 [see cause 701]. This broke down, allegedly, when Beckwith said that 'he feared that the suites or differences would scarcely be ended without a duel or fight', to which Wharton retorted that 'to end the suites and controversies he would fight with Mr Pudsey if Mr Pudsey would or durst.' One of those present then asked if he should tell Pudsey this to which Wharton answered 'he would give Mr Pudsey no such advantage.' Wharton secured a temporary suspension of proceedings against him in April 1640, invoking his privilege as an M.P. for the duration of the Short Parliament, but process was granted on 30 June 1640 and Pudsey's witnesses were examined by a commission of Matthew Wentworth, esq, John Nelthorpe, William Goodricke and William Fowke, gents, on 22 July 1640 in the inn of John Farburne in Beverley. The court was moving to hear these depositions on 20 November, but the case was lost with the suspension of its proceedings.

Initial proceedings

5/105, Petition

'Your peticoner and his ancestors for these 200 or 300 yeares past have been gent and some of them knightes bearing armes. And that Michael Warton of Bently, in the countie of Yorke, 3 months last past in Beverley in the countie of Yorke sayd these words, vizt. That there were many differences between him Mr Warton and your petitioner and that he Mr Warton would fight with your peticoner if hee durst; and bringe another to fight with Nelthorpe, meaning one Mr Nelthorpe, a friend and companion of your petitioner's; and spake the words without any provocation given him intending thereby to provoke your petitioner to duell.'

Petitioned that Wharton be brought to answer

Maltravers granted process on 30 June 1640.

5/104, Plaintiff's bond

15 June 1640

That he was to 'appear in the Court in the Painted Chamber within the Pallace of Westminster'.

Signed by Ralph Pudsey.

Sealed, subscribed and delivered in the presence of John Watson.

5/98, Defendant's bond

18 June 1640

Bound to 'appear in the court in the Painted Chamber within the palace of Westminster'.

Signed by Michael Wharton.

Sealed subscribed and delivered in the presence of John Longland and John Dynham.

Plaintiff's case

Cur Mil II, fos. 99-103, Plaintiff depositions

Taken before commissioners Matthew Wentworth, esq, John Nelthorpe, gent, William Goodricke, gent and Walter Fowke, gent, on 22 July 1640 in the inn of John Farburne in Beverley, co. York.

fos. 100r-v (Witness 1), Edward Haldanby of Gray's Inn, London, born at Haldenby, co. York, aged about 35

To Pudsey's libel:

2. In August or September he was with Mr Wharton at Mr Robert Manby's house in Beverley, and heard him say 'that if Mr Pudsey would fight with him', he would fight Pudsey. Mr Robert Manby, William Johnson, Mr Thomas Clarke, Mr Richard Pearson, Robert Johnson and others were present.

3. There were lawsuits between the Pudsey and Wharton before and at the time of the speaking of the words.

Signed by Edward Haldanby and by the four commissioners.

To Wharton's interrogatories:

4. Some of the company spoke of the quarrel between Wharton and Pudsey, and it was upon that occasion that Wharton uttered the above words.

Signed by Edward Haldanby and by the four commissioners.

fo. 101r (Witness 2), William Johnson of Cherry Burton, co. York, yeoman, born at Bishop Burton, co. York, aged about 36

To Pudsey's libel:

2. As in the libel deposed.

The rest not answered by consent of the examiner.

Signed by William Johnson and by the four commissioners.

fos. 101r-v (Witness 3), Robert Johnson of Beverley, co. York, born at Bishop Burton, aged about 30

To Pudsey's libel:

2. He was with Mr Wharton at Mr Robert Manby's house in Beverley, and heard him say that 'whereas there were many differences and suites between him and Mr Pudsey, to end the suites and controversies he would fight with Mr Pudsey if Mr Pudsey would or durst.' Mr Robert Manby, Mr Edward Haldanby, William Johnson, Mr Thomas Clarke, Mr Richard Pearson and others were present.

3. There were lawsuits between the Pudsey and Wharton before the speaking of the words, but whether there were at the time, he knew not, although 'there were controversies and differences between them'.

