600 Smith v Camacke

The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640.

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'600 Smith v Camacke', in The Court of Chivalry 1634-1640, (, ) pp. . British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/no-series/court-of-chivalry/600-smith-camacke [accessed 29 February 2024]

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George Smith of Boston, co. Lincoln, gent v John Camacke of the same, merchant

July 1640


Smith complained that Camacke had usurped his coat of arms and accused him of being 'a bribery fellow' in his capacity as 'prestmaister'. Smith had a commission for pressing men for the Second Bishops' War. Process was granted on 2 July 1640 and entered bond three days later; but no further proceedings survive. [For another action prosecuted by Smith, see cause 599].

Initial proceedings

5/109, Petition

'Your petitioner is a gent. descended of an ancient familie of gentrye bearing armes. And that John Camacke of Boston aforesaid doth give a coate of armes called Camocke Armes of Essex as his proper armes, which said coate of armes properly belongs to your petitioner, and not to Camacke. And further saith that your petitioner, being lately elected prestmaister by a commission from the lord high Admirall of England and the lord great Chamberlaine of England for pressing of men for his Majestie's service, John Camacke said before credible persons that in the execution of your petitioner's said place, your petitioner received bribes and was a bribery fellow, thereby very much provoking your petitioner to duell.'

Petitioned that Camacke be brought to answer.

Maltravers granted process on 2 July 1640.

5/108, Plaintiff's bond

5 July 1640

That he was 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 Rainshaw, notary public.


For another account of the case see, G. D. Squibb, Reports of Heraldic Cases in the Court of Chivalry, 1623-1732 (London, 1956), p. 49.

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.

This was only one of several charges of corruption and taking bribes during musters for the Second Bishops' War in Lincolnshire.

M. C. Fissel, The Bishops' Wars (Cambridge, 1994), pp. 241-2


  • Initial proceedings
    • Petition: 5/109 (2 Jul 1640)
    • Plaintiff's bond: 5/108 (5 Jul 1640)

People mentioned in the case

  • Camacke, John, merchant
  • Cheney, Anne
  • Cheney, Christopher
  • Herbert, Philip, earl of Pembroke
  • Howard, Henry, baron Maltravers
  • Percy, Algernon, earl of Northumberland
  • Rainshaw, John
  • Smith, Anne
  • Smith, George, gent

Places mentioned in the case

  • Lincolnshire
    • Boston
    • Firsby
  • Middlesex
    • Westminster

Topics of the case

  • Bishops' Wars
  • coat of arms
  • false claim to gentility