557 Rigges v Badd

The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640.

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Robert Rigges the elder of Fareham, co. Southampton, gent v Thomas Badd of the same, esq

June - December 1640


This was Rigges's countersuit to the case brought by Badd a few weeks earlier [see cause 21]. Rigges asserted that on the evening of 27 January 1640, following a meeting of local officeholders to set the rate for ship money, at the Lion Inn in Fareham, Hampshire, Badd had called him 'a base rogue and a rascall, and noe gentleman'. Badd's defence was that Rigges had been the first to deliver the insult saying that he was 'a base fellow, the son of a cobler, and no gentleman', and threatening 'to assault and runne at him.' Badd's interrogatories once again linked the maintenance of his reputation with the Earl of Dorset's, suggesting that Rigges had called him 'a poor beggarly Lord.' Rigges took out bond to prosecute the case on 26 June 1640 and the testimony of his witnesses was taken before a commission headed by Henry Perin, esq at the Red Lion, on 4 August, the day after the testimony for the plaintiff in Badd's case. The details supported the account given here, except that William Spurling insisted that Rigges had described Dorset as 'a noble lord and a gent whom I much honour.' [See Dorset's suit against Rigges, cause 167]. Proceedings were still continuing at the final sitting of the court on 4 December, when two of the heralds endorsed a certificate, presumably confirming Rigges's gentility.

Initial proceedings

5/94, Plaintiff's bond

26 June 1640

To 'appear in the court in the Painted Chamber within the Pallace of Westminster'

Signed Robert Riggs.

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

Acta (4), fo. 311, Libel

1. Rigges was descended from a family that had been gentry for up to 200 years.

3. Thomas Badd had sweared and called him 'was a base Rogue and a Rascall and noe Gentleman'.

No date.

Signed by William Merrick.

R.19, fo. 24r, Summary of libel

Rigges and his ancestors had been commonly known as gentlemen for above 200 years. Between December and February, Badd had publicly before many gentlemen, sworn that Rigges 'was a base rogue and a rascall, and noe gentleman, thereby to provoke and c.'


No signature.

Plaintiff's case

Acta (4), fo. 312, Letters commissory for the plaintiff [damaged]

Addresssed to commissioners Henry Perin, esq, Anthonie Clifford, esq, and also William [corner missing] Ringsteed clerk, to meet from 3 to 5 August 1640, in the Lion Inn, Fareham, co. Southampton.

William Lewin, registrar, appointed John Watson deputy in his absence.

Dated 3 July 1640.

Signed by William Lewin.

Acta (4), fo. 313, Defence interrogatories

1.The witnesses were warned of the penalty for perjury and bearing false witness. What was their age, occupation, place and condition of living for the last seven years? How did they know the parties?

2. Was the witness related to Rigges, and if so, in what degree?

3. Whether 'he be a subsidy man, or was taxed for payment of ship money and how much was he taxed att and payd; and what is he worth his debts paid; and whether of the parties litigant in this cause doth he most favour and would give the victory unto if it was in his power. And whether such witness be indebted to the [plaintiff] and in what some of money and how long'?

4. Had the witness spoken to anyone concerning his deposition, or had the witness been instructed, directed or taught what to depose?

5. Was Badd captain of a trained band in co. Southampton; and had Badd's father been the high sheriff of co. Southampton, and accounted a gentleman? Did Badd live 'in the rank and quality of a gent, and is he not so commonly accounted, reputed and taken'. [Inserted later] Was Rigges a gentleman of an ancient family and had Rigges's father been accounted a gentleman? Had Rigges's grandfather been accounted a gentleman?

6. Whether between December and February, and especially on the 27 January did Rigges at Fareham 'in the presence of divers gentlemen and others of good ranke and quality publiquely say that Thomas Badd was a base fellow, the son of a cobler, and no gentleman; and offered to assault and runne at him at the said time and place?'

7. In case any witness deposed that Badd had said Rigges 'was a base rogue, a rascall, and no gent', they were to be asked whether Rigges first gave words, 'gestures and actions of provocation, scorne, disgrace, contempt and threatenings'? [Inserted later] Did Rigges first give the lie to Badd, and use disgraceful words against the Earl of Dorset, 'saying that he was a poor beggarly Lord'?

No date.

Signed by Arthur Duck

[Further insertion, but binding too tight to allow reading]

Acta (4), fos. 299r-308v, Plaintiff's depositions

Taken before the commissioners Henry Perin, esq, Anthony Clifford, esq, Francis Ringstead, bachelor at law, William Singleton, esq, and John Watson, notary public, at between 10 and 11am on 4 August 1640, at the Red Lion Inn, Fareham, co. Southampton.

Signatures of above four commissioners.

fos. 300r-301r (Witness 1), William Spurlinge

To Rigges's libel:

2. On 27 January 1639/40 in the kitchen of the Lion Inn, Fareham, he heard Badd say that 'Rigges was a base rogue or a rascall and no gentleman but whether of the said words rogue or rascall he used he knoweth not and cannot remember; and he further saith that Mr Badd used the words in a disgracefull manner and by way of disparagement to Robert Rigges'. Mr Bennet, Samuel Rowte, and Thomas Woolgar were present, but he did not know if Nicholas Hamon was present.

