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592 SHEPPARD V PENNINGTON
Thomas Sheppard of co. Middlesex, esq and Nathaniel Snape of Gray's Inn, co. Middlesex, esq v Thomas Pennington
February - March 1638
Sheppard and Snape were Middlesex J.P.s charged with enforcing the Privy Council's orders concerning the tobacco monopoly, against which Pennington had been stirring up opposition. Witnesses testified that between Christmas and February 1638 he had been going around local taverns saying that 'he would breake all the justices of peace backs in Middlesex for extorting of fees and byndinge and unbynding of men' and, of Snape, that 'if he did not get him turned out of the commission of the peace he would give Mr Snape leave to kiss his breech.'Once he had done with Sheppard and Snape, he declared, 'he would have about with Dr Duck too.' Pennington was also charged with having insulted Lord Goring by saying that he knew 'Goreinge well enough before he was a patentee for tobacco and the kinge doth not know what abuse he hath done him', and that although 'Goreing had Gored many he should not Gore him'. The case did not result in a conventional trial, but Pennington was imprisoned. On 5-7 March 1638 Sheppard and Snape thanked Lord Maltravers for hearing their complaint and providing exemplary punishment, and then petitioned for Pennington's release.
1. 'Pennington hath at several times within this seaven weeks or thereabouts in a publique manner very much slighted and abused Lord Goring calling him (in a scornfull manner) Goreinge, Goreinge and said he knew Goreinge well enough before he was a patentee for tobacco and the kinge doth not know whatt abuse he hath done him.'
2. 'Pennington being at another time tipleing at an alehouse in Rattcliffe [co. Middlesex] in the like scornefull manner said that although Goreing had Gored many he should not Gore him; and that these words were spoken about seven weeks since by Pennington.'
Isabel Thompson testified the truth of the first article, February 1638. Signed by Ro. Rich.
Alice Fishborne testified the truth of the second article on 12 February 1638. Signed by John Page.
1. 'Pennington hath many severall tymes within the space of seven weeks or thereaboutes very much abused Thomas Sheppherd and Nathaniel Snape (who were authorised by warrant from the right honourable the lords and others of his Majestie's most honourable privy councell to punish delinquents concerning the unlawfull retayleinge of tobacco) by continually reporting in taverns and alehouses, and in the open streets, in a very disgracefull manner that he hadd broake the backs of the justices for it; and that the justtices were both turned out of the commission of the peace and in the messenger's hands and paid each of them vi s viii d per day for certen daies and were afterwards committed to prison for executing their lordships' warrant. And more particularly Thomas Senior maketh oath that he heard Pennington publiquely raile and abuse Mr Snape, sayinge that if he did not get him turned out of the commission of the peace very suddenly he would give Mr Snape leave to kiss his breech. And that Pennington about the time aforesaid said that ere long he would make the said two justices as poore as knaves as one Kinge who is a common warder about the streets.'
2. On Wednesday 7 February 1638 Pennington said 'in a vaunting fashion' in a tavern and in an alehouse at another time 'that he would breake all the justices of peace backs in Middlesex for extorting of fees and byndinge and unbynding of men.'
3. 'About five weeks since Pennington did very much abuse and threaten the justices and said to Kinge, vizt. Thou art a knave, and Snape (meaninge Mr Snape) as arrant a knave as thou art. And he then further used these words in a threatening manner that when he had done with this business, meaning the justices, he would have about with Dr Duck too. And that such knaves as one Pinckerton, who is a lawfull apparatour, should not run upp and downe the parish to present offences for the churchwardens are to do it.'
Thomas Brackin testified to the truth of the first part of the first article and all of the second article. 16 February 1638. Signed by Ro. Rich.
Thomas Roberts testified to the truth of the first part of the first article. 16 February 1638. Signed by Ro. Rich.
Thomas Senior testified to the truth of the third part of the first article. 12 February 1638. Signed by John Page.
William Kinge testified to the truth of all of the third article. 12 February 1638.