Signed by Robert Johnson and by the four commissioners.

To Wharton's interrogatories:

4. The occasion upon which Wharton spoke the words was when one of the company suggested a reconciliation between the him and Pudsey.

Signed by Robert Johnson and by commissioners Wentworth, Nelthorpe and Goodricke.

fo. 102r (Witness 4), Richard Pearson of Beverley, co. York, esq, born at Hedon, co. York, aged about 43

To Pudsey's libel:

2. As in the libel deposed.

The rest not answered by consent of Pudsey.

To Wharton's interrogatories:

Not answered by consent of Wharton.

Signed by Richard Pearson and by the four commissioners.

fo. 102r (Witness 5), Thomas Clarke of Beverley, co. York, alderman, aged about 72

To Pudsey's libel:

2. He could not remember hearing any of the words in the libel spoken by Wharton.

The rest not answered by consent of Pudsey.

To Wharton's interrogatories:

Not answered by consent of Wharton.

Signed by Thomas Clarke and by the four commissioners.

fos. 102v-103r (Witness 6), Robert Manby of Beverley, co. York, gent, aged about 50

To Pudsey's libel:

2. In September Mr Wharton was at the witness's house, where he heard him say that if Pudsey or any other man challenged him, he would fight them. Mr Edward Haldanby and others were present.

3. There were lawsuits between Pudsey and Wharton before the speaking of the words.

4. Mr Wharton did not utter those words with intent to provoke Mr Pudsey to a duel.

Signed by Robert Manbie and by the four commissioners.

To Wharton's interrogatories:

4. 'Mr Beckwith said that *he feared that* the suites or differences between Mr Warton and Mr Pudsey would scarcely be ended without a duel *or a fight*'. Wharton then replied that if Pudsey or another challenged him, he would fight them. One present asked Wharton if he should tell Pudsey such, 'Mr Warton answered he would give Mr Pudsey no such advantage.'

The rest were not answered by consent of Wharton.

Signed by Robert Manbie and by the four commissioners.

fos. 103r-v (Witness 7), William Johnson of Beverley, co. York, alderman, aged about 39

To Pudsey's libel:

2. In September 1639 he was with Mr Wharton at Mr Robert Manby's house in Beverley, where he heard him say that if Pudsey challenged him, he would fight him. Mr Richard Pearson, Mr Edward Haldanby, Mr Manby, William Johnson of Cherry Burton, Robert Johnson and the witness were present. Which of them heard the words he could not tell as some 'were going in and out of the dores, and was not altogether present'.

To Wharton's interrogatories:

Not answered by consent of Wharton.

Signed by William Johnson and by the four commissioners.

Cur Mil II, fo. 103v, Notary public's certificate

Certificate in Latin signed by John Rainshaw, notary public that the examinations had been completed and were now being returned.

No date.

Notary's mark.

Summary of proceedings

Dr Merrick acted as counsel for Pudsey and Dr Eden for Wharton. On 10 and 24 October the court moved to send to the commissioners for the examinations of Pudsey's witnesses. On 20 November 1640 Dr Merrick was to publish the depositions of these witnesses, but Dr Eden objected.

Notes

Also of Monkwearmouth, co. Durham, Ralph Pudsey (b. c. 1616) was the son of William Pudsey of Bolton, esq, and Elizabeth, daughter of John Banister of Wakefield. Ralph's grandfather, Thomas Pudsey had died imprisoned in York castle for his Catholicism in 1576. Ralph was also a Roman Catholic and was commissioned as a lieutenant-colonel in the royalist horse regiment of Colonel Anthony Eyre.He was either killed at Naseby or Drogheda.

P.R. Newman, Royalist Officers in England and Wales, 1642-1660: A biographical dictionary (London, 1981), p. 308; J. W. Clay (ed.), Dugdale's Visitation of Yorkshire, with additions (Exeter, 1907), vol. 2, p. 275.

