574 St Ravie v Raleigh

The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640.

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Sir William St Ravie, knt v Carew Raleigh of East Horsley, co. Surrey, esq

September 1639

Figure 574:

Endymion Porter (with artist Sir Anthony Van Dyck, c.1633), with whom Carew Raleigh attempted to fight a duel in May 1636 (Credit: Wikimedia Commons).


The cause and result of St Ravie's complaint against Raleigh remain unknown as the surviving document is badly damaged. But the quarrel appears to have been a violent one and it appears to have taken place within the precincts of the court at Oatlands, Surrey. Raleigh had been involved in an attempt to duel with Mr Endymion Porter in May 1636 and confined to his quarters to prevent him travelling to France. The seriousness with which the crown viewed such encounters was reflected in the unusually large bond of £1000 imposed on him to be of good behaviour and to attend the Court of Chivalry. [For Dr Duck's prosecution of Raleigh for attempting to duel, see cause 178].

Initial proceedings

6/41, Defendant's bond

2 September 1639

£1,000 bond for Raleigh to be of good behaviour, keep the peace and attend the Court Military in the Painted Chamber.

Signed and sealed by Carew Raleigh, Sir Edward Stradling of St Donats, co. Glamorgan, bart, and Thomas Bray of London.

Sealed and delivered to the use of the king's Majestie in the presence of Sanders Duncombe, George Garter and Nich. Herman.

9/3/4, Defence [badly damaged]

'... in the utter court of the king's house at Otelands, Surrey... of a stagg and of his head told this respondent that he understood noe more of a stagg then that... was thereby and that this respondent having received soe fowle language from him and seeinge him... respondent having none then went and fetcht a sword and then finding Sir William... and Mr Carre together told them that seeinge there were none there but they this busines... replieing that there were noe such cause for ought hee sawe this respondent with the... blowe on the face and now more whereupon Sir William St... drew his... viz. that the blow he gave was in the utter court of his... present at the striking of the blowe or any other person save... and by such disgracefull speech putt upon by Sir... bloud and for a present revenge gave him St Ravie... for which his rashnes he is hartilie sorrie.'

No date.

No signatures.


The newsletter of Burghe to Scudamore, 13 May 1636 reported that 'Againe since that Mr Endymion Porter and Cary Rawleigh fell out, indeavoured to gett over into France to fight, but are both stayed, and confyned to their chambers.'

TNA, C 115, 8607

Neither party appeared in the Surrey Visitations of 1623 or 1662-8, but Sir Edward Stradling and Carew Raleigh were involved in a project to bring spring water to London in September 1639.

J. Broadway, R. P. Cust and S. K. Roberts (eds.), A Calendar of the Docquets of Lord Keeper Coventry 1625-1640 (List and Index Society, special series, vol. 35, 2004), part 2, p. 235; W. B. Bannerman (ed.), The Visitations of the County of Surrey, 1530, 1572 and 1623 (Publications of the Harleian Society, 43, 1899), p. 134; G. J. Armytage (ed.), A Visitation of the County of Surrey, 1662-8 (Publications of the Harleian Society, 60, 1910), p. 77.


  • Initial proceedings
    • Defendant's bond: 6/41 (2 Sep 1639)
  • Defendant's case
    • Defence: 9/3/4 (no date)

People mentioned in the case

  • Bray, Thomas
  • Burghe
  • Duncombe, Sanders
  • Carre, Mr
  • Garter, George
  • Herman, Nicholas
  • Porter, Endymion
  • Raleigh, Carew, esq
  • St Ravie, William, knight
  • Scudamore
  • Stradling, Edward, baronet
  • Stuart, Charles I, king

Places mentioned in the case

  • Glamorgan
    • St Donats
  • Surrey
    • East Horsley
    • Oatlands
  • Wales

Topics of the case

  • challenge to a duel
  • weapon