To Badd's interrogatories:

3. 'He is a subsidy man and was taxed at twentie shillings for ship money and paid the same: and favoureth the parties indifferently and wisheth right may take place; and careth not whoe hath the victorie; and saith he is bound for another man to Mr Rigges for payment of money but how much he knoweth not.'

7. He did not hear Rigges use any disgraceful words against the Earl of Dorset 'but there happening some speech of the right honourable lord, Captaine Badd sayd, I hope you (speaking to Mr Rigges) will not speake any wordes against my Lord of Dorsett'. Rigges replyed 'hee is a noble Lord and a gent whom I much honour'.

Signed by William Spurling and the four commissioners.

fos. 302r-303r (Witness 2), William Bennett of Fareham, co. Southampton, gent, lived there 17 years, aged 49

To Rigges's libel:

2. In January 1639/40 in the kitchen of the Lion Inn, Fareham, he heard 'Captaine Badd call Rigges base rogue rascall and no gentleman; and spake the words by way of contumelie and disparadgement of Robert Rigges'. Nicholas Hamon, William Spurlinge, Samuel Rowte and others were present.

To Badd's interrogatories:

4. He had conferred with several witnesses produced on both sides 'and hath asked them what they could testify in this Cause.'

6. Rigges did call Badd 'base fellow and the son of a cobler'. Before these words Mr Rigges 'upon some words of difference between him and Captaine Badd said that whosoever would say or justify some words which Captain Badd then spake did lye too or it was a lye'. Although there was some talk about the Earl of Dorset, he did not remember Rigges speaking any disgraceful words of the earl.

Signed by William Bennet and the four commissioners.

fos. 304r-305r (Witness 3), Nicholas Hamond of Eastfield in Fareham parish, co. Southampton, yeoman, born in Fareham parish, lived at Eastfield about 5 years, aged 29

To Rigges's libel:

1. Rigges had been called Mr Rigges for all the time of his remembrance.

2. Since last Christmas and at a meeting to set a rate for ship money, in the kitchen of the Lion Inn, Fareham, he heard Badd call Rigges 'a base rogue and a rascall and no gentleman, which words Mr Badd spoke in a hastie and angrie manner'. Mr Bennet, William Spurlinge and Samuel Rowte, Mr John Barton, Thomas Woolgar, and Mr Rigges were also present.

To Badd's interrogatories:

He was taxed at 40s for ship money which he paid. He was worth £700 or £800 with his debts paid, and favoured the parties equally.

Signed by Nicholas Hamond and the four commissioners.

fos. 308r-v (Witness 4), Samuel Rowte of Fareham, co. Southampton, husbandman, born there, aged 26

To Rigges's libel:

1. He had known Rigges for 8 years who had for all that time been known as Mr Rigges.

2. That last January he was in the kitchen of the Lion Inn, Fareham, where he heard Badd call Rigges 'base fellow, stinking fellow and no gentleman; and Mr Badd spoke the words in an angrie manner as he thinketh'. Mr Bennet, William Spurlinge and Nicholas Hamond were also present.

To Badd's interrogatories:

He 'was taxed at eight shillings for payment of ship money and was collector for the same and knoweth not what he is worth and wisheth right may take place and careth not whoe hath the better in this Cause.'

Signed by Samuel Rowte and the four commissioners.

Acta (4), fo. 309, Notary public's certificate

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

No date.

Notary's mark.

Summary of proceedings

Dr Merrick acted as counsel for Rigges and Dr Duck for Badd. On 10 October 1640 Dr Merrick petitioned to publish the depositions of Rigges's witnesses, which was effected on 4 December, on which day also a genealogical certificate was validated by Sir William Seagar and Sir William Le Neve.


There was no pedigree for the Badd family, but Jane, daughter of Emanuel Badd. married Thomas Leigh, mayor of Newport. Emanuel Badd died on 18 August 1632 and Thomas Badd (c. 1607-1683) was created a baronet on 28 February 1643 and knighted at Oxford on 5 March 1643. John Aubrey remarked on the family's meteoric rise: 'The happiness a shoemaker has in drawing on a fair lady's shoe; I know a man the height of whose ambition was to be apprenticed to his mistress's shoemaker on condition he could do so. Sir Thomas Badd's father, a shoemaker, married the brewer's widow of Portsmouth, worth £20,000.' Sir Thomas Badd was fined £470 for his royalist allegiance in December 1647. He died on 10 June 1683, aged 76 years and was buried at Fareham. He had no heirs and the baronetcy became extinct. Emanuel Badd's daughter Joane married John Barton of Fareham, esq, Sergeant at Arms to Charles I and Charles II. The pedigree of the Riggs family of Fareham survives in BL, Harleian MS 1544, fos.135-7.