Michael Wharton (1593-1645) was the son and heir of Sir Michael Wharton of Beverley Park, knight (d.1655), and Elizabeth, daughter of Ralph Hansby of Beverley. He attended St John's, Cambridge and Gray's Inn. He married Catherine, daughter of Christopher Maltby of Maltby, co. York and became a prominent ship money refuser. He was M.P. for Beverley in both the Short and Long Parliaments and although at first a lukewarm parliamentarian, by 1643 he attended the King at Oxford, for which he was secluded from the House of Commons in 1644. He died among the royalist garrison defending Scarborough castle.

R. Davies (ed.), The Visitation of the County of Yorke begun in 1665 and finished in 1666, by William Dugdale (Surtees Society, 36, 1859), p. 331; M. F. Keeler, The Long Parliament, 1640-1641: A Biographical Dictionary of its Members (Philadelphia, 1954), pp. 379-80; J. T. Cliffe, The Yorkshire Gentry from the Reformation to the Civil War (London, 1969), p. 325; B. English, The Great Landowners of East Yorkshire, 1530-1910 (Hemel Hempstead, 1990), passim .

Documents

  • Initial proceedings
    • Petition: 5/105 (30 Jun 1640)
    • Plaintiff's bond: 5/104 (15 Jun 1640)
    • Defendant's bond: 5/98 (18 Jun 1640)
  • Plaintiff's case
    • Plaintiff depositions: Cur Mil II, fos. 99-103(22 Jul 1640)
    • Notary public's certificate: Cur Mil II, fo. 103 (no date)
  • Proceedings
    • Proceedings: 1/11, fos. 56r-64v (10 Oct 1640)
    • Proceedings: 1/11, fos. 49r-52r (24 Oct 1640)
    • Proceedings: 1/11, fos. 5r-9r (20 Nov 1640)

People mentioned in the case

  • Banister, Elizabeth
  • Banister, John
  • Beckwith, Thomas, esq
  • Clarke, Thomas, alderman
  • Dynham, John
  • Eden, Thomas, lawyer
  • Eyre, Anthony
  • Farburne, John, innkeeper
  • Fowke, William, gent
  • Goodricke, William, gent
  • Haldanby, Edward, esq
  • Hansby, Elizabeth
  • Hansby, Ralph
  • Howard, Henry, baron Maltravers
  • Johnson, Robert
  • Johnson, William, alderman
  • Johnson, William, yeoman
  • Longland, John
  • Maltby, Catherine
  • Maltby, Christopher
  • Manby, Robert, gent (also Manbie)
  • Merrick, William, lawyer
  • Nelthorpe, Edward, gent
  • Nelthorpe, John, gent
  • Pearson, Richard, esq
  • Pudsey, Elizabeth
  • Pudsey, Ralph, gent
  • Pudsey, Thomas
  • Pudsey, William, esq
  • Rainshaw, John, notary public
  • Stuart, Charles I, king
  • Wharton, Catherine (also Warton)
  • Wharton, Elizabeth (also Warton)
  • Wharton, Michael, esq (also Warton)
  • Wharton, Michael, knight (also Warton)
  • Watson, John
  • Wentworth, Matthew, esq

Places mentioned in the case

  • Cambridgeshire
    • St John's College
    • University of Cambridge
    • Durham,
    • Monkwearmouth
  • Durham
    • Monkwearmouth
  • Ireland
    • Drogheda
  • London
    • Gray's Inn
  • Middlesex
    • Westminster
  • Northamptonshire
    • Naseby
  • York
    • York Castle
  • Yorkshire, East Riding
    • Bentley
    • Beverley
    • Beverley Park
    • Bishop Burton
    • Cherry Burton
    • Hedon
  • Yorkshire, North Riding
    • Bolton
    • Scarborough
    • Stapleton
  • Yorkshire, West Riding
    • Haldenby
    • Maltby
    • Wakefield

Topics of the case

  • challenge to a duel
  • civil war
  • inns of court
  • Long Parliament
  • other courts
  • parliamentarian
  • Roman Catholic
  • royalist
  • ship money
  • taxation