599 Smith v Browne

The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640.

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George Smith of Boston, co. Lincoln, gent v Robert Browne of the same, yeoman

December 1639 - February 1640


Smith complained that Browne had said that he 'was a knave and a rascall', and when Browne was cautioned by a bystander, he said 'that he would give me nothing but a rope to hange me'. Process was granted on 14 December 1639 and Dr Exton was required to present the libel in April 1640; but no further proceedings survive. [For another prosecution by Smith, see cause 600].

Initial proceedings

2/66, Petition to Arundel

'The petitioner being a gentleman of ancient descent, one Robert Browne of Boston spake divers contumelious words of and against the petitioner; and said that I was a knave and a rascall, and being told by one that heard him speake the said disgracefull words; that he had best agree with me. Robert Browne in further disgrace of me said that he would give me nothing but a rope to hange me'.

Petitioned that Browne be brought to answer.

Maltravers granted process on 14 December 1639.

2/63, Plaintiff's bond

14 December 1639

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

Signed by George Smith.

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

2/52, Defendant's bond

8 February 1639/40

Bound to appear 'in the Court'.

Signed by Thomas Sharpe of Skerbigge [Skirbeck], co. Lincoln, yeoman on behalf of Browne.

Signed, sealed and delivered in the presence of John Watson.

Summary of proceedings

Dr Talbot acted as counsel for Smith and Dr Exton for Browne. On 4 February 1640 Dr Talbot was required to prove the libel in the first session of the next term and to find commissioners to examine witnesses.


George Smith of Boston and Firsby married Anne, daughter of Christopher Cheney of Grantham.

A. R. Maddison (ed.), Lincolnshire Pedigrees (Publications of the Harleian Society, 51, 1903), vol. 2, p. 903.


  • Initial proceedings
    • Petition to Arundel: 2/66 (14 Dec 1639)
    • Plaintiff's bond: 2/63 (14 Dec 1639)
    • Defendant's bond: 2/52 (8 Feb 1640)
  • Proceedings
    • Proceedings before Maltravers: 8/31 (4 Feb 1640)

People mentioned in the case

  • Browne, Robert, yeoman
  • Cheney, Anne
  • Cheney, Christopher
  • Exton, Thomas, lawyer
  • Howard, Henry, baron Maltravers
  • Howard, Thomas, earl of Arundel and Surrey
  • Sharpe, Thomas, yeoman
  • Smith, Anne
  • Smith, George, gent
  • Talbot, Clere, lawyer
  • Watson, John

Places mentioned in the case

  • Lincolnshire
    • Boston
    • Firsby
    • Grantham
    • Skirbeck
  • Middlesex
    • Westminster

Topics of the case

  • threatened violence