550 Pye v Weaver

The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640.

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Walter Pye of Saddlebow and Stapleton, co. Hereford, gent v Richard Weaver former mayor of Hereford, esq

June 1639 - January 1640

Figure 550:

Early Stuart Hereford. Walter Pye complained that Robert Weaver had given him the lie at his nephew's shop in the town in March 1639. (From John Speed, The Theatre of Great Britain (1611))


Pye complained that Weaver, a former mayor and M.P. for Hereford, gave him the lie and abused him as 'a base fellow, a base lying fellow, a drunkard, a common drunkard', and 'a beggarly fellow' in the presence of gentlemen at the shop of his nephew Robert Weaver of Hereford, mercer, on 12-13 March 1639, the time of the county assizes. Pye had married the daughter of the late Richard Weaver of Stapleton, gent, cousin to the defendant and claimed that at the time of the Herefordshire Visitation in 1634 Weaver had acquired a pedigree with his coat of arms and since kept it from him. When he had asked for its return Weaver responded that 'he was a better and honester man then Pye', and that 'Pye was noe gentleman but what his wife made him'. Pye entered bond to prosecute the case 6 July 1639 and Weaver entered bond 14 October. No further proceedings survive from this case, but Weaver brought a counter suit in November 1639 which gives more detail on the circumstances and his defence [see cause 694].

Initial proceedings

6/97, Petition to Maltravers

'Your petitioner, being in company with one Richard Weaver, late citizen and mercer of Hereford, in the house of one Robert Weaver, a mercer of that towne, at the generall assises last, and, in a faire and gentle way, demanding of Rich. Weaver a pedegree which your petitioner had lent him, Weaver did in most uncivill and provoking termes before many men of good quality call your petitioner, Base fellow, base lying fellow, beggarly fellow, and drunken fellow, and [said] that he was noe gentleman, with much other disgraceful language to the great disparagement of your petitioner and his family, all which and more he is ready to prove by sufficient witness.

The petitioner therefore humbly praieth your lordship (in regard that he is well descended and allied to gent. of good quality, and that he was so publiquely disgraced with such scandalous speeches) to grant him your lordship's pr[oc]esse against Rich. Weaver to appeare in the Court Military to answear your petitioner's libel.'

Weaver was convented to appear prior to November 1639 when he began his counter suit. This petition was probably presented in Trinity term (June-July 1639) when Pye entered his bond; however there is a note on it that Maltravers granted process, 8 January 1640.

6/96, Plaintiff's bond

6 July 1639

Bound to appear 'in the Court in the painted Chamber within the Pallace of Westminster'.

Signed by William Ryley of St Anne alias Agnelis, Blackfriars, London, gent, on behalf of Pye.

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

6/14, Defendant's bond

14 October 1639

Bound to appear 'in the Court in the painted Chamber within the pallace of Westminster'.

Signed by Richard Weaver.

Sealed, subscribed and delivered in the presence of Richard Brasier, Thomas Harres, Thomas Edmonds.

R.19, fo. 6r, Summary of libel

Pye was here styled as of Preston-upon-Wye, and Weaver as a gentleman, 'late mercer, in the town aforesaid'.

'That Pye and his ancestors for above 200 years is and have been gentlemen, and that Pye for about [no number given] yeares past had taken to wife the only daughter and heir of Richard Weaver of Stapleton in the county, gentleman; and that att the assize time before many persons Weaver said that he was a better and honester man then Pye and gave him the lye, and said he was a base fellow, a base lying fellow, a drunkard, a common drunkard, a beggarly fellow; and said Pye was noe gentleman but what his wife made him, and againe gave him the lye, thereby to provoke and c.'


No signature.


Richard Weaver of Hereford, esq., former Mayor of Hereford and M.P. for the town, was the second son of Edmund Weaver of Aymestrey, Herefordshire, and Margaret daughter of - Burrop of Byton, Herefordshire, cousin to Richard Weaver of Stapleton, gent, and uncle to Robert Weaver of Hereford. He was married to Katherine, daughter of Edmund Fox of Leighton Court, Herefordshire, esq. His eldest son Edmund was described as 'of the Inner Temple.' Richard died 16 May 1642 and had a monument in Hereford Cathedral. He had signed the pedigree for the Weavers of Stapleton and Aymestrey in 1634.

Walter Pye of Stapleton, co. Hereford, was the son of Robert Pye of Saddlebow. Walter married Joyce, daughter and heir of Richard Weaver of Stapleton. He sold the manor of Saddlebow to Sir Walter Pye in 1633. Walter Pye may have been related to this Sir Walter Pye of the Mynd, co. Hereford, who was a royalist colonel of horse in the civil wars.

Richard Weaver of Stapleton was the son of Thomas Weaver of Stapleton, and Joyce, daughter of James Boyle of Hereford, esq. Robert Weaver of Hereford was the second son of Robert Weaver, gent, late sheriff of Radnorshire.

M. P. Siddons (ed.), The Visitation of Herefordshire, 1634 (Publications of the Harleian Society, new series, 15, 2002), pp. 68-9, 80; P. R. Newman, Royalist Officers in England and Wales, 1642-1660: A biographical dictionary (London, 1981), p. 309; M. F. Keeler, The Long Parliament, 1640-1641: A Biographical Dictionary of its Members (Philadelphia, 1954), pp. 381-2.


  • Initial proceedings
    • Petition: 6/97 (Jun-Jul 1639)
    • Plaintiff's bond: 6/96 (6 Jul 1639)
    • Defendant's bond: 6/14 (14 Oct 1639)
    • Libel: R.19, f. 6r (no date)

People mentioned in the case

  • Boyle, James, esq
  • Brasier, Richard
  • Burrop, Margaret
  • Edmonds, Thomas
  • Fox, Edmund, esq
  • Fox, Katherine
  • Harres, Thomas (also Harris)
  • Howard, Henry, baron Maltravers
  • Pye, Joyce
  • Pye, Robert
  • Pye, Walter, gent
  • Pye, Walter, knight
  • Ryley, William, gent (also Riley)
  • Watson, John
  • Weaver, Edmund
  • Weaver, Joyce
  • Weaver, Katherine
  • Weaver, Margaret
  • Weaver, Richard, esq
  • Weaver, Robert, gent
  • Weaver, Robert, mercer
  • Weaver, Thomas

Places mentioned in the case

  • Herefordshire
    • Aymestrey
    • Byton
    • Hereford
    • Leighton Court
    • The Mynd
    • Preston-upon-Wye
    • Saddlebow
    • Stapleton
  • London
    • Inner Temple
    • St Anne alias Agnelis, Blackfriars
  • Middlesex
    • Westminster
  • Radnorshire
  • Wales

Topics of the case

  • assizes
  • civil war
  • coat of arms
  • comparison
  • corporation
  • denial of gentility
  • drunkenness
  • giving the lie
  • high sheriff
  • mayor
  • member of parliament
  • military officer
  • provocative of a duel
  • royalist