W. H. Rylands (ed.), Pedigrees from the Visitations of Hampshire, 1530, 1575 and 1622-34 (Publications of the Harleian Society, 64, 1913), pp. 154, 180; G. D. Squibb (ed.), The Visitation of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, 1686 (Publications of the Harleian Society, new series, 10, 1991), p. 112; W. Page (ed.), The Victoria History of the County of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight (London, 1908), vol. 3, p. 214; G. E. Cokayne (ed.), The Complete Baronetage, 1625-1649 (Exeter, 1902), vol. 2, p. 209; John Aubrey, Brief Lives , ed. Richard Barber (Woodbridge, 2004),p. 33.

On 9 July 1640 at the Hampshire assizes in Winchester castle before the judge John Bramston, Robert Rigges brought a bill of indictment against Thomas Badd, esq, of Fareham, who was bound over to the Assizes for speaking scandalous words against the King.

J. S. Cockburn (ed.), Western Circuit Assize Orders, 1629-1648 (Camden Society, 4th series, 17, 1976), p. 200.

CSP Dom. 1635-6 , pp.397-8: John Barton of Fareham informed against Riggs for complaining against the Bishop of Winchester and abusing him when he threatened to complain to the Privy Council in April 1636. Barton also complained that Riggs had made an unfair assessment for ship money, altering an earlier assessment by Badd in April 1636.

CSP Dom. 1636-7 , pp. 139, 163, 185, 343, 352, 387; CSP Add. 1625-49 , p.600: Between September 1636 and January 1636/7 Rigges was the ringleader in throwing down fences on land being improved in Hampshire by Lady Wandesford under a royal patent.

CSP Dom. 1636-7 , pp. 405, 476: In January 1636/7 Rigges and his neighbours complained about John Barton's collection of ship money in Fareham.

CSP Dom. 1637 , pp. 251, 276, 277, 291, 294, 295, 298, 303, 309, 474, 496, 528, 558: Between June and November 1637 there werea series of complaints against Rigges for interfering with the king's collection of timber for the navy in the Hampshire. He had allegedly been obstructing John Robins, a royal purveyor, by using abusive speeches and serving warrants on him.

CSP Dom. 1637 , p. 525; CSP Dom. 1637-8 , pp. 126-7: Badd and others petitioned the council to complain about Rigges for unjustly assessing the ship money rate for Fareham. In retaliation for Barton complaining against him, Rigges had allegedly raised Badd's rate by 10s and then persuaded the attorney general to prosecute him in Star Chamber for refusing to pay.


  • Initial proceedings
    • Plaintiff's bond: 5/94 (26 Jun 1640)
    • Libel: Acta (4) fo. 311 (no date)
    • Summary of libel: R.19, fo. 24r (1640)
  • Plaintiff's case
    • Letters commissory for the plaintiff: Acta (4), fo. 312 (3 Jul 1640)
    • Defence interrogatories: Acta (4), fos. 313 (no date)
    • Plaintiff depositions: Acta (4), fos. 299r-308v (4 Aug 1640)
    • Notary public's certificate: Acta (4), fo. 309 (no date)
  • Proceedings
    • Proceedings: 1/11, fos. 56r-64v (10 Oct 1640)
    • Proceedings before Maltravers: 1/11, fos. 19r-30v (30 Oct 1640)
    • Proceedings before Maltravers: 1/11, fos. 79r-87v (4 Dec 1640)

People mentioned in the case

  • Aubrey, John
  • Badd, Emanuel (also Bad)
  • Badd, Jane (also Bad)
  • Badd, Joane (also Bad)
  • Badd, Thomas, esq (also Bad)
  • Barnard (also Bernard)
  • Barton, Joane
  • Barton, John, esq
  • Bennett, William, gent
  • Clifford, Anthony, esq
  • Curll, Walter, bishop of Winchester
  • Duck, Arthur, lawyer
  • Hamon, Nicholas, yeoman (also Hamond)
  • Le Neve, William, knight
  • Leigh, Jane
  • Leigh, Thomas, mayor
  • Lewin, William, registrar
  • Merrick, William, lawyer
  • Perin, Henry, esq
  • Rigges, Robert, gent (also Riggs)
  • Ringsted, Francis, clerk (also Ringstead)
  • Rowte, Samuel, husbandman
  • Sackville, Edward, earl of Dorset
  • Seagar, William, knight
  • Singleton, William, esq
  • Spurling, William, husbandman (also Spurlinge)
  • Wandesford, lady
  • Watson, John, notary public
  • Woolgar, Thomas

Places mentioned in the case

  • Hampshire
    • Eastfield
    • Fareham
    • Overton
    • Winchester
    • Winchester Castle
  • Middlesex
    • Westminster
  • Oxfordshire
    • Oxford

Topics of the case

  • allegation of tradesman status
  • assizes
  • denial of gentility
  • enclosure
  • Herald
  • high sheriff
  • office-holding
  • other courts
  • privy council
  • royalist
  • royal servant
  • ship money
  • taxation
  • threatened violence
  • treasonous words