Signed by John Page.
Thomas Wright testified to the truth of the first part of the first article. 16 February 1638. Signed by Ro. Rich.
Recited that they, by warrant from the Lords of the Council, had been employed in regulating the tobacco business to the advancement of the king's revenue. Petitioned that Pennington, lately a brewer and notoriously known to be a 'drunken, disordered and factious fellow, a man of desperate fortunes and a prisoner in the Fleet (as he pretends) hath lately gathered together a multitude of... delinquents in a tumultuous fashion to oppose and disgrace the [revenue] service'.
Sentence / Arbitration
EM93, Acknowledgement of thanks
'We doe most humbly acknowledge our due thankfulness to the noble Lord Maltravers for the just favour and right which his honour afforded us in heareing our complaint against Pennington, and we are now suitors to his lordship for the poore man's present enlargement. And we shall ever rest.
His Lordshipp's humble and thankful servant'.
5 March 1638
Signed by T. Sheppard.
EM94, Acknowledgement of thanks
'I doe most humbly acknowledge my due thankfulness to the noble Lord Maltravers for the right and favour which his honour showed me in heareing the complaint of Mr Sheppard and myselfe against Mr Pennington. And I am now a suitor to his lordship (for so much as concerneth my particular) that he may be enlarged. And I shall ever rest his lordship's humble and thankfull servant'.
7 March 1638
Signed by Nathaniel Snape.
Neither Sheppard, Snape nor Pennington appear in the Visitations of London: G. J. Armytage (ed.), Middlesex Pedigrees (Publications of the Harleian Society, 65, 1914); J. J. Howard and J. L. Chester (eds.), The Visitation of London, 1633, 1634 and 1635, vol. I (Publications of the Harleian Society, 15, 1880); J. J. Howard (ed.), The Visitation of London, 1633, 1634 and 1635, vol. II (Publications of the Harleian Society, 17, 1883); J. B. Whitmore and A. W. Hughes Clarke (ed.), London Visitation Pedigrees, 1664 (Publications of the Harleian Society, 92, 1940).
On 5 March 1633 Nathaniel Snape of Gray's Inn, esq, his wife and two others, were granted dispensation to eat flesh during Lent. On 27 February 1634 a Thomas Pennington was granted licence to sell wine at Chigwell, co. Essex.
J. Broadway, R. Cust and S. K. Roberts (eds.), A Calendar of the Docquets of Lord Keeper Coventry, 1625-1640 (List and Index Society, special series, 34 and 35, 2004), part 1, p. 169; part 2, p. 290.
George Goring, baron Goring of Hurstpierpoint, later earl of Norwich, was an 'inveterate patentee' and master of the horse to the Queen during the 1630s. He held two tobacco licences, one for its import and the other for its sale. Along with Sir Henry Hungate [see cause 317] he held licences that controlled the export of butter. A royalist during the civil wars, he was captured at Colchester in 1648 and was fortunate to be spared execution. He was pardoned and released in 1649.
B. Donagan, 'George Goring, earl of Norwich (1585-1663)', Oxford DNB (Oxford, 2004).
- Initial proceedings
- Affidavit: EM90 (12 Feb 1638)
- Affidavits: EM92 (12, 16 Feb 1638)
- Petition: EM91 (no date)
- Sentence / Arbitration
- Acknowledgement of thanks: EM93 (5 Mar 1638)
- Acknowledgement of thanks: EM94 (7 Mar 1638)
People mentioned in the case
- Brackin, Thomas
- Duck, Arthur, lawyer
- Goring, George, baron Goring of Hurstpierpoint
- Howard, Henry, baron Maltravers
- Kinge, William
- Page, John
- Rich, Ro.
- Roberts, Thomas
- Senior, Thomas
- Sheppard, Thomas (also Shepherd)
- Snape, Nathaniel, esq
- Wright, Thomas
Places mentioned in the case
- The Fleet
- Gray's Inn
Topics of the case
- inns of court
- justice of the peace
- scatological insult