566 Rouse v Kippis

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 Rouse of Little Paxton, co. Huntingdon, gent v John Kippis of the same, husbandman

June - November 1640


Rouse complained that Kippis had called him 'a base fellow', 'in the hearing of divers credible persons', saying that 'if he were a gentleman he was but a beggarly one'. Rouse also maintained that Kippis had said that his wife, the daughter of Sir Thomas Hillersdon, was a whore, thereby provoking him to duel. Process was granted on 15 June 1640 and Rouse entered bond on 18 November 1640; but the case was lost with the suspension of the court's proceedings in December.

Initial proceedings

5/162, Petition

'Whereas he is a gentleman of coat armour descended and lately come out of the ancient family of Rouse of Rouse Lench in the countie of Worcester, and married the daughter of Sir Thomas Hillersdon, knight, and hath all his time lived in the name and quality of a gentleman, without any blemish to that stock and family from which he is derived, that, nevertheless, one John Kippes of Little Paxton in the county of Huntingdon, husbandman, maliciously intending to disgrace and disparage the petitioner, among his neighbours where he now liveth, did, without cause or provocation by the petitioner given, openly and in the hearing of divers credible persons say that the petitioner was a base fellow, and, if he were a gentleman he was but a beggarly one, with divers other disgraceful speeches. And to lay a further staine and blemish upon the petitioner's children, did maliciously also say that his wife was a whore and he would prove it, by which opprobrious and reproachfull speeches Kippes, as much as in him lay, provoked the petitioner to duell, and the breach of his Majesties peace, and the edicts in that case made.'

Petitioned that Kippes be brought to answer.

Maltravers granted process, 15 June 1640.

5/161, Plaintiff's bond

18 November 1640

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

Signed by Thomas Rouse

Sealed, subscribed and delivered in the presence of John Dynham and Thomas Farley.


For another account of the case, see G. D. Squibb, Reports of Heraldic Cases in the Court of Chivalry, 1623-1732 (London, 1956),p. 48.

Thomas Rouse did not appear in the Visitation of Huntingdon of 1684: J. Bedells (ed.), The Visitation of the County of Huntingdon, 1684 (Publications of the Harleian Society, new series, 13, 2000).


  • Initial proceedings
    • Petition: 5/162(15 Jun 1640)
    • Plaintiff's bond: 5/161 (18 Nov 1640)

People mentioned in the case

  • Farley, Thomas
  • Hillersdon, Thomas, knight
  • Howard, Henry, baron Maltravers
  • Kippis, John, husbandman (also Kippes)
  • Rouse, Thomas, gent

Places mentioned in the case

  • Middlesex
    • Westminster
  • Huntingdon
    • Little Paxton
  • Worcestershire
    • Rous Lench

Topics of the case

  • denial of gentility
  • provocative of a duel
  • sexual insult